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all parts of the country, in the Territories, and in some foreign countries.
The members of OPEDA, and other Federal employees in the classified service who are engaged in comparable work, have seen their economic position steadily deteriorate since early in World War II. Their standard of living is substantially lower now than it was then. In the meantime, the great majority of workers in the country are enjoying more real income today than ever before. This is made possible by the tremendous and continuing increase in the Nation's productivity.
The following table shows, by grades, the salary increases that have been received by classifified Federal employees since 1939, and the amounts that would be required to restore 1939 buying powers:
executive branch were specifically authorized by the Congress. Some of these positions are now in the new supergrades, GS-16, 17, 18. Others are paid rates specifically authorized by the Congress.
2 Based on March 1957 Consumers Price Index
Attention is called to column 2, “Present annual salary,” in the above table, and to the last column on the right, “Salary required to restore 1939 buying power.” It will be seen that twice the dollar income is required today to maintain a prewar standard of living. It will also be seen that only in the two lowest grades have classified employees received increases sufficient to maintain this standard. From grade 5 and up, increases of from approximately 10 to 40 percent would be required to restore 1939 buying power. Actually, even greater increases would be required, since the above figures, based on the rise in the Consumers Price Index, do not reflect the very substantial increases in personal income taxes.
While the real income of all but the lowest grade classified employees has been steadily shrinking for many years, the real income of most
is made possible by the great and continuing expansion of the national economy. A report of research published in the U. S. News & World Report (August 3, 1956, pp. 95–97) gives the results of a study of incomes of various occupational groups in the United States. Of the 33 earned income groups reported on in this study, Federal Government workers were at the bottom of the list. As a group, their real income had increased only 14 percent in the 17 years from 1939 to
1956. Nearly all of this modest gain was made by the wage board (blue-collar) workers, whose rates are set on a prevailing wage basis, and by the salaried workers in the lowest grades. As pointed out above, classified employees in all but the two lowest grades are not only relatively but absolutely worse off economically today than in 1939. By way of comparison, the study shows that the average factory worker enjoyed a 59-percent gain in real income during the same 17year period. The bituminous coal miners were ahead by 107 percent, after allowing for taxes and for changes in the value of the dollar. Real income from investment in stocks was up 63 percent. The real income of retired Federal Government workers had decreased 13 percent.
For a comparison in terms of dollars rather than percentages, attention is called to the same issue of the U. S. News & World Report (August 3, 1956, p. 90). In reporting on the wage agreement in the steel industry, it summarizes as follows:
What's ahead for a typical seteelworker: For a week's work, 40 hours, his pay will be $103. Per hour, $2.571/2. Per year, regular time, $5,356. There are numerous fringe benefits listed in addition. The median pay of all classified Federal employees (June 30, 1956) was $4,010. The weighted average salary of all classified employees was $4,749. This, of course, includes the salaries of all professional, scientific and top career executives.
U. S. News points out (p. 96) that,
In most large companies, the pay of white-collar employees and executives is boosted whenever there is an increase in the weekly wages of workers. As a result, office help keeps well ahead of inflation in many lines of business. Company executives, many of them, are being given rewards in addition to salary, such as bonuses, big retirement benefits, and a chance to profit on their companies' stocks.
Concrete data on salaries paid business executives is given in a study reported in the Harvard Business Review (November December 1956, p. 126). The following tables summarize some of the pertinent data:
EXHIBIT II.—Compensation of chief executives in 18 industries at varying
FXHIBIT III.--Compensation of chief executives in 18 industries at varying profit
While it is believed that the Government may to its advantage adopt progressive personnel and management practices from private industry, it is not suggested that the Government pay its career executives salaries in line with those shown in the above tables. The salaries shown should make more clear, however, the urgent need for paying an adequate living wage, in accord with prevailing standards, to administrators, scientists, and professional workers in the Government. Many career executives in the Government administer programs as vast and complex as those to be found in private business.
Traditionally, the fixing of pay for administrators, scientists, and professional workers in the Government has been influenced more by the rates paid in academic institutions, research organizations, and the like, than by rates paid in competitive business organizations. For this reason, it is believed pertinent to call attention to a bulletin entitled “Teaching Salaries Then and Now," published by the Fund
study made by Beardsly Ruml and Sidney Tickton. Mr. Ruml reports some of his conclusions from the study in the Atlantic, April 1957. We quote from that article:
Fifty years ago, a salary of $3,000 a year was good, but not uncommon. Allowing for changes in the cost of living and Federal income taxes, and assuming that the professor has a wife and 2 dependents, in 1953 he would have had to have $11,200 in order to have equivalent economic status with that of his professional colleague at the turn of the century ***.
Fifty years ago a salary of $4,000 for a professor was uncommon but by no means nonexistent. Today's equivalent would be $15,580.
A salary of $5,000 in those days generally went with some administrative responsibilities. Today we still have administrative responsibilities, and the salary would be $20,345.
In 1904, probably the top professor's salary was paid at the University of Chicago, and there to only a few men. The rate was $7,000, and today's equivalent is $31,500. In those happy, not too distant days, a first-class professor was considered economically as worthy as a first-class anybody else who was working for pay and not risking his own capital * * *.
