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Why Federal Workers Deserve What They're Paid
The Washington Post ^ | February 3, 2010 | Joe Davidson

Posted on 02/03/2010 7:26:09 AM PST by Poundstone

Excerpt: The budget answers critics, including Scott Brown, the newly elected Republican senator from Massachusetts, who say federal civilians earn much more than private-sector workers. There's a reason for that. Federal workers are better educated.

"The Federal Government hires lawyers to tackle corruption, security professionals to monitor our borders, doctors to care for our injured veterans, and world-class scientists to combat deadly diseases such as cancer," the budget says. "Because of these vital needs, the Federal Government hires a relatively highly educated workforce, resulting in higher average pay."

Consider these stats: Twenty percent of federal workers have a master's, professional or doctorate degree, compared with 13 percent in the private sector. Fifty-one percent of federal employees have a college degree of some sort, but only 35 percent do in the private sector.

Frankie and Flo may not be smarter than other folks, but they do have more schooling, and they get paid accordingly. They are also substantially older, and that contributes to higher pay -- 46 percent of federal employees are 50 or older, compared with 31 percent of private-sector workers.

Although the section doesn't say so, comparing overall federal and private-sector pay is misleading in another way, because Uncle Sam doesn't employ many people at the bottom of the wage scale the way industry does.

Job-for-job comparisons tell a completely different story. In fact, government figures indicate that federal employees are underpaid by 26 percent compared with their counterparts in similar position in the business world.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: employees; federal; federalemployees; government
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To: muawiyah
Yes, there are federal workers who work their backsides off, but for every one of those there are 3 others who basically do nothing.

When I go to the Post Office there is one guy who services most of the people in line while the other 3 diddle around taking 1 customer to his 3 to 4. The guy is a hard worker, and he probably makes the same as the ones lazing around working in slow motion. Government needs to cut 50% of their workers, unfortunately the hard worker will be one of the ones cut because he was working too hard to spend any time kissing backside.

201 posted on 02/03/2010 10:08:25 AM PST by McGavin999
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To: USNBandit

For our plans we have 2 options. I’m afraid we’d be considered a “cadillac” plan on the high deductible.

We - like you - have a plan with co-pays and $1000 deductible per person up to 3 people. It runs about $400 a month (which is what you pay) We also have what most of us opted for - a high deductible plan. They put more in my health savings account than I pay for the cost of my insurance. That’s why I was real concerned about the “cadillac” plan exclusion to pre-tax.

Sounds to me like your government insurance is equitable to private companies that provide insurance.

I only get 9 holidays a year - and that’s more than I’ve ever had in private industry. That’s a big plus for fed employees. You get all kinds of holidays!

My only gripe, like others here, is that there are too many federal jobs. Probably could be cut in half. I know a fed employee whose job it is to dig holes in the dirt and plot on a map what the dirt is made of. I hardly think that’s necessary except in farming areas. Deserts? (which he was working on at one point) - I bet I could tell you what the desert is made of.


202 posted on 02/03/2010 10:09:26 AM PST by ozarkgirl
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To: Vendome

My goodness. Those state DMV workers should be fired!

And please note they were STATE workers, not FEDERAL workers. As the article explains, there’s a big difference!


203 posted on 02/03/2010 10:13:54 AM PST by Poundstone
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To: kamikaze2000

“The USPS is useful”. Yeah, primarily to the employees.

I work for the USPS in a business (junk) mail entry unit.
I refer to it as “The Slug Farm”.

The employees have gained control of the place and run it as a personal fiefdom for their own benefit. The sense of entitlement is stunning.

As a mailer if they like you, ie., you kiss their asses and bring in the goodies at X-mas (which used to include substantial cash ‘tips’), you can slide on almost anything.

Piss off the ‘Queen Bee’ or one of her lick spittles and you are guaranteed a miserable time as a customer.

These are people that think they have a “right” to overtime, they treat customers like crap, they delay the mail to create OT and they still don’t do the job.

Deceitful, dishonest, manipulative and fraudulent all come to mind when I think of postal workers. Many of these people would be unemployable outside “government service”.

One guy just took voluntary early retirement after loafing around for most of the last five years, out of his mind on prescription drugs. Now the guy has discovered his pension doesn’t cover his expenses so he’s looking to convert his retirement to 100% disability.

FMLA abuse is rampant, as is petty stuff like “overtime creep” ie., clocking in 5 minutes early or out five minutes late to take advantage of the “time clock congestion minute rule” that allows for 5 minutes of variance from an 8 hour schedule.

Privatize and contract out the whole damned mess and let government run the unprofitable portions at a loss, at least the tax-payer won’t be the hook for the pensions and benefits of the current crop of postal parasites.


