A-66724, JANUARY 10, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 595

A-66724: Jan 10, 1936

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IT IS WITHIN ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION. THERE IS NO LONGER A NEED FOR THE SERVICES OF ONE EDWARD J. V HE IS ELIGIBLE FOR PROMOTION TO THE FIRST GRADE OF GENERAL MECHANIC OR SPECIAL MECHANIC. THERE IS NO VACANCY WHICH WILL PERMIT OF IT. HARDERN WAS APPOINTED TO THE POSITION OF A MECHANIC'S HELPER ON JULY 1. HE WAS PROMOTED TO $1. HE IS THEREFORE RECEIVING THE MAXIMUM SALARY PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 1. HARDERN ARE NOT REQUIRED ON PURELY MECHANICAL WORK. IT IS CONTEMPLATED ASSIGNING HIM TO THE POSITION OF DRIVER-MECHANIC AT A SALARY OF $1. YOUR DECISION IS SOUGHT AS TO WHETHER THE PROPOSED CHANGE IN ASSIGNMENT IS PERMISSIBLE UNDER THE LAW. THE POSITION OF DRIVER-MECHANIC TO WHICH IT IS PROPOSED TO TRANSFER AND APPOINT HIM WITH $100 PER ANNUM INCREASE IN COMPENSATION.

A-66724, JANUARY 10, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 595

POSTAL SERVICE - TRANSFERS THERE BEING NO STATUTORY REQUIREMENT THAT ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS OF DRIVER -MECHANICS IN THE MOTOR VEHICLE SERVICE OF THE POSTAL SERVICE SHALL BE IN THE FIRST SALARY GRADE, IT IS WITHIN ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, TO TRANSFER AND APPOINT EMPLOYEES FROM SOME OTHER BRANCH OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, INCLUDING A MECHANIC'S HELPER WITH THE NECESSARY QUALIFICATIONS, TO THE POSITION OF DRIVER-MECHANIC, AND PAY THEM INITIALLY IN ANY OF THE FIVE AUTOMATIC SALARY GRADES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, JANUARY 10, 1936:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 21, 1935, AS FOLLOWS:

AS A RESULT OF A RECENT REORGANIZATION OF THE MOTOR-VEHICLE SERVICE AT NEWARK, NEW JERSEY, THERE IS NO LONGER A NEED FOR THE SERVICES OF ONE EDWARD J. HARDERN IN THE CAPACITY OF A MECHANIC'S HELPER, AND ALTHOUGH UNDER THE LAW INCORPORATED IN 39 U.S.C. 116, SUPP. V HE IS ELIGIBLE FOR PROMOTION TO THE FIRST GRADE OF GENERAL MECHANIC OR SPECIAL MECHANIC, THERE IS NO VACANCY WHICH WILL PERMIT OF IT. MR. HARDERN WAS APPOINTED TO THE POSITION OF A MECHANIC'S HELPER ON JULY 1, 1929, AT A COMPENSATION OF $1,600 PER ANNUM. HE WAS PROMOTED TO $1,700 ON JULY 1, 1930, AND TO $1,800 ON JULY 1, 1931. HE IS THEREFORE RECEIVING THE MAXIMUM SALARY PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1930, FOR MECHANIC'S HELPER.

WHILE THE SERVICES OF MR. HARDERN ARE NOT REQUIRED ON PURELY MECHANICAL WORK, THEY COULD BE UTILIZED TO GOOD ADVANTAGE IN THE CAPACITY OF A DRIVER -MECHANIC WHICH DESIGNATION CONTEMPLATES THE OPERATION OF TRUCKS AS WELL AS THE MAKING OF MINOR REPAIRS AND ADJUSTMENTS AS THEY MAY BECOME NECESSARY.

IN VIEW OF THE EXISTING CONDITIONS AND IN CONSIDERATION OF THE NUMBER OF YEARS MECHANIC'S HELPER HARDERN SERVED IN THE $1,800 GRADE, IT IS CONTEMPLATED ASSIGNING HIM TO THE POSITION OF DRIVER-MECHANIC AT A SALARY OF $1,900 PER ANNUM. YOUR DECISION IS SOUGHT AS TO WHETHER THE PROPOSED CHANGE IN ASSIGNMENT IS PERMISSIBLE UNDER THE LAW.

