Federal Pay Raise Drawing Attention

By on January 17, 2013 in Pay & Benefits with 42 Comments

It seems President Obama’s executive order to thaw the pay freeze for federal workers is capturing some attention in the media.

At least two recent editorials have painted the pay raise for federal workers in a less than flattering light.

Web site PhillyBurbs.com said in an op-ed that the average federal worker earns 20% more than the average private sector worker who holds a similar position and therefore felt that any pay increase for the federal workforce wasn’t warranted. See “The Chosen Few.”

The Orange County Register also recently published an editorial questioning giving a pay raise during a time of high unemployment and when the federal workforce is paid, on average, 16% more than the private sector.

From the article:

According to the Congressional Budget Office, total compensation for federal employees is already at least 16 percent more than for comparable employees in the private sector. That strikes us as worrying. The average base salary for a full-time civilian federal employee as of September 2010 was $76,231, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Compare that to 2011 median household income in America of $52,762. Members of Congress make $174,000 a year.

Not everybody agreed with the positions taken in the editorials, however. One woman wrote in a letter to the editor of PhillyBurbs.com that she was “offended” by the article on the pay raise. “I’m shocked that you would think that federal employees do not deserve the pay freeze being lifted. Contracting officers like my husband are personally responsible up to at least $6 million if something adverse occurred as a direct result of their work, which is much more than all of our assets put together,” she wrote.

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About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the FedSmith.com web site and its sibling sites.

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