Federal Wage System (FWS) 2023 – The Federal Wage System (FWS) was created to ensure that the payment and payment schedule of Federal blue-collar workers were up to par with the prevailing rates offered by the private sector in each local wage area.
Prior to the introduction of FWS, no central authority existed for establishing wage equity for Federal craft, trade, and laboring employees. President Johnson then ordered the former Civil Service Commission in 1965 to work with both labor organizations and Federal agencies to study the various agency systems and combine them into a single, just, and sensible wage system.
The President asked for common wage policies and practices as well as job-grading standards for ensuring interagency equity when it came to waging rates. He established 2 basic principles for those practices and policies:
- The local prevailing rates would determine how wages are set
- Equal pay would be offered for equal work and pay distinctions according to work distinctions.
The FWS was established by Congress in 1972, which created the Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee (FPRAC) that had an independent Chairman. Members of the Committee are labor unions and agencies. FPRAC is responsible for studying all matters relating to determining prevailing rates and advising the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on suitable pay policies for the FWS employees. Need W 9 Form Printable?
WG Pay Scale 2023 Tables
|GS Grade||Step 1||Step 2||Step 3||Step 4||Step 5||Step 6||Step 7||Step 8||Step 9||Step 10|
Who is WG Pay Scale for?
The system is aimed at paying federal employees according to the current local rates. The regular payroll plan covers most laboring, craft, and trade employees in the executive branch. The FWS, however, doesn’t cover legislative branch employees, Postal Service employees, or private sector contracting firms’ employees.
Certain employees are covered by special pay plans in special circumstances. Special pay plans are authorized by OPM if unusual labor conditions seriously hinder agencies in the recruitment and retaining of qualified employees.
How WG Pay Scale ?
The FWS is a partnership that’s worked out between OPM, labor organizations, and other Federal agencies.
OPM provides basic procedures and policies aimed at ensuring uniform pay-setting. It also specifies the procedures that agencies should use when designing and conducting wage surveys, constructing wage schedules, grading levels of work, and administering basic and premium pay for employees. For example, USAA Payroll Schedule
OPM occupational specialists follow specific steps when issuing common job-grading standards for major occupations to update the existing standards and develop new standards. They make full occupational studies that include onsite visits for the purpose of interviewing employees, union representatives, and supervisors.
Specialists develop standards and ask unions and agents for comments that are then carefully considered and incorporated into the final job-grading standards, where appropriate. Federal agencies are required to adhere to the standards.
OPM is responsible for defining the geographical boundaries of individual local wage areas and reviewing survey job descriptions to make sure that they are both current and accurate. OPM also works with unions and agencies to schedule annual wage surveys in every wage area.
Adjustments to wages become effective in accordance with what’s known as the 45-day las. According to the law, the Government has 45 working days to operationalize the FWS pay adjustments after the commencement of each wage survey. Wage schedules become effective with the first pay period following the expiry of the 45-day period. The lead agency responsible for issuing the FWS wage schedule is the Department of Defense (DOD).
Setting Wages in Your Area
OPM identifies a “lead” agency for each wage area. That agency will be responsible for analyzing data, conducting wage surveys, as well as issuing wage schedules under the procedures and policies the OPM prescribes. All the agencies in a particular wage area pay hourly wage workers in accordance with the wage schedules as developed by the lead agency.
The DOD has been identified by the OPM as the lead agency for every local wage area. OPM is not responsible for conducting local wage surveys.
Labor organizations play a key role in determining wages since they provide representatives at all levels of the wage determination process. The employee unions with the most wage employees under exclusive recognition then designate 2 of the 5 members of the lead agency’s wage committee at the national level.
Locally, the union with the highest number of employees under exclusive recognition in a wage area designates one of the 3 members of each Local Wage Survey Committee. Labor organizations also nominate half of the Federal employees responsible for collecting wage data from private enterprise employees. A team comprising of 1 labor data collector and 1 management data collector then visits every surveyed employer.
Comparability: Wage System & General Schedule
Your employer, under the FWS, bases your pay on what is being offered in the private sector for comparable levels of work in the local wage area. Employees are paid the full current rate at step 2 of every grade level. The highest step in the FWS is step 5, which is 12 percent above the current pay rate.
The General Schedule (GS) is a separate pay system that covers most white-collar civilian Federal employees. The pay for GS employees is determined by surveys of non-Federal employees (including local and state governments). There are several differences between FWS and GS when it comes to geographical coverage, occupational coverage, pay adjustment cycles, and pay ranges.