Letter to the Editor

I read Milt Zall's column in Federal Computer Week about equal pay raises for military and civilian personnel ["Equal raises for all," May 21, 2001].

I have been in the military for 32 years and was also a civil-service employee for 11 years. After reading his column, I understand what he's saying and agree with his comments about keeping up with rising costs. This would be what we refer to a cost-of-living increase based on inflation.

I remember that in one year back in the late 1970s, the GS-13s and higher got a 7.5 percent pay raise, and the lower grades only got around 3 percent. The reason was that if the percentages always stay the same, then after many years with inflation, the gaps between pay get smaller.

Maybe the politicians need to lobby for a separate raise for military employees not called "cost of living." I think when the raise is justified but is lumped into the same cost-of-living statement, people get confused.

Chief Alan Boothby
Air National Guard

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