Federal pay increased for the first time in three years

Presidential politics may be jockeying for position, but in the real world, pay hikes for the average American worker just got a boost. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, total federal…

Federal pay increased for the first time in three years

Presidential politics may be jockeying for position, but in the real world, pay hikes for the average American worker just got a boost.

According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, total federal pay went up by 3.1 percent this year, an “extended” re-energized hike in wages. But full-time, year-round workers also got their first pay increase since 2012. That’s a rise of about 2.7 percent. All that gives the typical worker a raise of about $26 a week, or $687 this year.

The increase will apply to part-time and full-time workers working at all levels in the federal workforce.

President Donald Trump signed the appropriations bill on Tuesday. He signed a separate bipartisan bill at the same time.

The funding increases, which the White House included in his budget proposal last year, will help keep up with benefits, such as paid family leave, and also comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act, which guarantees workers earned time off to care for a sick family member. The United States falls behind more than 30 other nations in the percentage of full-time workers who have access to paid leave.

But pay raises won’t reach all workers next year.

The Federal Compensation Commission will continue to publish salary ranges for federal jobs. The ones it is set to publish aren’t necessarily the figures that workers actually see. They can vary greatly from place to place. That’s because the pay range can set compensation for different levels of experience, job title and tenure in the workplace.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which manages hiring and compensation for the federal government, sets pay only for new hires. The reason: Much of the federal work that it does is designed to lower the overall cost of doing business.

As of September of last year, more than 3.3 million federal workers held government jobs, said a spokeswoman.

The commission had recommended a pay freeze for fiscal year 2016. But Congress voted in September to include a 1.1 percent pay hike.

That hike will go into effect Dec. 1.

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