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12-23-2005, 09:40 #1
Bush approves 3.1 percent pay raise
December 22, 2005
By Karen Rutzick
President Bush issued an executive order Thursday evening formally granting white-collar federal employees a 3.1 percent average pay raise in 2006.
The pay increase, which goes into effect in the first pay period of the new year, consists of a 2.1 percent across-the-board pay raise coupled with an average 1 percent adjustment varying by locality. In the Washington area, for example, employees will receive a total raise of 3.44 percent.
The locality pay rates issued in connection with the order follow recommendations issued by the Federal Salary Council earlier this year. To see the 2006 pay tables, including locality pay differentials, click here.
The 3.1 percent raise was included in the fiscal 2006 Transportation-Treasury appropriations measure (H.R. 3058), which Bush signed into law on Nov. 30.
The president had initially proposed a 2.3 percent civilian increase in his fiscal 2006 budget, but as in years past, acquiesced to a congressional push for pay parity between civilian federal workers and military service members.
In a policy statement issued this summer, the White House said it strongly opposed the 3.1 percent raise for civilians because it would cost almost $1 billion more than the president's proposal.
Locality-based raises became a fixture of federal pay in 1994, following implementation of the 1990 Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act. The act's proponents identified a gap between public and private sector salaries of about 30 percent. The act was designed to close the gap to about 5 percent, but raises under the law have never been fully funded.