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Letter to Congressional Leaders Transmitting an Alternate Federal Civilian Pay Plan

August 24, 1990

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Under the Federal Pay Comparability Act of 1970, the President is required to make a decision each year on what, if any, pay adjustment should be provided for Federal employees under the General Schedule and the related statutory pay systems.

My pay advisors have reported to me that the following increases in pay rates, to be effective in October 1990, would be required under existing procedures to raise Federal pay rates to comparability with private sector pay

(TABLE START)rates for the same levels of work:



GS - 1 .... 22.32

GS - 2 .... 22.78

GS - 3 .... 23.29

GS - 4 .... 23.86

GS - 5 .... 24.48

GS - 6 .... 25.16

GS - 7 .... 25.89

GS - 8 .... 26.68

GS - 9 .... 27.54

GS - 10 .... 28.45

GS - 11 .... 29.42

GS - 12 .... 31.55

GS - 13 .... 33.94

GS - 14 .... 36.60

GS - 15 .... 39.55

GS - 16 .... 39.55

GS - 17 .... 39.55

GS - 18 .... 39.55


However, the law also empowers me to prepare and transmit to the Congress an alternative plan for the pay adjustment if I consider such an alternative plan appropriate because of "national emergency or economic conditions affecting the general welfare."

Pay raises of this magnitude are clearly unacceptable. They would be detrimental to our efforts to set Government spending at levels that promote noninflationary growth. Further, if a fully responsible deficit reduction program is not enacted by the Congress, we will face a massive across-the-board cut in Federal spending that will adversely affect almost every Federal program. Excessive Federal pay raises would only exacerbate these effects.

Accordingly, upon consideration of the reports of my Pay Agent and the Advisory Committee on Federal Pay, I have determined that the fiscal year 1991 Federal civilian pay raise will be made in accordance with the following alternative plan:

In accordance with section 5305(c)(1) of title 5, United States Code, the pay rates of the General Schedule and the related statutory pay schedules shall be increased by an overall percentage of 3.5 percent for each schedule, with such increase to become effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 1991.

Accompanying this report and made a part hereof are the pay schedules that will result from this alternative plan. I am also including, as required by section 5382(c) of title 5, United States Code, the rates of basic pay for the Senior Executive Service that will take effect at the same time, assuming implementation of changes made to Executive Level pay by the Ethics Reform Act of 1989.


George Bush

Note: Identical letters were sent to Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Dan Quayle, President of the Senate.

George Bush, Letter to Congressional Leaders Transmitting an Alternate Federal Civilian Pay Plan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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