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86TH CONGRESS 1st Session

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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

{ No. 669

REPORT

INCREASING THE LIMITATION ON BASIC COMPENSATION OF CIVILIAN KEEPERS OF LIGHTHOUSES AND CIVILIANS EMPLOYED ON LIGHTSHIPS AND OTHER VESSELS OF THE COAST GUARD FROM $3,750 TO $5,100 PER ANNUM

JULY 15, 1959.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. BONNER, from the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H.R. 2245]

The Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, to whom was referred the bill (H.R. 2245) to amend subsection 432 (g) of title 14, United States Code, so as to increase the limitation on basic compensation of civilian keepers of lighthouses and civilians employed on lightships and other vessels of the Coast Guard from $3,750 to $5,100 per annum, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

PURPOSE OF BILL

The purpose of the bill is to increase the limitation on basic compensation of civilian keepers of lighthouses and civilians employed on lightships and other vessels of the Coast Guard by amending title 14 of the United States Code, subsection 432 (g), by striking the amount $3,750 and inserting in lieu thereof the amount $5,100.

SUMMARY OF THE NEED FOR THE LEGISLATION

Heretofore, there has been a special limitation on the salary of lighthouse keepers in that $3,750 a year was the ceiling on salary which could be paid to these employees. The Federal Employees Salary Increase Act of 1958 denied approximately 75 percent of these employees an increase in salary, since the basic limitation was still effective. This legislation is for the purpose of removing the limitation heretofore existing and allowing employees of this type to

be compensated as are other Government employees in the performance of their duties.

COST OF THE LEGISLATION

It is estimated that the cost of this legislation will be $12,800 per year and this cost will be incurred by merely doing equity to this class of employees. It does not mean that all employees will immediately receive the $5,100 per year, because that figure is the highest rate in the highest salary range of any lighthouse keeper, notwithstanding years of service and seniority. Approximately 70 keepers would immediately receive long overdue salary increases. As of the present time, there are only 90 employees within this type of service and it is constantly being depleted due to the factors of age and the replacement of civilian employees by members of the regular U.S. Coast Guard. The figure $12,800 is the absolute maximum yearly which this bill could cost the Federal Government.

SUMMARY OF DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATIONS

The Department of the Treasury favors enactment of the proposed legislation and states that the salary adjustments envisioned are long overdue.

The U.S. Civil Service Commission is also in favor of the proposed legislation.

The reports of the Civil Service Commission and the Department of the Treasury on similar bill H.R. 330 are as follows:

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY,
Washington, D.C., March 12, 1959.

Hon. HERBERT C. BONNER,

Chairman, Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries,
House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Reference is made to the request of your committee for the views and recommendations of this Department on H.R. 330, to increase the basic compensation which may be paid civilian keepers of lighthouses from $3,750 per annum to $5,100 per annum.

The purpose of the bill is the same as that of a draft bill submitted by this Department to the Speaker of the House of Representatives on January 13, 1959, and subsequently introduced as H.R. 2731, which was referred to your committee.

The proposed legislation would increase the limitation of $3,750 per annum placed upon the basic compensation which Lighthouse Service personnel may receive. Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury, the Coast Guard may fix the hours of duty and compensation of such personnel, except that basic compensation may not exceed $3,750 per annum. It has been the policy of the U.S. Coast Guard, with the approval of the head of the Department in which the Service operates, to adjust by administrative action the rates and salary ranges of keepers when legislative adjustments are made in rates and grades under the Classification Act of 1949, as amended.

Prior to June 20, 1958, the $3,750 limitation precluded some keepers from being advanced to the maximum of their salary ranges

as established. After passage of Public Law 85-462, the Federal Employees Salary Increase Act of 1958, approximately 75 percent of all keepers were affected and are now denied the increased pay and benefits they would otherwise enjoy. The limitation is unfair to this small group of loyal and deserving employees. The suggested increase would not mean that any keeper would be advanced forthwith from $3,750 per annum to $5,100. The $5,100 figure represents the maximum of the highest salary range of the keeper compensation structure. In fact, there is currently no one eligible to advance to that highest. salary.

The change proposed would result in a total increase of approximately $12,800 per annum in lighthouse keeper pay. Seventy keepers whose salaries are affected would share immediately in the benefits sought.

