Memorandum of Disapproval of Bill Relating to Pay Rates in the Veterans Administration.
I AM withholding my approval from S. 2794, an act "To authorize the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs to prescribe the rates of pay for certain positions at field installations".
This bill would authorize the Administrator to establish pay scales for some 60,000 field employees of the Veterans' Administration, including hospital attendants, dental mechanics and others who work in veterans' hospitals. These employees are now paid under the provisions of the Classification Act of 1923.
It is argued that this authority is needed since the Administrator has had difficulty in recruiting and retaining personnel to staff veterans' hospitals. It is estimated that the increase to be given the employees affected by this bill would have been about $80 per year. Since I have just approved a bill increasing salaries for persons covered by the Classification Act by $330 per year, the authority granted by this bill should be unnecessary.
Furthermore, I do not believe that this bill represents a sound approach to the problem of recruiting and retaining Government employees. It would have affected only certain employees of one agency, whereas the same problem confronts many other agencies, and should be dealt with by general legislation. It would have set no standards or limits to guide the Administrator except the single provision that he could not set rates of pay lower than those prescribed by the Classification Act. This would have been a step toward uncoordinated and diverse pay scales for Government employees, when the need is for greater uniformity.
HARRY S. TRUMAN
Harry S Truman, Memorandum of Disapproval of Bill Relating to Pay Rates in the Veterans Administration. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232633