From insulted to grateful, feds react to proposed 0.5 percent pay raise

Monday - 1/9/2012, 1:41pm EST

By Jolie Lee
@jleewfed
Federal News Radio

Federal employees had mixed reactions to the administration's proposed 0.5 percent pay raise for feds starting in 2013, according to a Federal News Radio online poll.

Half of respondents said they found the amount of the proposed increase insulting. Only 9 percent said they were grateful for the raise, and 38 percent said any raise was better than nothing, according to the poll, as of noon Monday.

Results of Federal News Radio online poll as of noon Monday, when more than 600 people took the poll. (Want to weigh in on this issue? Take the poll here.)

More than 600 people had taken the poll at that time.

An administration official said last week that the White House planned on including the 0.5 percent federal pay raise in its 2013 budget, expected to be released next month. For the average federal salary of about $76, 586, the pay raise would provide an extra $383 dollars a year.

"0.5 [percent] won't even cover the increase you are going to pay for insurance. Keep your paltry pennies, Mr. President," wrote one commenter.

Another wrote, "This is absolutely insulting coming on the heels of a two-year pay freeze, and given the current rate of inflation."

One commenter acknowledged some feds are indeed overpaid but that "plenty of feds" are not paid at the market rate. "[T]he problem is exacerbated by ham-handed approaches like tweaking the entire workforce's compensation indiscriminately. The government seriously needs to invest in better labor cost analyses, so that it can have a truly rational compensation policy, rather than just having a big ink blot test for candidates to use as a straw-man," the commenter wrote.

Given some anti-fed proposals in Congress, an end to the pay freeze was welcome news to other commenters.

"No it's not very much, but I'll take it," one wrote. "It's better than nothing and I didn't think any raise would have been proposed for the next three or four years."

A proposed raise would still require congressional approval to take effect.

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