Movement for Reduction of Federal Salaries
The Prospect of acceptance by the railroad brotherhoods of a ten per cent wage cut for a period of one year to assist the transportation systems in balancing their budgets has stimulated agitation for a reduction in the compensation of public employees. The railroad wage cut will affect 1,500.000 workers and is expected to save the carriers $250,000,000. The employees of the federal government make up the nest largest single block of workers in the country, and it is estimated that a ten per cent reduction of all payments by the Treasury for personal services would produce a saving of $100,000,000 to $165,000,000 a year.
The first proposal of a pay cut for federal employees was advanced last September by Rep. Wood, ranking Republican member of the House Appropriations Committee, and four bills to this end were introduced in the lower house when Congress met in December. Senators Borah and Couzens came out for pay cuts after the first of the year, and Rep. Wood created a sensation, January 19, with his statement that “the President of the United States is not opposed to a reduction of these salaries.” The President had previously been represented as opposing all projects for salary reductions.
A one-day hearing on the four House measures was given, January 7, by the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments, at the conclusion of which all four bills were tabled by the committee and further hearings denied. The sponsors of these measures thereupon announced that they would offer their proposals as amendments to the annual appropriation bills, the first of which is now under consideration in the House. If the pay-cut amendments are rejected or ruled out in the House, Senator Borah has given notice that similar amendments will be offered in the Senate.