posted on 02/09/2013 12:41:45 PM PST
(2012 The White House Gets Another Coat Of Shellac)
Wow. is that ever proof that nobody is getting rich being in government. I can’t believe how low those figures are. Once you take taxes and other items like medical insurance, these government workers are poor! The average government worker is a GS-6. So over 1/2 make 30 grand before taxes. I feel sorry for them and wished that they would have chosen the private sector where average salaries are 68,000 dollars. The life of a government worker changed in 1981. The retirement sucks now too.
I think the government has made the pay issue intentionally complex to confuse the issue. there are step increases, colas, adjustments for where you live. So this would be 1% on top of that.
I agree with the point about making the issue confusing. On the others:
Step increases: one step every year through Step 4, then every two years through Step 5 or Step 6. Then every three years until a Govie hits Step 10. At that point, if they are in the top grade for their position then no more step increases. There are multi-grade positions (so GS5-GS8) and it's possible to jump a grade per year until the highest grade. But once that person reached GS8 Step 10 they're done for automatic increases.
COLAs. No such thing for Govies. At least automatically. Functionally, this .5% increase followed by a 1% IS the COLA. I know a LOT of pretty Liberal Govies (a good number of Conservatives as well), and they get ticked off when reminded that the best President for government employees in terms of salary increases in the last couple decades was George W. Bush.
Locality Adjustment. This is set by OPM and linked directly to a number of set factors and indicators relating to local cost of living. So if the indicators all point to Washington DC having a 15% higher cost of living than "base", then the Govies working within the DC Metro Area get a 15% increase to their salaries.
One of the big problems, as I see it, is how Govie retirement is calculated. It's based party on an average of the top three years, salary/dollar-wise. It isn't based on Grade/Step and retirement-locality. So there's a LOT of incentive for Govies to try to get into a place like Washington (with it's significant locality adjustment) for their last three years, then bug out to a much lower cost-of-living location ... where they'll draw retirement pay based partly on what their upward-adjusted Washington-area salary was.
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