The White House on Monday called on lawmakers to end a three-year freeze on federal employee pay as it takes up the first round of spending bills for the upcoming fiscal year.
“The administration urges the Congress to provide the proposed 1 percent pay increase for federal civilian employees,” the administration said in a policy statement on bills to fund the Homeland Security and Veteran Affairs departments. “As the president stated in his 2014 budget, a permanent pay freeze is neither sustainable nor desirable.”
Government Executive reported last week that while neither of the appropriations bills include a pay raise for federal employees, the bills leave open the possibility for feds to receive the 1 percent pay increase starting in January. A budget outline passed by the House in March also is silent on a federal pay raise, in contrast to prior budget plans that recommended extending the salary freeze.
The 1 percent proposed pay increase, while modest, could help federal agencies regain the competitive edge in recruiting and retaining IT workers that has been lost over the past few years as a result of frozen pay. Recent surveys indicate that pay for federal tech workers continues to lag behind their private sector counterparts, who earned a greater than 5 percent average increase in pay last year, bringing average salaries up to $84,619.
In addition, salaries for entry-level IT workers -- those the government will be competing for as more seasoned workers retire -- rose 8 percent last year, according to technology jobs website Dice.com.
Are you optimistic about the potential for a 1 percent pay increase in 2014? Even so, will the modest increase do much to help the government regain its competitive edge for IT workers?