Bill Includes Pay Increase for Blue-Collar Federal Workers


On Jan. 1, 2014, a one percent across-the-board pay adjustment went into effect for white-collar General Schedule (GS) federal employees. While this modest pay bump was welcome following a three-year pay freeze, there was one big problem: Congress forgot about blue-collar Wage Grade (WG) federal workers when they passed their budget bill and headed home for the holidays. Consequently, GS federal workers were getting a one percent pay adjustment in 2014, while WG federal workers were not. This was very unfair to blue-collar federal employees.

Heading into the New Year, the first legislative priority for NFFE was to secure the one percent pay adjustment that blue-collar federal workers deserved. NFFE-IAM members sprang into action with phone calls and letters to Capitol Hill urging members of Congress to treat blue-collar federal workers fairly and grant them the same pay adjustment as GS workers.

With the phones ringing around the clock on Capitol Hill, lawmakers were feeling the heat from NFFE-IAM members all over the country. Following a week-long barrage of NFFE-IAM members advocating for their wage-grade federal brothers and sisters, congressional negotiators understood what had to be done. And on Monday evening, a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill was introduced with the one percent pay adjustment for wage-grade federal employees. NFFE-IAM members succeeded.

“We are pleased that members of Congress recognize the hard work of wage-grade federal employees and seek to provide the same pay adjustment that General Schedule federal employees received in 2014,” said NFFE National President, William R. Dougan. “Freezing pay for blue-collar workers for yet another year while white-collar federal workers got a pay adjustment wouldn’t have been right. It is good to see Congress act in bipartisan fashion to do the right thing for blue-collar federal employees.”