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Mr. COURTNEY. We have also had a request from the National Education Association to be allowed to submit a statement for the record.
Mr. HÉBERT. Without objection, it is so ordered. (The statement is as follows:)
NATIONAL EDUCATION AssociATION,
Washington, D.C., August 16, 1961. Hon. F. EDWARD HÉBERT, Chairman Subcommittee for Special Investigations, Committee on Armed Serr.
ices, House Office Building, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. HÉBERT : Thank you for your letter of August 9 advising me that your hearings on contracting out practices began on August 8, 1961.
After receiving your letter, I requested to talk with counsel of the subcommittee and on August 10, Mr. William H. Sandweg, counsel, was able to confer with me and with Mr. Robert R. Shafer, president of the Far East Education
Association, in Mr. Sandweg's office. Mr. Shafer happened to be in the city at our request on matters pertaining to the oversea dependents' schools. He was familiar with the Kwajalein contracting-out practices and concurs with me in my views expressed on the Kwajalein situation as we understand them.
After conferring with Mr. Sandweg, it seems clear that I should submit to you some remarks with the suggestion that these might be included as part of the official record of your committee. However, because our information about conditions on Kwajalein is limited, I have not prepared a formal statement as I would ordinarily have done, and I am not requesting to appear before the subcommittee to present testimony. These remarks, and the attached statements from teachers on Kwajalein, concern conditions in the program and the administration of the school on Kwajalein operated for the dependents of military personnel and others stationed on the island. The school formerly was operated by the U.S. Navy, under the direction of the Department of Defense. Now all the military installations and those of the school on the tiny atoll are operated under contract from the Federal Government by the Texas Transport Co. of Corpus Christi, Tex.
Briefly the correspondence from the two former educators on Kwajalein maintains that the Texas Transport Co., after taking over the Kwajalein installation, markedly raised the rents and other living costs to the teachers and instituted unprofessional demands upon the teaching staff there, seriously lowering teacher morale. We first heard about these things in a letter from a teacher dated December 1, 1959; a copy of this letter is enclosed. We had some interim correspondence with the writer, and recently, following my letter to you of March 27, 1961, we sought to obtain more current information about the situation. I am enclosing a copy of a letter written in response to this request by another teacher from Kwajalein on June 12, 1961, while he was still on duty on Kwajalein. Names of the writers of these letters can, I believe, be made available to the committee. It would appear that while the educational program has been improved somewhat since we first heard in late 1959, the personnel program has, if anything, deteriorated.
The details of the changed conditions are contained in the two letters. We have no other direct information from Kwajalein itself about the situation. Yet, from informal discussions with officials in the Department of Defense, it is my feeling that the Navy Department desires to take back this school into their overseas dependents' schools system. From what I have been able to learn here in Washington, when the contract was written, costs of operating the school program were inadvertently omitted, and therefore the company apparently has felt it must institute practices which would conserve its expenditures. I also understand that the contract company has levied a tuition charge upon the service personnel and upon the civilian parents whose children go to school on Kwajalein in order to attempt to further recover the costs of operating the school on Kwajalein. Paradoxically, if the school had remained as part of the oversea dependents' school system, working conditions and salaries would have been improved by Public Law 86–91, a law passed in 1959 at our request to bring about needed beneficial changes in the personnel practices of the oversea dependents' schools.
When the contract was written, provisions should have been made for properly funding the school's operations. If this had been done, I feel that the alleged conditions which seemed to have occurred since the Texas Transport Co. took over the operation of the school would not have occurred at all. Despite the fact that the two teachers from Kwajalein believe that the educational program, from the evidence of the results of standardized tests, seems not to have been adversely affected, I cannot help but feel that the quality of the teaching continues to be limited because of the serious morale problems which apparently still exist, according to our latest information.
I feel that whenever the Federal Government proposes to contract out the operation of oversea installations on which children will be attending school, that the funding and operation of the schools should be carefully planned and adequately provided for so that the program for the children and the personnel policies for the teachers will be continuously maintained and strengthened, just as if the school had been kept under the wing of the Department of Defense.
I hope that your committee can use this example as an indication of what might happen if contracting-out practices are not carefully instituted.
