Letter to AUSAs on New 2016 AD Pay Chart

Download  document Letter (12 KB) . Review  pdf 2016 AD Pay Chart (2.16 MB)

Dear AUSAs:

Recently the Executive Office of United States Attorneys (EOUSA) issued a revised policy on pay for Assistant United States Attorneys. The policy revisions respond to NAAUSA’s continued insistence in discussions with the Department since 2010 that AUSAs are being paid significantly less than DOJ Trial Attorneys elsewhere in the Department.

NAAUSA appreciates the policy revisions that have been made, the willingness of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee to hear NAAUSA’s concerns, and its leadership in the pursuit of these changes. The new EOUSA policy modifies the Administratively Determined (AD) pay scale through expansion of most of pay bands (with the greatest increases occurring at the junior levels) and the creation of a new AD-24 band (replacing the AD-23 band). There were no modifications to the AD-29 pay band, the highest supervisory pay level.

The new pay policy represents a step forward in addressing AUSA pay inequity. This progress would not have occurred without NAAUSA’s tireless efforts in pressing the Department and ultimately securing its acknowledgement, after longstanding denial that a systemic inequity in pay exists between AUSAs and Trial Attorneys.

However, the new policy clearly does not achieve pay parity between AUSAs and Trial Attorneys. Further work remains to assure fairness in the pay of AUSAs. Even under the new pay policy, AUSAs with similar or more experience will be paid substantially less than DOJ Trial Attorneys under the General Schedule (GS) pay scale. In addition, the broad discretion of U.S. Attorneys to set AUSA salaries and grant raises under the AD pay plan are inconsistent with the relatively automatic within-grade increases Trial Attorneys receive under the General Schedule.

These systemic drivers are likely to continue to cause AUSA pay to lag behind Trial Attorney pay, particularly during lean budget years, unless the Department restores General Schedule coverage to all AUSAs or recalibrates the AD pay plan to more closely correspond to the dynamics of the General Schedule.

NAAUSA will continue to press for greater action by DOJ to correct the pay inequities that remain. This Administration's public goal to assure equal pay for equal work in the private and public sector has little meaning when it is dishonored within the Department of Justice.

NAAUSA will monitor the implementation of the new EOUSA pay policy and welcomes the comments and ideas of all AUSAs on the situation. It’s clear that NAAUSA’s efforts are starting to reap gains for AUSAs. But future success will rely upon more AUSAs joining NAAUSA, standing together in the cause of pay equity. In this regard, the actions of AUSAs will speak louder than our words.

If you are not a NAAUSA member, please join by visiting the association’s web site at


Steve Cook
NAAUSA President


The National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys (NAAUSA) is the voice of Assistant United States Attorneys in the Department of Justice and Congress helping safeguard justice and promoting the interests of AUSAs.

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