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Mr. PASCHAL. Thank you.
Senator YARBOROUGH. "If there are no further questions, thank you, Mr. Mebs, for your statement here, and you may be excused, if you wish, and we will next hear Mr. J. Hartley Bowen, Jr.
STATEMENT OF J. HARTLEY BOWEN, JR., NATIONAL SECRETARY,
NAVAL CIVILIAN ADMINISTRATORS ASSOCIATION
Mr. BOWEN. Mr. Chairman, my name is J. Hartley Bowen, Jr. I am national secretary of the Naval Civilian Administrators Association. I have delivered a prepared statement previously; I have some additional copies here, I believe. I will accept your invitation to only quote part of my statement here at this time, with the understanding that the rest of it will appear in the official record.
Senator YARBOROUGH. It will appear in the record in its complete form.
Mr. Bowen. I would like to add here that I am speaking also on behalf of Mr. John Kean, the national president of our organization, who would be here except for a recent illness which makes it impossible.
Mr. Chairman, in addition to this statement which I have presented, I would like to introduce to the record, if I might, some items which have recently come to my attention.
The Bulletin of the Alameda Naval Air Station at Alameda, Calif., dated April 1957, has an article entitled "New Skills Needed by the Navy," which quotes the Honorable Albert Pratt, who was Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Personnel and Reserve Forces at that time, and several other high-ranking people in the Defense Department.
I have this here, sir, and if I might I would like to have that inserted in the record.
Senator YARBOROUGH. Do you desire just that one article out of the document?
Mr. BowEN. Yes, sir.
Senator YARBOROUGH. That will be received and filed as a part of your statement. It will so appear in the record.
(The article referred to is as follows:)
NEW SKILLS NEEDED BY THE NAVY The Honorable Albert Pratt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Personnel and Reserve Forces) arranged a conference on January 17, 195“, for representatives of labor unions and certain veterans organizations in the Washington area. The purpose of the conference was to acquaint them with the increasing importance of the Navy and what is being done for its employees regarding the development of new skills and techniques to parallel the demands of the "new" Navy and the progress of the times.
Secretary Pratt participated in the conference with opening and closing remarks. Capt. J. S. McCain, USN, Office of Chief of Naval Operations, made an excellent presentation on the increasing importance of the Navy which was followed by a discussion of the new skills needed by the Navy by Rear Adm. Robert E. Cronin, USN, Chief of Industrial Relations. The Honorable Charles S. Thomas, Secretary of the Navy, and Adm. Arleigh Burke, USN, Chief of Naval Operations, addressed the group at luncheon. Also attending the conference were Deputy Chiefs of Naval Operations, and chiefs of bureaus.
In discussing new skills needed by the Navy, Admiral Cronin said: "* * * The skills needed by the Navy today are for the most part predetermined. The skills requirement is a natural outgrowth of the progress our Nation has made in science, in engineering, and in technology * * *. Our progress in developing
a new Navy must be paralled with progress in developing the skills, abilities, and talents of our employees.
“The many new materials, new processes and methods, and new designs all reflect changes in ways in which the work 'behind the scenes' is done. Sometimes the change is slight and creates virtually no problem to the workers. On the other hand, the change may be a drastic one-to the extent where an almost entirely new skill may be required. The result may be the elimination of skills and jobs at which workers have spent a lifetime. To see them vanish as part of the old-fashioned past is a matter of concern not only to the worker but to his employer as well.
“This situation can be viewed as another problem or barrier among those which are continually cropping up and interfering with the achievement of our scientific and technological goal. This manpower barrier is a challenger comparable to breaking the sound barrier or to overcoming the barriers of sight, heat, distance, and even thinking. Many obstacles seemingly unsurmountable not too many years ago have now been conquered.
“Our new Navy places heavy demands upon our present reservoir of skills. It demands many new skills and many modified techniques. But more than that it forces us to practically telescope the time formerly required to do many of the operations essential to the support of the fleet. The saying, 'It's a small world' certainly applies to our defense mission today. In one simple sentence we have the basic fact: "The United States must be in a position to control the ocean areas of the world.' It takes real concentration to comprehend the speed of today's ships and aircraft and the capabilities of modern weapons. Likewise, we know that the next war may be a short one-there may be no time to prepare-there may be no warning of attack.
"In transposing this thinking to our mission ashore, there is obvious need for parallel progress, pace, and acceleration of operations in our shipyards, air stations, supply centers, ordnance installations, and all other activities.
"To a considerable extent this is a matter of providing skills and improving techniques of our manpower. This, I might add, is no new or novel concept in the Navy—there has always been acknowledgment of the fact that our man. power is our most valuable resource at the same time we must admit that never has there been a greater need for well-trained and highly-motivated skilled employees * * *.
