. . ' .: k; . .- . . . . ..- . >. q 9 . .. .) . . . . .. b .'.?...,' # . , . +..: ...>. ., '. , - ' - , : A . . ~ - ,\ . u - .. &. , ? - . . . ... b . - ~ * D . - \ 6 .u . *. * .. . - . . . * .,'/ Y . . e . . I ,,. . ... . ./-.. . . . ' . 0 . I . I .. 4- ' .. ,. > -* . . : . , . .5 ., . . United State's G.e*ml Accou.?l.tingOffice . , - . .., , , . . ,, ' . . . . G-0 .. .: , p , _ .. - Repdrt to Designated Congqessional Committees - . . .. . 4 *. . * . , . ' .- . . , . . .. ' .. . .. , . . . . *' . ? . . . ). .- : i- 8 . - . ., . . . C Effect onkecruitment A ".I. , , . . and Retention fop.. ,:' :@lectedClerical , . 4, , . . *I .:. GAO United States General Actollnting Omce Was-m, D.C. 20548 September 24,1990 The Honorable John Glenn Chairman, Committee on Govemnental Affairs United States S i ~ a t e The Honorable William D. Ford Chairman, Committee on Post Office and Civil Seruicv House of Representatives Congress is considering proposals to refcrrm the General Schedule(s), the largest white-collar employee pay system in the federal government. The propmils have the objective of increasing federal salaries to make them more competitive with the nonfederal sector and include insti- tuting a "locality pay" approach in which salary rates would vary by geographic area. Cub~ently, the only systematic way GS pay rates for particular jobs can vary ty locality is if the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) approves agency requests for "special rates." Agencies may then pay higher rates for particular occupations in particular locations to counteract recruit- ment or retention problems caused by higher private sector pay or for other reasons. The agencies must certify that they have funds to pay the higher rates within their existing budgets. We therefore ~xaminedthe effectiveness of special rates in recruiting and ~ i a i n h gemployees in selected localities and fur selected clerical occupations. -- Higher darks paid under the special rates program appear to have Results in Brief helped to retain employees in the four clerical occupations we reviewed, at least in the short term. For example, in 18 of the 20 specific special rate casa we examined, quit rates declined in the year after the imposi- tion of special rates.' Ry compariso~,quit rates declined in - h u t one- half of the 118 cases we examined where the same wcupaticns in other localities did not receive special rates. However, as an indication hat the special rates may not have beefi high enough to compete effectively witi. other e~-.loyers,in 13o.: the 18special rate cases where quit rates declired in ti ,first year, quit rates rost! mmwhat iq the second year zber special rates were granted. ---- Agency officials respding to our survey said special rates were gener- ally effective in reducing turnover and improving recruitment However, they more often said special rate" were "stmewhat"effective rather than "very" effective, and respondents in are= with high costs of living and high private uxtor pay rates were less likely to perceive special ratesas ''very" effective than thase in areas where pay and csosts of living were lower. In additim, agency off~icialsated problems in the administration of spe- cial rates--problems that limited their effectivenes in attracting and keeping employees. The officials ndedexamples where special rates were too low tcj effectively alleviate reauitment and retention difficul- ties and where special rates actually mtnbuted to morale and retention pn&lems because the ratesvaried within and across occupations :.nd grade levels in individual lacalities. Our findings indicate that special nates may be a partial solution to recruitment and retention problems but are not a substitute for compre hensive reform of the federal pay system that would increase basic sala- ries to more competitive Levels.* B e c a t of the concern that federal pay rates are too low, particularlyin objectivest Scow9 and h i g h ,high-paying locali-, and the fact that the special ratespro- Methodology gram is the only systematic means by wtiici. nigher s h i e s can be paid, we examined the effectiveness of special rates in recruiting and retaining employees in sekcted!lodities and occupations where hey are paid. Our overall objective was to determine if higher pay rates did, ir, fxt,enhance retention and recruitment of federal employees in spe- cific r..ases. To accomplish our objective, wc obtained data from om on t.he number of employees in the spwhl rates program at various points hi time to show the changes in program participation over the past decade in gen- eral and by occupational group and geographic area. We also obtairai OPM special rate authorizatic,ns for 1990 and previous years to determine the extent to which special rates varied by occupation witlin areas and 8rad- To test the effect of specid rates on retention, we obtained data from mu on empbyee quit rales in six metropolitan statistical areas (=)3 for four clerical occupations that received special rates in 1987.' The occupations were clerk stenographer (cs312), secretary (@18), cie :k typist (c;s322),and data transcriber (~-356).The localities uvre Eastern Masachmetts; Holtsville, N.Y.; San Francisco Ray Area; Dallas- Fort Worth: Northern New Jersey; and the Wachington, D.C .w.We examined the quit rates in these occupations for the 3 years before and the 2 years after receipt of special rates. Using these data we attempted to determine whether the authorization of speck! rates had improved employee retentton in these occupationsand locations. To contmi for the effects of special rates, we also compared quit rate data for the same occupations during the same t h e periods in other areas that did not receive special rates. Because we were unable to control for all possible factors associated with changes in federal quit rat- (e.g., private sector wage rates, costs of living, availability of other jobs in the m a , working conditions), our analysis cannot be considered a definitive test of the effect of special rates in these areas.Also, we focused on only 4 of the more than 160 ocripations and 6 of the more than 150 mus where federal employees are cumntly receiving specla1 pay rates. Therefore, no generalizations tn other occupationsor areas can be made. As p a t of a separate review of recruitment and retentio~experiences for selected occupations in 8 federal agencies and 16 MSAS, we also obtained agency officials' views of the special rates program through questionnaires and follow-up interviews. Tl?erespondents provided their perception., of how effectively and equitably the special rates pr* gram has addreslssd recruitment and retention problems in the seiected occupations and facilities. A more complete description of our objee'tives, scope, and methodology is in appendix I. .-. 3~n~ismanea~ofalargepoplktmnnucleus~wah~mIlruritie, urieus. MSAsareawnposedni ha~ahighdegre~deonmnicandsociPlintelp"atior~W.that whok~,do?ptinNewhghndwherethqrpredefinedbycityili 'town. -- The GS is the largest white-mllar pay system in the federal government, Background and covering about 1.5 million full-time engloyees as of March 31,1990. The Changes the S@d GS system applies governmentwide; employees at the same salary grades Raks b@a?!?! receive +h same amounts regardless of t h r agency, job, or location. Similarly, the salary wustment mechanism required by law specifies that c;s pay rates are to be comparable with national average salaries paid by private companies for the same levels of work. A s administered, the system has not mamtained competitive pay rates in many localities. Every year since 1977,the president and r3ngres have decided to m u s t GS rates at lesser amounts than xwcesay to maintain national average comparability vrith the private sector. More over. the monolithic GS system does not recognize variations in private sector pay rates from one geographic area to another. In establishing a national salary schedule for federal whitecollar employees, Congress recognized that national average wdaries could be insufficient to recruit and retain employees in all occupations and gee graphic locations. Accordirtgly, in 1954 Congress authorized the use of special rates u,allow agencies to pay higher amounts to employees in particular occupations or locations when agencies could show the higher amounts were necesuy to courlteract recruitment or retention prob!enls caused by higher private sector pay or other reasons. Under the law,OPM may approve a minimum special salary rate for a positim that is not more tkan 30 percent of the minimum rate payable for that position under the GS5 OPM requires the heads of departments or agencies to certify in special rate requests that higher salaries are neces- sary to ensure adequate staffing to accomplish their rriions and that funds are available within existing budgets to pay che added costs. For a number of years after %e program was emcted in 1954, relatively _Fewernployecs were covered by special rates. However, as an indication of the severity of unmntpetitive salary rates paid under the GS system, the w of special rates grew as average federal sector salaries fell fur- ther behind average private sector salaries from 1977 to 1990. In fwd v c s ~1977. for example, about 8,Wi~nployeeswere rwiiing special & tes. By S86,ever 36,000 employees received special ram. 2,1987, the number of special rate employees increased dramatically to over 127,000,primarily from the addition of thousandsof clerical woricers. By December 31,1989, over 179,000 federal employees (13.8 percent of full-time, permanent GS personnel) were receiving special rates.