FedSmith.com Users Think 4% Pay Raise is Fair

By on March 6, 2014 in Current Events, Pay & Benefits with 72 Comments

In a recent survey, we asked our users what size pay raise in 2015 would be fair. The majority of respondents said that they thought 4% would be appropriate.

The president recently released his 2015 budget proposal in which he proposed a 1% pay increase for federal workers in 2015. Federal employee unions and advocacy groups immediately decried the figure, saying that it was “pitiful” and “insufficient.” Some of the groups said that a 4% raise is what would be a fair amount, so we were curious if FedSmith.com users agreed with that. It turns out the majority do.

Here are the results of the survey:

What raise for federal employees in 2015 do you believe would be fair?

  • No raise: 3.12%
  • 1% pay raise: 2.73%
  • 3.3% pay raise: 30.38%
  • 4% pay raise: 41.07%
  • Other: 22.7%

Respondents who said “other” included varying figures. They ranged from as little as 2.5% all the way up to 100%. Here is a random sampling of some of those figures:

  • 2.5%
  • 8.8%
  • 5%
  • 6%
  • 100%
  • 15%
  • 10%
  • 12%
  • 20%
  • 25%

Comments on the subject reflected the survey results with respondents indicating an overall dissatisfaction with the idea of a 1% pay increase. A random sampling of the comments follows below.

  • 3.5% is needed to compensate for a 3 year pay freeze and a 1% pay raise for the 4th year. If you don’t start paying more you will lose many highly skilled workers to the private sector. This will severly limit Government reponsibilites to the public.
  • I just want the same raise as our elected officials.
  • There are some federal employees inside the beltway that need to give money back to the government and those outside the beltway need to get 3% – 5% – 10% raises for the extra workload that they have endured over the past 4 years with the reduction in federal employees with the hire 1 for every 3 that leaves and put the burden on the ones remaining.
  • I believe that federal employees should receive a 6-10% pay raise. Here’s the reasoning; 1) 2010 pay rate until 2014, 2) irritreivable loss of pay on furloughs during sequester, 3) now that there is a reduction in government going on employees are now doing more to make up for the loss of worker, 4) for the simple fact that congress would rather throw us on the chopping block before they make reforms in their own processes.
  • 4% would not even keep up with the inflation number that the government is hiding. Our dollar is being devalued every day.
  • I’m a federal worker and many federal employees I know get paid well over what they could possibly make in the private sector. Quit complaining and be happy you have a job. Oh and that 35% less than private sector statistic is completely biased give me a break.
  • Compared to private sector we are greatly underpaid, but great benefits make up for some of that. However I could spend more on food, cloths, etc if my wages where closer to the cost of living. That increase since our last pay increase is way more than 4%,
  • I work for the government, would love 4% instead of Congress finding another way to spend the money. I also feel that most government employees don’t deserve an automatic pay raise. Its a difficult situtaion.
  • 3-4% would be appropriate 1% is an insult after Obama has taken away about 8-10 % since hes been in office..1% is just another attack on government workers by the Obama adminstration…as i stated this is an insult!!
  • Federal workers went three years with no pay raise, and contrary yo popular belief there were many who received no step increases during that time. A 4% pay raise would not even make up for lost ground. Federal workers have done more than their share in the ill conceived austerity pushed by Congress.
  • I think a 12% raise for this year it’s appropriate and 4% a year thereafter makes sense. There is plenty of waste that can be eliminated to fund this idea. We can start with firing all but one personal assistant to the first lady and raising taxes specifically on congress. I make less now than I did 3 years ago thanks to increased FEHB charges. If you want career employees to be loyal and serve a full career then you have to pay them in a faithful and fair manner.
  • TSA employees have given up alot of pay since Obama took office. It is time he gave us back what he took. A four percent raise would be great and it should be retro active back to 2010. Cost of living went up our pay didn’t.
  • I was promoted to a GS-14 3 years ago…..I saw no increase in my high 3 due to receiving no pay raises in the past 3 years; surely we were worth a little over 1% avg over 3 year loss
  • Although I don’t think 1% is enough, I think 4% is unreasonable to expect at this time. 2.5% seems to be a modest increase to help deal with the increases to insurance and other increase costs such as food, gas, etc. 1% would in all likelihood result in a loss of net pay for many employees.

© 2016 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ian Smith.

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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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