In December 2015, President Obama announced that effective January 1, 2016 military personnel and other federal employees finally received the largest wage increase in 5 years. Though the raise is no king’s ransom, it does amount to a 1.3% increase for military personnel and a 1% increase for other federal employees.
After being frozen from 2011 – 2013 and then only minimally increased per year, the average military salary stands at approximately $40,000 per year. Other federal workers have also had a rough time of it, including: a 3-year wage freeze; a 4-year moratorium on locality pay; high retirement contributions; work furloughs; sequestration cuts; and the government’s literal shutdown.
A brief explanation of the pay raise, approved and announced in August of 2015, is accessible o YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g0fj2AScaI
The pay raise initially suggested was far more generous, of course: 3.8% for all military and federal workers; despite that bill’s eager 32 cosponsors, it never got past Congress. Even the considerable more modest pay raise that was finally approved came from the President amid deafening silence from Congress.
After both the pay raise announcement and its effective date, online message boards were clogged with Republicans blaming Democrats and Democrats blaming Republicans for shortchanging military personnel. Other federal employees were barely mentioned, as the military is a lightning rod for partisan finger pointing.
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