Newspaper Page Text
FELDMAN REPORT HITS RATING SYSTEM OF FEDERAL CLERKS SURVEY BOOKED FOR CONGRESS IN FALL "Average Rating” Provision Elimination Is Demanded; Methods in Vogue Bared The present rating system for Government employees comes In for a general indictment in the report by Dr. Herman Feldman following his survey of employ ment methods of the Govern ment, and filed with the director of the Personnel Classification Board. The director will submit this report to Congress in December, and since in general it expresses the bill of the National Federa tion of Federal Employees, its present distribution is attracting much Interest. Hits “Average Rating” Elimination of the “average rating” provision of the present system of promotion and grading, is one of the chief objectives of organized Federal employees, and one of the main planks of the platform to be clarified and pushed at the Seattle convention In September. The present rating plan, briefly outlined, is as follows: An annual rating is required at least once a year for every departmental employee up to and include grade 12 of the Cleri cal, Administrative and Fiscal services, and grade 5 of the Pro fessional and Scientific services, and all Subprofessional and Cus todial services. Recheck Is Made First marks on an employee’s rating sheet are made in pencil by the rating officer in closest actual supervision of the worker. A second group of checks, In red ink, are made by a reviewing officer who is a division executive not closely in touch with the employee, “so he can make such corrections as may be necessary to secure reasonable uniformity In the element markings for the entire group for which he is responsible.” Boards of review later revise this rating sheet, in blue pencil, revising the other markings en tirely as they “may consider proper.” In the Department of Agricul ture, there have been as many as 19 reviewing boards for the vari ous services and subsections. As a final step, the central board of review correlates the various markings and brings them “into harmony” with themselves and with other employee-rating sheets in the same section. Objectionable System It is this general principle of uniformity, or average gradings, that individual employees who feel they have special ability and efficiency wish eliminated. The Feldman report points out several difficulties. One, it says, is the faultiness of human judgment in rating intan gible personal qualities; The possibility of hidden bias, prejudice, or favoritism; the dif ficulty of comparing a certain grade of performance of individ uals in different settings and jobs; Temperamental differences which lead some supervisors to grade some employees high, others low; And the matter of recalling ac curately the quality of an em ployee’s work during the preced ing year, without considering out standing examples of particularly brilliant work the employee may have demonstrated. Faces the Convention But though these qualities will affect any grading system evolved, the main contention of the Federal employees is that in dividual talents and abilities as shown should be recognized by higher gradings, promotions and pay, regardless of what the “aver age” qualifications for that work may be. It will be threshed out thor oughly in the Seattle convention, and promises to be one of the most warmly discussed topics when Congress reassembles. Yaden Recovering At Army Hospital James T. Yaden, examining division. Civil Service Commis sion, who was operated on at Walter Reed Hospital recently, is reported to be convalescing nice ly. Mr. Vaden, who as president of the District Federation of Citi zens Associations, and in other civic capacities has been active in Washington for many years, has been in the Army hospital for some weeks for a general di agnosis and treatment, EMPLOYEES ONCRUISE Several civilian employees of the Navy Department went on the ocean excursion voyage on the Leviathan, from New York city to Halifax, which began July 23. Among them are Miss AUeen Robbins, and Miss Roberta Satterfield, hydrographic, and Miss Goldie Allen, surgery. Champion Judges of Dairy Cattle ■ THEY BEAT THE BRITISH IN THE FIELD HERE IS THE champion dairy-cattle judging team from Maryland, the 4-H Club youths who won the national championship on this side of the water, then went to England this month and beat the British judging team at the London contests. In the picture are W. H. Carroll, assistant county agricultural agent, Baltimore county; David James Johnston, 4-H Club member of Baltimore county; Charles H. Clark, 4-H Club member of Harford county; William Chilcoat, 4-H Club member of Baltimore county, and H. C. Barker, Maryland extension dairy specialist. RELIEF FUNDS ToTflLsl,fls2 The Relief Association of the United States Public Health Service ends the fiscal year with total assets of $1,852.67, accord ing to the annual report of the president just distributed to mem bers. The assets include $659.67 in the bank and $1,193 outstand ing on loans. Receipts during the past 12 months include: in build ing association. $450; in