Readers Weigh in on Federal Employee Pay Raise for 2015

View this article online at http://www.fedsmith.com/2014/02/25/readers-weigh-in-on-federal-employee-pay-raise-for-2015/
By • February 25, 2014 Comments

In a survey of readers, we asked the question yesterday: “How much will Obama propose for a raise for federal employees in the budget request for 2015?

The answer from readers was fairly definitive: 1% was the option that received the largest number of votes from more than 4200 people that participated in the survey. Here are the results:

No raise 22.79%
1% 43.59%
2% 21.42%
3% 7.39%
4% or more 4.82%

We posted the survey on Sunday afternoon, February 23rd. Most readers voted in the survey on Monday morning, February 24th.

Coincidentally, news reports surfaced Monday afternoon that the president would be proposing a 1% pay increase in his budget–exactly what more than 43% of those participating in the survey had predicted.

Federal employees received a 1% pay raise in 2014. The overall pay was frozen for three years starting in 2011 although the average federal employee salary went up during that time because of promotions and within-grade increases.

AFGE criticized the pay raise proposal in this way: “President Obama has said that his upcoming budget will reflect an ‘end to austerity.’ We wholeheartedly support that. But a 1 percent pay raise for federal employees who have seen more austerity than anyone else is pitiful.”

With more than 300,000 federal employees and retirees living and working in Maryland, Democratic Senator Barbara Milulski of Maryland had a different reaction. She praised the pay raise proposal in this way: “I’m pleased that President Obama has proposed a COLA for federal employees in 2015. This modest COLA would go a long way in further recognizing the value of federal employees and help bring to a close years of pay freezes.”

More than 300 readers took the time to submit their comments with regard to a possible pay raise next year. Most of the comments were similar to the union’s reaction noted above. Here are a few sample reactions from readers that are fairly typical of those submitted:

  • I think he will propose at least 1%, perhaps 1.5%, and if all is well after 2014 election then perhaps a 2% raise. That would be nice and start to make up for our three years of with no raises at all which is essentially a pay loss due to inflation which causes a decline in the buying power of our wages being the same while prices continue to rise.
  • Somewhere between 1-1.5 and ZERO! They are cutting military, spending if out of control…I hope America can survive another 3 years till the nightmare is OVER!
  • Since we haven’t had one from 3 yrs prior; it would be nice to have the Pay Pairity Act gives us a raise to keep up with inflation.
  • He doesn’t care about the Federal work Force. From what I have seen he doesn’t care about anyone but, his own agenda. Federal workers have taken a huge hit under his leadership.
  • A 1% pay raise is nothing since everything else from fuel to food goes up 10% every year.
  • Since federal employees are scapegoats, I believe Congress will shoot down any kind of pay increase for us.
  • This will be the maximum, I say somewhere between 1.5% and 2 %
  • This may be wishful thinking but I think we deserve it!!
  • It needs to be at least 3% as most federal employees are doing the work of everyone whom has left and as an outstanding GS-7 employee my wages were at 2009 levels which is very discouraging and totally unfair.
  • 1% because it’s now status quo and their wasn’t a backlash from the general public or federal employees.
  • Can’t wait until we get a new leader. Let those who don’t want to work make a few sacrifices!!!
  • The Republican controlled Congress still sees a target on the backs of Federal Employees to resolve the National Debt, and is only interested in seeing how much money and/or benefits they can take away from the Federal Employees – not how much they will give to the Federal Employees!
  • I think he will propose at least 1%, perhaps 1.5%, and if all is well after 2014 election then perhaps a 2% raise. That would be nice and start to make up for our three years of with no raises at all which is essentially a pay loss due to inflation which causes a decline in the buying power of our wages being the same while prices continue to rise.
  • I still think he is a fair and just president overall. He means our nation good.
  • The American People in general, and middle class working men and women in particular, were lied to and manipulated by this administration.

As many readers know, the administration’s budget proposal is just the first step in a long process. The eventual pay raise, if any, will involve Congress and the decision on a pay raise is a political one. There is usually not a definitive answer to “How much will the next federal pay raise be?” until late in the year.

© 2014 FedSmith Inc. All rights reserved. This copyrighted article may not be reproduced without express written consent of FedSmith Inc.

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About the Author (  |   )

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletter and a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters concerning federal human resources.

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