Trump slashes federal pay increase

Sep 01, 2018, 04:59
Trump slashes federal pay increase

Major news has come by way of the White Houe today after American President Donald Trump announced that next year's pay raise for federal government employees has been cancelled.

"Under current law, locality pay increases averaging 25.70 percent, costing $25 billion, would go into effect in January 2019, in addition to a 2.1 percent across-the-board increase for the base General Schedule", Trump wrote in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence (the president of the Senate). This month, the Senate voted of 96-2 to approve its version of a spending bill that would fix across-the-board civilian raises next year at 1.9 percent.

Beyer's office also noted that the congressman "represents the largest number of federal employees of any Member of the House of Representatives".

The pay freeze comes less than a week after a federal judge in Washington overturned parts of three Trump executive orders attempting to curtail the power of federal labor unions and institute merit-based pay systems for federal employees. For federal workers, however, their pay is largely set by education and job position, with automatic increases over time based on tenure.

Trump is right to point out the scary fiscal situation.

The federal budget deficit has grown 16 percent this fiscal year, the result of a combination of Trump-supported tax cuts and military spending, as well as increases in mandatory spending programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Unions representing the 2 million-member federal workforce urged Congress to pass the 1.9 percent pay raise.

The politics of the pay freeze could be dicey. Accordingly, I have determined that it is appropriate to exercise my authority to set alternative across-the-board and locality pay adjustments for 2019 pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 5303 (b) and 5304a.

The Trump administration proposed $143.5 billion in cuts to federal employee compensation in May, including substantial decreases in retirement funding.

He cites the costs and says: "We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets can not sustain such increases".

He said the 1.9 percent pay increase would "help prevent workers from falling further behind next year and help federal agencies recruit and retain the high-caliber workforce that the public expects and deserves".

In his letter, Trump stressed a pay freeze would not affect the federal government's ability to attract qualified workers, and wrote the government would focus on "recruiting, retaining and rewarding high-performing Federal employees and those with critical skill sets".

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