"Training is a management responsibility and certainly an important one. The acid test of really effective management and the real measurement of its worth is the ability to translate all technical and material progress into employees' progress, into employees' satisfaction and happiness, into employees' dignity.
"There is need for increased technical skill, and greater skill in supplying the motivation so essential at a time when changes in jobs and work are taking place. Employees' attitudes toward changes are significant. They can determine success or failure of the adoption of changes. Management must be alert to the importance of keeping employees informed and prepared for any changeovers that may be contemplated.”.
Mr. BOWEN. If I might also bring in a paper from the North Island entitled “The North Island Civilian," published by the North Island Association of the Naval Air Station, North Island, at San Diego, Calif. This is a letter which has been written to many Congressmen and Senators and gives the views of this organization on
Senator YARBOROUGH. You desire to add that to your statement ?
Senator YARBOROUGH. All right; that will be received and filed as part of your statement and will appear in the record as part of your statement.
(The letter referred to is as follows:)
NIA WRITES WASHINGTON—CONGRESSMEN ARE REQUESTED TO ASSIST ON WAGE
The following open letter has been addressed to California Senators and Representatives and appropriate committee chairmen:
"The North Island' Association represents the varied interests of over 8,000 civilian employees at the United States Naval Air Station, North Island, San Diego, Calif. North Island is a major support activity for the fleet air arm, performing heavy maintenance, repairs, and modifications on naval aircraft and missiles. It contributes to the safety-of-flight and economy of fleet operations during peace time and performs greatly expanded assignments during actual hostilities. The constantly increasing complexity of military aircraft and missiles is reflected in the variety of management, engineering, and artisan skills required for economical and effective performance of the assigned mission.
"We suppose that the motives of any group of Federal employees who write to their Representatives asking favorable action on pay legislation may be discounted on account of presumed self-interest, but we can assure you that here at North Island, and, we believe elsewhere, many of use are actually less concerned with paying our growing bills than with the impact of competing recruitment ashore, and its adverse effect on the retaining of a competent working force. Strange as it may seem, some of us believe that the present general hue and cry to take the Government out of business should not be carried to the point where essential Government activities will suffer serious impairment, that in some areas this point has already been reached, and that many of us are concerned with this along with or even rather than our own personal remuneration.
"We believe that some of your colleagues may be confused with the complexity of the issues, and we should like to take the liberty of analyzing them as we see them. Taking Federal employees in their main groups we find :
“(a) The postal employees.—These are believed to be organized very effectively for presentation of their problems and are no doubt doing so. Traditionally, we believe, they have received consideration well in advance of the other groups, for reasons not to be discussed further here.
"(b) The wage board artisan, unclassified, or per diem employees.—The pay of these people is by law determined by the prevailing local industrial rates. Unfavorable competition with local industry is occasioned primarily by the periodic lag in fixing rates, and the fact that in critical trades, industry can act more promptly. The pay of supervisory artisans, up to and including foremen and master mechanics, is tied to artisan rates, and receives automatic adjustments therewith. We solicit support for legislation which will make wage board adjustments retroactive to the date of establishment by the wage board.
"(c) The classified or general series employees offer probably the most complex situation.-Since their pay rates are uniform, by law, countrywide, and those of non-Government workers performing similar services are not; in highly industrialized areas, and particularly with the higher supervisory positions and skills, recruitment or retention of personnel suffers serious impairment. A deterioration in essential contributions is, accordingly, already in progress and should be increasingly anticipated. We urge any action that you may take to further prompt hearings and favorable action on such bills as are designed to improve the spread of the middle and upper GS rates and eventually to tie them to local wage board findings.
"(a) Professional and scientific workers were formerly separate from the other classified workers in a professional series. We urge support of pending legislation to reestablish such a professional series, and establish equitable pay rates. In this request we are following the lead of most of the executive agencies themselves, whose cogent reasons we believe have been adequately expressed.
"Some of the inaction and apathy which retards progress in attack on the foregoing problems may be ascribed to a very popular demand for Government economy. While as taxpayers we fully support the latter, we believe it is false economy to thereby incur a second-rate implementation of what can be agreed are essential Government functions through loss of essential personnel and ineffectual recruitment. This is what we are already suffering and will increasingly suffer if Congress is motivated by a spirit of deliberate inaction, if the facts of the case are suppressed, as by pigeonholing of the Cordiner report, for so long
as the relatively trivial matter of reorganization of the Civil Service Commission is permitted to forestall action, for so long as further prolonged studies of the problems shelve any attempt to come to grips with them, and for so long as the absurd concept obtains that all industrial Government activities, regardless of nature, are in competition with private industry. Since the problems involved in the equitable payment of Federal civilian employees are admittedly many and complex, we particularly urge your prompt action to help alleviate the most pressing present inequities and likewise solicit your continued interest in the rational development of a more equitable determination and application of all Government civilian pay rates. We should respectfully suggest that administrative officials of the several executive agencies known to have views of any significant complexion on these matters should appear before the appropriate congressional committees for a statement of views.
