« PreviousContinue »
In addition to that, they are going to get to the States paying the highest figure. We find ourselves at the moment unable to fill certain responsible positions.
It seems to me rather strange that this particular question has not been met before. It is obvious the need to meet the problem is a pressing one. I particularly appreciate the facts you raised. You particularly raised that particular phase of the problem and I think it is most important. I think your testimony has been most informative and it has stressed a needed point.
Mr. CORBETT. I am glad to see our old friend back here too. He should be over on this side to help us out.
George, there is one $64 question here we are going to be facing, and that is, the matter of the $20,000 ceiling and the congressional
Now, in order not to put the gentleman too much on the spot, I would like to put my question this way-in the event that no pay raise is included in the legislation for Members of Congress, do you think we should go ahead with it and break through that ceiling anyhow, or do you think perhaps, if you care to answer, we ought to raise the congressional salaries along with this?
Mr. MILLER. I am perfectly willing to be put on the spot.
I think that congressional salaries should be raised. I think whatever level you fix for assistant secretaries, it has always been the policy to adopt that for Members of Congress. We certainly are worth our hire. I will not be around very much longer to enjoy it if it does come. If it does not come in a hurry, I may pass it up, but that is beside the point. We need to get a more realistic approach to this problem, and if we in Congress have to sacrifice our Government's best interests because we do not have courage enough to vote for our own salaries, I guess we will have to be demagogic and go out and tell the people how we save money by not voting for our own salaries.
I certainly would not want to see the executive branch of the Government suffer because of the fact we, as Congressmen, are going to hold the line because we would not give ourselves a proper salary adjustment.
You and I sat on this committee from its inception. I came to it from the old Civil Service Committee, you came to it from the old Post Office Committee. In the old Civil Service Committee in the 79th Congress, we made one of the first breakthroughs of the $10,000 ceiling that had been fixed on Federal salaries. It was placed there because Congressmen were getting $10,000 a year and they were not going to pay executives in Government over the salaries of the Congressmen. You will remember we had quite a time in breaking through that ceiling.
I very well remember Dr. Vannevar Bush coming before the committee. We used to meet over in the Capitol. He made a plea for this legislation. One man said "How old is the man you are going to give this increase of $12,000 to ?”
Dr. Bush said, “I do not know; I think he is 28 or 30."
Bush said, “Unfortunately, Mr. Congressman, this man has more knowledge in his particular field, and is the only man who has a competence in it in the United States."
We still thought in those days age had to be a factor in determining this. I talk against myself. As I look around the room, I am the oldest Member of Congress in it. If it went by age, I should have the better salary. I am willing to confess in this rapidly moving age of ours you have to look to people who have competence. Most of this is the result of the education which Mr. Nix mentioned.
You go down to the Westinghouse Science Foundation when it meets here, and it will early next year, and they will bring in their 40 science majors around the country who have won their scholarship awards, and you as an old teacher will look at some of the projects these high school students are working on and you will do like I, get out of the room before someone asks you what they are all about because you do not know what it is all about. They are getting better education in science in the high school level today than a person received in college in my day. This is part of the evolutionary thing we are going through. Other parts of the world are not holding back on this.
It may interest you to know last year I was in France. I had been to the meeting of the U.N. Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. I came back to Paris to see Dr. Pierre Auger, who is putting together the European space effort, bringing eight nations together. He is the former head of the university system in France, which is all publicly administered. He asked me about the administration of the University of California that has multiple campuses under one president. We discussed it.
He said, “We are going to apply that in Paris. The University of Paris today has 25,000 students. Within 10 years we anticipate 100,000 students, but we are not going to crowd them on 1 campus, we are going to establish 4 new campuses for the University of Paris under the central management, keeping the high standard that has applied at this institution.
This is taking place all over the world.
Do not think we are alone in the field of technology. Once we were the great leaders in it, but we are finding competition from many of the small nations now. The Netherlands has done a great job in this.
The Government should be the optimum type of employer and set the standards and not be the laggard and let industry set the standards.
The CHAIRMAN. Any other questions? If not, we thank you very much.
Mr. MILLER. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. We will be delighted to hear from our colleague, Mr. Paul Fino, of New York.
STATEMENT OF HON. PAUL A. FINO, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Mr. Fino. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am grateful for the opportunity to be here today and present my views in support of H.R. 7814.
This bill, the Federal Salary Adjustment Act of 1963, is a toppriority piece of legislation. Its effect would be twofold.
First, it would bring Federal salaries more into line with those received for similar duties in private industry, thus encouraging experienced employees to remain in the employment of the Federal Government.
Secondly, it would encourage both qualified young people and experienced workers from industry to choose Government service as a career. This is of vital importance if the Federal establishment is to be able to meet the challenge of the days ahead.
The principle of the necessity of comparability of Government salaries to those in private industry is a new and important one. Its first expression in the form of legislation appeared last October with the passage of the Federal Salary Reform Act of 1962. This legislation states thatFederal salary rates shall be comparable to private enterprise salary rates for the same levels of work * * *
Comparability is to be determined by annual surveys of private enterprise salaries to be conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The first of these surveys, covering the period 1961–62, was published in March of this year. Any salary increase passed this year would not become effective until January of 1964. This means a 2-year lag behind the BLS statistics, and since private salaries have continued to rise since the BLS survey, it is obvious that the salary increase now being considered should take this into account.
H.R. 7814 proposes a salary increase of approximately 9 percent, with the greatest increase going to employees in the lower grades. I feel that this bill will make up financialịy to some extent for the lag between the issuance of the BLS figures and the implementation of a salary increase bill.
