The House passed the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2015 (H.R. 5016), which provides the historical legislative vehicle for adjustments to federal employee pay scales. The bill does not include a federal pay raise for 2015, but does not preclude one, deferring the decision to President Obama.
How exactly does this work? President Obama proposed a 1% pay increase for federal employees in 2015 in the administration’s budget proposal. He has also requested a 1% pay raise for military personnel in 2015. In his 2014 budget proposal, President Obama also proposed a 1% pay raise and that is what was eventually implemented. In the absence of action by Congress, the president has authority to raise federal employee pay based on the Employment Cost Index and he may have that option again in 2015. For more detail on this, see Will Feds Get a Pay Raise in 2014?.
Legislation has been introduced to provide federal employees with a 3.3% pay raise but the chances of that passing are low and largely attributed to Congressmen in the DC metropolitan area seeking favor with voters during an election year.
There are others that think a 3.3% pay increase isn’t enough. The American Federation of Government Employees said earlier this year that the pay increase President Obama proposed for federal workers in 2015 is one fourth the size that it should be. A survey of our users around the same time period not surprisingly said they concurred with AFGE’s position.
As the debate over what is a fair amount to pay the federal workforce rages on ad infinitum, the latest piece of the puzzle puts the ball back into the President’s court, for now at least. Keep in mind a lot can happen between now and the end of the year before a final figure is set. We will continue to keep our users updated with the latest on the issue.