Tuesday, November 16, 2004

What are you doing this weekend?

The WSJ runs an interesting article (may only work from .mil addresses) on the congressional debate over a military pay increase. The Bush administration is pushing for a 3.5% raise for the military, but certain members of congress (especially those with DC area constituencies) won't go for it without a corresponding increase for federal civilian workers.
While a pay raise won't do it for everyone (more on that one later), it will surely encourage some to stick it out instead of going the GS route, where you stand a good chance of living at home more than every other year.

If members of Congress are as concerned about soldiers as they say they are, the message to Ms. Kelley and her ilk must be that, as important as some of the work done by civilian employees is, their work is not as indispensable as that done by the soldiers keeping our country free.

Federal workers also get the day off with pay on 11 federal holidays, more paid time off than most private-sector jobs provide. And, of course, American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan don't get any holidays from being in harm's way.

Besides, in wartime, federal civilian workers should understand why the military should get priority in pay raises. As Ramona Fortanbary, editor of Veterans' Vision, writes, "These patriotic men and women, who after all did choose government service over more lucrative private employment, can and will understand that . . . at times of great demand upon the military services . . . the troops need the money more."

Good point on the holidays. You can't truly appreciate a day off until you go six months without one. I can't imagine what to do with an entire weekend!