President Obama issued an Executive Order on Friday boosting pay for a majority of federal employees.
The pay increase amounts to a raise of 1.3 percent.
Federal workers had demanded a 3.8 percent raise earlier this year, but Congress did not take up the matter, preferring to allow pay increases for federal workers to be applied through default measures instead of spending bills.
When federal pay increases were not included in Friday’s omnibus bill signed by the president, Mr. Obama followed with Executive Action.
Federal workers are paid by means of either the General Schedule, for white-collar employees, or under the Federal Wage System, which affects blue-collar workers.
Under Mr. Obama’s action, employees such as federal district judges will receive a pay increase, but members of Congress and political employees will continue to see their wages frozen. A smaller number of career civil employees will not collect a raise in wages as their pay is performance based.
Under the Federal Wage System, where blue-collar workers fall, the increase in pay also falls under Mr. Obama’s blanket Executive Action.
General Schedule wages affect 71 percent of federal employees; the additional 29 percent of workers are paid under the Federal Wage System.
While some may find Mr. Obama’s latest Executive Action a benevolent expression of democracy, it is interpreted by some as his ignoring Congress and eschewing his frequent, pious talk of bipartisanship.
While this act smacks of Mr. Obama’s desire to act as an autocrat instead of undertaking decisive actions jointly with Congress, few will despair about members of Congress acquiring less government bounty this year, or next year.
[WashingtonPost] [Photo courtesy fedsmith.com]