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The federal work force The actual number of individuals whose salary comes from the Federal pocket is in doubt. The official estimate is 2.8 million civilians on the payroll. But, reports the Washington Post, Uncle Sam pays the salaries of at least 3 to 4 million more for research, consulting services and grants. When military personnel is added, the total goes up to 10 million. An example: the Defense Department has 1 million civilians and 2,049,000 military personnel on its payroll, plus 2,050,000 “outside the walls” whose livelihoods are funded by the Pentagon. HEW has a work force of 144,256 regular employees, and is paying the entire stipend of 87,777 employees in universities, 32,383 in non-profit research outfits, and 113,919 in private business. The biggest lump went to medical research. High Federal Pay Scales “In many job markets, Federal employees are the highest paid of all. Compensation for Government blue-collar workers sometimes ranges up to twice that of persons performing the same type of work in private industry. “Indeed, employee compensation is the largest single cost of Governmenta fact not to be taken lightly as the US piles up budget deficit after budget deficit and banners of proponents of Proposition 13 crop up in scores of communities throughout the country. “In the early 1930s, there was one Government worker for every 10 in industry. In the late 1940s, the ratio was one to six. Since 1970, it has been one for four.” New York Times Increases in federal pay The Tax Foundation reports: “From 1970 to 1979, Washington has handed taxpayers a 97% increase in federal personnel costs, counting both compensaton and benefits.” A Library of Congress study found that military pay and benefits increased 43% in eight years. The US Chamber of Commerce states: the average yearly pay for a federal civilian employee in 1977 was $16,201, compared to $11,840 in the private sector, and that average federal pay exceeded that in 52 of the 59 industries listed by the Commerce Department. Brookings Institution says that in 1976, around 17% of all federal blue-collar workers won increases as much as 25% above local private wages. Wage increases are almost automatic and come twice a year. The raise granted last October, to keep pace with inflation, added $23 a week to the check of the typical Washington-based federal employee. The salary of a beginning job on the management or professional level of Government has risen steadily, due in part to inflation. In 1949, it was $7,600; in 1968, $14,409, and since October 1977, $26,022. A proposal by President Carter for executives would bring raises of $5,800 and top grade pay of $52,800. Other factors in personnel costs are: Lack of control over overtime pay. The Pentagon, Uncle Sam’s largest employer, spends about $400 million a year on overtime, but was unable to tell Congress how many employees are collecting overtime or what work they perform. The State Department admits the overtime problem is “out of hand.” Many employees plan on overtime, and the Washington Post reports: “When they go out to buy a house, they ask the office to tell the bank they make, say $16,000 in salary, but can count on making another $16,000 in overtime ” Over-grading jobs. A Civil Service Commission study discovered that 150,000 jobs are over-graded at an annual charge of $280 million. Unjustified salary increases. The General Accounting Office tells of one horror story concerning the Commission on the Postal Service. Eleven of the 16 employees received substantial salary increases during the 6-month life of the Commission, ranging from 32 to 296%. One worker was hired at $12,000; two weeks later raised to $15,000; four weeks later to $16,500, and, finally, to $36,000. The pension system The federal employee’s pension “is more generous than almost any in the private sector” and he pays less than one-sixth of the cost. A $15,000-a-year federal employee \(and this is a relatively month. The top figure under Social Security is $460, and this cannot be earned until age 65. The retired bureaucrat can take another job in the government without losing pension benefits. A Civil Service Commission study in 1975 showed some 141,000 “double dippers.” Several of the top NASA officers are drawing between $27,300 and $30,500 in pensions plus $47,500 in salaries. A Social Security pensioner has his benefits cut if he earns more than $4,500 from outside sources. The military pension is the most liberal, and is paid entirely by public funds. Retirees can get half pay after only 20 years, and 75% after 30 years, plus cheap medical costs and commissary privileges. A colonel may retire with a pension of $24,030. A sergeant first class with a basic pay of $11,452 will receive a yearly pension of $5,800 after 20 years. His lifetime retirement pay with cost-of-living adjustments will total $191,971 or 50% more than the pension value of a civilian corporation officer with a salary of $32,000 a year. The military pension system costs taxpayers about $10:2 billion a year, and is expected to reach $35.7 billion by the year 2000. The federal perks Many civil servants enjoy special perks not found in private business. They include: Free travel, at an estimated cost of $7.9 billion a year, an increase of 40% since 1974. About 17% of the trips were to conferences “not essential,” according to the General Accouting Office. Three years ago, the Pentagon held 60 conferences in Hawaii at a transport cost of $500,000. Coast Guard admirals took their wives on trips at government expense, and in threequarters of the cases approved the spouses’ trips themselves. The Urban Mass Transportation Administration sent 46 officials to a conference in Tbronto a, a cost of $500 each. Chauffeur service. The government spends $4.8 million a year to chauffeur 175 government officials to and from work. The government has 450,000 civilian vehicles and spends more than $700 million a year on maintenance and uses 338 million gallons of gas. Free parking. About 41,000 spaces are provided by the Washington offices “representing a total subsidy of more than $1.5 million per month to government employees using their cars,” states Mass Transit. Recreation facilities The Washington Monthly notes: “The National Park Service maintains five lodgesin the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, the Catoctin mountains of Maryland, the Grand Tetons of Wyoming, on Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, and on the Gulf of Mexicofor use by government employees who need to relax 20 AUGUST 24, 1979