A recent survey of federal workers showed that one-third wanted more freedom to get into partisan politics, with the rest either opposed or indifferent to the idea. Just before the survey was released, the Senate upheld a presidential veto of a bill that would have relaxed the 51-year-old Hatch "no politics" Act covering government workers.

Opponents of Hatch Act changes say the Merit Systems Protection Board poll shows the majority of workers favor the status quo or don't care about it. Today's Monday Morning Quarterbacks, including the chief lobbyist of the National Association of Letter Carriers and a retired federal attorney, offer another view of the don't-care factor:

In reference to {the} Hatch Act survey . . . there is nothing more important than being involved in the process which determines the future of your life and of your loved ones. This is particularly true for government employees, because Congress determines pay, health and retirement benefits. One example: Lack of involvement has allowed federal pay to slip 25 percent behind the private sector.

. . . We do not think a battle-of-polls is a respectable way to treat the bill of rights . . . no government employees should be denied free speech. At a time when people overseas are dying to be enfranchised, it sends the wrong message for the U.S. to deny the same rights to its loyal employees.

. . . The federal/postal work force reflects American society: Most people do not actively participate in the political process. It is sad, but true. However, government should not deny everyone their rights based on that.

Eliminate the 'undecideds' from the survey and it shows more people favor the Hatch Act change than oppose it. That should shock opponents who maintain that reform is the project of an insignificant minority of 'union bosses.' Thirty-two percent (more than one million employees) said 'yes' to freedom to participate! George B. Gould, Arlington

. . . I don't see any significant impact in the failure to override the president's veto of Hatch Act changes . . . . My impressions from 35 years in government is that most employees are apathetic to becoming actively involved in the political process and enjoy being observers. Probably the unions were ahead of their members.

. . . One of the joys of government retirement has been the freedom to engage in open and conspicious political activity and not be concerned with either of the two major parties' platforms. I can write letters, make telephone calls to emphasize my political views and encourage others to do the same. I'm happy to report many other federal retirees take advantage of the same privilege.

The late, but not lamented, catastrophic health insurance law is the best example of retirees in action. For the first time ever, Congress, the president and many others completely reversed themselves on a major entitlement bill. This confirmed my faith in the democratic and political process . . . . Robert J. Rosenthal, Washington