Bush budget includes 3.6 percent pay raise next year

The fiscal 2002 budget blueprint issued by President Bush Wednesday did not include a figure for a pay raise for civilian federal employees, but the Office of Management and Budget has told agencies to plan for an average 3.6 percent increase next year. The budget reiterated Bush's pledge to give military personnel a 4.6 percent pay raise next year. Since 1987, military and civilian personnel have received the same annual raises. Some members of Congress want to make sure that happens again in 2002. On Tuesday, Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., introduced a resolution "expressing the sense of Congress that there should continue to be parity between the adjustments in the compensation of members of the uniformed services and the adjustments in the compensation of civilian employees of the United States." Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., introduced the same resolution in the House. A White House budget official said President Bush has not made an official decision on what the civilian pay raise will be. The Office of Management and Budget instructed agencies to assume a 3.6 percent increase in their budget plans, but the President could still pick a different number. The official said that the White House is hoping to settle on a pay raise plan by April, when the Bush administration's full budget plan is released. National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen M. Kelley blasted the potential 3.6 percent raise as "unconscionable" in a period of budget surpluses and added it "should be an embarrassment for the administration." NTEU supports the pay parity resolution introduced by Rep. Hoyer and Sen. Sarbanes. In addition to the 4.6 percent pay raise for military personnel in 2002 in the Bush plan, the Pentagon would get an extra $1 billion for special recruitment and retention bonuses.
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