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Special Message to the Congress Recommending Delay in Pay Increases for Federal Employees

August 31, 1972

To the Congress of the United States:

As we approach the October date on which pay rates for Federal employees under the statutory pay systems would normally be adjusted, I wish to advise the Congress that I will recommend a pay increase for Federal employees effective January 1, 1973. I believe it is appropriate to point out that section 3 of Public Law 92-210, the Economic Stabilization Act Amendments of 1971, requires that this adjustment this year be delayed until January 1973.

The pay raise required by section 3 of the Economic Stabilization Act Amendments was limited by the terms of the law to the guideline that the Pay Board has established for pay increases throughout the economy, 5.5 percent a year. Clearly it was the intent of this law to see that Federal employees would be treated in a comparable manner with private enterprise employees under the Economic Stabilization Program. In recognition of this intent, on January 11, 1972, I directed that Federal wage employees should also have their pay increase limited by the Pay Board guidelines.

The necessary comparability studies have been completed and, under the Federal Pay Comparability Act of 1970, I will recommend that the increase necessary to achieve comparability, be paid, starting January 1, 1973, the first date our employees will be eligible to receive an increase under the Economic Stabilization Act. Our employees received their full 5.5 percent annual increase last January, and therefore their next increase cannot be effective until January 1, 1973. The provisions of Public Law 92-210 preclude submission of an alternative plan under section 5305(c)(1) of title 5, United States Code.

I believe it is important to express once again my strong personal support for the principle that our Nation's public servants should receive pay that is comparable with pay in private industry. For our Government to operate efficiently in these increasingly complex and demanding times, we must have a civil service of the highest caliber, and to recruit and retain these necessary employees, we must offer them a fair and just wage. Nevertheless, in our efforts to stabilize and revitalize our Nation's economy, it is also appropriate that they be treated the same as employees in the private sector, who are also able to receive such an increase no more frequently than once every 12 months.



August 31, 1972.

Richard Nixon, Special Message to the Congress Recommending Delay in Pay Increases for Federal Employees Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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