Obama's Pay Proposal for Fed Workers Gets Mixed Review

Updated: 2:01 p.m.

John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal employee union, praised the proposed budget President Obama released today, even though it calls for a 2 percent salary increase for civilian workers, while the military would get 2.9 percent.

“Although federal employees would prefer to have seen an increase in pay the equivalent to the military, we recognize the severity of our nation’s economic situation, including the crisis for public workers at the state and local level, and understand that only modest steps can be taken this year to close the remaining pay gap between the federal and non-federal salaries,” Gage said.

He also said Obama's budget would allow workers "to finally have the resources to run our agencies....”

"From the Department of Homeland Security’s Border Patrol agents’ efforts to protect the border to the Department of Labor’s OSHA inspectors to the VA nurses and doctors – federal employees are so pleased to see that President Obama recognizes that understaffing is dangerous and self-defeating."

Richard N. Brown, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, however, was less pleased.

"Even in this economy, 2 percent is a very small increase for workers that are already paid well below those doing similar work in the private sector," he said.

Brown said he would ask Congress for a greater pay hike for federal workers.

"We are baffled by the large disparity in the proposed pay adjustments for civilian federal workers and military personnel," he said. "Civilian federal employees often work side-by-side with military personnel and are in their own right critical to maintaining our military readiness and homeland security. There is a long tradition of pay parity between civilians and the military, and we believe that tradition should be continued."

By Sara Goo  |  February 26, 2009; 12:07 PM ET  | Category:  Budget , Labor
Previous: How to Address the Federal Brain Drain? Focus On Those Seniors | Next: Federal Pay Parity Issue Riles Labor

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