If you are a mid-to-upper level (Grade 13, 14 or 15) government lawyer, chemist, accountant, engineer or personnel officer, you're being paid $11,000 to $18,000 a year less than you could get in private industry, according to the government's latest salary survey.
The same draft report says that government secretaries, job analysts, photographers and others at the Grade 5 level are about $2,700 a year behind the going rate for similar jobs in large and medium-sized firms.
Those eye-popping numbers are contained in a draft report prepared for the president by his pay agents--the secretary of labor, the director of the Office of Personnel Management and the director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Their annual report, based on industry pay information collected earlier this year by the Labor Department, is required by the law designed to keep salaries of the government's 1.4 million white collar workers comparable to those found in industry. Civil servants are supposed to get that catch-up-with-industry raise each October.
The three agents said that the pay information they submitted to the president is accurate so far as this survey is concerned. But they said a broader survey including more firms and comparing the value of fringe benefits is needed. If such a survey were made, they said, it would show government workers only about 4 percent behind industry, rather than the 21.5 percent average raise the report suggests is due.
Under the law, President Reagan can accept the pay figure contained in the report (don't hold your breath) or recommend an alternative increase. It appears that Congress and the White House will agree on a 4 percent raise that will go into effect either in January or in April 1984.
Here is the pay data taken from the draft of the pay agents' report. It shows the "paylines" for government workers in Grades 1 through 15. The next figure is the comparable figure for private industry employes at the same approximate levels:
Grade 1, the government payline figure is $9,158; the industry payline figure is $11,561.
Grade 2, government, $10,386; industry, $12,883.
Grade 3, government, $11,743; industry, $14,349.
Grade 4, government, $13,235; industry, $15,974.
Grade 5, government, $14,871; industry, $17,772.
Grade 6, government, $16,657; industry, $19,762.
Grade 7, government, $18,600; industry, $21,963.
Grade 8, government, $20,705; industry, $24,396.
Grade 9, government, $22,977; industry, $27,083.
Grade 10, government, $25,419; industry, $30,051.
Grade 11, government, $28,034; industry, $33,325.
Grade 12, government, $33,780; industry, $40,916.
Grade 13, government, $40,202; industry, $50,128.
Grade 14, government, $47,253; industry, $61,280.
Grade 15, government, $54,854; industry, $74,750.
Using the pay data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the report says it would take a raise of 21.4 percent to bring the government's 1,158 file clerks and messengers in Grade 1 up to the salary paid similar employes in the private sector.
The report says that the 159,150 U.S. workers at Grade 4 would need a 20 percent raise to achieve parity with accounting clerks, computer operators, engineering technicians and personnel clerks in the private sector.
At Grade 7, the government's 132,736 accountants, auditors, computer programmers, drafters, engineering technicians and related employes are 18 percent behind the going rate for similar jobs in industry.
The 142,815 workers in Grade 9 (it includes accountants, lawyers, chemists, buyers, computer operators and the like) are more than 17 percent behind pay rates for people doing the same level of work outside government.
At government Grades 11 and 12, which contain more than 300,000 accountants, auditors, lawyers, engineers, computer programmers, chemists and personnel directors, the gap is between 18 and 22 percent in favor of industry. Uncle Sam's 111,644 employes in Grade 13 are paid almost 25 percent less than employes doing comparable jobs in industry.
The biggest gap, according to the report, exists at the Grade 15 level where, according to the pay agents' report, private industry workers enjoy a 36 percent pay advantage over government employes doing essentially the same work.
According to the pay data, the government has 28,538 employes at that grade, receiving an average of $56,070. The 16,381 private industry employes surveyed at the same level received an average of $74,210.