B-147849, FEB. 9, 1962

B-147849: Feb 9, 1962

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THE LETTER SETS FORTH CERTAIN INDUSTRIAL PRACTICES REGARDING SUCH BENEFITS FOR WHICH ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION IS PAID AS A RESULT OF CONTRACTS NEGOTIATED BY THE SEVERAL INDUSTRIAL CONCERNS WITH LABOR UNIONS. PARTICULARLY THOSE REGARDING TRAVEL TIME COMPENSATION FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED ON REGULAR WORK DAYS AFTER COMPLETION OF THE USUAL TOUR OF DUTY AND COMPENSATION FOR TIME INVOLUNTARILY LOST AWAITING TRANSPORTATION ARE PROPOSED TO BE GRANTED TO WAGE BOARD EMPLOYEES OF THE AIR FORCE. THE PRESENT RULE AND REGULATIONS REGARDING TRAVEL TIME IS THAT WAGE BOARD EMPLOYEES. LIKE CLASSIFICATION ACT PER ANNUM EMPLOYEES ARE NOT ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR TRAVEL TIME AFTER THE COMPLETION OF USUAL TOURS OF DUTY ON WORK DAYS UNLESS THEY PERFORM WORK WHILE TRAVELING OR UNLESS THE TRAVEL IS OF AN ARDUOUS NATURE.

B-147849, FEB. 9, 1962

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

WE REFER TO A LETTER DATED DECEMBER 5, 1961, FILE AFPCP-C-2, FROM CHIEF, PAY AND REGULATIONS DIVISION, DIRECTORATE OF CIVILIAN PERSONNEL, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, WITH ENCLOSURE, CONCERNING CERTAIN PROPOSED NEW FRINGE WAGE BENEFITS IN THE PAY STRUCTURE OF WAGE BOARD EMPLOYEES OF THE AIR FORCE.

THE LETTER SETS FORTH CERTAIN INDUSTRIAL PRACTICES REGARDING SUCH BENEFITS FOR WHICH ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION IS PAID AS A RESULT OF CONTRACTS NEGOTIATED BY THE SEVERAL INDUSTRIAL CONCERNS WITH LABOR UNIONS. CERTAIN OF THOSE FRINGE WAGE BENEFITS, PARTICULARLY THOSE REGARDING TRAVEL TIME COMPENSATION FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED ON REGULAR WORK DAYS AFTER COMPLETION OF THE USUAL TOUR OF DUTY AND COMPENSATION FOR TIME INVOLUNTARILY LOST AWAITING TRANSPORTATION ARE PROPOSED TO BE GRANTED TO WAGE BOARD EMPLOYEES OF THE AIR FORCE. THE PRESENT RULE AND REGULATIONS REGARDING TRAVEL TIME IS THAT WAGE BOARD EMPLOYEES, LIKE CLASSIFICATION ACT PER ANNUM EMPLOYEES ARE NOT ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR TRAVEL TIME AFTER THE COMPLETION OF USUAL TOURS OF DUTY ON WORK DAYS UNLESS THEY PERFORM WORK WHILE TRAVELING OR UNLESS THE TRAVEL IS OF AN ARDUOUS NATURE. NO SPECIFIC RULE OR REGULATION APPEARS TO ENTIRELY COVER COMPENSATION FOR TIME AWAITING TRANSPORTATION.

IN OUR DECISION 27 COMP. GEN. 613, 618 (1ST PARAGRAPH) WE EXPRESSED THE VIEW THAT A WAGE BOARD OR OTHER WAGE FIXING AUTHORITY MIGHT PROVIDE FOR ITEMS OF PREMIUM COMPENSATION TO ACCORD WITH THE PREVAILING PRACTICE IN PRIVATE INDUSTRY WITHOUT SPECIFIC LEGISLATION. CF. 25 COMP. GEN. 584.

UNDER AIR FORCE REGULATIONS, THE DEPARTMENT'S WAGE BOARD, WITHIN THE SCOPE OF AUTHORITY REPOSED IN IT BY THE SECRETARY, IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DETERMINATION OF SALARIES, WAGES, AND SUCH FRINGE WAGE BENEFITS AS ARE APPROPRIATE FOR THE DEPARTMENT'S UNGRADED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES. CONSONANCE WITH THAT RESPONSIBILITY AND WITH SECTION 202 (7) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 1082 (7), EXEMPTING THE POSITIONS OF THE EMPLOYEES CONCERNED FROM THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, IT WOULD APPEAR TO BE AN ESSENTIAL FUNCTION OF THE WAGE BOARD TO DETERMINE THAT THE PROPOSED FRINGE WAGE BENEFITS ARE SUPPORTED BY PREVAILING COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL PRACTICES. WHEN BASED UPON SUCH DETERMINATIONS, SUPPLEMENTED BY FINDINGS OF COMPETENT AUTHORITY THAT THE PROPOSED WAGE BENEFITS ARE CONSISTENT WITH THE GOVERNING STATUTES AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST, NO VALID OBJECTION COULD BE INTERPOSED TO THE PROMULGATION OF REGULATIONS AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF SUCH BENEFITS.

THE SAME CONSIDERATIONS WOULD APPLY TO THE FIVE PERCENT DIFFERENTIAL TO WHICH THE LETTER OF DECEMBER 5, 1961, REFERS AND WHICH IS SAID TO BE NOW IN FORCE IN ALASKA.

SHOULD THE PROPOSED WAGE STRUCTURE CHANGES BE APPROVED, WE SUGGEST THAT THE MATTER OF WHAT EVIDENCE IS REQUIRED FOR A PROPER AUDIT SHOULD BE DISCUSSED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF YOUR OFFICE AND THE DEFENSE ACCOUNTING AND AUDITING DIVISION, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.