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United States President Joe Biden is reportedly on track to propose a 5.7% increase to the salaries of Federal Government workers in the country.
According to a report from the Washington Post, citing sources close to the plans, the increment will come off as the largest in more than 40 years.
The last time a significantly higher increment was proposed and implemented was during the tenure of President Jimmy Carter. Times have changed since that time and the current reality in the US economy is that Federal staff wages have been relatively stagnant while inflation has skyrocketed since the advent of the Coronavirus Pandemic in 2020.
According to one of the sources, the move is set to be presented to Congress as early as possible for it to go into effect in the fiscal budget billed to start on October 1. Should it be passed, the implementation is scheduled to come into effect by January 2024.
The move has gained criticism and appraisal from members of Congress and key stakeholders in the US. While Democrats are known to be in support of the move, House Republicans believe the efforts will be a way to continually fund a sector of the government with known poor customer service history.
“President Biden is continuing to ensure that federal workers’ pay and benefits are insulated from the price-tag of inflation, but it will be paid for by American taxpayers who continue to be harmed by the Biden Administration’s inflationary policies,” House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) said in a statement. “We should be putting American taxpayers first, not the federal bureaucracy.”
The Democrats supporting the push are expecting that the process will be a non-partisan affair since it is meant for the American public.
Federal Workers Want Higher Pay
While the President is reportedly set to go all out for the Federal workers within its pay range numbering up to 2 million, there is a visible division among Union leaders on the exact amount of the package.
“While we recognize the significance of this pay raise, more must be done to keep up with inflation and to begin to make serious progress in closing the double-digit pay gap between federal employees and their private sector counterparts,” Everett Kelley, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said in an email.
Rather than the proposed 5.7% from the White House, Kelley is advocating for an 8.7% increase instead in order to fully capture the influence of the flaming hot inflation.
The discussions are still largely being kept private as the report acknowledged that the Office of Management and Budget and the White House is yet to make an official announcement about the efforts being made at the moment.