Lawmakers back 2 percent raise, but nix locality pay freeze

House-Senate negotiators on Tuesday night backed President Obama's request to give civilian federal employees a 2 percent pay raise in 2010, but rejected his proposal to freeze locality pay.

Conferees announced the omnibus spending package would include a 2 percent average pay hike for civilians in 2010. Employees would receive a 1.5 percent increase in base pay, and a 0.5 percent boost in locality pay.

That arrangement sticks to Obama's request for a 2 percent raise, rather than the 2.9 percent the Senate had included in its version of the Financial Services appropriations bill, which got wrapped into the omnibus package. But it rejects the president's Nov. 30 proposal to reserve the entire raise for an increase in base pay.

And in a break from previous years, the bill does not ensure pay parity between civilians and members of the military. Obama requested a 2.9 percent raise for service members, and lawmakers could grant an even more generous boost. The 2010 National Defense Authorization Act signed in October includes a 3.4 percent military raise; lawmakers will decide on a final figure as part of the Defense appropriations bill.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said he was disappointed the omnibus will not preserve pay parity, but added that administration officials have assured him parity will return next year.

National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley praised the conferees for increasing locality pay.

"Under the administration's alternative pay plan, there would not have been any locality-based adjustments for the first time since that system began operating in 1994," Kelley said.

The inclusion of locality pay is "critical to bringing federal pay in line with the private sector and enabling the federal government to compete for high quality talent," said Hoyer, whose district is home to many federal workers.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.