US President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Monday, which sets 2014's pay rate for the federal civilians and military employees, a move that marks the first raise for civilian workers in four years.
The order shows consistency with the targeted level of raise laid out in Obama's earlier budget plan. The military and civilian workers; would get a hike of one percent in the salaries. The widely anticipated order had to be signed before 1 January in order to let federal agencies update their pay systems for the New Year, Reuters reported.
The 1 percent increase will go into effect on 1 January 2014.
"Today's announcement by the President provides much-needed relief for America's hard-working, middle-class federal employees whose paychecks have been frozen while the cost of gas, groceries and housing has increased," Joseph A. Beaudoin, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association said in a statement.
"As the pay gap between private- and public - sector workers has grown, ending the three-year pay freeze for public workers is an important investment in maintaining the strength of the federal workforce."
The White House said that Military employees have received a salary increase each year that Obama has been in office. For civilian workers who had their pay frozen for three years, the order came as welcome news.
Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the Democratic Whip in the House of Representatives applauded the move calling it a "modest but important step" towards improving economy, Reuters reported.
"In the case of federal civilian employees....given that these hardworking public servants have already contributed nearly $114 billion toward deficit reduction and some were furloughed as a result of the shutdown and the sequester, it is long overdue," Hoyer added.
Employee unions have also reportedly praised the increase in the pay scale as a first step towards relief for the mostly middle-class hardworking section.