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ever, in the 2 top receipts category the average will be $1,138 and $1,234, respectively.
The average increase for other employees in the field service is $1,793. The lowest average increase in this category is $1,695 for employees in the regional offices and post-office supervisors. The highest average increase is $1,990 for employees in the custodial services, supply center, and production and repair units.
The basic salaries of substitutes will be increased by approximately 50 percent. This will increase the average rate of pay of substitutes by about $1,820.
Mr. Chairman, that completes my statement and I thank you very much. I think you will probably want to talk to Mr. Walsh and ask some questions of him in regard to the cost figures that have been submitted here.
Senator NEUBERGER. Senator Morton, do you have any questions?
Senator MORTON. One thing, Mr. Goff, could you have someone, or perhaps Mr. Walsh has it this morning, but if not, could you have someone prepare for us the mean figure, average mean figure that a postal employee received in January 1953 as compared to June 1956 or whatever your most recent figure is?
Mr. WALSH. We do not have the exact figures here but we will get them. (The information requested follows:)
Post OFFICE DEPARTMENT,
May 31, 1957. Hon. RICHARD L. NEUBERGER,
Chairman, Subcommittee on Federal Compensation, Committee on Post
Office of Civil Service, United States Senate, Washington 25, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAX: During my appearance as a witness at the hearing on May 20, 1957, on S. 27, you requested that I file with the committee a comparison between the increases in cost of living and the salary increases given to postal employees since 1950 and a statement informing the committee as to what salary increase for postal employees would be acceptable to the Department at this time. You also requested that the average salaries of employees be stated as of January 1953 and the most recent data that such is available.
On behalf of the administration, the Bureau of the Budget concluded that general salary increases were not advisable. As indicated by the Bureau of the Budget, added payroll expenditures of any magnitude will create additional economic pressure, and consideration of overall fiscal policy compel the conclusion that general pay increases at this time are not advisable.
In addition, as you know, a study of the wage situation is being made by the President's committee. The study, as we understand it, will provide the necessary data on the relationship of the various pay systems to form the basis for recommendations concerning legislation that may be needed. Until the overall study has been completed, the Department is not in a position to make recommendations as to any changes in existing salary rates.
On June 30, 1953, there were 125,411 regular clerks and mailhandlers on the rolls. The average salary was $4,009. On June 30, 1956, there were 130,551 regular clerks and mailhandlers on the rolls, and the average salary of these positions was $4,464. This is an increase of 8.9 percent.
On June 30, 1953, there were 87,537 regular city delivery carriers on the rolls. The average salary was $4,069. On June 30, 1956, there were 94,692 regular carriers on the rolls, and the average salary for these positions was $4,383, an average increase of 7.7 percent. The average salary of carriers during the period was affected by the relatively large number of new positions to which appointments were made at lower grades.
Since 1950, the Consumer Price Index, issued by the United States Department of Labor, has advanced 15.7 percent from 102.8 points to 118.9 points. Since 1950 the beginning salaries of post office clerks and letter carriers have been increased 37 percent, from $2,670 to $3,660 per year. The maximum base salaries of clerks and carriers have been increased 30.7 percent from $3,470 to $4,410. Sincerely yours,
ABE MCGREGOR GOFF, General Counsel. Senator NEUBERGER. Mr. Goff and Mr. Walsh, do you have anything yourself showing postal pay, the average, the mean, the upper and lower levels, and so on, in relation to the Bureau of Labor Statistics cost of living ?
Mr. Walsh. No, sir. We do not have. We have not made any comparison recently.
Senator NEUBERGER. I just want to ask, Don't you think that should be done? In other words, this is the thing that confronts me as obvious. As a Member of the Senate, I do not have at my disposal, the vast computing and accounting and annotating services that are available to you because that is your function and you have it here. Now, you have stated categorically what the increases would be in S. 27. I have no doubt that you are correct in these figures that you have submitted. If you were not correct, I certainly would not have the facilities to challenge them. I am sure you are aware of that and I have every reason to believe that you are completely accurate in this l'espect.
But, it seems to me that these figures have relevance only as to how they compare to the official Government computation and compilation of the cost of living. I mean, I would believe that.
