Restructure the OPM pay locality tables to improve pay parity across Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). Pay should be made based on the employer’s MSA instead of Combined Statistical Areas. The pay locality should be determined by comparing the cost of living of both different MSAs in the same region and MSAs in different regions of the country. No base pay of any location should be increased but areas with relatively inflated pay localities should be decreased to make them more reflective of the comparative cost of living.
The lack of parity in locality pay has comparatively inflated federal salaries in different regions of the country. For example, a step 1 GS-9 in the Washington DC metro area makes $51,360 while a GS-9 in the Dallas, Texas metro area makes $50,154. However, the cost of living income equivalent for the Dallas MSA is actually $33,708. In this case, the DC metro area rate should remain the same while the Dallas rate is lowered. All new federal employees in the Dallas MSA would be hired at the new rate. Automatic pay increase adjustments for current federal employees would be frozen until their locality GS and Step rate meets the adjusted more-accurate rate. These employees would still be allowed promotions and performance increases.
Please make this change so that we no longer have areas with comparatively inflated federal pay. This is more fair to federal workers working in high-cost MSAs, and it would produce savings for the federal government. These savings could be used to either reduce the federal debt or invest in technology and innovation.