Trump Issues Executive Order Freezing Pay Rate for Federal Workers
An executive order was issued on Friday by President Trump freezing federal workers’ pay for the 2019 year. This follows through on a pledge from earlier this year to get rid of an across-the-board pay increase among workers.
In August, Trump had announced he would cancel the 2.1% pay increase starting January due to “serious economic conditions.”
The Hill reported the order also cancels the “locality pay increase,” which adjusts paychecks based on the region of the country where workers are posted. The order however does not impact the 2.6% pay raise for military in 2019 because it was part of a defense spending bill Trump signed in August.
This announcement comes as the partial government shutdown enters its second week, with hundreds of thousands of federal employees entering the new year with furloughed or working without pay. Trump said the government will remain shutdown until he gets $5 billion for the wall from Democrats.
The executive order affects most of the 2.1 million federal employees around the nation, about 1.7 million of which live in areas outside of the Washington, D.C., metro area, The Hill reported.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the U.S.’s largest union representing federal workers, asked Congress to reconsider the Senate’s pay proposal plan which included 1.9% pay bump in its spending plans for the next year.
AFGE’s National President J. David Cox Sr. says that Trump’s plan is a snub to federal workers.
“President Trump’s plan to freeze wages for these patriotic workers next year ignores the fact that they are worse off today financially than they were at the start of the decade,” said Cox, in a statement obtained by The Hill. “Federal employees have had their pay and benefits cut by over $200 billion since 2011, and they are earning nearly 5 percent less today than they did at the start of the decade.”