A-18532, MAY 25, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 768

A-18532: May 25, 1927

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CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS FROM UNCLASSIFIED TO CLASSIFIED POSITIONS - PROMOTIONS PROMOTIONS OF NAVY YARD EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED FROM UNCLASSIFIED POSITIONS TO POSITIONS UNDER THE NAVY DEPARTMENT WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. ABOVE THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE TO WHICH THE TRANSFERS ARE MADE. AS FOLLOWS: IN THE FALL OF 1925 THERE WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE NAVY YARD. FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1928 WAS INCREASED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS IN THE NAVAL BILL TO PROVIDE FOR RETRANSFER OF THIS WORK TO THE BUREAU OF CONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR. REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE'S ACTION IS FOUND ON PAGE 17 OF REPORT NO. 1660 FROM THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS SUBMITTING BILL MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE NAVY DEPARTMENT AND THE NAVAL SERVICE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30.

A-18532, MAY 25, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 768

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS FROM UNCLASSIFIED TO CLASSIFIED POSITIONS - PROMOTIONS PROMOTIONS OF NAVY YARD EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED FROM UNCLASSIFIED POSITIONS TO POSITIONS UNDER THE NAVY DEPARTMENT WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, ABOVE THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE TO WHICH THE TRANSFERS ARE MADE, MAY NOT BE BASED ON THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION RECEIVED AS NAVY YARD EMPLOYEES, BUT DEPEND UPON THE CONDITION OF THE AVERAGE IN THE GRADES TO WHICH TRANSFERRED AND THE COMPARATIVE EFFICIENCY OF THE TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES WITH THE EMPLOYEES ALREADY IN THE GRADES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, MAY 25, 1927:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 12, 1927, AS FOLLOWS:

IN THE FALL OF 1925 THERE WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE NAVY YARD, WASHINGTON, D.C., ON ACCOUNT OF LACK OF FUNDS, CERTAIN WORK UNDER THE BUREAU OF CONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR, NAVY DEPARTMENT, THAT HAD BEEN PREVIOUSLY PERFORMED IN THE BUREAU. THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE BUREAU OF CONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR, NAVY DEPARTMENT, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1928 WAS INCREASED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS IN THE NAVAL BILL TO PROVIDE FOR RETRANSFER OF THIS WORK TO THE BUREAU OF CONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR, NAVY DEPARTMENT. REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE'S ACTION IS FOUND ON PAGE 17 OF REPORT NO. 1660 FROM THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS SUBMITTING BILL MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE NAVY DEPARTMENT AND THE NAVAL SERVICE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1928, AS OLLOWS:

"WITH RESPECT TO THE BUREAU OF CONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR, THE COMMITTEE FOUND THAT CERTAIN WORK OF THE BUREAU WAS BEING DONE AT THE WASHINGTON NAVY YARD BECAUSE OF THE BUREAU'S APPROPRIATION FOR EMPLOYEES AT THE DEPARTMENT WAS INSUFFICIENT TO BEAR THE COST. THE COMMITTEE IS OPPOSED TO THIS PRACTICE. DEPARTMENT AND YARD WORK ARE SEPARATE AND DISTINCT AND MUST BE KEPT SO. THE PAY OF THE FORCE IN QUESTION AT THE WASHINGTON NAVY YARD AMOUNTS TO ABOUT $16,430.00. THE BUDGET HAS PROPOSED A REDUCTION OF $6,600.00 IN THE BUREAU'S SALARY ROLL. THE COMMITTEE IS PROPOSING FOR THE BUREAU'S FORCE A TOTAL OF $349,830 WHICH INCLUDES THE RESTORATION OF THE BUDGET CUT AND $9,830 ADDITIONAL SO AS TO TAKE CARE OF THE FORCE AT THE WASHINGTON NAVY YARD, AND $10,000ADDITIONAL FOR MAKING ADVANCEMENTS OF THE BUREAU'S TECHNICAL FORCE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION T.'

