Long Supportive of Federal Pay Raise, NARFE Sees Reported 2020 Increase a Step in the Right Direction

December 16, 2019   

Alexandria, Va. – In response to media reports indicating that Congress has agreed to an average 3.1 percent federal employee pay raise as part of a FY20 spending package, NARFE National President Ken Thomas issued the following statement:

“In a year that began with federal employees out of work and unpaid, a 3.1 percent average pay raise is a step toward recognizing the importance and hard work of federal civil servants. In the short term, this increase should help the federal government compete with the private sector to secure top talent. We applaud congressional leaders for shepherding this increase in pay through the legislative process and look forward to working with Congress, the White House and federal agencies to identify and implement further strategic measures that will attract and maintain the next generation of federal workers.” 

The average 3.1 percent pay raise consists of a 2.6 percent across-the-board increase with a 0.5 percent average increase to locality pay rates. The figure is based on the annual change in private-sector pay as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Cost Index prior to the development of the president’s budget request. 
Earlier this year, House and Senate approved a 3.1 percent wage increase for members of the military in 2020, which the president is expected to sign into law this week as part of the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

In his budget request, the president supported a federal pay freeze in 2020, then pivoted in August when he announced support for implementing a 2.6 percent pay raise next year.

NARFE has remained steadfast in its advocacy for a federal pay raise that is commensurate with private-sector increases. Notably, NARFE sent letters to both the House and Senate throughout the appropriations process.