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MESSRS. SWAGAR SHERLEY (CHAIRMAN), JOHN J. EAGAN,
AND WILLIAM S. VARE
IN CHARGE OF
DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR
1919 AND PRIOR FISCAL YEARS
HEARINGS CONDUCTED BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE, MESSRS. SWAGAR
SHERLEY (CHAIRMAN), JOHN J. EAGAN, THOMAS U. SISSON, JOSEPH G. CANNON, AND WILLIAM S. VARE, OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, IN CHARGE OF DEFICIENCIES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1919 AND FOR PRIOR YEARS.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 1918.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
STATEMENT OF MR. LOUIS BROWNLOW, PRESIDENT BOARD OF
INCREASED COMPENSATION FOR JULY AND AUGUST, 1918. Mr. Sisson. Mr. Brownlow, I believe you have a statement which you wish to make to the committee. The matter in which Mr. Brownlow is interested is not in the estimate, but it involves the question of paying to the District employees the amount provided in the annual district bill, which did not go into effect until the beginning of this month. You will recall, Mr. Cannon, that it was delayed two months. The question here is that of paying them the difference between the old salaries and the new salaries as carried in that bill.
Mr. Cannon. The bill that did not pass until a few days ago provided for these increases.
Mr. Sisson. Yes; it provided certain increases in salary, notably for the police. Mr. CANNON. To commence at the beginning of the fiscal year? Mr. Sisson. Yes.
Now, Mr. Brownlow, will you state what the difference is. If you do not have it in your mind now, you may insert the correct figure in the record.
Mr. BROWNLOW. It will amount to about $35,000. The situation is that certain salary increases that were provided for in the bill were, in fact, agreed upon between the two Houses before the beginning of the fiscal year, but because of differences in regard to other matters, which did not involve salary increases, the passage of the bill was delayed until the 31st day of August. Under the
terms of the continuing resolution we could not pay those increases for the two months without further authority of law; but inasmuch as both Houses had agreed on these increases, the commissioners assured
various employees whose salaries had been increased in the bill that they were confident the Congress in some way would approve the commissioners’ recommendation that these increases date back to the 1st of July, and a very great many of them, on that assurance, stayed. Since both Houses have agreed on paying the increases for the entire fiscal year, I think in equity they ought to have them, and thus support the morale of the employees. Mr. Sisson. You and the other commissioners felt sure, Congress having committed itself to these increases in salary, that it was intended that they should run for the entire fiscal year? Mr. BrowNLow. For the entire fiscal year, yes; and we so told our employees. Mr. Sissox. And upon that assurance you were able to keep employees who otherwise would have left the service? Mr. BRow NLow. Yes, sir. Mr. Sissox. What employees were peculiarly affected by those increases? Mr. BRowNLow. The privates of the police force represent the largest number affected, and then the force at the workhouse and the reformatory. Mr. Sisson. Could these people have gotten better employment so far as salary is concerned—I do not mean better employment so far as everything considered is concerned—if they had left your service? Mr. Brown Low. A very great many of them could have secured better employment and did have offers for it, but they remained. Mr. SIssoN. And on the assurance of the commissioners that you would make this recommendation you were able to keep your force reasonably intact? Mr. BRow NLow. Yes, sir. Mr. Sisson. This, of course, does not affect the school teachers, because their term does not begin until the school term begins? Mr. BRowNLow. Not until September. They are paid 10 times a year instead of 12, so that they would get the benefit of any increases granted to them for the fiscal year. Mr. Sisson. You say the employees on the police force, at the workhouse, and reformatory are affected? Mr. BRowNLow. Yes; as well as certain clerical positions throughout the service. It will involve not quite one-sixth of the total increases because there are a good many vacancies. Mr. BYRNs. I suppose you are familiar with the resolution passed by Congress on July 8, which provided that the increases should not take effect until the actual passage of the District appropriation bill. Mr. BrowNLow. That is true. In other words, the continuing resolution contained last year's appropriations and did not take cognizance of these increases that were not then in law, but had been agred upon in conference between the two Houses at the time the continuing resolution passed. Mr. BYRNs. In the event that Congress should allow these increases from July 1 up to the date of the passage of the bill, would it be the policy of the commissioners to pay those increases to employees of the District who had served for the month or more from July 1 up to the date of the passage of the bill and who had resigned