Average salaries for government scientists kept pace with inflation between 1988 and 1990, according to the latest published data from the Washington, D.C.-based Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology. Yet according to the findings, based on material compiled every two years by the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the average pay for women and minority government scientists was lower than the average for all men.

The findings indicate that pay increased as a result of mandated federal pay hikes. Further influencing pay raises was the need for government salaries to remain competitive with those given to scientists in industry and academia.

Federal workers received pay raises of 4.1 percent on Jan. 1, 1989, and then another 3.6 percent on Jan. 1, 1990. These pay hikes were also designed to compensate for periods when raises were less, such as January 1988, when salary increases were held to 2...

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