1:59 pm, May 25, 2015

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  • Great Column Mike
    contrarian
    I think what Mike is gingerly trying to say is that some Feds may be indeed overpaid. He's probably seen a multitude of GS=12 Secretaries in DC and GS-15 analysts out the wazoo. I'd venture that anybody on the frontlines of any organization is NOT overpaid. Let's be honest, GS-15s that manage 4 employees have too small a span of control. GS-15s that travel for the sake of travel are wasting money. We know there's fat, but it seems like the geniuses in DC never seem to find it.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • GS 12 secretaries
    Moderate
    Never heard of a GS 12 secretary. I thought there are measuring sticks that show the complexity of the job. My job and others that I have seen have them. Is the GS 15 supervising GS 14's whose job is very technical or the 14's manage others? Or is the 15 responsible for the work of strictly 4 people who are go fors.?
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Try legal secretaries
    contrarian
    Especially for judges in judicial branch. They be govt emps too.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • No Time For Gingerness
    X-taxman
    Say it loud and say it proud, Mike. There are many many feds that are grossly overpaid. Of course 'the geniuses in DC never seem to find it', because those same geniuses are the ones that create the fat, and wallow in it. Still, there are very many GS 14 and 15 equivalents in field sites all over the country, concentrated in the major geographical areas, that are grossly overpaid in comparison to their value added to the agency. (Let's start with these worthless whistleblower analysts! Then let's look at the sheer number of 'executive assistants'). This is prominent in the IRS. These people need to be either let go or put back to work on the front lines and paid appropriately. The days of Empire Building are OVER,,at least they should be. And yes, Mod, there ARE GS 12 equivalent secretaries (but don't you dare call them that!).
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • NASA
    contrarian
    BTW, that metric/English problem shouldn't be lived down any century too soon. It's a great $150 Million dollar lesson.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Science?
    Moderate
    Science uses the metric system. Wasn't the contract properly prepared? Did the contractors screw up? Too many questions on that one.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Overpaid Fed??
    FederalEmployee
    As a long time Fed who has repeatedly seen what others doing a similar job in the private sector make, I can attest to the fact that my counterparts in the private sector make significantly more than I do. I can also attest to the fact that my private sector counterparts’ benefits (health insurance, 401K matching, pension, sick leave, annual leave) are just as good, and sometimes better, than my benefits. I can further attest to the fact that my counterparts in the private sector work 50 – 70 hours a week; carry beepers even while on vacation; and can be fired for making a mistake or for crossing the boss the wrong way. I have seen my counterparts in the private sector lose their jobs when their company is bought out by a larger one. I work with several individuals who were once part of the corporate rat race. Both took substantial cuts in pay in exchange for a 40-hour workweek and job security. Even my gynecologist gave up his practice and went to work for the VA so that he could salvage his marriage and his relationship with his children. College educated, highly skilled professionals make markedly less working for Uncle Sam than those working in the private sector. Period. It is not difficult to make this determination. Just for fun, go online, pull up the annual 990 of your local non-profit hospital, and check out the salaries of the highest paid physicians. Then look at what a GS 13, 14 or 15 makes. For more fun, go to the SEC website, pull up the 10K of any large publicly traded company, and check out the salaries (including cash bonuses, stock options, deferred comp plans, etc) of the highest paid employees. Then compare that to the salary of an SES executive. Back to the 10K – look at how many persons are employed by the private sector entity, and compare that to the number of employees managed by the SES executive. A friend of mine does contract work in the telecommunications field. His rate has been as high as $700—per day, plus mileage. He has no health insurance, no paid sick leave or paid vacation time, no 401K, and no pension plan. Once a contract is completed, several months may pass before he is able to find work again. I am very happy with my pay and benefits. I chose to live like a pauper for many years as I worked my way up the career ladder. I chose quality of life over making the big bucks in the private sector. I chose job security over a fatter bank account. I work hard, I am loyal, I love my country, and I made the right choices for myself. Once upon a time, you could work for one company for 35 years and in exchange for your loyalty and hard work, you received a pension. Some companies even provided post-retirement health insurance benefits. However, the days of putting human beings ahead of The Almighty Dollar have all but ended. Greed has shipped jobs overseas. Greed has replaced health insurance benefits with high deductible HSA’s – or no health insurance at all. Greed has replaced pension plans with non-matching 401K plans – or nothing at all. Greed caused the depression that began in 2008. Over the past 20-or so months, we heave heard a lot of rhetoric regarding Federal pay and benefits. One rug-wearing politician made the comment “employees in the private sector do not have pension plans…why should Federal employees have a pension plan.” Gee…I have severe arthritis; therefore everyone else should have it too. I do not own a yacht, I have never traveled to Europe, and I have needed to wear glasses since the age of nine. Therefore, no one should own a yacht, no one should be allowed to travel to Europe, and if you were born with good eyesight – time to have one eye removed. Ridiculous – absolutely. Need I say more? I too agree that many positions in the Federal government are over-graded. We have far too many GS 13, 14 and 15 analysts and program managers. On the flip side, there are some positions that are under-graded. Look at the pay of a group secretary—pathetically low. This, however, is a topic for another day. PS – in the event that anyone is wondering, I am writing this on my own time.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Bravo!
    Fed1979
    This comment makes more sense than any I've heard in a long time. Lengthy, yes but well worth every minute it took to read. Can't be any clearer to anyone that actually cares about the public vs. private salary debate.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Hospital jobs
    contrarian
    Remember how Michele Obama made $150K/year?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Michelle Obama
    Moderate
    As an attorney that is not a big deal. Tell us about your comment because I am not familiar with it.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Jellyfish stings
    dailycheese
    Urinating on a jellyfish sting may or may not provide relief to the person stung, however, depending on who that person is, urinating on it makes me feel better.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Jellyfish stings
    Sideline Commentator
    This is my new favorite comment. Hilarious.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Livable Wages
    Richard729
    Yes, federal workers on average make more than all the thousands of jobs that don't pay livable wages or benefits. To me, paying livable wages are more important than simply having a job for the sake of adding to the employment or unemployment numbers. Locality pay for federal workers, for example, is not based on a national average cost of living but on jobs that federal workers are paid in comparison with the same job in the private sector. When I worked in San Diego the cost of living was way higher than in Houston, Texas. Yet, the locality pay was based on NASA scientists and engineers, many of whom make 6-figure salaries. Thus, the locality pay was higher in Houston than in San Diego. If pay had been based on cost of living expenses, however, in San Diego, CA workers would have received higher raises than in Houston, Texas. True, in the private sector, workers are often restricted to less than 40-hours per week in order for the employer to avoid paying certain benefits like sick leave, vacation and overtime. Those working in the private sector are essentially being squeezed whereas in the federal workforce individuals enjoy the security of receiving fair, not extravagant, pay and benefits unlike their private sector counterparts who are often punished by being considered temporary workers with reduced or even zero benefits. The question is, do we want a dumbed-down workforce that can't possibly contribute to their own retirements because they receive such low pay and benefits or do we pay workers a little more and treat them fairly?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }