A-5692, NOVEMBER 12, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 439

A-5692: Nov 12, 1924

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WHICH IS A SELECTIVE OR COMPETITIVE GRADE. 1924: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 8. WILL YOU PLEASE INFORM ME WHETHER DISCRETIONARY OR COMPETITIVE PROMOTIONS IN THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE. - THAT IS. HE WAS SELECTED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN COMPETITION WITH FIVE OTHER GRADE 5 ELIGIBLES TO FILL IT AUGUST 5. HOOTMAN WAS IN GRADE 6 PRIOR TO APRIL 1. "WHENEVER AN EMPLOYEE HEREIN PROVIDED FOR SHALL HAVE BEEN REDUCED IN SALARY FOR ANY CAUSE. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT PROMOTIONS DEPENDENT UPON ADMINISTRATION SELECTION BASED ON COMPARATIVE MERIT. REQUIRES THAT IN CERTAIN OF THE DIVISIONS OF THE POSTAL SERVICE THERE MUST BE ONE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN A LOWER GRADE BEFORE AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO PROMOTION TO A HIGHER GRADE.

A-5692, NOVEMBER 12, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 439

POSTAL SERVICE - EFFECTIVE DATE OF PROMOTIONS PROMOTIONS OF EMPLOYEES IN THE POSTAL SERVICE DEPENDENT UPON ADMINISTRATIVE SELECTION BASED ON COMPARATIVE MERIT, EFFICIENCY, OR QUALIFICATION OF DIFFERENT EMPLOYEES MAY BE MADE EFFECTIVE ONLY FROM THE DATE OF APPROVAL OF THE SELECTION BY THE APPOINTING POWER OR A DATE SUBSEQUENT THERETO FIXED BY THE APPOINTING POWER, WHICH NEED NOT NECESSARILY COINCIDE WITH THE BEGINNING OF ANY QUARTER. WHERE A CLERK OF THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE HAS SERVED SATISFACTORILY IN GRADE 5 FOR ONE YEAR, OR HAS PREVIOUSLY BEEN IN GRADE 6, HIS SELECTION FOR PROMOTION FROM GRADE 5 TO GRADE 6, WHICH IS A SELECTIVE OR COMPETITIVE GRADE, MAY BE MADE EFFECTIVE BY THE APPOINTING POWER ON THE DATE OF APPROVAL OF SELECTION, OR A SUBSEQUENT DATE, WHICH NEED NOT NECESSARILY COINCIDE WITH THE BEGINNING OF ANY QUARTER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, NOVEMBER 12, 1924:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 8, 1924, AS FOLLOWS:

IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR DECISIONS OF FEBRUARY 13, AND SEPTEMBER 16, 1924, RELATIVE TO THE PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES IN THE POSTAL SERVICE, WILL YOU PLEASE INFORM ME WHETHER DISCRETIONARY OR COMPETITIVE PROMOTIONS IN THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE--- THAT IS, PROMOTIONS DEPENDENT UPON ADMINISTRATIVE SELECTION AND DETERMINATION OF THE RELATIVE MERITS OR QUALIFICATIONS OF DIFFERENT EMPLOYEES--- MAY BE MADE EFFECTIVE FROM THE DATE OF SELECTION BY THE DEPARTMENT OR MUST THEY BE MADE FROM THE FIRST DAY OF THE FOLLOWING QUARTER?

TO ILLUSTRATE, I PRESENT THE CASE OF RAILWAY POSTAL CLERK SAMUEL T. HOOTMAN, OELWEIN AND KANSAS CITY R.P.O. A CLERK IN CHARGE VACANCY OF GRADE 6 BECAME AVAILABLE ON HIS LINE JUNE 22, 1924, AND HE WAS SELECTED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN COMPETITION WITH FIVE OTHER GRADE 5 ELIGIBLES TO FILL IT AUGUST 5, 1924. WOULD IT BE PERMISSIBLE TO PROMOTE HIM TO GRADE 6, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 5, 1924, THE DATE OF HIS SELECTION OR SHOULD THE PROMOTION BE MADE EFFECTIVE FROM OCTOBER 1, 1924?

AS MR. HOOTMAN WAS IN GRADE 6 PRIOR TO APRIL 1, 1923, THIS MIGHT BE TREATED AS A RESTORATION. SHOULD THAT FACT BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING THE DATE OF HIS ADVANCEMENT TO GRADE ?

