The Washington metropolitan area will receive a $60 million-per-month shot in the arm in October with three unrelated, but major, pay or pension increases for the 582,000 workers here who receive checks for present or past federal service.
That $60 million fact of life is not lost on local merchants, landlords, parking lot owners and others who provide goods and services for the city's largest industry - government.
Effective with the first pay period on or after Oct. 1, and estimated at 7.05 per cent. That will be added to the gross white-collar federal pauyrollhere now worth $566,917,000.
President Carter has not formally approved the 7.05 per cent incerase, but he is expected to follow recommendations of his pay agents who say such an increase is necessary to keep civil servants on a pay level equal to that of private industry workers The increase nationally will go to almost all white-collar government employees and military personnel, including the 60,000 stationed here.
Effective Sept. 1, and first viewed in checks received in early October, will be a pension increase for more than 100,000 retired government workers and military personnel living here. In most cases, survivors of deceased govenment and military retirees also will receive the increases. The raise, at lease 3 to 6 per cent, could go higher depending on cost-of-living data to be released Thursday. Federal and military retirees will receive a second cost-of-living raise effective March 1, 1978.
The civil service-military pay increasesand the cost-of-living raise for retired personnel is a worldwide boost. More than 4 million persons, many living in retirement outside the United States, will receive that pension boost.
Also due in October is a raise for more than 20,000 blue-collar workers here. Their pay is adjusted according to wage surveys of private blue-collar wages made by the Defense Department. The amount has not been determined.
The only federal workers here who will not receive some kind of pay adjustment in October are postal employees, who work under contract and bargain independently for wages, members of Congress, top political appointees and about 20,000 top-leved career civil servants.
Don S. Smith has moved up to become vice chairman at the Federal Power Commission. He replaces James G. Watt. who resigned. Smith, an Arkansas Democrat at FPC since 1973, is considered on of the sharpest persons in the regulatory field.
Despite a top legal background and a string of degrees. Smith retains a down-to-earth style not overcome by Potomac Fever. He is one of the few to federal officials who proudly admits to having a recipe for possum stew.