@In 27 MSAS, special rates cover over 20 percent of the full-time G$ workforce. The annual cost of the program is now estimated to be about $484 mil- lion. (For a more detailed discussion of changes in the size and scope of the special rates program, see app. II.) / To assess whether higher pay had thc desired effect of reducing quit EEect of Special Rates rates in specific cases, we identified the ampations and locations for 07 Retention in which special rates were first approved in 1987. In order to obtain suffi- $PeCifi~cases cient data for meaningful analysis, we selected only those occupations that received special rates in more than one location in 1987 and those localities with over 100 authorized special rate positiolis in the selected job series. Selecting dl cases that met these criteria, we examined quit rate data for four occupations across six geographic areas. Ehausespe- cial rates were not paid to em:!cycss in three of the occupations in all areas,and one area had no employees ir one of the occupations, a total of 20 special rate cases were included in our review. (See app. I for a more complete description of the methoclology we used in selecting the occupations and areas to be reviewed.) -.-. - QuitRates k h e d in We compared quit rates in the selected occupations and areas for the 1- Almost All Cases After year periods immediately before and after the authorization of special rates. Quit rates in the year fo'llowingthe establishment of special rates Special Rates VJere declined from the prior year in 18of the 20 cases; this was statistically Authorized signifi~ant.~We made the same comparisons using average quit rates for the aggregate 3-year period preceding and the 2-year periud following special rates. In this longer-term comparison, average quit rates declined in 14 of the 20 cases. However, this was not statistically significant. These restilts suggest that the availability of higher pay through sp&l rates increased retention only in the short term. Also noteworthy was the fact tbat quit rates startd going uy again in the second year of special rates in 13 af the 184c- when?rates declined after the f m t year. One possible explanation is that the special rate increases were not large enough to have a 10n~~-term influence on quit rates. In a Holtmille case, for example, the data transcribe3 cov- ered by specjai rates were all at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Brookhaven Service Center. In a telephone survey t' reached 294 of the 366 data transcribers who quit during 1988,46 w n t of these former employees told the Service Center they q u . ~ , se of inade quate pay. We also assessed the effect of special rates by analyzing trends --- in quit rates before artd after the pay increases were provided . ., [or instance, quit rates had prev'ously been mc~vingtiown for a partral~occupation in a particular area, a drop in the quit rate aftzr the special rates would not be especially meaningful. In 8 of the 20 cases reviewed, qrit rates k d increased in each of the 3 years preceding the pawent of special rates.We found that quit rates declined in the following year in seven of the eight cases, indicating tbat the special rates had a positive effect. Again, this reversa! of the treud was short term; quit rates in five of those seven cases went "uk up in the second year of speci~lrates. (App. VI shows the annual changes in quit rates for all of the special rate cases we examined.) Quit Rates for Control As a further test of the effects of special salary rates on employee retcn- Cases Did Not Show tion, we selected a control group of 118cases in the r m e occupations in 42 ?&AS that did not receive special rates during the 1387 to 1989 Similar Changes period. Because wewere unable to control for all p s i b l e factors assmi- hted with changes in federal quit rates (e.g., the availability of other jobs in the areas), these cases cannot serve as perfect controls. There fore, our amlysu of quit rates in the nonspeciai rate cases provided onlj a general baseline for comparisons rather than a definitive test of h e effect sf special rates. In general, while quit rates fell in almost all of the special rate cases 10 the year after special rates were first authorized, quit rates im the 118 nonspecial rate cases were almost equally divided between those that rose and those that fell during that succeeding year (fiscal year 19i)8).g (See fig. 1.) --- - - - - 'ln the other I? cases, quit rates e k dgdined w had no amdstent trend during the %year perbd. ThetdforeachsgecidrateceneismtedinaOpendixI,taMeI.l. Note The post-epeualrate year ISroughly equvaknt to FY 1%. Results dqcted are for 20 cases wth special rates ancl118 cases wMout special rates. In 21 of the control cases, quit rates consistent!y increased each of t -.e 3 years before higher pay was authorized in our special rate cases. We compared subsequent quit rate trends for these nonspecial rate cases with the eight s p e d rate cases that also had upward trending quit rates going into 1987.1°Of the 2 1 nonspecial rate cases, 13showed a continued increase in quit rates during the subsequent year compared to only one of the eight special rate cases. In general, these data also sug- gest that special rates improve retention, at least in the short term. As another test of the special rates program, wt s k e d agency officials Agency Officials' to provide their pemptions on the effectiveness of special rates in views on addressing recruitment and ~;eterltiondifficulties k 11occupations with Effectiveness of high national quit rates. Thequestionnaire respondents, primarily agency personnel officers and Line managers, represented 8 different Special Rates agencies in 16 MW. A total of 271 questionnaires were distributed and completed. (SLY app. I for a nlo-2 complete description of the survey twthodology.) Slightly more than half the ieswndents iadicated that the occupations for which they were responding reeived specid rates in their i m t d a - t3kp-s. ID those cases where special b - a t e s wew being re@-ived, the offi- ciais had a genera;: j 5zvorable perception of special ra~es'effectweness in atidressing recruitment and retention problems. About 85 percent said the special rates had been "somewhat effective" or "very effective" in reducing turnover and improving recruitment. However, the respon- dents more often said special rates were "somewhat" effective rather than "very" effective. (See fig. 2.) This view of special rdm as heirs only "somewhat" effective was particularly prevalent in MSAS with the highest costs of living and private jectcr pay rates. In follow-up interviews, respo, ,dents cited examples of how special rates had improved recruitment and/or retention of fedrral workers, including the following: According to an 1fzsAtlanta special rate analysis, the presence of special rates for data transcribers contributed to (1) an improvement in the rerurn rate for seasonal emyloyees from 53 percent to 82 percent, (2) a 22 percent increase in tatal productivity due lower turnover rates, and (3) a reduction in the error rate from 10.3 percent to 8.3percer because employers took more pride in their work. At Ft. Devens in the Boston area, an agency official said fewer clerks resigned to take jobs in the privzte sector and fewer employeL3were actively looking for new jobs after they received special rates. She also - - - - - -- -- said their recruitment problems subsided silgrific8ntt.j after their October 1987 special .ate increase. A Departrrrent of the Treasury official at the US.Mint in Philti2elphia : special pay rate has drastically changed the Mint's ability to get ~ 5I the more applicants for police positions. She noted that before the specid rate, at the end of 1988, an announcement drew only 1C applimcs, E of whom decilned hecause the pay was too low. By contrast, in 1989,with the new rate, the same announcement produced over 50 applicants. In addition b the quit rate analysis.we found evidence during this Problems in the .. review of several problems in the admuustration of the special rats Adminhtration of program. We also identifled several factors that we believe contribute to Special Rates That these problems. Can Limit Effectiveness Federal Salaries Are Often In a May 1990 comparison of f~deriand private sector pay by job and Uncompetitive Even With locality, we showed that special rates often failed to match private sector salaries for particular jobs ir, particular areasi1We noted that Special Rates average federal pay in 1988 fell short of the average pay in the private sector in all of the applic-ableKSAS and job levels studied where specla1 rates we<h effect. For example, average private sector pay for entry level typists in the San Francisco MSA in 1988was 61.3 percent higher ~ average federal rate for that job in that MSA - t h a the after a special rate wustment of about 22 percent. The inability of special rates to compete with private s e m r salaries was 7% noted by agency officials during our survey follow-up interviews. 