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.