Just before closing for the New Year's holiday, the White House announced that President Bush had signed off on 2003 federal and military pay tables. The new salary rates will be posted today by the Office of Personnel Management, a spokesman for OPM said.

The pay tables provide the rates of basic pay and salaries under the statutory pay systems that cover the civil service, the Foreign Service, the Senior Executive Service, Cabinet secretaries and other groups.

In a statement, Bush pointed out that presidents do not have the authority to raise federal judicial salaries. "I hereby urge the Congress to specifically authorize a pay increase for federal judges," Bush said.

The legislation to authorize a judicial pay raise was among several measures that stalled last year in Congress because of differences over policy and spending priorities.

The new pay tables reflect previous White House announcements and provide most white-collar federal employees with a 3.1 percent pay raise and military personnel with a minimum 4.1 percent raise. Washington area lawmakers, however, hope to push through legislation that would give the civil service a 4.1 percent raise, similar to what Congress and Bush have provided the military.

The percentage point difference amounts to about $1 billion, and Bush administration officials think the president's plan will prevail once lawmakers start to grapple with finding the money to pay for homeland defense and a possible war with Iraq as well as domestic spending requirements.

An agreement on revising civil service pay rates may take weeks to reach. Most of the government is operating on an interim spending bill that expires Jan. 11, and some congressional aides think lawmakers will buy negotiating time by passing another interim bill before reaching an accord on fiscal 2003 priorities.

Bush's executive order, released New Year's Eve, will raise the cap on salaries for federal executives and administrative law judges. The top pay for those groups will be $142,500 this year, up from $138,200, an administration official said.

Cabinet secretaries will be paid $171,900 this year, an increase of $5,200, and deputy secretaries of departments and heads of major agencies will receive $154,700, a raise of $4,700, the official said.

The 2003 pay tables, showing salary increases by grades and levels, will be posted at www.opm.gov, the OPM spokesman said.

Key Departures at Navy Office The office of the Navy's deputy assistant secretary for acquisition is losing several experienced hands to retirement tomorrow. They include Frank Ford, with more than 34 years covering the Defense Logistics Agency, Navy Special Projects and other commands; Jim Ermerins, with 37 years covering the Defense Contract Audit Agency and other commands; Joyce Runyan, with 30 years covering the Naval Facilities Command and the office of the assistant Navy secretary; Chuck Sell, with 43 years covering Navy active duty, the Naval Weapons Engineering Support Activity, the Joint Cruise Missile Project Office and other commands; Mildred Spriggs, with 33 years covering the Bureau of Personnel, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and the office of the assistant secretary; and Michael McDonald, with 34 years covering the Naval Supply Systems Command, Naval Sea Systems Command and other commands.

And More Retirements Wallace E. "Bing" Garthright, deputy director of the division of mathematics, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the Food and Drug Administration, will retire tomorrow after 31 years of service.

Clauddia J. Jackson is retiring after 33 years at the Federal Aviation Administration's Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City. She worked in human resources management.

Harold Kessler, assistant to the executive director at the Federal Labor Relations Authority, will say his farewells Monday. He is retiring with 41 years of service, the last 32 of which were spent with agencies administering the federal sector labor-management relations program.

David D. Lucci, legal counsel at the Railroad Retirement Board, will retire tomorrow after 34 years of service.

Marie M. McIntosh, a computer specialist in the information dissemination branch of the National Science Foundation, will retire tomorrow after 40 years of federal service.

Anne Marie Smith, payroll officer for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, will retire tomorrow after more than 37 years of federal service.

James O. Travis, a traffic management specialist at HQ Military Traffic Management Command, retired Tuesday after 35 years of federal service.

Stephen Barr's e-mail address is barrs@washpost.com.