bank, $155.61; miscellaneous, $2,286.66; total $2,892.47. About 40 per cent of the loans were made to employes not pay ing annual dues. They were 77 sick calls made, two parties ar ranged with total net profit of $162.58, and many new members added during the year. The association seeks a 100 per cent membership during this com ing fiscal year, with $5,000 finances. New officers are: president. Miss Lucy Minnegrode; vice presi dent, c. E. Felton; treasurer R. A. Heffelfinger; secretary, Miss Virginia Haley; directors. Miss Margaret Doonan and Norman E. Lindquist. Wife’s Look at Map Causes Fatal Crash PHILADELPHIA, July 25—Her attention distracted when her husband attempted to show her a road map, Mrs. Edward M. Bresett, 30. of Wayne, was in stantly killed as the car she was driving five miles east of Gettys burg, on the Lincoln Highway, left the road and rolled over four times. Her neck was broken. Mr. Bresett was thrown from the car and slightly injured. Retires At 65 ' JI fl LOUIS VOELKER FELLOW EMPLOYES and officials of the Bureau of En graving and Printing yesterday gave two parties for Mr. Voel ker when he retired after 40 years with the bureau. Associ ate plate printers feted him at the bureau, giving him a gold watch and flowers. Last night bureau associates came to his home for * surprise party. THE WASHINGTON TIMES Reporter Visits Scene of Gettysburg Battle With only the week-end re maining of his two weeks’ holi day in Washington, the Vaca tion Reporter Is looking for ward to a colorful finale of his vacation. He has spent less than he had expected and there is still a substantial portion of his origi nal SIOO remaining. Washing ton has proven an ideal sum mer resort and both he and his Girl Friend (who has helped plan the holiday and spent a portion of his bankroll) are looking forward to repeating the experience next summer. By THE VACATION REPORTER Only the week-end left of my two weeks’ vacation in and near Washington. And I am still $31.07 to the good despite my 183- mile trip to the battlefield of Gettysburg yesterday. The trip itself cost me in the neighbor hood of SB, although I figure I could have made it much less expensively if I had been in an economizing mood. As it was, with plenty of cash on hand. I threw economy to the wind and had me a time regard less of expense. A chap from the office went with me (he is an authority on the civil war and I figured I wouldn’t need a guide) and we used his car which consumed more gas than the old flivver." And the mountain breezes gave me an appetite which accounted for more reck less expenditure. Skies are Clear Gettysburg according to our speedometer) is about 83 miles from Washington. The extra mileage was burned up in tour ing the field. The weather couldn’t have been finer. We ran into a bit of rain upon near- FiTIESiliiR BUREAU 'HET' Friends of the Bureau of En graving and Printing gathered last night at the home of Louis Voel ker as a surprise party for this veteran plate printer who retired yesterday after 40 years, 3 months 11 days of service at the Bureau. A. W. Hall, director of the Bureau, was one of the prominent guests at the surprise party. The party at the home followed oen at the Bureau earlier in the day, when his fellow employes of Section 6 gave him a hearty “send-off” and presented to him a fine gold strap watch and bas ket of flowers. The watch pre sentation was by Julius Stats, with “Your Sweethearts of Sec tion 6” giving the flowers. Offi cials and fellow workers warmly testified to the esteem with which he is held. Mr. Voelker, who was bom and reared in Chicago, entered the Bureau when William Meredith was director. May 20, 1891. On August 31, the official date of his retirement, he will be 65 years old. He lives with his son, Dr. Joseph W. Voelker, at 110 Wil low Ave., Takoma Park, Md., which was the scene of the gath ering of his friends last night. His father, 92, is still hale and hearty, and Louis Voelker expects to reach that age at least. ing Washington in the evening and a few drops fell as we pulled out of the town of Gettysburg, but otherwise the skies were clear and everything was jake. To the history student the Gettysburg battlefield has the advantage of being more com pact than the average scene of such great conflicts. From the tower of Round Top we could see it all. Before our eyes were spread the rolling meadows and wooded hills where the Union and Confederate forces grappled in the great struggle. They must have been near enough to hear each other breathe. Facing west to our right was the pleasant meadow (peaceful enough yesterday) through which Pickett's men made their des perate charge. Man, that gave me a thrill. They had their nerve, those boys. Right into the mouth of the Union guns. They must hSve known they couldn't make it. Huge Boulders Round Top is plentifully be sprinkled with huge boulders (behind which T would have been parked if I had been in the war), and even a few trees that from their age and condition might have been standing during the battle. General Meade’s head quarters, a quaint little cottage with grape vines shading the low porch, is there and a farm house or two that withstood the cannonading. A number of houses in the village bear bullet marks and there is the tumbled little brick dwelling where Jennie Wade (I think that was her name) was killed by a stray shot, while baking. Can you imagine that? Going right on with her house hold business with the greatest battle of the age thundering in her ears. Gettysburg can't be described in a few brief paragraphs. You have to see it to appreciate it. It’s near enough to Washington for an easy day’s trip (we left about 10 o’clock in the morning and could have been back before dark if we hadn’t stopped for dinner) and for thrills can’t be beaten; Delightful Drive The drive from Washington is brief enough not to be tiresome. We went through Rockville and took the old Frederick Road up, returning by the Buckeystown trail. Both are delightful. Rolling farm lands with stacks of freshly harvested wheat. Cornfields. And herds of cattle (for which that section of Maryland is famous) grazing in the meadows. A few miles out of Frederick you go through the quaint little village of Catoctin. where the bullets, etc., for the battle of Yorktown were made. The village itself with its little stone houses was built in 1754 to house the miners and the mansion house (Continuad on Pago 7, Col. 4) “L” LEAP FATAL NEW YORK. July 25.—Hyman Serhey, 38. of Mount Vernon, was killed when, according to the motorman and another witness he jumped in front of a north bound Third Avenue " L” train at the 143 d Street station, the Bronx. TA« Rational Daily WELFARE MOVE STIRS WIDE INTEREST Federal Employes’ Unions Seeking Hospitalization and Medical Care for Retired When the organized Federal employes carry to Congress in December their campaign for the same hospitalization benefits now accorded soldiers, and free medi cal care for retired annuitants, they will initiate a welfare move which will be of far-reaching in terest whatever its result. Washington locals of the or ganized employes have sponsored resolutions favoring both goals, and between now and the assem bly of the Congress they will en deavor to pile up support for the proposals. Those who favor the hospitali zation idea point out that civil ians at desks are just as much on the payroll of the Government as men in uniform on the drill field, and keeping them in good physi cal condition 'is as important; that most large organizations have free medical treatment for service-connected injuries and sickness, and that being wards of Uncle Sam they are entitled to consideration, even full hospitali zation. The same arguments are put forth by those who seek free clinic service for retired employes. The extension of all clinic and other medical privileges now given to regular employes, to those retired workers, will be pushed by a considerable group, abetted by the American Federa tion of Labor. U. S. JOBS OPEN The Civil Service Commission announces coming examinations for these positions: Junior librarian. $2,000: asso ciate engineer and assistant en gineer, $2,600 to $3,800; assistant parasitologist, $2,600 to $3,200. Route to Southern Maryland Resort Wr /Z / \3skW! ° I/X / * AtfMMPW A I MS' tIcUNTON \ U, < I Vl 1 \ - be V ’ ««n \ jl )) I I if * I ALMvtrr Bf$CH \l**lVlU< y// / si til < V 111 / \BEKM 6V rrMH ' V * \U ( \ FT. J THIS MAP, prepared by the American Automobile Association, shows the most di rect route to Point Lookout, noted Southern Maryland bay resort. SATURDAY—JULY 28—1931 EMPLOYES BACK NEW FEDERAL APPRAISAL Local No. 2 Seeks Solution of Personnel Problems Through Proposed Agency An open forum discussion last night, sponsored by Local No. 2, of the Federal Employes Union, the largest local here, resulted in a resolution asking the crea tion of a new and larger Federal agency to handle all Government personnel problems. The name suggested was Civil Service Ad ministration. and it would be composed of the Civil Service Commission, the United States Employes Compensation Commis sion, the Personnel Classification Board and various others. The recent suggestion of Thomas E. Campbell, president of the Civili Service Commission, along a similar line also included the Bureau of Efficiency. How ever, sentiment last night was to the effect that the Bureau of Efficiency should operate with the Bureau of the Budget if at all. A court of appeals to which employes could apply was also suggested. The board of repre sentatives of the various locals will consider these suggestions at a special meeting next Wednes day night Cafeterias Vanish In Progress March Two large privately owned cafe terias. the Blue Triangle Hut of the Y. W. C. A. and other build ings. are being razed this week in the block at Nineteenth St. and Constitution Ave. N. W.. to clear the site for the new Public Health Service Building. The cafeterias have been closed for some days and the hundreds of Government employees in the Navy Building, Munitions Build ing, the Federal Trade Commis sion and other Federal buildings in that vicinity have crowded the sow other lunchrooms in that vicinity. | New Official | fey JAMES