Spending bill grants 1 percent pay raise to blue-collar feds

Tuesday - 1/14/2014, 8:33am EST

The bipartisan spending bill unveilved Monday night grants a 1 percent pay raise to blue-collar federal employees.

This is the first pay raise in three years for employees under the wage-grade system.

"I'm proud to fight on the front lines for federal employee pay as hard as federal employees fight on the front lines each and every day for America," Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said in a statement. "This long-overdue modest pay raise for federal government employees is a good step in recognizing the value of blue-collar federal workers."

The American Federation of Government Employees thanked congressional leaders for providing a pay increase to employees under the wage-grade system.

"Congress clearly recognizes the importance of ensuring pay parity for all federal employees, regardless of which pay system they fall into, and I am glad that this inequality was corrected," AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.

The raise will apply to "230,000 workers nationwide who work for hourly rates as mechanics, electricians and maintenance workers for federal agencies," Mikulski's statement said.

Mikulski, chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, negotiated the wage increase with House counterpart Harold Rogers (R-Ky.). The agreement they reached Monday abides by the terms set by the Ryan-Murray budget deal.

It provides $1 trillion to fund the government through October and avert another government shutdown.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order late last year giving feds under the general schedule system a 1 percent pay raise.

But the order did not cover wage-grade employees — their pay falls under separate legislation, which Congress failed to address prior to leaving for the holiday recess in 2013.

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