A-4243, AUGUST 4, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 150

A-4243: Aug 4, 1924

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ARE NOT CONSIDERED AS "REDUCTIONS" WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 9 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. PROVIDED THE PROPER AVERAGE IN THE LOWER GRADE TO WHICH TRANSFERRED IS NOT EXCEEDED. IS IN EXCESS OF THE MATHEMATICAL AVERAGE OF THE SALARY RATES PRESCRIBED THEREFOR. 1924: I HAVE YOUR LETTER DATED JULY 16. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF POSITIONS OF LAVATORY ATTENDANT. THESE POSITIONS ARE CONSIDERED BY MANY OF THE NIGHT FEMALE LABORERS AS PREFERABLE TO THOSE WHICH THEY NOW HOLD. ALTHOUGH THE NIGHT LABORERS ARE CLASSIFIED IN CUSTODIAL GRADE TWO. IT IS PROPOSED TO PERMIT THE FEMALE NIGHT LABORERS WHO STAND AT THE TOP OF THE EFFICIENCY LIST TO FILL VACANCIES IN THE PREFERRED GRADE WITH THE LOWER RANGE OF PAY RATES.

A-4243, AUGUST 4, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 150

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - CHANGES FROM A HIGHER TO A LOWER GRADE "REDUCTIONS" FROM ONE GRADE TO A LOWER GRADE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 9 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, 42 STAT. 1490, CAN BE MADE ONLY FOR INEFFICIENCY AND SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD. CHANGES FROM A HIGHER TO A LOWER GRADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CIVIL SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS AND THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, NOT FOR INEFFICIENCY, BUT AT THE REQUEST OF THE EMPLOYEE, ARE NOT CONSIDERED AS "REDUCTIONS" WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 9 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, BUT AS "TRANSFERS" AND CONTROLLED BY SECTION 10 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AND THE AVERAGE PROVISION APPEARING IN THE APPROPRIATION ACTS. SUBJECT TO THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AND THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT TRANSFERS MAY BE MADE FROM A HIGHER GRADE TO A VACANT POSITION IN A LOWER GRADE AT A SALARY NOT IN EXCESS OF THE SALARY OF THE POSITION FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED, PROVIDED THE PROPER AVERAGE IN THE LOWER GRADE TO WHICH TRANSFERRED IS NOT EXCEEDED. AS LONG AS THE AVERAGE OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF SALARIES IN GRADE ONE IN THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE UNDER THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF STATE, WAR, AND NAVY DEPARTMENT BUILDINGS, IS IN EXCESS OF THE MATHEMATICAL AVERAGE OF THE SALARY RATES PRESCRIBED THEREFOR, ALL TRANSFERS TO THAT GRADE FROM GRADE TWO OF THE SAME SERVICE MUST BE AT THE MINIMUM OF THE SALARY RATE OF THAT GRADE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE CHAIRMAN, COMMISSION IN CHARGE, STATE, WAR, AND NAVY DEPARTMENT BUILDINGS, AUGUST 4, 1924:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER DATED JULY 16, 1924, AS FOLLOWS:

IN THE ORGANIZATION OF THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT STATE, WAR, AND NAVY DEPARTMENT BUILDINGS, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF POSITIONS OF LAVATORY ATTENDANT, CLASSIFIED IN CUSTODIAL GRADE ONE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923. THE DUTIES BEING LIGHTER, AND THE HOURS MORE FAVORABLE, THESE POSITIONS ARE CONSIDERED BY MANY OF THE NIGHT FEMALE LABORERS AS PREFERABLE TO THOSE WHICH THEY NOW HOLD, ALTHOUGH THE NIGHT LABORERS ARE CLASSIFIED IN CUSTODIAL GRADE TWO, AND CONSEQUENTLY RECEIVE A HIGHER RATE OF PAY.

IT IS PROPOSED TO PERMIT THE FEMALE NIGHT LABORERS WHO STAND AT THE TOP OF THE EFFICIENCY LIST TO FILL VACANCIES IN THE PREFERRED GRADE WITH THE LOWER RANGE OF PAY RATES. ON JULY 1, 1924, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 6 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 (PUBLIC 516, 67TH CONGRESS) AND SECTION 2 OF THE ACT APPROVED JUNE 7, 1924 (PUBLIC 214, 68TH CONGRESS) MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE AND SUNDRY INDEPENDENT EXECUTIVE BUREAUS, BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, AND OFFICES, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1925, THE AVERAGE PAY OF EMPLOYEES IN CUSTODIAL GRADE ONE WAS GREATER THAN THE AVERAGE RATE OF PAY FOR THE GRADE FIXED BY THE BASIC ACT.

