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A salary schedule which is fair and just, necessarily reflects the rates provided for similar positions in private industry. In addition, such a schedule also will maintain a regular progression from the lowest to the topmost levels of the compensation schedule. Such an even progression of rates does not prevail throughout the rate schedule for classified employees which is provided in H.R. 11049. This lack of uniformity and adequacy is indicated in table 1 attached to this statement.
The distribution of classified empolyees among the 18 grades of the general schedule is presented in table 2. This distribution indicates that 322.378 employees, or slightly under 30 percent of all classified employees, are in grades GS-9 to GS-12, inclusive.
Analysis of the schedule indicates that for a sizable number of employees occupying positions in the middle grades of GS-9, GS-10, GS-11, and GS-12, the increases provided in this bill would be less than 3 percent over the rates currently in effect. As indicated in table 3, more than 270,000 employees, or 25 percent of all employees in positions subject to the Classification Act, will receive less than a 3-percent increase. The increase will be less than 2.5 percent for 14 percent of the classified employees, and 6 percent of those in these four grades will not receive an increase of as much as 2 percent. The rates which should be provided to give these employees at least 3 percent are stated in table 4.
In these four grades are approximately half the more than 100,000 employees in all types of engineering positions. These grades also include more than onefourth of the 100,000-odd employees in accounting and budget work, about 10,000 in legal positions, nearly half the 32,000 in investigating work, and nearly half of the 30,000 working in the physical sciences. In addition, there are many employees in medical, nursing, personnel, and general administrative work occupying positions classified in grades GS-9 to GS-12 inclusive.
It is also incumbent upon us as the representative of a large group of classified employees in engineering and scientific positions to direct the attention of this committee to an apparent inequity in section 123, which would amend section 504 of the Federal Salary Reform Act of 1962. This potential inequity may be explained as follows:
Section 504 (a) of the 1962 act empowers the Civil Service Commission, by authority delegated by the President, to establish a new salary range of rates above those in the regular rate range of a grade in which positions for which recruitment and retention are difficult may be classified. The Commission must make a determination that a particular occupational class of positions is entitled to a higher rate range because the Government is handicapped in the recruitment or retention of well qualified persons in those positions.
For positions in GS-9, for example, recruitment would ordinarily place the new appointee at rate 1, or at a salary of $7,030. However, the determination of recruitment or retention difficulty places the initial rate at regular rate of GS-9, or $7,950. The determination the Commission is required to make is that $7,950 is needed to recruit for that position, not that the individual must be brought in at rate 5 of the grade. And here is the inequity which is likely to occur as a result of the wording of section 123 of H.R. 11049,
Section 504 (a) of the Salary Reform Act presently provides that the rate "shall be initially adjusted * * * in accordance with conversion rules and regulations prescribed by the President * * *." As the proposed subsection 504 (d) is worded in section 123 of the bill, one may not assume that the fifth rate, or $7,950, would be converted to the corresponding fifth rate of $8,190 in the H.R. 11049 salary schedule. The reason is that the Commission has made a determination that $7,950 is the rate needed for recruitment. Having made that determination, the Commission could not, as we read the bill, be placed in the position of repudiating its previous determination and now agree that the $7,950 should be arbitrarily raised to $8,190, not because recruiting conditions had changed but merely because rates generally had been increased.
We believe that this section should at least be clarified to make certain that perhaps as many as 250,000 or 300,000 employees may receive the increases which are provided by the bill.
It is realized that the present hearing is confined to adjustment of salaries. In passing, however, we desire to make one brief reference to the requirement in section 701 (a) (B) of the Classification Act, as amended by the Salary Reform Act, that an employee's work must be “of an acceptable level of competence as determined by the head of the department” before he may receive a within-grade increase.
We believe this provision offers every opportunity for discrimination and reprisal, and already there have been indications that our fears in this regard have not been unfounded. The provision superimposes an indeterminate standard on the already existing performance rating system and should be eliminated from the law.
