2019 GS Pay Scale Update: 1.9 Percent Pay Raise to Arrive in Early Spring

UPDATE 03/28/19:The President has signed an executive order that makes the 1.9 percent promised to federal employees earlier this year official. More details, here.

UPDATE 03/25/19:The Trump Administration has said that the new Federal Pay Scale tables and executive order are nearing completion. No update on when pay raises are expected has been added. More details, here.


On February 15, President Donald Trump signed a spending bill with a 1.9 percent pay increase for General Schedule (GS) employees.

But three weeks after Trump approved the bill, GS employees are still wondering when they'll see the new pay raise. After more than a week of silence, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) began receiving letters from Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, as well as Senate lawmakers from Virginia and Maryland, asking for updates on when the pay increase would take effect and when the new locality pay tables would be announced.

"More than 800,000 dedicated federal workers went without pay during the recent government shutdown. We ask that you provide a timeframe for when these civil servants will see this modest cost-of-living adjustment in their paycheck," wrote Senators Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen in their letter to OPM.

According to Federal News Network, a spokesperson for Democratic Representative Mike Quigley, the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, responded to the inquiries, stating that OPM had created updated 2019 pay tables and forwarded those to the Office of Management and Budget. Once reviewed and cleared, the pay tables would be sent to the president, who must then sign an executive order reversing the pay freeze order issued in December.

As soon as Trump signs the order, federal payroll providers will begin the process of updating their systems. The spokesperson added that pay raises are expected to take effect between March 22 and April 5.

Related: Federal pay raise 2019 update: New GS pay scale, locality changes, back pay and more

The new 2019 GS pay scale brings a 1.4 percent pay raise across the board, with an additional .5 percent allocated for locality pay adjustments. Six new localities were added to the list this year, among which were Omaha, Nebraska, and Corpus Christi, Texas.