President Bush recommended a 3.6% pay raise for 1.6 million white-collar federal employees, higher than the 2% he originally requested. In a message to congressional leaders from his vacation home in Maine, Bush said the larger increase is necessary to attract qualified people to government service, but added that budget constraints prevent him from backing the 28.6% raise a federal commission said was needed to make federal and private-sector pay scales comparable. The 3.6% raise would be effective Jan. 1, 1990, for all non-postal workers earning $82,500 a year or less. Bush is expected to extend the increase also to senior executives.
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