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 enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.