Federal Pay Raise Update

Many lawmakers and federal employee groups are angered by the 2 percent figure, especially since many have pushed for pay parity between civilians and military service members, who are slated to receive a 3.4 percent raise if appropriators follow the guidelines in the 2010 Defense authorization act, or a 2.9 percent increase if Congress follows Obama's budget proposal. The president has cited a national emergency since Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the sluggish economy and high unemployment as his basis for the lower-than-average 2 percent figure.

The Office of Personnel Management on Thursday issued an update on the 2010 federal pay raise, noting that President Obama has used his authority to set an across-the-board pay increase for federal employees at 2 percent. The 2 percent raise also will apply to Executive Schedule employees, the vice president, and federal justices and judges, OPM said. Obama still has the authority to issue a subsequent alternative pay plan by Nov. 30, and OPM said it will post 2010 pay tables, including the across-the-board General Schedule and locality pay adjustments, after the final pay determinations have been made.

Many lawmakers and federal employee groups are angered by the 2 percent figure, especially since many have pushed for pay parity between civilians and military service members, who are slated to receive a 3.4 percent raise if appropriators follow the guidelines in the 2010 Defense authorization act, or a 2.9 percent increase if Congress follows Obama's budget proposal. The president has cited a national emergency since Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the sluggish economy and high unemployment as his basis for the lower-than-average 2 percent figure.

I've written a few posts in the past on how many private sector IT salaries in 2010 will hold at the same levels as last year or drop slightly. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on whether the 2 percent raise is sufficient in light of the nation's current situation, and whether it has the potential to hinder the government's recruitment and retention of a capable IT workforce next year.

Meanwhile, Alyssa Rosenberg's Pay and Benefits Watch column this week provides a useful refresher on the rules governing federal employee compensation.

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