1 .espondents who said sycial rates were ody "somewhat" effective also often said their special rate salaries were still not competitive with the 9rivat.e sector. For example An &c ~lpationalSafety and Health Administration (OSHA) management officer m New York did not believe the special rate for industrial 5: gienists would improve retention and recnrrtment to a great extent because the 17-percel.+ increase was not sufficient to eliminate the fed- eral-private sector pay gap. The ~ffrcersaid some OSHA industriai hygienists are going to the private sector where they can get salaries 25 permit higha . An official at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) said that, even afcer receiving the special rate, medical clerks at the center v r e paid about $2.00 less than their pi-ivate sector crmter- parts in San T.kancisc0. At the same facility, another official said the starting S d d j for pharmacists (with a special rate) was $38,713, and the top rate (after 15 years) was $47,819 while at two nearby private hospitals the starting salary for pharmacists was $51,730. At the Army Health Senices Command in Baltimore. agency officials said that even with the special rates, federal pay for environmental enginem was uncompetitive. As a result, they said they target their recruiting efforts at the bottom half of the graduating classes from less prestigious schools. Variations in Special Rates Also during follow-up interviews. survey respondents noted equity Raise Equi.tyComerns problems that they felt limited the effectiveness of special rates. Agency officials cited examples where differences in pay rates for those employws with special rates and those without or receiving lesser spe- cial rate increases contributed to morale, recruiting, and retention diffi- culties. These updesirable effects of the program appear to be a reflection of the great variatio~tin the special rate increases authorized to different grade levels within individual occupations, to different occupations within the same geographic area, or to different agencies for the same occupation. (See app. VII for examples of such variations.) Among the examples provided by the agency officials of difficulties caused by special rates were the following: An Environments! Protection Agency (EPA) official in Chicago believed special rates cause morale problems when one occupdticn receives them while another does not. The official also noted that, because special rates at that location applied only through cs-11, a cs12 supervisor could be paid less than the person being supervised. -4t the Bedford (Mass.)VA hospital, an agency official told us that when Hanscom Air Force Base was allowed higher special rates than the VA hospitals, many of the hospital's cierical employees transferred to Hanscvm. The chief of the IRS h'ew York regional personnel section said some &rk typists were accepting reductions in their grades in order to qualify for a special rate pay increase that was applicable only at the lower grades. Page 11 Officials at v.4 medical centers in Dallas; XorfoIk, Va; and St. buis reported that special rates had limited success in retaining nurses because the s m i a l rate applied only to entry level employees, not expe rienced staff. The Bronx viwc director documented that some nurses who were promoted actually received lower salaries. At the Kational Guard in Boston, an agency official said it was much harder to recruit on Cape Cod,where there were no special rates, than in the rest of Eastern Massachusetts covered by special m,even thougl'1Cape Cod had about the same cost of living and private sector salary rates as the rest of Eastern Massachusetts. In the New York MSA, a VA chief of pharmacy said s w salary rates cause severe morale problems by allowing some VA staff pharmacists to earn more than their supervisors (including the chief of pharmacy who has taken a second job with a nation& drugstore chain). The official also said that, because of this diminished salary differential, the special rates have made it almost impossible to recruit anyone at the supervisory and administrative levels. -9representative of U.S. Park Police and US. h r e t Service Uniformed Division testified that under the variations in special rates authorized at different levels "[tjhe incentive for entry level officers Co seek promotion within their respective agency k greatly reduced. In effect the entry level officers cannot afford to be pro- moted. Some officers promoted to Sergeant immediately after the pay rate took effect are actually making less than entry level officers witn tbc same number of years seniority." Sever& Factors Contribute We found that a number of factors contribute to the problems with the special ~ i f f i ~ ~ administration lti~ of special rates,including the following: Different special rates statutes apply to specific employee groups. Some H governed by title 38 of the US. Code, specid rates in VA and ~ I are which allows those agencies greater flexibility in setting pay for certain medical occupations. For these occupations, VA and mi are not subject to the title 5 limitation applicable to other agewies that sets the maximum allowable special rate increase at 30 percent for any salary grade. According to an oar official, special rates may not always be competi- tive with local nonfederal rates because the agency that has the greatest number of positions in an occupation usually prepares the Ypecial rates app!ication on behalf of all agencies in the locality. In doing so, the lead agency can exert significant influence in deciding what special rates to request even if other agencies want to pay higher amounts in order to be competitive. OPM officials told us that, although they attempt to reduce drastic differ- ences in ram paid at succeeding grade levels in approving special rate authorizations, they target the special rate increases at the grade levels and in the amounts they feel are most appropriate to address docu- mented retention and recmting problems. OPM officiafs also noted that the salary compression pmbIems-mpervi- sors being paid less than those supervised or employees making less by being promoted-are often caused by overtime policies rather than the special rates program itself. Supervisors and 3ther higher graded employees may be eligible for overtime pay at reduced ratesor not at all, so the higher spcial rates and overtime payments, in combination, cause lower graded employees to receive higher total pay. An underlying problem in the special rdks program is that all agewies do not have the financial resources to pay the additional costs of s p a rates, and agencies must agree to absorb the costs for the special ratt's to be approved. An ow official said that while the number of positions eligible for special rates might otherwise be expected to continue tc grow, agencies are likely to find it increasingly difficult to f i i suffi- cient funds within their appropriations to pay for the program. P The special rates program was originally ir~tendedto be an "'escape Conclusions valve" from national GS rates for all occupations to deal with isolated pay problems. However, the program has become much more than a remedy for local recruitment and retention difficulties for parcicuiar occupations. It is now the only systematic mechanism by which agencies can attempt to deal with the widening gap bztwcen federal and nonfederal salaries. We believe many of the undesirable effects of the program are attributable to the progrm*being stretched beyond its orig- inal purpose or beczuse agencies have varying abilities to pay for the Prwam- Our findings indicate that special rates are not a substitute for compre hemive pay reform. Although the evidence suggests that special rates helped agencies in recruiting and retaining employees, the positive effect of the higher rates appeared to be limited or short term. Even with special rates, federal pay was still not competitive in many cases we examined. While the program has helped agencies to be more competitive with other employers, it is not as effective as it could be if basic salarieswere more reasonable. By adopting a more qstmmtic annual -t p m cess and making basic salary nates more competitive by W t y vas the pay reform proposals (H.R. 3979 and Amendment No. 2616 to H.R. 5241) being considered by Congress w d d accomplish, the special rates program can return to its original purpose. Otherwise, we believe the program will become less effective over time and createeven gmater inequities among employee gm~ps than now exist. We met with officials from om and other agencies to review our objec- Agency Comments tives, mpe,methodology, and f~ndings. The officials generally agreed witn the andysis and our mndzsions. Their informal com~ents have kea iitiurpurai xi in the text of this report. .