Can You Get A Raise?

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  • e*HERBERT S. M I N O T a n d LOUIS ZASLOFF

    225 Broac/vvOy> New York 7, U. Y.

    Probably. But you'll have to wait while long red tape thaws frozen salaries.

    Your boss can turn on the heat and give you a raise sooner if he gives Government the facts in the right w a y

    f-pHE function of the Wage Stabilization *- Program, as set forth by Cyrus S.

    Ching, chairman of the Economic Stabili-zation Agency, is to "discharge its respon-sibilities under the provisions of the De-fense Production Act of 1950. . . (so as ) to stabilize wages, salaries and other com-pensation. . ." in order to curb the dele-terious effects of inflation.

    On Jan. 25, 1951, the Wage Stabiliza-tion Board commenced to function by-placing every employer, and every em-ployee, in an absolute wage deep freeze. Since then there has been a gradual de-frosting. Almost immediately a series of general wage regulations was released covering general, individual, and cost-of-living adjustments. In order to clarify this series of regulations WSB supplemented this stream of paper with brochures cover-ing modifications and interpretations to the wage regulations. ( See "Salary Stabili-zation Board, GSSR, Stabilization of Salaries and Other Compensation of Per-sons Employed in Bona Fide Executive, Administrative, Professional, or Outside Salesman Capacities, Not Represented by Labor Organizations" and other regula-tions and interpretations of SSB.)

    How Deep Is My Freeze? Professional employees of chemical and

    other industries suffer under the mistaken belief that their employer cannot give them any pay adjustment. A great many employers are equally mistaken in think-ing they cannot make a salary adjustment without government consent. As a re-

    sult of these misconceptions, professional employees are leaving satisfactory jobs to accept other positions that offer better sal-aries. And their equally7 well satisfied em-ployers are regretfully- allowing them to leave because theyr think it is impossible for them to improve their salary* positions. Much of this reluctant job-hopping can be avoided. The Government does permit certain kinds of salary- adjustments. Lack of knowledge on both sides has largely-been the cause of this unwholesome situa-tion which is costly to trie employee who loses the results of many y-ears of loyal effort and the employer -who loses a valu-able experienced employee.

    How Is It Done? Because of the enormous complexity of

    the problem of freezing 62 million em-ployees in one fell swoop, the Government pulled from its archives the entire stabili-zation procedure used during World War II. Some refinements, of course, had to be made. In the last war two agencies existed: one to cover rank and file and the other to cover the top group. This program was commenced with one agencyWSBto cover all employees. Shortly thereafter, from the loth rib there was formed the Salary Stabilization Board which then as-sumed the full jurisdiction of the so-called top group of employees.

    SSB, because of its more restricted coverage, functions only out of Washing-ton, D. C, whereas W S S functions within 13 distinct regions of the United States. Further, because of limited personnel.

    WSB uses the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor for initial screen-ing.

    To obtain relief from either of the boards it is necessaryr to file an application, with complete factual information on the employees for whom relief is sought and such supplemental information as the ap-plicant feels will adequately establish his right to the relief he seeks. The applica-tions are filed with the Wage and Hour Division of the Labor Department in your region. The Wage and Hour Divi-sion, upon receiving these applications, does an initial screening and forwards them to the proper group for final process-ing and decision.

    A large part of the confusion which exists concerning wage and salary regula-tions arises from the delays caused by the procedures of die respective boards. The time lag between the release of board policies by either the Wage or the Salary Stabilization Boards to the general public often makes the policy statements mean-ingless by the time it reaches the business organization, in addition, the waiting period between the filing of an applica-tion for board approval and the receipt of a ruling is so long as to cause irrepar-able damage to die employer and his employees. These aforementioned delays are unwarranted and arise solely from the studies and hearings conducted by the administrators ad infinitum. The business man demands a prompt decision for the solution of his immediate problem. He cannot be suspended in a state of un-

