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The salary war that began in Silicon Valley six weeks ago is not only making front page news in The New York Times, but has since spread to secretaries and other staff who are hoping for their slice. A rumor last week had it that Menlo Park, Calif.’s Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian would start another salary rush by bumping secretary pay by 15 percent. The firm denied the rumor, but cost-of-living increases in the Valley and a waning number of experienced secretaries may mean firms will soon have to spend a little more money for someone to baby-sit junior associates. And the secretaries are expecting it. “Instead of not being able to buy a home, lots of staff at these big firms cannot afford to rent in this area,” said a secretary who heard the Gunderson rumor. Who knows, though, if it will happen? Because bigger secretary salaries will actually cut into a firm’s bottom line — not like the smoke-and-mirrors magician show so transparent in the associate raises — firms may hesitate.

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