We could have gone to Germany in the 1920's and listed the huge salaries in March that were received by postal employees there but if you did not have a comparable chart on the cost of living at that time in the German inflation, it would have meant nothing. Now, our inflation happily is not like that terrible run-away inflation that occurred in Germany, but still I just think these figures would have much more relevance if they could be pegged to what the living costs are, both at the present time and what the relationship would be if S. 27 were enacted and so on. Do you think that is a reasonable statement or not?
Mr. GOFF. Well, I think that is one of the means that certainly should be made available to the committee, and on that, Mr. Chairman, while I believe we would be glad to try to compare something of that kind, we believe those figures are available to the committee certainly, equally with us, and I am sure that your committee could get them.
Senator NEUBERGER. There is no doubt about that. I just felt inasmuch as you have gone to the bother of making this whole compilation, if you could show us over a period of years, just so it isn't a partisan thing, and I want to say the time January 1953 has constantly been introduced here by representatives of the administration, which is when this administration officially went into office. I do not regard this as necessarily a partisan question, so why not start in 1950 when there was no change in the executive branch of the Government because that did not occur for approximately 2 years later, slightly over. Why not give us the postal-pay figures from then as compared with the official Bureau of Labor Statistics’ living costs in those periods?
It seems to me that would give us some pertinence and some relevance and, with your extensive facilities, I am sure that would not be a very great imposition on your staff to do that for us.
Mr. GOFF. We will be glad to do it. I will say that we are having some difficulty about staff because of appropriations for the Post Office Department. Unfortunately we have reached the stage where cuts by the Congress can only be taken out in man-hours and employment and that is about the only place we have left to take it. Our problem is not just pay raises, but saving employees their jobs.
Senator NEUBERGER. Well, I would say that this is a very important problem for all of us, your Department and for us in the committee..
Mr. Goff, let me ask you this: You have heard some of the things that have taken place this morning. I think you have been here?
Mr. GOFF. I have been present during the entire hearing
Senator NEUBERGER. What has been your impression of the testimony by Senator Javits and Mr. Lankford or the letter read from the postal supervisor by Senator Morton and the letters which I have read from wives, from family doctors, and from postal employees about their difficulties in the cost of living?
Mr. GOFF. I would certainly be less than human if I was not impressed by the plight that these people say they are in. Now, I am in no position to know whether that represents generally the situation but, certainly, it is a bad situation as shown by the letters of these in dividuals. I want to say this, that though I do not get around as much as I would like to the meetings of the employees and their organizations, in the short time that I have been with the Post Office Department I have been tremendously impressed with the devotion and the duty and the high caliber of our employees throughout the country, the rank and file.
Senator NEUBERGER. I could not agree with you more and I sometimes marvel at their sense of sacrifice and idealism when I see the pay that some of them receive for the loyal, efficient service that they give. I share with you an admiration for the caliber of your postal employees. Do you believe that your pay has properly kept pace with the cost of living for postal employees?
Mr. GOFF. I am afraid that is a question that I am not enough of an expert on the cost of living to express any fair opinion. I think perhaps this study that you suggest might furnish some accurate figures on that.
Senator NEUBERGER. Don't you think this is reasonable though, that you should not come in here with a specific recommendation to us until you have related your figures to the cost of living? I just do not understand how the executive department can make a recommendation to a congressional committee either to raise or not to raise pay, and in this case it happens to be a recommendation not to raise it, unless you have related existing levels to the cost of living? How can you do that?
Mr. GOFF. Well, Mr. Chairman, all I can say is that we have reached no independent determination in the Department. We have studied it, of course, but I want to invite your attention to the statement made by the representatives of the Bureau of the Budget this morning and I am going to quote it:
We believe that added payroll expenditures of any such magnitude would create added economic pressures : directly, in the form of added demands for existing goods and services; and indirectly, in the form of reducing, perhaps eliminating, whatever surplus might exist with which the public debt could be reduced. We believe these considerations of overall fiscal policy are compelling, and that they outweigh the understandable desire of the thousands of loyal and competent Federal employees for a pay raise.
· Now, we feel that on the matter of the fiscal impact in a raise of this size, that the experts who have studied this are in a better position
as you know, we are part of the administration and we accept the result of the study that has been made.
Senator NEUBERGER. In other words, does that mean that you are bound by the policy made by the Bureau of the Budget and that, even if independently you felt the postal pay was not fair and in line with the cost of living, you would be unable to make such a recommendation?
Mr. GOFF. No; I do not believe I would state that. I would say that we agree with the position that is taken and that we have made no independent conclusion.
