Efficiency Ratings and the Fight over Job Classifications, 1912-1942
What is the value of a person's labor?
The Contradictions of Merit in the Civil Service
The Introduction of Efficiency Ratings into the Federal Civil Service
The Navy Department Develops an Efficiency-Rating System
The Development of the Efficiency Rating System in the BNY
The Abuse of Efficiency Ratings: The "Balanced Force" in the Shops, 1930-1942
Government Reaction to Critics of the Efficiency Ratings System, 1937-1942
Ratings for the boiler shop for 31 December 1929
Rating Percentages in Selected Shops in the Brooklyn Navy Yard Percentage of Trade in First-Class Rating, 1930 - 1940

As MTD President John Frey never tired of pointing out to officials in the Franklin Roosevelt administration, navy labor relations ultimately boiled down to two basic issues: recognition, and the job classification system, which during the 1930s was structured around the "balanced-shop" concept and efficiency ratings. [e.g., see Letter, Frey, to Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, 30 March 1939; “Shop Elections”; Frey Papers.]  This section will discuss the history of efficiency ratings in the naval civil service and how, in conjunction with a systematic program of job re-ratings, they were used as a back-alley means of saving money during the Depression years at the workers' expense.

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What is the value of a person's labor?
Determining an employee's worth--his or hers efficency or merit--has been a central tenet of the civil service ever since its inception in 1883.  Before this time, acquiring and holding a government job often had less to do with one's potential and actual job performance than with one's political connections.  The corruption of labor patronage--where one's ability to acquire and hold a job was predicated on supporting your patrons politically--was widely derided by civil service reformers.  To take two examples involving navy yards: the hiring of large numbers of “laborers” in a navy yard just before an election and their subsequent release afterward was a notorious and common practice.  In the pre-civil service era only shop Masters were appointed by the naval officers.  The Masters in turn chose their own workers, a process rife with political intrigue, particularly after a party-changing election or where the political party in the White House was different from the political party that dominated the neighborhood of a navy yard.  The triumph of the civil service advocates was to put into place a system that supposedly based hiring, promotions, and job retentions solely on the basis of "merit."  But perhaps not noted by the reformers was that patronage at least at the lower rungs of the job level did seem to assume that the average person could indeed do the average job that matched his or her level of skill.

Different social groups had differing conceptions of the conditions under which a person should hold a federal job.  A more social ideology as to one's right to a job, which they carried into the federal sphere, was that developed by the American trade union movement.  For the most part, trade unionists in the nineteenth century, protective of their skills and very aware of the precariousness of their jobs, advocated a mantle of communal equality about their jobs.  They sponsored apprenticeship programs, to teach skills and a proper attitude toward their trade, they insisted that although a trades worker may specialize that he possess a wide range of skills in his trade, and, that for reasons as much defensive as ideological, that workers in a trade should all be paid equally for their work.  They struggled to maintain control of production as much as they possibly could.  And as individual jobs easily came and went, especially in the building trades, workers realized they needed some system of determining among themselves who should be hired, retained, and let go.  Out of this collective outlook they decided that the best way to make such decisions was upon the basis of seniority and the means by which they would advance their cause was through the trade union.  As the machinists’ journal gallantly put it in 1903: “What’s trade unionism?  It is ‘self-help.’  It is the highest form of cooperative effort.  Its ultimate aim is that complete individual liberty which can only be gained by concerted action on the part of the units which compose society.” [On the concept of trade-union ideology, see: Montgomery, Workers' Control in America; Brody, Workers in Industrial America; Fink, In Search of the Working Class; Gutman, Work, Culture and Society in Industrializing America; Montgomery, The Fall of the House of Labor; Brody, Steelworkers in America; Wilentz, Chants Democratic. In shipbuilding, see: Zhao, “Women and Defense Industries in World War II” (Ph.d. diss., U. of California, Berkeley, 1993). For machinists, see Boyden, “The San Francisco Machinists from Depression to Cold War, 1930-1950” (Ph.D. diss., U. of California, Berkeley, 1988). The quotation is from Machinists’ Monthly Journal, April 1903.]

On the other hand, the progressive impulse among the professional classes led them in a much different direction in determining merit: ranking.  In a free society a person's worth, bereft of any political and social connections protecting him, could be easily established by watching him in comparison and in competition with other workers.  The free market would establish individuals’ skills, abilities, and attitudes with perfect clarity.  Hence, people could be ranked by their employer as to their worth to the organization by those trained to be coolly observant.  As a result, it was possible in a free and democratic society, the reformers claimed, to rank employees in an agency in a strict, serial list of merit, with the most meritorious person on the top and the least on the bottom.  To the reformers this system was fair.  It was only natural that people should be ranked against one another; democracy allowed for these comparisons to be made equitably.

As the twentieth century began, social scientists and industrial experts expanded the concept of efficiency from its original meaning as a measure of economical mechanical ability into a means of measuring human performance in all spheres of life.  Utopian reformers praised efficiency as a needed constraint to rampant competition.  To its promoters it was the ideal means to reform government.  Corruption would be banished and be replaced by “honesty, integrity, [and] responsible citizenship” as a 1907 article in the Century put it.  Efficiency required the “reeducation and reconstruction of men,” acquired through self-discipline.  Efficiency even became a short-lived “craze” for a few years in the mid-1910s.  Industrial reformers, like Frederick Taylor, took a different tack, reorganizing the structure of work and placing its direction solely in the hands of management in order to increase the efficiency of production.  It was at this time that at least one journal, Engineering, put forward the idea that social efficiency, like mechanical efficiency, could be expressed as a number. [Alexander, “The Meanings of Efficiency,” (Ph.D. diss., U. Washington, 1996); Kanigel, The One Best Way ; Seagal, Technological Utopianism in American Culture.]

As far back as 1888, Edward Bellamy, in his utopian fantasy of the year 2000, Looking Backward, had proposed a system of efficiency ratings and classification that came remarkably close to what the federal government eventually instituted after World War I.  “According to his standing as an apprentice a young man is assigned his place a first, second, or third grade worker. . . . [M]ost fall into the lower grades, working up as they grow more experienced, at the periodical regrading. . . . [M]erit never need wait long to rise, nor can any rest on past achievements unless they would drop into a lower rank.”  A high mark also gave the worker the privilege of choosing how he wished to specialize in his job.  “The results of each regrading, giving the standing of every man in his industry, are gazetted into public prints, and those who have won promotion since the last regrading receive the nation's thanks and are publicly invested with the badge of their new rank.” [Bellamy, Looking Backward.]  But Bellamy's context is a idealistic one: his futuristic managerial staff was the ideal of professionalism, and harmony prevailed among the workers.  They did not think the ranking system punitive, but instead, it allowed them to know with perfect precision where they stood at work in relation to their colleagues.  This Boston of 2000 worked communally; there was no poverty or crime, and workers needed to work only 20 years before retiring if they wished.                                 

