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Military Pay Raise Included in Shutdown-Averting Measure, But No Word on Civilian Increase

A weekly roundup of pay and benefits news.

The House on Tuesday approved a month-long stopgap spending bill to keep the government open until Dec. 20, putting Congress on track to avert a shutdown slated to commence Friday.

Included in the continuing resolution is a provision providing members of the military with an average 3.1% pay increase in 2020, ensuring they will receive a raise next year regardless of the status of ongoing funding negotiations.

However, the CR contains no language on a potential pay raise for civilian federal workers, a matter still under negotiation by appropriators in the House and Senate. The House earlier this year approved an average 3.1% pay increase—a 2.6% across the board raise, with an average 0.5% increase in locality pay—as part of its appropriations bills.

While President Trump in August dropped his push for a pay freeze in 2020, authorizing a 2.6% across-the-board raise for next year, his proposal lacks any increase in locality pay. Senate spending bills remained silent on the topic of federal civilian employee compensation, effectively adopting Trump’s position.

Differences in the spending bills on the civilian raise will be hammered out during conference negotiations, unless Congress keeps passing continuing resolutions to fund government. 

Meanwhile, the federal government’s annual charity fundraising campaign will host its first “Spirit Week” next month as an effort to encourage federal employees to participate.

From Dec. 2 through Dec. 6, the Combined Federal Campaign will run a series of promotions, timed to include prominent days for nonprofit organizations: Giving Tuesday and International Volunteer Day.

Giving Tuesday is an annual campaign to encourage charity giving, following the big shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In addition to that day and Thursday’s Volunteer Day, the Combined Federal Campaign will celebrate “Way Back Wednesday,” which will promote the history and impact of the charity drive. And on Friday, Dec. 6, agencies will host pep rallies to promote the campaign.

“This year we have the unique opportunity to celebrate giving for an entire week and I’m really encouraged by all the excitement and momentum the campaign is experiencing so far,” said Vince Micone, chairman of the Combined Federal Campaign for the National Capital Area’s Local Federal Coordinating Committee. “We are tracking ahead of where we were during the campaign last year at this time and I am hopeful our uplifting Spirit Week activities will spur donors to Show Some Love to their favorite causes whether that be through a donation of time or money.”