Yesterday, the President transmitted an alternative pay plan to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and the President of the United States Senate, in accordance with the discretion provided in the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990. The alternative pay plan includes a zero percent general increase for 2019 and a zero percent locality pay increase. Although some media outlets are referring to this as a "pay freeze," it would only affect the January pay adjustment and would not affect any other contract-related pay increases.
It is important to note that the President's alternative pay plan will take effect only in the absence of congressional action. The Senate already passed the Fiscal Year 2019 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill that includes a 1.9 percent pay increase for federal employees, effective the first full pay period in January. However, the House of Representatives did not provide for a pay increase in its Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill, 2019. Ultimately, the House and Senate will have to reconcile their bills in conference, otherwise deal with this disparity as part of a larger appropriations package, or pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) before appropriations expire at the end of September.
If no appropriations bill or CR is signed into law before Oct. 1, the government will experience an emergency shutdown. If Congress passes a bill that includes a pay increase and it is signed into law, the President's action yesterday will be overridden.
We will continue to keep you updated as this issue progresses.