NARFE Statement on 1.9 Percent Pay Raise Announcement

Updated September 6, 2017

In response to the Administration’s proposed federal pay increase for 2018, NARFE President Richard G. Thissen said the following:

“NARFE welcomes the Administration’s proposed federal pay raise, which prevents the pay for our nation’s public servants from falling farther behind private-sector wage growth.

“The 1.9 percent average pay raise includes a 1.4 percent across-the-board increase, and an average additional increase of 0.5 percent in locality-based pay adjustments. Long-standing statutory policy calls for federal pay to increase at the rate of the Employment Cost Index for private-sector wages and salaries (which most recently increased by 2.4 percent), minus 0.5 percent. Additional locality pay increases are intended to close the gap between public- and private-sector pay. Unfortunately, instead of granting a 1.9 percent increase across-the-board, with additional locality pay increases, the Administration combined the two to limit the pay raise to an average of 1.9 percent.

“While federal employees will appreciate the raise, an average increase of 1.9 percent is the minimum required to prevent federal pay from declining further, and more rapidly, below market than the current 35 percent wage disparity between public- and private-sector wages. Both Congress and the President should work together to pursue a more robust pay increase to maintain the highly qualified workforce needed to run an efficient federal government.”