Boosting Raise Would Be Tall Order

Sweetening the 1 percent recommended raise would be a tall order although not impossible, especially since the increase again is tied to the pay raise for military personnel. During the three years of the salary rate freeze, military personnel continued to receive raises, breaking the pattern of “pay parity” between military and federal raises that had been the …general rule for decades. In many of those prior years, Congress boosted military raises above the White House’s annual proposal, to the benefit of federal employees whose raises were increased in turn because of that linkage. Military personnel received the same 1 percent raise as federal employees in January, however, and under the new White House proposal both groups again would receive that amount. Two years of 1 percent raises would be the smallest increases for the military in many years, and already some in Congress are calling for a higher amount for them. That could help pave the way for a larger federal raise as was done in the past. However, even some members of Congress most supportive of federal employees say they don’t expect a higher raise. And in any case, the prior pattern of sweetening raises produced boosts on the order of a half percentage point, nowhere near the 3-4 percent that federal employee organizations are seeking.