67,000 federal employees to receive pay raise and more

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Although economists have warned that more spending by the government risks exacerbating the ongoing inflation crisis, the Biden administration is nevertheless about to give nearly every federal employee another raise courtesy of the American taxpayer.

“Around 67,000 federal employees are set to receive a pay raise next month, after the Office of Personnel Management issued guidance for agencies to implement a $15 minimum wage across the federal government with a tight deadline to comply,” according to Government Executive.

The guidance was issued in response to an executive order signed by the president one year ago in which he’d called for the OPM director to “provide a report … with recommendations to promote a $15/hour minimum wage for Federal employees.”

For some reason, the report took a full year to complete.

(Source: White House)

This raise will occur despite the president having signed yet another executive order late last month for “an across-the-board federal pay raise of 2.2% in 2022,” as reported by the Federal News Network on Dec. 22nd.

“Biden announced plans back in August to give civilian employees a 2.7% average federal pay raise for 2022. Wednesday’s order was the last step the president must take to finalize pay adjustments of any kind for General Schedule employees,” the outlet noted, adding that the pay raise was “well above the 1% bump civilian employees received in 2021.”

Federal employees aren’t the only ones about to benefit. In April of last year, the president signed a separate executive order requiring federal contractors to pay at least $15 to their own employees starting next month. There are reportedly 300,000 employees slated to benefit from this rule.

That brings the total to about 367,000 federal employees or contractor employees who’re about to be bumped up to $15/hour.

The president is ecstatic over over the raises, especially because he believes they’ll mainly impact the so-called marginalized.

“These are the customer service representatives who answer the phones to ensure that Americans get the health care they deserve; wildland firefighters who protect our forests and communities; custodial workers who keep our military bases clean and safe; nursing assistants who care for our veterans; and laborers who build and repair federal facilities. The workers that will disproportionately benefit from this pay increase are women, workers of color, and workers with disabilities,” he said in a statement.

“This increase will provide those workers and their families a little more breathing room. And because we know that higher wages boost productivity and mean lower job turnover, these orders will allow the government to do its work better and faster.”

According to Retensa, a firm focused on employee retention strategies, “Government employment historically has one of the lowest separation rates compared to most industry sectors due to its job stability.”

Why? Because government “employees can count on clear career paths, strong benefits, retirement and pension plan.”

Indeed, then-Americans for Prosperity policy director Mac Zimmerman noted in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal in 2015 that the “average federal worker’s compensation,” including all the perks and bonuses that come with a government job, “is worth $119,934.”

Seven years later, $119,934 is still vastly more than the average American earns. Though to be clear, some federal employees earn much more than even this:

“The total cost to taxpayers of federal wages and benefits clocks in at $260 billion. Much of this is concentrated in and around Washington, D.C.—and it shows. Six of the 10 richest counties in the country surround the nation’s capital, according to the Census Bureau. The median household income in these counties ranges from about $98,000 to $118,000, excluding benefits,” Zimmerman’s op-ed continued.

During his time in office, former President Donald Trump tried to inject some equilibrium back into the situation.

Trump “issued an executive order on Friday freezing pay for federal civilian workers in 2019. … The executive order follows a proposed pay freeze that the president outlined in the budget he sent to Congress last February, and in a letter he sent to Congress in August stating that he would cancel pay increases,” as reported in late December by The New York Times

As a staunch supporter of big government, Biden has instead repeatedly lavished federal workers wit more money and gifts. And he’s done so despite warnings that he may be “stoking [the] inflation fire.”

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Vivek Saxena

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