Fed Workers Get 2% Pay Hike

January 2, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Federal workers will get a 2004 pay raise, but it's not yet clear how big it will ultimately prove to be.

Those laboring for Uncle Sam will get 2% more in their paychecks immediately as a result of an executive order issued by President Bush this week, the Washington Post reported. However, that amount is shy of the 4.1%-pay boost the United States Senate and House of Representatives have already approved in differing versions of funding measures for the US Transportation and Treasury Departments. Those spending bills and others have been the subject of a Congressional logjam.

If lawmakers eventually OK the 4.1% figure when they return to Washington January 20, federal employees will get the difference retroactively.

John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal employee union, said the delay was an inconvenience, but he was confident the higher increase would be approved. “I think the federal employees understand the situation,” Gage said. “They would, of course, like to have the whole pay raise in the first pay period of January, but we’re all looking optimistically to what the Congress will do on the spending bill.”

The president opposed the higher raise for civilian employees, contending in an August letter to Congress that it “would threaten our efforts against terrorism or force deep cuts in discretionary spending or federal employment to stay within budget.”