A-19740, SEPTEMBER 13, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 200

A-19740: Sep 13, 1927

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FOR WHICH THEY ARE PAID THE REGULAR FEES AUTHORIZED THEREFOR. MAY NOT BE COUNTED IN COMPUTING THE TIME FOR WHICH SAID EMPLOYEES ARE ENTITLED TO CREDIT WHEN THEY RECEIVE REGULAR APPOINTMENTS. OR CARRIERS SHALL HAVE CREDIT FOR ACTUAL TIME SERVED ON A BASIS OF ONE YEAR FOR EACH THREE HUNDRED AND SIX DAYS OF EIGHT HOURS SERVED AS SUBSTITUTE. APPOINTED TO THE GRADE TO WHICH SUCH CLERK OR CARRIER WOULD HAVE PROGRESSED HAD HIS ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT AS SUBSTITUTE BEEN TO GRADE ONE.'. IN THE DELIVERY OF SPECIAL-DELIVERY MATTER WHERE THE VOLUME OF SUCH BUSINESS IS SUFFICIENT. THIS EMPLOYMENT IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE FOLLOWING PROVISION OF LAW IN THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE POSTAL SERVICE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED JUNE 30.

A-19740, SEPTEMBER 13, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 200

SUBSTITUTE POST OFFICE EMPLOYEES - TIME SPENT IN EFFECTING DELIVERY OF SPECIAL-DELIVERY MAIL - SERVICE CREDITS UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1065, THE TIME SPENT BY SUBSTITUTE POST OFFICE EMPLOYEES SOLELY IN EFFECTING DELIVERY OF SPECIAL- DELIVERY MAIL, FOR WHICH THEY ARE PAID THE REGULAR FEES AUTHORIZED THEREFOR, MAY NOT BE COUNTED IN COMPUTING THE TIME FOR WHICH SAID EMPLOYEES ARE ENTITLED TO CREDIT WHEN THEY RECEIVE REGULAR APPOINTMENTS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, SEPTEMBER 13, 1927:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 31, 1927, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, RECLASSIFYING THE SALARIES OF POSTMASTERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE POSTAL SERVICE PROVIDES: "SUBSTITUTE CLERKS IN FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST OFFICES AND THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE AND SUBSTITUTE LETTER CARRIERS IN THE CITY DELIVERY SERVICE WHEN APPOINTED REGULAR CLERKS, RAILWAY POSTAL CLERKS, OR CARRIERS SHALL HAVE CREDIT FOR ACTUAL TIME SERVED ON A BASIS OF ONE YEAR FOR EACH THREE HUNDRED AND SIX DAYS OF EIGHT HOURS SERVED AS SUBSTITUTE, AND APPOINTED TO THE GRADE TO WHICH SUCH CLERK OR CARRIER WOULD HAVE PROGRESSED HAD HIS ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT AS SUBSTITUTE BEEN TO GRADE ONE.'

IT HAS BEEN FOUND ADVANTAGEOUS IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE SPECIAL DELIVERY SERVICE TO EMPLOY SUBSTITUTE CARRIERS AND CLERKS, PREFERABLY THE FORMER, IN THE DELIVERY OF SPECIAL-DELIVERY MATTER WHERE THE VOLUME OF SUCH BUSINESS IS SUFFICIENT. (SEE SEC. 851, P.L. AND R., 1924.) THIS EMPLOYMENT IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE FOLLOWING PROVISION OF LAW IN THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE POSTAL SERVICE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 1901, APPROVED JUNE 2, 1900 (31 STAT. 260):

"AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT AT FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST OFFICES THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY ESTABLISH RULES UNDER WHICH SPECIAL DELIVERY MAY BE EFFECTED BY ANY SALARIED CLERK OR EMPLOYEE THEREOF, AND THE LAWFUL SPECIAL -DELIVERY FEES ALLOWED THEREFOR, THE SAME AS IS NOW DONE AT THIRD CLASS OFFICES, IN CASES WHERE SUCH DELIVERY CAN NOT BE MADE BY REGULAR MESSENGER.'

THIS IS AN AMENDMENT OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 4, 1886, TO EXTEND THE SYSTEM FOR THE IMMEDIATE DELIVERY OF LETTERS, WHICH IS IN TURN AN AMENDMENT OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1885, AN APPROPRIATION ACT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF WHICH THE SPECIAL-DELIVERY SERVICE WAS INSTITUTED.

SUCH EMPLOYMENT OF SUBSTITUTE EMPLOYEES IN FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST OFFICES, PARTICULARLY SUBSTITUTE CARRIERS, IS AN ADVANTAGE IN THAT IT PROVIDES LARGER OPPORTUNITY FOR EARNINGS BY SUBSTITUTES, GIVES THEM PRACTICAL AND EFFECTIVE TRAINING AND PROVIDES A MORE STABLE SPECIAL- DELIVERY FORCE. WHEN SO EMPLOYED SUBSTITUTE CARRIERS AND CLERKS ARE COMPENSATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW RELATING TO SPECIAL DELIVERY SERVICE, BUT THEY ARE EMPLOYED UNDER THEIR APPOINTMENT AS SUBSTITUTE CLERKS AND CARRIERS AND ARE NOT APPOINTED AS SPECIAL DELIVERY MESSENGERS.

