The White House was unable to provide an exact number of how many federal contract workers will benefit from the increase thanks to the executive order.
Photo: Al Drago-Pool / Getty Images
While U.S. President Joe Biden couldn’t get approval for a $ 15 minimum wage included in his COVID-19 relief package, he will be able to fulfill that campaign promise for one group of people: federal contract workers.
Biden signed an executive order Tuesday raising the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour. for hundreds of thousands of people working on federal contracts.
However, the increase will not be applied immediately. The executive order states that all federal agencies must implement the $ 15 minimum wage in new contracts by March 30, 2022.. It is difficult to amend existing contracts, but salaries can be changed when they are ready for an annual review.
To date, the minimum wage for federal contract workers was $ 10.95 per hour. Prior to this, it had already risen to $ 10.10 under US President Barack Obama in 2014 and was later indexed to inflation.
Many federal contract workers earn more than the current minimum wage. But the pay increase will give an additional boost to lower-paid workers such as cleaning and maintenance professionals, food service employees on military bases and in government buildingsas well as nursing assistants who care for the nation’s veterans.
The White House was unable to provide an exact number of how many federal contract workers will benefit from the increase thanks to the executive order, due to the ever-changing nature of federal contracts, as reported by ABC News.
The Biden administration also said that a higher minimum wage will not cost taxpayers.
Citing a Harvard University study, a White House official said that paying such a competitive salary guarantees reduced turnover, absenteeism, training and supervision costs, as well as lower hiring. This means that you will increase productivity, reduce costs, and ultimately eliminate any increase in taxpayer costs.
The official also said that Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers reviewed the order and did not conclude that demanding a higher salary would lead to job losses.
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