B-155013, SEP. 15, 1964

B-155013: Sep 15, 1964

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IT APPEARS THAT YOU WERE TRANSFERRED TO A POSITION UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949. YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM THE AIR FORCE TO THE NAVY DEPARTMENT WITH NO CHANGE IN SALARY STATUS. IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO ADVANCEMENT TO STEP 6 OF GRADE GS-9 ON APRIL 2. YOUR CONTENTION IS BASED ON THE ALLEGATION THAT ALL AIR FORCE PERSONNEL IN YOUR CATEGORY RECEIVED AN INCREASE TO STEP 6 OF GRADE GS-9 ON THAT DATE. WHO HAS NOT ATTAINED THE MAXIMUM SCHEDULED 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 IF HIS POSITION IS IN A GRADE IN WHICH THE STEP-INCREASES ARE LESS THAN $200 * * * 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.

B-155013, SEP. 15, 1964

TO MR. AURELIO D-AMICO:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 11, 1964, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED DECEMBER 24, 1963, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR A RETROACTIVE ADJUSTMENT IN COMPENSATION AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT ON APRIL 2, 1961, WHILE EMPLOYED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE IN A WAGE BOARD POSITION, YOU RECEIVED A WAGE INCREASE AMOUNTING TO $187.20 PER ANNUM. ON MARCH 25, 1962, YOU RECEIVED A FURTHER WAGE INCREASE FROM $3.32 TO $3.40 PER HOUR, WHICH AMOUNTED TO $166.40 PER ANNUM. ON SEPTEMBER 23, 1962, IT APPEARS THAT YOU WERE TRANSFERRED TO A POSITION UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AND PLACED IN STEP 5 OF GRADE GS-9 ($7,095 PER ANNUM). ON MARCH 9, 1963, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM THE AIR FORCE TO THE NAVY DEPARTMENT WITH NO CHANGE IN SALARY STATUS.

IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO ADVANCEMENT TO STEP 6 OF GRADE GS-9 ON APRIL 2, 1963. YOUR CONTENTION IS BASED ON THE ALLEGATION THAT ALL AIR FORCE PERSONNEL IN YOUR CATEGORY RECEIVED AN INCREASE TO STEP 6 OF GRADE GS-9 ON THAT DATE.

SECTION 701 (A) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 967, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF YOUR TRANSFER TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT POSITION (SEPTEMBER 23, 1962), PROVIDED, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"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 SCHEDULED 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 IF HIS POSITION IS IN A GRADE IN WHICH THE STEP-INCREASES ARE LESS THAN $200 * * * 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, APPLICABLE TO THE ABOVE, DEFINED ,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. THE AMOUNT OF THE STEP INCREMENT OF GRADE GS-9 ON SEPTEMBER 23, 1962, WAS $165.

IN OUR DECISION 39 COMP. GEN. 270, WE HELD THAT WAGE INCREASES GRANTED UNDER WAGE BOARD AUTHORITY ARE TO BE INCLUDED IN DETERMINING WHETHER THERE HAS BEEN AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE" FOR PERIODIC STEP-INCREASE PURPOSES, AND UPON TRANSFER TO CLASSIFICATION ACT POSITIONS EMPLOYEES ARE REQUIRED TO SERVE THE PRESCRIBED WAITING PERIOD BEGINNING WITH THE DATE OF SUCH EQUIVALENT INCREASE BEFORE BECOMING ENTITLED TO STEP-INCREASES UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949.

YOU RECEIVED A WAGE INCREASE OF $166.40 PER ANNUM ON MARCH 25, 1962. SINCE THE STEP INCREMENT OF GRADE GS-9 WAS $165 AT THE TIME OF YOUR TRANSFER ON SEPTEMBER 23, 1962, SUCH INCREASE CONSTITUTED AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE" AND A NEW WAITING PERIOD COMMENCED ON THE DATE YOU RECEIVED THAT INCREASE (MARCH 25, 1962). ACCORDINGLY, UNDER SECTION 701 (A) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, YOU WOULD HAVE HAD TO COMPLETE 52 WEEKS OF SERVICE FROM THE DATE OF THE WAGE INCREASE OF MARCH 25, 1962, TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR ADVANCEMENT TO STEP 6 OF GRADE GS 9. HOWEVER, SECTION 701 (A) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949 WAS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 11, 1962, 76 STAT. 847, TO PROVIDE, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"/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 * * * (2) EACH ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR CALENDAR WEEKS OF SERVICE IN SALARY RATES 4, 5, AND 6 * * * SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:

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

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE-QUOTED PROVISION, YOU WERE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR ADVANCEMENT TO STEP 6 OF GRADE GS-9 UNTIL THE COMPLETION OF 104 CALENDAR WEEKS OF SERVICE FROM THE DATE OF YOUR LAST EQUIVALENT INCREASE, WHICH, AS POINTED OUT ABOVE, WAS MARCH 25, 1962. CLEARLY, YOU WERE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR ADVANCEMENT TO STEP 6 ON APRIL 2, 1963.

YOUR ALLEGATIONS CONCERNING THE TREATMENT OF PERSONNEL IN YOUR CATEGORY BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE HAVE NO LEGAL BEARING ON YOUR CLAIM. HOWEVER, FOR YOUR INFORMATION WE UNDERSTAND THAT CORRECTIVE ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN BY THAT DEPARTMENT TO ACCORD WITH THE RULE AS STATED HEREIN.