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5119 by Congressman Joseph Karth, and H.R. 8205 by Congressman Dulski.
The purpose of these bills cited above was to provide restoration of the anniversary dates for related pay increases that had been established for postal employees under prior legislation. There was no intent to grant unearned salary increments to personnel involved, nor was there any design to legislate unreasonable emoluments to any segment of the postal family. Rather, it was the intent to provide full and justified credit for time that had actually been served, work that had been performed, by postal personnel under the previous Postal Feld Services Salary Act embodied in Public Law 68.
Since adoption of the Dulski amendment by the House committee, several efforts have been made by various individuals and groups to completely misrepresent the nature and purpose of this legislation. In one instance, a spokesman for the Post Office Department stated that it would require a staggering outlay of funds to evaluate the amount that would be due each employee eligible for such benefit. Recently, the Washington Daily News has come forward in an article by one of its columnists, to the effect that the proposal constitutes a huge salary windfall to some personnel, while denying such consideration to others. This latest comment also includes what we consider to be a highly erroneous price tag on the amendment, amounting to more than $48 million.
We believe those postal employees who actually performed service under Public Law 68, in such a way as to earn advanced salary levels, should receive full credit for such service. We contend that the cost would be far, far below the $48 million indirectly attributed to this proposal by the Department. Furthermore, we know that the amount of time and effort required to properly recognize these deserving employees would be negligible. "In addition, all employees would not gain such credits at the same time, thereby enabling the Department to amortize the cost over a period of 1 to 6 years.
To illustrate the discrepancy that has now developed through the Post Office Department's implementation of the last pay bill, Public Law 87–793, we are presenting the following explanation to clarify the inequities described hereinabove.
In the Postal Pay Reform Act of 1962, Congress established 20 salary levels to cover all variety of positions. The first 6 levels contained 12 steps to cover years of service, and the higher levels were assigned to a correspondingly lesser number of steps, since they are figured at higher rates to compensate for supervisorial and administrative duties.
In the implementation of the act, a cut-off date of October 13, 1962, was established which deprived many postal workers of full and proper credits for their prior service. For example, employees in the first four levels who had not progressed beyond step 5, were able to retain their anniversary dates for step increases. In many instances, such employees received an additional step increase within weeks or months after the act of 1962 was approved. On the other hand, employees in the first four levels in step 6 or above, and employees who had already earned longevity step increases under the former law,
Public Law 68, did not retain their anniversary dates, and were compelled to start new periods toward their next step increase.
The following specific examples will clarify the detrimental effects on some employees with many years of service:
1. A level-4 employee who entered the postal service on October 1, 1956, was placed in step 8 on October 13, 1962, at an annual wage of $5,685. An employee in the same level who entered the postal service 2 weeks later, on October 15, 1956, was placed in step 7, and received an annual wage of $5,525. The latter employee will be required to serve 3 years in step 7 before going to step 8, thus earning $160 per annum less than the first employee. For the next five step increases over a period of 15 years, the employee who entered the service 2 weeks later will be out of pocket at least $2,400.
2. An employee who entered the postal service October 1, 1949, was placed in step 9 at $5,845 per annum. An employee who entered October 15, 1949, 2 weeks later, was placed in step 8 at $5,685.
3. An employee who entered the postal service October 1, 1944, was placed in step 10 at $6,005 per annum. An employee who entered 2 weeks later on October 15, 1944, was placed in step 9 at $5,845 per annum, the identical salary of the employee who entered almost 5 years later on October 1, 1949.
4. An employee who entered the postal service on October 1, 1937, was placed in step 11 at a salary of $6,165 per annum. An employee who entered 2 weeks later on October 15, 1937, was placed in step 10 at a salary of $6,005 per annum, the identical salary of an employee who entered the service 7 years later.
We respectfully submit that hard-working and conscientious postal personnel are entitled to justice and equality, particularly in those instances where salary credits and pay boosts have been enacted into law and offered as payment for work performed, and if I may digress just a moment, I would like to emphasize that point, Mr. Chairman, that this is a salary adjustment for work that has been performed. It is no proposed increase in the future. It is credit for work that has already been performed before the cutoff date of October 13, 1962.
We respect fully request the retention of the Dulski amendment and its approval, with the balance of the committee's recommendation contained in H.R. 8986.
We take this opportunity to again convey our appreciation to you, Mr. Chairman, and to the other members of your committee, for the privilege of presenting our opinions on this vital issue. We sincerely hope your deliberations will shortly result in the adoption of a bill that will bring about increased compensation for all postal and Federal personnel.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions, Senator Carlson?
