Legislation Calls for 3% Pay Raise in 2019

Legislation has been introduced that would give federal employees a 3% raise in 2019.

Legislation has been introduced in both the House and the Senate that would give federal employees a 3% pay raise in 2019.

The House version is sponsored by Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and the Senate version is sponsored by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI). The language of the bill stipulates that for calendar year 2019, the rates of basic pay would be increased by 2%, and locality pay rates would increase by 1% to create the 3% total.

Known as the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act, it is a bill that both lawmakers have teamed up to introduce each year since 2014. Last year, for example, the bill called for a 3.2% pay raise for federal employees in 2018. The year before that, it called for a 2017 raise of 5.3%.

Neither pay raise materialized, however. As readers are no doubt aware, the average pay raise in 2018 turned out to be 1.9%. In 2018, it was an average of 2.1%.

A Pay Freeze in 2019?

While some federal employees might feel a 3% raise in 2019 is too low, it would be much better than the rumored alternative: no raise at all.

Rumors surfaced recently that the Trump administration was considering a pay freeze for the federal workforce in 2019. The news came from an Office of Management and Budget document that was leaked by a whistleblower. A statement in the document said, “The President’s FY 2019 budget proposal will seek a government-wide pay freeze for all civilian federal employees…”

It is too early to know, of course, what 2019 will bring in terms of a pay raise.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. 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.