Government officials calculate the annual federal pay raise using figures of private industry taken by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The BLS surveyors "go to a great number of establishments around the country carrying with them job descriptions - clerk typist, lawyer, draftsman and the like - of federal employees," according to an official of the Office of Management and Budget.
"They find people who do the same work, then they sit down with officials and make sure the work is the same (as that of the federal workers): they ask the company what those people make. All that is brought back to Washington."
More than 1.5 million jobs are surveyed in this manner, the [TEXT OMITTED]
That information is then fed into a complicated formula using "weighted averages" taking into account the number of people in the various jobs and the variations in pay scales from one geographic location to another.
The President's "managers," or pay agents, then submit the pay rates to union representatives, and they talk about it before the President decides. The unions decided in this case, for example, that they wanted the pay raise to be "across the board" (the same per cent for every grade) rather than graduated so that the higher grades got a higher raise, officials said.