B-149945, NOVEMBER 2, 1962, 42 COMP. GEN. 231

B-149945: Nov 2, 1962

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COMPENSATION - WAGE BOARD EMPLOYEES - CONVERSION TO NEW PAY PLAN - SAVED COMPENSATION UNDER A NEW "SERVICE SCHEDULE" PAY PLAN THAT PRODUCES LOWER RATES OF PAY FOR WAGE BOARD TYPE EMPLOYEES WHO ARE EXCEPTED FROM THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949. WHICH PROVIDES THAT THE COMPENSATION OF EXEMPTED EMPLOYEES SHALL BE FIXED AND ADJUSTED FROM TIME TO TIME "AS NEARLY AS IS CONSISTENT WITH THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN ACCORDANCE WITH PREVAILING RATES. A GRADUAL CHANGE FROM THE OLD PLAN TO THE NEW IS ACCEPTABLE UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE OPERATION OF THE NEW . THE EMPLOYEES SPECIFICALLY REFERRED TO ARE HOUSEKEEPING AIDS AND FOOD SERVICE WORKERS WHO ARE EXCEPTED FROM THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949 BY PARAGRAPH (7) OF SECTION 202 OF THE ACT.

B-149945, NOVEMBER 2, 1962, 42 COMP. GEN. 231

COMPENSATION - WAGE BOARD EMPLOYEES - CONVERSION TO NEW PAY PLAN - SAVED COMPENSATION UNDER A NEW "SERVICE SCHEDULE" PAY PLAN THAT PRODUCES LOWER RATES OF PAY FOR WAGE BOARD TYPE EMPLOYEES WHO ARE EXCEPTED FROM THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 1082 (7), WHICH PROVIDES THAT THE COMPENSATION OF EXEMPTED EMPLOYEES SHALL BE FIXED AND ADJUSTED FROM TIME TO TIME "AS NEARLY AS IS CONSISTENT WITH THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN ACCORDANCE WITH PREVAILING RATES," THE PRESERVATION OF THE OLD WAGE SCHEDULE OF PAY RATES AND THE CONTINUATION OF THE EMPLOYEES' REMAINING ENTITLEMENT TO STEP -INCREASES AND TO INCREASES IN PAY UNDER THE FORMER SCHEDULE UPON PROMOTION TO A HIGHER GRADE IN THE SAME LINE OF WORK WOULD BE "IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST; " THEREFORE, A GRADUAL CHANGE FROM THE OLD PLAN TO THE NEW IS ACCEPTABLE UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE OPERATION OF THE NEW ,SERVICE SCHEDULE" PRODUCES FOR THE EMPLOYEES AFFECTED A HIGHER RATE OF PAY THAN THAT ATTAINED OR ATTAINABLE UNDER THE OLD PLAN.

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, NOVEMBER 2, 1962:

WE REFER TO THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR'S LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 19, 1962, CONCERNING SAVED PAY BENEFITS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADOPTION OF A NEW PAY PLAN FOR CERTAIN WAGE-BOARD TYPE EMPLOYEES OF YOUR ADMINISTRATION.

THE EMPLOYEES SPECIFICALLY REFERRED TO ARE HOUSEKEEPING AIDS AND FOOD SERVICE WORKERS WHO ARE EXCEPTED FROM THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949 BY PARAGRAPH (7) OF SECTION 202 OF THE ACT, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 1082 (7). IN ADDITION TO THE EXEMPTION PROVISION, SAID PARAGRAPH (7) ALSO PROVIDES THAT THE COMPENSATION OF THE EXEMPTED EMPLOYEES SHALL BE FIXED AND ADJUSTED FROM TIME TO TIME "AS NEARLY AS IS CONSISTENT WITH THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN ACCORDANCE WITH PREVAILING RATES.'

THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR SAYS THAT A NEW PAY PLAN BEING ADOPTED ON A LOCALITY-BY-LOCALITY BASIS REALIGNS SERVICE TYPE OCCUPATIONS TO A SINGLE WAGE SCHEDULE FOR PAY PURPOSES. AS AN EXAMPLE, FUTURE RATE DETERMINATIONS FOR HOUSEKEEPING AIDS AND FOOD SERVICE WORKERS ARE MERGED INTO A NEWLY CREATED "SERVICE SCHEDULE.' FOR SOME EMPLOYEES THE "SERVICE SCHEDULE" WOULD PRODUCE LOWER RATES OF PAY THAN THOSE UNDER THE OLD WAGE SCHEDULE. YOU ARE PROVIDING "IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST" FOR THE PRESERVATION OF EXISTING RATES OF PAY IN THOSE CASES (AS TO WHICH SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 563).

IN ADDITION TO THE SAVING PROVISION JUST MENTIONED, YOU ALSO HAVE PROVIDED "IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST" FOR A CONTINUATION OF THE EMPLOYEES' REMAINING ENTITLEMENT, IF ANY, TO STEP-INCREASES, AS WELL AS ENTITLEMENT TO AN INCREASE IN PAY UNDER THE FORMER SCHEDULE UPON CHANGE TO A HIGHER GRADE (PROMOTION) IN THE SAME LINE OF WORK. OUR CONFIRMATION OF YOUR ACTION IS REQUESTED.

THE EFFECT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS FOR CONTINUING THE ENTITLEMENT OF THE EMPLOYEES TO REMAINING STEP-INCREASES AND AN INCREASE IN PAY UPON PROMOTION, TOGETHER WITH THE PROVISION FOR SAVING EXISTING RATES OF PAY, IS TO DELAY FOR THE TIME BEING THE APPLICATION OF THE NEW SCHEDULE TO SUCH EMPLOYEES.

WE RECOGNIZE THAT EXPERIENCE MAY DICTATE THAT A CHANGE IN PAY PLANS FOR EMPLOYEES SUBJECT TO SECTION 202 (7) IS REQUIRED IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST. WE RECOGNIZE ALSO THAT THE IMMEDIATE TOTAL ADOPTION OF A NEW PLAN, WHEN THE EFFECT WOULD BE TO DIVEST CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF PRESENT BENEFITS, MAY PROPERLY BE DETERMINED NOT TO BE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST, BUT THAT THE PUBLIC INTEREST WOULD BEST BE SERVED BY A GRADUAL CHANGE FROM THE OLD PLAN TO THE NEW. CONSEQUENTLY, WE SHALL INTERPOSE NO OBJECTION TO YOUR CONTINUING THE PAY POLICY IN QUESTION UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE OPERATION OF THE NEW "SERVICE SCHEDULE" PRODUCES FOR THE EMPLOYEES AFFECTED A HIGHER RATE OF PAY THAN THAT ATTAINED OR ATTAINABLE UNDER THE OLD PLAN.