Letter to the Editor

Bureaucratus' column, "Pay raise spells trouble," was of interest to me, because I manage a tech shop for the Army.

Although I love to see my folks get this raise (I am a 301I manager, so I am not included), it has created a slew of other problems.

The strategy of the pay raise was done at higher headquarters level, and they didn't consult the folks in the trenches. It was a surprise to me when it was announced.

Here are some of the problems created and why the raise probably won't be effective:

1. A person can't be classified as a 334 until reaching the grade of GS-9. The only way a person could get the raise at the GS-5 or 7 level is to be in a training program classified as a GS-5/7/9. So the pay raise will not help the entry-level folks that much.

2. No funding was budgeted for this increase. At my site alone, it will cost about $95,000 additional in salary dollars. This is bad because we are very short of the funds we need to even operate effectively.

3. Because of reductions in force, downsizing, preferences, entitlements, etc., it is nearly impossible to hire "new blood" into the business. Based on this fact, the objective of raising the pay at the lower level to attract new, young people to government service is pretty hard to achieve.

4. Most of the folks in our business, at the Army installation level, are under A-76 study. This means we are competing directly with contractors for our jobs. So the timing for the pay raise was really not good from a competitive standpoint, because it made the middle grades much more expensive for us.

Steve Friederich
Chief, technical services
Directorate of Information Management

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