A-58689, DECEMBER 11, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 448

A-58689: Dec 11, 1934

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CLASSIFICATION - CUSTODIAL SERVICE IN POST-OFFICE BUILDINGS EXCEPT THE MECHANICAL LABOR FORCE WHICH IS SUBJECT TO THE 40-HOUR WEEK STATUTORY PROVISION. ARE SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS EXTENDED TO THE FIELD SERVICE BY SECTION 3 OF THE WELCH ACT AND SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT. 1934: THERE HAS COME TO THE ATTENTION OF THIS OFFICE INFORMATION THAT FIVE POSITIONS WITH THE TITLE OF "LABORER" HAVE BEEN CREATED IN THE OPERATING FORCE OF THE NEW YORK CITY POST OFFICE WITH SALARY RATE OF $1. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THESE POSITIONS WERE CREATED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PERMITTING THE TRANSFER TO THEM OF FIVE LABORERS IN THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE. LABORERS IN THE FIRST- AND SECOND- CLASS POST OFFICES AND IN THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE ARE DIVIDED INTO TWO GRADES.

A-58689, DECEMBER 11, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 448

CLASSIFICATION - CUSTODIAL SERVICE IN POST-OFFICE BUILDINGS EXCEPT THE MECHANICAL LABOR FORCE WHICH IS SUBJECT TO THE 40-HOUR WEEK STATUTORY PROVISION, ALL EMPLOYEES PAID UNDER THE APPROPRIATION ITEM "OPERATING FORCE" FOR THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS UNDER THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, INCLUDING THOSE OCCUPYING POSITIONS TRANSFERRED FROM THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6166, DATED JUNE 10, 1933, ARE SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS EXTENDED TO THE FIELD SERVICE BY SECTION 3 OF THE WELCH ACT AND SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT. A LABORER OF THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE IN THE SECOND GRADE RECEIVING $1,600 PER ANNUM UNDER THE TERMS OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1062, HAS NO VESTED RIGHT TO RECEIVE THE SAME OR A HIGHER SALARY RATE INITIALLY UPON TRANSFER TO A NEWLY CREATED POSITION IN THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS UNDER THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, BUT THE SALARY RATE WOULD DEPEND ON THE NATURE OF THE DUTIES PERFORMED AND THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, DECEMBER 11, 1934:

THERE HAS COME TO THE ATTENTION OF THIS OFFICE INFORMATION THAT FIVE POSITIONS WITH THE TITLE OF "LABORER" HAVE BEEN CREATED IN THE OPERATING FORCE OF THE NEW YORK CITY POST OFFICE WITH SALARY RATE OF $1,600 PER ANNUM IN THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THESE POSITIONS WERE CREATED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PERMITTING THE TRANSFER TO THEM OF FIVE LABORERS IN THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE. LABORERS IN THE FIRST- AND SECOND- CLASS POST OFFICES AND IN THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE ARE DIVIDED INTO TWO GRADES, VIZ, FIRST GRADE, SALARY $1,500; SECOND GRADE, SALARY $1,600. ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1060, 1062. EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6166, DATED JUNE 10, 1933, PROVIDED, IN PART, THAT "THE ADMINISTRATION OF POST- OFFICE BUILDINGS IS TRANSFERRED TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.' THIS TRANSFER WAS MADE EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 1933, WHEN A LARGE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES OF THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, WERE REAPPOINTED TO THEIR SAME POSITIONS AND AT THEIR SAME SALARIES IN THE POSTAL SERVICE.

THE FOLLOWING APPROPRIATION IS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 15, 1934, 48 STAT. 449:

OPERATING FORCE: FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS, INCLUDING THE WASHINGTON POST OFFICE AND THE CUSTOMHOUSE BUILDING IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNDER THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, TOGETHER WITH THE GROUNDS THEREOF AND THE EQUIPMENT AND FURNISHINGS THEREIN, INCLUDING TELEPHONE OPERATORS FOR THE OPERATION OF TELEPHONE SWITCHBOARDS OR EQUIVALENT TELEPHONE-SWITCHBOARD EQUIPMENT IN SUCH BUILDINGS JOINTLY SERVING IN EACH CASE TWO OR MORE GOVERNMENTAL ACTIVITIES, $10,935,000: PROVIDED, THAT IN NO CASE SHALL THE RATES OF COMPENSATION FOR THE MECHANICAL LABOR FORCE BE IN EXCESS OF THE RATES CURRENT AT THE TIME AND IN THE PLACE WHERE SUCH SERVICES ARE EMPLOYED.

