Pay Raise Not a Done Deal

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A key legislative priority for NTEU has been to ensure a pay raise for federal employees by securing congressional support and action to secure a pay raise for federal employees this January.

Despite media and other reports yesterday of a so-called final “deal” or legislative victory on a federal employee pay raise for January, the reality is that Congress will not finalize its plans on whether or not to block the President’s planned pay freeze, or the specific amount of any pay increase, until both chambers return after the November election.

In early 2018 the President first proposed a pay freeze for January 2019, which he recently formalized to Congress as required by law. In contrast, the Senate has passed bipartisan NTEU-supported language to provide a 1.9 percent pay raise. In recent weeks, negotiations were held between the House and Senate on a funding measure that could have included language to provide a pay increase, but as expected, these items were not resolved or finalized prior to the House heading into recess.

The House returns after the midterm election, so there will be no formal action on any funding measures—or language to provide a government-wide pay raise-- until later in the year when Congress and the Administration tackle remaining funding issues including a Continuing Resolution for some agencies, including EPA, that expires December 7.

While we support the Senate-backed 1.9 percent language (which would provide employees an increase equal to the January 2018 adjustment) and are pleased that lawmakers are responding to their constituents who are asking for a fair pay increase, we continue to press for a higher amount given the backdrop of military personnel slated to receive a 2.6 percent raise in January.

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