Letter to the editor
I've been noticing lots of letters to the editor complaining about pay scales, promotions, etc.
I have offered this solution several times to the Office of Personnel Management, with no response.
But first, I'd like to say that I am an equipment specialist with 30-plus years experience working, designing, engineering — you name it — all phases of ship construction from electronics to mechanical. I also have many college credits. And yet, because I am a technician, I am not allowed to apply for a promotion. Many are strictly written for engineers only, even though they're fresh out of college with minimal years of experience. I, on the other hand, could fill your magazine with the ship construction experience I have, as can many others who have recently retired in disgust.
Here is my proposal:
1. Make promotions open to everyone, not just selected classes.
2. Eliminate names, color, race, religion, gender, etc., that can identify the applicant on an application form.
3. Issue an identification number to the applicant. This can easily be done, much like receiving a receipt via the mailing system.
4. Once the winner is picked, his number is posted. That way no one can complain that race, gender, color, etc., was a factor — not even favoritism.
5. An alternate is to have all promotions done via a remote facility unrelated to the area or department you are applying to. That way there is no favoritism.
Our ridiculous job openings situation was demonstrated at a recent all-hands meeting with the director. A question was asked relating to promotions and why they were only open to engineers even though there is hardly any engineering done here. The answer the director mentioned was that just one shop out of approximately 100 divisions did some engineering. And that's because 99 percent of the engineering is contracted out.
So why are techs not allowed to apply? Some of our best managers were techs and they had to practically walk on water to get the promotion. Not so for someone with a piece of paper and little experience.
L. Lueder Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division Surface Ship Engineering Site