President Biden has taken a significant step toward implementing his plan to provide civilian federal workers with an average 5.2% pay raise starting next month.
The executive order, consistent with his fiscal 2024 budget proposal from March, features a 4.7% across-the-board increase in basic pay, complemented by an average 0.5% rise in locality pay.
— GovExec (@GovExec) December 25, 2023
“I view the increases that would otherwise take effect as inappropriate,” Biden’s letter said.
“This alternative pay plan decision will continue to allow the federal government to employ a well‑qualified federal workforce on behalf of the American people, keeping pace with prior wage growth in the labor market," he added.
Military service personnel are also set to receive an average 5.2% pay raise in the coming year, following the authorization in the fiscal 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, which is expected to be signed by President Biden this week.
This average 5.2% pay raise represents the largest authorized for federal workers since the Carter administration's 9.1% raise in 1980, reflecting a 0.6% increase compared to last year, itself a 20-year high.
Recent changes in the locality pay system will lead to slightly larger-than-expected increases for tens of thousands of federal employees.
Last year, the President's Pay Agent approved the creation of four new locality pay areas, and the body adopted plans to update the map of locality pay areas.
The plan incorporates new OMB data and expands existing areas by including dozens of counties.
The Office of Personnel Management is now tasked with publishing pay tables detailing the pay raise across all General Schedule pay grades and locality pay areas.
Once these updates are available on the agency's website, the pay raise will take effect in the first full pay period of 2024, commencing on January 14 for the majority of federal employees.