It’s Official: Wage Grade Federal Employees to Get 1% Raise

Wage grade federal employees will see a 1% pay increase with the spending bill now being signed into law.

The president has signed the omnibus spending bill into law, thus making a pay raise for wage grade federal employees official.

The $1.1 trillion spending bill recently passed by Congress contained a provision that gives wage grade federal employees a 1% pay increase to match the pay increase being given to General Schedule federal workers.

Federal employees were already set to get a 1% pay increase, but wage grade workers were not included in the raise. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) proposed legislation to change this discrepancy and Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) was a leading force in negotiating the terms of the pay increase.

Cartwright issued the following statement upon news that wage grade federal workers would receive a pay increase:

I am thrilled that this appropriations bill has adopted the language from the Wage Grade Employee Parity Act, which I introduced in November. The legislation and its inclusion provides 1,809 Wage Grade (WG) employees at Tobyhanna Army Depot and nearly a quarter million blue-collar federal workers across the country a 1% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).

This year, the President was able to provide a 1% COLA for General Schedule (GS), or salaried, federal employees; however, he did not have the statutory authority to provide the same COLA to all federal workers. At the beginning of this year WG employees’ wages stayed the same thus creating a greater disparity between the wages of WG employees and GS employees.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.