Letter to the editor

As a GS-0334, I was gratified to see the government finally recognize the need to pay an equitable salary to acquire and retain knowledgeable people ["Fed IT job classification imminent," FCW.com, May 31, 2001].

As a professional, I also realize the need to stay current in my field and the importance of lifelong learning in attaining that currency. Certification in my field documents my knowledge, skills and abilities in the same fashion continuing education units (CEUs) document the skill levels of social workers, doctors and nurses.

Now the feds are reclassifying the GS-0334 series to GS-2200. Good idea. Unfortunately, the reclassification does nothing to recognize the higher skill levels of individuals.

I propose minimum skill levels, documented by certification or education and required CEUs to maintain that classification.

* The GS-5/7 level could include people with A+ certification, and it would require six CEUs. [A+ certification is an industry-recognized credential that certifies the competency of PC service specialists.]

* The GS-9/11 level could be for people with A+ certification, are Microsoft Certified Professionals or Certified Novell Administrators, or hold a bachelor's degree in computer science or computer management. This level would require 12 CEUs.

* At the GS-12/13 level, one would need to be a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, a Certified Novell Engineer or have a master's degree or Ph.D. in computer science or computer management. This level would require 18 CEUs.

I believe this would go a long way in creating and maintaining that professional, knowledgeable work force we will require in the years to come.

Paul Hudson
Department of Veterans Affairs

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