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Senator YARBOROUGH. With pleasure, Mr. Chairman. I express my regret, but I was in an executive session of the full Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce and was absent during a part of the hearing.
(The prepared statement of A. L. Allison follows:)
STATEMENT OF ALBERT R. ALLISON, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE SUBCOM
MITTEE, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NAVAL TECHNICAL SUPERVISORS 1. The National Association of Naval Technical Supervisors advocates enactment of us. 1326.—The arguments advanced in this statement are based primarily on the firsthand observations and experience of the members of the association in their roles as civilian management officials in technical establishments of the Department of the Navy. In substantiation of these views, data and sentiments as expressed by other authoritative individuals and groups have been freely drawn upon. Documentation of supporting statements paraphrased or quoted is as follows:
(a) G. K. Hartman, Technical Director of the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, White Oak, Md; Keynote address at the Fourth Conference of Associated Boards for Scientific and Technical Personnel, March 22, 1957.
(6) Report No. 102: Professional Income of Engineers, 1956, prepared by the special surveys committee of the Engineers Joint Council, January 1957.
(c) Congressional Record, Senate, April 12, 1957: Some Implications for the United States of Deficiencies in Skilled Manpower, Senator Humphrey.
(d) National Society of Professional Engineers in Cooperation with the United States Civil Service Committee; a Study of Scientific and Engi
neering Pay Scales, May 1956. 2. Why special consideration for scientists and engineers!—It is no secret that we are living under a constant threat of annihilation inherent in any nuclear war in which we may become involved. Maintenance of the national security is dependent today more than ever before on maximum utilization of the best available scientific and engineering talent for military as well as economic advancement. In the Department of Defense, 109 Governmentowned and operated laboratories and research and development establishments whose basic mission is to provide for the common defense, represent an initial capital investment of $2.4 billion. Of the 287,000 professional employees in the Government service, 138,000 or approximately 50 percent are employed in the Department of Defense. It is vital that these establishments be kept properly manned and operating, since their functions are, for the most part, unique to the Government and cannot be delegated to private contractors. As a matter of fact, in terms of funds allotted, this delegation has already reached the straining point. Of the total funds available to the Department of Defense for research and development, test, and evaluation purposes for the year 1957, it is estimated that at least 80 percent will be paid to private contractors and 7 percent to nonprofit institutions, leaving only 13 percent to be expended in Government laboratories. This is a fact not widely known or appreciated by the general public. From the standpoint of protection of the interests of the Government, this apportionment is already past the critical point and steps should be taken to reverse rather than extend it.
3. Is the Government, particularly the Department of Defense, attracting and retaining a proportionate share of skilled professional and scientific personnellOn April 12, 1957, Senator Hubert H. Humphrey had entered into the Congressional Record appraisals of the technical manpower situation by responsible officials of the Navy, Air Force, and Army. Pertinent excerpts from these state ments are as follows:
Rear Adm. R. Bennett, USN, Chief of Naval Research: "In the Navy we must achieve a better competitive position to secure our share of the Nation's scientific talent. Industrial offers today are literally draining the Navy of its research and development engineers and scientists. More money, often at salaries two times greater than we can offer, cause our people to leave."
Donald A. Quarles, Secretary of the Air Force, and former head of research and development for the Department of Defense: “Competition for the services of technical people has caused a considerable increase in mobility of the engi. neering scientific professions. * * * The civil service and military pay scales for technical personnel have not kept pace with the industrial salaries which have
developed from the competition for engineers and scientists engendered by the national shortage. This makes it very difficult for us to attract or retain within the Air Force structure an adequate cadre of high quality officers and civilians to plan and direct our research and development effort."
C. J. Hauck, Jr., brigadier general, United States Army, Chief of Legislative Liaison: "I have been advised that the Department of the Army experiences some difficulty in securing a sufficient number of scientists and engineers for three reasons:
"1. The apparent shortage of supply of such personnel.
"3. Legal restrictions on the number of high level scientific and profes
sional positions available to the Army. * * * id surmounting the second reason * * * the ultimate solution, it would appear, is to develop a system of Federal pay which would permit the keeping of rates for Government jobs more closely alined with the pay for similar work in private industry." · That the Department of Defense is being subjected to serious losses in professional personnel, particularly in the middle and upper grades, is shown in part by the charts appended herewith. Chart Ia shows comparative accessions and losses of technical personnel in the scientific, technical and engineering series in the design divisions of 10 naval shipyards for the period January 1955 through December 1956. This chart shows that losses in the advanced grades, GS-11 and above, far outnumber accessions in the entering grade, GS-5; that the number of losses in grade GS-5 is two-thirds of the number of accessions in that grade; that in the higher grades the losses outnumber the accessions and increase to over three times the accessions. The losses shown include retirements and deaths; however, these represent less than 25 percent of the total losses, and a large proportion of the retirements were premature, accelerated by opportunities for employment in private industry. Chart Ib shows similarly compiled data for a major east-coast Navy laboratory for the period January 1956 through April 1957. Again, the pattern of increasing loss at the higher grades is clearly evident. There were no retirement or deaths in this group during the period analyzed.