AS THESE EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN ENGAGED UPON WORK OF A CHARACTER THAT IS ORDINARILY CARRIED ON IN THE BUREAU OF CONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR, NAVY DEPARTMENT, AND UPON THEIR TRANSFER WILL BE EMPLOYED ALONGSIDE OF EMPLOYEES IN THE BUREAU UPON SIMILAR WORK, IT WOULD BE A HARDSHIP TO TRANSFER THEM AT RATES OF PAY INVOLVING LOSSES TO THE INDIVIDUAL RANGING FROM $56.00 TO $254.00 PER ANNUM. FURTHER, FROM THE WORDING OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS AND THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT WAS APPROPRIATED FOR THE PURPOSE, IT IS APPARENT THAT IT WAS NOT THE INTENTION OF THE CONGRESS TO SUBJECT THESE EMPLOYEES TO A REDUCTION IN PAY UPON THEIR TRANSFER TO THE BUREAU, AND OBVIOUSLY SUCH REDUCTION IN PAY WOULD BE AN ACT OF INJUSTICE TO THESE EMPLOYEES.

THE DEPARTMENT REQUESTS YOUR DECISION AS TO THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEES IN QUESTION FROM THE NAVY YARD, WASHINGTON, D.C., TO THE BUREAU OF CONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR, NAVY DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1927, AT THE MINIMUM PAY OF THE GRADE IN WHICH THEIR POSITIONS ARE ALLOCATED, AND THEIR IMMEDIATE PROMOTION TO THE NEAREST INCREMENT WITHIN THE GRADE, BUT NOT BELOW THEIR PRESENT PAY AT THE NAVY YARD.

IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE POSITIONS UNDER THE BUREAU OF CONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR, NAVY DEPARTMENT, TO WHICH IT IS PROPOSED TO TRANSFER THE NAVY YARD EMPLOYEES, ARE ALL SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AND DO NOT COME WITHIN THE EXCEPTIONS TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT MADE BY SECTION 5 THEREOF, 42 STAT. 1489, RELATIVE TO EMPLOYEES IN RECOGNIZED TRADES OR CRAFTS AND SKILLED AND SEMISKILLED LABORERS.

YOU STATE THAT THE TRANSFERS ARE PROPOSED TO BE MADE TO THE MINIMUM SALARY RATES OF THE GRADES IN WHICH THE POSITIONS ARE ALLOCATED, WHICH IS CORRECT, THERE BEING INVOLVED TRANSFERS FROM UNCLASSIFIED TO CLASSIFIED POSITIONS. SEE 3 COMP. GEN. 1006; 4 ID. 263; 6 ID. 455. YOUR QUESTION APPEARS TO BE WHETHER SUCH EMPLOYEES MAY BE IMMEDIATELY PROMOTED TO THE "NEAREST INCREMENT WITHIN THE GRADE BUT NOT BELOW THEIR PRESENT PAY AT THE NAVY YARD.'

THE SALARY RECEIVED AT THE NAVY YARD IS NOT CONTROLLING IN DETERMINING THE PROPER RATE OF COMPENSATION IN THE GRADES TO WHICH TRANSFERRED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AND THE AVERAGE PROVISION APPEARING IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS. THE SALARIES OF THE EMPLOYEES WHILE UNDER THE NAVY YARD WERE FIXED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE UNDER THE OTHER LAWS AND REGULATIONS WITHOUT REGARD TO THE SALARY RATES FIXED IN THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OR THE NECESSITY TO MAINTAIN AN AVERAGE, WHEREAS THE SALARIES OF THE EMPLOYEES UNDER THE BUREAU OF CONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR, NAVY DEPARTMENT, HAVE BEEN SUBJECT TO SUCH RESTRICTIONS. IT IS FOR THE PROTECTION OF THESE LATTER EMPLOYEES, AS WELL AS TO COMPLY WITH THE TERMS OF RULE 6 OF SECTION 6 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, THAT THE INITIAL RATE OF COMPENSATION OF THE TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES MUST BE THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE WHICH TRANSFERRED. AND TO CARRY OUT THE INTENT AND PURPOSE OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AND TO FULFILL THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE AVERAGE PROVISION, PROMOTIONS WITHIN THE SALARY RANGE OF THE GRADES TO WHICH THE NAVY YARD EMPLOYEES ARE PROPOSED TO BE TRANSFERRED, WOULD DEPEND UPON THE CONDITION OF THE AVERAGE IN THE GRADES AND THE COMPARATIVE EFFICIENCY OF THE TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES WITH EMPLOYEES ALREADY IN THE GRADES. IF THE PROPER AVERAGE SHOULD BE EXCEEDED, NO INCREASE IN COMPENSATION ABOVE THE MINIMUM SALARY RATES WOULD BE AUTHORIZED.