The AFGE and AFTE endorse the principle of comparability. The Salary Reform Act has provided a sound salary policy in adopting comparability with the compensation paid in private industry as the underlying principle of salary determination in the Federal service. We urge most sincerely that this principle be preserved and strengthened, that the means for comparison of Federal with industry salaries will be improved, and that the system will more and more assure Government workers of justice and equity and the Government itself greater assurance of competence that can be provided only by experience and long service in a position.
In closing, Mr. Chairman, we wish to express our appreciation to the committee for accepting our views on this very important legislative proposal.
TABLE 1.-Amount and percentage of increase of minimum rates in H.R. 11049
over schedule II of the Salary Reform Act of 1962, effective Jan. 1, 1964
TABLE 2.-Federal employees subject to Classification Act, by grade, all areas,
June 30, 1963
1, 355 29, 152 148, 271 176, 517 129, 923 55, 262 97, 940 22, 788 120, 716 14,560
0.1 2. 7 13.7 16. 3 12.0 5. 1 9.0 2.1 11.1 1.3
0.1 2.8 16.5 32.8 44.8 49.9 58.9
11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.
9.8 7.5 5. 2 2. 53 1, 22
83.3 90.8 96.0 98. 53 99. 75 99.91 99,97 100.00
Total.-1 1,083, 632
Source: U.S. Civil Service Commission.
TABLE 3.—Number of employees ? in 4 general schedule grades who will receive
less than 2, 2.5, or 3 percent under H.R. 11049
TABLE 4.—Rates needed in H.R. 11049 to raise salaries in 4 grades 3 percent over
Rate in H.R. 11049
35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 7,840 8,110 8,380 8,6508, 920 9, 1909, 460 9, 730 10,000 10, 270 7,925 8, 195 8,465 8, 7359,005 9, 275 9, 545 9,815 10,085, 10, 355 85 85 85 85 85 85 85
85 85 8,550 8,845 9, 1409,435 9, 73010, 025 10, 320 10, 615/10, 91011, 205 8,665 8, 960 9, 255 9,550/ 9, 845 10, 140/10, 435 10, 73011, 02511, 320 115
115 115 115 115 115 115 115 115 115 10,200 10, 555 10,910 11, 265 11, 620 11, 975 12,330 12, 68513, 040 13,395 10, 280 10,635 10,990 11, 345 11, 700) 12, 055 12, 410 12, 76513, 120 13, 475
80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80
The CHAIRMAN. We will now hear from Mr. Griner. You know, John is in my Sunday school class. I teach Sunday school, and he happens to be in my Sunday school class.
STATEMENT OF JOHN F. GRINER, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN
FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
Mr. GRINER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I would like for the record to show that we agree 100 percent with what Mr. Keating has said ; that we have endorsed his statement, and I would also like to show that my statement at this point is in behalf of both the American Federation of Government Employees and the American Federation of Technical Engineers.
The problem that I would like to call your attention is similar to both of these organizations, and that problem is in respect to four grades in the Classified Act; namely, the grades 9 through 12. We
find there is about 322,378 employees in this category, within those four grades.
And in those four grades, the percentage of increase is less than 3 percent, and somewhat less, I might say materially less, than what was recommended by the administration in their original administrative bill, which, I believe, was introduced by Mr. Udall, and designated as H.R. 7552.
We find in these four grades that there is about half, or more than 100,000 employees who are in engineering positions. There are about one-fourth of 100,000 employees that are in accounting and budgetary work. There are about 10,000 of them in legal positions, and about 32,000 in investigating work, and about one-half of 30,000 that are working in physical sciences. We also find many doctors and nurses that are included in these four grades.
These are hard-to-get categories. In other words, among all of the recruitment that we now have, and where the Civil Service Commission has exercised its authority under section 504(a) of the 1962 act, a great number of these people are included therein.
We feel that we just can't go back to our membership and the people who are involved in these particular grades and justify the action of not having at least a 3-percent increase for these people.
Furthermore, I would like to call your attention to, I believe, something that just needs clarification, and that is with respect to this 504(a) of the 1962 act, which authorizes the Civil Service Commission by authority designated by the President to establish a new salary range of rates, above those in the regular rate range, of a grade in which positions for which recruitment and retention are difficult.