IT IS MY OPINION THAT THE TIME SERVED BY SUBSTITUTE CARRIERS AND CLERKS IN THE DELIVERY OF SPECIAL-DELIVERY MATTER MAY PROPERLY BE INCLUDED IN THE ACTUAL TIME SERVED AS SUBSTITUTES AND THAT THEY WOULD HAVE CREDIT FOR SUCH TIME AS PROVIDED IN THE LAW QUOTED ABOVE. HOWEVER, IN ORDER THAT THERE MAY BE NO QUESTION AS TO THE PAYMENT OF SALARY PURSUANT TO THE ADOPTION OF SUCH PRACTICE, THE MATTER IS SUBMITTED FOR YOUR OPINION.

SECTION 851 OF THE POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF 1924, REFERRED TO IN YOUR SUBMISSION, READS AS FOLLOWS:

AT CITY-DELIVERY OFFICES, POSTMASTERS SHOULD EMPLOY SUBSTITUTE CARRIERS AND CLERKS, PREFERABLY THE FORMER, INSTEAD OF BOYS AS SPECIAL DELIVERY MESSENGERS WHERE THE VOLUME OF SUCH BUSINESS IS SUFFICIENT TO WARRANT THESE EMPLOYEES IN TAKING UP THE WORK AND THE CONDITIONS ARE OTHERWISE FAVORABLE; BUT BOYS 16 YEARS OF AGE OR OVER MAY BE SO EMPLOYED WHEN, IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE POSTMASTER, CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRE IT OR HE IS OF THE OPINION THAT THE EFFICIENCY OF THE SERVICE WILL BE PROMOTED THEREBY.

2. THE FORCE OF SPECIAL-DELIVERY MESSENGERS IN EACH OFFICE SHALL BE SO ARRANGED THAT A SUITABLE NUMBER MAY ALWAYS BE ON HAND TO SECURE IMMEDIATE DELIVERY OF ALL SPECIAL-DELIVERY MATTER AT ANY TIME WITHIN THE PRESCRIBED HOURS OF THE DAY.

3. WHEN DELIVERY OF SPECIAL-DELIVERY MATTER CAN NOT BE MADE PROMPTLY BY REGULAR SPECIAL-DELIVERY MESSENGERS, POSTMASTERS MAY CAUSE SUCH DELIVERY TO BE MADE BY ANY REGULAR CLERK OR EMPLOYEE, WHO SHALL BE ALLOWED THE SAME COMPENSATION AND BE PAID AND GIVE RECEIPT THEREFOR IN THE SAME MANNER AS REGULAR MESSENGERS, EXCEPT THAT, AT OFFICES OF THE FIRST AND SECOND CLASSES, REGULAR CLERKS OR EMPLOYEES SHALL NOT RECEIVE FEES FOR DELIVERING SPECIAL-DELIVERY MAIL DURING THEIR REGULAR TOURS OF DUTY AND SUBSTITUTES SHALL NOT RECEIVE FEES FOR EFFECTING SPECIAL DELIVERIES DURING THE TIME FOR WHICH THEY ARE PAID AT THE HOURLY RATE.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE QUESTION SUBMITTED BY YOU REFERS TO EMPLOYEES OF FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST OFFICES, AND WHO, UNDER THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE THERETO, ARE ENTITLED TO THE FEES PAID FOR EFFECTING SPECIAL DELIVERIES ONLY WHEN THEY ARE NOT BEING PAID AT THE HOURLY RATE. THUS THE SERVICE WHICH IT IS NOW PROPOSED TO CREDIT AS TIME SERVED FOR PURPOSES OF REGULAR APPOINTMENT OR PROMOTION, IS ONLY SERVICE RENDERED IN DELIVERING SPECIAL-DELIVERY MAIL AND FOR WHICH NO COMPENSATION IS AUTHORIZED OTHER THAN THE PRESCRIBED FEES.

THAT PORTION OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1065, QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER STIPULATING THE MANNER IN WHICH CREDIT MAY BE GIVEN FOR SERVICES AS A SUBSTITUTE PROVIDES FOR CREDIT UPON A TIME BASIS, AND IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT NO PERIOD DURING WHICH SUBSTITUTE EMPLOYEES ARE EMPLOYED UPON OTHER THAN A TIME BASIS MAY BE USED IN COMPUTING THE TIME, BE IT DAYS, HOURS, OR MINUTES, FOR WHICH SAID EMPLOYEES ARE ENTITLED TO CREDIT IN DETERMINING THEIR STATUS WHEN THEY RECEIVE REGULAR APPOINTMENTS. THEREFORE, THE TIME DURING WHICH THEY ARE ON DUTY FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF EFFECTING DELIVERY OF SPECIAL-DELIVERY MAIL MUST BE EXCLUDED IN COMPUTING THE TIME THEY HAVE SERVED.