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THESE EMPLOYEES ARE TO BE REDUCED IN GRADE, NOT FOR UNSATISFACTORY SERVICE, BUT AS A REWARD FOR EFFICIENT SERVICE IN MORE ARDUOUS DUTIES, AND IT IS DESIRED TO PAY THEM THE MAXIMUM LEGAL RATE IN THE LOWER GRADE. NO REGULATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES BUREAU OF EFFICIENCY HERETOFORE PUBLISHED CONTEMPLATE SUCH A CHANGE IN GRADE. GENERAL CIRCULAR NO. 6 OF THAT BUREAU, DATED SEPTEMBER 25, 1922, IN PARAGRAPH 75 (A), FIXED THE MAXIMUM RATE TO BE PAID AN EMPLOYEE REDUCED IN GRADE FOR INEFFICIENCY AT NOT MORE THAN THE STANDARD OF THE LOWER GRADE. NO REGULATION OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD HAS BEEN RECEIVED WHICH BEARS UPON THE QUESTION HERE INVOLVED, AND A DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHAT RATE OF PAY IN CUSTODIAL GRADE ONE IS THE HIGHEST RATE WHICH CAN BE LEGALLY PAID TO EMPLOYEES WHOSE DUTIES ARE CHANGED AS HEREIN CONTEMPLATED.

THE CHANGE FROM GRADE 2 TO GRADE 1 OF THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE UNDER THE CONDITIONS YOU SET FORTH IS IN EFFECT TRANSFER AT THE REQUEST OF THE EMPLOYEE GRANTED AS A REWARD FOR MERIT AND NOT A ,REDUCTION" IN GRADE IN THE SENSE OF A DEMOTION, AS THE TERM "REDUCTION" IS USUALLY UNDERSTOOD. ,REDUCTIONS" ARE PROVIDED FOR UNDER SECTION 9 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT ONLY FOR INEFFICIENCY, AND ARE SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD. HENCE THE CHANGE IN GRADE HERE CONTEMPLATED IS AUTHORIZED ONLY AS A "TRANSFER" FROM A HIGHER GRADE TO A LOWER GRADE, AND AS SUCH IS CONTROLLED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS, THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AND THE "AVERAGE" PROVISION APPEARING IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 533.

SECTION 10 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT DOES NOT IN EXPRESS TERMS PROVIDE FOR TRANSFERS FROM A HIGHER TO A LOWER GRADE, BUT IT WAS RECOGNIZED IN DECISION OF JUNE 26, 1924, QUESTION 14, 3 COMP. GEN. 1001, THAT IN SO FAR AS THE RATE OF COMPENSATION WAS CONCERNED, BUT SUBJECT TO THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AND THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AN EMPLOYEE COULD BE TRANSFERRED FROM A HIGHER GRADE TO A POSITION IN A LOWER GRADE AT A SALARY NOT IN EXCESS OF THE SALARY OF THE POSITION FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED. THAT RULING WAS MADE ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT THE MATHEMATICAL AVERAGE OF THE LOWER GRADE TO WHICH TRANSFERRED WAS NOT ALREADY EXCEEDED OR WOULD NOT BE EXCEEDED BY THE TRANSFER.

IN THE CASE HERE PRESENTED YOU STATE THAT THE MATHEMATICAL AVERAGE OF GRADE 1 OF THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE IN YOUR OFFICE HAS ALREADY BEEN EXCEEDED BY REASON OF THE PROPER ALLOCATION OF POSITIONS HELD JUNE 30, 1924, AND WITHIN THE EXCEPTIONS EXPRESSED IN THE AVERAGE PROVISION OF THE APPROPRIATION ACT. IN DECISION OF JULY 19, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 79, THE FOLLOWING RULE WAS ANNOUNCED WITH RESPECT TO NEW ADJUSTMENT SUBSEQUENT TO JULY 1, 1924, IN GRADES IN WHICH THE AVERAGE HAS ALREADY BEEN EXCEEDED:

* * * CONSIDERING THE TRANSFER PROVISION IN CONNECTION WITH THE AVERAGE PROVISION, THE RULE WILL BE THAT ANY NEW ADJUSTMENT OF SALARIES BY TRANSFER, REINSTATEMENTS, ETC., IN A GRADE IN WHICH THE AVERAGE HAS ALREADY BEEN EXCEEDED DUE TO THE EXCEPTIONS EXPRESSED IN THE AVERAGE PROVISION OF THE APPROPRIATION ACT, MUST TEND TO REDUCE THE EXCESS AVERAGE SO THAT EVENTUALLY THE AVERAGE WILL NOT BE EXCEEDED, AND THIS CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED MOST EXPEDITIOUSLY BY REQUIRING THE TRANSFERS, REINSTATEMENTS, ETC., TO BE AT THE MINIMUM RATE OF SALARY OF THE GRADE.

ACCORDINGLY, AS LONG AS THE AVERAGE OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF SALARIES IN GRADE 1 OF THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE OF YOUR OFFICE IS EXCESSIVE, TRANSFERS THERETO FROM GRADE 2 MUST BE MADE AT THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE, VIZ, $600.