204 posted on 02/03/2010 10:23:42 AM PST by skepsel
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To: Poundstone

Totally understood the article and I have a problem with Fed and State workers.

and those DMV workers need to be sent an “Education Camp”.

Of course your mileage may vary but I have not found Fed workers to be so called more educated or smarter.


205 posted on 02/03/2010 10:28:03 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: McGavin999
Fortunately we implemented the Jiffy Line concept JUST IN TIME. That way you aren't held up in your line just because the customer ahead of you has a hard case.

Having spent many thousands of hours studying what goes on at postal counters (That was my job at the time) I'd suggest that the CUSTOMERS are the problem, not the clerks.

Best we were able to do was arrange the line feed situation so the slow ones don't hold up everybody else.

There are a lot of slow customers.

206 posted on 02/03/2010 10:29:39 AM PST by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: sitetest

See, I knew you’d change your mind. You should have applauded my idea for expediting things.


207 posted on 02/03/2010 10:30:28 AM PST by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: muawiyah

What tricks? They had me read the wrong line and in doing so demonstrated that my vision is better than their reading skills or comprehension.

They are dumber than a fence post. Though they did get back at me for their embarrassment.

My photo, on my license has a lovely orange hue to it.


208 posted on 02/03/2010 10:31:21 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: olivia3boys
My goodness, I put in nearly 4 decades and my federal pension is hardly "bloated".

Last guy I saw with a "bloated pension" was a Congresscritter. They get 2 years service time for each year actually served.

209 posted on 02/03/2010 10:33:11 AM PST by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: muawiyah
Dear muawiyah,

“See, I knew you’d change your mind.”

No change of mind. Having worked with, around and in the federal government pretty much all my adult life, I started out with very low expectations.

Having a letter of complaint burned and stomped would actually exceed those expectations by a bit.


sitetest

210 posted on 02/03/2010 10:33:22 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: Vendome

You are fortunate. May I refer you to this story:http://wcco.com/crime/superglu.penis.wisconsin.2.1464589.html


211 posted on 02/03/2010 10:35:30 AM PST by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: muawiyah
That way you aren't held up in your line just because the customer ahead of you has a hard case.

A hard case? What...like needing two stamps?

I'd suggest that the CUSTOMERS are the problem, not the clerks.

Not that you had much crediblity left, but what you had it gone.

212 posted on 02/03/2010 10:36:59 AM PST by TankerKC (No government employees were harmed in the slashing of this budget.)
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To: sitetest
Now we're talking!

BTW, office I was in was getting regular correspondence from a Korean guy in the DC area regarding Kim Dai Jong.

This gentleman claimed Kim was going to be kidnapped, stuffed into an airline shipping container, and then be sent to Korea.

Don't know what he thought we could do about it ~ but he said he overheard this plan several times at a Marriot Jr. hamburger shop in Bethesday.

(Yes, USPS Inspectors were involved, and presumably they passed the tips along to the FBI, etc.)

We kept a file of his letters and eventually they took up about half a shelf in a lateral file unit.

One of our employs found that the old "complaints increase during a full Moon" story had some foundation ~ not so much in the number of complaints but the type ~ the desperation ~ the existential angst.

You can become very hardbitten handling postal complaints.

213 posted on 02/03/2010 10:41:15 AM PST by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: ozarkgirl
Sounds to me like your government insurance is equitable to private companies that provide insurance.

Your opinion seems to be in the minority.

Federal employees do get a lot of time off. I won't argue that.

214 posted on 02/03/2010 10:41:15 AM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: TankerKC

If you find yourself standing in lone anywhere at any time it’s the fault of the people in front of you ~


215 posted on 02/03/2010 10:42:40 AM PST by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: Vendome

If they were cute I would imagine you’d been friendlier


216 posted on 02/03/2010 10:43:48 AM PST by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: muawiyah

Well, you gotta admit that CERS is bloated compared to FERS.

Let me put it to you this way: would you trade your pension for what the “newer” feds (hired since the 1990s) get?

Would you give up 70% of your salary for the tiny Thrift Savings Plan that’s been losing $$ right and left?

Pensions are old school and a thing of the past—you are lucky you have one!


217 posted on 02/03/2010 10:43:58 AM PST by olivia3boys
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To: muawiyah
Dear muawiyah,

“You can become very hardbitten handling postal complaints.”

One is likely to become even more hardbitten having to handle postal (or any sort of federal) “workers.”


sitetest

218 posted on 02/03/2010 10:45:22 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: Poundstone

Are you at work now?
Are you very busy and productive?


219 posted on 02/03/2010 10:52:17 AM PST by shove_it (and have a nice day)
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To: Poundstone

I’ve worked in the public sector, private sector, and non-profit sector.

From what I can tell, the level of incompetence is about the same in all areas.

I suppose that the private sector has a truer sense of the value of its employees, but everytime I witnessed a cost-cotting purge take place, it was typically the best employees who went because they were the highest-paid.