We are concerned with the quality of the education of American children and the professional welfare of American teachers wherever they are. We would not like to see the situation on Kwajalein, as we understand it, to continue. Nor do we want to see these practices instituted elsewhere. To me, it seems clear that the best interests of the Federal Government and of the Nation are not being served when a situation such as apparently exists on Kwajalein is permitted to continue.
The continued interest of your committee in this matter, which I first brought to your attention on March 14, 1961, is sincerely appreciated by me and by the National Education Association. The Overseas Education Association also expresses its sincere appreciation for the continued interest of the committee in professional standards for the schools and the teachers responsible for providing education for our children on Kwajalein. Cordially,
ROBERT W. McLAIN, Staff Contact for Oversea Teachers.
GEORGE SELTZ SCHOOL,
San Francisco, Calif., December 1, 1959. NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, Washington, D.C. (Attention: William G. Carr, executive secretary.)
DEAR MR. CARB : We are a group of 10 teachers and 1 principal in need of some advice concerning the improvement of our professional standards here in Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. We hope that you might be able to offer some advice or sources where we could obtain this information.
Perhaps it would be better if I gave you some background information so that you might better understand what I mean when I say we are a contractoroperated school.
Until June of this year Kwajalein had been a naval base and as such the teachers were a part of the Navy oversea dependent school system. The mission of the island changed and now we have the Navy acting in the capacity of contract administrators for the Transport Co. of Texas who was hired by the Department of Navy to support and furnish housekeeping needs for the island and the people living here. The Army is in charge of installing and testing the equipment of the Nike-Zeus missile system which has become the primary activity for Kwajalein.
Due to the change here the teachers as of this year were hired by the Transport Co. of Texas. While we are not a part of the Navy oversea school system we are using the Navy oversea school guides to determine our academic standards. The principal is responsible to the resident manager of the Transport Co. of Texas.
With this information in mind I would like to present the following facts to you. The contract by which the te ers were hired is the standard contract by which all job classifications were hired, i.e., plumbers, truckdrivers, clerks, officeworkers, engineers, administrators, and the like. Our salary scale is $7,200 per 12-month year. During Christmas holidays and summer vacations we are expected to fill in as officeworkers, sales people in the company stores, and any manner of jobs where additional help is required. The salary for the teaching year is about $5,200 and this does not include pay during the school holidays unless the teacher works in any other jobs as mentioned above
We are expected to work a 48-hour week and remain on the job until 4:30 p.m. just as others are who are paid on an hourly wage scale. The only consideration given is that we do not have to work on Saturdays while we are doing our teaching jobs. Other than legal holidays we are required to be at school if it is not an extended period of nonteaching time. No provision is made for any salary schedule to take in consideration years in the profession or advanced degrees.
To say the least we here are not pleased with the terms and are hoping to improve our status. I might add that the cost of items have increased about 20 percent over the prices when the Navy ran what was then called the post exchange and the commissary. Also rents have gone up about $25 for the quarters furnished the teachers.
The working conditions from the standpoint of the teacher and from the learning point of view are far from ideal. Our school is housed in three wooden buildings which are a very definite fire hazard, one of which had been an auto
motive repair shop. The lighting is very poor, the floors are of rough concrete, and here in the Tropics our source of air is from two open doors and a few openings high up which allow the rain as well as the air to come in. No windows at all in the building which is the newest of all. Plans are under consideration to improve the physical facilities but as yet nothing definite.
In spite of poor working conditions we think are doing a good job of teaching our children and maintaining the standards so that when they return to the United States they will have the same standing as their fellow students.
We are hoping that you might have some information or know where we could write to obtain information to use as a basis for a factual discussion of better salary and working conditions.
We here in Kwajalein feel that in keeping with the pay scales of other professions that our salary of $7,200 should be for a teaching year and that if we desire on an individual basis to work during the summer months we then should be paid at the going rate for that particular job. Also that our working hours should not have to conform to the hourly paid people. Those days which are designated as school holidays should be days off for teachers without taking additional work or suffering loss of pay.
While the pay of $7,200 might seem high in relation to some areas there should be some incentive for teachers as this is an isolated area. To be exact we are 2,000 miles from any place on the globe. Our island is 242 miles long and one-half mile wide. We have no chance for professional advancement and other than exchange of ideas among ourselves and the Overseas Education Association and the National Education Association Journals are our only source of educational enrichment.
