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Federal Employee Salaries Continue To Be A Hot Topic Of Debate

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March 8, 2010

As federal deficit spending increases, and the general unemployment rate is at 9.7 percent, the comparisons of pay for federal employees versus workers in the private sector continue to be a focus of heated debate.

An article last Friday in USA Today reported, "overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist both in government and the private sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available. "

But groups representing federal employees say that those figures do not take into consideration many important factors that determine federal pay.

President Colleen Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) recently noted that the federal workforce is increasingly comprised of professional jobs, including large numbers of doctors and nurses, scientists in virtually every discipline, attorneys, accountants, bank examiners, engineers, information technology specialists and many others -- nearly all of whom are paid less as civil servants than their counterparts in the private sector.

An article today on GovExec.com provides other responses from federal employee groups and analysts who note the federal job classification system and longevity of federal employees play a role in determining federal employee salaries.

In February, President Obama proposed a 1.4 percent 2011 federal pay raise for civilian workers.

For federal employees nearing retirement, salaries are a key factor in calculating the amount of their CSRS or FERS monthly retirement annuity payment using the "high three average salary" computation -- which is the largest annual rate resulting from averaging an employee's basic pay in effect over any period of three consecutive years of creditable civilian service.

Posted with permission from: MyFederalRetirement.com



Federal Employee Salaries Continue To Be A Hot Topic Of Debate
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