President Barack Obama called for a 1 percent pay increase for federal employees in two letters he sent to Congress Friday afternoon. The letters, which were nearly identical, applied to both members of the uniformed services and civilian federal employees covered by the General Schedule.
“Civilian Federal employees have already made significant sacrifices as a result of a three-year pay freeze that ended in January 2014 with the implementation of a 1.0 percent pay increase — an amount lower than the private sector pay increases and statutory formula for adjustments to the base General Schedule,” Obama wrote. “However, as the country’s economic recovery continues, we must maintain efforts to keep our Nation on a sustainable fiscal course. This is an effort that continues to require tough choices and each of us to do our fair share.”
Obama also called for locality pay percentages to remain at their 2014 levels.
Congress, which has yet to pass a fiscal 2015 budget, could still block the pay raises through legislation when members return from recess on Sept. 8.
While the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1, the pay raises proposed by President Obama wouldn’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2015.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, praised the President’s decision to give a cost of living adjustment (COLA) to federal employees in 2015.
“This modest COLA would go a long way in further recognizing the value of federal employees and help bring to a close years of pay freezes,” Mikulski said, in a press release. “I’m proud to fight on the front lines on behalf of federal employee pay just as federal employees work on the front lines each and every day on behalf of the American people. Federal employees have been undervalued and underappreciated for too long. Each and every day, federal employees stand up for America.”