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The Contradictions of Merit in the Civil Service
The actual incorporation of the principle of merit into the civil service has proved difficult and has not satisfactorily been accomplished even in the present day.  Not only is the concept based on the idea that labor relations can through the use of scientific principles be removed from the sphere of human interactions, it itself is contradictory in its goals and rationale.

Patricia Ingraham in The Foundation of Merit posits three such contradictions.  One is based on its very foundation: the supposed conflict between patronage and merit.  What makes government labor relations stand out is that the government's merit system is that it believes that its own managing system is corrupt and that its workers must be quarantined from their own overseers.  Merit also matches neutrality against responsiveness, or in other words, how long does it take to get something done through appropriate (i.e. non-corrupt) channels?  For example, due to merit restrictions a navy yard's Labor Board often took many months to compile a job register before the yard could begin hiring off of it.  And the last of the three peculiarities that merit has brought about in government service is the struggle between efficiency and effectiveness.  Does the promotion of an abstract value system of worth taken, as we shall see, to almost ridiculous extremes, actually result in poorer work performance and lower morale? [Ingraham, The Foundation of Merit (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995).]                                     

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The Introduction of Efficiency Ratings into the Federal Civil Service
Early in the twentieth century civil service proponents attempted to institute merit principles for the federal labor force.  They believed government work to be no different from other work and as such it could be “regularized and measured and understood” by management and politicians.  Jobs could be developed to their most efficient extent whether through scientific management or by other types of job analysis then being developed in the private sector.  Public administration could set itself objective goals and perform its tasks in a value-free, neutral manner.  Both Theodore Roosevelt and Taft supported these goals and did what they could to implement them during their presidencies. Efficiency, the maximum production for the least amount of taxpayer dollar spent, became the logic behind the administering of public labor. [Ingraham, Foundation of Merit; Schinagl, History of Efficiency Ratings in the Federal Government (New York: Bookman Associates, 1966).]

In 1905 President Roosevelt set up the Keep Commission, and Taft followed in 1910 with the Commission on Economy and Efficiency, to study and recommend means of  rationalizing and modernizing the federal government.  Governments reformers saw their most important task in these years in creating a modern budgetary system, which was accomplished with the establishment of the Bureau of the Budget in 1921.  As to labor, especially for non-trade occupations, the greatest obstacle to its rationalization and hence the ability to increase efficiency was a lack of coordinated job rankings across the federal sector.  In 1853 and 1854 Congress created its first classification scheme for federal white-collar positions and revised them in 1883.  But little attempt was made to standardize job titles across agencies and departments and by the first world war federal job descriptions were in a shambles, lacking any standards that could match across the board pay with duties.   After the war Congress addressed this issue and in 1923 passed the Classification Act for the DC workforce, and began extending it to the field service in 1928.  [On nineteenth-century job classification schemes, see Robert G. Albion, "A Brief History of Civilian Personnel in the U.S. Navy Department," Navy Dept., 1943.]*

This system, which remained in place until 1948, created five schedules, or basic groupings of positions: professional and scientific; subprofessional; clerical and administrative and fiscal (CAF); custodial; and clerical-mechanical.  Each schedule had six to thirteen grades, that e.g., in the CAF grouping, moved up the occupational chart from the lowest mail-room clerk to the most senior administrator, and each grade in turn held five to seven pay rates within it.  In the navy yards and armories the older pre-civil-service tripratate rating system was retained for the blue-collar jobs and the new classification system applied only to the non-trade positions which took on the overall designation of IVb. [The trade jobs were designated I, II, III, and IVa, according to the older system.]

The new classification system then became the basis for determining efficiency ratings [to be described below].  These ratings were first applied to white-collar naval workers and then in the early 1920s extended to all mechanical jobs in the navy yards.  They determined all  promotions, demotions, and layoffs.  This rating system ranked employees against one another and not against a neutral measuring standard, creating a system known as “rank in job” as opposed to the European civil service model of “rank in person,” in which employees carried their ratings based on personal ability with them from job to job.  In 1924 the government created the Bureau of Efficiency in order to devise standardized efficiency ratings.  This was done in part because it was found that many agencies were unable to keep precise records of production and error. [Ingraham, Foundation of Merit; Van Riper, History of the United States Civil Service (Evanston, IL: Row, Peterson and Company, 1958); Schinagl, History of Efficiency Ratings; Spero, Government as Employer; “Efficiency Marks,” Order No. 3, Rear Adm. Plunkett, Commandant, NYNY, November 1922; RG181; NA-NY. See Appendix K for classification chart.]       

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The Navy Department Develops an Efficiency-Rating System
While Congress was debating classificatory language it had already begun a decade earlier to implement a ratings system.  In 1912, as part of a larger bill, it authorized the President to establish efficiency ratings for those positions then incorporated into the federal civil service.  Naval white-collar civil servants at the time were classified by salary in two major groups: Class A, for those earning under $720 per year, up through Class E, at $1999; followed by a second set of schedules, beginning with Class 1, those making $2000 and ending at Class 6, for those at $2500 and above. [Albion, "Brief History of Civilian Personnel in the U.S. Navy Department"; “Appropriations for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1913,” August 1912; “Appropriations for the service of the Post Office Department for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1913,” August 1912; "Instructions for the Administration of the Naval Establishment of the United States (Naval Instructions), 1913"; Schinagl, History of Efficiency Ratings.]

The Navy Department promulgated instructions for efficiency ratings in January 1913.  It used them initially to rank individuals for promotion, with a minimum score of 80 per cent being needed to be eligible for an advance.  The Department designed rating forms in consultation with the Civil Service Commission in order to “embrace the elements which are essential to a fair and accurate determination of the relative merits of employees.”  Employees had access to their ratings and could appeal their scores to the Secretary. These initial ratings were a straight-forward “objective” rating based solely on supervisors' appreciations of individuals' work. ["Naval Instructions, 1913."]