4. Why do scientific and technical personnel leave the Government!—This question has been asked and authoritatively answered, repeatedly. The results of innumerable surveys, inquiries and investigations are a matter of record. Invariably the major reason is traceable to higher salaries offered by industry. There are, of course, other reasons why people leave, or will not assume, Government technical positions, but these are secondary and are almost always overshadowed by, or indirectly related to, pay or economic factors. Compilation of average yearly starting salaries for Government and for industry have been made by the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory surveys, college placement surveys, Engineers Joint Council surveys, and surveys by the Department of Labor, the ASME, the American Management Association, the National Society of Profes sional Engineers, etc. From information available in the public press, it is the belief of this organization that the Civil Service Commission, the Córdiner Committee, the Interdepartmental Committee on Research and Development, and the assistant secretaries of the executive departments have arrived at the same general conclusions. The data for the period 1923 to 1957 show several very interesting facts. First, throughout the twenties and thirties, employment in the Government was highly desirable, the salaries paid were larger than those in industry, and although there was not much hiring, the Government had its pick of the best graduates, and it was during this period that those Government laboratories which were in existence were able to build up their competence. The crossover point occurred in 1942. However, throughout the war, questions of salary were by no means overriding and the laboratories of the Department of Defense which were created during this period again had their pick of the highest competence available. The record from 1946 on clearly shows Government salaries to be "too little and too late." The Engineers Joint Council reports that engineers in industry with 5, 10, 15, and 20 years of experience, consistently receive from $700 to $1,000 more per annum than their counterparts in the Government service. Fringe benefits, as pointed out by Mr. Albert Pratt, former Assistant Secretary of the Navy, before this subcommittee, can no longer be a substitute for higher salaries.
5. What immediate remedies may be applied by Congress!--There can be no disagreement that the basic mission of providing for the common defense will be carried out. However, if the scientific and technical activities in the Department of Defense continue to lose quality in the personnel available to man them, they will cease to be effective. Dr. G. K. Hartmann, of the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, White Oak, Md., presents a considerable appraisal of the situation: "The following events, which I regard as decidedly undesirable, could save the Government laboratories. First-a war. This would probably wreck the world. Second-a depression. This would wreck the country. Third—a drastic cut in the Department of Defense budget. This would wreck our defense and probably not save the laboratories either. Fourth-transfer from Government operation to contractor operation. This is not considered desirable for reasons previously cited. What then can be done? The obvious thing is to raise the pay of the technical and scientific personnel in the Government to such a point that the present trend will be halted.”
6. The National Association of Naval Technical Supervisors strongly advocates immediate passage of 8. 1326 and H. R. 2803 and 2804.-This legislation recommends a separate salary schedule for a broad spectrum of professional, scientific, and technological position series in the Federal civil service. Whenever a pay raise is mentioned, many people are filled with feelings of alarm to the effect that this is an inflationary move. To view this in its proper perspective, we must be sure we understand that we are talking about the Federal graded or classified civil service. This eliminates about a half million postal workers, and over a million blue-collar workers, leaving as of June 1956, 950,000 white-collar workers at home and overseas. Of these, over 60 percent are below GS-5 and hence not professional. Thus, the total number of all classified professional employees affected by this legislation is less than 300,000.
7. How much would it cost to adopt the salary scale recommended in 1326?-If the overall average raise is taken as $2,000 per person, and it is estimated that 250,000 personnel in the professional series would fall within the purview of the bill, the cost would be $500 million per year. This is about three-fourths of 1 percent of the annual Federal budget. What better investment can we make than to preserve the cornerstone and foundation of our national survival in this technical and scientific era ?
8. What other measures should be effected to maintain a proper salary structure for Federal scientific, professional and engineering personnel!
(a) Congress should establish a permanent board, commission or committee whose prime function, subject to the control of Congress, will be to administer a compensation system based upon prevailing wages on a national scale that can be constantly appraised and adjusted without repeated recourse to new legislation. To anyone who studies the question of Government salaries, it is apparent that a given, fixed salary schedule is never a permanent solution. The fixed salary does not take into account the inevitable march of events, nor the free play of the market place, the impact of which on the individual Government employee is just as real as it is on employees in private industry.
(6) There must be achieved a greater recognition of the contributions made by scientists and engineers to the welfare of the country. It should come about by a more widespread but quiet recognition by Congress and by Government administrators and executives of the importance of scientists in the whole business of Government, and by recognition that scientists are just as good citizens, just as loyal, honest, conscientious and hard working as the businessmen in administrative and executive positions.
One of the greatest deterrents to this recognition is the artificial limit placed by Congress on the upper end of salary schedules for classified employees. In the present GS schedule the highest attainable salary is $16,000 while S. 1326 establishes a limit of $19,000. Personnel in these positions are senior civilians administratively and technically in charge of establishments, which in private industry would be headed by individuals receiving twice to five times these amounts.
Aside from the distasteful economic limitations placed on the senior scientist by these low salaries, when associating with his counterparts in industry, the more devastating effect is on the ambitious young scientist or engineer. In considering a career in the Federal civil service, the young engineer soon realizes that he can never aspire to a position of real recognition and income comparable to that achievable in private employment, and whatever appeal the civil service initially had tends to disappear.
The salary schedule set forth in S. 1326 represents a sorely needed adjustment. There is, however, definite need for greater decompression in the managerial levels, particularly between successive grades above SPS-8. In these grades, the responsibilities progressively assumed increase exponentially. The
salary changes should show a similar increase rather than the constant or fixed increments now provided for in S. 1326. While it is acknowledged that the top salaries in civil service cannot be expected to equal those of comparable positions in private industry, certainly a nearer approach to economic parity can and should be attained in the renumeration of the relatively few high echelon men on whom falls the burden of maintaining the effectiveness and prestige of the various Government scientific and technical establishments. The National Association of Naval Technical Supervisors feels that a salary of $25,000 for grade SPS-14 is not only desirable, but mandatory if the Federal civil service is to become a compelling career objective to the scientists and engineers of outstanding competence who are a vital factor in providing that measure of creativity, inspiration, and leadership which will be required in the critical years which lie ahead of this country. The general public must be educated to the fact that such a salary for leadership in science is not exorbitant. Congress, the executive departments, and organizations such as ours must act together in creating politi. cal acceptance of this objective by the public.