Equal pay falls short
- By Stephanie Kanowitz
- Mar 21, 2007
The author of "Anonymous: Why so few skilled managers?
" published in Federal Computer Week March 12, 2007, made some valid points. However, the author does not mention the benefits federal employees receive that are not commensurate in the civilian sector. Contractor compensation may be higher to off-set the lack of benefits to include stability.
I agree that there needs to be a closer look at the salaries paid commensurate to the private sector. However, there is much to be said for many other types of support jobs that require specific skill sets. Take a moment to analyze the following: What should be an appropriate salary for, let's say, an air traffic assistant working for the Army Department in Japan? Managers want and need experienced individuals who have experience, preferably someone with 20-plus years' experience, not novices. Employees would be expected to work meticulously and accurately and have a great deal of knowledge. Do you think GS5 or GS7 pay is a commensurate salary for accepting overseas employment in this location?
Keep in mind, government employees are encouraged to work in various locations. Many employees located in the Washington, D.C./Virginia area are not interested in rotating. Where are the majority of the higher-paying positions located? When military positions are converted to civilian ones, the salaries are "low-ball" positions that should be reviewed.
Again, I agree with the author of the article on most points. However, there are employees whose compensation does not allow for adequate living standards. Another fallacy is that the post allowance is based on grade. Therefore, the higher the grade, the higher the allowance and the lower the grade, the lower the allowance. I would think that the rules need to be changed concerning the post allowance. Who do you think would need this the most?
I would challenge anyone who has read this article to think about how you would live, experience the culture and save a little money. It is my opinion that if people accept challenges to work outside of their comfort zone in the United States, they should be compensated appropriately.
Finally, how can one department have the same type of job classifications graded two to three steps higher than another department? In this case, the Air Force Department has standardized its job series across the board. It appears that the Army Department has no standardization policies or incentives to rotate into needed positions. The Army has the propensity to "low ball" positions below adequate standards. Equal pay falls short for equal work or near commensurate compensation based on varying standards. There is much improvement that could be accomplished. Anonymous