Q&A for federal workers: Pay freeze

The Washington Post: Question: Is a pay freeze a done deal,  or is there still a chance for a raise next year?

Answer: President Trump’s budgetary proposal last week recommended no federal employee raise for January 2019. That is only a proposal, and Congress would have to agree; some members have proposed a 3 percent raise.

However, Congress has deferred to the White House on raises in recent years. By staying silent, it has allowed recommended boosts in the 1 percent to 2 percent range for the last five years. Before that, there was a three-year freeze over 2011-2103.

During that time, employees in the largest pay system, the General Schedule, continued to receive within-grade raises, paid every one, two or three years to those performing acceptably. But such raises — worth about 3 percent of salary — stop when an employee reaches the top of a pay grade. Also, some government pay systems don’t include them.

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