B-150513, JANUARY 28, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 405

B-150513: Jan 28, 1963

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WHO IS CONSIDERED A TEMPORARY EMPLOYEE WITHIN THE MEANING OF 39 U.S.C. 3554 AND LIMITED TO THE ENTRANCE STEP OF THE PFS-6 GRADE TO WHICH APPOINTED UNTIL THE DATE OF HIS PROMOTION TO GRADE PFS-7 AND TO THE ENTRANCE STEP OF THE GRADE 7 UNTIL HIS CONVERSION TO THE POSITION OF CAREER POSTMASTER IS ENTITLED UPON CONVERSION TO THE PERMANENT POSITION TO CREDIT FOR THE PERIOD OF HIS TEMPORARY SERVICE AS ACTING POSTMASTER IN DETERMINING THE APPROPRIATE STEP IN THE SALARY LEVEL 7 OF THE PERMANENT POSITION TO WHICH CONVERTED. 39 U.S.C. 3553 AUTHORIZING CREDIT FOR SERVICE UNDER A TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF STEP-INCREASES WHEN THE TEMPORARY SERVICE IS CONTINUOUS TO THE DATE OF APPOINTMENT TO A POSITION OF UNLIMITED DURATION.

B-150513, JANUARY 28, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 405

COMPENSATION - POSTAL SERVICE - LONGEVITY AND PERIODIC STEP-INCREASES - CREDITABLE SERVICE A POSTAL FIELD SERVICE EMPLOYEE APPOINTED AS ACTING POSTMASTER UNDER THE TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT AUTHORITY OF 39 U.S.C. 3315 (B), WHO IS CONSIDERED A TEMPORARY EMPLOYEE WITHIN THE MEANING OF 39 U.S.C. 3554 AND LIMITED TO THE ENTRANCE STEP OF THE PFS-6 GRADE TO WHICH APPOINTED UNTIL THE DATE OF HIS PROMOTION TO GRADE PFS-7 AND TO THE ENTRANCE STEP OF THE GRADE 7 UNTIL HIS CONVERSION TO THE POSITION OF CAREER POSTMASTER IS ENTITLED UPON CONVERSION TO THE PERMANENT POSITION TO CREDIT FOR THE PERIOD OF HIS TEMPORARY SERVICE AS ACTING POSTMASTER IN DETERMINING THE APPROPRIATE STEP IN THE SALARY LEVEL 7 OF THE PERMANENT POSITION TO WHICH CONVERTED, 39 U.S.C. 3553 AUTHORIZING CREDIT FOR SERVICE UNDER A TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF STEP-INCREASES WHEN THE TEMPORARY SERVICE IS CONTINUOUS TO THE DATE OF APPOINTMENT TO A POSITION OF UNLIMITED DURATION.

TO LEROY P. AFDEM, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, JANUARY 28, 1963:

IN YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 19, 1962, YOUR REFERENCE AIR:LPA, YOU REQUESTED A DECISION CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A PAYROLL VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. H. B. WALKER IN THE GROSS AMOUNT OF $15 REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE IN SALARY BETWEEN THE PER ANNUM RATE OF $6,780 (PFS-7, STEP 6) AND THE PER ANNUM SALARY RATE OF $6,585 (PFS-7, STEP 5) FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 13, TO NOVEMBER 9, 1962.

FROM THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN YOUR LETTER IT APPEARS THAT MR. WALKER HAS BEEN CONTINUOUSLY EMPLOYED IN THE POSTAL SERVICE SINCE THE DATE OF HIS APPOINTMENT AS ACTING POSTMASTER, PFS-6, STEP 1, ON FEBRUARY 28, 1957. WAS PROMOTED TO PFS-7, STEP 1, ON JULY 12, 1958, AND WAS CONVERTED FROM ACTING TO CAREER POSTMASTER (LEVEL 7) ON AUGUST 22, 1958. THE PRIMARY QUESTION CONCERNS THE WITHIN LEVEL SALARY STEP TO WHICH MR. WALKER WAS ENTITLED UNDER APPLICABLE LAW FOLLOWING HIS CONVERSION TO CAREER POSTMASTER ON AUGUST 22, 1958.

