B-152458, NOV. 5, 1963

B-152458: Nov 5, 1963

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SHE WAS TRANSFERRED TO A POSITION IN GRADE GS-5. WAS GREATER THAN A STEP INCREMENT IN GS-5 ($165). SHE WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY REQUIRED TO BEGIN A NEW WAITING PERIOD ON JULY 8. THE EMPLOYEE FEELS THAT THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HER STEP-INCREASE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SEPTEMBER 30. WAS THE $10 ANNUAL INCREASE SHE RECEIVED UPON APPOINTMENT AT GRADE GS-5. THE WAITING PERIOD FOR A SCHEDULE STEP INCREASE (HEREINAFTER CALLED "SCHEDULE WAITING PERIOD") IS THE 52 * * * CALENDAR WEEKS OF CREDITABLE SERVICE AS PRESCRIBED IN THE ACT AND THE REGULATIONS * * * "/B) A WAITING PERIOD BEGINS UNDER EACH OF THE FOLLOWING: * * * (3) AN INCREASE OR A TOTAL OF INCREASES IN BASE PAY WITHIN A SCHEDULE WAITING PERIOD EQUAL TO A FULL STEP FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S GRADE.

B-152458, NOV. 5, 1963

TO MR. LEROY P. AFDEM, BUREAU OF FINANCE, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 9, 1963, REFERENCE AIR:LPA:1SP, ASKS WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY A VOUCHER FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STEPS 3 AND 4 OF GRANDE GS-5 FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 30, 1962, THROUGH JULY 6, 1963, BASED UPON THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER RELATED.

YOU SAY THAT THE EMPLOYEE RECEIVED A STEP-INCREASE ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1961 FROM PFS-4, STEP 2, $2.23 PER HOUR ($4,505 PER ANNUM) TO PFS-4, STEP 3, $2.31 PER HOUR ($4,665 PER ANNUM), UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3552 OF PUB.L. 86-682, 74 STAT. 649. ON JULY 8, 1962, SHE WAS TRANSFERRED TO A POSITION IN GRADE GS-5, STEP 3, $4,675 PER ANNUM. SINCE THE $10 INCREASE SHE RECEIVED UPON APPOINTMENT AT GRADE GS-5, WHEN COMBINED WITH THE INCREASE OF $160 SHE RECEIVED ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1961, WAS GREATER THAN A STEP INCREMENT IN GS-5 ($165), SHE WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY REQUIRED TO BEGIN A NEW WAITING PERIOD ON JULY 8, 1962.

THE EMPLOYEE FEELS THAT THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HER STEP-INCREASE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SEPTEMBER 30, 1962, INSTEAD OF JULY 7, 1963, SINCE THE ONLY INCREASE IN BASIC COMPENSATION SHE RECEIVED DURING THE 52-WEEK PERIOD, SEPTEMBER 30, 1961, TO SEPTEMBER 30, 1962, WAS THE $10 ANNUAL INCREASE SHE RECEIVED UPON APPOINTMENT AT GRADE GS-5, STEP 3, $4,675 PER ANNUM ON JULY 8, 1962.

THE EMPLOYEE HERE INVOLVED BECAME SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 25.152 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY REGULATIONS, 5 CFR 62, JANUARY 1, 1962, CUMULATIVE POCKET SUPPLEMENT, ON JULY 8, 1962, THE DATE OF HER TRANSFER. THAT SECTION READ, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"SCHEDULE WAITING PERIOD.

"/A) FOR FULL-TIME * * * EMPLOYEES, THE WAITING PERIOD FOR A SCHEDULE STEP INCREASE (HEREINAFTER CALLED "SCHEDULE WAITING PERIOD") IS THE 52 * * * CALENDAR WEEKS OF CREDITABLE SERVICE AS PRESCRIBED IN THE ACT AND THE REGULATIONS * * *

"/B) A WAITING PERIOD BEGINS UNDER EACH OF THE FOLLOWING: * * * (3) AN INCREASE OR A TOTAL OF INCREASES IN BASE PAY WITHIN A SCHEDULE WAITING PERIOD EQUAL TO A FULL STEP FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S GRADE, EVEN THOUGH SUCH INCREASE MAY HAVE BEEN UNDER A DIFFERENT PAY SYSTEM.'

SECTION 25.155 OF THE SAME REGULATIONS READ AS FOLLOWS:

"EQUIVALENT INCREASE.

"AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE" IS 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. WHEN AN EMPLOYEE RECEIVES MORE THAN ONE INCREASE IN BASIC COMPENSATION WITHIN HIS CURRENT SCHEDULE WAITING PERIOD, NO ONE OF WHICH IS AN EQUIVALENT INCREASE, FIRST AND SUBSEQUENT INCREASES SHALL BE ADDED UNTIL A TOTAL IS REACHED WHICH IS EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN THE AMOUNT OF THE STEP INCREMENT OF THE GRADE IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS SERVING AT THE TIME THIS TOTAL IS REACHED. THE EMPLOYEE SHALL THEN BE DEEMED TO HAVE RECEIVED AN EQUIVALENT INCREASE.'

APPLYING THE QUOTED REGULATIONS TO THE EMPLOYEE HERE CONCERNED WE FIND THAT DURING THE 52-WEEK PERIOD ENDING JULY 8, 1962, THE DATE OF HER TRANSFER TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT POSITION, SHE RECEIVED $160 REPRESENTING A STEP-INCREASE UNDER THE PFS SCHEDULE ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1961, AND A $10 INCREASE UPON HER TRANSFER. THUS SHE RECEIVED A TOTAL OF $170 DURING THAT 52-WEEK PERIOD WHEREAS $165 REPRESENTS AN EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN HER GS-5 POSITION.

THEREFORE, A NEW WAITING PERIOD BEGAN JULY 8, 1962, AND SINCE THE EMPLOYEE WAS PLACED IN STEP 3 OF HER GRADE UPON TRANSFER, SHE WOULD NOT BECOME ENTITLED TO ANOTHER STEP-INCREASE UNTIL THE FIRST DAY OF THE PAY PERIOD BEGINNING AFTER THE COMPLETION OF 52 CALENDAR WEEKS FROM JULY 8, 1962, PROVIDED THE OTHER CONDITIONS FOR A STEP-INCREASE ARE MET. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING THE VOUCHER, REFERRED TO ABOVE, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THIS DECISION SUPERSEDES OUR REPLY OF OCTOBER 22, 1963, B-152458, TO YOU, IN THIS MATTER.