Friday, October 07, 2011

Spending bills threaten Foreign Service pay and hiring

Government Executive has an excellent piece on the spending bills before Congress and what this could mean for the Foreign Service.

These bills would cut my pay by 16% while I am overseas, on top of the fact that my pay is already frozen for the next two years at least.

This is difficult for me and my wife to bear. Yes, we get free housing overseas. But we still have our mortgage to pay at home. And renting our place doesn't cover that.

But it is even harder for most Foreign Service folks. Because most in the FS are not tandem couples like M and I, going overseas means the loss not just of that 16% but of one spouse's ENTIRE income. Most spouses who work in the states have a limited ability to do so overseas, and even when they do, it is for substantially less pay.

Especially for those with children, this is an nearly impossible loss to bear.

None of us mind sacrificing for the country. We know that this is part of the nature of our service. We willing leave our homes, our stability, our families, for the good of the country.

But please can we make the cuts more fair? Particularly when you carve out 16% of our pay, bear in mind that the senior levels of the Foreign Service do not experience this cut. The other agencies serving with us at post do not experience this cut. The military and their civilian employees do not experience this cut. Their base salaries are their DC salaries, not some fake base salary with DC locality pay.

It is only those of us in the mid and lower levels who must take a pay cut to serve you overseas.

And do you really believe that those who are serving in Libya, Egypt, and Syria should earn LESS than those in DC?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen. But do you ever get the feeling we're just whistling in the wind?