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President Implements Alternative Civilian Pay Raise

By Douglas J. Gillert
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 1996 – President Clinton has implemented a 2.3 percent pay raise -- for federal civilian employees, effective Jan. 1. In addition, the president capped locality increases at a national average of 3 percent.

General Schedule employees in certain highercost areas will receive locality raises that increase their total raise including the overall 2.3 percent increase -- to an average of 3 percent.

Locality increases vary by area, said Office of Personnel Management officials. Employees can get the figures for their area from their local personnel office.

Defense "blue collar" workers also will receive raises, up to a maximum of 3.12 percent. OPM established the maximum increase based on price indexes. However, wage grade employee increases are based on 135 local price indexes and established by DoD's Wage Setting Division in Alexandria, Va. A division spokeswoman said local price indexes could exceed the 3.12 percent limit, however no employee will receive a raise any higher.

By law, General Schedule employees also could have received a higher locality adjustment. However, the law that authorizes locality adjustments also allows the president to present Congress an alternative plan consistent with budget constraints and "economic conditions affecting the general welfare." President Clinton submitted such a plan Nov. 22 to House Speaker Newt Gingrich, capping the increases at 3 percent.

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