Biden proposed a 2 percent pay raise for federal workers

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POSITIVE
From picketing with Michigan workers last year to introducing the United Auto Workers leader to a joint congressional audience last week, President Biden has showcased his strong labor-friendly credentials.
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ArrowRight But his federal workplace friends and supporters aren’t happy with him, after Biden proposed this week a paltry 2 percent average pay raise for the 2.2 million civilian workers that doesn’t keep up with inflation and is less than half the 4.5 percent increase proposed for the 2.1 million military personnel.
Here are some of their frustrated reactions:● Everett Kelley, president of the American Federation of Government Employees: “We are extremely disappointed in the way this budget turns its back on the long-standing practice of pay raise parity for civilian and military employees of the federal government.”Advertisement● Doreen Greenwald, president of the National Treasury Employees Union: “The average 2 percent federal pay raise in the president’s proposed 2025 budget is unacceptable.
Federal employees are the backbone of our country, yet they continue to be underpaid.
Like many Americans, front-line federal workers face increasing costs that stretch their families’ budgets to the breaking point and this cannot continue.”● Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.
): “As a longtime champion of pay parity between uniformed members of the military and civilian federal employees who often work alongside each other, I am disappointed that, for the first time, President Biden’s budget does not observe the concept of pay parity.
Instead, it includes a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for federal civilian employees — including the more than 80,000 who live in Maryland’s 5th District — while proposing a 4.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment for uniformed members of the military.”Just last month, federal labor leaders were applauding Biden for his workplace policies and the access he provides them.
Greenwald was enthusiastic as she told NTEU’s legislative conference about “a special meeting” in which “we heard directly from administration officials about pay and telework and were able to ask questions.”Advertisement“And I don’t mind telling you,” she added, “how special it is for NTEU leaders to be invited to the White House complex and get to experience some of the grandeur of these historic spaces.”But as helpful as access is, that grandeur’s glow means nothing for her members’ bank accounts.
At AFGE’s legislative conference, Kelley said: “We must do everything in our power … and then some … to reelect Joe Biden and Kamala D. Harris.” Now he says Biden’s plan means “efforts to recruit, hire and retain top talent will never be successful because of the albatross of low pay.”For Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), an ardent supporter of federal workers and Biden, the 2 percent raise is more than a disappointment, it’s a reversal.
“This goes backward,” he said by phone.
“I don’t see how the White House can justify 2 percent.”AdvertisementThe White House and its Office of Management and Budget (OMB) did not directly respond to questions about the pay raise proposal and its critics.
OMB pointed to a blog post from leaders of the agency and the Office of Personnel Management, who said: “The Administration continues to prioritize Federal compensation and also looks forward to working with Congress” on pay-related issues.
Hoyer said he would raise the 2 percent plan as the top Democrat on the House Appropriations financial services and general government subcommittee.
Connolly wants more, much more.
He and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii.)
reintroduced the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act in January.
It would authorize a 7.4 percent boost for federal employees next year.
Complaining the 2 percent “sets back the progress President Biden has made in catching up with the private sector and with inflation,” Connolly added that Biden has been “a good, strong, pro-federal employee, pro-union president.
This is an anomaly that needs some explanation and just runs counter to his own record from my point of view.”AdvertisementIt also is far from the 27.5 percent that the Federal Salary Council determined federal salaries lag behind their private sector counterparts.
Conservatives have long disputed the council’s annual pay gap figures as inaccurate.
Nonetheless, the budget document says “the differential between Federal civilian pay and private sector pay has expanded in the past three decades over this period, creating attrition risk within the existing workforce and reducing the competitiveness of Federal jobs.”One persistent problem with the federal workforce is the age of its workers.
“Over 28 percent of employees are older than 55, while 8.7 percent of employees are younger than 30,” according to the “Strengthening the Federal Workforce” section of the budget.
Federal workforce age demographics are a serious and ongoing issue that Max Stier, president and

President Biden demonstrated his strong labor-friendly credentials last week when he introduced the leader of the United Auto Workers to a joint congressional audience, following his picketing with Michigan workers the previous year. Eliminate the 2024 election cacophony. Obtain the newsletter The Campaign Moment. ArrowRight However, his allies and supporters in the federal workplace are not happy with him because this week, Biden proposed a meager 2 percent average pay increase for the 2 point 2 million civilian workers, which is less than half of the 4 point 5 percent increase proposed for the 2 point 1 million military personnel and doesn’t keep up with inflation.

Their irate responses include the following:.

● American Federation of Government Employees President Everett Kelley: “We are deeply dissatisfied with this budget’s disregard for the long-standing policy of pay raise parity between federal government civilian and military employees.”. “.

Publicity.

