B-157365, AUG. 24, 1965

B-157365: Aug 24, 1965

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THE GIST OF YOUR CONTENTION APPEARS TO BE THAT ALL TIME SERVED BY YOU WITHOUT A STEP INCREASE WAS CREDITABLE TOWARD STEP INCREASES AFTER YOUR ADVANCEMENT TO STEP 6 OF GS-11 ON DECEMBER 29. WHEN THAT STEP WAS MADE THE SPECIAL MINIMUM RATE FOR ENGINEERING SERIES GS -11. THAT AFTER COMPLETION OF EACH APPLICABLE WAITING PERIOD THEREAFTER YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN ADVANCED TO SUCCESSIVE STEPS. YOU CLAIM THAT THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS WERE WRONG: 1. YOU WERE NOT PAID AT THE ESTABLISHED ENGINEER RATE FOR YOUR ACTUAL NUMERICAL RATE. YOU WERE PAID AT THE REGULAR STEP 7 RATE. 2. IN MARCH 1963 YOU WERE DOWNGRADED FROM STEP 7 TO STEP 5. YOU WERE GIVEN A STEP 6 AT SPECIAL ENGINEER PAY RATE WHICH AT THAT TIME WAS REDUCED FROM THE PREVIOUS TWO (2) STEP DIFFERENTIAL TO A ONE (1) STEP DIFFERENTIAL. 4.

B-157365, AUG. 24, 1965

TO MR. PRESTON P. HOPKINS:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 20, 1965, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 23, 1965, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION ALLEGED TO BE DUE YOU AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY AS AN ENGINEER.

YOU APPARENTLY QUESTION YOUR SALARY FOR THE PERIOD FROM OCTOBER 27, 1958, TO OCTOBER 11, 1964. THE GIST OF YOUR CONTENTION APPEARS TO BE THAT ALL TIME SERVED BY YOU WITHOUT A STEP INCREASE WAS CREDITABLE TOWARD STEP INCREASES AFTER YOUR ADVANCEMENT TO STEP 6 OF GS-11 ON DECEMBER 29, 1957, WHEN THAT STEP WAS MADE THE SPECIAL MINIMUM RATE FOR ENGINEERING SERIES GS -11, AND THAT AFTER COMPLETION OF EACH APPLICABLE WAITING PERIOD THEREAFTER YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN ADVANCED TO SUCCESSIVE STEPS. YOU CLAIM THAT THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS WERE WRONG:

1. AT NAVTCRPSTA, KEYPORT, YOU WERE NOT PAID AT THE ESTABLISHED ENGINEER RATE FOR YOUR ACTUAL NUMERICAL RATE. YOU WERE PAID AT THE REGULAR STEP 7 RATE.

2. ON REPORTING TO U.S. NAVAL SUPPLY CENTER, OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, IN MARCH 1963 YOU WERE DOWNGRADED FROM STEP 7 TO STEP 5, THEN PAID AT THE SPECIAL ENGINEER RATE.

3. ON JANUARY 5, 1964, YOU WERE GIVEN A STEP 6 AT SPECIAL ENGINEER PAY RATE WHICH AT THAT TIME WAS REDUCED FROM THE PREVIOUS TWO (2) STEP DIFFERENTIAL TO A ONE (1) STEP DIFFERENTIAL.

4. ON OCTOBER 11, 1964, THE U.S. NAVAL SUPPLY CENTER, OAKLAND, THEN RETURNED YOU TO STEP 7 WITH PAY AT THE ENGINEER RATE (STEP 8).

