B-126351, FEB. 28, 1956

B-126351: Feb 28, 1956

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THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE EMPLOYED AS A LABORER IN THE SUPPLY DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVAL GUN FACTORY ON OCTOBER 29. IT IS REPORTED THAT YOU WERE CONTINUED AS A LABORER UNTIL MARCH 29. WHEN YOU WERE PROMOTED TO THE POSITION OF PROPERTY AND SUPPLY CLERK. THE POSITIONS IN THE ISSUE CONTROL BRANCH WERE EXAMINED AND IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT SEVERAL POSITIONS. YOUR POSITION DESCRIPTION WAS REWRITTEN AND AS A RESULT THEREOF IT WAS ALLOCATED TO GRADE GS-2 AND YOU WERE DEMOTED FROM GRADE GS-3 (FIFTH STEP) $3. CHASE'S POSITION AND ONE OTHER WERE FOUND TO BE NO LONGER SIMILAR TO THOSE POSITIONS WHICH FORMERLY HAD SHARED A COMMON DESCRIPTION. THE NEW POSITION DESCRIPTION WAS THEN SUBMITTED TO THE AREA WAGE CLASSIFICATION OFFICE ON 24 JULY 1952 AND CLASSIFIED AS PROPERTY AND SUPPLY CLERK.

B-126351, FEB. 28, 1956

TO MR. HENSON L. CHASE:

YOUR RECENT LETTER REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION ALLEGED TO BE DUE BECAUSE OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE REALLOCATION OF YOUR POSITION EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 14, 1952, WHILE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE NAVAL GUN FACTORY, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, WASHINGTON, D.C.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE EMPLOYED AS A LABORER IN THE SUPPLY DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVAL GUN FACTORY ON OCTOBER 29, 1941. IT IS REPORTED THAT YOU WERE CONTINUED AS A LABORER UNTIL MARCH 29, 1948, WHEN YOU WERE PROMOTED TO THE POSITION OF PROPERTY AND SUPPLY CLERK, CAF-3, IN THE SHIPMENT STATUS UNIT, ISSUE CONTROL BRANCH, SUPPLY DEPARTMENT. IN OCTOBER 1951, THE POSITIONS IN THE ISSUE CONTROL BRANCH WERE EXAMINED AND IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT SEVERAL POSITIONS, INCLUDING THE ONE WHICH YOU OCCUPIED, REQUIRED NEW DESCRIPTIONS. THEREAFTER, YOUR POSITION DESCRIPTION WAS REWRITTEN AND AS A RESULT THEREOF IT WAS ALLOCATED TO GRADE GS-2 AND YOU WERE DEMOTED FROM GRADE GS-3 (FIFTH STEP) $3,350 PER ANNUM, TO GRADE GS-2 (SEVENTH STEP) $3,230 PER ANNUM.

THE REPORT FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE ON FILE HERE RELATIVE TO THE REALLOCATION OF YOUR POSITION, READS IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"3. UPON REVIEW BY THE AREA WAGE AND CLASSIFICATION OFFICE, MR. CHASE'S POSITION AND ONE OTHER WERE FOUND TO BE NO LONGER SIMILAR TO THOSE POSITIONS WHICH FORMERLY HAD SHARED A COMMON DESCRIPTION. MR. CHASE PERSONALLY SUBSCRIBED TO THE NEW POSITION DESCRIPTION. THE NEW POSITION DESCRIPTION WAS THEN SUBMITTED TO THE AREA WAGE CLASSIFICATION OFFICE ON 24 JULY 1952 AND CLASSIFIED AS PROPERTY AND SUPPLY CLERK, GS-2. MR. CHASE WAS VERBALLY ADVISED OF THIS CHANGE AND TOLD THAT THERE WERE NO GS-3 PROPERTY AND SUPPLY CLERK POSITIONS AVAILABLE AT THAT TIME IN THE STOCK CONTROL BRANCH OF THE SUPPLY DEPARTMENT OT WHICH HE COULD BE ASSIGNED. 13 AUGUST 1952 HE WAS INFORMED OFFICIALLY THAT A CHANGE TO LOWER GRADE WOULD BE EFFECTIVE 14 SEPTEMBER 1952. MR. CHASE WAS OFFERED AND ACCEPTED ON 9 NOVEMBER 1952 A POSITION AS PROPERTY AND SUPPLY CLERK GS-3, STOCK CONTROL BRANCH OF THE SUPPLY DEPARTMENT.