- -. - -- ,t are being sent to parties utterested in federal pay Copies of this r e ~ matters and will ae available to othem request. The mqjor cmtributorsa this report are listed in appendix MS. Please con- me on 275-6204 if you have an: questions concerhg the report. Hosslyn S. Kleeinan Director, Federal Workforce Future Issues BCWK PAGE Page 16 Contents Letter 1 -- Appendix I 20 Objectives,Scope, and Method010gy -- Appendix I1 26 E5aCkgmund and scope of the Special h i s i e s program Appendix III 34 Distribution of Special Rates Personnel by MSA (As of Ikcember 31,1585,1987, and 1989) Appendix N 43 Distribution of Special Rates Personnel by Federal Agency (As of March 31,1990) J - -- Appendix V 46 Special Rate Authorizations- Occupations and Covered Populations by Geographic Area (As of January 1, 1gQo) - ~pkdixVI Quit Rsltes Before and After the Authorization of Special Rates in A s e l e c t e d Cases - Appendix W 63 Variations in Special F&te Amounts within Geographic Areas -- -- Appendix VIII 67 Mqjor Contributors to This Report Table I. 1: Special Rate Occupations Reviewed in Each -tY Table 1.2: MSAs, Agencies, and Occupations in tLe Survey Table 11. I :Number and Percentage of Fu!i-Time Permanent White-Collar Br~llploy~s Receiving Special Rates (Asof December 31,1985, !'387, and 1989) Tabie II.2: Special Rate Employment by Occupational Category (As of March 31,1987,1988,and 1989) Table 11.3: MSAs With the Largest Numben of Special Rate Ezployees (Asof December 1985,1987,and 1389) Table 11.4: MSAs With the Highest Percentage of Syecial Rate Employees (As of December 1985,1987,and 1-1 Table 11.5: Federal Agencies With the liighest Numbers of Special Rate Employees (As of March 31,l%M) Table 11.6: Federal With Highest Perc mtage of Special Rate Employees (As of March 3 1, l90) Table M.1: Special l2zt.e Differsum Within Six MSAs - ---.. - F%w'= k~gureI - Changes in Quit Rates in the Year After h xcial Rates Were Granted in Four ClericaI ~Jcccpations Figure 2: Reported Effectivenessof Special Rab (HI Retrntion and Recruitnwnt Figure 11.1: Growth in th? Number oi Employees Receiving Special Rates ( 1985-1989) Figure II.2: Growth in Special Rate Employment by Occupational Category (As of March 31,1987,1988, and 198s) Fwre V?.1:Quit Rates - Eastern Massachusetts W r - VI.2: Quit bt;?s - Holtsville, N.Y. Figure VI.3:Quit Rates - San k'rancisco Bay Area Figure VI.4: @it Rates - M a s F o r t W0rt.h Figure VI.5: Qult Rates - Northern New Jersey Figwe V1.e Quit Rates - Washington, D.C. 1% consolidated metropolitan statistical area C e ~ ~ t rPersonnel al Data File Environmental Protection Agency General Schedule f33wral Services Administration Internal Revenue Service metropolitan statistical area National Institutes of Health Office of Personnel Management Occupational Safety and Health Administration primary metropolitan statistical area Department of Veterans Affzkrs Veterans Affairs Medical Cenkr BLANh PAGE PBge 1s Objectives, Scope, and Methdology The objectives of this review were (1) to review the development of the s p a W ratesprogram, (2) to assess whether granting higher pay rates improved retention, and (3) to identify any problems evident in the admir.'!itration of the special rates Each of these objectives were m :t using a different methodology. - -- -- --- To review the development of the special ratesprogram, we examined Review of the Growth the program's legkkive history and other relevant literaaye and col- of the Special Rates lected information on program growth. Data on the number of special F'WPm rate employees, the occupations,locations and agencies where special rates are paid, and how sDecial ratescaverage h q changed over tine were derived primarrly from the fdlowing five iwtmes: "Current Title 5 S l d Rate Authorizations for General Schedule Employezs," Federal Personnel Manual Supplement 990-2, - OPM (January 1,lggW; "Report of CZvrent Special Rates Program Custs Sorted by Generic Job Classification for Title 5 or Title 38 Cases," OPM, Speual Rates Branch (Februafy 23,1990); Pay Structcre af the Federal Civil Service, OPM, Office of Workforce Informtion, (prepared annually); "Distribution of special Rate ~ersonnr?l by MSA as of December 1989, December 1987, and December 19C5," a report prepared by OPM at our request from its CPM: and &ports ?repared by o m from the CPDF showing the number of ~a enqloyees and special rate emplo-i~~ by federal agency as of Bkch 31, 1990. The special ratesoverage data obtained from om for calendar years 1989,1987, and 19% represented the most recent year available (1980), the year when specid rates expanded xnost rapidiy (1987), and the year 2 years before the rapid expansion of special rates( 1 s ) . In addition to obtahng governmentwide data for each year, we aLso obtained m-spe cific data for any of the 162 MW with at least 1,000 full-time, perma- nent federal GS employees that also had any employees receiving special rates as of December 31,1989. We calculated the pemSage of employees that was covered by special rates in each of the MSM.(See app. III.) We also ranked the MWSin the order of those percentages for each of the 3 years. (Seetable 11.4.) wt Analysis of OPM Another objective was to assess whether granting higher pay rates improved retention. Specifically, we wanted to determine whether quit b k Data hSelected rates had gone down in those Localities and orrupations that received I Cases special raks,as compared to those localities and occupations that did not receive special rates. We selected localities and occupations where special rates were first authorized in 1987 because we wanted to focus on the growth in special rates which occurred in that j-ear. In order to obtain sufficient data for meaningful analysis, we selected only those occupations that received special rates in more than one location in 1987 and those localities with ovtr 100 authorized special rate positiors in the selected jdb series.' The four occupations that met these criteria were clerk stenographer (GS 312), secretary (&IS), cierk typist (w322),and data transcriber (GS- 356). The six localities that met the criteria were Eastern Massarhusetts; Moltsville, N.Y.; San Francisco Bay Area; Dallas-Fort Worth; Sorthem New Jersey; and the Washington, 3.C. MSA. Since all 4 occupations did not receive special r a t e in each of the localities, there were a total of 20 cases in our "special rate" case group.2(See table I. 1.) Washnuton. D C MSA e c c c Key a=No employees m thls mupatton in th~sIcca~~ty b=No specla1 rate for thls occupatm ~nthls l w l ~ t y c=r)u~trates trended upward before specla1 rates d=Qutt rates : r W Jodnward before speaal rates e=Qut rates had no clear trend beforespecal rates We obtained, but did not verify, data from ow on annual quit rates for 5 ccmsecutive years for each of the locality~occupationspecial rate cases selected. In each case, we compared quit rates for the 3 years preceding 'Each of the l u r m ultimately wleded actually had a Malof 500 or mure full-CLme,pmMllent OS employees in the s e w occupations. -- the establishment of special nta,with the quit rates in the 2 yew fol- lowing the authorization of s-.Jecialrates. The dates d for each localiQ varied 8ccording to the date in 19137when special rates were first authorized. We compared changes in quit rates in o ways (1)a straightforward exambWbn of whether quit rates declined in the year following the authorization of spzial ratesand (2) a comparison of the average quit rates for the 3 years before and 2 years after the establish- ment of special rates. We then tested the statistical significance of the resultsof these comparisons. We aIso essessed the effect of special rateson employee retention by analyzing trendsin quit rates before a d after the special rates were approved.If, instance, quit rates had been declining for a particular occupation in a locality, a further reduction in the quit rate could not be attributed with any certainty to the special m e . To assess these dynamics, we classified the 20 special rate cases into the following three mw: quit rates trending upward before special rates, quit rates trending downward before special rates, and quit rateswith no clear trend before special rates. Trends were identified on the basis of an analysis of the change in quit rates in each of the 3 years before the payment of special rates. Thus, for example, a case characterized by a 10-percen, quit rate in year 1,a 12-percentrate in year 2, and a lbpercent rate in year 3 was placed in the first category; a case with a reverse pattern--i.e., 16 