SECTION 803 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 68 STAT. 1106, 5 U.S.C. 1133, (1958 ED.) AND SECTION 504 OF THE FEDERAL SALARY REFORM ACT OF 1962, 5 U.S.C. 1173, AUTHORIZE THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION TO RAISE THE MINIMUM RATE OF BONUS COMPENSATION FOR A GIVEN CLASS OF POSITIONS UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT IN ONE OR MORE AREAS OR LOCATIONS TO A WITHIN-GRADE STEP ABOVE THE EXISTING MINIMUM RATE IF IT FINDS THAT CERTAIN CONDITIONS EXIST.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON OCTOBER 27, 1958, AFTER A BREAK IN SERVICE OF 3 MONTHS AND 26 DAYS YOU RECEIVED A TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT OF GENERAL ENGINEER, GRADE GS-11, SERIES 801, STEP 6, AT $8,230 PER ANNUM AT THE U.S. NAVAL TORPEDO STATION, KEYPORT, WASHINGTON, WHICH WAS THE TOP STEP OF THE GRADE AND THE MINIMUM IN-HIRING RATE FOR ENGINEERING SERIES GS 800-0, PURSUANT TO CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION DEPARTMENTAL CIRCULAR NO. 793, SUPPLEMENT NO. 33, DATED DECEMBER 9, 1957. YOU CONSIDER YOU WERE DUE STEP INCREASES ON DECEMBER 7, 1958, AND JUNE 7, 1960. SINCE YOU WERE AT THE TOP STEP OF YOUR GRADE THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY TO GRANT A PERIODIC STEP INCREASE AS YOU HAD NOT COMPLETED THE REQUIRED 10-YEAR AGGREGATE PERIOD IN GRADE NOR THE 3 CONSECUTIVE YEARS AT THE TOP STEP OF YOUR GRADE AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 703 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 1123 (1958 ED.). UNDER THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY INCREASE ACT OF 1960, PUB.L. 86-568, YOUR SALARY WAS ADJUSTED FROM THE OLD TOP STEP OF GRADE GS-11, $8,230 PER ANNUM, TO THE NEW TOP STEP OF GRADE GS-11, $8,860 PER ANNUM, EFFECTIVE JULY 10, 1960. THIS WAS PURSUANT TO CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION DEPARTMENTAL CIRCULAR NO. 793, SUPPLEMENT NO. 61 OF JULY 6, 1960, AND AMENDMENT NO. 1 OF JULY 28, 1960, WHICH PROVIDED THAT SALARY ADJUSTMENTS FOR EMPLOYEES ALREADY ON THE ROLLS ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ACT AND TO WHOM SECTION 803 RATES APPLIED, WOULD BE MADE AT THE CORRESPONDING NUMERICAL STEP OF THE GRADE. YOU CLAIMED THAT ON JULY 10, 1960, YOUR PAY ADJUSTMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN TO $9,120 PER ANNUM. THIS WAS THE RATE FOR GRADE GS-11, STEP X, THE FIRST LONGEVITY STEP. WHILE YOU WERE AT THE TOP STEP OF YOUR GRADE YOU HAD NOT MET THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A LONGEVITY INCREASE AND WERE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR A LONGEVITY RATE.