● Doreen Greenwald, the National Treasury Employees Union president: “It is unacceptable that the president’s proposed 2025 budget calls for an average 2 percent federal pay increase. Despite being the backbone of our nation, federal employees continue to receive inadequate compensation. The rising costs that push their families’ budgets to the limit are a problem for front-line federal employees, like it is for many other Americans. “.

● Rep. Steny H. House Democratic Leader Rep. ): “I am disappointed that, for the first time, President Biden’s budget does not observe the concept of pay parity. I am a longtime champion of pay parity between uniformed members of the military and civilian federal employees who often work alongside each other.”. In its place, it proposes a 4.5 percent cost-of-living increase for uniformed military personnel and includes a 2 percent increase for federal civilian employees, which includes the more than 80,000 residents of Maryland’s 5th District. “.

As recently as one month ago, Biden’s workplace policies and the access they grant were being praised by federal labor leaders. With great enthusiasm, Greenwald reported to the NTEU’s legislative conference about “a special meeting” wherein “we were able to ask questions and hear directly from administration officials about pay and telework.”. “.

Promotion.

“It is my pleasure to share with you the significance of NTEU leaders’ invitation to the White House complex, where they can bask in the splendor of these iconic locations.”. “.

Even though access is beneficial, the grandeur’s radiance has no bearing on the financial situation of her members.

“We must do everything in our power… and then some… to reelect Joe Biden and Kamala D. Harris,” Kelley declared at the AFGE’s legislative conference. He now claims that because of the albatross of low pay, Biden’s plan will make it impossible to find, attract, and keep top talent. “.

On behalf of Rep. Connolly, Gerry (D-Va. the 2 percent raise is more than just a letdown—rather, it’s a reversal—for ), a fierce advocate for Biden and federal employees. Over the phone, he stated, “This goes backward.”. “I fail to understand how the White House can defend 2 percent. “.

promotion.

In response to inquiries regarding the proposed pay increase and those who opposed it, the White House and its Office of Management and Budget (OMB) remained silent. OMB referred readers to a blog post by the Office of Personnel Management and OMB officials, who stated: “The Administration continues to prioritize Federal compensation and also looks forward to working with Congress” on matters pertaining to compensation. As the top Democrat on the House Appropriations financial services and general government subcommittee, Hoyer promised to support the 2 percent plan.

Connolly is craving more—a lot more.

He and Sen were together. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act again in January. For federal employees in the upcoming year, it would approve a 7.4% raise. Connolly bemoaned that the 2 percent “sets back the progress President Biden has made in catching up with the private sector and with inflation,” adding that the president has been “a good, strong, pro-federal employee, pro-union president.”. To my mind, this is an anomaly that defies his own record and requires an explanation. “.

Publicity.

Furthermore, it is far from the 27.5% gap in pay between the federal and private sectors, as determined by the Federal Salary Council. The council’s yearly pay gap statistics have long been contested by conservatives as being unreliable. Nevertheless, according to the budget document, “over the past three decades, the differential between Federal civilian pay and private sector pay has expanded, creating attrition risk within the existing workforce and reducing the competitiveness of Federal jobs…”. “.

An ongoing issue within the federal workforce pertains to the average age of employees. As stated in the budget section titled “Strengthening the Federal Workforce,” “over 28 percent of employees are older than 55, while 8.7 percent of employees are younger than 30.”.

Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, has been badgering away at the issue of the age demographics of the federal workforce for years. “The lack of young people in the federal workforce and the significance of using internships as a way of bringing them in is one of the most obvious and prominent issues that they’ve put some good data around,” he stated. “.

Publicity.

In his budgetary speech, Biden mocked former President Donald Trump’s vow to “very aggressively” carry out his proposal to eliminate many employees’ civil service protections. As per the budget document, “Proposed regulations would protect employees from involuntary loss of their earned civil service protections for reasons unrelated to poor performance or conduct.”. .”. The Federal workforce should be chosen and maintained by the Federal government based on qualifications, experience, and merit rather than personal preference or political affiliations. “.

The proposed raise of 2 percent, according to the spending plan, “illustrates the Administration’s continued strong commitment to the civil service, reflecting the need to attract the talent necessary to serve Americans and recognizing the fiscal constraints Federal agencies face.”. “.

However, given that the raise of 2 percent is less than two-thirds of the 3 percent inflation rate and that there have been pay increases of 5 percent for 2024 and 4 percent for 2023, will talent be drawn to the offer?

Promoting something.

In a phone interview, Kelley stated, “It will be difficult to maintain employment in the federal system until we fix this issue as we get more and more people in the baby boom area retiring.”. “.

While Kelley usually gives Biden high marks, the White House plan caught union leaders off guard.

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