As the OTA and NEA representative for the school I have written OTA giving them the same information that I am sending you.
We would like your opinion concerning our goals to improve our working conditions and any advice you might care to offer us in helping us to obtain these goals.
Very truly yours,
(Name withheld on request.)
KWAJALEIN, MARSHALL ISLANDS, June 12, 1961. Mr. ROBERT W. McLAIN, National Education Association, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. McLAIN : Your interest in the educational program here on Kwajalein, and concern for the morale of the teachers, is gratifying to say the least. We have had rather a difficult situation here for the past 2 years.
Things have improved quite a bit, however, since Mrs. Smith first wrote in 1959. As a whole, the education received here by the children has been very good. Excellent year-to-year gains have been evidenced by results of the standardized testing program, as well as through correspondence with parents of students who have been transferred elsewhere. Part of the exceedingly poor school facilities described by Mrs. Smith are being replaced by a new school building next year, although even this fails to meet the minimum criteria for a new school plant according to current directives (BuPers Inst.).
We still work under the same contract governing the employment of all TCT employees. It isn't by any stretch of the imagination a document normally signed by a teacher. It is a typical labor contract. The local management of the Transport Co. of Texas maintains a management-labor relationship in its dealing with the school.
Serious morale problems have existed because of nebulous, questionable, and objectionable personnel policies, such as: the requirement that teachers and the principal work in other areas of the company in order to stay on the payroll during the Xmas holidays, unless annual leave is taken (two teachers spent the 2-week period canvassing the housing area counting funiture); the refusal, for ambiguous reasons, to reclassify a teacher to a higher pay classification legally authorized under the terms of the amended BuWeps contract last year (teachers are on the lowest two salary classifications in the manning scale); the refusal, by management, to employ substitute teachers for a period of 3 months this year (K-12 school); status of the school within the company structure-a subordinate element of the Special Services Department; failure to appoint a governing school board, which was recommended by the under
signed in the early fall of 1959 (the commanding officer's school advisory board functions in an advisory capacity only, and has not even met since July 1960, though instructed by the commanding officer to do so once a months, submitting the minutes thereof to him within 7 days). I brought the matter of teachers working elsewhere during the Xmas holidays to the commanding officer's attention through his advisory board a year ago last Xmas, and as a result was told by the resident manager of TCT that, “When management makes a decision you will support it or you can get out.” In view of the financial mousetrap aspects of our employment (income tax exemption, etc.), "getting out" was highly impractical at the time.
Two specific recommendations for future company operations of oversea schools that I would make are
(1) Provide a normal school-year contract for school personnel, with provision for summer employment, if mutually agreeable to employee and employer, and a salary schedule that provides for both experience and training beyond the AB/BS.
(2) Require the appointment of a representative school board to govern the administration of the school and to be responsible directly to the resident manager instead of placing the school at the bottom of a lengthy chain of command of nonprofessional people unqualified to make educational
decisions. Inasmuch as we have been told that complaints concerning the company taken outside of channels would result in the termination of the employee concerned (which would involve several thousands of dollars in transportation money and bonus), I would appreciate it if you would keep the source of this information anonymous until after July 15, after which time my association with this company will be concluded.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTE ON ARMED SERVICES,
Washington, D.C. August 21, 1961.
DEAR MR. McLAIN: Thank you for your letter of August 16, 1961, in which you have amplified upon the protest filed by the association concerning the employment of teachers under Navy contract to the Texas Transport Co. for the management of Kwajalein Island.
As you have requested, the subcommittee will make your letter a part of its record, and I shall bring to the attention of the subcommittee the recommendations which you have made. Sincerely yours,
F. EDW. HÉBERT, Chairman. Mr. COURTNEY. For the record, may it appear that the interpolations which were directed and authorized from various witnesses who have appeared on this subject have been, I believe, substantially completed at this time.
Is that right, Mr. Sandweg?
Mr. COURTNEY. So the record will be at the printer within days and printed.
Mr. HÉBERT. Well, there will be one more meeting. As I suggested at the beginning there will be one more meeting, and that will be a meeting in executive session, an executive meeting in connection with sole source. That will be on Tuesday morning.