Letter to the editor

I agree with the Bureaucratus column in the Jan. 8 issue of Federal Computer Week ["Pay raise spells trouble"]. However, the problem is much broader.

1. Right now, most of the work is being done by GS-13s. Yet, the pay raise stops short of rewarding the people doing the work. I know for a fact that I could take my skills into private industry and be making 25 percent more than I am now — but I'm above a GS-12.

2. The government needs the best and brightest in all its slots, not just information technology, particularly after the brutal "downsizing" that happened under Reagan. But again, the overall pay structure makes that a pipe dream. Just try to find an administrative assistant who can write a sentence in English! That's why I spend about 25 percent of my time doing tasks that, before 1980, were done by administrative assistants.

3. There's a time bomb planted under all this. It's the 1990 Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act that the Office of Management and Budget and the chief executives have ignored since it was passed. If I remember correctly, comparability is supposed to be reached sometime around 2002 — yet federal employees have not seen even one of the increases mandated by this law.

The next 18 to 24 months are going to be interesting.

Name withheld upon request


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