Various studies by think tanks and newspapers have concluded that any way you slice it – pay, benefits, leave time, pensions – feds are at the top of the American job pole. That they make more money than the average worker, and even more money than people doing similar jobs in the private sector.
But do they really?
Here’s a look at the situation from the viewpoint of a Montana-based fed who points out that Uncle Sam runs a highly professional operation.
“When the non-government agencies make comparisons they are making them average American salary to average Federal Salary. Of course the Feds make more. We have a much higher percentage of doctors, lawyers and CPAs compared to the average American job. Why? Can we say VA, IRS, SEC etc.
“The VA here in Helena has a job opening for a doctor at $115,000 a year. The lowest paid physician is a pediatrician and I understand they make about $135,000 a year. The higher paid in town (that I know of) is the Oncologist who makes over $750,000 a year. (Works for a non-profit hospital so his salary is public information.) The only doc the VA will get is one who is almost ready to retire, already made his money, paid off his student loans and wants the regular day job with no call and the lifetime insurance. Who else is going to take it $20,000 below low salary? And just ask Congress – these guys are over paid!
“Just to defend the Oncologist, who I know; this guy is up at 4 am every morning to run 8 – 10 miles, is at the hospital by 6 am for calls, then goes to his clinic where he works all day – eats lunch in the office most days, until 6 PM. Has is family time and children’s events until 8 or 9 and goes to bed. He is also on 24×7 call as he is the only Oncologist in town (2nd one is coming in the fall.) He works his butt off and is very good at what he does. He also doesn’t pawn patients off on PA’s or nurses for follow up after treatment is done. He sees them himself.
“I also asked one of the CPA firms in town what they hired a new guy at when I was there on an audit. This new guy with 3 years experience was making slightly less than I am with 27 years in service and 10 years CPA experience. I was in the middle of the pack for salary when I asked their range for non-partner salaries, which is probably not bad as I don’t work 80 hour weeks during the filing season and get more vacation. But, then again, this is Montana and not the big city where there is much more competition for educated workers. ” Linda of the IRS
Analysis: FEHB changes coming to your wallet The Office of Personnel Management is changing how Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) carriers determine their group rates. A new interim rule replaces the current system