Senator NEUBERGER. How can you agree with the position as taken when you have not related your pay to the cost of living? I do not see how you can come here and give us a recommendation until you have done that.
Mr. GOFF. Well, all I can say is that there are certain impacts that a pay raise of this nature will make. We are not in position to evaluate the effect it will have upon the economy generally but we have a duty to consider the impact on the country that is foreseen by the Bureau of the Budget.
I might say though that, while we have not made the study you referred to, our study has been made with reference to the cost of operation and we have made a very careful study of that, in other words, the effect of the salaries on the cost of our postal operation. We are placed in an extremely difficult position with reference to our employees due to the cuts that have been made so far by this Congress.
Senator NEUBERGER. You mentioned you were concerned about the impact on the economy but I wonder if you do not have an equal concern on the impact of the families of your employees? It seems to me that at least ought to be a collateral concern of your Department.
Mr. GOFF. It is more than a collateral concern, Senator.
Senator NEUBERGER. But how can you have made it a concern when you have not even related your pay scale to the cost of living? That is the problem that these families confront.
Mr. GOFF. Well, we have made some studies but they are not completed. I know there have been difficulties in securing employees in certain areas. In other areas, I am advised, the pay compares favorably with outside employment.
I personally know as I was out in San Francisco that the general salary scale is quite high out there. I know they have had some difficulty. I have been advised in some of the other sections, in some Southern States, that the pay scale is considerably above the average for similar work.
Senator NEUBERGER. But would you then consign the postal employees in San Francisco to the pay scale in the Southern States but with the San Francisco cost of living? That is in effect what your recitation means?
Mr. GOFF. Well, I would not quite say that. I will tell you this matter of fixing some regional basis of pay is a tough one. I know there has been a lot of work done on it. There has been no satisfactory
basis or arrangements made or suggestions made that I know of to pay on a regional basis. It seems as though the great difficulty is where you are going to put the boundaries and about the best we can do, and I think this is general, is to have a nationwide scale and that, as a matter of fact, is what the Congress acted on the last time they voted on a pay bill.
Senator NEUBERGER. I favored that. You were the one who mentioned various areas. I have no quarrel with you about that. Again, I am not going to belabor this because we have gone over our time but, as I say, I just cannot see how you can come to us with a recommendation unless your studies compare the salaries and the cost of living because that is what these families have to contend with every day.
Mr. Kerlin, do you have some questions?
I was extremely disappointed in the testimony Mr. Goff gave in that it took up only one side of the question and was not responsive to the request of the committee. The request of the committee to the Postmaster General invited testimony on the subject of pay and not the exact terms of the bills before the committee. It was suggested that, if the figures provided by the bills were considered out of line, an expression of what might be appropriate would be acceptable and appreciated. •
I would like to suggest that the committee renew its invitation to the Post Office Department to provide the committee with figures indicating what the Post Office Department would consider appropriate, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. GOFF. Mr. Kerlin, that is not a part of this bill here. We were asked to report on S. 27. There were three bills. The other two we were not asked to report on and have not reported on but I am in no position to state and there has been no study made of any basis on which we would approve a partial pay increase.
Senator NEUBERGER. Mr. Kerlin, I think that is a reasonable request. · Mr. KERLIN. The request made to General Summerfield's office, was that the committee would like testimony on (1) the need, if there be one, for a pay raise, and (2) the extent of a raise necessary to meet that need. Perhaps that was not relayed down in that form.
Mr. GOFF. I do not remember seeing that, Mr. Kerlin.
Mr. KERLIN. In the absence of such information, I do not have very much to ask questions on, Senator, so I have no further questions.
Senator NEUBERGER. I think it would be a reasonable request to find out that if you do believe the increased pay, Mr. Goff, which is provided for in S. 27 is excessive, what lesser increases would be regarded by the Post Office Department as reasonable and equitable and fair?
Mr. GOFF. Well, I will take this matter up although I do not think it is pertinent to the bill. Yes, after all, I think it would be pertinent to the bill.
Senator NEUBERGER. I think it would be, and if you regard the proposed increases as too extensive, what you would regard as increases which, in your opinion and that of the Department, would be fair or, if not fair, let me say appropriate.
Mr. GoFF. I think we will have some difficulty in arriving at any.
Mr. KERLIN. I might say it usually is very pertinent in reverse. In the matter of postal rates, when Congress considers a rate increase,