AFGE has recently secured a locality pay increase for federal employees in 13 cities. During a meeting with Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Beth Cobert last week, we received assurances that the new pay localities will be established in the following 13 cities in January:
Albany, N.Y.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Colorado Springs, Co.; Davenport, Iowa; Harrisburg, Pa.; Kansas City, Mo.; Laredo, Texas; Las Vegas, Nev.; Palm Bay, Fla.; St. Louis, Mo.; and Tucson, Ariz.
We have since received several questions from members about these new pay localities. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and answers:
1. What counties will be inside the boundaries of the new localities?
The boundaries of the new localities have not yet been drawn. The criteria that OPM and the Federal Salary Council use to determine boundaries are Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Combined Statistical Areas, and Census data on commuting patterns.
2. What will the new salaries be in each of the new localities?
The salaries will be determined after the boundaries are drawn. They will be based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data comparing federal salaries to salaries for similar jobs in the private sector and state and local government inside the boundaries of the new locality.
3. Once the new locality rates are determined, where can I find them?
OPM publishes GS pay tables at the end of each year. The new locality rates should appear here.
4. Who are eligible for the new rates?
All full-time and part-time GS employees.
5. Is this actually a done deal?
Yes and no. If Congress freezes pay, it will probably not happen because locality pay will be frozen. Also, the President has the authority to do whatever he wants on locality pay. He could allocate nothing to the new localities, or phase in locality pay to the new localities in a way different from past practice for new localities.