By now, most white-collar federal workers know the exact pay raise they will receive this month. Some, like civil servants in Washington, will get more than the 4.8 percent "average" raise. Workers in a few cities will get slightly less.

This year's pay table for federal workers in the Washington-Baltimore area was published in the Federal Diary on Dec. 22, along with an explanation of why they are getting an adjustment worth 4.94 percent. Workers in the San Francisco area will get the largest increase, 5.59 percent. Federal workers in the Richmond area will get 4.76 percent.

The raises will show up in paychecks later this month.

Also, by now, most federal, military and Social Security retirees should have received their cost-of-living adjustment, of 2.4 percent. That increase, which is based on the rate of inflation, is unrelated to federal pay raises, which are not COLAs.

And most overseas federal workers (and those in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) know by now that their raise will be limited to the 3.8 percent that President Clinton designated for the across-the-board pay adjustment. They will not get the 1 percentage point that the president, prompted by Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), designated for so-called locality pay raises.

At the same time, there are tens of thousands of specialized federal employees, and nearly a half-million blue-collar (wage-grade) workers, who are still in the dark over their pay raises this year. Hence this let-there-be-light report.

Here is pay information for many of the federal workers who aren't covered by the regular civil service pay tables:

Law Enforcement Officers

Federal law enforcement officers in the Washington-Baltimore area will get the same 4.94 percent adjustment as white-collar federal workers, with a couple of exceptions. And for some grades, the pay table is the same as the one published Dec. 22, but not for Grades 3 through 10. Law enforcement officers in those grades get a differential. For example, at GS 3, the salary range for law enforcement officers is $22,265 to $27,830. For regular Washington area feds, the GS 3 salary range is $18,555 to $24,120. At GS 10, the pay range for law enforcement officers is $40,182 to $51,851, compared with a regular GS 10 pay spread of $38,885 to $50,554.

Law enforcement officers who are members of the Senior Executive Service are paid more if they work in the Boston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco areas. Their pay levels in those metropolitan areas are: $123,192 at ES 1; $128,992 at ES 2; and $130,200 at ES 4, 5 and 6.

Administrative Law Judges

The 2000 pay raise brings administrative law judges to the following levels: AL-3/A, $79,900; AL-3/B, $86,000; AL-3/C, $92,200; LS-3/D, $98,300; AL-3/E, $104,500; AL-3/F, $110,600; AL-2, $116,800; and AL-1, $122,400. Members of the Board of Contract Appeals will get $115,056. The vice chairman will be paid $118,728, and the chairman will get $122,400.

Senior Executive Service

Because of locality pay, salaries for SES members vary from city to city. In the Washington-Baltimore area, which has the highest concentration of SES members, the rates are: ES 1, $115,811; ES 2, $121,264; ES 3, $126,825; and ES 4, 5, and 6, $130,200. SES members in some cities--including the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and New York--will be paid more than those in the Washington area. SES members in other cities, including Richmond, will be paid less.

Scientific Salaries

For workers in senior-level scientific and professional grades in the Washington- Baltimore area, the salary range is $101,566 to $130,200.

Executive Schedule

Pay rates on the executive schedule--above SES levels--are: Level 5, $114,500; Level 4, $122,400; Level 3, $130,200; Level 2, $141,300; and Level 1, $157,000.

Contemplating a Divorce?

Federal employees who are thinking about divorce may want to check out the latest version of the Federal Personnel Guide. It has a special chapter on divorce, government-style. It tells what federal workers and their spouses should know before, during and after the fact. The complete guide costs $13.95 (including shipping and handling), plus an additional 50 cents in taxes for Maryland residents. To order, go to or call 1-800-705-5353.

Mike Causey's e-mail address is

Thursday, Jan. 6, 2000