Three members of Congress have asked the General Accounting Office to conduct a major study of sex discrimination in government wage-setting, with top priority given to the situation of government librarians. Rep. Geraldine A. Ferraro (D-N.Y.) has been battling an Office of Personnel Management proposal to set one entry-level grade for librarians, whether or not they have master's degrees.

Ferraro has asked the OPM to delay making the changes until the study is completed, but OPM still plans to finalize the librarian standards soon. OPM Director Donald J. Devine said the GAO would go beyond job evaluations to focus on whether persons in comparable jobs are receiving comparable salaries.

In the meantime, he said, OPM's efforts to remove credential requirements for some federal jobs "is a good policy for women" and would help librarians, most of whom are women, who don't have master's degrees. But a Ferraro aide argued,, "Opening up predominantly women's jobs to women is not really that great. Why not open men's jobs to women?"

Devine said the OPM is considering removing credential distinctions for a dozen other jobs, including park managers and economists, held mostly by men.