The instructions called for the ratings to be compiled semi-annually and to be compiled on the basis of six elements, seven for supervisors, to determine the “actual efficiency of an employee or the value of his services.”  Graders judged employees on the following specific points: their general physical ability to perform their job and the amount of time they lost to illness; their ability to perform constantly without idling or other inattention; their willingness to conform to office rules and work with others harmoniously; their knowledge of both the principles and practices of the job--for clericals, to know bookkeeping, stenography, specifics of the office worked in--for professionals, the theory and practice of their work; the ability to apply the knowledge to the actual job at hand without error; to be able to complete one's work in a timely fashion; and for the supervisors, the ability to coordinate and direct the work of others so to as to get the best results.  In each of these categories workers were to be marked from 10 for excellent, to 4 for very poor, with 0 being reserved for worthless.  [Maximum scores of 60 and 70 were therefore possible, making scores of 48 and 56 the minimum promotional grades].

Eavluators were asked to check off on the form if a person's work was either “higher,” “the same,” or “lower” than usually done by others in the same grade.  Tardiness was calculated over the preceding six-month period as was absences, and noted as whether they were leave with pay, sick leave with pay, authorized leave without pay, or unauthorized absences; this latter added to the tardiness figure.  Habitual tardiness and unauthorized absences was considered a failure in the "attention to duty" category and employees penalized .1 point for each hour lost and an additional .1 for any time lost for any reason over thirty days in one month.  Any indication of “habits of inebriety” were noted with a “no” or “yes” response and if the latter was ticked an case explanation was required.  Alcoholic problems interfered with a number of categories such as health, attention to duty, skill, and promptness.  On the back of the form the employee's duties were listed as well as any general comments the supervisor wished to make. ["Naval Instructions, 1913."]

The Navy Department divided its white-collar force into five groups: clerical/administrative; drafting force; inspectors, sub-inspectors, and laboratory workers, if any; messengers; and watchmen.  Each office or department appointed an officer or chief clerk to make the ratings list, one copy of which was kept at the yard or station and another sent to the Department.  As an example of a rating, for the six months ending 30 June 1914, there is a card in the files for one George M., a typewriter in Supply and Accounts, who made $3.04 per day and had received his last promotion on 3 February 1913.  M.'s supervisor, the General Storekeeper, gave him marks of 10, 9, 8, 8, 9, and 9, for a total of 53, and stated that M did work similar to others of his rating.  He had been late twice for a total of six minutes and had shown no signs of inebriety.  He had taken fifteen days of vacation the year before and had already used thirteen days to date in 1914.  He had also used fifteen days of paid sick leave in 1913 and had taken off 20.75 authorized days without pay for a grand absence total of 50.75 days in 1913.  He had accrued no unauthorized leave.   His absentee rate in 1914 had been confined to date to the vacation time.  His rating for the second half of 1913 was 50, so he went up a bit in 1914.  M. worked in the Issuing division and kept records of requisitions and shipments received, as well as indexing the correspondence concerning this work.  His supervisor had no comments to make about him. [“Instructions relative to marking efficiency at navy yards, etc.,” Letter, SN Daniels, to Commandants of Navy Yards, May 1913, November 1913;  Semiannual report of Efficiency, six months ended June 30, 1914, for George M.; RG181; NA-NY.]

The Department suspended the ratings reports for the duration of the American involvement in World War I. [Letter, ASN Roosevelt, to Chiefs of Bureaus, May 1917;  Letter, ASN, to Commandants, Navy Yards, January 1918; RG181; NA-NY.]  Upon the resumption of peacetime the Department began a program of removing inefficient workers out of the navy yards.  The yards had expanded their work forces rapidly after April 1917 and by the end of the war they had many workers who in Secretary Daniels's words were “not skilled in shipbuilding and kindred trades,” and they could not be expected to have perform as well as the regular workers.  Therefore in order to regain maximum efficiency the Secretary instructed the Brooklyn Navy Yard in October 1919 that “no man should be employed who does not give his best service and who is not capable of performing the work assigned to him, thereby without directly saying so, driving out the less qualified. [Letter, Daniels, to Industrial Manager, Navy Yard, NY, October 1919; RG181; NA-NY.]  Close attention to the efficiency of the trades workers now needed to be paid.

In November 1920, Daniels sent a circular letter to the entire naval establishment informing them that in light of recent pay increases (see appendix G for examples) and better working conditions that “fewer employees” were needed.  Each worker had to give a full day's work and be punctual in attendance.  It was expected that a “small percentage” could not meet the necessary standard and management was to assign these workers to a lower grade of work if capable or be dismissed.  The Secretary ordered officers to immediately prepare reports on those considered delinquent.  This directive did not seem to produce the required results as in 1921 ASN Jahncke issued instructions to the navy yards that they pay all the mechanics at the first-class rate and discharge those unable to perform accordingly.  The three-grade classification was re-introduced again after a short period of time. [“Efficiency of civil personnel of Naval Establishment,” Letter, SN, to Chiefs of Bureaus, November 1920; RG181; NA-NY. Letter, McGrady [DoL], Frey, May 1937; “Shop Elections”; Frey Papers.]

It was paramount that some “uniform system of procedure” be established for the trades in order to regulate job performance in the navy yards.  The Navy Department sent out rating instructions in late 1921.  Simpler than those for the white-collar occupations, they codified the two existing performance standards that navy yards had used up to then: “Workmanship and Conduct,” each employee in Groups I - through IVa to be assigned monthly grades in the two categories.  For Groups I through III “quality” and “quantity” of work decided the Workmanship grade; for the supervisory IVas “judgment, initiative, executive ability and leadership” was added.  For all, Conduct reflected the employees' “interest in work, alertness, attendance, and punctuality.”  Special letters of recommendation could be placed into an employee's file, as was disciplinary letters after the employee had had a chance to reply to the charges and the Commandant had made a final decision.  Separate grades for Workmanship and Conduct were marked on a scale of 100 to 59: Excellent, 90-100; Very Good, 80 to 89; Good, 70 to 79; Fair, 60 to 69, and Poor, 59 and below.  Workmanship counted for 70% and Conduct 30% of an overal grade.  The immediate supervisor for Groups I-III marked the trades, with a review made by the Master or Division Head.  In turn, the shop Master graded the Leadingmen and Quartermen with a review by the Division head, and the Shop Officer passed judgment on the Masters.  The Labor Board kept the trades' efficiency ratings and unlike those for the IVBs they were not sent on to Washington.  If it was necessary to establish comparative status among workers, the rating official averaged the workers previous twelve months of ratings.  A year later this was reduced to six months. [“Efficiency Marks,” Order, Commandant Vogelgesang, Navy Yard, New York, November 1921;  “Efficiency Marks,” Order, Commandant Plunkett, Navy Yard, New York, November 1922; RG181; NA-NY.]

