Federal pay freeze could affect tens of thousands of civilian workers in Hawaii

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Bad news for thousands of federal workers in Hawaii.

Pay raises that were supposed to go into effect in a matter of months might not happen after President Donald Trump announced Thursday he wanted to scrap the wage bumps.

In a letter to congressional leaders, the president said the increase would be “inappropriate” given federal budget constraints.

An across-the-board increase of just over two percent was slated to take effect in January, as well as an annual adjustment of pay depending on where federal workers are based.

According to the latest numbers from the government, Hawaii has more than 23,000 federal workers including those that work at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

On Thursday, KHON2 spoke to the union that represents many of those shipyard workers.

“It’s very disappointing and there is a lack of understanding that the federal government needs to compete with the private sector in order to retain and hire the best federal employees and for the federal workforce,” said Jamie Hiranaka, Local 121 president.

Trump says a pay freeze would not affect the federal government’s ability to attract qualified workers.

However, the union says it’s hoping Congress will act to keep keep the raises by passing a new spending bill that includes them.

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