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Letters to the Editor: Oct. 15

Oct. 14, 2012 - 01:59PM   |  
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Kudos to OPM

I retired from the Veterans Affairs Department with nearly 35 years of federal civil service on Aug. 31. I was advised by my human resources rep not to expect my first retirement check until December and that it would be about 75 percent of the monthly amount I would eventually receive. From talking to former retirees, this sounded like the “norm.”

Since Aug. 31, I have received four pieces of correspondence from the Office of Personnel Management keeping me informed. The one I received on Sept. 29 indicated my September check would go by direct deposit to my account on Oct. 1, and indeed, it was there. It was also more than the 75 percent I expected.

I credit the HR woman who assisted me, as she was meticulously detail-oriented, and I credit OPM for keeping me informed and more than meeting my expectations.

We hear so much bashing of OPM, but, in my case, OPM is doing everything right.

— Mary Richards, Los Angeles

Underpaid feds

Any analysis of government salaries should be based on discipline rather than just paygrade.

I worked in the engineering field for more than 40 years with the Army. Based on my experience, scientific and engineering (S&E) personnel are underpaid relative to their counterparts with comparable responsibility in industry.

People forget that it’s the government S&E personnel who oversee and direct the contractors in major development programs.

Making broad accusations on salary comparability, without the analysis of specific disciplines, may satisfy someone’s political motives but is an injustice to the government employee.

— Phil Angelotti, Gilbert, Ariz.

Claim problems continue

[Regarding “Despite effort from VA, DoD, disability claim delays grow,” Oct. 8:] I have been waiting for nearly 30 years for the Veterans Affairs Department to accept my claim involving Agent Orange.

I had three tours aboard carriers during the Vietnam conflict and retired after 20 years in the Navy.

I believe my esophageal and prostate cancers were caused by exposure to various chemicals aboard ship and full exposure to Agent Orange.

VA has dragged its feet to approve Agent Orange disabilities. I am receiving 10 percent disability for hearing loss. I should be 100 percent disabled.

— Dean L. Dennis, Kennewick, Wash.

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