Will there be a Pay Freeze for Federal Employees in 2019?

Dec 19, 2017

freezeA leaked report surfaced showing the Trump administration intends to propose a pay freeze for civilian employees in 2019. The Senate Committee’s reports are based on information provided by a whistleblower. The leaked document was a non-public “passback” document from the Office of Management and Budget.

The “passback” process is part of the back and forth budget formulation process between agencies and the White House. The process looks something like this: agencies submit their budget requests to OMB, OMB reviews and endures it aligns with the President’s priorities and then communicates funding decisions to the agency (the “passback”, sometimes providing less funding than requested, sometimes more).

This leaked document is titled The Department of Homeland Security Fiscal Year 2019 Budget and Policy Guidance. It details OMB guidance from the President to Department of Homeland Security regarding its FY2019 budget proposal.

A quote from this report says, “OMB rejected the Departments’ request for a 2019 pay raise for Border Patrol Agents, ICE Agents, CBP Officers, and other DHS employees, and refused an increase for CBP health benefits. The President’s FY2019 budget proposal will seek a government-wide pay freeze for all civilian federal employees, potentially impacting the department’s ability to recruit and retain qualified employees.”

This report went on to say, “OMB has instructed DHS: ‘Per government-wide guidance, no civilian pay raise is included in the recommended level for the FY2019 budget.’ This pay freeze includes individuals serving in law enforcement positions throughout DHS, except for those in non-civilian positions with the Coast Guard.”

This would also affect health benefits. OMB rejected DHS’s proposed increases for CBP civilian employee health benefits.

If enacted, the pay freeze may impact retention of employees and the ability of DHS to meet it’s hiring goals.

Only time will tell if this will happen or not. Stay tuned.

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