President Barack Obama issued an executive order on Friday to end a three-year freeze on federal pay scales and give federal workers a one percent pay raise.
Union boss J. David Cox Sr., head of the American Federation of Government Employees, called Obama’s pay raise “inadequate” and “pitiful” but a step in the right direction.
“Although the 1 percent is a pitiful amount that doesn’t begin to compensate for the furloughs and three years of frozen pay, it is a welcome development,” said Cox. “To call this raise inadequate is an understatement, but it is good news all the same.”
The pay increase will not presently extend to blue-collar federal workers, reports the Federal Times, but negotiations are ongoing.
Obama’s decision to increase federal pay will be used as a bargaining chip in the looming debt ceiling and spending reduction showdown with Republicans.
Obama indicated on Friday that his pay hike would extend to the military, a move designed to preempt GOP efforts to increase military pay by 1.8 percent.