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Federal workers' pay day

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Federal workers who were furloughed during the two-week shutdown will start seeing back pay in their Oct. 25 paychecks, say government officials and unions.

On top of that, the deal Congress passed late Wednesday paves the way for the Obama Administration to dole out 1% cost-of-living pay hikes for federal workers come January -- the first in three years.

The exact timing of when back pay will show up for federal employees who've gone without paychecks for 16 days will depend on each agency's payroll provider.

Yet, it should start showing up in most paychecks and direct deposited bank accounts beginning Friday, Oct. 25, a spokesperson for the White House budget office confirmed.

National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen M. Kelley said that she is lobbying agencies to release the back pay even sooner, asking them to issue an extra payroll roll run before the next payday.

"A lot of federal employees just received their paycheck on Tuesday," Kelley said. "That means they'll have to wait two weeks to receive their back pay. We don't think they should have to do that."

Additionally, workers can look forward to a pay hike in January.

Federal employees have had to deal with a pay freeze on cost-of-living increases for three years, although merit-based raises have been permitted.

"The promise of a modest pay raise and back pay for furloughed government employees are good first steps in recognizing the value of federal workers," said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat.

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