Update: One Percent Pay Adjustment for Wage-grade Federal Employees


Following a vigorous push by NFFE and its allies, wage-grade federal employees received a one percent pay adjustment, dated Jan. 27, 2014. This adjustment brought parity with the one percent pay adjustment General Schedule (GS) employees received on Jan. 1, 2014. However, there has been a great deal of confusion about why the one percent adjustment has yet to go into effect in many parts of the country. Despite congressional action on this matter in January, here is why some localities are still awaiting their earned pay adjustment: 

Public law requires that wages for federal wage-grade employees be set in accordance with local prevailing rates. These local prevailing rates encompass both Appropriated Fund (AF) and Non-appropriated Fund (NAF) employees. In total, there are 132 local prevailing wage areas and a federal wage-grade workforce in excess of 300,000 employees.

With the 250 local prevailing wage areas, the federal government releases local wage surveys for each locality on a staggered basis. What that means is that over the course of one year, the federal government releases wage surveys for all 250 localities. So, a local prevailing wage survey for Seattle, Wa. could be released in February, whereas the local prevailing wage survey for Tallahassee, Fl. might not be released until September. This is when the one percent pay adjustment for wage-grade employees will be applied, with the release of a local prevailing wage survey. The adjustment is not done in the same across-the-board fashion as it is with GS employees, but rather in a staggered fashion.

So, if you have not yet received your one percent pay adjustment in 2014, it is likely that the wage survey in your wage area has not yet been issued this year. Expect that to occur between now and the end of this fiscal year.

For more information and updates on the release of local prevailing wage area surveys, click here.