President Trump issued an executive order Friday canceling a 2.1 percent pay raise for all federal civilian workers that was scheduled for January, instead freezing their pay for the duration of 2019. The order also cancels a January "locality pay increase," an annual adjustment of federal salaries tied to local cost of living, but it does not affect a 2.6 percent raise planned for military forces.
"This is just pouring salt into the wound," Tony Reardon of the National Treasury Employees Union said in a statement. "It is shocking that federal employees are taking yet another financial hit. As if missed paychecks and working without pay [because of the partial government shutdown] were not enough, now they have been told that they don't even deserve a modest pay increase."
The raises may be reinstated by Congress in whatever spending package is eventually approved to end the shutdown. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) has already said such a reinstatement "should be the first order of business" once the new Congress is in session. Likewise, federal employees who work through the shutdown are guaranteed to receive back pay when it is over, and the Senate passed a bill by unanimous consent to guarantee back pay for furloughed workers as well. Bonnie Kristian