In other words, as we read the law, it would be very easy for the Commission to say that we have now established this range. Let us take the grade 9, for instance. I believe they established it on the base of the present growing step 5, and, of course, under this bill as presented, or under the Morrison bill, the step 5 in the grade 9 would mean somewhat of an increase.
We believe that they could say that it has been established, let's say, at $7,950 under the old bill, and we are going to hold to that range, and all that we are asking is that the language be clarified, so that these people will receive the same increase for the step 5 as other people who might be in that similar step.
Frankly, I think that was the intention, but the language certainly does not clearly define it.
With that, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I will close and say I appreciate any consideration that you might give to these two particular amendments.
Thank you very much.
UNITED FEDERATION OF POSTAL CLERKS Mr. O'CONNOR. Now, Mr. Chairman, in the interest of conserving time, representing the United Federation of Postal Clerks, I am also presenting a statement. However, there are one or two things in my statement I would like to draw your attention to.
One is that the 1962 act has resulted in a number of inequities in the salary in connection with the years of service, and we would like to see something done concerning that, or looked at, anyway. And we also would like you to think about the absorption of costs as it concerns the postal service.
We have cut some service in the postal service at the present time, and it is resulting in some chaos. We think 10 percent more would add additional chaos to that service.
We thank you for the opportunity of talking to you today. The CHAIRMAN. We are certainly glad to have heard you. (The prepared statement of Mr. O'Connor is as follows:)
STATEMENT OF JOHN F. O'CONNOR, LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR, UNITED FEDERATION
OF POSTAL CLERKS Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am John F. O'Connor, legislative director of the United Federation of Postal Clerks. Our national headquarters are located in the Federation Building located at 817 14th Street NW., Washington, D.C. We represent some 160,000 clerks in first-, second-, and third-class post offices in each of the 50 States and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Under Executive Order 10988, and as a result of a nationwide election conducted by the Post Office Department over a year ago, we hold national executive recognition for all clerks in the postal service.
I want to express our appreciation to the chairman and to the members of the committee for scheduling these hearings on salary adjustments so that we may express our views with respect to this extremely important subject.
I appear here today in support of legislation to bring about an adequate adjustment in the salaries of both postal and Federal employees. We believe that the Salary Reform Act of 1962 was a long step in the direction of fair and equitable postal and Federal employee salaries. It set up the machinery necessary to bring about proper annual adjustments.
We see the 1962 act not as exact justice, but rather as the best compromise that could be reached at the time. One of the things that persuaded us to accept the administration proposal was the thought that the annual reviews that would result would bring about annual adjustments, which certainly are to be preferred to the somewhat haphazard, too little, too late, patterns of former years.
Failure of the Congress to take favorable action on pay proposals at this session is, of course, unthinkable. In our judgment, such failure to act in this, the first test of the theory, would completely destroy the employees' faith in the comparability principle. The implied promise contained in section 503 of the 1962 Pay Act was not lightly given and postal and Federal employees are confident that these hearings will result in the enactment of legislation.
For one of the few times in history, there is very near universal agreement that an increase or adjustment in pay is justified. The amount of increase necessary to establish true comparability seems to be the only area of disagreement.
We feel that the statements made by the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, Mr. Macy; the Deputy Director of the Bureau of the Budget, Mr. Staats; and the Assistant Postmaster General for Personnel, Mr. Murphy, who have previously testified, have given the committee the necessary statistical data to support salary increases at this time.
The obligation imposed on the executive branch of the Government under section 502 of Public Law 87–793 has been fulfilled by the President. We believe that a further obligation rests with the Congress to translate the recommendations into law, taking into consideration the President's message, his letters to the Congress endorsing pay increases, the salary increases granted in private industry during the last 2 years, and the salary proposals presently before this Congress.
In discussing this question, we invite your attention to the long interval between the time the satistics on salaries in private industry are gathered and the time the recommendations of the President can be translated into legislation and made effective. There is a 2-year lag between the time when the information was collected in late 1961 and early 1962. This timelag must be taken into consideration if there is to be any true comparability.