“AFGE has been leading the fight for several years to provide federal employees in these cities with salaries that are more closely aligned with regional standards,” said AFGE Public Policy Director and Federal Salary Council member Jacqueline Simon. “I am delighted that the administration has supported this initiative and come through with its commitment to have the new localities in place starting next year. Federal employees nationwide have suffered terribly from pay freezes and below-market salaries. This is tremendous news and will help many middle-class families pay their bills.”
The number of pay localities has not been expanded for several years, despite Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that employees in these 13 metropolitan areas are earning significantly less than non-federal employees doing the same jobs.
The President’s Pay Agent, a group of three agency officials who advise the president on federal pay issues, “tentatively” approved establishing the new pay localities in a report published in May 2013. The new zones should have been put in place by the start of 2014, yet the administration has failed to act until now.
“Everybody says the federal pay system ought to be ‘market based,’ and this change enhances the system’s market sensitivity immensely,” Simon said.
The 11 other cities are: Albany, New York.; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Davenport, Iowa; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Laredo, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada; Palm Bay, Florida; and Tucson, Arizona.