Federal employees’ salaries lag 22.47 percent behind the private sector, according to a new report from the Federal Salary Council.

In light of the pay disparity, the council’s working group offered recommendations that would increase pay for tens of thousands of Federal employees. However, the council’s recommendations must be approved by the President’s Pay Agent before taking effect.

“These recommendations would put additional money into the hands of Federal employees whose pay lags behind their coworkers,” AFGE National President Everett Kelley said. “I call on Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, Office of Personnel Management Director Kiran Ahuja, and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh – who together serve as the President’s Pay Agent – to accept these recommendations.”

The Federal Salary Council comprises three presidential appointees and representatives from five Federal employee unions, including AFGE.

The council’s report comes after President Biden’s fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget request proposed a 4.6 percent pay increase for Federal civilian employees and military service members – the largest Federal pay raise in 20 years.

That increase seems likely, as the House and Senate spending bills do not include a counter-proposal to the administration’s proposed Federal civilian pay raise for 2023.

However, some argue the 4.6 percent increase is not enough, with separate pay raise legislation filed earlier this year by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Sen. Brian Schatz, arguing in favor of a 5.1 percent Federal civilian raise for 2023.

The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) has endorsed the 5.1 percent pay increase and said the council’s latest report further emphasizes the need for a larger increase.

“Our argument for a 5.1 percent increase next year just keeps getting stronger,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon, a member of the Federal Salary Council. “With the latest inflation figures, rising private sector wages, and the new pay gap calculation, it is even more clear that Federal employees need help keeping up with rising costs and the government needs help in recruiting and retaining skilled employees.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.