Good news and bad news about the 1990 federal pay raise.
The good news: The Advisory Committee on Federal Pay has urged the president and Congress to give the government's 1.4 million white-collar workers a 10 percent pay raise.
The committee said that in many jobs, federal pay lags as much as 30 percent behind the private sector. It recommends that Congress pass legislation to close that gap over the next three to five years through a series of local federal pay raises pegged to the going rate for similar jobs in private industry in a particular locale.
To emphasize the urgency of the federal pay problem, the committee issued its slick- cover, fact-filled report a month early.
The bad news is that nobody who counts pays any attention to the Advisory Committee on Federal Pay.
Although created by law and having earned a reputation for doing its homework, the committee -- like many others -- is best-known for being little-known and consistently ignored by the powers that be.
Normally the committee makes its annual report in August. Washington veterans know that issuing committee reports in August (unless they are on a hot political, social or medical issue) is a sure way to make sure nothing happens. The committee hopes that issuing the report early will give the White House and Congress more time to consider it. Lots of luck.
In fact, the raise is likely to be for 3.6 percent, the president's figure, or 4.1 percent, which has been approved by the House. That would mean a $26 to $30 per week raise for the average federal worker. But, obviously, neither of the likely figures is anywhere near what the advisory committee has proposed.
U.S. workers may find the committee report interesting. But like the novel you plan to take on vacation, don't take the committee report on federal pay seriously, even though it is very serious. Defense Early-Outs
Army Materiel Command civilians who are eager to take early retirement have one more hurdle to jump. Although the Office of Personnel Management has approved the early-out, which was requested by the Army, nobody can leave until the Army agrees to implement it.
OPM agreed to let the command waive normal age and service rules between July 12 and Oct. 12. That would allow eligible workers to retire at any age with 25 years' service or if they are at least age 50 with at least 20 years of service. Normally the earliest that federal workers can retire is at age 55 with 30 years' service.
But the early-out can't begin until the Army decides to give the green light. Officials expect the Army to make a decision about Aug. 1.
Many of Defense's 91,000 civilians here are worried about their jobs and are watching the AMC early-out situation. Saturday at noon on WNTR radio (1050 AM) George L. Jones, AMC's assistant deputy chief of staff for personnel, will talk about the giant command's job problems.