B-156987, JUN. 24, 1965, 44 COMP. GEN. 829

B-156987: Jun 24, 1965

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ARE DOWNGRADED IN A CHANGE FROM A CLASSIFICATION ACT POSITION TO A POSTAL FIELD SERVICE POSITION ARE. SUCH EMPLOYEE ARE NOT ENTITLED TO SAVED SALARY BENEFITS. YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE EMPLOYEES DESCRIBED BELOW ARE ENTITLED TO SALARY SAVING UNDER THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES: "BECAUSE OF A REORGANIZATION OF THE BUREAU OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION OF THIS DEPARTMENT. CERTAIN EMPLOYEES AND THEIR WORK WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO THE NEW YORK POSTAL DATA CENTER. THIS WILL REQUIRE A CHANGE FROM THE GS PAY SCHEDULE TO THE PFS PAY SCHEDULE. "SINCE THE CHANGE WILL RESULT IN ADDITIONAL USE OF DATA PROCESSING EQUIPMENT. IF THE LOWER POSITION IS IN THE NEW YORK POSTAL DATA CENTER? "2.IF THE LOWER POSITION IS IN A POST OFFICE (SUBSTITUTE CLERK/? " SECTION 201 OF PUB.L. 87-270 AMENDED CHAPTER 45 OF TITLE 39.

B-156987, JUN. 24, 1965, 44 COMP. GEN. 829

COMPENSATION - POSTAL SERVICE - DOWNGRADING - SAVED COMPENSATION - OTHER THAN IN POSTAL SERVICE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES WHO, INCIDENT TO AN INVOLUNTARY TRANSFER TO THE NEW YORK POSTAL DATA CENTER, ARE DOWNGRADED IN A CHANGE FROM A CLASSIFICATION ACT POSITION TO A POSTAL FIELD SERVICE POSITION ARE, BY REASON OF THE CHANGE, NOT ELIGIBLE FOR SALARY RETENTION PROTECTION UNDER SECTION 507 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, 5 U.S.C. 1107, AND THEY DO NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SALARY RETENTION PROVISIONS FOR POSTAL EMPLOYEES IN 39 U.S.C. 3560, WHICH PROVIDES THAT POSTAL FIELD SERVICE EMPLOYEES MUST HOLD THE SAME OR HIGHER SALARY FOR 2 CONTINUOUS YEARS PRIOR TO REDUCTION TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR BENEFITS, AND, THEREFORE, SUCH EMPLOYEE ARE NOT ENTITLED TO SAVED SALARY BENEFITS.

TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, JUNE 24, 1965:

ON JUNE 9, 1965, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE EMPLOYEES DESCRIBED BELOW ARE ENTITLED TO SALARY SAVING UNDER THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES:

"BECAUSE OF A REORGANIZATION OF THE BUREAU OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION OF THIS DEPARTMENT, CERTAIN EMPLOYEES AND THEIR WORK WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO THE NEW YORK POSTAL DATA CENTER. THIS WILL REQUIRE A CHANGE FROM THE GS PAY SCHEDULE TO THE PFS PAY SCHEDULE.

"SINCE THE CHANGE WILL RESULT IN ADDITIONAL USE OF DATA PROCESSING EQUIPMENT, IT MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE TO USE ALL THE EMPLOYEES ON THEIR PRESENT ASSIGNMENTS. THIS WOULD RESULT IN SOME EMPLOYEES BEING REDUCED IN SALARY STANDING. * * *"

SPECIFICALLY YOU WISH TO KNOW WHETHER SUCH EMPLOYEES WHO ACCEPT A LOWER SALARY STANDING WOULD BE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF PUB.L. 87 270:

"1. IF THE LOWER POSITION IS IN THE NEW YORK POSTAL DATA CENTER?

"2.IF THE LOWER POSITION IS IN A POST OFFICE (SUBSTITUTE CLERK/? "

SECTION 201 OF PUB.L. 87-270 AMENDED CHAPTER 45 OF TITLE 39, U.S.C. BY THE ADDITION OF SECTION 3560. THAT SECTION PROVIDES SALARY PROTECTION (RETENTION OF SAME SALARY FOR SPECIFIED PERIOD) FOR EMPLOYEES IN THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE WHO ARE DOWNGRADED. HOWEVER, UNDER ITS EXPRESS TERMS SECTION 3560 APPLIES ONLY TO AN EMPLOYEE "WHO, FOR TWO CONTINUOUS YEARS IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO SUCH REDUCTION IN SALARY STANDING, SERVED IN THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE WITH THE SAME SALARY STANDING OR WITH THE SAME AND HIGHER SALARY STANDING.'

IN THE CASES YOU PRESENT THE EMPLOYEES WILL NOT HAVE SERVED IN THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE FOR TWO CONTINUOUS YEARS PRECEDING THE DATES OF THEIR DOWNGRADING BUT RATHER THEIR SERVICE DURING SUCH PERIOD WILL HAVE BEEN IN THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT IN WASHINGTON IN POSITIONS SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM POSITIONS UNDER THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE. THE TERMS OF THE STATUTE DO NOT WARRANT A CONSTRUCTION WHICH WOULD PERMIT SALARY SAVING IN SUCH SITUATIONS REGARDLESS OF THE FACT THAT THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE WILL BE ENTIRELY FOR THE BENEFIT OF YOUR DEPARTMENT. NEITHER WILL THEY BE ENTITLED TO SALARY SAVING UNDER SECTION 507 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT SINCE AFTER THEIR TRANSFER TO THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE THEY NO LONGER WILL OCCUPY POSITIONS TO WHICH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 507 APPLY. THUS THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED DO NOT QUALIFY FOR SALARY PROTECTION UNDER EITHER OF THE CITED LAWS AND WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY OTHER AUTHORITY WHEREBY THE EMPLOYEES MAY BE GRANTED SALARY PROTECTION UNDER THE RELATED CIRCUMSTANCES.