THE POSITIONS TRANSFERRED FROM THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT UNDER THE ABOVE-MENTIONED EXECUTIVE ORDER REMAINED SUBJECT TO THE SCHEDULE OF SALARY RATES PRESCRIBED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED BY THE WELCH ACT OF MAY 28, 1928, 45 STAT. 776, AND THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 1004. ALSO, ANY NEW POSITIONS CREATED IN THE SAME UNIT, THE SALARIES OF WHICH ARE PAYABLE UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "OPERATING FORCE" FOR PUBLIC BUILDINGS UNDER THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT--- EXCEPT POSITIONS IN THE "MECHANICAL LABOR FORCE" WITHIN THE PROVISO TO THE APPROPRIATION ITEM, WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO THE 40- HOUR WEEK PROVISION, SECTION 23 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 522 --- ARE SUBJECT TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS AMENDED, APPLICABLE TO THE FIELD SERVICE. SEE SECTION 3 OF THE WELCH ACT AND SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT, SUPRA. IN OTHER WORDS, THE STATUS AS TO SALARY, CLASSIFICATION, ETC., OF THE EMPLOYEES IN THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE IN POST-OFFICE BUILDINGS WAS IN NO WAY CHANGED BY THE TRANSFER OF SAID SERVICE FROM THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.

THE SCHEDULE OF SALARY RATES PRESCRIBED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS AMENDED BY THE WELCH AND BROOKHART SALARY ACTS, UNDER THE HEADING "CUSTODIAL SERVICE," IN WHICH IT IS ASSUMED THE POSITIONS PAYABLE UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "OPERATING FORCE," NOT WITHIN THE PROVISO, PROPERLY WOULD BE PLACED OR ALLOCATED, DOES NOT CONTAIN A SALARY RATE OF $1,600 PER ANNUM, AND, ACCORDINGLY, THERE WOULD BE NO AUTHORITY TO CREATE THE FIVE POSITIONS IN QUESTION WITH SUCH A SALARY RATE.

FURTHERMORE, IN CREATING NEW POSITIONS IN SAID FORCE, THERE SHOULD BE SPECIFIED THE PROPER GRADE AS PRESCRIBED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, BASED ON THE DUTIES REQUIRED TO BE PERFORMED, COMPARABLE TO THE DUTIES OF THE SAME OR SIMILAR POSITIONS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THE FACT THAT THE FIVE EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED, OR PROPOSED TO BE TRANSFERRED, TO THE NEWLY CREATED POSITIONS IN THE OPERATING FORCE FOR PUBLIC BUILDINGS, PREVIOUSLY HELD POSITIONS IN THE SECOND GRADE, SALARY $1,600 PER ANNUM, OF LABORERS IN THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE, DID NOT VEST IN THEM THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE THE SAME OR A HIGHER SALARY RATE INITIALLY UPON TRANSFER TO THE NEW POSITIONS SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, BUT ON THE CONTRARY, THEIR SALARY RATE UPON TRANSFER WOULD DEPEND ON THE NATURE OF THE DUTIES PERFORMED AND THE PROVISION OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. AFTER THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT HAS PROPERLY ALLOCATED THE NEW POSITIONS BASED ON THE DUTIES PERFORMED, THERE MAY BE FIXED ANY SALARY RATE PRESCRIBED FOR THAT GRADE BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS AMENDED, NOT IN EXCESS OF THE RATE RECEIVED AS LABORERS IN THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE. OF COURSE, ALL NEW APPOINTMENTS MUST BE MADE AT THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITION IS PROPERLY ALLOCATED.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT CREDIT MAY NOT BE ALLOWED IN THE POSTAL ACCOUNTS FOR PAYMENTS OF COMPENSATION TO LABORERS PAID UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "OPERATING FORCE" FOR PUBLIC BUILDINGS AT THE RATE OF $1,600 PER ANNUM, NOR FOR ANY PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION UNDER SAID APPROPRIATION FOR POSITIONS OTHER THAN THE "MECHANICAL LABOR FORCE," UNLESS THE PAY ROLLS OR VOUCHERS PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR AUDIT INDICATE THE CLASSIFICATION ACT GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITIONS HAVE BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY PLACED OR ALLOCATED.