A-55890, JUNE 7, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 414

A-55890: Jun 7, 1934

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WHICH WERE NOT IN EXISTENCE ON JUNE 30. NO SCHEDULE FOR COOKS AND BAKERS WAS IN EFFECT ON JUNE 30. INASMUCH AS THE RAILROAD WAS NOT OPERATING MESS HOUSES AND BOARDING CARS AT THAT TIME. THAT IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO MAKE A COMPARISON WITH THE RATES OF FIVE YEARS AGO. I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE YOUR CONFIRMATION OF THIS. IS AS FOLLOWS: CONTRACT I-3ARR-638. BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR THE OPERATION OF THESE FACILITIES AND RENTAL OF BUILDINGS AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THE CONTRACT. HAVE ACCORDINGLY PLANNED TO TAKE OVER THE WORK BEGINNING JUNE 1. TEMPORARY POSITIONS WILL BE ESTABLISHED FOR MESS HOUSE AND COMMISSARY HELP TO CARRY ON THE WORK TILL JUNE 30. PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY WILL BE REQUESTED FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF NECESSARY PERMANENT POSITIONS AFTER THAT DATE.

A-55890, JUNE 7, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 414

COMPENSATION - INCREASE IN SCHEDULED RATES THE PROHIBITION AGAINST INCREASING FIXED SCHEDULE OF COMPENSATION RATES EFFECTIVE JUNE 30, 1932, (SECTION 7, ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1515), DOES NOT REQUIRE A COMPARISON WITH A SCHEDULE OF RATES FOR POSITIONS IN EXISTENCE FIVE YEARS AGO, BUT WHICH WERE NOT IN EXISTENCE ON JUNE 30, 1932 (12 COMP. GEN. 254 DISTINGUISHED).

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JUNE 7, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 28, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

I AM SENDING FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION AND RULING A LETTER JUST RECEIVED FROM THE GENERAL MANAGER OF THE ALASKA RAILROAD CONCERNING RATES WHICH HE NOW PROPOSES TO PAY FOR COOKS AND BAKERS. NO SCHEDULE FOR COOKS AND BAKERS WAS IN EFFECT ON JUNE 30, 1932, INASMUCH AS THE RAILROAD WAS NOT OPERATING MESS HOUSES AND BOARDING CARS AT THAT TIME. I CONSIDER THE SCHEDULE OF RATES WHICH HE PROPOSES TO ESTABLISH AS AN INITIAL SCHEDULE, AND THAT IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO MAKE A COMPARISON WITH THE RATES OF FIVE YEARS AGO. HOWEVER, IN ORDER THAT THE GENERAL MANAGER MAY FEEL SAFE IN GOING AHEAD ON THIS BASIS, I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE YOUR CONFIRMATION OF THIS.

THE LETTER TO YOU FROM THE GENERAL MANAGER OF THE ALASKA RAILROAD, DATED MAY 9, 1934, IS AS FOLLOWS:

CONTRACT I-3ARR-638, NORTHERN COMMERCIAL COMPANY, FOR THE OPERATION OF MESS HOUSES, SALE OF COMMISSARY SUPPLIES TO EMPLOYEES, AND RENTAL OF BUILDINGS, EXPIRES MAY 31, 1934. BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR THE OPERATION OF THESE FACILITIES AND RENTAL OF BUILDINGS AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THE CONTRACT; BUT AFTER REVIEWING THE BIDS I DECIDED THAT THE ALASKA RAILROAD, OWING TO ITS PURCHASING FACILITIES, COULD HANDLE THIS MORE ECONOMICALLY ITSELF THAN BY CONTRACT, AND HAVE ACCORDINGLY PLANNED TO TAKE OVER THE WORK BEGINNING JUNE 1, 1934.

TEMPORARY POSITIONS WILL BE ESTABLISHED FOR MESS HOUSE AND COMMISSARY HELP TO CARRY ON THE WORK TILL JUNE 30, 1934, AND PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY WILL BE REQUESTED FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF NECESSARY PERMANENT POSITIONS AFTER THAT DATE.

