If time and money spent on training sessions, seminars and specialized workshops are any indication, then the federal government is committed to upgrading the status of women and minorities.
Between July 9 and Aug. 25, the Civil Service Commission has scheduled 64 days of special briefings and workshops on the subject of equal employment opportunity. Agencies sending workers and officials to the different sessions will pay anywhere from $75 for one-day "EEO Briefing" to $275 for a 4-day session on "Managing EEO Programs."
Training the government not to discriminate is becoming big business.
The CSC seminars are in addition to hundreds of workshops and training programs on the same or related EEO subjects that other agencies are running. And they do not include the use of outside experts who often are brought in as consultants, or who conduct programs and hold sessions in federal facilities here, and at special retreats outside the Washington area.
Federal officials estimate that hundreds of government workers will be attending special agency and CSC sessions on Upward Mobility, EEO law, the Federal Women's Program, Career Women and Upward Mobility and Assessing EEO Work Force Data, to name just a few of the programs.
Some employes who would like to avail themselves of EEO programs, to get out of dead-end jobs and move on to higher-paying, more responsible positions complain that the people who are supposed to help them are always in conference, or conducting or taking a training session on how to do their jobs.
Unfortunately, the complaints go, top-paid brass, whose jobs were created to help the not-so-fortunate, too often find it more fun, and less frustrating, to stay in training and let day-to-day EEO programs slide.
Government officials say there will be even more EEO training once agencies begin to implement the so-called Sugarman Plan. That proposal, worked up by CSC vice chairman Jule Sugarman, will urge agencies to ear mark up to 20 percent of their job vacancies for women, blacks, Hispanics and other minority group members who are "underrepresented" in government.
The employes will be hired outside normal civil service merit channels and, after satisfactorly completing a probation period, may then be converted to career civil service status with tenure.
That program was suppoed to begin on a limited basis by now but, as reported here June 1, it has been delayed while planners work out some last minute kinks that have developed because of the controversial nature of the "special emphasis" hiring. Although there have been predictions that the program may be quietly buried, top CSC officials expect it to get rolling sometime in August.