Trump orders pay freeze for fed­eral work­ers

The Beaufort Gazette (Sunday) - - News - BY ERIC YODER

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.

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