AFGE: A 4% Raise Would Be Fair

February 26, 2014 4:48 PM
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The American Federation of Government Employees, the largest union representing federal employees, has decided that the pay increase President Obama proposed for federal workers in 2015 is one fourth the size that it should be. The union said in a press release that a 4% raise is what would be fair for federal workers.

But why 4%? It’s unclear how the union arrived at this figure. The press release stated that federal employees’ wages have gone up 3% since 2010 and prices have risen 9% in the same timeframe. It also said that under Obama, federal employees are more than 6% worse off in terms of salary, but nowhere is it stated where any of these numbers come from.

But even if one accepts these statistics as being valid, one would think AFGE would be asking for even more money, but the reasoning behind the figure is never stated.

National president J. David Cox Sr. simply says about the proposed raise, “A 4 percent pay raise is a modest and affordable increase that will help employees keep up with rising living costs, including higher retirement and healthcare expenses.”

Do you agree with AFGE, or is the president right? What amount of a pay raise is “fair” and who gets to decide? Feel free to weigh in in the comments below.

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About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.