Trump orders pay freeze for federal workers
President Donald Trump issued an order Friday to freeze federal employee salary rates at current levels in 2019, although a chance remains that employees will still receive a raise.
Trump’s order was expected since he has advocated a freeze all year. It however was necessary under the complex law governing federal pay to prevent a large raise from taking effect by default, due to Congress not making a decision regarding a raise.
The order comes as some 800,000 federal employees, out of a workforce of 2.1 million, are in unpaid status due to the partial government shut- down that now has lasted a week and is virtually guaranteed to last at least a number of days more. Of those, about 380,000 have been furloughed while the rest are still on the job, although without pay, due to the nature of their work.
“This is just pouring salt into the wound,” National Treasury Employees Union president Tony Reardon said in a statement. “It is shocking that federal employees are taking yet another financial hit. As if missed paychecks and working without pay were not enough, now they have been told that they don’t even deserve a modest pay increase.”
Trump’s order only applies to civilian workers. Military personnel, which are covered under a separate funding measure, will receive a 2.6 percent raise.