"4. MR. CHASE'S CHANGE TO A LOWER GRADE ON 14 SEPTEMBER 1952 WAS A PROPER AND LEGAL CONSEQUENCE OF THE RECLASSIFICATION OF HIS POSITION UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949 AND NAVAL CIVILIAN PERSONNEL INSTRUCTIONS 156 AND 160. THE DETERMINATION BY COMPETENT CLASSIFICATION AUTHORITY OF THE PROPER CLASSIFICATION LEVEL OF A POSITION AND THE CONSEQUENT FIXING OF THE APPROPRIATE RATE OF PAY FOR THE POSITION ARE FUNCTIONS REQUIRED BY LAW AND ARE CONSIDERED TO PROMOTE THE EFFICIENCY OF THE SERVICE.

"5. MR. CHASE RECEIVED 30 CALENDAR DAYS ADVANCE WRITTEN NOTICE OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE TO LOWER GRADE. THIS NOTICE CONTAINED SPECIFIC AND DETAILED REASONS FOR THE ACTION AND ADVISED OF HIS APPEAL RIGHTS. MR. CHASE, HOWEVER, DID NOT ELECT TO APPEAL THE CLASSIFICATION OF HIS POSITION * * *. IT IS THE CONTENTION OF THE NAVAL GUN FACTORY THAT MR. BENSON L. CHASE'S DOWNGRADING WAS A LEGAL AND PROPER RESULT OF A CLASSIFICATION ACTION AND, THEREFORE, MR. CHASE IS NOT ENTITLED TO ANY ADJUSTMENT IN COMPENSATION AS A RESULT OF THIS.'

THE REALLOCATION OF YOUR POSITION BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 502 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 958, WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"/A) EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THIS TITLE, EACH DEPARTMENT SHALL PLACE EACH POSITION UNDER ITS JURISDICTION AND TO WHICH THIS ACT APPLIES IN ITS APPROPRIATE CLASS AND GRADE IN CONFORMANCE WITH STANDARDS PUBLISHED BY THE COMMISSION OR, IF NO PUBLISHED STANDARDS DIRECTLY APPLY, CONSISTENTLY WITH PUBLISHED STANDARDS. A DEPARTMENT MAY, WHENEVER THE FACTS WARRANT, CHANGE ANY POSITION WHICH IT HAS PLACED IN A CLASS OR GRADE UNDER THIS SUBSECTION FROM SUCH CLASS OR GRADE TO ANOTHER CLASS OR GRADE. SUCH ACTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENTS SHALL BE THE BASIS FOR THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION AND FOR PERSONNEL TRANSACTIONS UNTIL CHANGED BY CERTIFICATE OF THE COMMISSION.

"/B) THE COMMISSION (UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION) SHALL, FROM TIME TO TIME, REVIEW SUCH NUMBER OF POSITIONS IN EACH DEPARTMENT AS WILL ENABLE THE COMMISSION TO DETERMINE WHETHER SUCH DEPARTMENT IS PLACING POSITIONS IN CLASSES AND GRADES IN CONFORMANCE WITH OR CONSISTENTLY WITH PUBLISHED STANDARDS.'

THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION UNDER ITS STATUTORY AUTHORITY HAS PRESCRIBED PROCEDURES FOR APPEALING FROM POSITION CLASSIFICATION ACTIONS WHICH PROCEDURES CURRENTLY MAY BE FOUND IN THE FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL P2-18 AND 19. IT DOES NOT APPEAR YOU APPEALED TO THE COMMISSION UPON THE GROUNDS YOUR PETITION HAD BEEN ERRONEOUSLY ALLOCATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, BUT RATHER THAT YOU APPEALED TO THAT BODY UPON OTHER GROUNDS. SINCE YOU NO LONGER OCCUPY THE DISPUTED GRADE GS-2 POSITION IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE PROCEDURES REFERRED TO NOW PRECLUDE A REVIEW BY THE COMMISSION OF THE CORRECTNESS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN. HOWEVER THAT MAY BE WE WISH TO EMPHASIZE THAT THE FUNCTION OF DETERMINING THE PROPER ALLOCATION OF POSITIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION, IS ONE NOT WITHIN THE GENERAL JURISDICTION OF OUR OFFICE, BUT IS IN EVERY CASE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE EMPLOYING AGENCY SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. AFTER A POSITION HAS BEEN ALLOCATED PURSUANT TO LAW OUR OFFICE MAY DECIDE QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE APPROPRIATE SALARY PAYABLE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. SINCE THE GRADE OR YOUR GS-2 POSITION WAS NOT CHANGED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY OR BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION WE CAN ONLY CONCLUDE THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO A SALARY PRESCRIBED BY LAW FOR A GRADE GS-2 POSITION.

ACCORDINGLY, UPON REVIEW OUR SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 29, 1955, IS FOUND CORRECT AND MUST BE SUSTAINED.