And from what I can tell, the hardest actual workers tend to be in the non-profit side because you usually don’t work for that poor of pay unless you are really dedicated to what you are doing.


220 posted on 02/03/2010 10:52:17 AM PST by MrRobertPlant2009
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To: Poundstone
You can't tell me that the bloated number of social workers are truly "highly educated".

Years of schooling in social science and child psychology does not an education make!

Quite the opposite in far TOO MANY cases.

221 posted on 02/03/2010 11:09:31 AM PST by Siena Dreaming
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To: muawiyah

Nope, you are wrong, it’s the workers. I’m there at least 2 times a week. You can tell the difference in the way they move, how they respond etc.


222 posted on 02/03/2010 11:14:59 AM PST by McGavin999
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To: muawiyah
"I'd suggest that the CUSTOMERS are the problem, not the clerks. "

I work for a very successful restaurant company. We have many customers who are the problem. Because we are trying to WIN business instead of taking it for granted, we NEVER say anything close to this to anyone. We take care of the guest and the problem. It's our job to find the solution not theirs. THAT is the difference between private and public sector. You don't even know what you don't know.

223 posted on 02/03/2010 11:24:21 AM PST by Republic of Texas (Socialism Always Fails)
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To: USNBandit
I have seen teacher retirement scales that hit 90% for 25 years of work, but not federal employees.

You are correct - most of the examples I have are of county & state employees, and of these I do know several who've retired on 90% of their highest salary.

However, I know a federal judge who's close to retirement, and according to her the figures I gave aren't far off.

224 posted on 02/03/2010 11:35:19 AM PST by skeeter
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To: MrRobertPlant2009

Worked for a “non-profit” for ten years. Lots of dead weight in the adminstrative sections. Lots of people just putting in time to retire. Some worked very hard lots didn’t. It all depended in what part of the process you worked in. So far private industry for profit work the hardest in my experiance over-all.


225 posted on 02/03/2010 12:04:58 PM PST by outpostinmass2
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To: Siena Dreaming

Everyone seems to be combining “federal” employees with “state” employees.

There is a pretty big difference between the two. An engineer at the DOT is not the same as a file clerk at the DMV.


226 posted on 02/03/2010 12:10:33 PM PST by MrRobertPlant2009
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To: Poundstone

I wonder how that “Good enough for government work” saying got started.


227 posted on 02/03/2010 12:12:39 PM PST by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: Deb

Originated in World War II. When something was “good enough for Government work” it meant it could pass the most rigorous of standards. Over the years it took on an ironic meaning that is now the primary sense, referring to poorly executed work.


228 posted on 02/03/2010 12:18:34 PM PST by shove_it (and have a nice day)
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To: shove_it

I thought it always meant anything that could barely squeak by.


229 posted on 02/03/2010 1:23:47 PM PST by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: McGavin999

The Post Officer is a bad model for understanding the rest of FedGov. The Post Office actually delivers a measurable service day in and day out. Most of the Post Office personnel are outside the Beltway.

If the Military were as efficient as the Post Office ... well, we wouldn’t have an Air Force, and every remaining service would be up to US Marine standards.


230 posted on 02/03/2010 2:08:09 PM PST by bvw
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To: Poundstone
Good article that really lays out the facts behind federal employment and benefits, in contrast to a lot of the know-nothing criticisms heard here and in other places!

Another federal employee or spouse heard from.

Unfortunately, most of us who have dealt with bureaucrats at all levels know how hilarious that argument is.

Most of the most highly credentialled people I have worked and dealt with have been intelligent, educated, but hopelessly incompetent in actually applying their learning to real work.

That's the difference between "learning" and understanding.

I would be only slightly interesting in learning what percentage of government employees could actually survive in private industry. As in trying to move there and failing.

231 posted on 02/03/2010 2:11:17 PM PST by Publius6961 (He is not America; he is an employee seemingly unable to rise to minimal expectations.)
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To: muawiyah

I will never complain again. Doh! /s LOL


232 posted on 02/03/2010 2:57:02 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: muawiyah

They never are. LOL


233 posted on 02/03/2010 2:58:30 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: olivia3boys
I invested in the Thrift Savings Plan and made about 600% on my investment, as well as the federal matching funds.

Two rules. One is to BUY LOW and the other is to SELL HIGH.

Federales who are losing money kept their money in stocks too long. It's so easy to go cash ~ just go on the net, go to your account, make your changes!

234 posted on 02/03/2010 3:30:09 PM PST by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: sitetest

Ever check out the window clerks at the Beverly Hills downtown station?


235 posted on 02/03/2010 3:31:23 PM PST by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: Republic of Texas

You missed the critical part ~ I’m retired ~ so I don’t have to lie about the customers anymore.


236 posted on 02/03/2010 3:33:17 PM PST by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: skeeter
Your typical federale, whether he's a federal judge or a letter carrier, if he's covered by CSRS alone maxes out at 80% of his high 3 salary.

If he were covered by FERS alone, he would max out at a lower value but he would have had use of matching funds based on his current salary for use in his Thrift Savings Plan ~ CSRS folks did not receive matching funds.

It's highly complex for folks covered by CSRS, FERS and Social Security ~ and maybe even VA pension plans.

237 posted on 02/03/2010 3:36:23 PM PST by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: bvw

A private Air Force would be rented.


238 posted on 02/03/2010 3:38:29 PM PST by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: muawiyah

That would be an improvement. I like the Air Force sometimes, but I still think it should not be separate branch — some of it should be Army, some Navy. Why don’t we have a Boeing Pelican transport?


239 posted on 02/03/2010 3:50:16 PM PST by bvw
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To: muawiyah
Thx. If I took anything away from this thread its that its the county & state employees unions that are burying us.

Still, I wouldn't mind having one of those federal gigs - many sound far better than anything I had in the private sector.

240 posted on 02/03/2010 4:05:17 PM PST by skeeter
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To: Buckeye McFrog
We need more of our best and brightest to bypass industry and come to work in public service.” Obama’s plan to wipe away their student loans after ten years proves this.

I wonder how that will work. Under current law Student loans must be paid back in 10 years. So with the Obama plan, if you work in public sector are principal and interest payments suspended?

The taxpayers get screwed twice, once for paying the guy to work in the public sector, and again to pay for his education. If someone were planning to work in public sector they would maximize their student loans not minimize them like sane people would.

241 posted on 02/03/2010 4:20:51 PM PST by RDasher ("El Nino is climate, La Nina is weather")
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To: PittsburghAfterDark
You are exactly right!

Well done!

242 posted on 02/03/2010 4:24:34 PM PST by Glenn (iamtheresistance.org)
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To: skeeter
Notice the writer judiciously avoids mentioning the 90% salary pension with full medical benefits received by 25 yr federal employees until the day their spouse dies.

WOW!! What a deal! I can't wait to inform my husband who has worked for the Supreme Courts for 29 years that he can quit now on 90% salary with full medical benefits.

Silly man, he's thinking he has to work a full 30 to qualify for 60% pay and then pay both his share and the gov't share of his medical insurance - which effectively cuts his salary into less than half.

Therefore, he cannot afford to retire

But under the gov't plan you outlined he can!

So, what say you post the details of where he needs to go to access this terrific plan you outlined.

Or, you could just admit you repeated a rumour about something you know nothing about. ....just sayin'

243 posted on 02/03/2010 4:33:54 PM PST by SoftballMominVA
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To: muawiyah

Why is it a high percentage of contractors are retired Fed Employee’s?


244 posted on 02/03/2010 4:45:21 PM PST by Garvin (When it comes to my freedom, there will be no debate. There will be a fight)
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To: MrRobertPlant2009
HHS is full of social-minded beebops, not to mention Dept of Education.

Plenty of fat in the "social" category in all kinds of federal programs.

245 posted on 02/03/2010 4:47:00 PM PST by Siena Dreaming
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To: SoftballMominVA

I guess I should’nt expect you to read thru the entire thread. So skip to post 240.


246 posted on 02/03/2010 4:48:09 PM PST by skeeter
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To: TankerKC
http://www.fedjobs.com/pay/pay.html

A GS-13 (step 8 or so) will get you around $110K. Not bad for a HS diploma and limited skills (as in the specific example I mentioned)

Uhm.... not so much. Check the link. A 13-8 makes about $88k. While not bad - it's not $110k.

247 posted on 02/03/2010 4:54:25 PM PST by SoftballMominVA
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To: Garvin
Contractors? Retirees?

Do the math ~

248 posted on 02/03/2010 4:55:34 PM PST by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: muawiyah

I agree, and I’m not complaining; I love my federal job and the Thrift Savings Plan.

I’m in the “L” fund 100%, I’m 40 yrs old, so I know that it will automatically start converting to cash as I age. . .


249 posted on 02/03/2010 4:56:34 PM PST by olivia3boys
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To: Poundstone
Pathetic. Anyone who defends this assinine system of Federal employment, the offensive levels of pay, benefits, retirement, ad infinitum, not even to mention the extreme overage of numbers employed, sure in hell is no Conservative.

The term "Public Servant" was coined when they actually were. When I was a young man, it was common knowledge, and a fact, that Government employees were NEVER paid higher than their private sector counterparts. You must be a youngster, liberal or in dire need of reading.

Nam Vet

250 posted on 02/03/2010 5:03:07 PM PST by Nam Vet (Inuendo IS NOT an Italian suppository.)
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