Federal workers are so pleased to see that The Post published -- in a box, no less -- Daniel Hellstrom's letter {Dec. 24} complaining that we were given a half-day off on Christmas Eve. Mr. Hellstrom believes that federal workers should not be treated differently from private-sector workers. Perhaps next year we can get a whole day off, like so many of our colleagues in the private sector do. And perhaps some serious steps will finally be taken to eliminate the 25 percent pay disadvantage that separates us from the private sector.

NORMAN W. KING President, Chapter 101 National Treasury Employees Union Washington

Daniel Hellstrom's letter was quite interesting. Mr. Hellstrom was upset that federal workers were given a half-day off on Christmas Eve. He also indicated that, as a taxpayer, he would foot the bill. Of course, it's well known that federal employees don't pay taxes. Well, I, for one, am in perfect agreement with Mr. Hellstrom on one point: the federal government should not be treated differently from the private sector.

And while we are on the subject, I believe the last salary study in the metropolitan area indicated that federal workers' salaries are running approximately 18 percent behind those of private-sector workers, though we sometimes get pay raises of 2 or 3 percent per year.

I am quite sure we federal employees would be willing to work a whole day on Christmas Eve 1992 in exchange for having our salaries put in line with those in the private sector -- and kept there.

MICHAEL E. SMITH Oxon Hill