Trump cancels planned January pay raise for federal workers

Trump cancels planned January pay raise for federal workers

Those increases would come on top of a 2.1 percent across-the-board increase for most civilian employees.

"We must maintain efforts to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and federal agency budgets can not sustain such increases", Trump said in the letter. Officials did not immediately say whether the pay freeze would also apply to White House staffers.

"President Trump's plan to freeze wages for these patriotic workers next year ignores the fact that they are worse off today financially than they were at the start of the decade", American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said in a statement. Mark Warner, D-Va., called it "the latest attack in the Trump Administration's war on federal employees". Federal News Radio reports that a spending plan approved by the Senate includes a 1.9 percent pay raise for federal employees while the House's own version of the bill does not include such measures.

President Trump wrote Thursday that federal agency budgets could not sustain a planned pay increase for most civilian employees.

Trump explained the move in terms of the national debt, now more than $21 trillion, and the annual deficit, expected to be $804 billion in fiscal 2018.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) pointed out the Senate passed this pay raise by a 96 to 2 margin, and noted the Senate "has a long history of supporting the federal work force by providing competitive pay, which attracts and retains talented women and men to" federal service.

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Trump's call for a federal pay freeze was included in his budget proposal for 2019, the Office of Management and Budget said. To help offset the pay freeze, the administration has pushed for a $1 billion workforce fund for incentive-based pay, recruiting and retaining employees.

"I have determined that for 2019, both across the board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero", he wrote.

Trump is not anxious about the effect of freezing federal pay on the government's ability to be successful in "recruiting, retaining and rewarding high-performing Federal employees and those with critical skill sets". It also issued a series of executive orders that would have made it all but impossible for federal employee unions to operate in federal buildings and to ease rules on firing employees.

"The president estimates that the 2019 federal employee pay raise he's scrapping would've cost $25 billion". Now neither of those hikes will take effect.

Federal workers rely on an old government formula to determine what their automatic pay raise will be each year. "Across-the-board pay increases and locality pay increases, in particular, have long-term fixed costs, yet fail to address existing pay disparities or target mission critical recruitment and retention goals", Trump said in his letter to Congress Thursday.

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