B-162976, JAN. 10, 1968

B-162976: Jan 10, 1968

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FROM ALASKA RAILROAD TO THE UNION INDICATED THAT WAGE RATES HAD BEEN APPROVED FOR NON-OPERATING EMPLOYEES AND THE AGREEMENT WAS SIGNED ON MARCH 29. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR MAKING THE INCREASE RETROACTIVE TO JANUARY 1. IT IS REQUESTED THAT WE DETERMINE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE PAY INCREASES OF THE NON-OPERATING EMPLOYEES OF THE ALASKA RAILROAD DETAILED IN AN AGREEMENT WITH SUCH RAILROAD DATED MARCH 29. OR SUCH EARLIER DATE AS MAY BE POSSIBLE UNDER APPLICABLE COMPTROLLER GENERAL RULINGS UNLESS THE EFFECTIVE DATE AGREED TO BY THE NORTHERN PACIFIC AND THEIR NON OPERATING UNIONS IS A LATER DATE IN WHICH CASE THE LATER DATE WILL PREVAIL.'. RYAN OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS WHEREIN IT IS INDICATED THAT THE WAGE INCREASES HAD BEEN APPROVED ALONG THE LINES OF THE AGREEMENT SIGNED THE NEXT DAY.

B-162976, JAN. 10, 1968

COMPENSATION - WAGE BOARD EMPLOYEES - EFFECTIVE DATE OF INCREASES DECISION TO INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS LOCAL, ALASKA RAILROAD RE EFFECTIVE DATE OF PAY INCREASES OF NON-OPERATING EMPLOYEES OF RAILROAD. WHERE A LETTER DATED MARCH 28, 1967, FROM ALASKA RAILROAD TO THE UNION INDICATED THAT WAGE RATES HAD BEEN APPROVED FOR NON-OPERATING EMPLOYEES AND THE AGREEMENT WAS SIGNED ON MARCH 29, 1967, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR MAKING THE INCREASE RETROACTIVE TO JANUARY 1, 1967, OR ANY DATE PRIOR TO MARCH 28, 1967, DATE OF APPROVAL. P.L. 90-54 DID NOT CONTAIN ANY SPECIAL PROVISION RELATING TO WAGES OR RETROACTIVE PAYMENT.

TO MR. WILLIAM CHURCHILL, PRESIDENT:

IN AN UNDATED JOINT LETTER RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE ON NOVEMBER 20, 1967, ALSO SIGNED BY ROBERT D. KERR, PRESIDENT OF LOCAL 67, BROTHERHOOD OF RAILWAY CARMEN OF AMERICA, AND JAY L. NELSON, PRESIDENT OF LOCAL 708, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF BOILERMAKERS, IRON SHIPBUILDERS AND HELPERS, IT IS REQUESTED THAT WE DETERMINE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE PAY INCREASES OF THE NON-OPERATING EMPLOYEES OF THE ALASKA RAILROAD DETAILED IN AN AGREEMENT WITH SUCH RAILROAD DATED MARCH 29, 1967.

THE AGREEMENT OF MARCH 29, 1967, WITH THE ALASKA RAILROAD PROVIDES THAT PENDING CONVERSION TO AN ARMY-AIR FORCE WAGE FIXING SYSTEM AND THE CLASSIFICATION ACT PAY SYSTEM, THE BASIC WAGE INCREASES ON THE PRIVATE CARRIERS IN EFFECT AS OF JANUARY 1, 1967, INCLUDING THE INCREASES IN NEGOTIATION, WOULD BE ADDED TO THE EXISTING RATES FOR ALL NON-OPERATING EMPLOYEES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE AGREEMENT. THE AGREEMENT WENT ON TO STATE:

"THESE BASIC NORTHERN PACIFIC WAGE INCREASES SHALL BE EFFECTIVE THE PAYROLL PERIOD COMMENCING MARCH 26, 1967, OR SUCH EARLIER DATE AS MAY BE POSSIBLE UNDER APPLICABLE COMPTROLLER GENERAL RULINGS UNLESS THE EFFECTIVE DATE AGREED TO BY THE NORTHERN PACIFIC AND THEIR NON OPERATING UNIONS IS A LATER DATE IN WHICH CASE THE LATER DATE WILL PREVAIL.'

IN EXAMINING THE QUESTION OF PRIOR INCREASES, OUR OFFICE HAS CONSISTENTLY TAKEN THE POSITION THAT SUCH INCREASES CAN TAKE EFFECT ONLY FROM THE DATE OF THE FINAL ACTION OF A COMPETENT WAGE-FIXING AUTHORITY OR AN OFFICIAL AUTHORIZED TO NEGOTIATE WAGES ON HIS BEHALF.

IT APPEARS FROM THE AGREEMENT OF MARCH 29, 1967, THAT THE GENERAL MANAGER OF THE ALASKA RAILROAD POSSESSES AUTHORITY TO APPROVE WAGE INCREASES AND THIS HAS BEEN CONFIRMED INFORMALLY.

IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE OF AN EARLIER FINAL ACTION BY THE ALASKA RAILROAD ESTABLISHING MARCH 26, 1967, AS THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE INCREASES, WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT THE INCREASES BECAME EFFECTIVE ON MARCH 28, 1967, THE DATE OF A LETTER FROM THE ALASKA RAILROAD TO MR. WILLIAM H. RYAN OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS WHEREIN IT IS INDICATED THAT THE WAGE INCREASES HAD BEEN APPROVED ALONG THE LINES OF THE AGREEMENT SIGNED THE NEXT DAY, MARCH 29, 1967. WE FIND NO AUTHORITY FOR MAKING SUCH INCREASES RETROACTIVE TO JANUARY 1, 1967, OR ANY DATE PRIOR TO THE DATE OF FINAL APPROVAL THEREOF BY THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ALASKA RAILROAD. SEE B 126868, FEBRUARY 20, 1956 (COPY ENCLOSED).

PUB.L. 90-54, APPROVED JULY 17, 1967, 81 STAT. 122, TO WHICH YOU REFER WAS A JOINT RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A SPECIAL BOARD FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASSISTING THE CARRIERS AND THE SEVERAL UNIONS IN THE COMPLETION OF THEIR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING BUT IT CONTAINED NO SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO WAGES OR THE RETROACTIVE PAYMENT THEREOF.

WE TRUST THE FOREGOING WILL BE HELPFUL TO YOU IN REGARD TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE WAGE INCREASES COVERED WHICH WERE THE SUBJECT OF THE AGREEMENT DATED MARCH 29, 1967. ADDITIONAL COPIES OF THIS LETTER ARE FURNISHED FOR MR. KERR AND MR. NELSON.