Washington area federal workers aren't on the list to get special

8 percent raises next year, according to the Federal Employees News Digest. Instead, the Virginia-based weekly newsletter says, President Bush will authorize the special raises -- on top of the 4.1 percent raise due all federal workers in January -- for employees in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Paul Clark, of the Office of Personnel Management, said the newsletter report is "speculation" because the president has not announced which cities are in line for the special raises authorized by the new federal pay law.

Clark noted that the president's original pay plan, which Congress modified, proposed that federal workers in those three cities get the special raises. That's because the government has the toughest time getting and keeping employees in those cities because of private pay scales and local living costs.

The pay law, which takes effect next month, doesn't target any cities for raises. It give the president authority to grant raises of up to 8 percent whenever and wherever he chooses. But officials hope Bush will announce any special adjustments soon so they can go into effect in January along with the regular 4.1 percent raise.

Washington has long been considered to be way down on the list of needy cities. About 58,000 of the 360,000 federal workers here already get special pay rates. They include most engineers, some medical personnel and most clerical workers in Grades 2 through 7.

Government figures indicate that living costs are higher and/or the industry vs. government pay gap is wider in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hartford, Boston, Honolulu, San Diego, New Haven and other places than here. One reason is the high concentration of higher-salary federal workers here.

Cost and politics are other considerations. An 8 percent raise here would cost $738 million a year. For that, the White House could give the same raises to workers in the 10 biggest metropolitan areas with change to spare.

Presidential Awards

Marilyn Quayle, wife of the vice president, will keynote today's presidential awards program for outstanding federal workers with disabilities. It starts at 10:30 a.m. at the Commerce Department auditorium.

The winners are Walter Ashby, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.; Clarence Bennett, Navy; Charles H. Bradford, National Credit Union Administration; Joyce A. Brock, Health and Human Services; Fernando L. Colon Jr., CIA; John M. Cunningham, Environmental Protection Agency; Carol Fudge, Army; Mary Lynn Halverson, Air Force; Paul S. Keenan Jr., Defense Logistics Agency; Reginald W. Mitchell, Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Phillip E. Rosenberg, Department of Veterans Affairs; Margaret M. Spezia, Defense Mapping Agency; and a posthumous award to Linda S. Orr, of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


Housing and Urban Development's Thomas N. Herzog and Theresa DiVenti won the Actuarial Education and Research Fund's practitioner's award for 1990. Each got $500 for a paper on "reverse mortgages," which allow older people to borrow money using their homes as collateral.