WASHINGTON, December 25, 2013 — This week the President signed an executive order granting a 1% raise to all federal employees. The raise will apply starting in January, but will not be given to members of Congress.
The raise is the first since President Obama froze all raises in January 2010.
Earlier this week, federal workers were not given the day off on Christmas Eve, even though both Republican and Democratic administrations had traditionally done so in the past. It is believed that granting the raise played a role in the decision to keep employees in the office on the religious holiday.
The vast majority of federal employees live in the Washington DC metropolitan area, and reaction from local politicians was swift.
“I’m proud to fight on the front lines for federal employee pay as hard as federal employees fight on the front lines each and every day for America,” U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) said in a statement.
“This long-overdue modest pay raise for federal government employees is a good step in recognizing the value of federal workers. They have been the targets of unending attacks. They’ve been furloughed, laid off and locked out through no fault of their own. I believe federal employees should never be scapegoats in fights over deficit reduction.”
The president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), Joseph A. Beaudoin, said to FedSmith “Today’s announcement by the president provides much-needed relief for America’s hard-working, middle-class federal employees whose paychecks have been frozen while the cost of gas, groceries and housing has increased.
“As the pay gap between private- and public-sector workers has grown, ending the three-year pay freeze for public workers is an important investment in maintaining the strength of the federal workforce.”
FedSmith also offers a warning to federal employees with questions about their new pay “No doubt, readers will have questions about their 2014 pay rates. Many of these questions cannot be definitively answered until the documents implementing the new pay rates have been issued by the Office of Personnel Management.”
The federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) posted the 2014 salary tables at its website.