SES: Life at the Top Isn't So Hot

Thursday - 4/29/2010, 4:00am EDT

Career question: Would you rather be a U.S. Senator, represent your Congressional district or be a federal civil servant in Washington, Houston, or San Francisco?

Hint: One job pays better and doesn't require regular attendance at mystery meat banquets or kissing only-a-mother-could-love babies.

If you think you can save-the-nation via legislation, run for Congress. Get on the ballot this Fall. But if you want to make more money (legally), have more dinners at home and have a hands-on impact on federal operations, join the government and become a member of the Senior Executive Service.

The pay range is from $119,554 to $179,700, and likely to go up next year. Members of Congress, on the other hand, have taken out what they hope is job insurance by voting for the second year in a row to hold their salaries at $174,000.

Knowing that, who wouldn't get on the SES ladder? The answer, according to the president of the Senior Executives Association, is a lot of people.

Most SESers come up from the ranks, from GS 14 and 15 jobs. A capped (maximum) salary for GS 15 is $155,500.

But while a move up to the SES ranks would mean more money, more clout and more prestige, association president Carol Bonosaro says a survey of GS 14 and 15 employees who could and should move up indicates they don't think the promotion is worth it. And the issue isn't money. It's "worklife issues" such as becoming a 24/7 slave to your GI Blackberry.

Bonosaro was our guest yesterday on our Your Turn with Mike Causey radio show. To listen, click here.

Saturday Mail Service

It would be gone with wind if the U.S. Postal Service has its way. Fortunately for fans of 6-day delivery "it isn't a done deal. It is up to Congress, not the Postal Service" says Fredric V. Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Rolando, who was also our guest on Your Turn, says the 5-day proposal is driven in part because the USPS, unlike any other federal agency, is required to pre-fund projected health care costs of retirees. Going to a 5-day week, he said, "would put the Postal Service in a death spiral." He predicted others would move in to fill the Saturday delivery void and that the postal service would have to make other cuts and/or chop more services. To listen to him, click here.

March On Wall Street

The American Postal Workers Union has urged its members to take part in today's Make Wall Street Pay rally in the Big Apple. AFL-CIO affiliated unions hope thousands of members will take to the streets to support efforts to slap new, tougher controls on the financial industry. The unions say lack of controls and oversight played a major role in the economic meltdown and loss of millions of jobs. If you are in the NYC area, and many federal offices are, this might not be the day to drive to work. The march/demonstration is scheduled to run between 4 and 6 p.m.

To reach me: mcausey@federalnewsradio.com


Nearly Useless Factoid
by Suzanne Kubota

Popcorn was the first food to be microwaved deliberately. (For the first accidental food microwaving, click on the link.)