B-128582, JUL. 19, 1956

B-128582: Jul 19, 1956

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REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE PAYROLL VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED PROPOSING PAYMENTS TO THREE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SCHOOL TEACHERS COVERING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SALARY PAID TO THEM IN SALARY CLASS 18 (A) AND THE SALARY TO WHICH THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED HAD THEIR ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS BEEN TO SALARY CLASS 18 (B) OR. TEACHERS IN CLASS 18 ARE PLACED IN THREE SALARY GROUPS. YOU EXPLAINED IN YOUR LETTER THAT EACH OF THE THREE TEACHERS POSSESSED A MASTER'S DEGREE AND THAT IN ONE CASE THE TEACHER ALSO HAD 30 CREDIT HOURS WHEN THEY WERE ORIGINALLY APPOINTED BUT THAT SUCH ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS WERE OVERLOOKED AT THAT TIME. THE APPOINTMENTS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY AMENDED BY BOARD ACTION TO PLACE THEM IN THE CLASS TO WHICH THEY WERE LEGALLY ENTITLED AND THAT AMENDMENT WAS MADE RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE AS OF THE DATE OF THEIR ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS.

B-128582, JUL. 19, 1956

TO MR. A. R. PILKERTON, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER, GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:

YOUR LETTER OF JULY 11, 1956, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE PAYROLL VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED PROPOSING PAYMENTS TO THREE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SCHOOL TEACHERS COVERING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SALARY PAID TO THEM IN SALARY CLASS 18 (A) AND THE SALARY TO WHICH THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED HAD THEIR ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS BEEN TO SALARY CLASS 18 (B) OR, IN ONE CASE, TO SALARY CLASS 18 (C).

IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SCHOOL TEACHERS ACT OF 1955, APPROVED AUGUST 5, 1955, 69 STAT. 521, TEACHERS IN CLASS 18 ARE PLACED IN THREE SALARY GROUPS, NAMELY: GROUP A AS TO THOSE HAVING A BACHELOR'S DEGREE, GROUP B AS TO THOSE HAVING A MASTER'S DEGREE, AND GROUP C AS TO THOSE HAVING A MASTER'S DEGREE PLUS 30 CREDIT HOURS.

YOU EXPLAINED IN YOUR LETTER THAT EACH OF THE THREE TEACHERS POSSESSED A MASTER'S DEGREE AND THAT IN ONE CASE THE TEACHER ALSO HAD 30 CREDIT HOURS WHEN THEY WERE ORIGINALLY APPOINTED BUT THAT SUCH ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS WERE OVERLOOKED AT THAT TIME. THE APPOINTMENTS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY AMENDED BY BOARD ACTION TO PLACE THEM IN THE CLASS TO WHICH THEY WERE LEGALLY ENTITLED AND THAT AMENDMENT WAS MADE RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE AS OF THE DATE OF THEIR ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS.

THE FAILURE TO PLACE THESE THREE TEACHERS IN THEIR PROPER SALARY GROUPS RESULTED FROM AN ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT OF THE TEACHERS' QUALIFICATIONS. UNDER THE STATUTE THERE APPARENTLY WAS NO ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION VESTED IN THE MATTER OF PLACING THE TEACHERS IN THE GROUPS FOR WHICH THEY QUALIFIED AND IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES THE CORRECTION OF THEIR APPOINTMENTS IS NOT CONSIDERED TO COME WITHIN THE ESTABLISHED RULE AGAINST RETROACTIVE SALARY INCREASES. SEE 24 COMP. GEN. 341.

SECTION 10 (A) OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SCHOOL TEACHERS ACT REQUIRING THAT PROMOTIONS TO GROUP B, OR GROUP C WITHIN A SALARY CLASS SHALL BECOME EFFECTIVE ON THE DATE OF THE REGULAR BOARD MEETING IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE DATE OF APPROVAL BY THE BOARD, ETC., CITED BY YOU AS CREATING THE DOUBT IN THE MATTER, IS BY ITS VERY TERMS APPLICABLE TO PROMOTIONS ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1955. SINCE THESE CORRECTIONS ARE NOT VIEWED BY US TO BE PROMOTIONS IN THE TRUE SENSE OF THE WORD BUT ARE MERELY CORRECTIONS OF ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS TO PLACE THE EMPLOYEES IN THE SALARY GROUPS TO WHICH THEY WERE REQUIRED TO BE APPOINTED, WE DO NOT CONSIDER THAT SECTION OF THE STATUTE APPLICABLE HERE.

THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.