How to Calculate Your 2023 Pay Raise, and More Pressure to Return to the Office
A weekly roundup of pay and benefits news.
As the new year begins, federal employees may be wondering how much extra money they’ll see in their paychecks. President Biden made official a 4.6% average pay raise for civilian federal employees. Of that, 4.1% will go toward an across-the-board increase and the remainder will vary depending on where employees live.
So what will this translate to for your pocketbook? The Office of Personnel Management has updated its pay tables that show how much you can expect to receive. First, you will want to determine which locality pay area you fall under, or whether you are in the catch-all “Rest of U.S.” category. Click here to see the list of locality areas and determine which one you are in.
Once you have figured out your locality area, you can go to the list of 2023 locality pay tables and click on the PDF or web-based chart for your area to see your total percentage raise and what this means for your annual salary based on your grade and step on the General Schedule.
For instance, if you live in the Hartford-West Hartford area in Connecticut and Massachusetts and are a GS-15, Step 1, you can expect to receive a total increase of 4.67% effective in January, for a total annual salary of $153,843. If you don’t fall into any of the specific locality areas and are grouped with the “Rest of U.S.” category, you can expect to receive a 4.37% total raise, amounting to $136,908 annually for a GS-15, Step 1.
When should you expect to start seeing more money? The pay raise will take effect for the first full pay period of 2023, which ends on Saturday for most federal employees.
Pressure to Go Back Into the Office
The new Republican-led House of Representatives has already made it clear that spending cuts for domestic agencies are high on its agenda. The new chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee also has his sights set on reducing telework to pre-pandemic levels.
Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., on Wednesday announced that he introduced the Stopping Home Office Work’s Unproductive Problems (SHOW UP) Act (H.R. 139), which requires agencies within 30 days to “reinstate and apply the telework policies, practices and levels … in effect on December 31, 2019.” If agencies would like to expand telework beyond the levels in place prior to the coronavirus pandemic, they would need to submit a plan certified by the Office of Personnel Management to Congress.
The bill also requires a study of how telework during the pandemic affected agencies’ missions and customer service.
“For years, Americans have suffered from the federal government’s detrimental pandemic-era telework policies for federal bureaucrats,” Comer said in a statement. “President Biden’s unnecessary expansion of telework crippled the ability of departments and agencies to fulfill their responsibilities and created cumbersome backlogs. The federal government exists to serve the American people and these substantial delays for basic services are unacceptable.”
This is not the first time Republicans have tried to force more federal employees back to the office. Several bills introduced in the last Congress had similar goals. Meanwhile, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has also called on the federal government to take more “decisive action” and either get more employees back into downtown offices or give up the real estate.