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