Federal agencies that want to defer demotions of employees triggered by reorganizations or the discovery of classification errors may get that authority within the next 10 days.

The guidelines for delaying the demotions are being cleared by the Civil Service Commission. It has already okayed a demotion-deferral plan for HEW. Since CSC gave HEW permission to delay downgradings (until late 1979) other agencies have been demanding the same thing.

About six weeks ago, CSC's three commissioners turned down a request from most government personnel officers asking for blanket authority to defer downgradings, at their option, during this period of reorganization and desk audits.

Now, CSC is preparing to give guidelines to agencies, telling them the conditions under which SCS may give them permission to delay downgradings.

Agencies will have to prove to CSC that the downgradings would have a major adverse effect on productivity or the agency mission. They will also have to come up with a plan showing how past overgrading errors are to be corrected. Agencies will also be required to pledge not to make future overgrading errors and to take immediate action to correct those occurring during the downgrading freeze period.

CSC Rumblings: The Federal Times today is expected to have a blackbuster story about the investigation of CSC personnel practices. The Commission has hired an outside law firm and given it foul power to check files and grill present employees about alleged discrimination, political preference and other improper personnel actions. The Times will report that the law firm has come up with evidence of discrimination and destruction of files by some top CSC career employees.

Want a Raise or a Job? Pay raises are great, but they don't do much good if your job disappears shortly thereafter. That's the warning of Mildred Moseley, executive vice president of the American Federation of Government Employees big Pentagon local.

She believes federal employee unions ought to be devoting as much time to preserving jobs as to fighting for pay raises, and worrying about downgrading actions. She's talking about the Carter Administration's "sunset bill," which allows Congress to end federal programs every six years unless specific new legislation is approved to keep them going.

Says the AFGE vice president:

"Any one federal program contains thousands of jobs. A massive termination of programs could wipe out thousands of federal jobs. What will happen to these jobs: Will they go to the private sector?

"What will happen to the employees? If picked up by the private sector, what will their pay be? What of the cost already incurred by a particular program? Wake up union members, a new wolf looms at the door against an already uncertain horizon."

Pays To Advertise - Sometimes: The U.S. Postal Service was swamped with job applicants last week seeking a $125,000 per year job writing contracts. The problem is the top-salary being offered was only $25,000. But the USPS has the reputation for paying its executives well, so readers of a Sunday newspaper ad apparently weren't surprised to see the salary range for the job from $23,000 to $125,000.

The newspaper ad, obviously, contained a typographical error, which is what the USPS personnel office was busy telling disgruntled contract writers all week.

Retirees of the year: National Association of Retired Federal Employees is looking for 1977 government retiree worthy of a plaque, and a $2,500 public service award. To be eligible the individual must have 25 years or more service (military counts), and be nominated by a NARFE chapter or his or her federal agency. Details from NARFE at 234-0832.

Medical Officer: Bethesda Naval Medical Center has a $33,825-$41,628 opening for a specialist in internal medicine. Details from 295-1420.

How To Sell Uncle? Agriculture Department's graduate School is offering a two-day course (Nov. 29-30) in doing business with the government. Fee is $135. Information by calling Claire McBride at 447-4419.