Rep. Taylor Sends Letter to White House Urging Reversal on Federal Worker Pay Freeze
Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Scott Taylor led a bipartisan letter to President Trump urging him to reverse his decision, announced last Thursday, to cancel federal civilian pay raises and locality pay raises for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.
"While I appreciate the President's efforts to be fiscally responsible, this sends the wrong message to our federal civilian workforce and could negatively impact our federal government's ability to recruit and retain high-skilled employees," said Congressman Scott Taylor. "There is a formula via law which creates adjustments that help mitigate the pay gap between federal and private sector employees as well as provide pay adjustments based on locality pay areas. Federal employees in the Second Congressional District must be properly paid for the contributions they make to our nation and its defense."
Prior to the President's announcement, federal workers were slated for an automatic 2.1% pay increase in accordance with the 1990 Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act. However, President Trump’s decision would zero out this across-the-board pay raise for 2019 and freeze any pay adjustments to locality pay areas. Currently, Virginia Beach is designated under the “Rest of U.S.” locality pay area but in March, Congressman Taylor led a bipartisan letter to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) urging them to act on the President’s Pay Agent proposal to establish Virginia Beach-Norfolk as its own locality pay area. OPM responded to Representative Taylor’s push to designate this new area by January 2019 by initiating the rulemaking process, which would officially add four regions to the list of locality pay areas for 2019 including the Virginia Beach-Norfolk (VA-NC CSA) area. While the President's announcement would not stop the creation of the Virginia Beach-Norfolk (VA-NC CSA) area, it would effectively negate the benefits of this new designation by causing federal employees in the region to continue receiving the same locality pay rate currently allocated under "Rest of U.S."