No Additional Federal Locality Pay Areas in 2013, PPA says

The President’s Pay Agent (PPA) has rejected a plan to expand locality pay to an additional five metropolitan areas, despite a request made by the Federal Salary Council in November 2011 that asked for the expansion.

PPA stated in a memo to President Barack Obama that the additional pay raises would be too costly for the federal government, but it was sympathetic to the council’s desire to increase the salaries of federal employees who live in higher-costing regions. PPA is an advisory panel made up of Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, acting Office of Management and Budget Director Jeffrey Zients and Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry.

“Our concerns are based on our belief that new pay areas must be selected in a systematic fashion, that changes in existing pay area boundaries should be considered only after new metropolitan area definitions are published and new commuting pattern data covering all counties in the country are available, and that any such changes be made when the government can better afford them,” PPA wrote in the memo.

The federal government currently recognizes 33 locality areas, but the council recommended expanding locality pay to Albany, N.Y.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Bakersfield, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Harrisburg, Pa.

Previously, the council proposed those five areas and Portland, Maine, be considered for locality pay in late 2010, but PPA turned that proposal down in May 2011.

In the memo, PPA also suggested that Congress create a Commission on Federal Public Service Reform that could propose potential federal pay structure reform.

Posted in General News

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