Representative Gerry Connolly (VA) and Senator Brian Schatz (HI) have introduced the NTEU-supported FAIR Act, which would provide an average 8.7 percent pay increase for federal employees in 2024. The legislation consists of a 4.7 percent across-the-board increase and an average 4.0 percent for locality pay. Under the compensation agreement negotiated by the union, this increase would be a component of SEC employees' raise.
The Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act (FEPCA, 5 USC 5303) indicates that federal employees should receive a 4.7 percent pay raise in 2024, prior to any amount being provided for locality pay rate increases. In recent years, federal pay increases haven’t kept up with inflation and, according to the last report from the Federal Salary Council, the average pay disparity between the federal government and the private sector is 24.09 percent, a far cry from the 5 percent goal under FEPCA. Providing federal workers an average 8.7 percent pay raise in 2024 would begin to address the shortfall in pay over the past few years and help make the federal government a more competitive employer, especially in higher cost areas of the country with low unemployment numbers. In addition, the average 8.7 percent increase, which is equal to the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to Social Security benefits as well as the amount to CSRS annuities for 2023, will help employees retain their purchasing power given the increases in inflation.
President Biden is expected to release his budget request for FY 2024 in the coming months. However, it is unclear what the President will propose for the 2024 pay raise given the current political environment and the talks of cutting government spending by some in Congress.
Federal employees and their families deserve fair and competitive pay, and NTEU will continue to fight to ensure employees receive it.