This will be the last year the government's 75,000 top managers and supervisors automatically get the same percentage pay raise as their million-plus subordinates.
Beginning in 1980, white collar bosses in Grades 13 through 15 (now paid between $27,453 to $47,500) will be phased into a new system. It will link the future amount of raises they get each October to performance. About half of those to be put under the new system work in metro Washington.
Rank-and-file federal workers will continue to get October adjustments allegedly aimed at putting them on par with similar jobs in industry. Last year President Carter shaved that "catchup" raise to 5.5 percent. He has said repeatedly he will maintain the 5.5 cap this year.
Under the new pay system, part of the Civil Service Reform Act, managers and supervisors in the future will be guaranteed only one half of the regular pay raise that goes to clerks, secretaries and others outside of the management team.
Marginal supervisors will get the half-a-loaf raises while individuals judged outstanding or superior by their agencies will get either the full amount, or in some cases, double the percentage raises that go to regular employes.
New performance standards agencies must use in setting pay raises are almost finished at the Office of Personnel Management. They will be published in the Federal Register sometime in mid-September and then agencies will have until October 1981, at the latest, to put the new systems in place for their Grade 13 through 15 supervisors and managers.
Longevity pay raises (that come every one to three years) for those managers and supervisors and other employes will be eliminated for the bosses. So will quality step pay increases and other monetary rewards for outstanding service.
In place of the automatic in-grades and other rewards, merit pay will dominate how much the bosses get. Money to finance them will come from funds that would have been spent on automatic and quality raises.
Performance standards will be tailored to job and agency needs, within the OPM guidelines, and agencies will determine whether bosses get only half the regular raise, the full amount or more than regular employees.
It is possible that some bosses who fail to measure up could, in a few years, wind up making less than some of the people they supervise who get regular, fullsize October raises. OPM brass say they doubt there will be many cases of this, primarily because they expect most managers to measure up, and expect those who don't will be fired or transferred back to non-management jobs before their paychecks match or go below those of their employes.
A few agencies are already to begin performance appraisal raises with the October, 1980 increase.