As is standard, the raise would take effect with the first full pay period of January, starting on the 5th for most employees. Image: Brandon Bourdages/Shutterstock.com

President Trump signed a pair of bills Friday to fully fund federal agencies for the remainder of the current fiscal year and prevent a partial shutdown that otherwise would have started at midnight. The deal provides for an average 3.1 percent raise for federal employees beginning in January.

The bills are the result from prolonged negotiations over budgetary and policy matters that had required two temporary funding measures. They combine the 12 regular appropriations bills, most of which had passed the House but none of which had gotten past the committee level in the Senate, and carry funding through September 30.


One of those measures, HR-1158, includes the key measure for federal workplace matters, the general government appropriation. It reflects House-passed language to provide a 2.6 percent across the board raise plus 0.5 percentage points to be divided up as locality pay. That likely will yield raises ranging from several tenths of a percentage point below 3.1 to several tenths above.

Federal employee organizations praised the inclusion of the 3.1 percent amount, which mirrors what uniformed military personnel are to receive. It follows months of maneuvering on the raise starting with Trump’s original budgetary proposal for a freeze and his later endorsement of 2.6 percent instead. The Senate never specified a position, which essentially amounted to supporting Trump’s second position.

2019 GS pay tables (not including 2020 raise)

The specific raises by GS locality are to be set by an executive order, based on figures compiled by the Federal Salary Council. Data released at that council’s most recent meeting showed that the largest increases would go to the San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Washington-Baltimore areas and the smallest to the “rest of the U.S.” locality outside the designated zones, and Corpus Christi, Texas, Palm Bay, Fla., Indianapolis, and Tucson, Ariz.

See also, Here’s Who Would Get Biggest 2020 Locality Pay Bump

As is standard, the raise will take effect with the first full pay period of January, starting on the 5th for most employees.

Under the bill, wage grade employees, who are under a separate locality system, will have their raises capped at the local GS amount. Members of Congress and high-level political appointees won’t get a raise, but the salary caps used in the SES and other pay systems for high-level career employees will increase. They are paid within a range, with raises based on performance evaluations.

Read more about the General Schedule Pay System at ask.FEDweek.com