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Pay for federal workers will be frozen under an executive order signed Friday afternoon by President Donald Trump.
The 2.1 percent pay increase had been scheduled to take effect as of Jan. 1, 2019. Trump announced in August he would scrap the increase, The Hill reported.
One casualty of the order is something known as the “locality pay increase,” which seeks to adjust pay rates depending on the region in which a federal worker is located.
The order will not impact the 2.6 percent pay raise for the military that was part of a defense bill Trump signed in August.
News of the freeze was ill-received by organizations that represent federal workers, especially during the partial government shutdown.
“This is just pouring salt into the wound,” said Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union. The union represents 150,000 employees, according to USA Today.
“It is shocking that federal employees are taking yet another financial hit. As if missed paychecks and working without pay were not enough, now they have been told that they don’t even deserve a modest pay increase.”
The leader of the American Federation of Government Employees said federal workers’ pay is moving in the wrong direction.
“President Trump’s plan to freeze wages for these patriotic workers next year ignores the fact that they are worse off today financially than they were at the start of the decade,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.
“Federal employees have had their pay and benefits cut by over $200 billion since 2011, and they are earning nearly 5 percent less today than they did at the start of the decade.”
Trump, however, said in August that the government needed to hold the line.
“We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” Trump wrote in a letter to Congressional leaders at the time.
“In light of our Nation’s fiscal situation, Federal employee pay must be performance-based, and aligned strategically toward recruiting, retaining, and rewarding high-performing Federal employees and those with critical skill sets.”
The Senate version of the federal budget called for a 1.9 percent pay increase, while the House version did not include any increase.
Pay for federal workers was frozen from 2011 through 2013 but has risen since then, USA Today reported.
The pay freeze will impact about 2.1 million federal workers, most of whom live outside the Washington, D.C., area.