    1190 C H E M I C A L A N D E N G I N E E R I N G N E W S

  • *fy
  • A special panel set up by WSB holds hearings on wage increase for steel workers

    relations have always recommended. These procedures arc now the law. It has always been good business for the employer to compensate his employee on the basis of standard methods rather than by a hit or miss method. It has always been good business to evaluate employees b y an ob-jective standard. It has always been good business to keep employees classified within minimum and maximum rate ranges; and to permit the employee to realize that he has an opportunity for ad-vancement based on his achievement. If we accept these truisms the various regu-lations of the stabilization program are not complicated or detrimental t o the em-ployer or the employee but are often bene-ficial.

    WSB has only one form at present covering every type of relief. Certainly this factor alone establishes simplicity.

    In effect SSB says to the employer: "present the facts as you see fit." This is the essence of simplicity. Both boards in-vite inquiries and applications, and re-gional and district offices have been pro-vided throughout the land for this pur-pose. Both boards supply ample literature and material for guidance.

    Where Do You Fit?

    In a n effort to clarify the jurisdiction of the two boards, they jointly accepted the definitions in the Fair Labor Stand-ards Act of 1938 as amended pursuant to Section 13 (a) (1 ) . This section provides that "any employee employed as a bona fide executive, administrative, professional . . . o r outside salesman . . ." shall be placed under t h e jurisdiction of the SSB. The president and every excutive official of the company is just as frozen with reference to his compensation 'as the pro-fessional employee and salesmen in his companyand no more. All other em-ployees were placed under the jurisdic-tion of the WSB.

    The incorrect filing of an application re-sulting from incorrect jurisdictional facts inevitably results in procedural delays, im-proper rulings, and other difficulties.

    The two boards grant adjustments based upon different criteria and within differ-

    ent rules. The submission, therefore, of such information which would qualify an employee for an adjustment under the rules of WSB if filed with the SSB will result in a negative ruling.

    Each of these boards has been com-pelled to adopt variations in its rules,^ as the Wage Board deals with large num-bers of employees, while the Salary Board with the individual or small group. Any prospective applicant to either board would do well to crystallize the nature of his problem, attempt to locate the par-ticular regulation under which h e feels relief may b e granted, and comply with the board's procedural requirements in connec-tion with such regulation, giving full and adequate information, both on a qualitative and quantitative basis. All of this will in-crease the probability of success.

    If an applicant were to obtain relief from WSB h e would use Form 100 as most recently revised. This form covers every possible type of application and in general terms indicates the information required. However, this does not 'confine the ap-plicant in the extent of his information nor restrict the nature of the proof the appli-cant can submit to maintain his need for relief. Therefore, the applicant must sup-ply in a supplementary statement all the facts affecting his problem, and the spe-cific type of relief required, in accordance with the particular regulation .covering the relief sought. The approach is most fre-quently a quantitative approach involving average straight time earnings, rates or rate ranges for groups of employees and other pertinent material gleaned from rec-ords of the applicant.

    W h e n making an application to the SSB no specific form is required nor does the board actually supply any form. The board suggests that the applicant file a petition in which he succinctly states his problem, the reasons why the SSB should grant him relief, and pursuant to what authority the board may grant such relief. In effect the board says to the applicant: "Tell us how we can legally approve the relief you request and b e certain that you convince us by adequate reasoning that we should act in your behalf."

    WSB tends to favor, in review, the ap-

    plication based on scheduled d a t a that in-cludes job titles, job descriptions, and wage rate ranges for particular payroll periods together with present company procedures. SSB tends to favor an individual or small group case history, consisting of salary and bonus information, plus detailed descrip-tions of the duties and responsibilities of the individual or small group involved. Both boards, when processing inequity applications, seek comparable wage or salary information. WSB utilizes going wage rates as supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. SSB has no going salary rate information and, therefore, the bu r -den is upon the employer to supply such information in his own application. Gener-ally the proof required by WSB refers to payroll records while the proof requ