BREAKING NEWS / PAYBANDS: AFSCME recently negotiated with the agency and signed an MOU that will increase the paybands by the same amount as the President's raise (the pay raise, not the pay raise plus locality increase), or for the H-band 1.6%, I-Band 2.2%, J-band 2.2%, and K-band 1.6%, whichever is higher. This moves the cap of the H, I, J, and K bands higher, such that individuals who are "maxxed out" in these bands will be able to take advantage of all or more of the locality increase which they would otherwise lose. Per our contract, the pay bands automatically are increased by the amount of the President's raise (not the locality increase), but this raises the H, I, J, and K bands more than they would have otherwise. The agency proposed the increased amounts to make the paybands more competitive, but initially did not include any provision to protect employees if Congress changed the President's 1.4% raise to anything higher. While the possibility of a pay raise beyond 1.4% plus .5% locality is remote, AFSCME wanted to ensure that our bargaining unit was protected, in light of the fact that we still do not have funding for FY2018 and some in Congress have called for raises that match the military raise. Such a provision, if approved, would be inserted in the FY2018 funding measure.