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Federal workers get 1.9 percent pay raise as part of 2019 spending bill

FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2019 file photo Cheryl Monroe, right, a Food and Drug Administration employee, and Bertrice Sanders, a Social Security Administration employee, rally to call for an end to the partial government shutdown in Detroit. The government shutdown left an especially painful toll for African-Americans who make up nearly 20 percent of the federal workforce and historically have been on the low end of the government pay scale. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management says African-Americans make up about 18 percent of the federal workforce of approximately 2.1 million employees. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, file)

WASHINGTON — Federal employees who did not expect a raise this year due to a pay freeze the White House issued last December will now get an increase in their salaries as part of the 2019 spending bill.

President Donald Trump signed a multi-billion-dollar spending package on Friday, averting another government shutdown. The bill secures funding for the government until Sept. 30 and gives an average 1.9 percent pay raise to government workers.

The pay increase is retroactive to Jan. 1 or to the first applicable pay period of 2019.

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association said in a statement that the raise was “long overdue common sense,” and said that without the inclusion of the pay bump, “nearly 2 million federal workers would have remained in a pay freeze.”

The National Treasury Employees Union called the pay bump a “total rebuke of the administration’s heavy-handed attempt to ignore the Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act, which said employees were due for a raise” in 2019.

NTEU President Tony Reardon said in a statement that the raise is a “nod from Congress” regarding federal employees’ contributions to the country.

Vice President Mike Pence and senior political appointees are among the government employees benefiting from the pay raise. Their pay had been frozen since at least 2010, Federal News Network reported.

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