THE POSITION OF MECHANIC'S HELPER WITH SALARY RATE OF $1,800 PER ANNUM EFFECTIVE FROM JULY 1, 1931, NOW HELD BY EDWARD J. HARDERN, AND THE POSITION OF DRIVER-MECHANIC TO WHICH IT IS PROPOSED TO TRANSFER AND APPOINT HIM WITH $100 PER ANNUM INCREASE IN COMPENSATION, ARE BOTH IN THE MOTOR-VEHICLE SERVICE OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, THE SALARY RATES OF WHICH ARE CONTROLLED BY SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1060.

THAT STATUTE AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 27, 1930, 46 STAT. 825, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THE SALARY GRADES OF MECHANICS' HELPERS EMPLOYED IN THE MOTOR VEHICLE SERVICE SHALL BE $1,600, $1,700, AND $1,800 PER ANNUM: PROVIDED, THAT ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS SHALL BE MADE TO THE $1,600 GRADE, AND PROMOTIONS SHALL BE MADE TO THE NEXT HIGHER GRADE AT THE BEGINNING OF A QUARTER FOLLOWING ONE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN EACH GRADE: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT AFTER ONE YEAR'S SERVICE IN THE $1,800 GRADE MECHANICS' HELPERS MAY IN THE DISCRETION OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL BE PROMOTED TO THE FIRST GRADE OF GENERAL MECHANICS OR SPECIAL MECHANICS, AS VACANCIES OCCUR: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THIS ACT SHALL BE EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1930.

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, WITH REFERENCE TO DRIVER-MECHANICS, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THAT DRIVER-MECHANICS EMPLOYED IN THE MOTOR-VEHICLE SERVICE SHALL BE DIVIDED INTO FIVE GRADES: FIRST GRADE, SALARY $1,600; SECOND GRADE, SALARY $1,700; THIRD GRADE, SALARY $1,800; FOURTH GRADE, SALARY $1,900; FIFTH GRADE, SALARY $2,000; * * * PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT DRIVER MECHANICS EMPLOYED IN THE MOTOR-VEHICLE SERVICE SHALL BE PROMOTED SUCCESSIVELY AFTER ONE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN EACH GRADE TO THE NEXT HIGHER GRADE UNTIL THEY REACH THE FIFTH GRADE AT THE RESPECTIVE OFFICES WHERE EMPLOYED:

IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT WHEREAS IT IS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED THAT ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS OF MECHANICS' HELPERS SHALL BE MADE TO THE $1,600 GRADE, THE MINIMUM, THERE IS NO SUCH REQUIREMENT WITH REGARD TO ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS OF DRIVER-MECHANICS.

IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 28, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 295, THERE WERE CONSIDERED AND DISTINGUISHED THE RESPECTIVE SECTIONS OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, CLASSIFYING THE SALARY GRADES OF CLERKS IN FIRST- AND SECOND-CLASS POST OFFICES AND CARRIERS IN THE CITY DELIVERY SERVICE, AND CLERKS IN THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE. IT WAS HELD THAT AS THERE WAS NO STATUTORY PROVISION REQUIRING CLERKS IN FIRST- AND SECOND CLASS POST OFFICES AND CARRIERS IN THE CITY DELIVERY SERVICE TO BE ORIGINALLY APPOINTED IN SALARY GRADE 1, IT WAS WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO REINSTATE OR TRANSFER EMPLOYEES FROM SOME OTHER BRANCH OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, TO POSITIONS OF CLERKS OR CARRIERS AND PAY THEM INITIALLY IN AN AUTOMATIC SALARY GRADE ABOVE THE MINIMUM. THIS AUTHORITY WAS HELD NOT TO BE APPLICABLE TO THE REINSTATEMENT OR TRANSFER OF CLERKS TO THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE FOR THE REASON THAT THE STATUTE SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED ALL ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS IN THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE TO BE AS SUBSTITUTES.

LIKEWISE, AS THERE IS NO STATUTORY REQUIREMENT THAT ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS OF DRIVER-MECHANICS SHALL BE IN THE FIRST GRADE, IT IS WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, TO TRANSFER AND APPOINT AN EMPLOYEE FROM SOME OTHER BRANCH OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, INCLUDING A MECHANIC'S HELPER WITH THE NECESSARY QUALIFICATIONS, TO THE POSITION OF DRIVER MECHANIC AND PAY HIM INITIALLY IN ANY OF THE FIVE AUTOMATIC SALARY GRADES.

ACCORDINGLY, THE PROPOSED CHANGE IN ASSIGNMENT OF EDWARD J. HARDERN, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, WOULD NOT CONTRAVENE THE LAW.