The Treasury Department favors enactment of the proposed legislation. The salary adjustments envisioned are long overdue.

The Department has been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there is no objection to the submission of this report to your committee.

Very truly yours,

Hon. HERBERT C. BONNER,

A. GILMORE FLUES, Acting Secretary of the Treasury.

U.S. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION,
Washington, D.C., March 12, 1959.

Chairman, Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries,
House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. BONNER: This is in reply to your letters of January 14 and 22, 1959, requesting our comments on H.R. 330 and H.R. 2731, similar bills to increase the basic compensation which may be paid civilian keepers of lighthouses from $3,750 per annum to $5,100 per

annum.

The $3,750 limitation on the base pay for civilian lighthouse keepers was enacted in 1949 in the same legislation which authorized the Coast Guard to fix the pay rates for these employees subject to regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury (Public Law 143, June 29, 1949, 14 U.S.C. 432 (f) and (g)). Since that time, the policy of the Coast Guard has been to adjust the pay rates of the lighthouse keeper schedule administratively each time legislative adjustments were made in the rates of the Classification Act. Increases in Classification Act rates since 1949 average 10 percent in 1951, 7.5 percent in 1955, and 10 percent in 1958. The Coast Guard estimates that because of the $3,750 limitation approximately 75 percent of the civilian lighthouse keepers are being denied the full pay increase benefits they would otherwise receive.

In view of the legislative increases in the pay rates for other groups of Federal employees since 1949 and the relatively small number of civilian lighthouse keepers, we do not oppose the enactment of the proposed legislation.

We have been advised by the Bureau of the Budget it has no objection to the submission of this report. By direction of the Commission:

Sincerely yours,

ROGER W. JONES, Chairman.

CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

In compliance with clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the bill as introduced are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 14, UNITED STATES CODE, SUBSECTION 432(g)

§ 432. Personnel of former Lighthouse Service.

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(g) The head of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, under regulations prescribed by him, may regulate the hours of duty and the pay of civilian keepers of lighthouses and civilians employed on lightships and other vessels of the Coast Guard, but such personnel may be called upon for duty in emergency circumstances or otherwise at any time or all times. The existing system governing the pay of such employees may be continued or changed except that overtime compensation, night differential, and extra pay for duty on holidays shall not be paid to such employees. In lieu thereof additional annual compensation may be authorized which may be prescribed either as a fixed differential or as a percentage of the basic compensation otherwise applicable to such employees. In no case shall basic compensation exceed [$3,750] $5,100 per annum, except that nothing contained in this subsection shall operate to decrease the basic compensation of any person employed by the Coast Guard on the date of enactment of this subsection, and in no case shall additions thereto exceed 25 per centum of such basic compensation. Provision may be made for compensatory absence from duty when conditions of employment result in confinement because of isolation or in long periods of continuous duty; and provisions may likewise be made for extra allowance for service outside of the continental limits of the United States.

The additional compensation authorized herein shall be included in any computation of compensation for purposes of the Lighthouse Service Retirement Act.

O

86TH CONGRESS 1st Session

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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

{ No. 670

REPORT

PROVIDING A FURTHER INCREASE IN THE RETIRED PAY OF CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE FORMER LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE

JULY 15, 1959.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. BONNER, from the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H.R. 5431]

The Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, to whom was referred the bill (H.R. 5431) to provide a further increase in the retired pay of certain members of the former Lighthouse Service, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

PURPOSE OF THE BILL

The purpose of this bill is to provide a further increase in the retirement pay of certain members of the former Lighthouse Service.

SUMMARY OF THE NEED FOR THE LEGISLATION

The 65th Congress passed legislation establishing a retirement system for certain employees of the Lighthouse Service under Public Law 174, said law having been approved on June 20, 1918. As of the present time there are approximately 690 civilian retired members of this former Service, and there are presently employed by the U.S. Coast Guard 250 persons who, by virtue of their service, will eventually retire under the Lighthouse Service retirement law.

Since the employees affected here did not come under the usual civil service retirement system, and they have not been benefited directly in any increases granted under that retirement act, special legislation is necessary to bring this class of employees to a position commensurate with the position now obtained by other retirees.

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