B-149925, OCT. 15, 1962

B-149925: Oct 15, 1962

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THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WAS PREDICATED UPON THE FACT THAT YOU DID NOT PERFORM ALL OF THE ESSENTIAL DUTIES OF THE POSITION OF MASON. YOU ALLEGE THAT YOU DID PERFORM SUBSTANTIALLY ALL THE DUTIES OF THE POSITION EXCEPT THOSE PERTAINING TO MARBLE WORK AND THAT WHILE YOU WERE CAPABLE OF DOING SUCH WORK YOU WERE NEVER REQUESTED TO PERFORM IT. THE DETERMINATION WHETHER YOU PERFORMED SUBSTANTIALLY ALL THE DUTIES PERTAINING TO THE POSITION OF MASON PRIMARILY IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER AND ONE THAT NORMALLY WOULD NOT BE SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY OUR OFFICE. THE DEPARTMENT'S VIEW IS SET FORTH IN THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE WHICH WAS INCLUDED IN THE RECORD TRANSMITTED HERE BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT: "THE FUNCTION OF A PFS-5 MASON.

B-149925, OCT. 15, 1962

TO MR. JOHN MACCA:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 6, 1962, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 23, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR HIGHER LEVEL SALARY FOR SERVICES PERFORMED DURING THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 1, 1956, THROUGH MAY 8, 1959, AS A MASON, PFS-5--- YOUR REGULAR POSITION DURING SUCH PERIOD BEING THAT OF MAIL HANDLER.

THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WAS PREDICATED UPON THE FACT THAT YOU DID NOT PERFORM ALL OF THE ESSENTIAL DUTIES OF THE POSITION OF MASON, PFS-5 AND THAT, THEREFORE, YOU DID NOT QUALIFY FOR HIGHER LEVEL PAY APPLICABLE TO THAT POSITION. YOU ALLEGE THAT YOU DID PERFORM SUBSTANTIALLY ALL THE DUTIES OF THE POSITION EXCEPT THOSE PERTAINING TO MARBLE WORK AND THAT WHILE YOU WERE CAPABLE OF DOING SUCH WORK YOU WERE NEVER REQUESTED TO PERFORM IT. IN SUPPORT OF YOUR POSITION YOU TRANSMITTED HERE YOUR DAILY WORKBOOK WHICH DESCRIBES THE VARIOUS TYPES OF WORK YOU ALLEGEDLY PERFORMED. THE DETERMINATION WHETHER YOU PERFORMED SUBSTANTIALLY ALL THE DUTIES PERTAINING TO THE POSITION OF MASON PRIMARILY IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER AND ONE THAT NORMALLY WOULD NOT BE SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY OUR OFFICE. THE DEPARTMENT'S VIEW IS SET FORTH IN THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE WHICH WAS INCLUDED IN THE RECORD TRANSMITTED HERE BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT:

"THE FUNCTION OF A PFS-5 MASON, SP 6-44, IS TO CARRY THROUGH TO COMPLETION ALL OF THE VARIOUS MASONRY RESPONSIBILITIES PECULIAR TO THE CRAFT. AMONG OTHER THINGS, THIS INVOLVES CONSTRUCTING TABLES, COUNTERS, AND FLOORS OF GRANITE, MARBLE, TILE, TERRAZZO AND STONE. THIS ALSO INCLUDED POINTING OPEN JOINTS, REPAIRING DEFECTS IN TERRAZZO, REFINISHING SURFACES, REMOVING STAINS, ETC.

"BY CONTRAST, WE WERE ADVISED THAT MR. MACCA DID NOT CARRY OUT THESE KINDS OF DUTIES. AS MERELY ONE EXAMPLE, THE REPAIRING OF DEFECTS IN TERRAZZO INCLUDES PLACING PROPERLY A NUMBER OF ROUND PEBBLES AND COMPLETING PRECISION GRINDING SO THAT THE PEBBLE MATERIAL BLENDS WITH THE ORIGINAL PATTERN. MR. MACCA DID NOT HAVE THIS DUTY OR SIMILAR DUTIES AS A RESPONSIBILITY. SIMILARLY, POINTING OPEN JOINTS ALSO REQUIRES SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES IN BLENDING MATERIALS BETWEEN BRICK SURFACES.

"IN SUMMARY, WE WERE ADVISED THAT MR. MACCA'S RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDED MAINLY REPLACING OR REPAIRING CEMENT BLOCKS, USING AS A GUIDE OR FORM AN ANGLE IRON PLACED OVER A CONCRETE AREA (BULL NOSES). HIS ASSIGNMENT WAS TO POUR CONCRETE TO FILL OUT THE MISSING MATERIAL THAT USUALLY WAS KNOCKED OUT BY A NUTTING TRUCK OR SIMILAR CONVEYING EQUIPMENT ITEM. THESE CHIPS ARE USUALLY ON CORNERS OF WALLS ADJACENT TO DOOR AREAS. CONSIDERABLE TIME WAS ALSO SPENT IN REPLACING HOLES IN THE BLACK-TOP MACADAM SURFACE WAY.'

UPON THE BASIS OF THE ABOVE FACTS IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT YOU DID NOT PERFORM SUBSTANTIALLY ALL DUTIES OF THE HIGHER LEVEL POSITION OF MASON BUT, RATHER, THAT THE NATURE OF YOUR WORD WAS CONSIDERED TO BE ON THE LEVEL OF THAT PERFORMED BY A MECHANIC'S HELPER, A PFS-3 POSITION, THE SALARY OF WHICH IS THE SAME AS THAT APPLICABLE TO THE POSITION OF MAIL HANDLER. ALSO, IN THAT REGARD IT IS REPORTED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT THAT THE POSITION OF MASON, SP 6-44, PFS 5, WAS NOT AUTHORIZED UNTIL JANUARY 15, 1960, WHICH WAS AFTER THE TERMINATION ON MAY 8, 1959, OF YOUR DETAIL TO DUTIES OF THAT NATURE.

YOU HAVE NOT PRESENTED SUFFICIENT INFORMATION TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF THE VALIDITY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION AND WE FIND NO EVIDENCE THAT SUCH DETERMINATION IS ARBITRARY OR CAPRICIOUS. IN VIEW THEREOF AND SINCE THE MATTER OF DETERMINING YOUR APPROPRIATE PAY LEVEL IS PRIMARILY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, RATHER THAN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, WE FIND NO PROPER BASIS UPON THE PRESENT RECORD FOR ALLOWING YOUR CLAIM.

THEREFORE, THE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 23, 1962, IS SUSTAINED.

THE RECORD BOOK TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 6, 1962, IS RETURNED HEREWITH.