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Mr. Secretary, I strongly feel that the adverse decision of the Department is highly discriminatory against those dedicated AFETR employees who have for years performed so admirably in support of this Nation's defense posture and the Space program. So, I urge that you look further into this situation to insure that fair and equitable treatment is accorded. Please let me know as soon as practical. Best personal regards. Sincerely,
EDWARD J. GURNEY,
United States Senator. Mr. THOMPSON. What was the date of your first request, do you remember, Senator ?
Mr. GURNEY. No; I don't. It was earlier in the year, late this spring or early this summer, but I don't recall exactly. This was denied.
Mr. THOMPSON. Obviously, you anticipated this problem.
Mr. GURNEY. Yes; I was joined, by the way, in that with Senator Chiles and Congressman Frye.
Mr. THOMPSON. Yes. I might say your statement is, I think, a remarkably good one. I think that the people whom you are appearing on behalf of, will certainly be grateful for your compassion and your understanding of the problem.
Your figure of speech of the oarsmen, I think, is particularly touching and absolutely relevant. The refusal of the Secretary, once again, to make a wage determination, gave rise to this hearing, and for me it is not unlike the case of the Australian bushman with a new boomerang who spent 3 years trying to throw the old one away.
Mr. DELLENBACK. I do commend you again for what has been a very helpful statement. We do understand the difficulty of this problem because it is a tough one, it is a real tough one. I notice you are one of those who has joined with other Members of the Senate and House in feeling that there must be every type of feasible economy exercised in what the Federal Government does in spending the tax dollars which come from the citizenry of Florida, or Oregon, or New Jersey, Michigan, or anywhere else, and you have been long one who has spoken very eloquently about the need for fiscal economy, and that is the type of bind we now find ourselves in. We have a program here which has a reduction in expenditures, which has been brought about, not by the administration but by the Congress, and the Senate and House have ordered reductions in expenditures.
How do you do that without causing some dislocations? The question is how to make those dislocations as equable and reasonably applied as possible.
Somebody is going to lose a job, and somebody is not going to sell his goods somewhere, and somebody may end up getting less money somewhere. How do you balance it off ?
That is what you spoke very eloquently on behalf of your constituency, feeling in this instance that is not where this particular bite should come. I don't know where it should come. That is not our function; but the function of Congress, as we know, is to try to set up fair operating procedures to establish the ground rules and look
for equity in those ground rules so that the administration, whatever its political label may be, can do the best possible job.
While I am not satisfied with that which the Department of Labor has here done, I certainly sympathize with them, in the difficult task that faces them. What do they do in this situation?
May I ask you one question on the specifics, along the lines of what I had been looking for earlier? Do you have any specifics about comparability in employment outside of this particular Government installation, and whether or not the wages being paid outside are, in fact, higher or lower, or substantially equivalent to those being paid in the installations?
Mr. GURNEY. Yes; I do. I had a wage study made on my own since the Department of Labor wouldn't do it, and I have a copy of it here, and I would be very glad to furnish it to the committee.
Mr. DELLENBACK. Mr. Chairman, I would think that would also be helpful to us.
Mr. THOMPSON. It is good to have some information from somewhere.
(The document referred to follows:)
This paper identifies certain inconsistencies resulting from decisions made by the Government concerning the application of the Service Contract Act of 1965 to identical and concurrent Air Force procurements. Its purpose is to enlist understanding support necessary to assure equitable treatment of all offerors and employees who are affected by these actions.
BACKGROUND The Air Force Systems Command has issued Requests for Proposals/Quotations for contractor operation and maintenance services at the Space and Missile Test and Evaluation Center (SAMTEC), Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and the Air Force Eastern Test Range (AFETR), Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. The services to be performed under these contracts relate to launch, tracking, and data acquisition for ballistic missile and space programs. They require employees who have nearly identical skills. The SAMTEC RFQ 104701-71-Q-0233 was amended (0004, 3 September 1971) stating that, "the Department of Labor has determined that the Service Contract Act of 1965 is applicable to this procurement. Wage determinations and other appropriate provisions as applicable will be provided as received from the Department of Labor". The AFETR RFP F08606-72-R-0001 dated 2 September 1971, Section C, paragraph 3c states, “The Service Contract Act of 1965 applies to this procurement action including the resultant contract. Offerors will be further advised concerning Department of Labor decisions as to a Wage determination and will be provided sufficient time prior to due date for submission of cost proposals to consider such determination."
Information has been obtained from Department of Labor sources indicating that the following decisions have been made:
AIR FORCE EASTERN TEST RANGE (AFETR)
No wage determination is to be made in connection with the AFETR O&M procurement. This decision is represented to be based on a Department of Labor determination that wages paid by the incumbent contractors at AFETR are significantly higher than those paid for similar and more demanding services in the Brevard County area.
It has been asserted that a wage determination based on current wages paid incumbent workers would not serve the Government's purposes. These purposes are identified as a desire for more economical operation and consistency with the stabilization guidelines contained in the President's program to combat inflation.
SPACE AND MISSILE TEST AND EVALUATION CENTER (SAMTEC), A wage determination will be made in connection with the SAMTEC O&M procurement. Reasons for this decision by the Department of Labor, which is the
opposite of that made for the AFETR, have not been expressed. However, the action must reflect the Labor Department's belief that the situations which exist in the AFETR O&M procurement are different from those of the SAMTEC O&M procurement.
