Today's contributors to the Monday Morning Quarterback section offer a very different viewpoint on the issue of the federal pay gap and on the bonus retirement plan for Defense Department staffers.

The leadoff letter is from a Maryland state employee. He wants less talk about how federal pay lags behind industry's, and more about how state government salaries trail Uncle Sam's.

Government studies show that in many job categories, state government workers are paid less than their federal counterparts. The exceptions are usually in Alaska, California, New York, Hawaii and the District of Columbia. D.C. government pay is often higher than nearby state salaries because the city pay scales have been linked to federal government rates.

The second writer says the bill that would give a five-year pension sweetener bonus to Defense Department workers should be extended to all federal employees or dropped. He said Defense employees have had it good for years, and now that peace has broken out, they are being offered a sugarcoated life preserver. Here goes:

I've followed your columns regarding federal vs. private sector pay rates. How about some remarks about federal vs. state pay rates? I've been a Maryland probation agent for 10 years and I'm topped out at $31,600 per year (bachelor's degree required).

My federal counterparts make over $40,000 in the exact same job. Don't talk to me about low pay for federal workers without mentioning state employees who suffer even more.

. . . Let me suggest to Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and others that they may want to raise their voices for Maryland State employees as well as for their federal constituents. Donald G. Kumer Shady Side

It's an injustice to give a five-year retirement incentive bonus to Defense workers if other agencies are left out! I can understand the reasoning behind it. But remember, those {Defense} civilians were in an expanding market, which resulted in more of them getting higher grades while those of us in non-Defense agencies were going through budget cuts over the past 20 years. Also, I didn't notice the Defense Department making a special effort to hire other federal employees whose jobs were abolished. Now it comes time for them to take their lumps, and some congressmen want to add five years of credit to their retirement. Baloney!

I'm not against the five-year bonus if it is offered to all federal employees. This would open up jobs in all sectors of government so there would be plenty of havens for those displaced by the peace movement. Otherwise, no one should get the extra five years. Let the extra grades the Defense Department workers received in the fat years carry them into retirement.

I urge all non-Defense people to clip this out and send it to their member of Congress, with a line of agreement and their signature. We've been in the cold for the past two decades, why should we be left out again?

Peter E. Abresch

Prince Frederick