YOUR LETTER PRESENTS THREE DIFFERENT WAYS OF SETTING FORTH THE SERVICE HISTORY OF MR. WALKER. OUR VIEW IS THAT THE METHOD APPEARING ON THE SECOND PAGE OF YOUR LETTER IS THE CORRECT METHOD OF SETTING FORTH MR. WALKER'S SERVICE HISTORY. THAT METHOD IS REITERATED BELOW FOR CONVENIENT REFERENCE---

CHART

2/28/57 APPT. ACT. POSTMASTER PFS-6, STEP 1, $4,190

1/11/58 P.L. 85-426 PFS-6, STEP 1,

4,620 (PAY STEP

1, 4,620) (PAY

STEP 1, 4,620)

7/12/58 PROMOTED PFS-7, STEP 2,

5,160 (PAY STEP

1, 4,990)

8/22/58 CONV. TO CAREER PFS-7, STEP 2, 5,160

7/11/59 STEP-INCREASE PFS-7, STEP 3, 5,330

7) 9/60 STEP-INCREASE AND P.L. 86-568 PFS-7, STEP 4, 5,925

7) 8/61 STEP-INCREASE PFS-7, STEP 5, 6,110

7) 7/62 STEP-INCREASE PFS-7, STEP 6, 6,295

10/13/62 P.L. 87-793 PFS-7, STEP 6, 6,780

39 U.S.C. 3315 CONTAINS AUTHORITY FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF AN ACTING POSTMASTER WHEN THE OFFICE OF POSTMASTER BECOMES VACANT. IT ALSO PROVIDES THAT---

(B) ACTING POSTMASTERS APPOINTED UNDER THIS SECTION MAY NOT SERVE MORE THAN SIX MONTHS FROM THE DATE OF THEIR DESIGNATION, UNLESS THE POSTMASTER GENERAL EXTENDS THE PERIOD OF SERVICE WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION.

BECAUSE OF SUCH A PROVISION ACTING POSTMASTERS HAVE BEEN REGARDED AS "TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES" WITHIN THE MEANING OF 39 U.S.C. 3554, REQUIRING THAT THE SALARY PAYABLE TO TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES HIRED FOR A CONTINUOUS PERIOD OF 1 YEAR OR LESS FOR A POSITION UNDER THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE SCHEDULE SHALL BE AT THE RATE FIXED FOR THE ENTRANCE STEP OF THE POSITION TO WHICH APPOINTED. UNDER SUCH PROVISION MR. WALKER, AS A TEMPORARY POSTMASTER, WOULD BE ENTITLED TO THE COMPENSATION AT THE RATE FIXED FOR THE ENTRANCE SALARY STEP OF GRADE 6 UNTIL THE DATE OF HIS PROMOTION TO GRADE 7, AND AT THE RATE FIXED FOR THE ENTRANCE SALARY RATE OF GRADE 7 UNTIL HIS CONVERSION TO THE POSITION OF CAREER POSTMASTER ON AUGUST 22, 1958.

UPON HIS CONVERSION TO THE POSITION OF CAREER POSTMASTER HIS ENTIRE SERVICE HISTORY SHOULD HAVE BEEN REVIEWED TO DETERMINE HIS APPROPRIATE STEP IN SALARY LEVEL 7. IN SUCH CONNECTION 39 U.S. CODE 3553 PROVIDES THAT "CREDIT MAY NOT BE ALLOWED FOR TIME ON THE ROLLS UNDER A TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT FOR ONE YEAR OR LESS UNLESS THE TIME ON THE ROLLS IS CONTINUOUS TO THE DATE OF APPOINTMENT TO A POSITION OF UNLIMITED DURATION.' SINCE MR. WALKER'S TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT WAS CONTINUOUS TO THE DATE OF HIS APPOINTMENT (CONVERSION) TO THE POSITION OF CAREER POSTMASTER, HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO CREDIT FOR THE PERIOD SERVED AS AN ACTING POSTMASTER IN DETERMINING HIS SALARY STEP IN HIS PERMANENT POSITION. COMPARE 36 COMP. GEN. 232, CITED IN YOUR LETTER, AND DECISION OF JANUARY 14, 1963, B-150510.

THE SERVICE HISTORY OF MR. WALKER, AS REFLECTED BY THE THIRD TABULATION ABOVE, APPEARS TO CONFORM WITH THE FOREGOING LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS. THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. ALSO, SUCH FURTHER ADJUSTMENT SHOULD BE MADE IN THE COMPENSATION PAID TO MR. WALKER FOR THE PERIOD AUGUST 22 THROUGH OCTOBER 12, 1962, AS MAY BE REQUIRED BY THE APPLICATION OF THE CORRECT RATES DURING THAT PERIOD.