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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                   (Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts)
For Immediate Release                                    August 20, 1998
                       STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT 
                      ON THE 1999 FEDERAL PAY RAISE

I am announcing today my support for a 3.6 percent pay raise in 1999 for Federal civilian employees and military personnel. This increase is consistent with preliminary appropriations and authorizing actions already taken in Congress. I urge the Congress to enact legislation providing for such an increase, and if Congress fails to act, I will use my executive authority to guarantee that a 3.6 increase takes effect.

An increase of 3.6 percent for Federal employees would essentially allow Federal pay to match the growth in private sector wages. Given the high level of productivity of Federal employees and the continuing trend of solid real income gains in the private sector, I believe that federal employees deserve the recognition and compensation that this increase provides. I will continue to work with Congress and labor to review the means by which we ensure fair and equitable pay.

Since the first days of this Administration, the Vice-President and I have worked to streamline the federal government. Today, the government operates more efficiently and better serves the American people. This success would not have been possible without government employees who have been called upon to work harder and to do more with less. Our federal employees have risen to that mission and with this action we recognize their efforts.