WHEN THE ALASKA RAILROAD OPERATED THE MESS HOUSES AND BOARDING CAR FOR EMPLOYEES FIVE YEARS AGO, OUR WAGE SCHEDULE PROVIDED RATES FOR COOKS FROM $105 TO $150 WITH BOARD, PER MONTH. THE HIGHER RATES WERE FOR COOKS ON LARGE GANGS ON WHICH THERE WAS A TIMEKEEPER IN CHARGE OF THE MESS HOUSE WHO ORDERED SUPPLIES, TOOK INVENTORY, MADE COLLECTIONS OR CHARGES FOR MEALS, AND TOOK CARE OF OTHER NECESSARY CLERICAL WORK. UNDER PRESENT PLANS, IT IS INTENDED THAT ALL THE COOKS DO THIS WORK IN ADDITION TO THEIR OTHER DUTIES. FOR THIS REASON I AM ESTABLISHING RATES FOR COOKS FROM $110 TO $165 WITH BOARD, PER MONTH; WHICH IS HIGHER THAN PREVIOUSLY ESTABLISHED BY THE RAILROAD. THE SALARY PAID FOR EACH POSITION WILL BE BASED ON THE NUMBER OF MEN IN THE GANG, CLASS OF MESS HOUSE OR BOARDING CAR USED, AND THE AMOUNT OF MESS HOUSE HELP FURNISHED TO THE COOK, IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN ESTABLISHED SCHEDULE; THE RATES BEING AS FOLLOWS:

SCHEDULE.

1ST CLASS COOK ------------------------- $165 AND BOARD, PER MONTH

2ND CLASS COOK ------------------------- 155 AND BOARD, PER MONTH

3RD CLASS COOK ------------------------- 145 AND BOARD, PER MONTH

4TH CLASS COOK ------------------------- 135 AND BOARD, PER MONTH

5TH CLASS COOK ------------------------- 125 AND BOARD, PER MONTH

6TH CLASS COOK ------------------------- 120 AND BOARD, PER MONTH

7TH CLASS COOK ------------------------- 110 AND BOARD, PER MONTH

COOKS WERE NOT RATED BY CLASS UNDER PREVIOUS WAGE SCHEDULES, AND NO DOUBT HIGHER RATES WOULD HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED SINCE 1929 IF THE RAILROAD HAD BEEN OPERATING THE MESS HOUSES.

THE SAME SITUATION EXISTS IN REGARD TO BAKERS. IT IS PLANNED TO INCREASE THEIR DUTIES. THE NUMBER OF WAITERS IN GANGS WILL BE REDUCED BELOW THE NUMBER PREVIOUSLY ALLOWED AND NO SECOND COOK WILL BE EMPLOYED, BUT THE BAKER WILL HAVE TO ASSIST WITH MEALS, OR PREPARE MEALS FOR TRANSIENTS DURING THE NIGHT. PREVIOUS RATES FOR BAKERS WERE $85 TO $125 AND BOARD, PER MONTH; AND THE NEW RATES WILL BE $110 TO $145 AND BOARD, PER MONTH.

CONSIDERING THE ADDED DUTIES OF THE COOK AND BAKER, WILL YOU KINDLY ADVISE IF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF RATES HIGHER THAN $150 FOR COOKS, AND $125 FOR BAKERS, IS PROHIBITED BY THE ECONOMY ACT AS AMENDED, OR OTHER STATUTES OR REGULATIONS?

AS THIS INFORMATION IS DESIRED AT AN EARLY DATE, A REPLY BY WIRE IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED.

IN DECISION OF AUGUST 17, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 254, 255, IT WAS STATED:

* * * THE EFFECT OF THIS RESTRICTION (SECTION 202 OF THE ECONOMY ACT, SUPERSEDED FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR BY SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1515, PROHIBITING ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS) IS THAT SALARY RATES AS OF JUNE 30, 1932, FOR ANY CLASS OF POSITIONS, EITHER PERMANENT, TEMPORARY, EMERGENCY, OR SEASONAL, MAY NOT BE INCREASED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, (1934) REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE PARTICULAR POSITION INVOLVED WAS OR WAS NOT OCCUPIED ON JUNE 30, 1932.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD, HOWEVER, THAT THE POSITIONS IN QUESTION WERE ACTUALLY NOT IN EXISTENCE ON JUNE 30, 1932, SIMILAR POSITIONS PREVIOUSLY EXISTING HAVING BEEN TERMINATED OR DISCONTINUED 5 YEARS AGO, THE WORK HAVING BEEN UNDER CONTRACT IN THE INTERVAL. ON THE BASIS OF THESE FACTS, THE QUOTED RULE WOULD NOT BE APPLICABLE TO REQUIRE COMPARISON OF THE SCHEDULE OF RATES NOW PROPOSED WITH THOSE OF 5 YEARS AGO FOR SOMEWHAT SIMILAR DUTIES. YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT ADOPTION OF THE SCHEDULE OF RATES PROPOSED WILL NOT CONSTITUTE AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1515.