OPM Responds to NFFE Letter on Agency Uniform Allowances


Internal NFFE News

May 30, 2024

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has responded to a letter sent by the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA) in March, in which NFFE urged OPM to raise the maximum annual uniform allowance provided to federal employees who are mandated to wear agency-directed uniforms.

NFFE and the FWA requested 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.

In the agency’s response, OPM disclosed that they are in the process of gathering data to further authorize an increase to the uniform allowance. “Your letter provides important and helpful insights that we will consider as we conduct our analysis,” the letter reads. “We will also be reaching out to agencies with employees who are required to wear agency-directed uniforms to gather information on how the uniform allowance authority is utilized and to determine future needs. We anticipate completing our analysis and outreach by the Fall.”

“As outlined in our March letter, placing an undue financial burden on civil servants hurts morale and lowers job satisfaction,” said NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “Like all working Americans, the cost of living for federal employees has increased dramatically since the early 2000s, and the uniform allowance should be raised to reflect that reality. NFFE looks forward to working with Acting Director Shriver and OPM officials as they investigate this matter. I am certain that the agency will recognize that there is an easy fix to this issue, and they will increase the allowance accordingly.”