Letter to Representatives Broyhill, Hyde, and Small on Legislation Benefiting Federal Employees.
[Released October 28, 1954. Dated October 27, 1954]
I appreciated your writing me and telling me about misunderstandings you believe exist in the minds of some Federal workers about the Administration's attitude toward pay legislation.
The Administration is strongly committed to the principle that the Government must be a good friend and a good employer to its workers. Because of this, the Administration proposed, during the last session of Congress, legislation to eliminate existing inequities in the present unfair and outmoded job classifications. The legislation so proposed, had it been enacted, would have given a pay increase to every postal and every classified employee.
I appreciate the concern that the Congress had for the pay of Federal workers, and I regret that I could not conscientiously approve its approach to the problem. I do, however, feel confident that an equitable pay program can and will be enacted in the next Congress if members of our party are retained in positions of leadership.
While both of us are, of course, disappointed that the Administration pay program was not enacted this past session, the record of the Republican-led 83d Congress in the passage of legislation of benefit to Government workers was outstanding:
(1) Group life insurance at low cost was authorized and is now available to all Federal employees and their families.
(2) Unemployment insurance was for the first time extended to Federal employees, and beginning January 1, 1955, these employees will have the protection of unemployment insurance coverage.
(3) Permanent promotions and reinstatements for Federal employees with Civil Service status were authorized for the first time in five years.
(4) Permanent status for "indefinite" employees was made possible.
(5) Premium pay practices were broadened and made more equitable.
(6) An allowance of $100.00 for uniforms was made possible for those employees who are required to wear uniforms on their jobs.
(7) Sick leave payments up to $100.00 a week were exempted from income tax when the employee is ill for seven days or more.
(8) The first $1200.00 of an employee's retirement annuity was exempted from income tax, resulting in a tax benefit of as much as $240.00 a year to every retired Federal employee.
These are some of the accomplishments that came about through the cooperation of Congress and the Administration in our joint effort to provide improved personnel management and sound benefits for Federal employees. We hope to be able to continue this progress. With understanding and support among Federal employees, I know we will succeed.
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
Note: Identical letters were sent to Representatives Joel T. Broyhill of the 10th Congressional District of Virginia, DeWitt S. Hyde of the 6th Congressional District of Maryland, and Frank Small, Jr., of the 5th Congressional District of Maryland.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Representatives Broyhill, Hyde, and Small on Legislation Benefiting Federal Employees. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233103