The Carter administration is dangling an impressive array of corporate-like pay, pension and psychic benefits before government executives these days.
Idea is to lure them into - or at least blunt their opposition to - service in a new lite management corps that would make the top rungs of the civil service more responsive to political managers.
The proposal for a Senior Executive Service (SES) is part of a civil service reform plan the president is pushing. The House Post Office and Civil Service Committee will begin writing its version of the president's bill around the 22nd of this month.
With that deadline, and with intense pressure from the White House, cabinet officers and special interest groups, this is the time for horse-trading and compromises on the reform plan.
Despite all the interest in civil service reform, little attention is being paid to the SES proposal because its effects involve mostly top bureaucrats working in Washington headquarters. But the SES does merit attention, because it proposes some startling changes in the "perks" that would be used to reward top federal officials. Under the SES, for example, member could:
Qualify for annual bonuses of up to 20 percent of salary if they pleased top bosses.
Earn the rank of "distinguished" executive which would guarantee them an extra $5,000 a year for five years.
Earn the lesser rank of "meritorious" executive which would entitle them to $2,500 a year for five years.
Earn extra retirement income credit which the executive would not have to pay for.
Qualify for fully-paid sabbaticals of up to one year for every 10 years of service in the SES.
Be allowed to carry over any amount of annual leave without being forced to take it, as are other civil servants.
In return for a shot at any or all of these bonuses, executives entering the SES would give up much of the job tenture and security they now enjoy. They would be required to take transfers or assignments to other agencies and those who refuse could lose their jobs.
SES members also would be subject to easier demotion to lower grade jobs if their performance were judged marginal.
Ironically, many career-executives are troubled by language originally designed to protest SES members from being booted out or reassigned during the first 120 days of a new administration.
As the language now reads, agencies couldn't start the "evaluation" process which could lead to dismissal of as SES member until 120 after a new administration took office. Reasignments and transfer couldn't be made until 120 days after the agency head took over.
Idea behind the 120-day language is to provide a "cooling-off" period, officials say, that would bar a new administration or boss from getting rid of executives until they had had some time to work together. But since the count down for dismissal actions begins 120 after a new president takes office, some executives fear that their bosses - who might be named long after an administration took office - wouldn't be subject to the cooling-off period for its full 120 days.
Authority to transfer executives of the SES to other areas - part of the management drive to put people where they are needed - is viewed with suspicion by many career bureaucrats. Mobility, many feel, could be used to make "Siberian transfers" which is one way government and corporations punish workers, or try to force them to quit.
Many potential SES members would like to see more guarantees in the system that would protect them against capricious assigments designed to punish them for reasons unrelated to their performances.
House bill writers say they have had very little input from claim that a majority of present executives would vouluntarily enter the SES (new hires would have to join it). But there appears to be growing concern among top bureaucrats that the rewards might not be worth the political and career risks and challenges the SES would mean for them.
Nurses: Bethesda Naval Hospital has openings for Grade 5 through 9 registered nurses ($11,287 to $15,090) and Licensed Practical Nurses, GS3 though 5 ($7,930 to $9,959). Call Mr. Manny at 295-1420.
Political War Chest: the National Association of Postal Supervisors has set up a specail political action fund with former legislative director Dan Jaspan as chairman. Jaspan is retired now he will handle donations from members (dues cannot be used for political purposes) for use in congressional races. Most federal employe unions have political action funds of some kind. But supervisory groups, like NAPS, are just beginning to get into the political war-chest business.