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. MacKay, do you have any other statement to offer?
Mr. MACKAY. I would like to introduce our secretary-treasurer, Mr. Silvergleid, who I believe might like to add a comment or two relative to the legislation under consideration.
STATEMENT OF DAVID SILVERGLEID, SECRETARY-TREASURER,
NATIONAL POSTAL UNION
Mr. SILVERGLEID. Well, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I realize that you are very, very anxious to consummate the proceedings this morning, and I am just going to take 1 brief minute to highlight the fact that was brought out previously in connection with the timelag insofar as comparability is concerned.
I am sure you gentlemen realize that if this bill is enacted as of July 1, or thereafter, that there will at that time have been a time lag of a minimum of 18 months. Before other legislation can be introduced in 1965, there will be a timelag of at least 2 years. So, in considering the issue of true comparability, I believe some thought must be given, either by this committee, by the U.S. Civil Service Commission, or the executive branch, to a curtailment or shortening of that time lag in the future, so that the Federal employees will achieve some form of true comparability with workers in private industry.
Thank you very much, gentlemen.
We certainly thank you for coming here this morning and bringing us this information.
Mr. MacKay. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Vaux Owen, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees.
STATEMENT OF VAUX OWEN, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL FEDERATION
OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
Mr. OWEN. Mr. Chairman, I do not desire to read my statement. I should like for it to be entered in the record at this time. I would like to make some comments on it.
The CHAIRMAN. There being no objection, it will become a part of the record
(The prepared statement is as follows:)
STATEMENT OF VAUX OWEN, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Vaux Owen, I am president of the National Federation of Federal Employees. Our organization has members in almost all categories of positions under both the Wage Board and Classification Act pay systems and in practically all departments and agencies of the Federal Government in the various States and overseas.
We thank the Senate Committee on Post Office and Civil Service for holding these hearings. We think H.R. 11049 unjustly discriminates against employees in the middle and higher grades and that it unreasonably departs from the principle of comparability. We urge amendments to remedy these deficiencies.
We are gratified by the action of the administration in proposing an adjustment of statutory salaries at a level higher than that provided in compensation schedule II as set forth in the Classification Act Amendments of 1962. We are pleased too, that Mr. John W. Macy, Jr., Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, and Mr. Elmer B. Staats, Deputy Director, Bureau of the Budget, have testified strongly in favor of the comparability principle in the Salary Reform Act and have called attention to the damage to the Federal service which is being observed and may be expected to continue if the vital comparability principle is not carried out.
CONFORMITY WITH LEGISLATIVE POLICY
When the Congress enacted Public Law 87–793, it made a “declaration of policy" with reference to the fixing of salaries under the various Federal salary systems. That policy is stated in section 502 of the act as follows:
"SEC. 502. The Congress hereby declares that, whereas the functions of a Federal salary system are to fix salary rates for the services rendered by Federal employees so as to make possible the employment of persons well qualified to conduct the Government's programs and to control expenditures of public funds for personal services with equity to the employee and to the taxpayer, and whereas fulfillment of these functions is essential to the development and maintenance of maximum proficiency in the civilian services of Government, then, accordingly, Federal salary fixing shall be based upon the principles that
“(a) There shall be equal pay for substantially equal work, and pay distinctions shall be maintained in keeping with work and performance distinctions; and
“(b) Federal salary rates shall be comparable with private enterprise salary rates for the same levels of work.
"Salary levels for the several Federal statutory salary systems shall be interrelated, and salary levels shall be set and henceforth adjusted in accordance with the above principles."
Our organization wholeheartedly supports the policy which the Congress has determined shall govern the fixing of salaries. We support it because it provides a definite, fair, and objective procedure for fixing salaries which, in the years to come, should make it unnecessary to have lengthy hearings on salary fixing legislation. It tends to bring order out of chaos and system out of confusion. It tends to make it more certain that the action will be taken which should be taken regarding the pay of Federal employees. We think that this policy should be adhered to and followed in the interest of the overall efficiency of Government operations. We do not think the policy should be undermined or whittled away. We are, therefore, against the provisions in H.R. 11049 which would have this effect.
EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK The National Federation of Federal Employees has supported the principle of equal pay for equal work from the time the Classification Act of 1923 was under consideration by the Congress. In fact our organization was the leader in the fight to enact the Classification Act of 1923 and has consistently supported the principle of classification and the principle of equal pay for equal work down to the present time. It was a number of years after the Classification Act of 1923 was passed before the provisions of the law were extended to the field service. Against strong opposition and under many difficulties we worked for the extension of classification to the field service.
This principle of equal pay for equal work which the Congress has determined to be a public policy is an essential part of the merit system and an indispensable ingredient of a sound personnel system. Pay should be fixed according to the level and importance of the duties being performed in a given position, and whoever is performing the duties of that position satisfactorily should be given the pay that goes with the position without regard to politics or other unrelated circumstances. Geography should have nothing to do with it. A stenographer performing a certain level of work in Connecticut should receive the same pay as a stenographer performing the same level of work in the State of California.
Along with the principle of equal pay for equal work is the maintenance of pay distinctions in keeping with performance distinctions. Where the performance of one employee definitely and beyond doubt exceeds the performance of another in the same grade, there should be some distinction in pay in favor of the employee whose performance is distinctively higher than the other. Congress has said that this shall be the policy. Our organization supports the policy. Whatever difficulties may be encountered in giving effect to this principle, the principle itself should not be abandoned.
The Congress has established comparability as a principle in fixing the pay of Federal employees and it is not believed it should decide now to depart from a principle it established less than 2 years ago.
Our organization was a pioneer in the advocacy of comparability. In our national convention in 1958 we adopted a resolution on salary policy which contained the following language:
"Resolved, That the NFFE seek legislation which will require the adjustment of Classification Act salary schedules on a national basis to reflect equal pay for equal work and to establish rates of pay that are reasonably comparable with those paid outside the Government service by progressive employers."
We have consistently worked for and advocated the above policy. We were in favor of, and supported, the comparability principle a year ago when the legislation which became the Federal Salary Reform Act, Public Law 87-793, was under consideration and we now strongly support and urge adherence to the principle of comparability. The executive branch should not weaken in its adherence to this principle. We think the principle is very important and that to abandon it would lead into a wilderness of piecemeal salary legislation.
So far as we are informed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of the Budget and the Civil Service Commission have made a reasonable and conscientious attempt to make comparisons of pay based on positions in private industry which reasonably involve the same levels of difficulty, responsibility, and importance as the positions with which they are compared in the Federal service.
The application of the comparability principle is a reasonable matter. It involves, it is true, the exercise of some judgment, but this judgment is exercised by officials who are thoroughly familiar with the subject and the various levels of difficulty and importance in hundreds of different types of positions. To find a position which is comparable with a position in the Federal service does not nean the finding of a position in private industry the duties of which are identical with some position in the Federal service. There are many positions in the Federal service for which identical counterparts could not be found in the private sphere. However, those familiar with position classification have very little difficulty in determining what position in the private sphere is fairly comparable with a position in the Federal service. When this has been done, it is reasonable, fair, and just to say that the pay for a position in the Federal service should be on a par with the pay for a comparable position in private industry. Furthermore, the Government will be handicapped in obtaining and keeping competent employees unless the principle of comparability is observed. Recent statements by the President show he is having difficulty in keeping experienced highly qualified officials.
It seems that it would be prudent to keep in mind the facts of life in the competitive market in which the Government as an employer finds itself.
COMPARABILITY FACTS Facts in abundance to support the importance of comparable pay in meeting competition can be found in the survey made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and in the testimony of Mr. John W. Macy, Jr., Chairman of the Civil Service Commission. Other administration officials have expressed themselves in no uncertain terms regarding the loss of valuable employees to private industry. It would seem useless to burden this committee with a further accumulation of specific instances where pay in private industry, colleges, States, and cities exceeds the pay in the Federal service, or to heap up additional statistical comparisons.
There is a timelag in attaining comparability. The administration has indicated an awareness of this timelag and a disposition to reduce the timelag. It seems inevitable that some time must elapse between the date a survey is made and the date on which legislative action can be taken by the Congress. While we strongly favor the comparability principle, even if there is a timelag in putting it into effect, we would be happy to see the timelag reduced. However, we are disposed to be patient and would consider an abandonment of the policy on comparability as a far greater evil than the timelag could possibly be. le should be glad at any time to confer with officials of the Civil Service Commission, the Bureau of the Budget, or the committee staff, looking toward the development of procedures which will reduce the timelag.
EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATIVE, AND JUDICIAL SALARIES In our testimony in support of the salary reform legislation last year, we said there were sound reasons for thinking that salary reform should be extended to