Source: BLS Metropolitan Area Wage Estimates May 2008
(Occupation Codes: 25-2031, 43-5052, and 47-2061)
Thanks for the great response to last week’s blog. Last week, we asked about pay comparability, and 23 percent of those polled voted that the goal for postal compensation should be to match the prevailing private sector compensation. However, 35 percent voted that Postal Service compensation should exceed private sector pay, and the largest group of voters (40 percent) said that Postal Service pay should be set at levels necessary to get good, qualified employees.
In reality, matching private sector pay is virtually impossible with a uniform pay structure. Why? The uniform postal wage may be much higher than the prevailing wages in a low cost-of-living area and much lower than private sector pay in high-cost areas. A letter carrier working in New York makes the same as the letter carrier working in Dubuque, Iowa. So this week, we’re seeking your opinions and comments on wage uniformity. Regardless of how you feel about the need to match the private sector in general, should postal wages vary by area? The federal government currently has 31 locality pay areas for General Schedule (GS) employees, and the federal “blue collar” schedule called the Federal Wage System has 257 wage grade areas. Should postal wages vary in a similar manner by locality?
What are some of the consequences of having uniform wages? Does it make it harder to find qualified workers in urban areas? Are workers more reluctant to relocate to high-wage areas? What do you think?
To limit the effect on effect on current employees, a two-tier system could be introduced that applies geographic-based pay to new employees only. What do you think about a two-tier system?
Are there other alternatives for introducing geographic-based pay?
This blog is hosted by the OIG’s Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC).