B-151700, JUN. 11, 1963

B-151700: Jun 11, 1963

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CLEMMER WAS PROMOTED TO THE SECOND STEP (STEP "B"). CLEMMER WAS TRANSFERRED BACK TO ARIZONA ON AUGUST 28. 1963 (2) AND WAS REASSIGNED TO HIS FORMER POSITION WITH THE LANDS AND MINERALS DIVISION OF THE STATE OFFICE AT HIS FORMER GRADE. THE "EQUIVALENT INCREASE" TO WHICH THE FIELD ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE REFERS (GS- 11 TO GS-12) WAS RELINQUISHED UPON THE REQUEST OF THE FAO AT THE TIME MR. ONE REQUIREMENT FOR THE LONGEVITY STEPS WHICH WAS SPECIFIED IN SECTION 703 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949. WAS THREE YEARS OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE AT THE MAXIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITION WAS PLACED "* * * OR AT A RATE IN EXCESS THEREOF AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION WITHOUT INCREASE IN GRADE OR RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION * * *.'.

B-151700, JUN. 11, 1963

TO MR. FRED J. WEILER, STATE DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 19, 1963, REQUESTS OUR DECISION CONCERNING A WITHIN- GRADE STEP INCREASE FOR MR. LUTHER S. CLEMMER. YOU GIVE US THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:

"FROM JANUARY 12, 1958 TO SEPTEMBER 3, 1961, MR. CLEMMER OCCUPIED THE TOP STEP (STEP "F") OF GRADE GS-11. ON SEPTEMBER 3, 1961, MR. CLEMMER WAS PROMOTED TO THE SECOND STEP (STEP "B"), GRADE GS-12WHILE SERVING WITH THE MONTANA STATE OFFICE OF THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT.

"MR. CLEMMER WAS TRANSFERRED BACK TO ARIZONA ON AUGUST 28, 1963 (2) AND WAS REASSIGNED TO HIS FORMER POSITION WITH THE LANDS AND MINERALS DIVISION OF THE STATE OFFICE AT HIS FORMER GRADE, VIZ. STEP 6, GS-11. THE "EQUIVALENT INCREASE" TO WHICH THE FIELD ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE REFERS (GS- 11 TO GS-12) WAS RELINQUISHED UPON THE REQUEST OF THE FAO AT THE TIME MR. CLEMMER RETURNED TO HIS FORMER POSITION.

"IT WOULD APPEAR THAT WITH MORE THAN TWO YEARS AT THE TOP OF A GS-11 AND 11 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS IN GS-12, RETURNING TO THE TOP STEP IN GS-11 FOR SIX WEEKS AND FIVE DAYS PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF THE PAY ADJUSTMENT BILL, MR. CLEMMER WOULD BE IN LINE FOR A WITHIN-GRADE (STEP) INCREASE.'

PRIOR TO THE FEDERAL SALARY REFORM ACT OF 1962, PUB.L. 87-793, 76 STAT. 841, GRADE GS-11 CONTAINED 6 SCHEDULED STEPS AND STEPS X, Y, AND Z, THE THREE LONGEVITY STEPS OF THE GRADE. ONE REQUIREMENT FOR THE LONGEVITY STEPS WHICH WAS SPECIFIED IN SECTION 703 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, CH. 782, 63 STAT. 968, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 1123, WAS THREE YEARS OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE AT THE MAXIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITION WAS PLACED "* * * OR AT A RATE IN EXCESS THEREOF AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION WITHOUT INCREASE IN GRADE OR RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION * * *.' ANOTHER REQUIREMENT WAS 10 YEARS OF AGGREGATE SERVICE IN THE POSITION OCCUPIED OR IN POSITIONS OF EQUIVALENT OR HIGHER CLASS OR GRADE.

SINCE YOU SAY MR. CLEMMER SERVED IN STEP F FROM JANUARY 12, 1958, TO SEPTEMBER 3, 1961, HE COMPLETED OVER THREE YEARS SERVICE WITHOUT INCREASE IN GRADE OR RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION IN THE TOP STEP OF HIS GRADE BUT WAS NOT ENTITLED TO THE FIRST LONGEVITY STEP AS THE TEN YEAR AGGREGATE SERVICE REQUIREMENT HAD NOT BEEN FULFILLED.

THE FEDERAL SALARY REFORM ACT ADDED ADDITIONAL STEP-INCREASES TO THE VARIOUS GRADES AND ELIMINATED THE LONGEVITY INCREASES. SECTION 602 (B) (10) OF THE ACT PROVIDES THAT:

"SERVICE OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES PERFORMED IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST PAY PERIOD WHICH BEGINS ON OR AFTER THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THIS ACT, IN THE GRADE OF THE GENERAL SCHEDULE IN WHICH THEIR RESPECTIVE POSITIONS WERE PLACED ON SUCH DAY, SHALL BE COUNTED TOWARD NOT TO EXCEED ONE STEP INCREASE UNDER THE TIME IN GRADE PROVISIONS OF SUBSECTION (A) OF SECTION 701 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949 AS AMENDED BY THIS ACT.'

CONSEQUENTLY, ONLY SERVICE IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE DATE SPECIFIED THEREIN IS CREDITABLE TOWARD THE NEXT STEP-INCREASE OF THE GRADE IN WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS SERVING. IN REGARD TO THE PERIOD OF CREDITABLE SERVICE, SECTION 701 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 603 OF THE FEDERAL SALARY REFORM ACT OF 1962, 76 STAT. 847, 5 U.S.C. 1121, PROVIDES THAT:

"/A) EACH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE COMPENSATED ON A PER ANNUM BASIS, AND OCCUPYING A PERMANENT POSITION WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE COMPENSATION SCHEDULES FIXED BY THIS ACT, WHO HAS NOT ATTAINED THE MAXIMUM RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR THE GRADE IN WHICH HIS POSITION IS PLACED, SHALL BE ADVANCED IN COMPENSATION SUCCESSIVELY TO THE NEXT HIGHER RATE WITHIN THE GRADE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF (1) EACH FIFTY-TWO CALENDAR WEEKS OF SERVICE IN SALARY RATES 1, 2, AND 3, OR (2) EACH ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR CALENDAR WEEKS OF SERVICE IN SALARY RATES 4, 5, AND 6, OR (3) EACH ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY SIX CALENDAR WEEKS OF SERVICE IN SALARY RATES 7, 8, AND 9, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:

"/A) THAT NO EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION FROM ANY CAUSE WAS RECEIVED DURING SUCH PERIOD; * * *"

SECTION 25.155 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY REGULATIONS (5 CFR 25.155) DEFINES AN EQUIVALENT INCREASE AS "* * * AN INCREASE IN BASIC COMPENSATION EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN THE AMOUNT OF THE STEP INCREMENT OF THE GRADE IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS SERVING OR HAS SERVED DURING THE WAITING PERIOD UNDER CONSIDERATION. * * *"

SINCE MR. CLEMMER'S PROMOTION TO GS-12 CONSTITUTED AN EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION, AND IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 602 (B) (10), ABOVE, HIS CREDITABLE SERVICE FOR STEP 7 OF GRADE GS-11 IS TO BE COMPUTED FROM THE DATE OF HIS PROMOTION TO GRADE GS-12. THEREFORE, NOT HAVING SERVED THE REQUIRED WAITING PERIOD, MR. CLEMMER IS NOT NOW ENTITLED TO A WITHIN GRADE INCREASE IN HIS RATE OF PAY.