THE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN MAKING ALL PROMOTIONS AND RESTORATIONS IN THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE EFFECTIVE FROM THE FIRST OF QUARTERS UNDER THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS OF THE POSTAL RECLASSIFICATION ACT, APPROVED JUNE 5, 1920:

"ROAD CLERKS SHALL BE PROMOTED SUCCESSIVELY TO GRADE THREE FOR CLERKS, AND TO GRADE FOUR FOR CLERKS IN CHARGE OF CLASS A, AND TO GRADE FIVE FOR CLERKS AND TO GRADE SIX FOR CLERKS IN CHARGE OF CLASS B.

"PROMOTIONS SHALL BE MADE SUCCESSIVELY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER FOLLOWING A YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN THE NEXT LOWER GRADE.

"WHENEVER AN EMPLOYEE HEREIN PROVIDED FOR SHALL HAVE BEEN REDUCED IN SALARY FOR ANY CAUSE, HE MAY BE RESTORED TO HIS FORMER GRADE OR ADVANCED TO AN INTERMEDIATE GRADE AT THE BEGINNING OF ANY QUARTER FOLLOWING THE REDUCTION, AND A RESTORATION TO A FORMER GRADE OR ADVANCEMENT TO AN INTERMEDIATE GRADE SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED AS A PROMOTION WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE LAW PROHIBITING ADVANCEMENT OF MORE THAN ONE GRADE WITHIN ONE YEAR.'

ANSWERING THE GENERAL QUESTION, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT PROMOTIONS DEPENDENT UPON ADMINISTRATION SELECTION BASED ON COMPARATIVE MERIT, EFFICIENCY, OR QUALIFICATION OF DIFFERENT EMPLOYEES MAY BE MADE EFFECTIVE ONLY FROM THE DATE OF APPROVAL OF THE SELECTION BY THE APPOINTING POWER OR ANY SUBSEQUENT DATE FIXED BY THE APPOINTING POWER. 3 COMP. GEN. 517; ID. 559; ID. 884; DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 16, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 299. THIS EFFECTIVE DATE OF PROMOTION OF SELECTED EMPLOYEES, I.E., THOSE NOT IN THE AUTOMATIC GRADES, NEED NOT NECESSARILY COINCIDE WITH THE BEGINNING OF ANY QUARTER.

THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1920, 41 STAT. 1045-1053, REQUIRES THAT IN CERTAIN OF THE DIVISIONS OF THE POSTAL SERVICE THERE MUST BE ONE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN A LOWER GRADE BEFORE AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO PROMOTION TO A HIGHER GRADE. IN THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE, WHERE THIS REQUIREMENT IS MADE, THE ONE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IS AS ESSENTIAL BEFORE PROMOTION MAY BE MADE TO A SELECTIVE OR COMPETITIVE GRADE AS IT IS FOR PROMOTION TO AN AUTOMATIC GRADE, THE DIFFERENCE BEING THAT THE PROMOTION TO THE SELECTIVE OR COMPETITIVE GRADE AFTER THE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE DEPENDS UPON THE FURTHER ACTION OF THE APPOINTING POWER, WHEREAS THE PROMOTION TO THE AUTOMATIC GRADE DEPENDS ONLY UPON THE PASSAGE OF TIME AND THE CHARACTER OF SERVICE.

ACCORDINGLY, IF MR. HOOTMAN HAD SERVED SATISFACTORILY IN GRADE 5 FOR ONE YEAR OR HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN IN GRADE 6, HIS PROMOTION FROM GRADE 5 TO GRADE 6, A SELECTIVE OR COMPETITIVE GRADE, COULD HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY THE APPOINTING POWER AUGUST 5, 1924, AND MADE EFFECTIVE FROM SAID DATE OR ANY DATE SUBSEQUENT THERETO FIXED BY THE APPOINTING POWER. IF THE SELECTION HAS NOT YET THEN APPROVED BY THE APPOINTING POWER, IT MAY NOT NOW BE APPROVED RETROACTIVELY TO AUGUST 5, 1924.

THE FACT THAT THE ADVANCEMENT WAS A RESTORATION TO A POSITION FORMERLY HELD WOULD BE FOR CONSIDERATION ONLY IN CASE THE ADVANCEMENT WOULD OTHERWISE BE PRECLUDED OR DELAYED BY THE LAW PROHIBITING ADVANCEMENT OF MORE THAN ONE GRADE WITHIN ONE YEAR.