On Thursday, Donald Trump announced his plans to cancel pay raises for almost two million civilian federal workers.
According to a written letter addressed to House and Senate leaders, Trump said the nation’s budget is unable to support an across-the-board 2.1% pay increase for federal workers, in which he deemed as “inappropriate.”
“We must maintain efforts to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” he wrote in the letter. “I have determined that for 2019, both across the board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero.”
Trump’s letter went to state the pay freeze would not affect the government’s ability to attract qualified workers, and added the government would shift its focus on “recruiting, retaining and rewarding high-performing Federal employees and those with critical skill sets.”
CNN reports, pay for military personnel will not be affected by Trump’s plans. U.S. troops are reportedly due a 2.6% pay increase next year. The news outlet also added, the raise will come as part of a $716 billion defense spending bill signed by Trump.
Despite Trump’s mandate, Union officials are encouraging Congress to approve at least a 1.9 percent minimum increase, which is already approved in the Senate.
“Federal employees deserve the full measure of pay comparability provided by the law, and a 1.9 percent increase is the minimum that Congress should consider,” American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox said in a statement.
Currently California serves as the number one state with the largest number of federal workers, followed by Virginia, District of Columbia, and Texas, according to CNN.