B-131548, JUN. 3, 1957

B-131548: Jun 3, 1957

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WERE REASSIGNED AND CHANGED TO A LOWER GRADE AND RATE OF PAY IN THE POSTAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE. WE NOTE THAT BOTH OF THESE LAWS WERE ENACTED AS SUCCESSIVE PROVISOS OF THE SAME STATUTE. A SURPLUS CLERK OR SUPERVISOR IS ASSURED OF A RIGHT OF REASSIGNMENT TO A POSITION OF HIS GRADE IF SUCH A POSITION IS OPEN AT THE TIME HE BECOMES SURPLUS. IF NO SUCH POSITION IS AVAILABLE AT THE TIME AND HE IN FACT CANNOT BE PLACED IN A POSITION OF THE GRADE HE HAD HELD WITHOUT GIVING HIM PREFERENCE OVER A CLERK WITH A LONGER CONTINUOUS POSTAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE RECORD. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU WERE PROPERLY REASSIGNED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE- CITED STATUTES AND THE REGULATIONS PROMULGATED THEREUNDER.

B-131548, JUN. 3, 1957

TO MR. BERNARD A. CAMPBELL:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 1, 1957, APPEALS THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 20, 1957, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR AN ADJUSTMENT OF YOUR COMPENSATION BASED UPON THE SALARY RATE YOU RECEIVED ON SEPTEMBER 1, 1955, THE DATE YOU, AS A SURPLUS CLERK-IN-CHARGE, WERE REASSIGNED AND CHANGED TO A LOWER GRADE AND RATE OF PAY IN THE POSTAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE.

THE SETTLEMENT EXPLAINED TO YOU THE SUBSTANCE OF THE LAW AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE IN YOUR CASE. HOWEVER, AS TO YOUR STATEMENTS (1) THAT YOU FIND IN PUBLIC LAW 740, 39 U.S.C. 632, NOTHING POINTING TO YOUR DOWN-GRADING, AND (2) THAT PUBLIC LAW 893, 39 U.S.C. 632A, PLACES NO SPECIFIC TIME LIMIT ON HOW LONG A RAILWAY POSTAL CLERK CAN BE HELD IN A SURPLUS STATUS, WE NOTE THAT BOTH OF THESE LAWS WERE ENACTED AS SUCCESSIVE PROVISOS OF THE SAME STATUTE, AMENDING THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1917, 39 STAT. 1065. HENCE THEY PROPERLY SHOULD BE READ TOGETHER AS PERTAINING TO SURPLUS RAILWAY POSTAL CLERKS OF "ANY GRADE.'

THEREUNDER, AS STATED IN THE SETTLEMENT, A SURPLUS CLERK OR SUPERVISOR IS ASSURED OF A RIGHT OF REASSIGNMENT TO A POSITION OF HIS GRADE IF SUCH A POSITION IS OPEN AT THE TIME HE BECOMES SURPLUS. HOWEVER, IF NO SUCH POSITION IS AVAILABLE AT THE TIME AND HE IN FACT CANNOT BE PLACED IN A POSITION OF THE GRADE HE HAD HELD WITHOUT GIVING HIM PREFERENCE OVER A CLERK WITH A LONGER CONTINUOUS POSTAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE RECORD, PUBLIC LAW 893 PROVIDES THAT "HE MAY BE RELEGATED TO A LOWER-GRADE POSITION IN HIS OWN ORGANIZATION OR TRANSFERRED ELSEWHERE TO ANY GRADE THAT MAY BE AVAILABLE FOR A REGULAR CLERK OF HIS STANDING, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY PRESCRIBE.' THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU WERE PROPERLY REASSIGNED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE- CITED STATUTES AND THE REGULATIONS PROMULGATED THEREUNDER.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU ALSO REFER TO SECTIONS 504 (A) AND 701 (A) OF THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE COMPENSATION ACT OF 1955, ENACTED JUNE 10, 1955, PUBLIC LAW 68, 39 U.S.C. 994 AND 1021, AND TO SECTION 16 OF PUBLIC LAW 204, ENACTED OCTOBER 24, 1951, 39 U.S.C. 876C, HOWEVER, THOSE STATUTES DO NOT NEGATIVE PERSONNEL ACTIONS WHICH WERE PROPERLY EFFECTED UNDER PUBLIC LAWS 740 AND 893. SECTIONS 701 (A) AND (B) OF PUBLIC LAW 68--- WITH EXCEPTIONS NOT MATERIAL HERE--- MERELY AUTHORIZE RETROACTIVE INCREASE IN THE BASIC COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES WHO ARE ON THE ROLLS JUNE 10, 1955, AND SECTION 504 (A) PROHIBITS THE REDUCTION OF THE BASIC COMPENSATION WHICH AN EMPLOYEE WAS RECEIVING ON DECEMBER 3, 1955, THE DATE THAT THE POSITION CONVERSIONS AND PAY ADJUSTMENTS UNDER PUBLIC LAW 68 WERE PLACED INTO EFFECT. HOWEVER, WE FIND NOTHING IN THE RECORD TO INDICATE THAT THE CONVERSION AND PAY ADJUSTMENT CALLED FOR IN PUBLIC LAW 68 WERE AFFECTED IN YOUR CASE.

YOUR STATEMENT CONCERNING THE APPLICATION OF PUBLIC LAW 204 AND OUR DECISION OF NOVEMBER 25, 1955, B-125751, 35 COMP. GEN. 297, TO YOUR CASE IS NOT UNDERSTOOD. THE TRANSCRIPT OF YOUR SERVICE AND PAY RECORD SHOWS YOU RECEIVED THE RETROACTIVE INCREASE OF COMPENSATION TO WHICH YOU WERE ENTITLED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTIONS 16 AND 23 OF PUBLIC LAW 204. ACCORDINGLY, OUR DECISION OF NOVEMBER 25, 1955, WOULD SEEM TO HAVE NO BEARING ON YOUR CASE.

IN THE LIGHT OF THE PRESENT RECORD, THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 20, 1957, IS CORRECT AND MUST BE SUSTAINED.