Page 55 - Foreign Service Journal - April 2012

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A P R I L 2 0 1 2 / F OR E I GN S E R V I C E J OU R N A L
55
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per diem rates; unequal lodging arrange-
mentswhile training inWashington; inel-
igibility for FSI day-care services; and the
lackof incentives, suchas overseas difficult-
to-staff differentials.
Themost serious problemcontinues to
be lowentry-level salaries, whichputmany
new USAID employees at extreme finan-
cial hardship during orientation in
Washington, D.C., and throughout their
careers.
More than 67 percent of DLI officers
responded toQuestions 27 and 28 by stat-
ing they felt theywere undercompensated,
while 66 percent said they took a pay cut
to join the agency. USAIDemployeeswith
the exact same educational profiles and
experience as their State counterparts
receive salaries that are tens of thousands
of dollars lower.
This has caused serious morale prob-
lems forUSAIDjunior officers. It gives the
impression that agency leadershiphas low
regard for its employees, even though the
ForeignServiceAct of 1980 specifically states
that there should be maximum compati-
bility between Foreign Service agencies
regarding personnel policies.
Satisfaction Issues at Post:
Our sur-
vey reveals that USAID personnel over-
whelmingly continue to believe that the
International Cooperative Administration
Support Services system has resulted in
higher costs and poorer services, making
it the main source for dissatisfaction for
overseas employees.
Forty-four percent of eligible family
members aredissatisfiedwithemployment
opportunities at post, and another 42 per-
cent express concern over lack of educa-
tional opportunities for students with
special needs at many posts.
USAIDSupportOffices:
Wewereespe-
cially interested in finding out how FSOs
rate the support services of three offices:
HumanResources, FinancialManagement,
andTravel andTransportation (Questions
31, 32 and 33). Of the three, the Office of
Human Resources scored the worst, with
59 percent rating it poor.
Next, we asked respondents whether
theyhadnoticedany improvements in ser-
vices provided by the Office of Human
Resources during the previous sixmonths
—aperiod inwhichHR initiatedan inten-
sive programto improve customer service.
If one judges by the decrease in poor rat-
ings and the increase in excellent and
FSOs rated the support services of three offices:
Human Resources, Financial Management, and Travel and Transportation.
Of the three, the Office of Human Resources scored the worst,
with 59 percent rating it poor.
Survey • Continued from page 52
Continued on page 56