Congressmen pay lousy wages to constituent service staffers

Next time your senator or representative tells you how dedicated he is to helping you with your problems with government, ask him how much he pays his staff members who actually do the legwork for such duties? According to a new analysis on OpenHouseProject.com by Daniel Schuman, odds are the salary isn't much.

Average salary paid for constituent service workers is $38,872. These are the staff members the congressman tasks with doing things like calling the Social Security Administration when your checks aren't arriving or the Veterans Administration when your desperately needed medical equipment isn't being delivered.

Constituent services staffers lead a bleak life, having to deal with often-evasive bureaucrats all day, sorting through stacks and stacks of government forms, and listening to people take an hour to answer a question that really only required about three sentences.

Who among Capitol Hill staff make big bucks? As expected, chiefs of staff earn the highest salaries on average, according to Schuman's analysis, at more than $120,000. Press secretaries tend to make much less than that, with an average of only $50,524. Legislative directors are somewhat higher at an average of $72,000-plus.

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