Pres. Trump cancels pay raises for most federal employees

Pres. Trump cancels pay raises for most federal employees

Pres. Trump cancels pay raises for most federal employees

Most federal civilian employees won't be getting a pay raise in 2019 following a declaration from President Donald Trump. The raise came as part of a massive $716 billion defense spending bill that Trump signed earlier this month. The budget also proposed bumping military pay by 2.6 percent. The House version of the bill did not include such an increase, and sought reductions to spending on federal pension plans. Trump says he's determined that for 2019 "both across-the-board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero".

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

In his letter, Trump wrote the locality increase in 2019 would average 25.70% and cost the federal government $25 billion. That means the law is adding about $190 billion a year to the deficit.

"We must maintain efforts to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and federal agency budgets can not sustain such increases", Trump wrote in a letter to members of Congress.

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In his official notification letter to Congress, Trump cited his legal authority to halt any pay increases.

Why it does matter: This becomes the latest in a string of battles between Trump and federal employees.

In July, the Trump administration sharply revised upward its deficit estimates compared to the estimates in the budget proposal it sent Congress in February.

It would be the first pay freeze for civilian federal workers since 2011 to 2013, when President Barack Obama instituted a three-year pay freeze as the nation recovered from the recession.

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"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.

U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said Trump didn't have the power to force changes to union contracts because they would violate the collective bargaining rights federal employees have under the law. We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets can not sustain such increases.

Trump said the pay freeze would not "materially affect" the federal government's ability to recruit qualified workers. "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 said.

In a letter to congressional leaders, the president wrote that locality pay increases would cost $25 billion. In addition, a yearly adjustment of paychecks based on the region of the country where a worker is posted - the "locality pay increase" - was due to take effect.

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