Pay & Benefits Watch Pay & Benefits WatchPay & Benefits Watch
Key developments in the world of federal employee benefits: health, pay, and much more.

Feds Petition for More Pay; Some Could Get It

Ricardo Reitmeyer/

Federal employees were, for the most part, not happy with President Obama’s proposal to once again raise their pay 1 percent in 2015.

Some are petitioning the White House to provide a larger increase.

One fed has taken to We the People, an online petition system created by the Obama administration, to ask for a 5 percent pay raise next year. Every raise after that should track inflation, the petition says.

“Federal civilian employees have paid their debt to the government,” the petition’s creator wrote. “We all deserve more pay for the devotion and hard work put forth every day.”

The petition had just 58 signatures as of Wednesday, well short of the 100,000 it needs to require an official White House response. If advocates of a larger pay raise for federal employees want to crack threshold, they may have to make it more Justin Bieber-focused.

Raise for Senior Level Managers

Most federal employees fall on the General Schedule and have received an across-the-board 1 percent raise in 2014. They are primed to receive the same bump in 2015.

Blue-collar workers on the Wage Grade schedule will require separate legislation to receive any raise, as Congress provided this year. For members of the Senior Executive Service, each agency must determine what pay increases, if any, to give to individual managers.

A fourth group of feds are on the Senior Level (SL) and Scientific or Professional (ST) pay systems, which replaced GS-16, 17 and 18 in 1990. These employees receive a minimum salary of 120 percent of what GS-15 employees make. That minimum saw a corresponding 1 percent bump in 2014, and would go up 1 percent again if Obama’s 2015 raise proposal becomes law.

Similar to SES employees, individual SL/ST employees’ salaries could increase by more or less than 1 percent, as determined by their agencies.

The Office of Personnel Management issued a final rule Wednesday to adapt SL/ST workers’ pay to be more in line with that of senior executives. The rule cements policy from the 2008 Senior Professional Performance Act, and emphasizes performance-based appraisal in determining compensation.

If an agency’s appraisal system is certified by OPM, SL/ST employees will be eligible starting April 4 to receive pay up to Level II of the Executive Schedule, or $181,500. If the system is not certified by OPM, the employee will be eligible to receive up to Level III of the ES, or $167,000.  

An SL/ST employee’s performance-based pay will be “based on individual performance, contribution to the agency's performance, or both,” OPM wrote in the rule.

Overtime Pay for EPA

More than 10,000 Environmental Protection Agency employees will split $35 million after their union reached a settlement over disputed overtime pay.

The American Federation of Government Employees Council 238 filed a national Fair Labor Standards Act grievance against the EPA in 2008 after the agency designated its employees as exempt from the FLSA. The EPA did not provide its employees with a proper array of choices for overtime compensation and did not provide bonus pay for off-the-clock work.

The settlement also requires EPA to cover thousands of current employees under the FLSA who had previously been designated as exempt.

(Image via Ricardo Reitmeyer/

Eric Katz joined Government Executive in the summer of 2012 after graduating from The George Washington University, where he studied journalism and political science. He has written for his college newspaper and an online political news website and worked in a public affairs office for the Navy’s Military Sealift Command. Most recently, he worked for Financial Times, where he reported on national politics.

Close [ x ] More from GovExec

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

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


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