The only way that the Federal Government can keep and recruit qualified personnel is to compete with private industry. It is truly shocking to see the financial straits that some of our Federal employees are in due to less than adequate salaries. Many employees have been forced to take on an additional job in order to support their families.
Until this is changed, we cannot have the efficient and productive civil service that we need. By passing this bill, and thereby reaffirming the principle of comparability, we assure the Federal employee that the words of last year's legislation are truly expressive of the policy of the Federal seryice, that comparability of Federal to private salaries can and will be maintained.
As a former member of the New York Civil Service Commission, I would like to say we had these problems presented to us time and time again. I was always cognizant of the problems of our city employees.
I am sure that you members of the Federal Government, of the Congress of the United States, are cognizant of these same problems that exist.
I thank the members of this committee for their courtesy, and in closing reiterate my strong support for the favorable consideration of this important piece of legislation.
Mr. DULSKI. I would like to commend the gentleman from New York. I know he has been a constant friend of mine. He has always been in the forefront in the fight for legislation to make comparability one of the main factors.
When I was a city councilman, we were in New York to study some of the civil laws they had. We appreciate the statement you have made here this morning.
Mr. CORBETT. Off the record.
We will be delighted to hear from our colleague, Representative Halpern of New York.
STATEMENT OF HON. SEYMOUR HALPERN, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK Mr. HALPERN. Mr. Chairman, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the members of this committee for giving me the occasion to appear here today to testify in behalf of H.R. 7814, calling for a Federal employee salary increase, effective January 1, 1964. I have been interested in this problem of comparability for some time now, and I was pleased to lend my support to the passage of last year's Salary Reform Act. As defined in last year's legislation, comparability means that “Federal salary rates shall be comparable to private enterprise salary rates for the same levels of work * * *
Anxious to fulfill the terms of that act, I was enthusiastic earlier this year when the Honorable Mr. Udall introduced the administration's pay increase measure, and I was privileged to join in cosponsoring that bill, mine being H.R. 7606. Then when the Honorable Mr. Morrison introduced H.R. 7814, and when study of that bill showed that it took into consideration the timelag between possible enactment and the study of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, I was happy to give my support to the new measure and to cosponsor an identical bill, H.R. 8112.
I believe that most of us are in agreement that an additional salary increase is in order for Federal employees at this time. Last year's legislation committed the Federal Government to the principle of comparability, and our action in this session—the first one operating under the Salary Reform Act—is critical to the rights and reasonable expectations of Federal employees and to the needs of Federal agencies.
Mr. Chairman, we must firmly adhere to the principle of comparability if we are to keep experienced employees and successfully recruit new personnel, at all levels, into the Federal service.
Comparability is determined, of course, through the use of annual surveys of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These surveys determine the level of current salaries, both inside and outside of the Government, for positions having similar duties and responsibilities. The first such survey, published in March of this year, covers the period 1961–62. This survey shows that private enterprise rates of compensation were considerably higher than Government rates, and that the private rates had increased even during the period covered by the survey. It was on the results of this survey that the administration based its bill, H.R. 7552.
Yet the rates of private industry have continued to rise since the conclusion of this study, thus creating an even greater gap between salaries than indicated in the study, or compensated for in Mr. Udall's bill. It was to bridge this time lag, in actuality a difference of
almost 2 years (between the BLS survey and the implementation of the salary increase) that H.R. 7814 was introduced. It proposes an increase of approximately 3 percent for all salary levels, with an additional increase of approximately 6 percent to employees in the lower grades. In this way we would achieve the nearest possible comparability, taking the time factor into account.
The need for an increase in Federal salaries at this time is obvious. At present rates of compensation there is difficulty in retaining personnel who have developed a high level of competence and skills. When such employees are offered positions in private industry at much higher salaries, it is entirely understandable that their responsibilities to their families cause them to accept such offers, although in so doing they are depriving the Government of its most basic resource, experienced, competent personnel.
It is also a common occurrence for a Federal employee, faced with an inadequate income with which to support his family, to take on a second job. Though this solution perhaps raises his income, it is an undesirable practice because it usually results in decreased efficiency on the job and in increased problems and tensions in the personal life of the employee. This is especially likely among employees in the lower grades, and is one of the major reasons why an additional increase of 6 percent has been proposed for these employees.
Besides the problem of retraining efficient employees, recruitment of qualified personnel is becoming increasingly difficult. In some cases, positions go unfilled due to a lack of qualified applicants; in others, the jobs are filled by people who do not measure up to the standards of performance or experience that is required. Furthermore, as older workers change jobs or retire, they must be replaced by qualified younger people.
For all these reasons Federal salaries must compete with those of industry if we are to attract the highest quality of applicant. In this age of increasingly complex governmental programs and services, we must have an able and intelligent Federal establishment. The Federal Government does have good health insurance and retirement programs—and many of us are fighting to make them even betterbut these things do not always seem of primary importance to the younger worker. Recent college graduates, for example, are not nearly as interested in the retirement benefits as in whether or not they can afford to get married and maintain a decent standard of living on their present salaries.
Another factor we should take into consideration in passing upon this proposed legislation is the fact that the cost of living has continued to increase since the BLS survey was taken, and shows no signs of decreasing. What was considered an adequate compensation in 1961–62 is not so now. As Members of Congress charged with the responsibility of securing adequate compensation for our Federal employees, it is our duty to see that these employees are not caught in the unremitting squeeze between rising costs and stable salaries. This is no reward for the efficiency and loyalty of our fine Government service.
At this time, Mr. Chairman, I would like to call the attention of the committee to H.R. 4800, which is identical to my own H.R. 7317. I am strongly in favor of the provisions of this bill and I