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Pay Gap Between Private, Public Sector Still Exists But Not As Wide

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From left to right: J. David Cox of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), Dr. Stephen Condrey, chair and Dr. Rex Facer, labor relations expert.

The Federal Salary Council, a group of pay experts and union officials chaired by ASPA President Stephen Condrey, in its 2014 report finds that the pay gap between federal and private sector workers still exists. It is just not growing as rapidly, the Council’s report to the Office of Personnel and Management (OPM) said.  

The Council sets the locality pay rates for all federal GS employees as well as determines the pay gap between federal salaries and the private sector. The Council found that the existing gap had only increased by 0.8 percent as compared to 2012 when it grew by more than 8 percent.

The existing pay gap between federal workers and their private sector counterparts has been an issue of debate. In making its recommendations, the Council reviewed data from OPM and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Its findings are in conflict with some other studies, including those from leading conservative think tanks, who found that federal worker pay and benefits are above their private sector counterparts.

In the last three years, federal workers have experienced pay freezes as well as cuts as a result of the sequester (automatic across the board cuts). However, the latest budget deal approved by Congress is expected to give a 1 percent across the board increase to federal workers.

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The American Society for Public Administration is the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration. It is dedicated to advancing the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration.

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