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WH: Feds to get 2.7% pay raise

The Biden administration has announced a federal employee pay increase that, for most feds, will average 2.7% for 2022. 

Months ago, the White House had indicated it was aiming for this level of increase in its budget proposal documents. But the announcement—in the form of a letter to the Senate, formally calling for the bump—makes it official. Under the authority given by federal law, presidents can determine an “alternative plan for pay adjustments”—raises—for feds. 

“I am transmitting an alternative plan for pay adjustments for civilian Federal employees covered by the General Schedule and certain other pay systems in January 2022,” President Biden said in the letter. “I have determined that for 2022, the across-the-board base pay increase will be 2.2 percent and locality pay increases will average 0.5 percent, resulting in an overall average increase of 2.7 percent for civilian Federal employees, consistent with the assumption in my 2022 Budget.”

The upward move will take effect as of Jan. 1, 2022. 

Unions approve

Federal employee unions, in their early reactions, issued praise for the move. The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), for example, offered its support for the move—and the fact that it is congruent with the president’s indication he favored parity between the civilian fed and military pay increases. 

“President Biden’s alternative pay plan providing for a 2.7% pay increase in 2022 for federal employees is in line with his proposal earlier this year to provide a 2.7% pay adjustment for military personnel and civil service employees, also known as pay parity,” AFGE said in a release. “Pay parity recognizes the essential contributions that civil service and uniformed personnel make to our country, and we are pleased that the Biden administration has honored this principle.”

The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) also gave the planned boost its blessing—at least in part, while continuing to press for more.  

“We appreciate President Biden's desire to give federal employees a pay raise in 2022, especially one that includes an increase in locality pay rates,” a union statement said, drawing attention to the newly specified 0.5% boost in locality pay. “This is a vast improvement over the previous administration's attempts to freeze federal pay.” 

Still, NTEU like most unions continues to press for a more general correction upward in federal employee pay, due to long-term deterioration of federal wages versus those in the private sector, as well as versus inflation. 

“However, federal employee pay increases have lagged for years and there is still a very real gap between federal pay and comparable positions in the private sector,” NTEU said. “According to the Federal Salary Council (FSC), federal employees are paid 23.11 percent less than their private sector counterparts.”

“NTEU believes that a 3.2 percent average raise is merited in 2022, as called for in the FAIR Act legislation introduced earlier this year,” the release said. “We will continue to urge Congress to implement an average 2.2 percent increase across the board, plus a 1 percent boost toward locality pay.”

Reader comments

Fri, Sep 3, 2021

Better than nothing I guess. Biden is doing it to impress, but those of us who have paid attention and know him also are the ones that know better. The last article I read about this pay raise, a union guy dissed President Trump for "trying to freeze pay". Funny thing is, they totally ignored the fact that Obama actually DID freeze pay ... for THREE years. Meanwhile, our contractors continued to get 3% to 5% pay raises because of a lack of forethought to require the same for companies performing on government contracts. I don't care how much raise Biden gives, the fact that he is in office when he graduated at the bottom of his law class but some how got elected to our highest office should embarass everyone.

Wed, Sep 1, 2021

Biden is like Obama. Almost nothing is equal to nothing. wait until the freeze on COLAs start the year after this minimal adjustment. The politicians live for free compared to the rest of the people.

Tue, Aug 31, 2021

well thank the stooges in Congress, Senate and the president for a lowball COLA which is meaningless. Yet they live for free and do not worry about medication costs, tuition and other living expenses. They are part of the crowd that says let them eat cake.

Mon, Aug 30, 2021 Sergio CA

Well, it's about time someone uses part of the law to give us a raise. Since there isn't a republican majority to stop it like in the previous Obama Administration.

Mon, Aug 30, 2021 AJ

It'll be knocked down but then again, Sleepy Joe isn't all that bright. After all, it's only other people's money. Ask any Democrat.

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2021 Digital Almanac

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