B-159037, JUL. 27, 1966

B-159037: Jul 27, 1966

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NOW HAVE THE REPORT WE REQUESTED FROM THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT UPON RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER. A COPY OF WHICH WAS FURNISHED YOU ON MAY 2. THE SOLE QUESTION INVOLVED IS WHETHER UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE- CITED LAW MR. GOODWIN WAS ENTITLED TO TWO OR THREE ADDITIONAL STEPS BASED UPON LONGEVITY INCREASES EARNED BY HIM PRIOR TO ENACTMENT OF THAT LAW. WHEN HE WAS PROMOTED TO TOUR SUPERINTENDENT ON SEPTEMBER 5. HE NO LONGER WAS ENTITLED TO ACCRUE LONGEVITY INCREASES ON THE BASIS OF 3-5-7 YEARS SERVICE AS DESCRIBED ABOVE. HIS ENTITLEMENT TO LONGEVITY STEP INCREASES IN SUCH SUPERVISORY POSITION WAS DEPENDENT UPON TOTAL YEARS OF SERVICE COMPLETED BY HIM. WAS ENTITLED TO AND WAS GRANTED LONGEVITY STEP B.

B-159037, JUL. 27, 1966

TO DELBERT H. NOEL, ESQUIRE:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 20, 1966, AND PRIOR CORRESPONDENCE, AND TO OUR RECENT LETTERS, CONCERNING THE ADDITIONAL STEP INCREASE WHICH MR. ROY T. GOODWIN CONSIDERS TO BE DUE HIM AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE MIAMI POST OFFICE UNDER SUBSECTION 711 (A) (2) OF PUB.L. 87-793, 76 STAT. 855. NOW HAVE THE REPORT WE REQUESTED FROM THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT UPON RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER. THIS MATTER RELATES TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 1, 1964, A COPY OF WHICH WAS FURNISHED YOU ON MAY 2, 1966.

THE SOLE QUESTION INVOLVED IS WHETHER UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE- CITED LAW MR. GOODWIN WAS ENTITLED TO TWO OR THREE ADDITIONAL STEPS BASED UPON LONGEVITY INCREASES EARNED BY HIM PRIOR TO ENACTMENT OF THAT LAW.

IN 1958, WHILE SERVING AS TRANSFER CLERK, MR. GOODWIN BECAME ENTITLED TO LONGEVITY STEP C BASED UPON HIS HAVING SERVED THREE YEARS IN THE TOP AUTOMATIC GRADE, FIVE YEARS AT THE FIRST LONGEVITY STEP AND SEVEN YEARS AT THE SECOND LONGEVITY STEP. HOWEVER, WHEN HE WAS PROMOTED TO TOUR SUPERINTENDENT ON SEPTEMBER 5, 1959, HE NO LONGER WAS ENTITLED TO ACCRUE LONGEVITY INCREASES ON THE BASIS OF 3-5-7 YEARS SERVICE AS DESCRIBED ABOVE. RATHER, HIS ENTITLEMENT TO LONGEVITY STEP INCREASES IN SUCH SUPERVISORY POSITION WAS DEPENDENT UPON TOTAL YEARS OF SERVICE COMPLETED BY HIM--- THE FIRST SUCH INCREASE (STEP A) BEING DUE AFTER COMPLETION OF 13 YEARS OF SERVICE, THE SECOND (STEP B) AFTER COMPLETION OF 18 YEARS OF SERVICE AND THE THIRD (STEP C) AFTER COMPLETION OF 25 YEARS OF SERVICE. AT THE TIME OF PROMOTION TO TOUR SUPERINTENDENT MR. GOODWIN HAD COMPLETED MORE THAN 18 BUT LESS THAN 25 YEARS OF SERVICE AND, THEREFORE, WAS ENTITLED TO AND WAS GRANTED LONGEVITY STEP B. IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SECTION 711 (A) OF PUB.L. 87-793, MR. GOODWIN WAS IN PFS LEVEL 7, NUMERICAL STEP 7B SINCE HE HAD NOT YET COMPLETED 25 YEARS OF SERVICE AND WAS NOT ENTITLED TO LONGEVITY STEP C.

