New AFGE president suggests retroactive pay raise for feds

American Federation of Government Employees president J. David Cox American Federation of Government Employees president J. David Cox AFGE photo

The newly elected president of the American Federation of Government Employees will lobby President Obama to support a pay raise for federal employees retroactive to January 2013 if it is approved in the final fiscal 2013 budget, according a Federal Times report.

Obama announced earlier this week that he would use his authority to grant federal employees the across-the-board 0.5 percent pay raise he had proposed for 2013, but only after Congress passes a budget. Lawmakers anticipate passing a six-month continuing resolution when they return from the August recess, meaning the earliest the pay raise could take effect would be April 2013.

The president told lawmakers in a letter this week that locality pay will remain at current levels and his decision would not “materially affect the federal government’s ability to attract and retain a well-qualified federal workforce.”

Still, Obama’s decision disappointed labor union leaders, including newly elected AFGE President J. David Cox. He called it “unwarranted and unjustified,” adding “federal employees cannot afford another four months or even another day of frozen wages.”

Cox told Federal Times that he will try to convince Obama and lawmakers to reimbuse federal employees for the money they lose due to delays passing the budget. He said he would try to lobby to forgo the pay freeze extension entirely, but the current political climate is not likely to make that possible.

Congress uses continuing resolutions to provide funding for all or parts of the government at current levels if they do not pass appropriations bills by the end of the fiscal year. Congress is currently on recess and is slated to need a continuing resolution to keep government running past the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

Lawmakers have not included a 2013 pay raise for federal employees in any of this year’s appropriations bills. Under the 1990 Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act, the president can set a pay increase or allow the automatic adjustment under that law to take effect. The automatic adjustment would be a 1.2 percent increase, but Obama opted for the lower increase.

Cox and other union leaders support President Obama’s reelection despite their displeasure with the pay raise decision.

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.