White House Formalizes 2019 Pay Freeze

President Trump signed an executive order formalizing a 2019 pay freeze for federal civilian employees just before the end of 2018. As a government shutdown drudges on due to lapses in appropriations, federal workers must now prepare for a congressional battle to determine if the new year will bring a pay increase.

In an August 2018 letter to Congress, President Trump called for the pay freeze to make up for spending increases. President Trump explained, “In light of our Nation’s fiscal situation, Federal employee pay must be performance-based, and aligned strategically toward recruiting, retaining, and rewarding high-performing Federal employees and those with critical skill sets.”

As hundreds of thousands of federal workers start the new year with uncertainty regarding their pay due to the government shutdown, this move to freeze pay increases tensions between the president and the federal workforce.

President of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), Ken Thomas, noted in a statement to the Federal Times, “Both the shutdown and the pay freeze impose real economic costs on federal employees and our country… Both undermine the effectiveness of the work our government does — from ensuring the national defense and homeland security to safeguarding taxpayer dollars from fraud — by damaging its ability to recruit and retain a highly qualified and talented workforce. Refusing to provide a nominal raise for our nation’s hardworking federal employees amid a partial government shutdown shows clear contempt for those who carry out public service.”

The Senate has already approved appropriations legislation granting a 1.9 percent pay raise to federal workers. The new Democrat-majority House is expected to follow suit, making the largest road block a signature from the president. If passed, this legislation would effectively void President Trump’s executive order.

Traditionally, the pay raise would take effect on the first full biweekly pay period of the new year, which this year would begin on Jan. 6. With the shutdown in effect and the executive order signed, this will likely not occur this year. However, as The Washington Post reports, a retroactive pay increase can be granted if Congress passes legislation calling for a pay raise, as occurred in 2003 and 2004 when lapses in appropriations legislation caused a similar problem.

President Trump met with both Republican and Democratic leadership in the situation room on Wednesday to discuss a path toward ending the shutdown.

Posted in Featured News

Print

This Week on FEDtalk

Ethics and Accountability for Government Attorneys

Tune in to FEDtalk this week for a discussion of ethics and accountability in the federal government. The guests will cover the Professional Review process for government attorneys and other government ethics considerations.

Read more ...

Hear it from FLEOA

FLEOA Scores Legal Victory for Agents with Hearing Loss

Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) National President Nathan Catura released a statement earlier this week that detailed a settlement impacting agents with hearing loss.

Read more ...
FEDagent

FEDagent.com

The free weekly e-report for Federal Law Enforcement

Get in touch with us

Email FEDagent publisher

Copyright 2019 FEDagent.com
Hosted by Peak Media Company, LLC