One of our Monday Morning Quarterback correspondents suggests several alternatives to a federal pay freeze, including cutting the president's pay and charging admission to art galleries, museums and tourist attractions here.
Letter number two is from a State Department employe who says, tongue firmly in cheek, that Uncle Sam is saving a bundle having contract workers do jobs formerly handled by federal workers.
The final letter is from the wife of a private-sector worker who takes issue with reports, written by government employes, that say private sector pay and retirement are superior to the government's. Here goes:
*"My gripe (today) with the Reagan administration is over the pay freeze. It is an established law that we get the cost of living increase, isn't it? If he is to freeze our salary, why not also freeze the rent, mortgage and insurance premiums? Or better yet, have Reagan's salary reduced 10 percent or donated to charities (like some past presidents).
"Maybe we should be charging admission for the freebies we have enjoyed for years around the Washington area's museums, art galleries, etc.
"Water bills are going up. Phone bills are going up. Others will follow suit. How can Reagan be so heartless to feds? Our salaries are small compared to the billions we give away each year . . . including the $10,000 offered to the woman in South Africa to rebuild her home, which is not our responsibility. Why not take care of our own first . . . . The whole mess is senseless to me." -- Need A Raise To Survive in Gaithersburg
*"Life at the State Department for us 'overpaid government employes' is humdrum . . . but in the spirit of keeping the public informed I wanted to drop you a line.
" . . . We are part of the great mass of humanity that toils in the trenches for Uncle Sam. We have no titles or pretentions to creating policy; we just do our jobs. The surroundings amid which we do so defy the imagination. But we cope. Examples:
"Each morning we await the visit of the lady of 'pulls the trash' -- if there is a meeting going on it stops and we step aside and try to stay out of the way of her cart . . . . After all, she is a contract employe and 'saves' the taxpayers a lot of money. Same for the vacuum cleaner man who shows up twice weekly during the day. No telephone conversations when he is around. Besides, we have to move the furniture so he can clean because he won't move anything.
"The daily routine is nothing compared to the fun we have when the painters arrive! They showed up first thing in the morning to find the movers hadn't stacked the furniture. The painters wouldn't do it: seems if they hurt themselves on another job their insurance won't cover them! So they went away. Next day the movers showed up and stacked the furniture. Then we track down the painters after several days. So much for the initiative and speed of contractors." -- C in Falls Church
*"Naturally government agencies come up with data that says nonfederal pay and benefits are superior to government's. That is certainly not the experience of people I know.
"Government employes can retire at age 55 with 30 years service on unreduced benefits. In my husband's company, a Fortune 500 firm, the retirement benefit is cut 6 percent for each year that an employe retires under age 65. -- M.B., Silver Spring