Obama's Proposed 1 Percent Pay Hike For Federal Workers Angers Unions

| by Jared Keever

President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2015, due out next week, will include a 1 percent pay increase for federal workers and troops, reports the Washington Post.

The planned pay increase will match the raise federal workers received this year. In the previous three years, salaries for federal workers have been frozen. Troop salaries have not been frozen during that time. Troops have received pay increases every year of Obama’s tenure.

The president’s budget sets aside money for the raises, but the increase itself is set by executive order.

The minimal increase “reflects the tight budget constraints we continue to face, while also recognizing the critical role these civilian employees play in our country,” said an anonymous top official in the story.

The paltry pay raises have upset many labor officials according to Fox News

David Cox, president of the largest federal employee union, The American Federation of Government Employees, called the raises “pitiful.”

“Federal employees have endured years of pay freezes and cuts in retirement benefits,” Cox said in a statement. “Federal employees deserve a meaningful pay raise, not a token increase that will be more than eaten up by rising living costs, including higher retirement and healthcare costs.” 

While the president’s proposal certainly will not put much extra money in the pockets of federal employees, the budget will set aside funds for additional training.

The anonymous White House official said there will be “other measures important to ensuring that federal employees are fairly compensated and have the training and tools needed to succeed.”

That is not good enough, according to Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union. She believes a 3.3 percent increase would be a good starting point for raises. 

“I strongly believe that federal employees deserve more, and this amount is inadequate,” Kelley is quoted as saying in the Fox News story. "There is no question in my mind that inadequate raises will have consequences on recruitment and retention.”

Sources: Washington Post, Fox News,