B-126098, FEB. 15, 1956

B-126098: Feb 15, 1956

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YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED UPON THE GROUND THAT YOU HAVE NOT COMPLETED THREE CONTINUOUS YEARS OF SERVICE AT THE MAXIMUM SCHEDULED RATE OF ANY GRADE IN WHICH YOUR POSITION WAS PLACED. YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW APPEARS TO BE PREDICATED PRIMARILY UPON THE PROPOSITION THAT SINCE THE PROPER ALLOCATION OF POSITIONS IS REQUIRED BY A LAW OF GENERAL APPLICATION. ANY GRADE PROMOTIONS AND INCREASES IN SALARY STEMMING FROM SUCH ALLOCATIONS ARE NOT SUCH INCREASES IN GRADES OR RATES OF COMPENSATION AS WOULD PRECLUDE THE GRANTING OF LONGEVITY STEP INCREASES. YOUR VIEWS IN THAT REGARD SEEM TO BE BASED ON AN ERRONEOUS CONCEPT OF WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE REGRADING OF A POSITION. THE APPROPRIATE GRADE OF A POSITION MUST BE DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF WHAT IS NOW SECTION 302 (B) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949.

B-126098, FEB. 15, 1956

TO MR. CHARLES C. MARTIN:

YOUR RECENT LETTER REQUESTS A REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR A LONGEVITY STEP INCREASE IN SALARY, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 954, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, BUREAU OF CUSTOMS.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED UPON THE GROUND THAT YOU HAVE NOT COMPLETED THREE CONTINUOUS YEARS OF SERVICE AT THE MAXIMUM SCHEDULED RATE OF ANY GRADE IN WHICH YOUR POSITION WAS PLACED, OR AT AN AUTHORIZED RATE IN EXCESS THEREOF, WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF SECTION 703 (A) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949.

YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW APPEARS TO BE PREDICATED PRIMARILY UPON THE PROPOSITION THAT SINCE THE PROPER ALLOCATION OF POSITIONS IS REQUIRED BY A LAW OF GENERAL APPLICATION, ANY GRADE PROMOTIONS AND INCREASES IN SALARY STEMMING FROM SUCH ALLOCATIONS ARE NOT SUCH INCREASES IN GRADES OR RATES OF COMPENSATION AS WOULD PRECLUDE THE GRANTING OF LONGEVITY STEP INCREASES. YOUR VIEWS IN THAT REGARD SEEM TO BE BASED ON AN ERRONEOUS CONCEPT OF WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE REGRADING OF A POSITION. THE APPROPRIATE GRADE OF A POSITION MUST BE DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF WHAT IS NOW SECTION 302 (B) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949. THE REGRADING PROCESS IS ENTIRELY INDEPENDENT OF THE INCUMBENT OF THE POSITION CONCERNED AND OF HIS QUALIFICATIONS. WHEN A REGRADING PROCESS IS COMPLETED AND THE POSITION IS ALLOCATED TO ITS APPROPRIATE CLASSIFICATION ACT GRADE, THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THE INCUMBENT OF THE POSITION AT ITS FORMER GRADE MUST BE EXAMINED TO DETERMINE WHETHER SUCH INCUMBENT MAY BE PROMOTED TO THE REGRADED POSITION. HE HAS NO LEGAL RIGHT TO SUCH A PROMOTION EVEN THOUGH THE REGRADED POSITION CALLS FOR THE SAME DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES. THE REGRADED POSITION LAWFULLY MAYBE FILLED BY ANOTHER EMPLOYEE DEEMED TO BE BETTER QUALIFIED. THUS, IT IS EVIDENT THAT AS FAR AS CONCERNS THE EMPLOYEE, A GRADE PROMOTION AND ITS CONSEQUENT INCREASE IN BASIC COMPENSATION DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY FOLLOW THE REGRADING OF A POSITION AND, THEREFORE, SUCH INCREASES ARE NOT INCREASES IN GRADE AND BASIC COMPENSATION PRESCRIBED BY THE PROVISIONS OF ANY LAW OF GENERAL APPLICATION. SUCH PROMOTIONS ARE IN EVERY RESPECT IDENTICAL TO OTHER GRADE PROMOTIONS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH REGRADING ACTIONS. AN EMPLOYEE SO PROMOTED MUST AGAIN SERVE CONTINUOUSLY FOR THREE YEARS AT THE MAXIMUM RATE OF HIS NEW GRADE BEFORE HE BECOMES ELIGIBLE FOR A LONGEVITY STEP INCREASE.

YOU FURTHER URGE THAT SECTION 703 (A) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949 PROPERLY MAY BE CONSTRUED TO OPERATE WITH REGARD TO THE GRADE (CAF-5) IN WHICH YOUR POSITION WAS PLACED IN 1941, BECAUSE IT CONTINUES TO BE THE SAME POSITION EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOW ALLOCATED TO GRADE GS-8. WHILE SERVICE IN YOUR POSITION THROUGH THE SEVERAL GRADES TO WHICH IT HAS BEEN ALLOCATED SINCE 1941 PROPERLY IS CREDITABLE TOWARD THE "AGGREGATE" PERIOD OF TEN YEARS REQUIRED BY SECTION 703 (B) (6) OF THE ACT, WE CAN FIND NO BASIS IN THE STATUTE FOR TREATING YOUR SERVICE IN THE LOWER GRADES HELD BY YOU PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SECTION 703 (A) AS SERVICE CREDITABLE TOWARD A ,LONGEVITY PERIOD.' SEE SECTION 25.52 (D) OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY REGULATIONS, FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL, Z1-316.

THE RECORDS SHOW THAT YOU HAVE NOT SERVED THREE YEARS CONTINUOUSLY AT THE MAXIMUM SCHEDULED RATES OF EITHER GRADE GS-7 OR GRADE GS-8--- THE ONLY GRADES WHICH YOU HAVE HELD SINCE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE 1949 ACT--- AND, ACCORDINGLY, WE MUST DECIDE THAT THE CONCLUSION REACHED IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 24, 1955, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM, IS CORRECT.