to 12 to 10 percent-was placed in the scortd; and a case that went from 12 to 15 to 10 percent was placed in the third. (Seetable 1.1.) We then focused on cases falling in the F i d q u r y , since clear evi- dence of a special rate effect in the other two categories would be m- cult to identify. If special rates had a positive effect on retention in the upward t~anding cases, one would expect to see a slowing in the quit rate trend or even a reversal in quit rates in the post-special Mte years. In a separate test of the effc3Ct of s p e d rates on employee retention,we alsoexaminedchangesinquitratesforthesamefourjobsinrasrssthat did not have special rates for thoseseries. We identified 42 such mus tbt., like the special rate localities, each had a total of 500 or more full- ti^, permanent (39 employeesin thaw series.In 50 of the 168possible cases, the MSAS had 26 or fewer employees in 1or more of the job series in at least 1of the years examined, and we ehinated the 50 cases from further review. In this way, we avoided dramatic quit rate variations that could be caused by low numbers of in~numbentemployees. For a general control, we f h t compared changesin the quit rates of the 118 mnspecial rate cases to the changes in the quit rates of special rate cases from the year before the authorizationsto the year after special rates were granted (roughly fiscalyear 1987 to f i year 11388). For a more specific test, we con1pbl'ed s p a W rate and nonspecial rate cases that had increasing qult rates during the %year period before spe cial rateswere initiated. To match all quit rate data to the same time periods, quit rates were calculated for the nonspecial rate areas using the dates of the special rate authorizations. For example, we compared quit ratesfor SeclOtafies in the nonspecial rate area of Oxnard-Ventura, California, to quit rates for secretaries in the Eastern Massachusetts special rate area using the Eastern Massachusetts authorization date of March 9,1987. Using these criteria, we identified 21 control cases with upward trending quit rates. In all of ow analysch crf changes in quit rates for special rate and nonspecial rate caws, we were assisted by a consultant. Because we were unable to con301 for all possible factors associated with changes in federal quit rates (e.g., the availability of otherpbs in the area, costs of living, nonf&l.x! pay rates), these analyses cannot be considered defitive tests of the effect of special rates on employee retention. We also recognize that pay is not the only factor irifluencing retention; therefore, the specid rate is not the mk factor influencing changes in quit rates. However, the cases studied do allow us to examiw, in general, whether there were differences in quit rates before and alter special rates were authorized. As a contra!, we also looked at quit rate in locations that did not receive special rates for partic- ular job series. Other limitations on the applicability of our work included the fact that (1) it covered only 4 of the more than 160 occupations that receive spe cia1 rates and (2) it examined those occupations in only 6 of the more than 160 where federal employees are receiving special rates. Therefore, no generalizations of our-f to other occupations or localities can be made. .n a rer;iew of the perceived causes and effects of federal recruitment Asency and retention difficulties, we surveyc.d and later met with personnel 0n QU~S%OM~~PS officials :md line managers in 8 agencies and 16 MSAS. In that rwiew, the --- Recdtment and results or'which arp included in a September 1990 report? v,-e concen- trated on 11 high quit rate occupations. The MSAS,agencies, and occcpa- Retention Factors tions in the snrvey are listed in table 1.2. MSk Atlanta Department of the Air Force o=="wF Clerk typist Baltimore Department of the Army Data transcriber Boston De~artrnentot the Navv Environmental engineer Chlcago ~nv~ro,imental~rotect16n Agency General attorney Dallas Department of Health and Industrial hygienist Denver Human Servlces w i cierk Detro~t Department of Labor Regsterednurse Kansas City Department of the Treasury Pharmaclct Los Angeles Department of Veterans Affalrs Police New York Practical rime Norfolk Tax examiner Philadelphia S: LOUIS San Antonio San Dego San Franc~sco As part of this review, we administered a total of 271 q u e s t i ~ n d r e (1 s questionnaire for each occupation for each agency component in each MSA). All 27 1 questionnaires were comp.eted. In each targeted location, management offic~alswere contacted by our regional staff and asked to designate a focal poult who would be responsible for completing each questionnaire. in many instances, that focal point provided responses for more tnan one occupation at the facility. Therefore, the number of focal points G: respondents (175) was less than the number of question- nares (271). However, the focal points were encouraged to obtain input from line marugers responsible for the occupations being surveyed; thus, the number of individuals involved in completing the question- naires was larger than the number of respondents. A series of questions in the survey asked respondents to tell us whether employees in the occupations in question were receiving special rates and, if so, the extent to which the program was effective in helping to recruit and retain needed employees. We then he'd follow-up interviews with dl respondentsto (1) verify their respo~lseson the written ques- tionnaire,(2) obtain,but not verify, docmestation to s uw the reqmws whenever possible, and (3) probe for addhional information. The n e t W o g y we used in seleding the occupations, agencies, and rims for thz revjew is djSCUSSed in the 1990 report. Like the quit rate analyses, the f i from the review cannot Le projected to occu~~~\~,~or~srrsnotcovefedintRefWiew. Eiadgmund and Wpe of the Special Congress initially established the special rates progra-r to provide agen- cies pay flexibility when federal whitecollar rates were insufficient to attract and hold employees in hard-to-fill positions in pa,+icular g- graphic areas.' The president was iiuthwized to W ~ b l i s hspecial salary rates when (1) the government was handicapped significantly in the recruitment or retation of well qualified individuals in one or mom occupations in one or more areas or locations and (2) this staffmg problem was caused by private salary rates that are substantially higher than statutory rates of pay for comparable occupations. In 1887, Pubfic Law 1W-202expanded the cimunstances under which the special rate setting authority could be exerci~ed.~ The statute now provides that special rates may be authorized to counter recruitment or retention problems caused by pay rates for the positions involved being generally less than the rater, payable for similar positions held by individuals outside the government, or by other individuals within the exemtive branch of the q o v e m n t ; remoteness of the area or location involved; the undesirability of the working conditions or the nature of the work involved, including exposure to toxic substances or other occupational hazards; or any other circumstances that :hc president (or an agency duly author- ized or designated by the president) may identify. Special sal- rates may be authorized for positions classified under the cis, the Veterans Health Services and Research Administration Pay System in the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Foreign Service Act System, and any other pay system estab!ished by or under federal statute for positions in the executive branch.3The maximum increase 'in 1 9 F j 4 . ~ f m a u t h o r i z e d t h e u s e o f t e m p o r a r y ~ o f m i n i m u m p a y r a t e s t o r r c n t i t and retain w&ed personnel.The FederalSalary Reform Act of 1962esraMished the saciplrates program in its p&mt gmed form (see 5 L'S.C.53032 % b g m s has enended thew pmvisiom for 1 year each year sine 1987. 3 ~ hSecr~t,zry e of the Departmentof V e t . e m ~Affairs may also establish and pay npeci?lrates f a (1) Veterans Health Senices and Research Administntion (23 ; S e m doYeeswnvidinndirect oefienf care or .4ervioes incident to direct patient care under 38 L'SC.4107(gj. (5)eipbyees who ~ V poh? A officers providing senkes under 8 USC. 218. and (3) m u ~ eand s certainother empbyees of the Veterans Iiealth Srvices and Research A d m i n k m t h appohtd under 38 U3.C. chapter 73. S p u M rate hmases for nurse mesthetars and li.mwd physical fhenpirdncan eumed the limits imposed ~mothertitle:BandUleRspfflllrafe~ylbnga~~ime?sedpaydoe~nder&fhe~ pad to the same category d p e m m e l at nmfederal facilitia in the same labor mark&. Under aes- tlon 214 of Public Law 100436, SM can pay nurses and lllied health pmfessbds using the fame oprions provided for VA nu- under 38 28S.C. chapter 73. Abo. a new law (FJMic Low 101-366) rslNerures the pay system for n u m at VA to allow bdxty pay and other 7 immthvs. allowed by 5 US.C. 5303 is approximately 30 percent at each grade level. Under OPM regulations, agencies are responsible for paying the increased rates from their existing appropriations. opyr is resporiible for administew the special rates program under authority dekgated by section 3@ 1 of Executive Order 11721. m's responsibilities include developing and issuing basic policies, -a- ;ions, procedures, and instructions for the ;p- estabiishi~g, austing, artd cancehg special rates; specifying the occupational and geographic' coverage of special rates and completing an atmual review of each authorized special salary rate schedule. Government depcutmentsand agencies are responsible for initiating requests to OPM for special salary rates and for responding to OPM requests for staffing and salary data in connection with its annual review of special salary rates. Before requesting special salary rates from OPM, agencies are to consider using other mmedies to relieve or overcome the recruitment or retention difficulty, such asjob redesign, improvement of working conditions, or use of direct hire authority.4 Each request must include a certification by the head of the department or agency that special rates are necessary to ensure adequate staffing to accomplish the agency's mission and that funds are available to cover increased expenditures for salaries and benefits resulting from approvai of the mquest. Unless otherwise indicated, all agencies in the geographic area covered by an approved special salary rate authorization must pay the specified rates to their employees. However, an agency may also request to be exempted from the coverage of proposed or existing spe- cial rite authorizations. For most of the time since special rates were first authorized in 1954, Size and Scope of the the percentage of the federal white-collar workforce covered by special specid Rates hogram ram has been relatively small, and the program has grown slowly. Have Changed Over From fwal year 1977 through fiscal year 1983, special rate coverage increased from 0.6 percent to 2.1 percent of the total white-collar The workforce. From 191% through March 1986, the percentage of white- collar employees being paid special rates remained between 2 and 8 per- ax:. However, the nwnber of employees covered by special rat& has increased dramatically since 1986, increasing to 13.8 percent of the GS workforce by Member 31, 1989. (See fig. 11.1 and table 11.1.) 'Ilnder direct hire iuithonty. O W prmirs agienries to make offem to qualifii candidates in shwtage oecupachs without using OFl's cmtral regismsof eligible cmdidates. Specel rate empbyment as of December 31 of each year The occupational mix of special rate employees has also changed over time. Earlier in the program, professional occupations, particularly engi- neers, accounted for most special rates. For example, 23,039 of the 29,744 special rate employees in fiscal year 1983 were in professional jobs. By March 1988, professionals represented less than one-half of all special rate employees. In 1990, almost !W percent of all authorized q e - cial rate positions are in clerical occupations. Other occupational c a t q p ries experiencing large increases in special rates since 1987 include "Technical" (primarily hoep:tal technicians)and "Other*'(primarily protective services). Figure 11.2 and tabb 11.2 show the number of spe cial rate employees by occupational category for the years 1987 through 1989, as of March 31 of ea& year (the latest dates for which c m pub- lished such occupational breakdowns). (Also see app. V for a listing b f all special rate authorizations in effect as of January 1,1990,by location.) aphn*ntby-- (As of March 31. 1987. 1988. and 1989) a a t - '"Other pnmanlj refers to protect~veservces category ISnot shown Waute of tCe s ? d l numbers of employees ~nvohred. Note The Adm~n~strat~ve (Seetable 11 2 ) Administrative - - -- --4 0.0 146 0.1 1.140 0.7 Te~hnd 2.111 -2.8 1 1,746 --- 8.6 21.709 12.8 - Ckical 9.476 12.7 55.914 40.9 8.349 40.8 Other 376 0.5 1.502 11 5.841 3.4 %es not total to 100 0 due to rounding The number and proportion of em2lopees receiving special rates vary considerably by locatior.. Appendix 1~ shows, by MSA, the total number of full-time, permanent cs employees and the number and percentage of those employees receiving special rates as of December 31, 1985,1987, and 1989. In Albany, Ga,for example, 1.3 percent of the GS employees receivtd special rates in 1989, compared to Boston where 42 percent of all cs employees were on s p i a l rates. These data also show the growth in special rate employment within par- ticular M~AS. In Los Angeles-Long Beach, for insstance, the number of full-time permanent GS employees on special rates increased from 1,648 in 1985 (7.1 percent of all GS employees) to 2,372 in 1987 (10.3 percent) and 7,138 in 1989 (31.6 percent). Table 11.3 shows the 10 MSAS in 1985, 1987, and 1989 with the largest numbers of special rate employees. Table 11.4 lists the 10 m4s in each of :hose years with the highest per- centage of special rate coverage. As table 11.4 snows. special rates in 1989 covered a much larger per- centage of the workforce in particular MSAS than in earlier years. In 1985, only 5 MSAShad more than 10 percefit of GS personnel on special rates. P a m City, Fla., was the highest at 13.3percent. By Decemkr 1987, Vallejo, Calif. had the highest percentage of special rate emplcyees, at 41.8 percent, and 13MSAS exceeded 20 percent. By December 1989, the highest percentage was in the Lawrence-Haverhill MSA (Mijssachu9tt;tS-NewHampshire) with 82.2 percent of the workforce getting special rates. A total of 27 MSAS had over 20 percent of the workforce on special rates in 1980, and 8 MSAS had 40 perwnt or more. New England had 5 of the 10 MSAS with the highest percentages of spe cial rate employees in 1989. \:I general, MSAS in California, New J e w , and New York locations orten had high percentages of special rate employees during the 1985-1989period. (Seeapp. I l l ) -- 1 Wash~ngton,CC-MD-VA 53.764 2 New York. NY 7.m 3 Los Anaeles-Lona Beach, CA 7.138 4 Boston. MA 6,525 5 San Franasco. CA 4.117 6 Chicago, k -- 3.832 7 I.>wark. NJ 3.509 9 -. Oakland. CA 3,071 10 - Norfolk-VABch-Newport -- News, VA 2.850 1907 ---- 1 'Pashington, DC-MPVA 46,130 2 New York. NY .- 4,002 3 San F r m i x o . CA 3,656 4 ~ o-s t 0 n-. K - 3.400 5 Ph~ladel~h~a. PA-NJ 2.668 6 Oakland. CA 2.534 7 Los hgelestcng Beach. CA 2.372 8 Newark. NJ 2.224 5 Norfolk-VABch-NewoortNews. VA 2.108 1 Washmgton. DC-MD-V 3,384 2 --- Los Angeles-LongBeach. CA --- 1.648 3 ~hrladel~hz. PA-NJ 1,158 4 Norfolk-VABch-New~ort New7 VA 1.116 5- Boston. .- MA- 931 6 Monmouth-Ocean.NJ 844 7--- Bremerton. WA 756 8 .- Oxnard-Ventura. CA 700 9 Honolulu. HI 689 TakIl.kMsAs~theHlgh#1 ~ o f ~ - 3 n p k Y @ - n#/iknk -- -. -- MSA - -. .- -- -- - ---.- -Fmwnt - (As of December 1985.1987.and 1969) .- + 1989 . . ~ -. 1- -.-- - ---- -Lawrence-Haverhdl. --- -- -- -- MA-NH - -. 82.2 2. -. . . . . Portsmouth-Dover-Rochester. - ..... - VH-ME - - 59.2 3 Ne~vHaven-Meriaen. CT ~ -- ~ 49.1 4-- - - Vallejo-talrfleld-Napa. - - CA - -- -- .-- - - - ---- . - - -- -- -- 48.4 -- 5 Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon.NJ 48.1 6 New London-Nmch, ST-RI 47.5 7 Boston. MA 42.0 - -- --- ~ 8 Newark. NJ 40.0 .- ~- ~ -- -.-.. .- - -. 1 ~~ ~ ~ - ~ a l l e ~ o - ~ a l r f e l dCA . .- -~a~a - - .-. .- ..- -.- 41.8 - - .. 2 . . San . Jose. ~ CA - .. ~ 8 2 3 San Franc~sco. CA 26.4 4 Washington DC-MD-VA -- .- -- -- -.- . . --- - - - - - 25 7 4 - ~ Neaark NJ ------..-.------...--p-------p--.-----.-p- 25.7 6~ Fortsmouth-Dover-Rahester.UH-ME ~ ~ ~~- 24.6 7 Oakland. CA 23.4 8 Oxnard-Ventura CA 23.1 .~ 11) Panama Qtv. FL 22.3 T - .- . -. . .- . Panama -- - Cltv. FL - .. .- - - - 13.3 - 2 Portsmouth-Dover-Rochester.NH-ME 12.5 6 New London-Norwch.CT-RI 99 7 Texarkana. TX-AR ~ ~ 9.3 8 San Jose. CA ~ - . 9.0 - 9 -- - .- - -- - - Monmouth.Ocean. -.--. . . ..- ---- .-... NJ -. - - - - - -- .- 8.8 10 Tulsa. OK 8.1 The number and proportion of employees receiving special rates also vary considerably by federal agency. Appendix IV shows, by agency. the total number of GS employees and the number and percentage of those employees receiving special rates as of March 3 1,SfIgO (the most recent figures available from OPM). Tables 11.5 and 11.6 show the federal - %e t.cieswith the largest numbers and percentages of special rate employees. - I 1 - 2 3 -. ' m=Y Department of the Navy Department of the Army Departmentof -Veterarls Atfairs - .- -- - -' .- -- Wulinkrsl rp.drl- -mw-@ 38.871 2 8.a 25.132 4 Department of the AH Force 14.107 5 Department of the Treasuq - . 11 ,m 6 -- DepaPrnent -- -- of Health &-to Human Semws 9.853 7 Department of Just= 9.058 8 - Department of---- Agriculture - 5.65: 9 - Department of the Intenor - - 4,653 10 Defense Log~stics Agency 4.166 11 Natmal Aeronaut~csand 3&e Adm~n~stration --4.132 12 De~artmentof ~ r a n s G t m 4.012 13 Other defense a c t ~ v i t i i 3.985 14 Department of Commerce 3.395 15 Env~ronmentalProtectton Aaencv 2.402 takll.&hdrrdAg.nd.rmth w-t-Ols3.drl- (As of March 31,1990) PA---- -- 2 Sm~th!.on~an Institution 31.3 3 U S. -~oldiers' - and Amen's Home 29.9 4 Selectwe Service ~ ~ s t e m - 28.7 5 Internat!onal Development Coop. A ~ Y 27.1 6 Nat~onal Foundation on Arts and Humanities 26.7 7 -- Unted States Tax Court 23.9 8 Jotnt Chefs of Staff 22.0 9 Arms Control and Disarmament Aaencv 20.9 10 Deoartment of State 19.7 t-1.5 -Department of Veterans Affars - 19.5 11.5 DepartmentoftheNavy -- -- - 19.5 13 Pens~onBenefit Guarantv C o r x K a t ~ 19.3 14 hatiolialAeronaut~csand Space Adm~n~stratm 18.7 15 Securities and Exchange Comm~ssion 18.6 Distribution of Special Rates Pemnnei by MSA (As of December 31,1985,1987,and 1989) Alexandfia. LA 1,113 19 1.7 Anaheim-Santa AM.CA 3.718 61 1.6 Ann Arbor, MI 63 5.7 ---- -- Ashevllle. NCp- - 1.207 9 0.7 Atlanta. GA 18.594 209 1.1 Atlantic City, FU 1.438 38 2.6 Augusta, GA-SC 4.789 24 0.5 Austin. TX 6,956 22 0.3 &ersf'eld. CA 3.482 158 4.5 Baltirr:ore, MD 32,176 653 --2.0 Battle Creek,- MI 2,618 4 0.2 Biloxi-Gulfpurt, MS 4.326 70 1.6 Brrningham. - AL - 4.448 2 0.0 Boise City, !D 1,746 22 1.3 - Boston. MA 15.778 931 5.9 - - Buffalo, NY -2,977 28 0.3 . Chmm!an-Urbana-Rantoul. " -- IL 1.340 64 4.8 - Charleston. SC 6.789 511 7.5 Charlotte-Gastonia-RcckHill. NC-SC 1.533 3 0.2 Cheyenne, W 1,144 16 1.4 Chicago, IL 19.261 243 1.3 - Cincmnati. OH-KY-IN 5.828 24 0.4 Cleveland,OH --8,223 307 3.7 Colorado Spnnes. - - CO 3.666 50 1.4 Columbia. SC - 3,426 40 1.2 Cdurnbus. GA-At-- 3.2s 38 1.2 Denver. CO - 17.226 498 2.9 1 657 12 0.7 - - Fresro. CA 5?918 5% 0.9 Gacnsville. FL 1.109 3 0.3 Greensboro-WinstonSalem. NC 1.283 ? - 0.1 H a n i s b u r o m - C a r l . PA 10.108 105 1 .O Hartford. CT 2,033 33 1.6 Honolulu, HI 11,956 689 5.8 Houston, TX 8,551 332 3.9 Hunbngton-Ashhnd. WV-KY-OH 1,255 43 3.4 Huntsvr(le. AL 1 1.951 562 46 Johnson CltyXingspoR, - - - TN-VA- 1,016 9 0.9 Kansas City, MO-iiS 16,137 175 1.1 Killeen-Temde. TX T . 4.129 78 -- -1.9 Knoxville. TN 1 A38 13 0.9 Lake h t v . H 3.808 26 0.7 Little Rock-N Lime Rock, AR 3,846 78 2.0 tosAneeles-LongBeach,CA 23,l51 1,W 7.1 hhilk.KY-H 4.204 234 5.6 (continued) Madison,W! MelboumTitusville-PalmBey, FL -- Memphis, Th-ARMS - 7#111 -Pm-+ 1.283 3.116 7.153 1985 M rprcW nCI' 10 175 77 - - Fucmt maD8 0.8 5.6 1.1 MiddlesexSomersetHunterdan,MI 1,5C3 26 1.7 Milwaukee. WI 3.286 . - - 20 0.6 MinneeoolisStPaul. MN-WI 6.418 188 2.9 Mobile. AL 1,375 107 7.8 w s s a u - S U M , ''Y -- 7, *67 83 1.2 New Haven-Meriden.CT 1,028 6 0.6 h'wLondon-Norwich,CT-RI 2,399 237 9.9 -. LA New Orleans. - 7.560 . - 227 3.0 New Yo&. NY 23.149 482 2.1 ryorfolk-VA Bch-Newp't News. VA -26,143 1,118 4.3 Oakland, CA -- 1 1,043 609 55 Oklahoma Citv. OK 14.000 370 2.6 Omaha. NE-IA 3.743 210 5.6 Parlama Citv. FL 1,499 199 13.3 Parkersbura-Marietta.WV-OH 1.170 4 0.3 Philadelphia, PP-NJ ---- 32,578 1,159 --3.6 Phoenix. A2 5.998 242 4.0 Portland. OR 6.110 292 4.8 P~rtsmouth-DoverRoches~~, NH-ME 3,356 419 --12.5 Providence. R4 1.633 6 -0.4 - Raleiah-Durham. Reno. NV - NC 3.01 1.069 48 28 -1.6 2.6 Richmond-Petersbura,VA 7,957 44 0.6 Riverside-San E e r n a r d i , CA 7,110 258 3.6 -- - -. - .- Rochester. NY 1,227 3 0.2 P e r 90 -- -- 7.430 515 - 69 G339 1,233 16.1 - 1.w ---1- 7 -- . 1.2 ---- 1365 36 2.6 1.247 11--- 0.9 1,194 52 4.4 (continued) Salinas-Sa&HAmm, CA 3,n]9 49 1.3 Sdt Lake CitvUaden. UT 15.15Q 1.I - 14.009 551' 3.9 SenFrancisco.CA SanJose.CA 4.788 433 - 9.0 - SanJuan,PR 3.225 36 1.1 Santa Barbera-SantaMaria. CA 1.790 49 2.7 -- - Scranton-Wies-Bane, PA 3.539 -124 3.5 Seattle. WA 8.549 199 2.3 - Tacoma. WA 4.234 58 1.4 -. - - -- -- Trenton. K1 -- 1.105 74 67 Tucson. AZ 2.578 65 2.5 Tulsa, OK Wmhington. DC-ME-VA 173,865 3.384 1.9 Wichita. US 1.675 21 - 1.3 Wichita Falls, TX 1,145 7- --- 0.6 Wihington. DEW-MD 1.523 3 0.2 Subtaw lmw87 am6 29 Other iocations/MSAs .a 221 6,190 2.8 OmdW 1,241,817 S,1@6 29 Distribution of Special Rates Pemnnel by Federal Agency (As of March 31,1990) -- Counc~lon HistOnc Preservation Advtsori - -. 6 1 16.67 Afncan Development Foundatton - 30 5 16.67 Amencan Battle Monuments Comm~sscon 48 2 4.17 Archdectural and Transportat~onBarrers Compl~anceBoard 25 - --- 2000 5 Arms "mtrol and D~sarrnamentAgency 139 29 B.86 Boar0 for lnternat~onalBroadcastmg --A- 8 1 12.50 Cornmmon - of Fine Arts 6 3 50.06 Comm~ss~on on Cml R~ahts re 14 24.56 mw a m m d i t y Futures Trading Commffsion P -- 482 87 18.05 472 71 15.04 . . Equal Employment C)mcrtun* c o m s s m 2.644 235 8.89 Expwt-hnw Bsnk of the Un~tedStates 318 51 16.04 -~ederalcorn-tions ~ommissim 1.591 250 15.71 . . ~ederarElectirm- 224 35 15.63 ~ederal~memmw ~anarrement~crency 2.211 ni 1226 Federal - -Labor Relations Authority 215 20 9.30 F&ed Maritime Comm~ssion 198 36 18.18 - Mediation and Condliation Service Feded 313 34 10.86 Federal Mine Safety and Wth Review Commission Gderal Rebrement Thrift lavestment Boanl - 41 62 9 9 -- 21.95 14.52 h d e d Trade Commiss~xl 827 - 108 f 3.W General .SeMces Administration rn -- --- 13.991 2.364 16 So Harry S. Tn?man ScMarship Foundation 3 2 66.67 I n t m Couml on the Homeless 8 1 t2.53 InterrAitra Dev&pent Cooperation Agency - 1,443 -- 391 Z.10 ---- +testate Commmc r ~ m i s - ----. s- m- - -- --- ---613 103 16.80 Japarr4.S. Friend- CMmlsion - 4 1 2500 Nhcne M ~~mrnlsslcn - ;J -.- --- -.------. -- ---- - 9 I ---- 11.11 MI! SysAms --- - . ---.-o-t-~--t -m P r 3-- 0 ~ -d- -- -.- - -- -- ---- - - .- --- &2 -.-----.--- 40 ----- 15.27 -- National Pdmaltics --..--- wee. rnd Arfnmistration -------------- 22.0s 4.132 19.71 Archiv.~a N Records Admmrstratim 1.936 114 - 5.89 National Caprtal Plann~ng Commission N a t d Commission for Emdoment P d i v 38 8 -6 1 -15.79 12.53 National Commission on Librariesand Information S c i i 7 --- 1 14.29 NationalCouncll for the Handicapped 5 1 20.00 Natiorlal Credit Union Administration 709 55 7.76 National Foundationon the Arts and the Humanities 505 :35 26.73 N a t ' d Labor Relations Bcard -. 2.095 270 12.09 ~ i Mediationl Board 46 7 15.22 National Science Foundation 828 304 36.71 NationalTransportation Safety Roard -- 296 39 13.18 fduclear Waste Technical Review Bard 5 4 80.00 OccwationalSafetv b Wth Review Commission 70 7 10.00 Officeof Government Ethics -36 6 16.67 - of fWonal Drug Control P d i Office 79 1 i.n (continued) m=Y CMke of PersonnelManagement 5,241 47? 9.10 - f l i of Saeaal Cound O - -- 74 9 12.16 - - Panama Canal Comm~ssion 16 1 6.25 PeMl~AmueDevakpmentCaporation 25 2 8.00 Pemm Benefit Guaranty --Corporation -- 518 100 19.31 F b h a d R e l i m t Boad 1.596 230 14.34 . . Securities and ExchangeCommrssKwr 1.977 360 - 18.61 -- Sekche SeMce System 251 72 28.a SmeH&smess AdrmntsbgM -- -- 5.426 338 6.23 Srmthsonlan Institution 3.61t 1.131 3132 U.S. Infamation Aoerm 3.156 - 460 - - -- 14.58 -- - -- U.S.Hokcaust b k m o d C ~ U ~ C J ~ 16 5 31.25 U.S.Institute of Peace - 3 3 10.00 U.S. -- lntematlcml Trade Commission 461 68 14.75 US. Sokhs' and ~irmen~l-knne 469 140 29.85 Special Rate Authorizatio~IS---OCGU~onsand Covered Populations by Geographic Arw (As of January 1,1990) Dental Assistant 16 Anchorage Medical Machine Technabgist 3 Juneau Clericals 93 Nav@/Phoenix Medical Technobgst 110 Phoenix Clinical Psychologist 4 SuMOtd 114 ClYtonJl Baron -. - --- Clinical Psychologist 1 Callfomia Dental Hvaienist 18 Camp Pendleton Nurse 50 Ch~naLake P d i Officer 18 Fort Irwin Engineers 13 Fort Irwin Electrical/Nuclear/Computer/ ElectronicsEwineerin~ 1 Fort Irwin Pdysenes 6W - Fort Ord Nurse 29 Fort Ord Phannaclst 10 Fort Ord Diaanostic RC I- Technohist 10 Fort Ord ~iMedicalSonogr~ 1 Fort Ord/Presidio P d i BB Greater San Francisco Bay Clericals 6.365 Letterman AMC. SF Dietetic Technician 27 Long eeach P d i Officer 46 l-os &@= County1 oranse county Conbact Specialist 1207 Los Angales/SanBe- -- Pharmacist --- 7 - LosAn@es/r8munBIlsland LegaiCkkflTechnicien 177 Mare kland PhysicalSciencaTechncisn -. 187 MareLsland Guard 11 %olego Conectitmalcfficer 74 *Francisco Police 71 G~ranciscoBav Area ~ ~ t l A u d i t 0 1 300 San Francisco District Consumer Safety Officu 5 San FranciscoiOakbndPMSA Nurse 76 San Francisco/OaklandPMSA Vocational Nurse 57 Sen F r w - / W, W - PMSA fkmiratarv .- r - Tharabist - . - - r - 7 San FranciscolOaWandPMSA Math Polvseries 132 South Qan Francisco Bsy Clericals 1.632 - Pavis AFR Nurse 23 l w s AFB --- Thempetrtic Raddogic Technologist --- 1 Ractrcal Nurse 73 Aurora Nurse 54 Awora Pharmacist 22 Ccwvrecticut Clericals 2,564 Connecticut Accountant/Auditor 124 DanbUr~ Clinical Psychdogist 4 Dgnburv ComctionalOfficer 90 Faimeld County Qwlity Assurance Specialist 144 Groton mysccal Theraprst 2 Groton PracticalNurse 6 Groton Cvtoloav Technician 2 Groton P o l i Officer 23 Groton Guard 55 ~ ~ Aor#r ~acksonvi~e ~harn-&st 1 Mian6 Q?ricals .------ 1.012 Mtamc Deputy US Marsha' 42 Mii Correctional Officer 112 Pensacda Pharmacist - 1 lakkl 1.m Atlanta Data Transcribers 1,255 Atlanta !&gal Clerkflechnician 187 Atlanta OccuoatKwral~saltG 1 Consumer Safety Officer 15 11 (continued) Honolulu Pharmacist 11 - Honolulu - chlcago Clericals 3.600 Chicago c0mPuter-t 16B chicago Fdice Officer 15 ct-w Guard 34 chlcago Atxoun4~t/Audit~ 80 Lake County Pharmacist 1 Scott Air Force Base 3 -.- - -- Krrr Fort Riley Pharmaast 6 Leavenworth 3 Fort Campbell Pharmacist 11 Fort Knox NwseSeries 83 Fort Knox -11 sllbbul 1m - PortsmouthShipyard Portsmouth Shipyard-- s&md Baltimore - - Poli Guad Actuaries . 21 137 11 Fort Meede ckicais 700 subw m iikton Park Ranaer 153 Boston Area F!refiahter Eastern Massachusetts 9,900 Eastern Massachusetts Accountnnt/Auditor 139 Fort evens LicensedVocational Nurse 5 Fort Devens Nurse 15 Fort k e n s Pharmacist 5 Fort Devens Nursing Assistant/LPN --- 6 WateftownlNatick Guard 17 Wstove: AFB Guard 83 Milan Correctional Officer 107 Mount Clemens Pdice Officer -- 74 submtd 181 hlhmsaa Minneapdis/St. Paul - Clericals - 1.121 Rochester - Nurse 49 &&ww l,l% .- Bibxi Heartlung Technician -2 BiloxiIGulfDort Pharmacist 1 st&md 3 (continued) d.ognphic@ Minmwi Fort Leonard m Sprmgfield albwrl - - Occlpabn Pharmecist Nurse -covoNd 5 18 23 Portsmouth E~neenng/Ektronicspndustrial Engineering Technician 621 Portsmouth Phystcai Science Technman 71 !hbmd locr -J.R.y Atlantic City Comwter Soeaallst 48 Fort Dix Dtagn<wtic Radmloglc Technologist 8 Fort DixJMcGui~e , AFB - - - - - Nurse - -. 42 .- - D~x/McGuire AFB Fhamracist 6 Fort Monmouth Vocational/Practical Nurse 7 Fort Monmouth Pharmacist:. 4 Fort Monmouth p- Pdice Officer -- 28 Mercer Countv clericals ;21 -- Monmouth Nurse 16 Momnouth County ckmcals 1.220 ;.lewark District Consumer Safety Officer 25 North/Central New Jersey Quality Asscrance Specialist 288 Northera New Jersev Clericals 1.720 New York Qty ----- cmcals 4.714 New York Cit-j! Legal aerk/Technician '235 - New york City IRS G&t 510 New York City . Immigration InspectorfExaminer - 331 N e w W City Dewty US Marshal 56 -- --- Naw York City ., A c & u h d Commoditv Gradw .--..--.- 21 - CIty C o n e c t i i Officer 104 New York City-- - Quality Assurance Speaalist f 58 New York CityJLong - Island -- ----- Accountant/Aulitor 201 New York District Corwmer Satety OK- 14 New york MSA - Mice -- 102 New York MSA -Realty Specahst-------A 57 -NY/Whlte ---- Plains Ehortmd - Reporter -. . 6 Otlsvik - Chnical Psychdagbst 3 .-- atisvilla? - Correctid Officer 100 Plum Island Clericals 12 ----- Cleveland P o l i officer 7 -------- El - Reno ----- ---- ci&alP*t . - 2 - (continued) " --- FhkWphia Metro Accountant/Aud~tor 209 - Illsrm~nster Computer Sclentlst 71 Depuv US Marshal 7 Arhngm Patent Examiner (Woglcal) 60 Fort Lee Nurse Anesthetst 1 - Portsmouth Thea ipwtcC- Tachndogrst 5 Portsmouth Cytokgy Technlaan 1 PrtsmouthFkrfolk Phannacfft 11 PortsmouthflA Bch/ Norfolk/ Nuse Yorktown 247 amdal 334 VlkrhhgM - Fairdw AFB Uit*lsoundT e c h m s t 1 Fort Lewis Phamradst 17 Seattk Clerk T ~ r s t 3 Tac~ma Nurse 147 Tacoma Practical Nurse 117 Tamva Respiratory Therapistflraining Instructor 19 ammw m4 VlkraVCdnir - Deoutv US Marshal 45 Wingtal. DC Patent Exam~ner(Eqneenng) 411 ilkshmngton.DC Clericals 44.125 Washingtm, DC Sales Stwe Clerk 331 Washln<lton.DC F~eldReoresentatwe 102 Washington. DC Nurse Anesthet~st 7 Washmgton, DC Practical Nwse 196 - b.3shiiton DC Nurses e32 Wsh~ngton.DC Nuclear hktiamT e c h n m 1 Washmgton. DC 54 DaMgren. VApatwent. -MD --Poke 67 Mid Atlantic - Sod Conservation/SaenceSeries -- I New- -- England Field Representatwe 44 Newport,RI/New London, CT -. - -- --- Computer Scientist 199 NYMJICT Food InspectionFd Techndoqv 189 Nationwide IndustrialHygwist 1.553 Nat~omide lndii Health Service Nurse 2.m Nationwide ------ Physlclan'sAssistant 487 Nationwldc Petroieum En~neers 213 Natwnwwre Secret Servfce Unilxmed Chison/ -- US Park P o l ~ - 1.761 Nationw& k r Force/kr Ne:ional Guard/ Air -- Force Reserve Pilots. Etc. 975 Nationwide P o v m P k ~ t s l l ~ 8 - - (continued) I?pperrtr..m &ua Rates Befo~e aAfter the Authorization - - of special Rates in Selected cases Appendix tZI Va&tions in Special Rate Amounts Within Geographic Areas Special rate authorizations exhibit considerable variation within and across the occupations and agencies in a given geographic area Table VII. 1 illustrates the variations fmm GS salary amounts for special rates paid in six partic~rlarlocations. In the Lm Angeles has^, for example, police officers at both the Navy Department and the General Services Administration (GSA) receive spe- cial rates but in different amounts. GSA office= rec~ivehigher sp.&l rates at GSr4 and 5, but Navy officers receive higher special rates at cs-6 and 7. ALGSS,tl- (;SA special rate is again higher, uld ~ s l pays s a spe- cial rate at cs-9 while Navy does nd. Special pay rates for clerical workers vary from 24.2 percmt at t s - 3 to 3.3percent at ~ 7IIowever, . dental hygienists at cs-4 through cs-7 all receive a 27.5 percent special rate under a Cdiiolnia-wide special rate authorization. Other examples are evident in special rate authorizations for Aurora, Ck~IoraJo.AU of the specid rates at this location are within the Depart- ment of the A m y . However, therapeutic ndiologic technoiogists at 658 receive a 13.3 percent speciai rate whik diagnostic radiologic technolo. gists at GS-8receive 1.5 percent. GS-5 practical nurses receive a 16.7 per- cent specid rate, bbt other G s ~nu- receive 30 percent. T a h b V I I . 1 : J I . u r w R a b ~ w i o l i -n --. ~xh?SAs 7- -%!EEL - - -- -. OsQndrlbp.ciJnt.arr(h0riz.d. -w=P-l 2 3 4 5 - 6 - 7 --- -8----.- 9 10 11 12 13 N m ~ Y S A - - -- -- -. - -- - -- -- - Food inspector fld. 200 -- 133 --!33- --10.0 6 7--- F i Rep. -- 13.3 --p---------A...p--- 167 23.4 20.0 13J 100 --- ---- Park Ranger 25.9 300 300 ..- -33.0 267 233 10.0 --.-.- - - - -- - -- ----- -- 3.3 -- Liqeguard - 22.6 20.0 -- 13.3 100 67 3.3 -- - CkiCab 23.4 242 17.7- - 111----4 -6 -- ----- .- -- wM ---- 0 - 16.7 13 -- -- 3 !0 0 100 - 6.7-- 3.3---- -- iiGjmt 200- - 167-. ..------------ 10.0 3.3 Security Compl. Exam. 20.0 - 16 7 10.0 Inmugration Inspec. . 13 3- -- :O 0 --- - -- 6.7 3.3 &uty U.S. M z ~ ~ h a l -- -- 16.7.- 10.0 v-- -- 6.7 kgnc. b m u & y Grader ----- 17 6 14.4 ---- 11.1 ----- ~mectKxralOfficer - - 23.3 167 10.0 .. .. .- - - - - ---------.----- -- wmaf=!%= --. 300 - --- .300 -- - ----- 23.3 200 16.7 13.3 ~(xalmmt/~uditor 200 -- - 16 7 --.------ 10 o .- (mtinued) .-- . Consumer Safety Officer 20.0 10.0 Pdlce 13.3 10.0 6.7 3.3 Realty m t 20.0 20.0 16.7 16.7 10.0 - Clinical Psychologist 30.0 20.0 - 40.0 CNt#oMsA wlce -- Mficer 13.3 10.0 6.7 3.3 - Guard 13.3 10.0 6.7 3.3 - Aaxwntantl Auditor 16.7 13.3 10.0 , - - i5kals 23.4 24.2 17.7 11.1 6.7 3.3 --- ConecbonalOfficw 23.3 16.7 10.0 - Account?nt/ Auditor 20.0 16.7 10.0 - Secur. C o m p l i i Exam. - 20.0 16.7 10.0 - P d i O f f i (GSA) . , 23.3 16.7 13.3 10.0 10.0 6.7 Forestry Technician 19.4 23.3 23.3 23.4 20.0 16.7 13.3 6.7 3.3 3.3 3.3 Contract Srjecralist 14.9 15.0 15.0 6.7 3.3 Realtor 20.0 20.0 16.7 16.7 10.0 Consumer Safetv Soec. 23.4 13.3 10.0 6.7 Misc Clerk 8 Assstant 23.3 16.7 10.0 6.7 3.3 - Dental Hygrenlst n.5 27s,- --- Pharmacist 16.8 4.2 =clerk 22.7 17.7 11.1 8nhnd#oMM Resp~ratoryTherapist - 20.9 14.4 7.8 1.3 Dietetic Technician 24.q 21.7 18.5 AccountantlAuditor -- 20.0 16.7 10.0 Police CIfficer 16.7 13.3 10.0 6.7 - - MedicalTechnicran 13.3 13.3 13.3 10.0 10.0 M a t h / r Science ~ 23.4 -. 23.3 23.3 13.3 33 Reeltor 20.0 20.0 16.7 16.7 10.0 20.0 10.0 park Ranger 13.3 13.3 10.0 10.0 10.0 6.7 3.3 Dental Hvaienist 27.5 27.5 27.5 27.5 *- Bag. Tech. 27.5 27.5 27.5 20.9 144 PhsrmTechnidan Vocabjonal Nurse 27.4 27.5 27.5 27.5 27.5 P.9 - - Pharmadst 30.0 30.0 23.3 Dag. FWobgtc Tech. 17.4 14.2 7.9 1.5 Pharmacist 27.5 4 . 4.6 Therop. Racbdogic Tech. 30.0 26.7 20.0 13.3 13.3 10.0 Nurse Anesthetist 30.0 30.0 30.0 Practii Nurse 16.7 16.7 Nurse m.0 233 6.7 Finger Print Examiner 10.0 10.0 10.0 Rc?sakatorvTheraolst 7.8 Mthllatical - . Statistidan 23.8 14.2 142 7.9 W t us MaR3M Y 16.7 -10.0 . 6.7 Patent Examiner (Engin.) 30.0 30.0 16.7 6.7 Clericals 22.6 20.0 13.3 10.0 6.7 3.3 sdes Store C&& 16.2 20.~1 13.3 10.0 6.7 Field Representative 16.7 13.3 10.0 6.7 3.3 PhysrcalTherapst 30.0 30.0 26.7 20.0 13.3 6.7 Cytotechndo(yst 30.0 30.0 26.7 23.3 Nurse Anesthetist - ---- 30.0 Practical Nwse 13.3 '23.4 20.0 16.7 Nwses Nudezu Medicine Tech. 23.3 - 23.4 16.7 16.7 10.0 3.3 !,ltrasound Tech. 30.0 30.0 30.G - 26.7 Dlaa. " Rad. Tech. 24.9 24.9 24.9 24.9 21.7 15.3 15.3 MedicalT-t 30.0 30.0 304 26.7 233 13.3 Ther. Radid. Tech. 19.5 19.5 19.6 13.4 10.5 Cartagrapher 30.0 30.0 16.7 10.0 mmputef SCmtiSt 30.0 30.0 14.4 - PaliceOmcer 23.3 16.7 13.3 10.0 10.0 6.7 3.3 - ,.cun~nt8nt/Auditor Patent Examinef (other) 16.7 13.3 --10.' 6.7 I Ocrwoptionel-~t 13.3 10.0 10.0 (General Schadule Pay Rate). Major Contributors to This Report - . Robert E.Shelton, Assistant Director, Federal Workforre Future Issues Overnment Curtis W.Copeland, Roifft manage^ Division, Washington, Cm A. Bright, Staff Evaluator D.C. Timothy A. Rober, Staff Evaluator
Federal Pay--Special Rates: Effect on Recruitment and Retention for Selected Clerical Occupations
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-09-24.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)