B-144883, FEB. 8, 1961

B-144883: Feb 8, 1961

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YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED UPON THE GROUND THAT YOU RECEIVED THE COMPENSATION OF THE POSITION TO WHICH YOU HAD BEEN ASSIGNED AND THAT THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY TO MAKE ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES IN SALARY RETROACTIVE. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BECAUSE OF A REDUCTION IN FORCE ELEVEN RIGGER POSITIONS WERE ABOLISHED AND SEVEN CRANE HOOKMAN POSITIONS WERE ESTABLISHED AND THAT EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 16. YOU WERE REDUCED FROM THE RATING OF RIGGER $2.40 PER HOUR. AFTER A MONTH'S TRIAL IT WAS DETERMINED THAT SUCH PLAN WAS NOT PRACTICABLE AND THE CRANE HOOKMAN POSITIONS WERE ABOLISHED AND THE RIGGER POSITIONS WERE RE-ESTABLISHED. YOU WERE THEN PROMOTED BACK TO YOUR FORMER POSITION OF RIGGER EFFECTIVE MARCH 16. IN HIS LETTER OF JANUARY 3 THE PRESIDENT OF LODGE NO. 1422 CONTENDS THAT THERE WAS "NO SUCH STATUS AS CRANE HOOKMAN IN THE NAVAL WORK PROGRAM WHICH COVERS RIGGING.'.

B-144883, FEB. 8, 1961

TO MR. RAYMOND A. SMITH:

THIS REFERS TO LETTER OF JANUARY 3, 1961, FROM THE PRESIDENT OF LODGE NO. 1422, WRITTEN IN YOUR BEHALF, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 7, 1960, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR INCREASED SALARY ALLEGED TO BE DUE FOR THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 16, 1959, THROUGH MARCH 16, 1959, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, NAVAL CONSTRUCTION BATTALION CENTER, DAVISVILLE, EAST GREENWICH, RHODE ISLAND.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED UPON THE GROUND THAT YOU RECEIVED THE COMPENSATION OF THE POSITION TO WHICH YOU HAD BEEN ASSIGNED AND THAT THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY TO MAKE ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES IN SALARY RETROACTIVE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BECAUSE OF A REDUCTION IN FORCE ELEVEN RIGGER POSITIONS WERE ABOLISHED AND SEVEN CRANE HOOKMAN POSITIONS WERE ESTABLISHED AND THAT EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 16, 1959, YOU WERE REDUCED FROM THE RATING OF RIGGER $2.40 PER HOUR, TO A RATING OF CRANE HOOKMAN $2.09 PER HOUR. AFTER A MONTH'S TRIAL IT WAS DETERMINED THAT SUCH PLAN WAS NOT PRACTICABLE AND THE CRANE HOOKMAN POSITIONS WERE ABOLISHED AND THE RIGGER POSITIONS WERE RE-ESTABLISHED. YOU WERE THEN PROMOTED BACK TO YOUR FORMER POSITION OF RIGGER EFFECTIVE MARCH 16, 1959.

IN HIS LETTER OF JANUARY 3 THE PRESIDENT OF LODGE NO. 1422 CONTENDS THAT THERE WAS "NO SUCH STATUS AS CRANE HOOKMAN IN THE NAVAL WORK PROGRAM WHICH COVERS RIGGING.' THERE IS ON FILE A COPY OF A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE UNITED STATES NAVAL CONSTRUCTION BATTALION CENTER, DAVISVILLE, RHODE ISLAND, DATED DECEMBER 29, 1958, P19) (12) AF, FROM COMMANDING OFFICER TO ALL CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES, SUBJECT, REDUCTION IN FORCE; NOTIFICATION OF. THIS ANNOUNCEMENT PROVIDES IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"1. BY REFERENCE (A) THIS ACTIVITY WAS DIRECTED TO EFFECT A REDUCTION IN FORCE IN ORDER TO REMAIN WITHIN FUNDS ALLOTTED FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1959. THESE FUNDS PROVIDE FOR A CIVILIAN WORKING FORCE OF 1080 PERSONNEL AFTER 15 FEBRUARY 1959. DURING THE PAST SIX MONTHS, THIS COMMAND, IN STRICT COMPLIANCE WITH THE BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS POLICY, HAS CAREFULLY REVIEWED ANY VACANCY, AND ONLY THOSE ESSENTIAL POSITIONS REQUIRING REPLACEMENT, HAVE BEEN APPROVED FOR FILLING. THIS POLICY HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL, AND A NET REDUCTION OF 191 PERSONNEL IS REQUIRED TO REACH THE NEW CEILING ON 15 FEBRUARY 1959.

