Letter to the editor

I enjoyed your article on the pay raise "OPM details pay raise," Federal Computer Week, Dec. 11, 2000.

The Office of Personnel Management definitely missed the boat on what it finally gave out. I am a GS-0334-11 with 19 years in civil service. I have been waiting to see what the final result of this pay raise is, and I am very disappointed.

First, it took OPM three years to get this raise done. Second, I have seen college graduates start jobs with more pay than I currently make.

I would go so far as to say that I am insulted by OPM's final solution. I am not the only one that feels that way. They gave 33 percent to the entry-level workers and seven percent to those they supposedly want to retain. OPM should have given the IT workers a straight 33 percent pay raise.

I was considering staying in for another 10 years, but now I think it is time to go. Here are several reasons why:

  • Salary: I have been offered jobs "starting" at $20,000 more than what the U.S. government wants to pay me.
  • Overtime: Capped at GS-10 level. I have been earning roughly 10 to 40 hours each month due to manning problems. Why should I work OT for only $2 more an hour?
  • Hiring: (A) It takes too long for a government agency to decide. I put in for a GS-12 in July, and I have been told that it will take a few more months before they make a decision. I have been offered a civilian job in Japan, and they are ready to decide now. (B) There's no central site to research jobs. So far I have found 15 Web sites that carry government job listing and have separate application procedures. This is a big waste of time and resources.

I am coming to the point where I have to decide if I want to stay or leave civil service. Money is a big factor, and the U.S. government seems to want to not pay IT people what they are worth. I am 40 and have many good years ahead of me.

Harold P. Jensen Jr.,
computer specialist,
Support Center
Pacific Kadena Air Base, Japan

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