Wages for Federal Blue-Collar Employees Are Being Determined According to the Law, but Improvements Are Needed

FPCD-80-12: Published: Oct 29, 1979. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 1979.

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Complaints made by Federal employees about the Federal Wage System were investigated. The complaints concerned the annual adjustments to wages of many blue-collar workers.

The investigation disclosed that the wage system was being used legally in all of the cases. In one case, better labor and management cooperation were needed at the local level. In another case, better communication would have improved data collection. The system needed better assurance that the surveys were determining the prevailing wage rates. Many companies refused to participate in the surveys, but this problem could be improved with better communication and increased solicitation. Alternative sources of information should be found to the out-of-date State unemployment records currently in use. The system lacked specific statistical standards to indicate the confidence of the prevailing rate, as determined by the wage surveys.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the wage fixing authority to obtain Labor's approval before taking any unilateral actions that differ from normal data collection; and to communicate systematically to local wage committees the specific reasons why any of their data were found to be unusable. He should avoid administrative problems similar to those occurring in the 1977 San Francisco survey, which were not cost effective and caused substantial time to be lost by data collection teams.

    Agency Affected:


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