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Thursday, December 23, 1993 Gary Ruskin (202) 296-2787

Nader Criticizes Pay Raises for Top Government Bureaucrats

Calling the 4.23% pay hike for top governmental bureaucrats in Washington-Baltimore a "shameless attempt at pushing more money into the pockets of the governmental aristocracy," Ralph Nader urged President Bill Clinton to revoke locality pay increases to the Senior Executive Service (SES). The pay raise will cost about $54 million a year.

The Senior Executive Service is comprised of about 8,000 top government officials throughout the country, though about 6,000 of them live in Washington. They are currently paid $92,900 to $115,700 per year plus benefits and pensions..

"Bill Clinton has got this one completely backwards: he's playing Santa Claus for elite government bureaucrats, and scrooge for the rest of America, especially millions of workers under a frozen minimum wage that is less than ten percent of what these government bureaucrats receive," said Ralph Nader. "We need a President who is vigilant in preventing wasteful raids on the public treasury, not a President who is pushable by the Senior Executive Association lobbyists."

"At a time of enormous budget deficits, service cuts, tax increases, no family income growth since the late 1970's, and no increase in the minimum wage since April 1991, it is morally wrong to be giving pay raises to top paid federal government employees," Nader said. "The message from Washington is: maximum for us, minimum for you, even though Washington is broke."

In addition to the Senior Executive Service, two types of political appointees are slated for pay increases: non-career Senior Executive Service and Schedule C employees. SES employees in other parts of the country will be receiving raises from 3.09% to 6.52%. The pay raises will go into effect next month.

"These pay raises will put the governmental aristocracy further out of touch with the economic realities of ordinary Americans." According to the Census Bureau, the median annual individual income in the United States was $15,035 in 1992. The median family income was $36,812. The federal minimum wage is currently $4.25 per hour.

Senior Executive Service employees received a 22.2% to 29.5% pay hike in 1991, a 3.4% pay hike in 1992, and a 3.2% pay hike in 1993.