President Obama’s budget recommendation for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, which is to be formally unveiled on Tuesday, February 9, is now expected to include an average 1.6% pay raise for both federal civilian and military personnel. This proposed 1.6% pay adjustment for General Schedule federal employees would be effective January 2017.
As your Exclusive Representative, we view the amount of the Administration’s total proposed average raise — 1.6 percent — as far too low, particularly given the recent history on federal employee pay increases and the continued economic recovery underway which has led to higher average pay increases for private-sector workers. Since 2010, federal employees have endured three years of pay freezes, followed by three subsequent years of woefully inadequate pay raises. The pay gap between private-sector wages and federal salaries remains pronounced, as evidenced by the December 2015 Federal Salary Council’s Report finding a remaining private-federal pay disparity of 35%. Further, an additional amount needs to be designated for locality pay rate increases.
In recent years, Congress has allowed the Administration’s proposed pay plans to take effect, though Congress could act during this year to set a higher, lower, or even block a pay raise entirely for 2017. NTEU will work with Members of Congress, including key federal employee advocates Senators Schatz (HI) and Cardin (MD) and Representatives Hoyer (MD) and Connolly (VA) to help secure a higher and reasonable pay increase for 2017. Senators Schatz and Cardin and Congressman Connolly earlier introduced the FAIR Act, NTEU-supported legislation calling for a 3.8% pay raise for calendar year 2016. A reasonable pay raise for our members is a priority for NTEU.