SUBSECTION 711 (A) IS, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"SEC. 711 (A) THE BASIC COMPENSATION OF EACH EMPLOYEE SUBJECT TO POSTAL FIELD SERVICE SCHEDULE I * * * ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH SCHEDULE SHALL BE DETERMINED AS FOLLOWS:

"/1) EACH EMPLOYEE SHALL BE ASSIGNED TO THE SAME NUMERICAL LEVEL AND STEP HE WAS IN PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH SCHEDULE * * *. IF CHANGES IN LEVEL OR STEP WOULD OTHERWISE OCCUR ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH SCHEDULE WITHOUT REGARD TO THE ENACTMENT OF SUCH SCHEDULE, SUCH CHANGES SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE OCCURRED PRIOR TO CONVERSION UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH.

"/2) IN ADDITION TO CONVERSION UNDER PARAGRAPH (1) OF THIS SUBSECTION, EACH EMPLOYEE SHALL BE ADVANCED ONE ADDITIONAL STEP FOR EACH LONGEVITY STEP WHICH HE HAD EARNED ON OR PRIOR TO SUCH CONVERSION.

"/3) CREDIT TOWARD THE NEXT STEP-INCREASE (OTHER THAN TOWARD LONGEVITY STEPS) EARNED BY AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAD NOT REACHED STEP 7 * * * PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH SCHEDULE SHALL BE CREDITABLE UNDER SUBSECTION 3552 (A) AND SECTION 3553 OF TITLE 39, U.S.C. TOWARD FURTHER STEP-INCREASES IF NO STEP-INCREASES WERE GRANTED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (2) OF THIS SUBSECTION. CREDIT EARNED TOWARD LONGEVITY STEP INCREASES PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH SCHEDULE SHALL NOT BE CREDITABLE TOWARD FURTHER STEP-INCREASES PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION 3552 (A), AND SECTION 3553 OF TITLE 39, UNITED STATES CODE.'

IN APPLYING THE PROVISIONS OF THE QUOTED SECTION MR. GOODWIN WAS GRANTED TWO ADDITIONAL STEPS TO PFS 7, STEP 9, BASED UPON THE TWO LONGEVITY STEPS (LONGEVITY STEP B) TO WHICH HE WAS ENTITLED IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE QUOTED SECTION.

WHILE IT IS TRUE THAT AT ONE TIME MR. GOODWIN HAD ACQUIRED ENTITLEMENT TO LONGEVITY STEP C, UNDER A SYSTEM OF LONGEVITY ADVANCEMENT THAT WAS NOT APPLICABLE TO HIM IN THE POSITION HE HELD IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SECTION 711 (A) OF PUB.L. 87-793, WE DO NOT CONSIDER THAT FACT TO BE CONTROLLING. WE RECOGNIZE THAT THE SPECIFIC WORDING OF THE STATUTE REFERS TO ,EACH LONGEVITY STEP EARNED ON OR PRIOR TO SUCH CONVERSION.' NEVERTHELESS, WE THINK THAT IN ADDITION TO HAVING EARNED SUCH LONGEVITY INCREASE THERE MUST HAVE BEEN A PRESENT ENTITLEMENT TO SUCH INCREASE IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SECTION 711 (A), SINCE THE WHOLE CONCEPT AND PURPOSE OF THE SECTION WAS TO PRESCRIBE A STATUTORY PROCEDURE FOR CONVERTING PAY RATES AND STEPS APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYEES IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SECTION 711 (A) TO THE NEW RATES AND STEPS PROVIDED UNDER PUB.L. 87-793. THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF PUB.L. 87-793 STRONGLY SUPPORTS THIS VIEW.

THE COMMITTEE OF CONFERENCE IN THEIR REPORT ACCOMPANYING H.R. 7927 WHICH BECAME PUB.L. 87-793 EXPLAINS THAT THE CONVERSION RULES OF SECTION 711 PROVIDE FOR THE CONVERSION OF "EXISTING ALARIES" TO THE NEW PAY SCHEDULE AND THAT THE CONVERSION METHOD GENERALLY WILL PLACE EACH EMPLOYEE IN THE NUMERICAL STEP WHICH HE ATTAINED "IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE NEW PAY PLAN," PLUS AN ADDITIONAL NUMERICAL STEP (IN THE NEW SCHEDULE) "FOR EACH LONGEVITY STEP ATTAINED IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO CONVERSION.' SEE PAGE 66 OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES REPORT NO. 2532, OCTOBER 4, 1962, 87TH CONGRESS, 2D SESSION.

THEREFORE, SINCE IN OUR REVIEW OF MR. GOODWIN'S SERVICE AND PAY WE FIND THAT HIS COMPENSATION WAS PROPERLY DETERMINED ON OCTOBER 13, 1962, UNDER SUBSECTION 711 (A) (2), THE SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 1, 1964, WHICH DISALLOWED HIS CLAIM IS SUSTAINED.