Message to the Congress Transmitting an Alternative Plan on Federal Civilian Pay Increases

August 31, 1983

To the Congress of the United States:

Under the Federal Pay Comparability Act of 1970, an adjustment in Federal white collar pay will be required in October, 1983.

The Act requires that calculations be made annually of the adjustments that would be required in Federal statutory pay systems to achieve comparability with private sector pay for the same levels of work. Using the calculation methods developed in the past, my pay advisers have indicated that an average 21.51 percent increase would be required to achieve comparability as that concept is presently defined.

The Comparability Act gives me the authority to propose an alternative adjustment in lieu of comparability on the basis of ``economic conditions affecting the general welfare.'' Under that authority, in accordance with our economic recovery program, I am submitting to the Congress an Alternative Plan for a 3.5 percent increase in Federal white collar pay effective in January, 1984 in lieu of the 21.51 percent increase indicated under current comparability calculation methods.

Current law governing military pay increases provides that the annual increase in military pay be the same as the average Federal white collar increase. The Congress is currently considering legislation that could affect both military and civilian pay increases. If legislation is enacted, it could supersede the increase that Federal employees would otherwise receive under this Alternative Plan.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

August 31, 1983.