For example, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard when a shop wanted to discharge workers, the Labor Board sent it a list of workers drawn from the bottom of the efficiency list approximately half-again as large as the desired number to be let go.  For each of the workers notes were added as to workers' veteran status, number of dependents supported, any serious work injuries, and in case any workers had equal ratings longevity was used as the tie-breaker.  The Division head (a naval officer) then laid off workers from this revised list. [Letter, Comdr. Ainsworth, to Captain Watt, PNY, August 1925; RG181; NA-NY.]

In 1925 the Bureau of Efficiency released a draft of new instructions for a “uniform marking system” that would cover all federal employees.  In June, the Navy Department circulated the draft for comment among its field offices, stating that it would only be applied to the trades.  The ASN noted in his remarks that the present rating system “in vogue” in the navy yards included longevity and conduct in its calculations, and that the new rating system would move beyond such considerations by establishing a relative rating for employees.  The Efficiency Bureau's plan graded workers on a strict numerical scale in which each class's average mark fell between 80 and 85.  The ASN went on to note that the average mark of most navy yard workers was “much higher” than 82.5, which he took to mean that rating officials marked on the high side, a standard weakness of managers.  From then on, average workers were to receive average ratings. [Letter, ASN, to Commandant, Navy Yard, New York, June 1935; RG181; NA-NY.]

In the new efficiency rating system each worker was graded relative to all other workers performing similar work on a scale ranging from 100, for perfection, to 65, for unsatisfactory performance.  A new set of four factors was introduced, each having equal weight: knowledge of trade/work; quantity of work; quality of work; adaptabilityKnowledge included not only the tasks at hand but general comprehension of all aspects of the trade or job, and for supervisors, managerial sense.  “Industry, diligence, and application” were the factors considered in the quantity mark, and “reliability” and “dependability” determined the grade for quality.  As part of their mark in these two factors, supervisors were judged on their ability to prepare and supervise their workers' tasks.  The final factor, adaptability, was very much a subjective matter.  It included cooperation, the willingness to give new ideas and methods a “fair trial,” “initiative and resourcefulness,” and the ability to “observe and conform with the policies of the management.”  Adaptable managers were successful leaders who could show their ability to win their workers' cooperation, and who exhibited “self-control, tact, courage, [and] fairness.”

The new rating system removed conduct as a separate factor, and managers were instructed to handle disciplinary infractions with “suitable admonitions or punishments,” which could include a deduction of  up to five points from a worker's rating for such offenses as lateness or mis-behavior.  Longevity was formally incorporated into the final mark.  Each employee had .2 added to his/her final score for each year of government service, including military service, up to a total of five points.  This final mark was the basis for any decisions involving demotion or discharge, whereas the mark without longevity was used for promotions.  Grades I-III continued to be evaluated monthly, while the supervisors were judged on a quarterly basis.  The new system was to be put in place on 1 October 1925. [Letter, Acting SN, to Commandants of navy yards, 30 June 1925; RG181; NA-NY.]

The Secretary passed on his own opinion that the rating officials would require considerable training as they had been “accustomed to assigning general efficiency marks of nearly 100,” and that they now needed to “appreciate the fallacy of the old system and the merits of the [new].”  A worker's relative, and not general, value compared to all other employees in the group now formed the new standard.  The Efficiency Bureau had established that the distribution of efficiency in a group would lie along a bell curve, such that, for example, if a shop had 100 workers, the grades would ideally fall out as follows: 95-100, 3 employees; 90-94, 7; 85-89, 20; 80-84, 40; 75-79, 20; 70-74, 7, and for 70 and below there would be 3 workers.  The Department noted that it would take some time for the rating system to establish itself around an average grade of between 80 and 85 (pre-credit) and initially therefore average grades between 80 and 90 would be permitted. [Letter, Acting SN, to Commandants of navy yards, 30 June 1925; RG181; NA-NY.]

The accompanying report from the Bureau of Efficiency gave more detail.  Following the President's call for the development of a new rating system in his Executive Order of 24 October 1921 the Bureau frew up a report that included a graphic rating form to be filled out for each worker, which broke down the four factors into 15 further ones, of which at most six to seven might be applicable to any one person.  Each of the fifteen points in turn was to be marked on a sliding scale of one hundred points.  For instance, the marking scale for the first category, Accuracy ranged from “highest possible accuracy” at one end down to “practically worthless work” at the other.  At the bottom of the form was a final simple “yes or no” question of whether the employee's work was considered satisfactory.

Each service's grade in turn was subdivided into seven increasingly-higher paid divisions.  A worker in the first division who obtained a 70 mark could be promoted to the second division, a worker getting a 75 could go to the third grade, and so on, until a 95 employee could reach the highest-paying division of the grade.  For demotions, if someone scored below 65 that person had to be found a position more suited to his ability or if none existed, be fired.  For the others, if your efficiency rating fell 15 points below your division's rating, you would be demoted one division. [“Efficiency Ratings,” General Circular, United States Bureau of Efficiency, November 1924.  This report was written for the DC workers.  The Navy Department contemplated extending it to the trade workers in the field. Letter, Commandant, to the ASN, July 1925; RG181; NA-NY. (The rules for military preference have been given earlier.)]

The New York Commandant raised several objections to the proposal.  Admiral Plunkett thought the four factors should each be considered but not marked individually, that the longevity credit be accumulated but not applied until the fifth year of service, and he wanted the misconduct penalty increased.  But more importantly, the commandant disagreed with the relative rating concept, thinking it perhaps appropriate to the Department offices in Washington which had a stable force with low turnover but not to a navy yard which had unstable forces and a high turnover rate.  As an example of the type of difficulty relative ratings would cause, he said that a ship had recently been overhauled in the Yard and 350 of the 1200 men working on it had been let go in the following month, selected from the bottom of the efficiency lists.  To then have to revise the ratings of the remaining 850 around a new 82.5 average would “make violent changes in the efficiency marks of the individual.”  The admiral recommended the average range remain between 80 and 90 and that IVbs be included, with the grading period extended to two months for the trades and to remain semi-annual for the IVbs. [Letter, from Commandant, to  ASN, August 1925;  RG181; NA-NY. No record was found of the first attempt of relative grade marking.]

The Navy Department released the final regulations in September 1925.  The Secretary emphasized that an efficiency rating only gave a worker his “relative value in comparison with other employees of the same group performing similar duty,” and that unless the mark was 65 or less the actual number assigned meant nothing.  In a major change, the Department decided that adaptability would reflect minor infractions of discipline but that mis-conduct warranting punishment would be handled independently of the rating system.  One other change established the grading on a quarterly schedule.

