B-141186, DEC. 30, 1959

B-141186: Dec 30, 1959

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ADVISES THAT YOUR DEPARTMENT IS CONSIDERING A REVISION OF THE REGULATIONS UNDER SECTION 302 (D) OF THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE COMPENSATION ACT. SECTION 302 (D) IS AS FOLLOWS: "/D) THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY PAY ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO RURAL CARRIERS WHO ARE REQUIRED TO CARRY POUCH MAIL TO INTERMEDIATE POST OFFICES. SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL NOT EXCEED THE SUM OF $12 PER ANNUM FOR EACH MILE SUCH CARRIER IS REQUIRED TO CARRY SUCH POUCHES.'. YOU REQUEST OUR DECISION WHETHER WE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT IF REVISED REGULATIONS WERE TO PROVIDE THAT "HEREAFTER PAYMENTS RECEIVED ON ACCOUNT OF PERFORMANCE OF POUCH SERVICE WOULD BE TREATED AS ADDITIONAL REGULAR COMPENSATION FOR ALL PURPOSES (EXCLUDING BASIC SALARY AS USED IN SECTION 302 (C) ( INCLUDING LIFE INSURANCE.

B-141186, DEC. 30, 1959

TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 5, 1959, FILE 800, ADVISES THAT YOUR DEPARTMENT IS CONSIDERING A REVISION OF THE REGULATIONS UNDER SECTION 302 (D) OF THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE COMPENSATION ACT, PUBLIC LAW 68, 69 STAT. 119,39 U.S.C. 972 (D), WHICH GOVERN THE PAYMENTS MADE TO RURAL CARRIERS FOR PERFORMANCE OF CERTAIN POUCH SERVICE. SECTION 302 (D) IS AS FOLLOWS:

"/D) THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY PAY ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO RURAL CARRIERS WHO ARE REQUIRED TO CARRY POUCH MAIL TO INTERMEDIATE POST OFFICES, OR FOR INTERSECTING LOOP ROUTES, IN ALL CASES WHERE IT APPEARS THAT THE CARRIAGE OF SUCH POUCHES INCREASES THE EXPENSE OF THE EQUIPMENT REQUIRED BY THE CARRIER OR MATERIALLY INCREASES THE AMOUNT OF LABOR PERFORMED BY HIM. SUCH COMPENSATION SHALL NOT EXCEED THE SUM OF $12 PER ANNUM FOR EACH MILE SUCH CARRIER IS REQUIRED TO CARRY SUCH POUCHES.'

THE PROVISIONS JUST QUOTED SUBSTANTIALLY REENACT THAT PORTION OF THE ACT OF JULY 28, 1916, 39 STAT. 423, AS APPEARS AT 39 U.S.C. 205. YOU REQUEST OUR DECISION WHETHER WE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT IF REVISED REGULATIONS WERE TO PROVIDE THAT "HEREAFTER PAYMENTS RECEIVED ON ACCOUNT OF PERFORMANCE OF POUCH SERVICE WOULD BE TREATED AS ADDITIONAL REGULAR COMPENSATION FOR ALL PURPOSES (EXCLUDING BASIC SALARY AS USED IN SECTION 302 (C) ( INCLUDING LIFE INSURANCE, RETIREMENT, SOCIAL SECURITY, WITHHOLDING TAX, LEAVE PAYMENTS, ETC.'

THE PRESENT REGULATIONS UNDER SECTION 302 (D) ARE CONTAINED IN SECTION 755.412 OF THE POSTAL MANUAL, PROVIDING, IN PART, THAT THE AMOUNT OF ALLOWANCE SHOULD BE DETERMINED BY THE WEIGHT OF MAIL TRANSPORTED RATHER THAN THE DISTANCE TO THE INTERMEDIATE OFFICE.

YOU SAY THE REGULATIONS OF THE "ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION" ARE INTENDED TO COMPENSATE THE CARRIER FOR THE "ADDITIONAL WORK" HE PERFORMS, AND ARE NOT INTENDED AS PAYMENT ON ACCOUNT OF ADDED COST OF EQUIPMENT. HOWEVER, SUCH A DETERMINATION OF FACT COULD NOT LAWFULLY CHANGE THE NATURE OF THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION--- WHICH FOR MANY YEARS HAS BEEN REGARDED AS AN ALLOWANCE FOR ALL PURPOSES ON ACCOUNT OF OUR DECISION IN 4 COMP. GEN. 875.

WE HAVE GIVEN CAREFUL CONSIDERATION TO THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN YOUR LETTER BUT, IN THE ABSENCE OF AN APPROPRIATE CHANGE OR CLARIFICATION IN THE LAW, WE ARE UNABLE TO CONCUR IN THE PROPOSED REVISION OF THE REGULATIONS OF RURAL CARRIERS'"ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION" UNDER SECTION 302 (D).