NFFE Pens Letter to OPM Urging Increase to Agency Uniform Allowances


Internal NFFE News

March 27, 2024

Last week, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) sent a letter to Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Ahuja, urging the agency to raise the maximum annual uniform allowance provided to federal employees mandated to wear agency-directed uniforms. The letter included the support of twenty other labor unions from the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA).

“The current maximum annual allowance of $800 falls significantly short of covering the costs of uniforms required for the performance of official civil servant duties,” the letter stated. “Despite possessing the authority under 5 U.S.C. 5902 to adjust this allowance, OPM has allowed it to stagnate at $800 for eighteen years, despite a significant decrease in its purchasing power over time.”

NFFE and the FWA are requesting that OPM increase the annual uniform allowance to $1,232, and the new hire allowance to $2,464, to match the same purchasing power of the $800 allowance when it was established in 2006. The union coalition is also asking OPM to mandate a biennial increase of the uniform allowance to adjust for inflation.

“Requiring federal employees to pay out of their own pockets for agency mandated uniforms has real impact on overall employee morale and job satisfaction,” said NFFE President Randy Erwin. “The uniform allowance has not been updated in nearly two decades, and as we all know, the cost of goods has risen sharply in that time. OPM has the sole authority to raise this cap, and there is no justifiable reason why the agency shouldn’t do so. I look forward to working to working with Director Ahuja to increase the uniform allowance and to lift an unnecessary financial burden from our dedicated civil servants.”