It was left to each Commandant to establish a central agency that would adjust all marks by “some fair method” so that the average of each trade would fall between 80 and 85.  The Secretary noted that the Norfolk navy yard had used the relative marking since 1921 and although it had been initially opposed it had since “proved entirely satisfactory.”  The average score there was 80.   As a kind of safety measure [and thereby making exceptions to the new system right from the beginning], the Department told the commandants to be sure to “safeguard the interest of those employees who by excellent work are advanced in rating.”  Each yard would post its efficiency lists.  The new system was promulgated in the Brooklyn Navy Yard on 30 October 1925. [Letters, SN, to Commandants of Navy Yards,  September 1925; “Uniform Efficiency Rating System,” Order, US Navy Yard, New York, October 1925; Letter,  ASN, to Commandant, Navy Yard, NY, January 1926.  The New York Yard, however, chose not to post its ratings lists, claiming that several years before the employees themselves had requested they not be put up in public.  Anybody could obtain his rating at the Labor Board. This policy would shortly be reversed. Letter, Commandant, to the ASN, January 1926.  RG181; NA-NY.]                                

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The Development of the Efficiency Rating System in the BNY
Questions quickly arose as to how to implement the new rating system.   One important issue that came up immediately was: what constituted a similar group, the shop or the trade?  A large and diverse trade like the machinists had four distinct shop divisions in the BNY and others worked scattered throughout the Yard's other shops and divisions.  Also, management thought the relative system was inappropriate for leading- and quartermen, a small “hand-picked” group.  But most importantly however, was that in its first attempt to set ratings under the new guidelines, Yard supervisors could not wrap their collective mind around the concept of the relative rating.  Not only did it not seem to be a sensible means of rating a person's work, it also brought on certain practical difficulties such as in reinstatement.  A shop facing a series of layoffs or discharges for lack of work would have to continually re-rate each remaining cohort.  A worker needed a mark of 85 to be placed on the reinstatement list, but if discharges were done sequentially then a worker who at the beginning of the layoff cycle had a rating over 85 could find his rating drop below 85 and therefore not qualify him for reinstatement, a loss both to him and his navy yard.  Oddly enough, in a small shop the system could also force some employees to be rated higher than they should in order to center the shop on the 82.5 mark. [Draft, Memorandum on “Uniform Efficiency Rating System ,” February 1926; RG181; NA-NY.  The machinists' example is mine.]

The Navy Department continued to fine-tune the efficiency rating system.  In March 1927, it defined rating groups according to the following priorities: shop; trade/occupation; rate of pay; and duties, as defined by the local Division head.  It designated the Employment Section in each shore establishment as the clearing center for ensuring a fair distribution of marks.  This order also pertained to the IVbs, as this so-called “graphic” rating schedule had been put in place throughout the federal government.  One result of the new efficiency rating schedule was to remove the "fudge" factor in determining discharges and furloughs.  Now they were done strictly in reverse order of efficiency, although after the various other factors such as veteran status and longevity had been added into the final mark. [“Memorandum in amplification of the marking system of civilian employees at the Navy Yard, New York,” March 1928.  This date is apparently incorrect as the memo refers to documents with a later date.  “Uniform Efficiency Rating System,” Order , Cmdt. Plunkett, US Navy Yard, NY, March 1927; RG181; NA-NY; Schinagl, History of Efficiency Ratings.]

The new rating system confused the workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and in December 1927, the executive shop committee expressed its displeasure to the Department.  The relative system was just too difficult to grasp; furhter, it demoralized the workers if they received a lower grade than they had achieve before simply because a reduction in the shop's force.  And inevitably, any system of rating led to charges of favoritism.  The committee thought that ranking people in five-point grades such as “good” or “excellent” would not be a problem but that “real efficiency and harmony” would be achieved if supervisors could grade as they saw fit.  In passing their letter on to the Department Commandant Plunkett added that the ratings system was a “subject of considerable adverse criticism” among the workers and that a plan causing less dissatisfaction should replace it.  The answer from Washington was short and curt.  Much thought had been given to the relative system and the Department believed it to be “just and at the same time answers all purposes for which it was inaugurated.” [Letter,  Mahoney, Executive Committee, to SN, December 1927; Letter, ASN, to Commandant, Navy Yard, NY, December 1927; RG181; NA-NY.]

In August 1929 the Department reevaluated seniority more favorably, increasing the longevity credit from .2 per year to .4 up to a total of 10 points and making it part of the actual efficiency rating and not something to be added on when contemplating discharges.  In addition, rules were issued to standardize raises and promotions for the IVbs.  Commandants were to submit recommendations for administrative promotions [i.e., raises] after the mid-year ratings for those felt deserving.  The raises were to be limited to one increment except in exceptional circumstances.  Workers could receive grade [actual] promotions whenever a vacancy occurred. [Letter, ASN Jahncke, to AN&MCAC, August 1929; RG181; NA-NY.]

The tinkering with the ratings system in the navy yards continued into the new decade.  In January 1930 the New York Commandant decided that shops would now be omitted as a defining factor of a group, and rating lists would now be drawn up on the basis of trade/occupation, rate of pay, and duties.  He gave naval officers alone the responsibility of consolidating trade lists across shops, leaving the Masters out, and the unsatisfactory grade was raised from 65 to 70. [“Uniform Efficiency Rating System,” Order, Revised, US Navy Yard, New York, January 1930; RG181; NA-NY.]

The Yard's workers and the raters themselves found the rating system complex and confusing.  For example, a chart for grading the inside machinists on mechanical requirements lists 12 categories for grading purposes, each to be marked from 70 to 95. (One of these categories asks for marks along a continuum that ranges from being able to handle only the roughest work, a “consistent time loser,” to being able to efficiently and productively handle many different power tools, with a minimum of guidance. [“Mechanical Requirements in Quarterly efficiency ratings,” Memo, Master Machinist, Inside, to All Supervisors Concerned, March 1932; RG181; NA-NY.]) Brooklyn management revealed its discontent with the efficiency ratings in an internal memo drawn up in February 1930. The extended longevity credit displeased them; they claimed that it diluted the ability of the efficiency lists to establish an employee's “worth to the office as a whole.”  And they still grumbled about forcing a shop's performance into a bell curve.  Establishing groups among trades that worked in multiple shops, such as the machinists and laborers, created its own problems.  If a shop only had a few trade members in a group it was at a disadvantage to a larger shop in that it had less room to maneuver about the mandated 82.5 average.  For instance, if there was just one machinist in a shop, he got an 82.5 no matter what his job performance.  As a result, the graders in each shop had taken to writing down two grades, the relative one and the “objective” one so that the officers consolidating the trade lists could do so more accurately. [“Efficiency Marking System,” Memorandum, by West, Chief Clerk, to Captain Overstreet,  February 1930; RG181; NA-NY.]

