B-112981, FEBRUARY 5, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 354

B-112981: Feb 5, 1953

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COMPENSATION - POSTAL SERVICE - LONGEVITY INCREASES AN EMPLOYEE OF THE POSTAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE WHO WAS ADVANCED TO THE SUPERVISORY POSITION OF FOREMAN PRIOR TO THE COMPLETION OF 13 YEARS OF SERVICE MAY NOT BE GRANTED THE LONGEVITY INCREASES UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 3. 1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF NOVEMBER 28. DAVIS WAS ENTITLED TO LONGEVITY GRADE A UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 500. DAVIS IS STATED TO BE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE GENERAL POLICY FOLLOWED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE GRANTING OF LONGEVITY INCREASES TO SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES IN THE POSTAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE. IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER OF NOVEMBER 28. DAVIS WAS APPOINTED TO THE POSITION OF SUBSTITUTE POSTAL TRANSPORTATION CLERK ON OCTOBER 10.

B-112981, FEBRUARY 5, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 354

COMPENSATION - POSTAL SERVICE - LONGEVITY INCREASES AN EMPLOYEE OF THE POSTAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE WHO WAS ADVANCED TO THE SUPERVISORY POSITION OF FOREMAN PRIOR TO THE COMPLETION OF 13 YEARS OF SERVICE MAY NOT BE GRANTED THE LONGEVITY INCREASES UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 3, 1950, WHILE SERVING IN THE POSITION OF FOREMAN UNTIL SUCH TIME AS HE COMPLETES 13, 18 OR 25 YEARS OF POSTAL SERVICE AS PRESCRIBED IN THAT STATUTE, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT PRIOR TO HIS ADVANCEMENT TO THE POSITION OF FOREMAN HE RECEIVED THE FIRST MERITORIOUS GRADE UNDER PROVISIONS OF SECTION 16 OF THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1945, AS AMENDED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL FISHER TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, FEBRUARY 5, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF NOVEMBER 28, 1952, FROM YOUR PREDECESSOR, REFERENCE 24, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER, UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER SET FORTH, MR. LEROY A. DAVIS WAS ENTITLED TO LONGEVITY GRADE A UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 500, INFRA, UPON HIS ADVANCEMENT ON MARCH 16, 1952, TO THE SUPERVISORY POSITION OF FOREMAN IN THE POSTAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE. THE ACTION TAKEN IN THE CASE OF MR. DAVIS IS STATED TO BE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE GENERAL POLICY FOLLOWED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE GRANTING OF LONGEVITY INCREASES TO SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES IN THE POSTAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE.

IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER OF NOVEMBER 28, THAT MR. DAVIS WAS APPOINTED TO THE POSITION OF SUBSTITUTE POSTAL TRANSPORTATION CLERK ON OCTOBER 10, 1941, AND WAS PLACED IN A REGULAR POSITION (GRADE 4) ON DECEMBER 1, 1943. THEREAFTER, ON OCTOBER 1, 1944, HE WAS ADVANCED TO GRADE 5 AT $2,450 PER ANNUM--- THE HIGHEST SUCCESSIVE GRADE THEN IN EXISTENCE. INFORMAL CONTACT WITH THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT HAS ELICITED INFORMATION TO THE EFFECT THAT SUCH ADVANCEMENTS WERE BASED UPON ACTUAL SUBSTITUTE SERVICE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 2011-4 OF POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS (1940 USED.) THEN IN EFFECT. FURTHER, IT APPEARS THAT, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1945, MR. DAVIS WAS PLACED IN GRADE 11, AS PROVIDED FOR IN SECTION 23 OF THE ACT OF JULY 6, 1945, 59 STAT. 460 ( PUBLIC LAW 134). ON JULY 1, 1948, MR. DAVIS WAS ADVANCED TO THE FIRST MERITORIOUS GRADE (GRADE 12) IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 16 OF THE SAID PUBLIC LAW 134 (59 STAT. 451.) UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 500, APPROVED MAY 3, 1950, 64 STAT. 101, GRADE 12 BECAME GRADE 11A, AND UNDER PUBLIC LAW 204, APPROVED OCTOBER 24, 1951, 65 STAT. 622, GRADE 11A BECAME GRADE 9A. FURTHER, IT IS STATED THAT ON MARCH 16, 1952, MR. DAVIS WAS PROMOTED TO THE SUPERVISORY POSITION OF FOREMAN, BUT WAS NOT GRANTED A LONGEVITY INCREASE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 500 BECAUSE HE HAD NOT COMPLETED 13 YEARS OF POSTAL SERVICE--- ONE OF THE CONDITIONS OF THE STATUTE.

DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER MR. DAVIS MAY BE GRANTED LONGEVITY GRADE A IN THE POSITION OF FOREMAN, EFFECTIVE MARCH 16, 1952, THE DATE OF HIS ADVANCEMENT TO THAT POSITION; AND, IF SO, WHETHER HE MAY BE ADVANCED TO LONGEVITY GRADE B EIGHT YEARS FROM THE DATE THAT HE ACQUIRED THE HIGHEST AUTOMATIC GRADE.

PUBLIC LAW 500 PRESCRIBES, AS A CONDITION OF ELIGIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT TO LONGEVITY GRADES A, B, OR C, THE COMPLETION OF 13, 18, OR 25 YEARS OF SERVICE, RESPECTIVELY. UNLESS MR. DAVIS' CASE FALLS WITHIN THE SAVINGS PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN SECTION 2 OF THAT STATUTE, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO BASIS FOR HIS BEING GRANTED THE FIRST LONGEVITY INCREASE UNTIL SUCH TIME AS HE SHALL HAVE COMPLETED 13 YEARS OF POSTAL SERVICE. SECTION 2 OF THAT STATUTE, 64 STAT. 102, IS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 2. EMPLOYEES ON THE ROLLS ON THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THIS ACT, WHO ARE IN THE HIGHEST AUTOMATIC GRADE OF THEIR POSITION OR WHO ARE IN ADDITIONAL GRADES, SHALL RETAIN PROMOTION CREDIT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2 (E) OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 28, 1949 ( PUBLIC LAW 428, EIGHTY- FIRST CONGRESS), AND UNDER THOSE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JULY 6, 1945 ( PUBLIC LAW 134, SEVENTY-NINTH CONGRESS), WHICH ARE REPEALED BY SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT TO THE SAME EXTENT AS THOUGH SUCH PROVISIONS HAD REMAINED IN EFFECT, AND THEREAFTER SHALL BE PROMOTED TO LONGEVITY GRADES A, B, AND C AT THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF THREE, FIVE, AND SEVEN YEARS OF SERVICE, RESPECTIVELY, IN THE NEXT LOWER GRADE * * *.

ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT THE SUPERVISORY POSITION OF FOREMAN WAS NOT ESTABLISHED UNTIL ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 204, SUPRA, NO BASIS WAS PROVIDED IN PUBLIC LAW 134 FOR ADVANCING EMPLOYEES OCCUPYING SUPERVISORY POSITIONS IN THE POSTAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE TO MERITORIOUS GRADES. MOREOVER, UNDER PUBLIC LAW 428, APPROVED OCTOBER 28, 1949, 63 STAT. 952, THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY FOR ADVANCEMENT TO THE FIRST MERITORIOUS GRADE CREATED THEREUNDER UNTIL THE EMPLOYEE HAD COMPLETED AT LEAST 13 YEARS OF POSTAL SERVICE. THUS, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT MR. DAVIS WOULD HAVE HAD ANY IMMEDIATE RIGHT TO ADVANCEMENT TO A LONGEVITY GRADE UPON PROMOTION TO THE SUPERVISORY POSITION OF FOREMAN EVEN IF THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAWS 134 AND 428 HAD REMAINED IN EFFECT.

IN VIEW THEREOF, AND SINCE THE SAVINGS PROVISION CONTAINED IN SECTION 2 OF PUBLIC LAW 500, CONFERRED NO NEW RIGHTS BUT MERELY SAVED TO EMPLOYEES THE RIGHTS THEY WOULD HAVE HAD HAD THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAWS 134 AND 428 REMAINED IN EFFECT, I PERCEIVE NO BASIS UPON WHICH MR. DAVIS MAY BE GRANTED THE LONGEVITY INCREASES UNDER PUBLIC LAW 500 WHILE SERVING IN THE POSITION OF FOREMAN, UNTIL SUCH TIME AS HE SHALL HAVE COMPLETED THE SPECIFIED 13, 18, OR 25 YEARS OF POSTAL SERVICE AS PRESCRIBED IN THAT STATUTE.