White House 2013 Budget to End Pay Freeze; Proposes Modest Increase


1/6/12: The White House today announced that its 2013 budget proposal would reflect that the two-year pay freeze for federal employees would end as scheduled. At the same time, the administration proposed only a 0.5 percent pay raise for federal workers.

NTEU National President Colleen Kelley said, “The good news is that the pay freeze is ending, but I am disappointed at the size of the proposed 2013 increase.”

With the pay freeze extending through fiscal year 2012, “I believe federal employees have done their fair share to help address our budget problems, and I have been strongly urging the administration to end the pay freeze and propose a fair increase for federal employees in 2013,” Kelley said. The current pay freeze is expected to result in a $60 billion contribution by federal workers to deficit reduction over 10 years.

The NTEU leader also noted that private sector pay has been increasing while that of the federal workforce has been frozen. The employment cost index (ECI), which measures private sector wage growth, has increased over the past three years by 1.4 percent, l.6 percent and 1.7 percent—a total of 4.7 percent.

“I believe something more reflective of private sector increases would have been more fair and appropriate” for federal workers in 2013, President Kelley said.

“Federal workers safeguard our food, defend our borders, protect our air and water, guard our nuclear weapons and nuclear materials, conduct life-saving research, promote business innovation, and so much more,” she said. “For the good of the country, we need the best and brightest in federal agencies.”

Kelley added that “while Congress continues to consider extending the pay freeze for one to three more years, NTEU will continue to fight those efforts, and will work toward increasing this proposed pay raise” before it would become effective in January 2013.

“It is time for the pay freeze to end and for federal employees to receive a fair pay raise that will prevent them from falling further and further behind other comparable positions,” she said, noting that federal employees perform a variety of tasks vital to the well-being of the nation. 

The pay raise will not be made final until later this year, the NTEU president said, and during that time, “NTEU will continue to look for ways to increase the amount, while proposing alternative savings that will allow for an increase that will make a difference.”