The Biden administration has directed its agencies to increase the minimum wage for federal employees to $15 an hour.
The new policy, which takes effect Jan. 30, 2022, will give a pay boost to about 70,000 workers, most of whom work at the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Agriculture.
“It is the general policy of the Biden-Harris Administration that federal employees stationed in the United States (including its territories and possessions) should receive an hourly pay rate of at least $15 per hour,” Office of Personnel Management Director Kiran Ahuja said in a Jan. 21, 2022 statement to agency heads.
AFGE applauds the Biden administration for taking this action to fulfil a long-sought goal of the labor movement and improve workers’ daily lives.
Because 85% of federal workers live outside the DC area, it is hard to imagine a single action that could have a more significant positive impact on all American workers’ paychecks beyond raising the federal minimum wage itself, which would take an act of Congress.
Setting a new, $15 per hour wage floor for federal government work will encourage employers across the country who are currently paying poverty wages to compete for labor and start paying fairer rates, lifting the wages of American workers across the country.
President Biden promised to be the most pro-union, pro-worker president in American history. Actions like these show he is delivering on that promise.