The Economy Act's prohibition against promotions rendered the efficiency ratings moot for anything but determining discharges or lay offs but this lasted for only a comparatively short time and by 1934 promotions again became legal.  In April of that year the Yard redefined a group to one where the shop once again held priority in classification for rating, removing the need for the complicated consolidation meetings.  The Department tweaked the longevity credit to favor longer-serving workers, with credit being reduced to .2 per year for the first five years, but increasing the credit to .5 for the sixth and seventh years, and one point per year up to a maximum credit of ten after that.  But in an attempt to push out less efficient older workers, once they reached thirty years of service and were old enough to receive a pension, the Department removed their longevity credit from being incorporated into their scores in cases of discharge for lack of work or funds.  If the older worker's rating was adequate enough minus the longevity credit he or she could stay on and have the credit restored for purposes of ranking within the shop.  In shops or offices with three or fewer employees the relative rating was cast aside in favor of a straight performance rating. [Letter, Dungan, to Capt. Delano, U.S. Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, RI., October 1933; RG181; NA-NY; Order, Revised, Acting Commandant, April 1934; RG181; NA-NY. Trades were marked separately by grade, i.e., a separate rating for first, second, and third classes. Memo, Commandant, to HDDOeCP, May 1934;  RG181; NA-NY.]

The paperwork in marking 3000+ trades workers every three months was immense and in the summer of 1934 the Brooklyn yard adopted the more physical technique that the Philadelphia Navy Yard had been using for the past few years, using efficiency boxes.  Each shop had four boxes, one for each factor; in them, ranked in efficiency order was a block for each worker.  This technique acknowledged that the mathematics of the previous system was something of a fallacy in that the initial ratings were calculated to support the supervisors' opinions of their workers' performance to begin with.  When time came for marking, each box was sorted and sent to the officer in charge to be “reviewed and . . . modified by the officer in charge, as may be found necessary.”  The number corresponding to each block's position in the box was then read off and added together, with the lowest total reflecting the greatest efficiency.  The lowest score was assigned a value of 99 and the highest a 65 and all the others were then arranged in between according to the bell-curve distribution.  Then the longevity credit was added and the names rearranged accordingly. (The Philadelphia yard took the procedure one step further by giving the workers on this final list a score from 95 to 70 along an even distribution, claiming it was called for by the navy yard civil service regulations.  It is not clear if Brooklyn took this final step.) [Memo, Production Officer, to All Masters, Production Division, July 1934; “Efficiency Rating System,” Order, PNY, Commandant's Office, March 1931; RG181; NA-NY.]           

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The Abuse of Efficiency Ratings: The "Balanced Force" in the Shops, 1930-1942
The preceding section provides the background to understanding what was one of the major irritants to Brooklyn navy yard workers in the 1930s: the Navy Department's deliberate abuse of efficiency ratings and classification in order to obtain a less costly work force during the Depression years, and just as importantly, the workers' inability to do anything about it.

The Navy's initial move in this direction came in the summer of 1930, when after it became apparent that no wage board would be called that year, the Department reviewed its reports of the distribution of grades among the navy yards' trades.  The Secretary noted that there was a great variance in the percentages of workers in the maximum, intermediate, and minimum grades across the various navy yards and that in many cases the second- and third-class ratings were “little used if at all.”  He thought there was "work which can properly be performed by employees in the intermediate and minimum rates,” and so instructed the commandants to take actions to “gradually” bring about a “more balanced force.”  As Adams forthrightly put it, such actions would help “conserve appropriations.” [Letter, SN, to AN&MCAC, August 1930; RG181; NA-NY.] (In a later letter, MTD President John Frey’s claimed that when the balanced force concept was instituted it required proportions of 30, 40, and 30 percent in the three grades, but that after the unions protested, the formal system was abolished and each commandant left to decide proportions on his own. [Letter, Frey, to Secretary of Labor, March 1939; “Shop Elections”; Frey Papers.])

In the BNY a large percentage of the mechanics were paid at the top rate for their trade.  During the 1920s when construction was almost non-existent in the navy yards it had been Department policy to maintain a trained core of workers.  In 1929, for instance, the efficiency list for the boilermakers shows 81 per cent of the force at the maximum rating.  In January 1930, IAM District 44 president Alifas attended a meeting of lodge 556, the Brooklyn IAM local, at which he presented badges of service: he gave 87 for those with 15-25 years of continuous service in IAM; 43 to those with 25-35 years; and 3 to those with over 35 years. [MMJ, February 1930]  These were the workers who up to now were to be “taken care of,” so to speak, when marking the ratings.

This is how the balanced shop was implemented.  Management in a shop declared that there was a lack of work suitable for first-class mechanics.  The officials then gave those at the bottom of a shop's efficiency list the choice of being reduced in rank, provided work at the lower rank existed, or of being laid off.  After a spell on the furlough list they were then offered jobs at a lowered rate than the one they previously held, or given the option of staying on the lay-off list.  As the Navy repeatedly told protesting workers, the Department never forced a worker to take a new job at a lower rate.  The justification for the  “balanced force” was that workers must be paid for the actual work they performed, and not for their “inherent ability.”  This was what the civil service regulations required.  Navy yards could have no set percentages as their work load continually fluctuated.  There was no “injustice” here, “but rather fairness and a manifestly humanitarian policy.” If it did come out that in any navy yard that first-class workers were performing third-class work, or vice versa, then the commandants must rectify the situation immediately. [Letter, McGrady, enclosing letter from Navy Department, to Frey, May 1937; “Shop Elections”; Frey Papers. The author of the Navy's letter is not given.]  As we shall see, many navy yard workers thought the policy anything but fair.

As might not be unexpected, the balanced force concept created its own set of problems.  In 1933, the Manager, Captain Dungan, observed that creating an appropriate balance of grades was, despite “all possible theories” on the subject, really an administrative matter hinging on the ability of officials to “prognosticate” the nature of future work as well as the work at hand.  Another problem in management’s point of view was that the Yard often wanted wanted to re-hire a laid-off worker at a higher rating, but if the first opening that came up on the lay-off lists was a minimum position, and the first person on the list was of a higher rating, and if that person wanted to work, he had to accept the lower position.  This opened up the possibility that the next person on the list, of a lower rating, could take a higher-rated job if that were the next one to open up. (Overall, the current average distribution of grades at the BNY was 73% in first-class, 24% in second, and 3% in the minimum, and down-rating was continuing.)  [Letter, Dungan, to Capt. Delano, U.S. Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, RI., October 1933; RG181; NA-NY.]

