Today's leadoff letter to the Monday Morning Quarterback is from a new government worker -- a private industry escapee -- who says he never had it so good. He chides his fellow civil servants for complaining about pay and pensions and takes this column to task for listening to such "petty whining."
Other letter writers deal with the confusion over legislation to continue four-day work-week programs, and deficit-cutting programs.
If you want to sound off, write me c/o the Monday Morning Quarterback, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071.
This is what people are writing about:
*"Pity the poor federal employe! Why do you permit your column to be wasted on their petty whining?
"After 10 years in a variety of private industry jobs, I just celebrated a year in the federal service. In industry, annual raises are not the norm. Raises I received came far less frequently and never kept up with inflation . . . . I was amazed to discover in government that I'd receive a longevity pay increase as well as across-the-board raises.
"All the private firms I worked for offered a far costlier pension plan -- Social Security. Of course most federal workers don't have to pay into this system for benefits they will possibly never see.
"Why don't federal employes leave the system which makes them so miserable? Perhaps, like me, they don't want to take a pay cut of several thousand dollars. It amuses me to see 'comparable worth' studies written by bureaucrats which are based only on the Fortune 500 companies.
"It is human nature to be envious of others. I wish bureaucrats would realize that private industry companies aren't always eager to share their profits (if they have any) with their employes." C.J., Washington
*"I am a federal retiree. My wife and I are over 70. Neither of us is covered by Social Security. I have no quarrel with a suspension or cutback on federal retiree cost-of-living adjustments to help in reducing our monstrous deficit, just so long as Social Security recipients do likewise.
" . . . There are people who are double-dipping and triple-dipping into civil service, Social Security and military pensions, so let each class of dipper do his share in helping reduce the deficit. I'll end by reminding that there are thousands of federal retirees who do not receive Social Security benefits." Retiree in Silver Spring
*"Your Sept. 27 article headed 'Flexitime Extension' may have misled readers who are not able to distinguish between 'flexitime' and 'maxiflex.' To use the terms interchangeably is confusing.
"Actually, all the legislative furor is about 'maxiflex,' not 'flexitime.' If the maxiflex program is allowed to expire at the end of the year it would not necessarily spell the end of flexitime. The latter is simply a variation of a regular eight-hour day an employe works during the regular five-day, 40-hour week and exists independently of any special legislation. Maxiflex, on the other hand, is an alternative work schedule and a compressed or shortened work week during which more than eight hours may be worked in a day without overtime. Instead, credit hours are authorized, and by working a 10-hour day, four days a week an employe can acquire an extra day off without charge to leave as a form of compensating time, i.e., an hour off for an hour worked. So we could possibly see the end of maxiflex working hours without seeing the end of flexitime." A.M., U.S. Information Agency