"2. THE REDUCTION IN FORCE WILL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING OCCUPIED POSITIONS:

"GROUP III NUMBER

"RIGGER, PUBLIC WORKS DEPT. (9/---

CONSTR. EQUIP. DEPT. (2) 11

"NEW JOBS

PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT

"CRANE HOOKMAN 7 "

THE PRESIDENT OF LODGE NO. 1422 FURTHER CONTENDS THAT YOU PERFORMED RIGGING WORK EVERY DAY DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION. THERE IS ON FILE A MEMORANDUM DATED SEPTEMBER 28, 1958, FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER, NAVAL CONSTRUCTION BATTALION CENTER, DAVISVILLE, EAST GREENWICH, RHODE ISLAND, SIGNED BY WM. F. WESANEN, SUBJECT: "SMITH, RAYMOND A., DISAPPROVAL OF CLAIM FOR DIFFERENCE IN PAY IN THE CASE OF," ADDRESSED TO OUR OFFICE, THE FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"4. FROM 16 FEBRUARY 1959 THROUGH 15 MARCH 1959 MR. SMITH PERFORMED THE DUTIES OF A CRANE HOOKMAN. HE WORKED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF A RIGGER AND WAS NOT ASSIGNED THE WORK OF A RIGGER. A STATEMENT TO THAT EFFECT BY THE CHIEF QUARTERMAN, TRANSPORTATION OPERATIONS IS FORWARDED AS ENCLOSURE (2). DISAPPROVAL OF MR. SMITH'S CLAIM IS THEREFORE RECOMMENDED.'

SINCE THE RECORD SHOWS THAT FOR THE PERIOD INVOLVED YOU PERFORMED THE DUTIES OF A CRANE HOOKMAN AND RECEIVED THE COMPENSATION ATTACHED TO THAT POSITION YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE DIFFERENCE IN PAY BETWEEN A CRANE HOOKMAN AND RIGGER. THIS IS FOR THE REASON THAT THE ESTABLISHED PRINCIPLE OF LAW IS THAT A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED ONLY TO THE COMPENSATION OF THE POSITION TO WHICH HE PROPERLY IS APPOINTED, REGARDLESS OF THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES ASSIGNED TO HIM AND WHETHER THE APPOINTMENT TO SUCH POSITION RESULTS FROM ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR OR INADVERTENCE. SEE 20 COMP. GEN. 267; 18 ID. 907; 17 ID. 323; 6 ID. 133; PRICE V. UNITED STATES, 80 F.SUPP. 542; DVORKIN V. UNITED STATES, 101 CT.CL. 296; AND COLEMAN V. UNITED STATES, 100 CT.CL. 41. IN THE COURT CASE LAST CITED IT WAS HELD, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

"* * * ONE WHO HOLDS OFFICE IS ENTITLED TO NO MORE THAN THE SALARY OF THE OFFICE TO WHICH HE WAS APPOINTED, WHETHER OR NOT HE PERFORMS THE DUTIES OF AN OFFICE OF HIGHER GRADE.'

SINCE THE RECORD SHOWS YOU OCCUPIED A POSITION OF CRANE HOOKMAN DURING THE PERIOD OF YOUR CLAIM, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR PAYMENT TO YOU OF ANY COMPENSATION EXCEPT THAT APPLICABLE TO SAID POSITION. WHEN THERE IS A DISPUTE BETWEEN THE FACTS REPORTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AND THOSE ASSERTED BY A CLAIMANT THE RULE OF OUR OFFICE HAS BEEN TO ACCEPT THE FACTS AS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF THE CORRECTNESS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED FACTS. NO SUCH EVIDENCE HAS BEEN PRESENTED HERE.