In September, a panel of experts released a report which questioned current methods for federal government employee pay increases; and made recommendations for improvements which would make the system for flexible and viable.
A recent article in Federal Times detailed specifics from the report and quoted, Rex Facer, a Brigham Young University professor who was one of the report’s three authors who stated, “The base salary of a GS-11 ranges from $50,287 to $65,371, not counting locality pay. Pushing the maximum up to $75,400 would provide more latitude to reward people without ‘necessarily having to have a promotion’ that otherwise isn’t warranted.”
With sequestration looming, there is a great deal of speculation and discussion regarding government-wide budget cuts, and matters related to federal workforce pay and increases.
The new report states that “the government should scrap General Schedule across-the-board increases in return for more flexibility to boost salaries within grades.” Within-grade increases are the reason federal salaries rose in 2011, despite congressionaly mandated pay freezes for federal employees. Currently those races have a variety of limitations are a restricted to being within the pay scale of the position.
The panel of experts suggested changes to the system which would enable the government to target increases to the grades which have been below the private-sector. But based on research produced by the Congressional Budget Office earlier this year, federal workers on average earn more than their private sector counterparts, particularly in entry level or journeyman positions – where the pay gap begins is for workers with advanced professional degrees or doctorates.
In August of this year, it was announced in a letter from President Obama to House Speak Boehner and Vice President Biden that there would be an end to the two -year pay freeze and a pay increase for civilian federal employees in April of 2013.
Diana M. Rodriguez is a native Washingtonian who currently works as a professional writer, blogger, social media expert, commentator, editor and public affairs practitioner. Diana previously worked as an editor and senior communications analyst for the Department of Defense.