WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday canceled a planned 2.1 percent pay raise for most federal workers that was expected to go into effect next January.
In a letter to Congressional leaders, Trump said the U.S. “must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases.”
The total cost was projected to be $25 billion.
As an alternative, Trump said the federal government must pursue raises that are “performance-based, and aligned strategically toward recruiting, retaining, and rewarding high-performing Federal employees and those with critical skill sets.”
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the nation’s largest union for federal employees, urged Congress to counter the president’s move by passing legislation to ensure at least a 1.9 percent increase.
“President Trump’s plan to freeze wages for these patriotic workers next year ignores the fact that they are worse off today financially than they were at the start of the decade,” AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. said in a statement. “Federal employees have had their pay and benefits cut by over $200 billion since 2011, and they are earning nearly 5 percent less today than they did at the start of the decade.”