One time-honored way to save money is to fire experienced but relatively low-skilled full-time employes and replace them with minimum-wage part-timers. Industry does it if labor contracts permit and, as we all know, what's good for industry is good for the White House.
The Office of Administration in the Executive Office of the President handles personnel and administrative matters for White House agencies from the Office of Management and Budget to the Council on Environmental Quality and has an authorized strength of 150 people to handle mail, supplies, travel, etc. Comes the budget crunch (and the lack of a full-year appropriation) and the office cut to 128 full-time employes. Some retired, some found other work but, when the last ax fell, eight were RIFfed. Four of them, including two who were handicapped, have found jobs; four have not, including a GS5 supply clerk with six years' service, according to Raymond P. Kogut, a civil service careerist and the personnel director for the Office of Administration.
While full-time employes have been pushed out, however, there has been an increase in the number of so-called "stay-in-school" employes, students hired for a maximum of 20 hours per week and paid small salaries. Between January and March, the ranks of the stay-in-school troops increased from 12 to 25.
A GS5 with six years' experience gets an annual salary of $14,138, plus 32 percent fringes for a total budget cost of $18,662. Two stay-in-school part-timers would receive a total of $10,955 annually, and receive no fringes except pro-rated annual leave. So two half-time stay-in-schoolers would cost about $7,700 less than one full-time GS5.
"Basically," said Kogut, "we're doing the same work at a much more cost-effective basis."