WASHINGTON – Under the current partial government deadlock, President Donald Trump signed an executive decision to freeze wages for Federal employees in 2019.
The move is in line with Trump's budget proposal and a statement to Congress in pointing to "serious economic conditions" as he lowered labor costs for civilian officials. "We must continue our efforts to bring our nation on a financially sustainable course, and federal budgets can not sustain such increases," he said.
Trump signed the executive order on late Friday afternoon. The military would not be affected.
Trump and state legislators still collect paychecks during partial retirement, but many federal employees do not. Congress is generally in favor of retroactive pay for state employees after closures, but it is expected that this year will pass into the New Year as Trump calls for the financing of a wall over the southern border.
(Trump donates his salary to various government programs.)
"This is just salt in the wound," said Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 employees in 33 federal agencies and departments. "It is shocking that the federal employees suffer another financial blow. As if the lack of paychecks and work without pay were not enough, they were now told that they did not even earn a modest wage increase.
The Senate resolved an increase of 1.9 percent for federal employees, but the house did not act
The new Congress could elect to increase federal employees. If Trump's decision is upheld, the salary freeze would affect about 2.1 million federal employees, including most of the executive, according to the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest union of federal employees.
"We're Expecting the New Full Congress decides the modest adjustment of 1.9 percent for the entire year 2019, which passed the Senate and received considerable support from both parties in the last Congress," said AFGE President J David Cox, in a statement. "There is no economic or budgetary justification for freezing the president, and legislators agree that federal wages need to be raised not just for reasons of decency, but also to assist the agencies in supporting the federal workforce win and hold that the US earns. " Federal employees work outside of the Washington, DC metropolitan area, according to the latest figures published by the journal Governing. List of states with the largest proportion of federal employees: California (250,000), Texas (200,000), Virginia (178,000) and Maryland (147,000).
Contribution: Gregory Korte
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