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From the Federal Diary archives: Pay raise plans in the 1950s

Federal workers used to hearing about plans to freeze or cut their pay for years now might be surprised that, at least for a while in the 1950s, the debate was headed in the opposite direction.

As part of our series looking into the archives of The Washington Post’s Federal Diary column as it celebrates 80 years of covering the federal worker community, this reprint from Nov. 27, 1950, features columnist Jerry Kluttz on proposals to increase worker pay. 

“Half a dozen bills to boost the salaries of Federal workers will be introduced in the ‘Lame-Duck’ session of Congress that convenes today,” the column begins. A number of employee unions and congresspersons wanted to boost compensation, Kluttz reported. A bill wasn’t expected to pass during the lame duck session, but proponents thought “a running start” would help them in the new session.


The column also lists job openings in different departments, giving a glimpse at the pay scale from that year. A powder and explosive worker could net $1 an hour, while information specialists and engineers could earn up to $6,400 a year to start.

We’d like to hear from readers about their favorite Diary columns or otherwise memorable Diary moments. Write to or leave your comments below.

Previously in this series: 1930′s: No more primping; 1940s: A post-War transition shakeup; The Federal Diary’s inaugural column

Sara is a producer and editor for mobile projects at the Washington Post.



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