The trade unions protested against the balanced force concept throughout the decade.  Frey argued that maintaining most workers in one grade for a trade was sound policy because many trades already had several classifications of their own based on ability.  Machinists, for instance, had four basic levels: the two highest, tool maker and die sinker; followed by the machinist proper; and at the bottom, the machine operator.  Having each of these jobs equally divided into three grades meant that government machinists had twelve grades.  Blacksmiths already had three divisions of forgers, two grades of anglesmith, and two types of blacksmith proper.  For each of these to have three full grades created twenty-one classifications.  Frey listed several more examples.  There were three types of Enginemen: locomotive, electric locomotive, and hoisting and portable.  The Boilermaker trade contained the boilermakers themselves plus flangers, punchers, shearers, riveters, and caulkers.  These were enough divisions as it was.  The government even divided laborers into three classes.  Frey argued that with the possible exception of a two-week, second-class probation period, grades should be abolished in the navy yards.  For commandants to keep costs down was understandable but to do so in such a manner, in a time of depression, when the President was on record as pursuing a different course for private industry, was not appropriate. [Letter, Frey, to Secretary of Labor, March 1939; “Shop Elections”; Frey Papers.]

During the 1930s the percentage of trade workers in the BNY being paid the maximum rate fell by half or more.  It was obvious to all that employee dissatisfaction with the ratings was extensive.  Many workers saw the efficiency ratings as simply a tool that supervisors used to justify any action they thought appropriate, such as “balancing” their shop forces, and that they were free to grade poorly any worker they wished.  The Navy compounded the situation by refused to discuss the efficiency ratings with the unions or the worker committees, stating that they were solely a management perogative, beyond worker purview. [Letter, Capt. Broshek, to Capt. Chantry,  PNY, July 1940; reply, Chantry to Broshek, July 1940; RG181; NA-NY.]                                                                           

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Government Reaction to Critics of the Efficiency Ratings System, 1937-1942
Facing an expected round of large layoffs in 1937 (which were later aborted by the authorization of new warship construction, including the first new battleships in twenty years), the Navy Department sent out instructions to the shore establishments in December 1936 ordering the commandants to pay special attention to the trades's ratings for the end-of-year and that the navy yards were to show “neither prejudice nor partiality” in the grading.  Realizing the potential political backlash of government layoffs and the background grumblings against ratings, the Secretary insisted they be prepared with “absolute justice.”  Any marked changes in a person’s standings had to be investigated and justified in writing.  Further, as many employees appeared not to understand the rating system, the Department suggested that each shore establishment give their employees an explanation of it.  In the BNY the Production Officer ordered the Shop Superintendents or his staff to do the initial review, and defined a significant change in rating to be one where the employee's rating had increased or decreased by one-tenth or more of the group's range.  Each worker so affected was to get a letter explaining the reasons for the change in rating.  In the ratings cycle beginning in 1938, the difference requiring management's attention was changed to a four-point spread from the previous rating. [Memo, Commandant, to Production Officer, December 1936; Memo, Production Officer, to  Shop Superintendent,  December 1936; Memorandum, Lt. Comdr. Abbott, April 1938;  RG181; NA-NY.]

Problems with efficiency ratings extended throughout the federal sector.  In 1936, two analysts for the President's Committee on Administrative Management admitted that efficiency ratings had “been a source of irritation and at times of violent controversy in the Federal Service for over 20 years.”  A new system that had been put in place in 1935 for the Washington workforce already had displayed many weaknesses.  After having listened to many complaints that a numerical system led only to favoritism and office politics, Congress had authorized a modified ratings system.  It now measured efficiency in a combined three-part measure of performance: Quality of Performance, Productiveness, and Qualifications, each being subdivided into five to seven categories.  The reviewer ticked off the relevant ones for each employee and then marked them + for good work, ? for average work, and - for poor work.  These marks were then added together on a scale from 3 to 25, excellent to unsatisfactory, the lowest number representing the best score.  This system quickly developed its own set of problems as it gave no guidelines for distinguishing categories, such as “excellent” from “very good.”  And as before, there was no ability to appeal a rating beyond the department level. [Reeves and David, “Personnel Administration in the Federal Service,” in The President's Committee on Administrative Management (Washington: G.P.O., 1937).]

After listening to complaints for several more years, the government attempted to create a more neutral appeals procedure as part of the Ramspeck Act of 1940 and extended it to all the IVbs in the civil service.  The new regulations instructed that each department have an appeals board on which three members sat: one chosen by management, one by employees, and a chair chosen by the Civil Service Commission.  Workers in the field service made out their appeals in writing and sent them in to their department board in Washington. [Schinagl, History of Efficiency Ratings; Van Riper, History.]

In January 1942, ever looking for the perfect rating system, the Civil Service once more revised its procedures for marking its non-trade employees [the IVbs in the navy yards].  It built upon the scale introduced in 1935, keeping the mark-by-check grading but eliminated the three major categories and in its place substituted thirty-one minor categories, eleven of which were solely for management-level personnel.  From among the rest a reviewer marked those pertinent for each employee, underlining those of particular importance.  This system produced an overall scale running from one to nine and a corresponding adjectival rating from excellent to unsatisfactory.  A final yes or no comment as to conduct was retained.  The immediate supervisor conducted the initial grading, then passed the employee’s sheet on to a reviewing official and an efficiency rating committee.  The final result was a chart listing the employees in a department by classification and class (i.e., different jobs with the same rating, such as CAF-2 clerks and CAF-2 stenographers would not be compared to one another), rating them from E (excellent) and 1, down to U (Unsatisfactory) and nine, with a column ticking off yes or no for conduct.  The new system did not tell how ties were to be broken in case of promotions or layoffs.  To help employees understand their ratings, they were given interviews along with their marks. [Schinagl, History of Efficiency Ratings; U.S.C.S.C., "Efficiency Rating Manual," Form 3823, issued January 1942, effective March 31, 1942. Copy in RG181; NA-NY.]

The Navy Department promulgated the new efficiency ratings in March 1942 for use in the annual ratings to be compiled for the period ending 31 March 1942 and stated that thereafter, the ratings would be used for determining “reassignments, transfers, promotions, demotions, within-grade reductions, advancements in salary, [and] reductions in force.”  Each Bureau, office, and field service entity was to have its own efficiency rating committee that would hear appeals from employees.  These would take the place of boards of review for workers outside of Washington.  Ratings would be approved by the Department for its employees and by the commandant in each field service before being released to the workers.  Any unsatisfactory ratings required a written statement.  The Department also prepared a sound-slide film to prepare reviewers for conducting ratings interviews. [“Uniform Efficiency Rating System,” Letter, ASN Bard, to AN&MCAC, March 1942.]

