First of all, Federal employees do not get “cost-of-living” adjustments to their pay. Rather, the Federal Salary Council (“FSC“), an advisory body of the Executive Branch of the United States Government, established under the provisions of the Section 5304(e)(1) of Title 5 of the United States Code, provides recommendations on the locality pay program created by the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990.
The locality pay program provides for localized pay differentials (also known as comparability payments) for Federal employees paid under the General Schedule (GS) who work in the 48 CONtinental United States (CONUS).
The President of the United States appoints the members of the FSC, which include three experts in labor relations and pay policy and six representatives of Federal labor unions and other employee organizations representing large numbers of GS employees.
Currently, AFGE National President J. David Cox and Public Policy Director Jacqueline Simon serve on the FSC, having been appointed by President Barack Obama on November 9, 2010.
The FSC submits recommendations on the locality pay program to the President’s Pay Agent. The FSC’s recommendations cover the establishment or modification of pay localities, the coverage of salary surveys (conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics) used to set locality pay, the process for making pay comparisons, and the level of comparability payments that should be made.
The FSC’s recommendations are advisory only and are not binding on the President.
However, it is the President’s Pay Agent makes the final determination as to the establishment or disestablishment of locality pay areas and also makes the final recommendation to the President regarding the amount of the annual Federal pay increase (if any).
History of the FY 2013 Pay Raise
On January 6, 2012, President Obama proposed a 0.5 percent pay raise for Federal employees, that would be reflected in its FY 2013 budget proposal to Congress. Here is what a O.5% pay raise looks like for various example salaries, versus the previous pay raise which Federal employees received amounting to 2.01% for FY 2010 (our last pay raise of record). Continue reading “Will There Be a Pay Raise This Year?”