T. JARDINE FOLLOWING his distin guished brother who was form erly Secretary of Agriculture, James T. Jardine has been named chief of the Office of Experiment Stations of the Department of Agriculture. He was previously director of the Oregon Agricultural Experi ment Station. Age is Slight Factor In Federal Employ After 30 years, age appears to be a factor of little importance in an employee’s advancement to successively higher-salary groups in the Government departments, according to Dr. W. W. Stock berger, director of personnel and business administration. Depart ment of Agriculture. He says: “Os the total number of em ployees, 4,049 (75 per cent) are between the ages of 25 and 50 years, and 1,161 (21.2 per cent) are above the age of 50.” HAS YEARLY CLEANUP The office section of the Smith sonian Institution has had a thor ough interior painting. This gen eral cleanup was the first in a year. TIGHTER RULES FOR EMPLOYES TO MED ! Efficiency Expert Rebukes Executives for Failure to Fire Incompetent Workers The recent dismissal of a num ber of Census Bureau employes for smoking in violation of rules reminds that the coming Cnn gress will be asked to consider the fact that incompetent, em ployes often are retained on the payrolls because executives are reluctant to discharge them, or fear a rebuke from some political influence. Federal employes who them selves are expecting to ask manv things of Congress, will find that a general tightening up in dis cipline will, on the other hand, be requested of the legislators by Government efficiency experts. The survey report of Dr. Her man Feldman, of Dartmouth Col lege, economic adviser to th? field survey division of the Fed eral Classification Board, rebukes Government executives for laxity in not discharging employes who are Incompetent. The report is dissatisfied with the small extent to which “hopelessly incompetent people’’ are eliminated from the Civil Service. Take Easiest Way The reasons for the “deep seated reluctance to dismiss proved incompetents” are plainly stated by Dr. Feldman. One reason is that firing any employe is always unpleasant and “it is an easier path to have the public pay for one's lack of courage” than to discharge an emplyoe. There is “the possibility of a rebuke by a Congressman nr Senator”; the possibility that the employe “may be a veteran who makes a tempest in a teapot”: the “danger of other influential affiliations to stir up trouble.” The difficulty a minor super visory executive faces in con vincing the head of his division or bureau that a certain employe should be removed also is cited. The fact that some employes in the Government as in private business are lax. lazy, generally incompetent and unresponsive and should be removed, although specific instances of grave nature are difficult to state, is also re minded in the Feldman report which will be offered to Congress. Employer Sole Judge The law, of course, requires ; merely that all that is required to i remove a Federal employe is that he be furnished with reasons, in I writing, and be given time to reply, i with the employing officer being ' the sole judge and his decision final. Further urging the Federal de partments to use the same strict ness about discharging unsatisfac tory workers as do private con cerns, the recommendations con tinue: “The elimination of an em ploye from the Government serv ice is unavoidable from the standpoint of good organization. It is a means of correcting an original selection, maintaining discipline, and preventing the I exploitation of the service by unscrupulous and incompetent people. If administered in an enlightened spirit, the exercise of such a power will do much to improve the general morale of the service, to provide opportuni ties for promotion for the more desirable employes, and to win the confidence of the public.” Exams Announced For Civil Service A vacancy in the National Capital Park and Planning Com ■ mission will be filled soon, since I the Civil Service Commission ha - ; announced examinations to fill this vacancy and to provide an eligibility list for future varan cies- The position pays $4 fion. and applications close August 14. Other examinations announced with closing dates, and entrance salaries, include; Senior investigator, Bureau of the Budget, August 7, $3,500 foundry superintendent, July 21 $3,200; associate and assistant. Home Economics, August 7, $2,600 $3,200, $3,800; associate super visor, Home Economics, $3,200; home extension agent, August 14 $2,600; policemen, both Metro politan and park, August 3. $1,900; assistant statistical clerk July 21, $1,620; assistant radio enforcement inspector, July 21 $2,400; principal metallurgist, July 24. $5.600-$6.400; junior mag netic and seismological observer. $2,000-$2,600. Engraving Bureau Seeks Fire Alarm The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the aource of Uncle Sam’B currency, bonds and stamps, is seeking an emergency alarm connection with the new Fourth precinct station. The bureau had an emergency alarm connection with the old Third stay on before the stations were reorganized.