Letter to the Editor
In my agency, many workers classified as "computer specialists" actually perform work as contract specialists, contract monitors, procurement agents, etc. Their involvement with computers and information technology is indirect at best (Web browsing and using e-mail).
My understanding of the purpose of the IT pay raise was to reward computer programmers, system administrators and others who have gone through the painstaking curriculum/experience needed to design and write software and configure, install, and maintain computer systems and networks, etc. — that is, the folks that actually make IT happen.
These are the workers that are difficult to replace; their backgrounds in math, science and computer programming are attracting fewer and fewer students because of relative difficulty of the course work.
I am a GS-13 with a bachelor of science in math and a master's degree in math and computer science, and I serve as a systems analyst/administrator/programmer. It is irritating to see GS-12 Step 10 contract monitors earning more than me because of an IT pay raise that shotgunned money to many who were never intended to receive it.
The spirit of the IT pay raise was noble, but the implementation fell well short of the mark.
Name withheld upon request