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%.
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.