Fedweek

The House could vote at any time on the financial services-general government spending bill that would for the third straight year, allow the White House’s proposed federal employee raise–in this case 1.3 percent to be paid in January 2016–to be paid by default. Although the bill is far from the last word on a 2016 raise, it is the main measure for handling pay-related issues and thus serves as the basis for decisions to come. As in the prior two years, no additional money would be added to agency budgets to cover the cost of a raise, meaning continued pressure on “salaries and expenses” accounts that fund overall employment levels as well as spending on training, travel, awards and much more. Also, political SES members and political appointees in the executive schedule would not receive an increase in pay even though the executive level pay rates would increase on paper. Those rates act as the pay caps for various purposes for the SES and other high-level pay systems; those employees are under largely performance-based pay arrangements, however, and do not necessarily receive raises reflecting the GS boost. In addition, the measure would continue the longstanding practice of capping raises for wage grade employees–who are under a separate locality-based system–at the percentage applying to GS employees locally.