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Bigger Bucks for Feds in 2008

The Pentagon.jpgToday's Washington Post has an article about this year's federal pay forecast. Things are looking good for civil servants, especially those in the DC area. Here's an excerpt from the story:

At the start of 2007, federal employees received an average raise of 2.2 percent, with about half receiving a 1.8 percent raise.

This year, federal employees will see their pay rise by an average of 3.5 percent. About half will get a 2.99 percent raise.

The differences in the raises largely can be attributed to the political process on Capitol Hill. At the end of 2006, Congress had not completed most of the annual appropriations bill and left it to President Bush to set the 2007 raise. Last month, Congress put together a consolidated spending bill and got Bush's signature before the year ended.

To be sure, the 2008 raise, ratified by Bush in an executive order Friday, was shaped by other considerations.

Those factors included data on wage growth in the private sector, a desire in Congress to give a solid raise to the armed forces during a war and efforts by Washington area members of Congress to renew support for the civil service, where baby-boom retirements are on the rise and agencies are finding it tougher to compete with the private sector for top talent.

"I know from having advocated for federal employees since I came to Congress that it's easier to rail against 'Washington bureaucrats' than to recognize the invaluable contributions these dedicated public servants make," Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) said in a written statement.

Federal employees, he said, "protect the homeland, fight crime, battle disease, ensure the wide variety of government functions on which we all depend operate properly and support our troops abroad."

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) played a pivotal role in moving this year's raise through Congress and said he was pleased that Bush took the final step to put the raise in place. "This adjustment will reap significant dividends both in terms of the morale of our federal workforce and in our efforts to recruit and retain vital government personnel," Hoyer said.

Washington area House members and senators "fought hard to secure a fair pay adjustment this year, and we will continue to do so in the future because we believe federal employees deserve compensation equal to that of the great contributions they make in service to this nation," he said
.

The article also states that the the projected median federal salary in the DC area will be $90,698. Righteous bones.

So who's going to pay the $609 billion bill created by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Let's just suggest that 2008 will be a bad year to try and buy that super Gucci next-gen weapons system your service has had its eyes on.

Read the entire Washington Post story here.

(Gouge: NC)

-- Ward

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