As a civilian with the Navy in Florida, Smith said artisans – skilled employees who work at the journeyman level – probably make 20 to 30 percent less than their counterparts in the private sector at companies such as Boeing. These employees have technical skills and ensure flight safety, he added.
Some bills introduced in both the House and Senate take aim at federal pay and benefits to cut federal spending. And the 2012 budget proposal by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled last week would freeze federal pay for five years and reduce the federal workforce by 10 percent through attrition.
Federal managers have a job – to “step up and say what we do and not be the target,” Smith said.
“Our job is to help others understand what we do and what we offer, and hopefully we can get folks on the Hill to understand how important it is to pass a budget on time,” he said.
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-8 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.