- The Washington Times - Monday, December 31, 2001

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) President Bush is giving pay raises to most federal workers ranging from 4.5 percent to 5.4 percent, slightly more than the increases they got a year ago.
Mr. Bush signed legislation last month authorizing raises for 1.2 million white-collar workers, and he outlined the specifics Friday. He granted 3.6 percent across-the-board raises, plus increases that vary by regional costs of living.
Indianapolis, Orlando, Fla., and Kansas City, Mo., are among cities with the lowest net increase at 4.52 percent; San Francisco workers will get 5.42 percent, the largest increase.
Last year, federal workers got raises ranging from 3.6 percent to 4.5 percent.
The raises take effect the first pay period in January, Donald Winstead, an acting associate director at the Office of Personnel Management, said yesterday.
The workers' unions and some lawmakers have argued for larger increases to help the government compete against the private sector in attracting talent.
One consideration for Congress and Mr. Bush was the budget. Mr. Bush is trying to keep a lid on spending at a time when the anti-terror war and the recession are squeezing federal finances.
Mr. Bush has long been skeptical of the federal bureaucracy, often arguing during the debate about education reform, for instance, that all wisdom does not flow from Washington.
But after the September 11 terrorist attacks, he seemed to warm to the government workers he oversees.
In the weeks following the attacks, he toured many government agencies and praised rank-and-file workers for their responses.
To reward them, Mr. Bush closed the government on Christmas Eve so workers could have a four-day holiday.
His shifting attitude came as polls showed the public held the government in higher esteem.

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