The BNY was divided into thirty-three units for the purpose of grading, each of which was sub-divided by rating and classification.  A typical rating page is the that for the SP7s [sub-professional, grade 7] in the Machinery Design section of the Planning Division, which lists forty employees, all apparently male.  Two of them earned $2400, the rest $2300.  All were marked Yes for Conduct.
The rating range was as follows [A & B = grade; C = # in it]:
 A                            C
E 1 -  2
VG 2 -  9
VG 3 -  6
G 4 -11
G 5 -  5
G 6 -  5
F 7 -  2
[ “Index to March 31, 1942 Efficiency Lists”; “List of Efficiency Ratings,” Rating Period ended March 31, 1942; RG181; NA-NY.

Under the regulations, employees with a rating of “excellent” or “very good” became eligible to advance to the highest rate within their grade, and those with a “good” rating could advance up through the middle rate.  Employees getting a “fair” mark would be reduced one salary rank if their salary was above the mid-range, but no reductions if their salary was equal to the mid-point or below.  “Unsatisfactory” workers could not stay in their positions.  Considered “inefficient,” they had to be reassigned either to a position at a lower grade more in line with their ability, or to a completely new job altogether as a probational at the minimum salary, or discharged if no suitable positions were available.  Departments had to report all pay cuts, demotions, and dismissals to the Civil Service Commission.  Such actions in Washington needed Commission approval but in the field the power was delegated to local departments. [“Uniform Efficiency Rating System, Rules,” U.S.C.S.C., Departmental Circular no. 302 (revised), November 1942; Letter, ASN, to AN&MCAC, November 1942; RG181; NA-NY.]

Operating under a partially-different set of regulations for the trades, the Navy maintained the numerical relative ratings system for Groups I through IVa, although in December 1940, due to the national emergency, it did cut back the efficiency ratings to semi-annual reports. [Circular Letter, SN, to AN&MCAC,  December 1940;  RG181; NA-NY.]  Ratings for the trades were continued as before into the war years, with the initial grading being evenly distributed through a bell curve.  For example, if a shop had 90 workers of maximum rating, twenty per cent, or 18, would receive a score in the range of 85-90.  Each of the 18 was then given a grade .278 [18 divided by 5] lower than the person above him, starting at 90.  The full curve rating distribution was:
95-100, 3%;
90-95, 7%;
85-90, 20%;
80-85, 40%;
75-80, 20%,
70-75, 10%.
[Letters, Commandant, NYNY, to  Commandant, Navy Yard, Charleston, SC, February 1942, Commandant, Norfolk Navy Yard, December 1942;  RG181; NA-NY.]

A report released by the Industrial Relations Counselors in April 1942 condemned the efficiency ratings system in, by now familiar, detail.  It was “cumbersome” and its use “extremely questionable” as its scores were arbitrarily set around an average rating score, and this hurt employee morale for they felt “discriminated against and resentful.” [“Report on Industrial Relations in the New York Navy Yard.” Copy in RG181; NA-NY.]

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Ratings for the boiler shop for 31 December 1929. Names have been omitted.
Boilermakers, First class:
106.1 90.8 85.9 82.9
101.3 89.6 85.1 82.7
  97.9 89.1 85.0 82.6
  97.2 87.8 84.8 81.0
  97.2 87.8 84.8 81.0
  97.0 87.8 84.6 80.3
  95.3 87.6 84.1 78.3
  94.4 87.6 84.0 76.3
  93.7 87.5 83.9 74.9
  93.7 86.5 83.9 72.6
  93.5 86.2 83.7 70.4
  91.2 86.1 83.0
  89.7 81.7

  89.5 80.4

  86.5 79.3

  83.8 78.4

Third class:


Source: Chart, “Final Rating of Employees in Boiler Shop, 31 December 1929.”  The chart also includes ratings for helpers, apprentices, firemen, flangeturners, gas welders, and electric welders.  RG181; NA-NY.  This is one of the few lists for Brooklyn trade workers found in the archives.  Generally, only lists for IVbs were saved.


Rating Percentages in Selected Shops in the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Percentage of Trade in First-Class Rating, 1930 - 1940

 Inside Ordnance Outside Boiler 
 Electric Sheetmetal    Electrical

 Machine Machine Machine Shop Shipfitters  Welders Workers Pipefitters  Shop
01/01/30  .868 .874 .789 .811 .966  .958 .795 .784  .733
12/31/31  .766 .584 .660 .603 .414  .845 .381 .382  .705
11/01/32  .758 .712 .534 .667 .506  .812 .368 .454  .704
12/31/33  .711 .710 .708 .526 .431  .713 .513 .271  .488
01/01/35  .715 .735 .734 .566 .378  .701 .469 .231  .635
01/01/36  .497 .491 .552 .515 .333  .384 .401 .261  .582
01/01/37  .456 .345 .273 .414 .401  .306 .139 .100  .220
07/01/38  .475 .493 .347 .542 .471  .468 .365 .237  .455
07/01/39  .485 .486 .375 .458 .390  .395 .244 .245  .339
03/15/40  .405* .405* .405* .435 .424  .501 .221 .149  .376


 Caulking &

Paint Sewing 

 Chipping Riveters Drillers Shop Loft Plumbers Shipwrights  Loftmen
01/01/30  1.00 1.00 .960 .555 1.00 .860 .933      -
12/31/31  .872 1.00 .753 .867 1.00 .326 .718  .956
11/01/32  .833 1.00 .921 .600 1.00 .500 .674  .950
12/31/33  .745    - .727 .103 1.00 .333 .446  .956
01/01/35  .787 .571 .722 .244 .414 .270 .509  .557
01/01/36  .308 .391 .291 .333 .520 .274 .394  .574
01/01/37  .336 .376 .325 .147 .522 .244 .323  .812
07/01/38  .504 .450 .464 .460 .750 .371 .288  .632
07/01/39  .335 .565 .248 .427 .407 .375 .264  .746
03/15/40  .315 .255 .252 .435 .300 .299 .203  .800

*Figure for the machinists is for all machinists.

Source: Figures calculated from employment figures listed under “Productive Group” in  “Organization Personnel Pamphlet,” for dates listed; 1940 numbers from: “Class I-IVa,” Memo form the the Commandant, to the Senior Member of the Labor Board, March 1940; RG181; NA-NY.

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                                                      John R Stobo      ©      October 2003; June 2005*