Letter to the Editor

Unless something is done for GS-13 level pay for information technology workers in government, we will start to lose the employees that keep the systems running.

It has taken me 13 years to get to this level after leaving private industry after a layoff and seeking a more secure environment. I am 47 years old and did intend on retiring from the federal government when I'm 65.

I have trained and continue to train lower-grade employees to perform at my level, but they also see that the Grade 13 is a dead end.

We may get more employees from college, etc., to come to work for the federal government, but they will leave as soon as they get the training they need to make the six-figure salaries. In the past year, we have lost at least three key personnel to private industry because they are offering a much higher salary for their experience. Two of these employees had more than 18 years each with the federal government. These companies are also offering benefits comparable to ours.

We need to break the GS-13 glass ceiling for technical personnel and also revisit the discrepancy between salaries in private industry and the federal government.

In the federal government, we are implementing state-of-the-art technology like storage-area networks, multiple firewalls, Web, interactive voice response, etc., and private industry is screaming for people with these kinds of skills. Some of us 13s are young enough to take our skills and get back in private industry.

Bryen Hoffmann USDA National Finance Center

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