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In October of 1962 Congress passed the Federal pay reform legislation as part of Public Law 87–793. As a result, Congress is honorbound to act on adjusting Federal pay schedules on a comparability basis with private industry whenever the President, on the basis of annual surveys conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, finds the level of Federal pay has lagged significantly behind the level of pay for comparable jobs in private industry.
On April 29, 1963, the President recommended such comparability pay increases for Federal employees to become effective January 1, 1964. It is the firm believe of all Internal Revenue employees that the Congress should now live up to its obligation of last year. If such action is not taken, the important principle of comparability will possibly be lost forever.
Even if the Congress does act favorably on the President's recommendations the proposed increases will lag because the Bureau of Labor Statistics makes its survey at the end of the year, covering conditions existing during the 12 months immediately past. So by the time the employees would be getting their pay increases, they would be lagging 2 years behind true compatibility with outside industry.
It seems that everybody is for a comparability pay increase. The President has recommended a comparability increase. The Bureau of the Budget supports the increase and so does the Civil Service Commission. We are certain that a vast majority of the Members of both Houses of Congress are in favor of the increase. The National Association of Internal Revenue Employees recommends and urges the passage of this vitally important legislation.
I would appreciate a few moments of your time regarding the adjusting of statutory salaries. My brief submitted today is strictly keyed to comparability.
Î believe the record will show that we were the only organization that endorsed the Murray bill last year. Since Congress endorsed the comparability feature by its actions last year, we in the Internal Revenue Service believe that the 88th Congress will pass legislation so that Federal salaries will be brought into line and kept in line with the general national salary levels. Let me say a few words
about the training of new employees in the past couple years in the Internal Revenue Service. I have been a part of this training of the internal revenue employees, and we are securing topflight college graduates, well equipped in knowledge. It has been a pleasure working with these new employees. But I am saddened when we finish this very expensive training to have many of these employees leave the Service to industry.
Mr. OLSEN. May I interrupt you, sir?
The CHAIRMAN. The data will be inserted in the record at this point.
Mr. OLSEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
(The material follows:)
LEGISLATIVE SURVEY President John L. Barnes, Sr., Chapter 65, National Association of Internal Revenue Employees, today announced the results of a successful survey concerning legislative items of interest for all IRS employees.
The survey forms were distributed to approximately 3,000 IRS employees in the Washington area. Replies were received from 351 employees.
Preference for 30-year retirement was indicated by 77.5 percent of those replying to the survey. The next six major areas of concern were:
Percent 2. Sick leave credit to annuity computation..
73.5 3. Federal classified pay legislation--
53.3 4. Additional group life insurance-
46.2 5. Parking accommodations.
37.0 6. Social Security credit (optional)
34.5 7. Retirees' appropriation.-
31.9 President Barnes expressed surprise to the interest shown in sick leave credit to the annuity computation, additional group life insurance, and parking accommodations. Much interest was noted by IRS employees in the Washington area in pending legislation as a result of this survey.
Mr. Barnes strongly urged Mr. John G. Brady, chairman, NAIRE National Committee on Legislation, to continue his aggressive pursuit of legislation preferred by employees as indicated in this survey.
premiums for women.
1 Previous survey concerning withholding of State income tax which revealed 446 employees desired to have State income tax withheld where they worked in a different tax jurisdiction than place of residence.
Mr. BRADY. I do hope you will be able to adjust the salaries on a comparability basis. We need these well-educated and trained people to do the job,
and maybe in due time, with the talents, we can cut down our cost and still keep good efficiency.
In closing, over 60,000 Internal Revenue employees realize the great work by the Congress in what they are doing for the Nation. We all realize the high cost of operations in Washington, D.C. My only hope here today is that the President will make a strong plea for adjustments in the salaries of the Congress and their staffs. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions of the witness?
Mr. OLSEN. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the gentleman for a splendid statement. I want to assure you that I, and I know my colleagues, will read your entire statement. We always appreciate the statement from your organization because it is so well supported by figures and facts. Thank you very much. Mr. BRADY. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. The next witness is Mr. John J. Murphy, president, National Customs Service Association.
STATEMENT OF JOHN J. MURPHY, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL CUSTOMS
Mr. MURPHY. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is John J. Murphy. I am president of the National Customs Service Association, an organization comprised of employees of the customs service at all levels.
We are grateful for the opportunity to testify in support of this legislation, which is intended to bring about salary comparability for Federal employees with private enterprise rates for similar levels of work. Our organization has strongly endorsed the principle of comparability, and we urge that steps be taken to make the carrying out of the principle more realistic. Specifically, we suggest that some method of reducing the time lag in creating the new pay level be worked out. Our view is that it is only fair that the salary schedule be revised in line with the results of the survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and which were published in March of this year.
The second step of last year's pay raise is to take effect January 1964, but was determined prior to the first of the BLS findings. These figures were based on a study of salaries in industry made in late 1961 and early 1962; therefore, the comparability proposed in the January 1964 salaries is already over 2 years old. Congress now has the opportunity to revise the salary schedule with the benefit of the BLS survey. In passing Public Law_87–793 last year, we believe that Congress made a commitment to Federal employees and we feel sure that this commitment to achieve comparability will be honored. We further believe that with the benefit of the latest survey figures the timelag can be substantially reduced.
