Trump Cuts Scheduled Federal Pay Raise
President Donald Trump has halved the planned amount raise for civilian federal workers next year, making it a 1% raise. This is less than the 2.5% pay increase that was originally promised. The president cites "Serious economic conditions."
In a message to the Congress this week, the White House stated that the President views this planned 2.5% pay increase as inappropriate. He notes that presidents can instead put an alternate pay adjustment plan in place in the case of a "national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare." In his message, President Trump said "We must maintain efforts to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable course. Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases." He also adds to this that under his plan, locality pay rates will remain at 2020 levels.
National Treasury Employees Union president Tony Reardon commented "Why must President Trump start every budget cycle with a slash-and-burn approach to federal government? Not only does 1% do nothing to close the gap between federal employee salaries and higher-paid private sector counterparts, it won't keep up with inflation, it won't keep up with private sector wage increases and it is meaningless if they are forced to simultaneously shave money of their paychecks for higher retirement contributions."
President Trump explains that the modest pay raise proposal comes with the strong economy and low unemployment. He also spoke of this in his State of the Union Address, saying "In just three short years, we have shattered the mentality of American Decline and we have rejected the downsizing of America's destiny. We have totally rejected downsizing. We are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago, and we are never ever going back."
President Trump's proposed raise is much more than what he's offered previously. According to the Government Executive, they've reported that the president pushed for pay freeze before agreeing to this raise. All of which are respectively enacted for 2019 and 2020.