President Donald Trump has issued an executive order freezing pay for federal workers in 2019, blocking a 2.1 percent pay raise that was set to go into effect across the board in January.
Friday’s order comes as some 800,000 federal employees remain furloughed or working without pay due to the partial government shutdown that is expected to continue into the new year.
The order, which overrides an automatic raise law, has been met with intense backlash from workers’ advocates.
‘This is just pouring salt into the wound,’ Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union – which represents about 100,000 federal workers – 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.’
In addition to blocking the blanket raise, the order cancelled locality pay increases -paycheck adjustments made based on the region of the country where workers are posted.
However, the move will not affect a scheduled 2.6 percent pay raise for American troops that was passed as part of the massive defense spending bill Trump signed this fall.
Lawmakers could step in and include the scheduled raise in the 2019 spending bill, which is currently stalled over Trump’s $5billion border wall demand.
Trump has been advocating the freeze since February – part of his long-proposed plan to shrink the federal government.
He announced his plan to scrap the 2019 pay increase in August, calling it ‘inappropriate’ in a letter to House and Senate leaders.
‘We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,’ Trump wrote.
Source DailyMail Uk