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Obama Budget Would Limit Pay Raises for Fed Civilian Workers, Military

Obama Budget Would Limit Pay Raises for Fed Civilian Workers, Military

President Barack Obama is promising to slash federal spending by $2 trillion, even as the administration initially invests large sums of money to revive the faltering economy.

Washington Post

The federal civilian workforce would be limited to a 2 percent pay increase in fiscal 2010 under the proposed budget released this morning by the Obama administration.

The administration described the proposed increase as reflective of the current economic crisis and bringing federal pay and benefit practices more in line with what workers in the private sector are experiencing.

But the proposal would give civilian employees a smaller pay raise than the 2.9 percent it would grant to uniformed military personnel. And it quickly ran into opposition on Capitol Hill, where House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said he would raise the issue with the Obama administration.

“While it’s to be expected that during this time of shared sacrifice there will not likely be a federal employee adjustment equal to last year’s level, we must continue to adhere to the long-standing bipartisan principle of pay parity,” Hoyer said in a statement.

Hoyer said he would work with Obama to “ensure a fair and equal adjustment for both our military and civilian personnel who work side-by-side to protect our nation and keep our government running.”

The budget summary released this morning notes that Obama has ordered a freeze of White House senior staff pay. “In this budget, federal employees also will be asked to do their part,” the summary states.

The proposed increase compares with a 3.9 percent increase for federal workers in 2009 and 3.5 percent in 2008.

The 2 percent pay proposal represents the administration’s target increase for the entire 1.8 million-civilian federal payroll. Individual workers could get more or less based on their locality, or on whether or not they receive promotions.

The president of the American Federation of Government Employees said the union was not happy with the size of the proposed increased but understood the rationale for it. “We recognize the severity of our nation’s economic situation, including the crisis for public workers at the state and local level, and understand that only modest steps can be taken this year to close the remaining pay gap between the federal and non-federal salaries,” said AFGE President John Gage.

General Schedule Pay Scale Guide
Need help understanding the General Schedule Pay Scale? Follow these chapters to understand why the system is in place, how 'the Man' determines your salary, and how you can make more money in your government job.

Chapter 1: The Federal Wage System: Introduction
...what is this anyway...

Chapter 2:The Federal Wage System: Overview and Facts
...what you need to know from the start...

Chapter 3: What Determines Which Grade and/or Step You Fall Under?
...why you will make the money you do...

Chapter 4: General Schedule Pay Scale Ranges
...2007 vs. 2008; Hourly Wage; Annual Salary Range...

Chapter 5: 2009 Government General Pay Schedule
...to know exactly where you stand...

Chapter 6: Frequently Asked Questions About the GS Pay Scale
...others are confused, too...

Chapter 7: Federal Salaries: How to Talk Your Way Up the Scale
...negotiate your way to a raise...

Chapter 8: Related Articles and Links
...negotiating, which city to make the most money in, etc, etc....

But Richard N. Brown, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, was more critical and said his group would push Congress for a larger pay increase.

“Even in this economy, 2 percent is a very small increase for workers that are already paid well below those doing similar work in the private sector,” he said.

Brown also objected to civilian workers drawing a smaller pay increase than uniformed personnel under the budget plan.

“We are baffled by the large disparity in the proposed pay adjustments for civilian federal workers and military personnel,” he said. “Civilian federal employees often work side-by-side with military personnel and are in their own right critical to maintaining our military readiness and homeland security.”

Further criticism came from the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 federal workers. “We understand that these are tough times, but we are very concerned about breaking the historic linkage of civilian and military pay parity,” said Colleen M. Kelley, the union president.

“We want to find out why these pay raise numbers came out the way they did, and what went into the analysis regarding pay parity,” Kelley added. “We also want to know what other proposals the administration will be pursuing this year that will affect federal workers.” The 2.9 percent pay increase for the military is described in the budget summary as reflecting “the priorities of an administration that is committed to caring for the service members who protect our security and the families who support them.”

Last year, military personnel received a 3.9 percent pay increase, half a percentage point more than President George W. Bush recommended.

©2009 Yellowbrix, Inc.

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  • Kevin_faler7_max50

    kfaler

    over 4 years ago

    10 comments

    Leave it to our president to stick it to our military again, Our military doesn't earn enough to take care of their family but give up their freedom to protect ours. Police officers make twice the amount of someone in the military to protect a city while military make half the amount to protect a nation. You want to save money? Then take if from the politicians and the government spending habbits, stop paying high dollar for junk and shop at walmart and other places for items of every day use, and stop redecorating the white house every time we get a new president!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    sparkyknowsbest

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    Obummer has NO CLUES when it comes to the economy....we should have elected Mitt! He has got extensive business experience and track record....and Obummer has a terrible health care proposal that would bancrupt the taxpayer if enacted as is...

    Mitt in 2012!!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    mmddd

    almost 5 years ago

    2 comments

    There is a tradeoff between higher pay (typically a benefit of private sector employment) and higher security in times of recession (federal employment perk). If you start lowering incentives of federal employment, you will lose lots of qualified employees to the private sector whichis a bit riskier but offers better pay.

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