What a 3.3 Percent Pay Hike Could Mean for IT

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The increase could help federal technology salaries better compete with the private sector.

A group of House Democrats on Wednesday proposed legislation that would authorize a 3.3 percent across-the-board pay increase for federal workers in 2015.

For federal IT workers in particular, the proposed pay hike – which is more than three times the amount proposed by President Obama in his fiscal 2015 budget – would help recoup the losses resulting from three consecutive years of frozen pay, as well as unpaid furloughs and higher retirement contributions for newer workers.

The 3.3 percent increase also could put federal IT salaries in a better standing when competing with the private sector for key talent. Dice.com’s recent Salary Survey of more than 17,000 technology professionals found that average U.S. tech salaries rose 2.6 percent to $87,811 in 2013. Tech salaries in the Washington, D.C. region, however, actually dropped slightly (-0.3 percent) last year, although average salaries in the region still remained the second highest in the nation at $97,588.

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., sponsor of the bill – the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates, or FAIR, Act – said the proposed 3.3 percent pay increase would help address the alarming rate of attrition among federal employees. Partnership for Public Service data shows the attrition rate in the federal workforce has increased by 35 percent since 2009, Connolly said.

“By investing in the federal government’s most valuable resources, its talented workforce, the FAIR Act would begin repairing the significant damage that has been wrought on our overworked, underpaid and unappreciated career civil service, while helping to ensure we can attract the best and the brightest to build the federal workforce of the future,” Connolly said.

What are your thoughts on the proposed 3.3 percent pay hike? Is it too little, too much, or just enough to help your IT shop recruit and retain the employees your agency needs?