“The membership of this association will appreciate your opinion in this regard and support to obtain appropriate congressional action on the above-enumerated requirements.”
Mr. BOWEN. If I might quote one particular case. In the testimony this morning mention was made of the shortage, for example, of attorneys. I have a very interesting case which I would like to state at this time.
An attorney who was employed in the Patent Branch of the Naval Air Material Center, this gentleman resigned. I have here the personnel action papers, and the following statement was written in this action by Mr. Garringer who is the head of the Naval Air Material Center, Patent Branch:
Th loss of Mr. Kelly by resignation again points up the impossibility of recruiting and keeping able and competent men qualified for the position of Patent Advisor under existing regulations and salary scales. Mr. Kelly is resigning to accept employment in private industry in a patent organization at a substantial increase in salary with promising opportunities for professional advancement. He has proven to be a most competent patent attorney. His loss to this staff will be greatly felt. As of the present there are no qualified applicants to fill this vacancy.
Senator YARBOROUGH. Does that complete your statement?
Senator CLARK. Mr. Bowen, I would like to compliment you on your statement. As a fellow Philadelphian I know the value of work that is being done at the Naval Air Material Center and I would like to hand you table No. VII of Mr. Owen's statement given a few minutes ago and call your attention to the fifth and sixth columns which compare the proposed scales under S. 734 and S. 1326, and ask you to look down in the higher grades there from GS-10 down through
First, I would like to ask you whether your organization does not have a considerable number of employees in those grades?
Mr. BowEN. Yes, sir; we have a considerable number in the grades you indicate.
Senator CLARK. Now, in your judgment, are the increases proposed by S. 734 in grades 10 to 18 inclusive adequate to hold competent men in these technical positions or in your judgment is it necessary to go as high as the scales proposed in S. 1326 to hold competent personnel ?
Mr. Bowen. Senator, I would say in many cases our losses have been in these grade levels of 11, 12, 13, and 14 and in many cases the industrial salaries which these men have been paid have been higher than the proposals of S. 734.
Senator CLARK. Now, of course, we are all interested in saving as much money as we can and still holding qualified technical employes. In other words, like everybody else we want to have our cake and eat it too. And my question directed to you is whether in your judgment it is necessary to go as high as S. 1326 in order to hold these people?
Mr. BOWEN. Sir, I think it depends on the individual in question. In some cases it definately would have been necessary to have salaries as high as S. 1326 to hold certain specialists.
Senator CLARK. Now, are you familiar generally speaking with the Cordiner report? Mr. BOWEN. Yes, sir; I saw a copy Monday of this week.
Senator CLARK. It is my understanding, and counsel can correct me if I am wrong, that the scales proposed in the Cordiner report are somewhere between S. 734 and S. 1326, is that not correct?
Mr. KERLIN. I think they would correspond more nearly with S. 1326.
Senator CLARK. You will recall the testimony of Mr. Stephens a few minutes ago that the starting salary scales for 1957 in private industry were sufficiently above the 1956 scales on which the Cordiner report was based to justify in Mr. Stephen's mind, anyway, the scales proposed in S. 1326 from which I assume that they were higher overall than the Cordiner report scales. Is that correct or not?
Mr. KERLIN. I think the Cordiner report went almost as high as S. 1326.
Senator CLARK. I understand it did in the 18 grade but I am wondering whether the increases were comparable to S. 1326. Mr. KERLIN. They are pretty comparable.
Senator CLARK. În any event, Mr. Bowen, your feeling is that to hold this personnel we have to go higher than S. 734 ?
Mr. BOWEN. Yes, sir; this is my belief.
Senator CLARK. Now, how do you feel about the starting scale, if you look at the same columns I called your attention to a minute or two ago? The first break comes in grade 5 and do you have anybody in your technical organization that starts as low as rank 5 ?
Mr. BowEN. Yes, sir; we do. We have GS-5's that start at the bottom, the top of the GS-5 grade, and others that start at the bottom of the GS-5.
Senator CLARK. Well, can you get them today at $3,670 ?
Mr. BOWEN. Sir, this is extremely difficult. I have personally carried on recruiting at colleges and at meetings of technical societies in particular, the American Chemical Societies, and it is a very rare case that I am able to hire anyone at these starting salaries.
Senator CLARK. Is it not generally true that a reasonably competent college graduate with this kind of technical training will be pretty well assured of $5,000 starting salary in private industry?
Mr. BOWEN. Yes, sir; this is correct. I have a tabulation published in the Chemical and Engineering News in September of 1956 which shows that a bachelor of science in chemistry who would start to work for the Government at $373 per month, a contractor for the Federal Government would pay him $400 per month, and the industrial average would be $410 per month.
Senator CLARK. Thank you very much. I have no further questions.