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Civil service’s concord


To the editor:

Regarding Richard Warren’s "Executive Stinginess" letter (The Chief, Sept. 23): I am a level III supervisor with the city’s Human Resources Administration. 

I started out as a caseworker with the old Child Welfare Administration in 1989 and tested my way up the ladder.

When I started out I took home approximately $10 a week more than the job I was working before but the benefits were far superior. I was told exactly what the salary would be and that any future increases were contingent upon collective bargaining agreements. While I — as with much of the municipal labor force — would like to be making more money, I accepted the terms and conditions of my salary at the time and my future salary with my eyes wide open. No one filled my head with visions of sugar plum fairies. I chose to stay. No one is preventing any of the civil servants mentioned in Mr. Warren's letter from doing likewise. 

Mr. Warren made no mention of the benefits packages available to the civil servants in the other cities. Any honest assessment of salary needs to include benefits. When I take advantage of my prescription, dental, health care and legal benefits (especially when my marriage that ended in divorce was going into the toilet and I did numerous telephone consultations), I am very grateful for the benefits. I have survived four recessions, for which I am also grateful.

While I do not feel civil servants should take vows of poverty, no one gets into civil service for the money.

If Mr. Warren wants to feel sorry for someone, I invite him to go to a Home Depot at 6 a.m. or any other day-labor spots. Twenty people milling around in the blistering heat and freezing cold hoping to find a day's employment of back breaking manual labor.

Nat Weiner


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