Federal employees underpaid what about 2019 raise fedsmith.com electric utility companies in arizona

We tentatively agree that, after appropriate rulemaking, separate locality pay areas should be established for Birmingham, AL, and San Antonio, TX. BLS should deliver data separately for the Birmingham-Hoover-Talladega, AL CSA and for the San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX MSA, and exclude those areas from the “Rest of U.S.” computations for future data deliveries to OPM staff. Pay Recommendations by Republican Budget Committee

Federal bureaucrats have enormous power over the lives of everyday Americans and also get paid more on average than the people they are supposed to serve. According to CBO, “Overall, the federal government paid 17 percent more in total compensation than it would have if average compensation had been comparable with that in the private sector, after accounting for certain observable characteristics of workers.”

Unlike most Americans, federal workers receive an automatic pay increase every year under the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990. If the president determines that a national emergency exists, he can limit the size of the increase. President Obama signed legislation blocking pay increases in 2011, 2012, and 2013. However, with the national debt increasing above $21 trillion, and projected to skyrocket to almost $34 trillion over the next decade, a fiscal state of emergency exists. Beginning in FY 2019, the annual across-the-board increase for federal workers should be reduced by half a percentage point below the expected automatic increases.

The news headlines about the conclusion that federal employee pay is about 32% behind the private sector generates headlines in articles written for the federal community. The headlines generated favorable comments from many in the community who strongly believe the federal workforce is significantly underpaid.

Whether the Salary Council conclusions are valid or not, the reality is that if there is a federal pay raise in 2019 it will be a very small one. While there is a cadre of Democrats in Congress with a large number of federal employees who vote in their district who will routinely “fight for” a large pay raise, that is unlikely to happen. See, for example, Legislation Calls for 3% Pay Raise in 2019 which was not brought to a vote in the House.

In recent years, Congress has deferred to the president in determining the final amount of any pay raise. In 2018, the new pay rates were an average of 1.9% percent (including the amount for locality pay). The final amount approved was consistent with what the president had approved earlier in the year.

Federal employees work in a political environment. Republicans control Congress and the White House. Federal employee unions routinely support Democrats running for office and are sometimes seen as a political adjunct to the opposing party by Republicans. Several unions work on the Federal Salary Council and their work significantly influences the recommendations. The Council’s recommendations are unlikely to persuade Congress to approve a large pay raise. New Locality Pay Areas to be Implemented?