In my opinion, for the liberal college professor an average of $15,000 is required under prevailing cost-of-living and tax circumstances, and top salaries of $30,000 should be widely distributed among the liberal colleges of the United States. But these tops should be put on a merit basis, with merit defined as talent and effort applied in the arts and skills of liberal reading, writing, and instruction,
Similar considerations would apply to salaries in the Federal classified service. Professional, scientific, and administrative personnel in the Government merit pay equal to that of the research, teaching, and administrative staffs of colleges and research organizations.
In order to put a concrete proposal before your committee, OPEDA wishes to submit the following proposed pay scale for consideration:
Proposed salary range
$2,800 $2,900 $3,000 $3, 100 $3,200 GS-2..
3, 300 3,400
4,200 4,300 G8-5.
5. 300 GS-7
13,300 13,600 GS-15.
14,500 14,800 15, 100 15, 400 GS-16.
16,000 16,500 17,000
18.000 18,500 ------ -----GS-18...
19,000 19,500 20,000 ------ ----We believe this to be a conservative proposal under current conditions. Such pay rates would, however, enable those in the lowest grades to live at a minimum standard of health and decency; would enable the Government to recruit on better terms for positions in the entrance grades for professional and other trained workers; and would provide high enough rates in the upper grades to give incentive for making a career in the public service.
We do not favor a return to the establishment of separate classification services” for different occupational groups. Nor do we favor a reduction in the number of grades. If and when changes in the classification plan are deemed warranted, they should be considered separately and apart from general changes in pay rates.
Former President Herbert Hoover, in a speech earlier this year (February 4, 1957) before the third National Reorganization Conference, had the following to say about the Federal civil service:
There is another area in which there are billions of dollars to be saved. The turnover in our civil service is about 500,000 employees annually—that is 25 percent per annum, 3 or 4 times the normal of a well-conducted business. It costs about $3,000 to process and to give a year's training to a new employee. If this turnover could be reduced by 200,000 that alone would produce a saving of over $5 billion a year.
Another cause of this turnover comes from the failure of Government service to attract and hold men and women who have developed unusual administrative abilities. With inadequate pay for top executive skill and the uncertainty of promotions, our best employees become the easy recruits of private business. In consequence, many services are left to be administered by deadwood. President Eisenhower has approved our proposals..
Much of the turnover referred to could be prevented by paying adequate salaries throughout the civil service.
In conclusion we would point out that the 1956 platforms of both major political parties, by express statement or by implication, recognize the need for and endorse pay raises for Federal employees.
Under the section on “Civil service,” the Republican platform notes improvements which the party has promoted in the civil service, and concludes by stating that
The Republican Party will continue to fight for eagerly desired new advances for Government employees, and realistic reappraisement and adjustment of benefits for our retired civil-service personnel.
Under the part headed “VIII. Government Operations” of the Democratic platform, proposals are made for improving the morale and efficiency of Federal workers, including the following:
Salary increases of a nature that will insure a truly competitive scale at all levels of employment.
Senator NEUBERGER. Our next witness is Mr. John McLeod, representing the American Institute of Architects.
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STATEMENT BY JOHN W. McLEOD, AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF
ARCHITECTS, ON S. 1326 Mr. McLEOD. I am John W. McLeod, a practicing architect of 1145 19th Street NW., Washington, D. C. Í am appearing here as representative of the American Institute of Architects to discuss S. 1326, the Scientific and Professional Classification Act.
The American Institute of Architects is a national professional organization which geographically covers the country. Its 126 chapters and 11 State organizations are located in every State of the Union and in certain United States possessions. The organization's membership of nearly 12,000 registered architects comprises the majority of all practicing architects in the country. The institute is qualified to express the views of the profession.
The American Institute of Architects would like to go on record as supporting the general objectives of Senate bill 1326, to establish a system for the classification and compensation of scientific and professional positions in the Federal Government and for other purposes.
In view of the tremendous competition which now exists, both in Government and in business, for scientific and professional personnel, and because of our conviction that it should be made possible for the Federal Government to employ only the highest caliber of personnel, we support proper reclassification of and equitable compensation for scientific and professional positions in the Federal Government. It is our opinion that only through the use of highly skilled personnel can the Government produce the high quality of work which it is obligated to produce, and which the public expects of it. We feel that the Civil Service Act of several years ago, which abolished the "professional"? civil service classification and lumped scientific and professional people together with administrative and clerical people, was a mistake in that it demeaned the scientific and professional positions and resulted in technical employment in the Federal Government losing much of its appeal to promising prospective employees.
Speaking from the standpoint of the profession of architecture and its dealings with the Federal Government in producing public buildings and other public works, it has been our experience that the most economy, efficiently, and aesthetic qualities in building, as well as the most effective and productive relationships between architects and the Government, has been evident when competent trained architects have been in appropriate positions in the governmental agencies administering the work. While, as you know, the American Institute of Architects opposes the concept of governmental architectural bureaus