THE FEDERAL SALARY REFORM ACT OF 1962, PUB.L. 87-793, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 14, 1962, ELIMINATED LONGEVITY STEP INCREASES AND ABSORBED THE LONGEVITY RATE INTO THE REGULAR RATE RANGE. THE ACT ALSO ESTABLISHED A GRADUATED SCHEDULE OF WAITING PERIODS FOR WITHIN-GRADE INCREASES, ELIMINATED THE MINIMUM IN-HIRING RATES UNDER SECTION 803 AND ESTABLISHED INCREASED RATE RANGES FOR POSITIONS TO WHICH SECTION 803 HAD FORMERLY APPLIED. SECTION 602 (B) (10) OF PUB.L. 87-793 PROVIDED 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 THE 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. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL LETTER NO. 531-16 OF OCTOBER 11, 1962, WHICH PERTAINS TO THE ADJUSTMENT OF ABOVE-THE-MINIMUM RATES (FORMERLY SECTION 803 RATES) AS A RESULT OF ENACTMENT OF THE FEDERAL SALARY REFORM ACT OF 1962, PROVIDES THAT EMPLOYEES OCCUPYING POSITIONS COVERED BY INCREASED MINIMUM RATES UNDER FORMER SECTION 803 OF THE ACT IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF COMPENSATION SCHEDULE I SHALL, AFTER THEIR SALARIES ARE INITIALLY FIXED UNDER COMPENSATION SCHEDULE I IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 602 (B) OF THE FEDERAL SALARY REFORM ACT OF 1962, THEN BE PLACED AT THE LOWEST SALARY RATE IN THE INCREASED RATE RANGE ESTABLISHED BY THIS REGULATION WHICH EQUALS OR EXCEEDS THEIR SALARIES AS INITIALLY FIXED UNDER COMPENSATION SCHEDULE I.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE STATUTE AND REGULATION YOUR RATE OF COMPENSATION WAS FIRST CONVERTED FROM THE OLD SIXTH (TOP) STEP RATE FOR GRADE GS-11, $8,860 OF THE GENERAL SCHEDULE TO THE NEW SIXTH STEP RATE FOR GRADE GS-11, $9,370 PER ANNUM OF THE GENERAL SCHEDULE UNDER COMPENSATION SCHEDULE I. PUB.L. 87-793 ESTABLISHED 104 CALENDAR WEEKS AS THE WAITING PERIOD FOR ADVANCEMENT FROM STEP 6 TO STEP 7. SINCE YOU HAD SERVED A TOTAL OF 4 YEARS, 5 MONTHS AND 20 DAYS AT THE SIXTH (TOP) STEP OF YOUR GRADE WITHOUT AN INCREASE OTHER THAN GENERAL PAY INCREASES YOU WERE ELIGIBLE FOR NOT TO EXCEED ONE STEP INCREASE. THEREFORE, YOUR RATE WAS FURTHER ADJUSTED TO THE NEW STEP 7, GRADE GS 11, RATE OF $9,635 PER ANNUM, UNDER COMPENSATION SCHEDULE I, AS PROVIDED BY SECTION 602 (B) (10) OF THE ACT. AS PROVIDED BY CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL LETTER NO. 531-16, YOU WERE THEN PLACED AT THE STEP 5 RATE OF THE INCREASED RATE RANGE FOR THE ENGINEERING SERIES, GRADE GS-11 AT $9,635 PER ANNUM, WHICH WAS THE LOWEST SALARY RATE IN THE INCREASED RATE RANGE WHICH EQUALS OR EXCEEDS THE SALARY AS INITIALLY FIXED UNDER COMPENSATION SCHEDULE I. THIS WAS THE FIFTH RATE IN THE NEW SPECIAL RATE RANGE WHICH WAS ONE STEP BELOW YOUR FORMER NUMERICAL RANK. THE WITHIN-GRADE INCREASE GRANTED IN YOUR PAY ADJUSTMENT EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 14, 1962, STARTED A NEW WAITING PERIOD FOR A WITHIN-GRADE INCREASE. SEE ANSWER 2 ON PAGE 3 OF 42 COMP. GEN. 249, COPY ENCLOSED. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR 104-WEEK WAITING PERIOD FOR INCREASE TO STEP 6 WOULD NOT BE COMPLETED UNTIL OCTOBER 10, 1964.

IN REPORTING TO THE U.S. NAVAL SUPPLY CENTER, OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, ON MARCH 10, 1963, YOU RETAINED YOUR GRADE GS-11, STEP 5, $9,635 PER ANNUM. EFFECTIVE JANUARY 5, 1964, UNDER COMPENSATION SCHEDULE II OF THE FEDERAL SALARY REFORM ACT OF 1962, PUB.L. 87-793, YOUR SALARY WAS ADJUSTED TO $10,090 PER ANNUM, WHICH WAS STEP 6 OF GRADE GS-11. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL LETTER NO. 530-11, DATED DECEMBER 18, 1963, PERTAINING TO ADJUSTMENT OF RATE RANGES ESTABLISHED UNDER SECTION 504 OF THE FEDERAL SALARY REFORM ACT OF 1962 AND CONVERSION OF SALARIES OF EMPLOYEES CURRENTLY PAID SECTION 504 RATES PROVIDES THAT INITIALLY THE RATE OF COMPENSATION OF THE OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES WILL BE DETERMINED AS FOLLOWS: (A) IF HE IS RECEIVING A RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION EQUAL TO ONE OF THE RATES FOR HIS GRADE IN SCHEDULE I, HIS RATE SHALL BE CONVERTED TO THE CORRESPONDING RATE OF SCHEDULE II, AND (B), IF, ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE, A SPECIAL RATE RANGE IS AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 504 FOR HIS POSITION, THE RATE OF COMPENSATION OF AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE PAY HAS BEEN CONVERTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH "A" ABOVE, SHALL BE ADJUSTED IMMEDIATELY TO THE LOWEST RATE IN THE NEW SPECIAL RATE RANGE WHICH IS EQUAL TO OR NOT LOWER THAN THE RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION TO WHICH HE WAS CONVERTED UNDER "A" ABOVE. SUCH SALARY IS LESS THAN THE SALARY RATE IN THE NEW SPECIAL RANGE FOR THE NUMERICAL RANK WHICH HE HELD IN THE SPECIAL RATE RANGE IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE, HIS RATE OF COMPENSATION WILL BE FURTHER ADJUSTED TO THE RATE FOR THE SAME NUMERICAL RANK IN THE NEW SPECIAL RATE RANGE.

IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF COMPENSATION SCHEDULE II, YOU WERE RECEIVING $9,635 PER ANNUM, THE FIFTH RATE OF THE SPECIAL RATE RANGE WHICH WAS EQUIVALENT TO THE SEVENTH RATE OF THE REGULAR RATE RANGE UNDER COMPENSATION SCHEDULE I. IN ACCORDANCE WITH "A" ABOVE, YOUR RATE WAS FIRST CONVERTED TO THE SEVENTH RATE OF THE REGULAR RATE RANGE FOR GRADE GS-11 UNDER COMPENSATION SCHEDULE II, $10,090, THEN, IN ACCORDANCE WITH "B" ABOVE, YOUR PAY WAS ADJUSTED TO THE LOWEST RATE IN THE NEW SPECIAL RATE RANGE WHICH WAS EQUAL TO OR NOT LOWER THAN THAT RATE, IN YOUR CASE $10,090 PER ANNUM. SINCE $10,090 WAS THE SIXTH RATE IN THE NEW SPECIAL RATE RANGE, WHICH WAS ONE RATE ABOVE YOUR FORMER NUMERICAL RANK, FURTHER ADJUSTMENT WAS NOT REQUIRED.

ON JULY 5, 1964, YOUR SALARY WAS ADJUSTED TO $10,420 PER ANNUM, UNDER THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1964, PUB.L. 88-426, APPROVED AUGUST 14, 1964, EFFECTIVE JULY 5, 1964. THIS RATE WAS BASED ON CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL LETTER NO. 530 18, DATED AUGUST 10, 1964, CONTAINING INSTRUCTIONS FOR CONVERSION OF SALARIES OF EMPLOYEE CURRENTLY PAID SECTION 504 RATES AND PROVIDES THAT WHEN AN EMPLOYEE WAS RECEIVING A SPECIAL RATE IMMEDIATELY BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE STATUTORY INCREASE HE SHALL RECEIVE THE RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION FOR THE NUMERICAL RANK OF THE NEW SPECIAL RATE HE WAS RECEIVING IMMEDIATELY BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE DATE. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR RATE WAS ADJUSTED FROM THE OLD SIXTH STEP OF THE SPECIAL RATE RANGE $10,909 PER ANNUM, TO THE NEW SIXTH STEP OF THE SPECIAL RATE RANGE $10,420 PER ANNUM.

SINCE YOU HAD SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED 104 CALENDAR WEEKS IN STEP 6 OF GRADE GS-11, ON OCTOBER 11, 1964, UNDER SECTION 701 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 1121, YOU WERE ENTITLED TO A WITHIN- GRADE INCREASE TO STEP 7 OF GRADE GS-11, $10,715 PER ANNUM.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING STATUTES AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE IN YOUR CASE, WE DO NOT CONCUR IN YOUR VIEWS AND ARE OF THE OPINION THAT YOUR SALARY WAS PROPERLY ADJUSTED. ACCORDINGLY, WE HEREBY SUSTAIN THE ACTION TAKEN IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 23, 1965.