For those readers who like to follow such things as their amount of annual pay, the annual dance to determine the annual pay raise dance for federal employees is now underway.
President Bush has sent his proposed budget to Congress. As usual, it is a monster document and you can probably count on one hand the number of people who will actually read the entire document.
Computers can make searching through a document like this interesting. It makes is possible to find a small piece of information buried deep within the document.
For example, the proposed federal pay raise for federal employees for 2007. How much is being proposed? It isn’t a major heading in the budget. It isn’t a separate paragraph either. But there is one line in a table on page 169 of the budget that provides the information.
And the answer is…2.2%.
That is the amount of money being proposed for the federal employee pay raise in 2007. The annual pay raise that federal employees actually received in 2004 was 4.15%. In 2005, it was 3.5%. And in 2006, the average salary increase for 2006 for federal employees was 3.1%. Some people got more, some got less depending on geographic location because of locality pay.
But the 2006 pay raise did not start off at 3.1%. The President had originally proposed 2.3%. After the usual Congressional maneuvering, the military and civilian workforce both ended up with parity.
Something similar may happen again for 2007. The amount proposed for the military is also 2.2%. Inflation is up so a raise of 2.2% is unlikely to equal the rate of inflation for the year. If so, it is possible that federal retirees will again get a greater raise than current federal employees because they get a cost-of-living increase and the amount of their increase is based on a formula that is computed automatically. (See COLA’s, Pay Raises and the Federal Community) That happened in 2006 and many retirees got a 4.1% increase; that disparity could certainly happen again in 2007.
What will the final pay raise be for federal employees in 2007? We will let you know when the figure is final, probably in December 2006.