But legislative committee chairman argues American taxpayers would be the ones paying
President Joe Biden has proposed a 5.2% wage increase for federal employees in his budget for the fiscal 2024, which starts Oct. 1.
This is the largest increase the White House has put forward since 1980, back when Jimmy Carter was president.
That pay increase was 9.1%, according to the Federal News Network.
Two sources speaking under a condition of anonymity confirmed the news to The Washington Post, which first reported the development.
The 2024 budget “answers the President’s call for agencies to lead by example in supporting federal worker organizing and collective bargaining,” said the White House, according to a report from the Federal News Network.
If approved, affected workers will see their pay increase by January 2024.
Several stakeholders have different views on the proposed wage increase.
The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) claims that a 5.2% raise in 2024 would be a “solid first step,” but the federal union is still calling for the larger pay bump included in the FAIR Act.
“We believe rising costs and previous years of inadequate pay increases warrant the average 8.7% adjustment called for in the FAIR Act,” Tony Reardon, NTEU national president, said in a statement, according to the Federal News Network. “The Federal Salary Council reports that federal salaries lag their private sector counterparts by 24.09%, and an average 8.7% adjustment would go further in helping federal agencies recruit and retain the employees they need to meet their important missions.”
Commenting on the budget overall, nonpartisan think tank The Century Foundation noted that it will have a beneficial impact on all working- and middle-class Americans, and particularly people of color, low-income people, disabled people, women and other disadvantaged groups.
“This budget shows that the Biden administration is committed to protecting Medicare and Social Security, full stop, including proposals to strengthen the vital social insurance programs by closing loopholes and increasing taxes only on the wealthiest earners—reasonable reforms that the public and economic experts alike overwhelmingly support,” it said.
However, James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, criticized the move.
“Now President Biden is continuing to ensure that federal workers’ pay and benefits are insulated from the price tag of inflation, but it will be paid for by American taxpayers who continue to be harmed by the Biden administration’s inflationary policies,” Comer said in a statement, according to the Federal News Network. “We should be putting American taxpayers first, not the federal bureaucracy.”
The budget also proposes to block Schedule F, an executive order establishing a new job classification in the excepted service which “would threaten the proper functioning of the federal government by unduly subjecting career employees to politicization and favoritism,” according to the Federal News Network's report.
In April 2022, Verizon established a $20 per hour minimum wage for new and existing workers. Previously, the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers in California called for a state-wide $25 per hour minimum wage.