12:24 am, April 16, 2014

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  • 19

  • Comparisons
    Unless you are comparing the salary of a researcher at NIH with guy working as a greeter at Walmart, it is obvious salaries in the private sector are higher than those offered by the government. This is especially true at the entry and top executive levels. (When was the last time you heard of a federal manager getting a multi-million dollar bonus?) But there is one area of financial compensation favoring feds. I am talking about our benefit packages. But don’t expect me to apologize for a retirement plan which is superior to those offered in the private sector. If I had to get by with less for 35-40 years of federal service, I figure I deserve something extra in retirement. I am also not apologizing for our health benefits. If the federal health plan is the best in the country, as industry insiders claim, it is only because the private sector is short changing their employees. I also will not apologize for earning more annual and sick leave than my private sector counterparts. As a civilian working in the Department of Defense, I can assure you I am under more pressure than those doing my job in private industry. I work hard for those hours of leave and I deserve them.
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  • Comparisons
    Wow. You can sure tell the gov't employees from the non-government employees. I have worked for the federal government for almost 30 years. When I first started out I was a Grade 2 and had to work 2 jobs on multiple occasions in order to make ends meet. I now make a comfortable living, but in no way am I living high off the hog. And as for job security, there have had multiple times in my career were furloughs were threatened and once it was actually done. They have also threatened to abolish my position at the same time they were going to out source my husbands job (yes he was a fed also). So for all of you that are claiming to know everything about what is good or bad about being a fed...unless you are one, shut the heck up.
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  • Biased
    Most non-forensic studies are done only to prove a point of the entity commissioning the study. In other words, there is a bias. I suspect studies on Federal versus private sector pay fall into this category. As such, one might want to disregard such studies. Unfortunately, action affecting people may come from such a study, however invalid its content.
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  • Comparables
    The comments are interesting to read, and all may be correct to a point. Is there job security in the Federal Government? Yes, to a point. I know 3 people who were fired and one laid off. I was almost laid off at one point, but IRS changed it's mind. The reason I didn't take the buy out was because the severence was higher than the buyout, and a chance I could keep my job. So I stayed and 15 years later still here.........................Do private sector jobs pay more or yes? Yes and No?......For low level secretary and clerk jobs, I think the government pays more than private sector, but those positions are a dying breed. We have had secretaries retire and not be replaced. ................Are there jobs that are the same, yes. I think I am one of them. I make less annually, but probably more per hour. We don't get overtime, we get credit hours, which you then have to take, having 28 years in, I get lots of vacation and 10 holidays, we get a nice retirement package, but it is not excessive unless you work for Walmart and even then Walmart's employees are ofered stock offers and 401(k)s, if the employee chooses not to take advantage of that offer, that is their fault. ............Let's see my husband get 26 days leave (He has to take vacation for Holidays if he wants them off, but still generous), he has a pension and a 401(k) and sick leave. Their matching is the same as mine. So where is the difference? Oh yes, his medical insurance is paid at 95%, mine at 73%. Hmm? Government is so generous? ....................... If you want to know if government is over paid or underpaid, see how many qualified people apply for job openings and what the turnover is. Now pay is only a part of that. Having a private life and enjoying the job is also part of that. And you have to look at new hires, people on the job for decades feel they have no choice but to stay. So the question is: How many people apply, that qualify, for each position? 1 or 800? What is the turn over rate of people working less than 5 years? High or low? That determines whether wages are high, low or reasonable. If you can't hire and can't keep people, wages are low. If you have huge amounts of qualified people who stay forever, wages are probably high. If in between, wages are probably just about right. Anyone know the answers to these questions?
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  • More to Turnover Rate than Wages
    Turnover rate is cause by many factors and not just satisfaction with wages. I see a lot of young people enter Federal service and leave within a few years. Wages could be a factor but there is also a current lack of promotion opportunities, perhaps a bad supervisor, inflexible rules or work procedures, boring work, Fed bashing by friends and the media. Some just come for a couple of years of experience and training and go off to the private sector. Many come back later on when they find out the private sector working conditions may stink and money isn't everything. I have found that interest in Government jobs increases when the economy is in a rut and decreases when the private sector is expanding. This is a very complex issue and it depends when you are doing the comparison between sectors and what variables are being measured. In tough times, you'll see 1000 applicants for a few positions. During a boom, nowhere near that.
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  • Turn Over
    Lack of promotional opportunities is all tied into wages. And yes, there are other factors why people leave. I knew a guy who worked for the IRS as a youngster for about 3 years, went into the private sector for about 35 years, came back and joined the IRS. Can you say "5 years and lifetime insurance?" This is a person who got his experience, worked for big bucks, and came back for the benefits.
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  • To Linda
    Good points in both blogs Linda. However, I would like to add a point. I came in in 1973 along with about 60-9- people. Most were young like me. At around my minimum retirement age, there were a few, but not many, people in the government from my class. The IRS will manipulate things like reducing the number of returns to be audited or reducing the planned time on audits and other things. I can say that back in the mid 80's not enough returns were audited. This has been true even in the mid 90's forward after a large hiring in the late 80's and early 90's. I am not qualified to say there are or enough audits, but muy belief is there is not based on observations.
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  • Fed Salary comparisions
    I am constantly amazed by how ridiculous these studies are. As usual, U suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle of all the drivel. There are thousands of different types of jobs in the federal government. Any objective study (we will never have one of those) would show that some jobs series are paid less than the similar job in the private sector, some are paid more than the similar job in the private sector, and for some job series there is no relevant comparison. Of course, every fed seems to think that THEIR job is paid more in the private sector and are quick to share an example ("I know a programmer in the private sector that makes TWICE what I do"). What they fail to take into account is that the salary ranges are much wider in the private sector than they are in government where grade levels for a particular job are well defined. I have worked as a Fed for 31 years. I made my choice to be a fed for many reasons, but one was job security (probably not much of a consideration for new employees entering federal employment today). Job security was more important to me than dollars. In my case, I think I made the right decision. Yes, I know many people that made more than me in the private sector doing similar work, but when I factor in the the number of times they have had to switch jobs, been laid off, or had benefits cut, I come out ahead.
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