Trump to Federal Employees: No Pay Raises for You!

President Donald Trump will travel to Paris to participate in a Nov. 11 commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended WWI

President Donald Trump will travel to Paris to participate in a Nov. 11 commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended WWI

In contrast to civilian employees, troops are due for a 2.6 percent pay increase next year.

Scrapping the raises will save more than $25 billion, Trump said.

The pay freeze was also criticized by Rep. Federal News Radio reports that a spending plan approved by the Senate includes a 1.9 percent pay raise for federal employees while the House's own version of the bill does not include such measures.

Tony Reardon, president of NTEU, added, "t$3 he call for a pay freeze for federal employees is especially painful given inflation and with economists predicting that private sector professional salaries will grow by an average of 3 percent this year".

"Republicans gave corporations a trillion dollar tax cut and are now cutting pay raises for social workers, janitors, painters, clerical workers, and more".

Trump said the pay raises would cost the federal government $25 billion, and canceling the raises will "put our nation on a fiscally sustainable course". The tax plan alone is expected to increase the deficit by $1.4 trillion over 10 years, according to a government estimate.

"In light of our Nation's fiscal situation, Federal employee pay must be performance-based, and aligned strategically toward recruiting, retaining, and rewarding high-performing Federal employees and those with critical skill sets", Trump wrote in a letter to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate.

The official state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron
The official state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron

The Trump administration proposed $143.5 billion in cuts to federal employee compensation in May, including substantial decreases in retirement funding. The national debt - the accumulation of those budget deficits - has increased almost $1.6 trillion over the past year, to $21.4 trillion.

Trump has promised that he would reduce the federal deficit and balance the nation's budget, though his administration's policies have largely done the opposite.

"Specifically, I have determined that for 2019, both across-the-board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero", Trump said.

"President Trump's plan to freeze wages for these patriotic workers next year ignores the fact that they are worse off today financially than they were at the start of the decade", said J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents some 700,000 federal workers.

While the Washington area contains the largest concentration of federal workers, only 1-in-6 civilian employees of the government live in the region.

The implications of Trump's decision on the locality pay increase were not immediately clear.

"As noted in my budget for fiscal year 2019, the cost of employing the federal workforce is significant", he wrote. Under the complex federal pay law, in that case such a message must be issued by the end of August to prevent a much larger raise from taking effect automatically should no decision be made by the end of the year.

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