The following representations are provided to show the situation which exists at SAMTEC relative to that which exists at AFETR. In order to objectively illustrate the situation, the electronic technician category has been selected be 'cause it represents a significantly large group of employees whose work is directly comparable at the two work centers. It should also be noted, that the majority of these technicians are represented by collective bargaining agreement at the AFETR, which is not the case in the SAMTEC O&M program.
1. The Service Contract Act of 1965 and a wage determination for work performed at Vandenberg Air Force Base are in effect on yet another current procurement action, that is, management, engineering, and operational support of SAUSO communications and electronic systems at Vandenberg AFB, California, Solicitation Number F04701-71-Q-0167, dated 29 March 1971. In that procurement action, which is currently in "protest prior to award”, a wage determination was made. Exhibit 1 is an amendment to the above solicitation issued on 23 April 1971. The attachment sets the minimum wage to be paid Electronic Technicians sexcluding senior technicians at Vandenberg AFB under this contract at $4.44 per hour. Exhibits 2 and 3 are extracts from the current IBEW Local 2182 bargaining agreement with Base Services Incorporated, a subsidiary of the incumbent contractor, Federal Electric Company, which currently performs work being procured under RFQ F04701-71-0-0167. Exhibits 2 and 3 show the rates in the electronic technician grade for 1971 and 1972 to be significantly lower than the wage rate determination : e.g., the highest rate attainable in 1972 is $4.14 per hour.
These exhibits show that:
A. The DOL-established average technician rate at Vandenberg for RA F04701-71-Q-0167 is significantly higher than prevailing rates in that area under the existing bargaining agreement. 5. B. The median wage rate for electronic technicians at Vandenberg AFB under the existing labor agreement is $3.60/hour; the median wage rate for the same class of represented electronic technicians at AFETR is $3.79/hour.
C. The Department of Labor wage rate determination on RFQ F04701-71-Q0167 of $4.44/hour is significantly greater than current average wage rates as represented by existing bargaining agreements for comparable electronic technicians at either Vandenberg AFB or AFETR.
2. Validated area survey data, including Brevard County, showing the prevailing rates for comparable electronic technicians is provided in exhibit 4. These data indicate that the average wage paid to electronic technicians employed at AFETR is equal to or below the average for equivalent skills as represented by those employed by both Government and non-Government-related agencies in the area.
Similar surveys conducted in Santa Barbara County, California, establish that a comparable situation exists there. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Santa Barbara County dated January 1971 shows the median rate for this type of electronic technician is $5.13 per hour.
The above described exhibits show that the average hourly wages paid electronic technicians at both SAMTEC and AFETR are lower than the average hourly wage rate for electronic technicians employed by non-Government-related companies in the areas of interest.
CONCLUSION 1. In spite of the consistency displayed by the Government's decision to equally apply the Service Contract Act of 1965 to these procurements, the Department of Labor decision to make a wage rate determination on one procurement and not the other is inconsistent in terms of the representations documentated by attachments to this paper.
2. A comparison of average wage rates for electronic technicians indicates that a wage determination for this major category of employees, if justified, should be equally applied to this category of technicians employed on both contracts under procurement.
12. HICUVE DATES. REQUISITONIPURCHASE REQUEST NO. 14. PROJECT NO. TIJ opisembla)
HI APR 23 Friul67203000
6. ADMINSTE 200 SY (IJ 0:5ır itur blood 3)
Post Office, Los Angeles CA 900:5
A. . Shell/sv/6:3-2832 1o COLSO
FACILITY CODE NO A004ESS
AMENDMENT OF FO:701-71-9-0167
de ell lernt end conditions of the documentelerincet in Work 8, o 'ore changed, temo in unchanged and in it herce and lac CHOR IS NOT ROUTREO O CLASICWGTEX92 IS 250 10 SICHIS DOCUMENT 110 RETURN _ 1534 ms V.CUMENT
17..c9 an hour or $3.20 a week or $13.85 a bönt.
O paid folidays per year: evoer's Day, Washington's Birthday, Memorial Dey, Independence Day,
S:c 29 CR, Reg. 4.6(b), concerning establishment of confortable rates for other classes of service oploycos. A bisher rate, conforsable to tes dcterzinct rate for electronic'techniciens, shall be established for Senior Electronic Techniciens,
Sec. 1. Employees covered by this agreement shall be classified as follows and paid the wage rates specified below:
1 Job family will be designated by specialty, such as: (painter), (machinist), (sheet metal), (welder), (electrical), (plumber) (H.V.A.C.), (carpentry), (heavy equipment operator), (general), (combination).
2 Job family will be designated by specialty: Mechanical, electrical/electronic.
ARTICLE XII.-WAGES Sec. 1. Employees covered by this agreement shall be classified as follows and paid the wage rates specified below:
1 Job family will be designated by specialty, such as: (painter),(machinist), (sheet metal), (welder),(electrical),(plumber), (H.V.A.C.), (carpentry), (heavy equipment operator), (general), (combination),
2 Job family will be designated by specialty: Mechanical, electrical/electronic.