B-152466, SEP. 16, 1963

B-152466: Sep 16, 1963

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POINTS OUT THAT YOU HAVE BEEN INFORMED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT THAT MANY OF YOUR MEMBERS WHO HAVE BEEN DOWNGRADED AND ARE ENTITLED TO SALARY RETENTION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 39 U.S.C. 3560. ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE INCREASE PROVIDED IN THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE SCHEDULE II ON JANUARY 4. YOU FEEL THAT SUCH INTERPRETATION IS CONTRARY TO THE INTENT OF PUB.L. 87-793. ARE PERTINENT HERE ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THE SAVED PAY PROVISIONS ARE MADE APPLICABLE TO ALL LEVELS OF THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE SCHEDULE. OR STEPS WOULD OTHERWISE OCCUR ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH SCHEDULE WITHOUT REGARD TO ENACTMENT OF SUCH SCHEDULE SUCH CHANGES SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE OCCURRED PRIOR TO CONVERSION. "/2) IF EXISTING BASIC COMPENSATION IS GREATER THAN THE RATE TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS CONVERTED UNDER PARAGRAPH (1) OF THIS SECTION.

B-152466, SEP. 16, 1963

TO MR. FRED J. O-DWYER:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 1, 1963, POINTS OUT THAT YOU HAVE BEEN INFORMED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT THAT MANY OF YOUR MEMBERS WHO HAVE BEEN DOWNGRADED AND ARE ENTITLED TO SALARY RETENTION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 39 U.S.C. 3560, ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE INCREASE PROVIDED IN THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE SCHEDULE II ON JANUARY 4, 1964, AND YOU FEEL THAT SUCH INTERPRETATION IS CONTRARY TO THE INTENT OF PUB.L. 87-793, APPROVED OCTOBER 11, 1962, 76 STAT. 832. YOU ASK THAT WE FURNISH A RULING COVERING SECTIONS 712 AND 713 THEREOF, 76 STAT. 856.

WHILE YOUR LETTER ALSO REFERS TO SECTION 715 OF PUB.L. 87-793, WE NOTE THAT THE AMENDMENTS MADE BY THAT SECTION TO 39 U.S.C. 3560, ARE PERTINENT HERE ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THE SAVED PAY PROVISIONS ARE MADE APPLICABLE TO ALL LEVELS OF THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE SCHEDULE.

SECTION 712 CONTAINS THE PROVISIONS FOR THE CONVERSION OF EMPLOYEES UNDER THE FOREGOING SCHEDULE AS OF THE FIRST PAY PERIOD BEGINNING ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 1964. THAT SECTION READS AS FOLLOWS:

"SEC. 712. THE BASIC COMPENSATION OF EACH EMPLOYEE SUBJECT TO THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE SCHEDULE II, RURAL CARRIER SCHEDULE II, OR FOURTH CLASS OFFICE SCHEDULE II, AS THE CASE MAY BE, ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH SCHEDULE SHALL BE DETERMINED AS FOLLOWS:

"/1) EACH EMPLOYEE SHALL BE ASSIGNED TO THE SAME NUMERICAL STEP FOR HIS POSITION WHICH HE HAD ATTAINED PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH SCHEDULE. IF CHANGES IN LEVELS, RECEIPTS CATEGORIES, OR STEPS WOULD OTHERWISE OCCUR ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH SCHEDULE WITHOUT REGARD TO ENACTMENT OF SUCH SCHEDULE SUCH CHANGES SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE OCCURRED PRIOR TO CONVERSION.

"/2) IF EXISTING BASIC COMPENSATION IS GREATER THAN THE RATE TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS CONVERTED UNDER PARAGRAPH (1) OF THIS SECTION, THE EMPLOYEE SHALL BE PLACED IN THE LOWEST STEP WHICH EXCEEDS HIS BASIC COMPENSATION; IF THE EXISTING BASIC COMPENSATION EXCEEDS THE MAXIMUM STEP OF HIS POSITION, HIS EXISTING BASIC COMPENSATION SHALL BE ESTABLISHED AS HIS BASIC COMPENSATION.'

SECTION 713 READS AS FOLLOWS:

"SUBJECT TO SECTIONS * * * 712 (2) OF THIS TITLE, RATES OF COMPENSATION FIXED BY REASON OF SECTION 3560 OF TITLE 39, UNITED STATES CODE, SHALL NOT BE INCREASED BY THIS TITLE, NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF SUCH SECTION TO THE CONTRARY.'

WE INVITE YOUR ATTENTION TO THE EXPLANATION CONCERNING THOSE TWO SECTIONS CONTAINED IN THE CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 7927, WHICH BECAME PUB.L. 87- 793, H.REPT.NO. 2532, 87TH CONG., 2ND SESS. AT PAGE 66. THE STATEMENTS READ AS FOLLOWS:

"SECTION 712 PROVIDES FOR THE CONVERSION OF EMPLOYEES TO THE SCHEDULES TO BECOME EFFECTIVE IN JANUARY 1964 ACCORDING TO THE NUMERICAL STEP ATTAINED IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE DATE OF CONVERSION. WHERE EXISTING COMPENSATION EXCEEDS THE RATE FOR THE NUMERICAL STEP, THE EXISTING COMPENSATION IS RETAINED IF CONVERSION CANNOT BE MADE TO A SCHEDULED STEP.

"SECTION 713 AMENDS SECTION 3560 OF TITLE 39, U.S.C. AS ADDED BY SECTION 210 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1961 (75 STAT. 569, PUBLIC LAW 87-270), WHICH PROVIDES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT EMPLOYEES IN PROTECTED RATES WILL BE GIVEN STATUTORY INCREASES APPLICABLE TO THE SALARY STANDING FROM WHICH REDUCED. THE PURPOSE OF SECTION 713 IS TO MAKE CLEAR THAT, INASMUCH AS THE NEW SALARY PLAN INVOLVES BASIC STRUCTURAL CHANGES FOR EMPLOYEES NOW UNDER THE PFS, RCS, AND FOS SCHEDULES, THIS PARTICULAR FEATURE OF 39 U.S.C. 3560 CANNOT BE GIVEN APPLICATION AT THE TIME OF CONVERSION TO THE NEW SCHEDULES. SALARIES OF EMPLOYEES IN PROTECTED RATES AS OF THE DATE OF CONVERSION WILL BE CONVERTED UNDER SECTIONS * * * AND 712 OF THE CONFERENCE SUBSTITUTE, AS APPROPRIATE.'

IN VIEW OF THE LANGUAGE OF SECTIONS 712 AND 713 AND THE FOREGOING EXPLANATION OUR OPINION IS THAT EMPLOYEES RECEIVING PROTECTED RATES UNDER 39 U.S.C. 3560 WHO DO NOT RECEIVE AN INCREASE UNDER THE CONVERSION RULES OF SECTION 712 ARE MADE INELIGIBLE BY SECTION 713 FOR THE INCREASE PROVIDED IN POSTAL FIELD SERVICE SCHEDULE II.THIS IS SO BECAUSE SECTION 713 NULLIFIES, IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE, THE REQUIREMENT OF 39 U.S.C. 3560 THAT EMPLOYEES RECEIVING SALARY PROTECTION UNDER THAT SECTION ARE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF "EACH INCREASE PROVIDED BY LAW IN SUCH RATE OF BASIC SALARY.'