Reactions are starting to roll in on what may be the smallest pay raise in the General Schedule’s history. The three largest federal unions applauded the White House’s return to pay parity, but objected that the modest pay raise would do little to close the pay gap between federal and private-sector workers. The American Federation of Government Employees, National Treasury Employees Union and the National Federation of Federal Employees all pledged to push Congress to increase the administration’s modest pay raise.
Here’s a sampling of comments:
At best, 1.4 percent is a modest adjustment. But in this economy, a modest increase is better than no increase at all.
– NFFE National President William Dougan
We’re talking about a pay raise that will take effect an entire year from now. Although the economy is still weak today, all signs point to a recovery by 2011, and by that time prices will be higher, health insurance premiums will be much, much higher, and labor markets will have tightened.
– AFGE National President John Gage.
I believe that all federal employees, whether civilian or military, are deserving of a fair pay raise. [NTEU] will work with our military colleagues and members of Congress in an effort both to ensure parity continues and to explore possibilities of increasing the amount as the White House proposal moves through the legislative process.
– NTEU President Colleen Kelley.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. — who last year pushed the Obama administration to return to pay parity — also weighed in:
While the economic downturn means that we cannot provide an adjustment equivalent to those in the past, parity remains an important bipartisan tool to help us maintain the high quality federal workforce providing key services to Americans during these challenging times. Civilian federal employees have made significant contributions to help our country respond to the challenges we face both domestically and abroad.
And don’t miss Gregg Carlstrom’s post on OMB Director Peter Orszag’s comments on the pay raise here.