Federal IT workers to take home bigger checks

Federal IT workers to take home bigger checks

By Tony Lee Orr
GCN Staff

Nov. 6—Some 33,000 federal computer specialists and other information technology workers can expect a pay increase, some by as much as a third, under a special salary boost that the Office of Personnel Management announced Friday.

The pay increases—of between 7 percent and 33 percent—will take effect in January, OPM officials said. The plan puts affected IT workers on salary schedules separate from those of their white-collar colleagues in other government jobs, OPM officials said.

The pay hike is expected to bolster the government's ability to recruit and retain technology workers, OPM director Janice R. Lachance said. OPM specifically geared the plan toward entry-level positions and based it on a review of agencies' staffing needs and employment trends.

Lachance said the pay change would help the federal government compete with other employers for much-sought-after systems workers.

"I think we'll even be able to entice some current, nonfederal employees to give public service a try," she said. "And, when you consider the retirement, health insurance and family-friendly benefit packages we offer to our employees, the federal government compares very favorably with other employers."

The typical age of current employees was a key factor in the decision to offer technology workers more money, OPM said. A March study showed that 55 percent of technology workers were 45 or older.

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