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Exhibit X

Percentage Distribution of Civilian Employment, Injuries,
Illnesses and Fatalities for the Seven Largest Federal Agencies, 1975

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Mr. CONWAY. I would reiterate, we believe in the intentions and purpose of the act and have no quarrel with that whatever.

Mr. GAYDOS. I want to thank you for a commendable statement. Your charts are impressive and I am sure they contain a lot of information which, after being analyzed by the committee, will be most valuable. We do want to thank you for that type of statement. Let me ask you one or two questions and I will turn the questioning over to some of the other members.

Do I understand from your statement that, as of this time, the Postal Service has no right or no opportunity to review a claimant's file to determine the propriety of the claim or the award?

Mr. CONWAY. We have the opportunity, in the first instance, to comment on the CA-1, that is to say a supervisor will indicate whether he agrees with the statements of the claimant.

But in the adjudication process, particularly post-adjudication, we don't have the opportunity to question it or provide adequate input. We are not always provided with the reason for the reversal. We can controvert claims, and we do. There is no opportunity for the employer to appeal an adverse decision.

Mr. GAYDOS. How do you controvert a claim?

Mr. CONWAY. There is a regular procedure where we controvert the claim to the district office.

Mr. GAYDOs. Is that before the examiner?

Mr. CONWAY. While claims are in process.

Mr. GAYDOS. Before the award is made, while he is considering it? Mr. CONWAY. Yes.

Mr. GAYDOS. That is where you make your appearance?

Mr. CONWAY. It is a documentary appearance.

Mr. GAYDOS. After the examiner states his position, you don't follow through and make another stab at it?

Mr. CONWAY. That is right. The employee has an opportunity to appeal; the employer does not.

Mr. GAYDOS. What could you advance which would give credence to your position that this would be helpful?

Would you employ investigators? Go out, take pictures? How would you do this?

Mr. CONWAY. Let me give you an example of an actual case where a letter carrier died of a heart attack, apparently.

He came to work ill, laid down, ultimately went to a hospital and passed away. A claim was filed and disallowed. Then a claim on appeal to Labor was allowed.

One of the reasons was that the employee's job created stress and induced a heart attack, because he carried a different route each day; hilly and the other four were on the level.

We have 10,000 positions like that in the service. It was not stressful.

We didn't have the opportunity to come to bat in the situation and perhaps the people who made the decision were ignorant of the situation in the Postal Service.

Mr. GAYDOS. What kind of work schedule or records do you keep on employees? Do you keep a record as to the number of times he

visited a physician in his employment jacket or historical file? How do you handle an employee?

Mr. CONWAY. An employee is entitled to certain sick leave, for example. Our records would not reflect doctor's visits unless he went over a certain limit and a certificate was required.

Mr. GAYDOS. You would have the number of days he missed? Mr. CONWAY. Yes.

Mr. GAYDOS. Do you have a doctor who would be in your employ that he could visit if he wishes?

Mr. CONWAY. In our larger installations we have a medical unit staffed by doctors and nurses. In the smaller units, we don't. Mr. GAYDOS. Would there be anything else in his jacket or historical file?

Mr. CONWAY. A record of his medical examination at the time of his entry, for example. Any correspondence, accident reports, any physical problems which were job-related would be reflected variously.

Mr. GAYDOs. Mr. Sarasin.

Mr. SARASIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Gentlemen, thank you very much for your testimony.

I find it interesting that the injury rate goes down when overtime availability goes up. In fact, I find it fascinating.

The National Association of Letter Carriers testified before this committee last week. Their figures for injury, for some reason, are different than yours.

They point out that in 1975, there were 76,246 injuries to Postal Service employees. Your chart indicates 56,370.

They say in 1976, 93,857 Postal Service employees were injured and you say 55,467.

Can you tell me why there would be that kind of a discrepancy? Mr. CONWAY. I have the same trouble with some of these numbers. They all come from the Department of Labor but from different sources therein. One publication is "Federal Employees Work Injuries Cause and Occupation Distributions of Injuries Reported under the FECA." Mr. Vacca quoted from the CY 1975 edition of this report.

That's where the letter carriers got their figures.

I am advised it does not account for controverted claims or claims not completely adjudicated. To that extent it is somewhat raw data. Charge-back coding is done after a claim has been approved and payment has been made. That would be a more reliable index. The people we talked to indicated the figures reported by the NLCA were raw data.

Mr. SARASIN. You are saying your 56,000, opposed to their 76,000, represents actual injuries and they are talking about claimed injuries.

Mr. CONWAY. They are apparently talking-and I hate to be in a position of trying to justify their figures-but they are apparently talking about the raw initial report, not taking into account the claims really adjudicated.

The figure I used, which is 65,000, plus, is precise. Their fiscal year BEC reports to us are inclusive of claims actually processed. Mr. SARASIN. You agree with the amendments of the act and continuation of the pay provision?

Mr. CONWAY. The intention of the act was laudable. We were as unhappy as anybody else as to the delay in payment to our employees. I think the waiting period eliminated a lot of Band-Aid situations which are not really accidents, properly so-called.

I think further, undoubtedly some problems have arisen from the completely free choice of doctors. I don't mean to criticize the physicians, but that is a problem.

Many private doctors are not aware of alternative jobs available. You might stub your toe if you had a walking job and be competent to occupy a sit-down job while you are recovering.

Mr. SARASIN. If this committee were to make any changes in the law, would you suggest we just go back and repeal the '74 amendments; or is there a compromise position which might have worked out better?

Mr. CONWAY. I think, undoubtedly, there is a middle ground, Mr. Sarasin. Without going into all the details, I think the waiting period is one thing, also I think providing an appeal opportunity for the employer and much of the rest of the improvements could be undoubtedly accomplished by better administration. But unless we get out of the system a lot of claims which, in my view, don't belong in it, it will continue to be overburdened and unwieldy and we will continue to have a long delay in processing claims.

An employee might be injured and go to a doctor, the bills go into the Department of Labor, then the doctor is on the employee's back because he hasn't been paid. The employee is coming to us and we have no control over it. But the system is overburdened and they can't really get at the so-called good cases because I believe there are too many cases.

Mr. SARASIN. We are getting the same complaint from FECA that we often hear about the Postal Service.

Mr. CONWAY. We think we do a lot better.

Mr. SARASIN. I agree there are some problems. I think the statistics you have pointed out in your statement indicate the dramatic increase in claims since the '74 amendments, but the letter carriers say it is because of improper reporting and denial of payments prior to '74. Do you have any comment as to their statement?

Mr. CONWAY. Well, I think the statement was designed to be very self-serving. Certainly prior to '74, the system was not working too well. It took too long for employees to be paid. But not all the labor commentators agree with the position taken by the letter carriers. For instance, the vice-president of the clerks' union local published a statement in May where he was raising serious questions as to the implementation of FECA since the act. He began his article by saying, "How would you enjoy a 45-day vacation? Not attractive enough? Let us add, with pay and no annual or sick leave. Impossible? Not really. More and more Federal employees are taking advantage of a loophole in the law. It is occurring at such a rapid pace that the Congress of the United States is taking immediate action."

This is a view by a responsible labor leader who is concerned that benefits may be taken away from employees to which they are entitled.

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