In weighing the rates of pay for Federal employees, we urge that attention be given to the pay of all employees. We recommend that consideration be given to equitable treatment for all levels so that the pay structure may be kept in proper relationship.
İn the customs service we have employees in every grade of the GS schedule. Since ours is a truly career service, we prefer to recruit employees at the low levels and to train them for promotion. We have been experiencing difficulty in retaining employees who show a potential for advancement due to the low salary levels of the beginning and intermediate grades.
Our association wishes to go on record as favoring a revision of executive positions' salaries in order that they may be made realistic in the light of changing times and greatly increased responsibilities. We are of the opinion that it would be advantageous to the Government in retaining capable people if the executive salaries were revised.
We believe that equity would be accomplished by revising the current salary schedules in line with the results of Bureau of Labor Statistics published in March of this year. We feel that consideration should be given to fair salary adjustments all through the general schedule.
Many of our low- and middle-salary employees are deserving of higher pay based on the type of work they are doing. We wish to go on record also as supporting a revision of executive position salaries. We feel this is a critical area where there have been many disadvantages to the Government in losing capable people because of inadequate pay.
Congress has promised true comparability between salaries of Federal workers and their counterparts in private enterprise.
We are certain that this commitment will be kept. We urge the committee to give favorable consideration to these proposals which affect Federal employees so vitally. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, for the opportunity to be heard.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions? Mr. WATSON. Mr. Murphy, has your association arrived at which of these bills you prefer?
Mr. MURPHY. We lean toward H.R. 7552, but we would prefer not to endorse any particular one. We feel a lot of information has been given the committee here. We feel that we would rest on the good judgment of the committee, knowing their interest in the welfare of Federal employees.
Mr. WATSON. Your basic position is just endorsing the principle of comparability and trying to reduce the timelag as much as possible?
Mr. MURPHY. Those are our two main points; yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any other questions?' If not, thank you very much.
Our next witness is Mr. Conrad D. Philos, national first vice president and president-elect, Federal Bar Association. He is accompanied by Mr. M. Reynolds Sands, chairman of the Pay and Classification Committee, Council on Government Lawyers.
STATEMENT OF CONRAD D. PHILOS, NATIONAL FIRST VICE PRESI
DENT, AND PRESIDENT-ELECT, FEDERAL BAR ASSOCIATION; ACCOMPANIED BY M. REYNOLDS SANDS, CHAIRMAN OF THE PAY AND CLASSIFICATION COMMITTEE, COUNCIL ON GOVERNMENT LAWYERS
Mr. PHILOS. On behalf of the Federal Bar Association I wish to express my appreciation to the chairman and to this committee for the opportunity to appear before this committee
I am appearing here as the president-elect of our organization, and I believe it is germane to describe briefly the composition of our organization in order to place my remarks in the proper perspective. Although it has its headquarters in Washington, D.C., it has 50 chapters throughout the United States. Its membership exceeds 10,000 lawyers. Approximately two-third of them are in Government service, in the executive branch, the regulatory agencies, the courts, and in a Capitol Hill chapter of which we are very proud. The remainder
are in private practice or hold posts in private industry. We feel, therefore, that we have within our membership base the material which cannot only support a strong claim for comparable pay, but can do so on a true, nationwide basis.
We do not wish' to be understood, however, as making a presentation which has no more substance than that we would like to have something “just because someone else has it.” We would prefer instead to put it on the basis of comparable pay for comparable performance. We can, of course, speak with authority only about the task of our own profession, but we say with conviction that the increasingly more complex problems which beset our Nation require that the Government have a law office second to none. The true value of the attorney is not displayed alone in adversary proceedings, for he plays an even more important role in the day-by-day administrative matter—which may be unheralded—but which affects the fairness, the efficacy, and the reasonableness of decisions which affect millions of our citizens. Perhaps we could call this “every day due process."
It is in the field of adversary proceedings, however, that we are provided an excellent basis for a study of "comparable pay.” By the very nature of the role that the Government lawyer must play in these cases, he frequently pits his professional skills against his counterpart from private practice, in the courts, in the resolution of administrative claims, and in disputes arising under contracts and other agreements. Here then we find the ultimate test of comparability. , We believe that the Government legal staffs have not been found wanting even though they were opposed by lawyers who (for example in antitrust or defense contract matters) earn far more.
Simple equity requires an adjustment. This adjustment should not be made with a view of trying to attract and retain personnel who are interested only in salary. These individuals would not have the sense of duty and the spirit of dedication which is needed for a public servant. The adjustment should be made, however, at a level which would permit properly motivated officials to serve without sacrifice.
We believe that these adjustments cannot be made without relieving the compression which results from the pay ceilings on the courts, the Congress and the executive officials. Accordingly, we endorse the approximate levels proposed by the Udall-Broyhill amendments.
As an association we are mindful of the obligations to the Nation which are implicit in pay raises. It is our pledge and our purpose to demonstrate by many measures—including programs for a fuller utilization of Government lawyers—that the increases would be a sound investment by the Congress.
I would like again to thank you for this opportunity to appear. Mr. Reynolds Sands, the chairman of our Federal Bar Committee, will present a more detailed statement with the permission of your chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. We will be glad to hear from Mr. Sands.
Mr. SANDS. My name is M. Reynolds Sands. I am a lawyer presently employed by the Federal Government and have been requested by the executive committee of the Federal Bar Association to make a statement on its behalf in support of legislation to increase the pay of Federal employees.