B-169686, MAY 22, 1970

B-169686: May 22, 1970

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STATUS CHANGES DURING PERIOD IN AREAS WHERE WAGE BOARD RATES WERE ADJUSTED DURING RETROACTIVE PERIOD OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1970 (FIRST PAY PERIOD AFTER DEC. 27. SUPERVISORY WAGE RATES (GRADES 11 THROUGH 19) FIXED ON BASIS OF GS-14 RATE MAY BE INCREASED TO REFLECT RETROACTIVELY INCREASED GS-14 RATE FROM DATE OF AREA WAGE ADJUSTMENT INASMUCH AS COMPTROLLER GENERAL HAS REQUIRED THAT SIMILAR RETROACTIVE INCREASE PROVISIONS BE APPLIED TO REFLECT PAY STATUS EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE ATTAINED HAS AMENDED PAY SCHEDULES BEEN APPLIED CURRENTLY DURING RETROACTIVE PERIOD. SUPPLEMENT 532-1 IS TO FIX SUPERCISORY WAGE RATES INVOLVED IN RELATION TO GS-14 RATE WITHOUT FURTHER ACTION. THAT THEY WERE ADJUSTED IN RELATION TO THAT RATE.

B-169686, MAY 22, 1970

COMPENSATION--WAGE BOARD EMPLOYEES--INCREASES RETROACTIVE--STATUS CHANGES DURING PERIOD IN AREAS WHERE WAGE BOARD RATES WERE ADJUSTED DURING RETROACTIVE PERIOD OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1970 (FIRST PAY PERIOD AFTER DEC. 27, 1969 TO APR. 15, 1970), SUPERVISORY WAGE RATES (GRADES 11 THROUGH 19) FIXED ON BASIS OF GS-14 RATE MAY BE INCREASED TO REFLECT RETROACTIVELY INCREASED GS-14 RATE FROM DATE OF AREA WAGE ADJUSTMENT INASMUCH AS COMPTROLLER GENERAL HAS REQUIRED THAT SIMILAR RETROACTIVE INCREASE PROVISIONS BE APPLIED TO REFLECT PAY STATUS EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE ATTAINED HAS AMENDED PAY SCHEDULES BEEN APPLIED CURRENTLY DURING RETROACTIVE PERIOD; AND EFFECT OF INSTRUCTION IN FPM, SUPPLEMENT 532-1 IS TO FIX SUPERCISORY WAGE RATES INVOLVED IN RELATION TO GS-14 RATE WITHOUT FURTHER ACTION. SEE COMP. GEN. DECS. CITED.

TO MR. HAMPTON:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 28, 1970, REQUESTING A DECISION FROM OUR OFFICE WHETHER THE FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL INSTRUCTION, ON SETTING CERTAIN SUPERVISORY WAGE SCHEDULES (UNDER THE WAGE BOARD SYSTEM) IN RELATION TO THE FIRST RATE OF GRADE GS-14, AUTHORIZES A RETROACTIVE ADJUSTMENT TO THE DATE OF THE FIRST PAY PERIOD ON OR AFTER DECEMBER 27, 1969, THAT THEY WERE ADJUSTED IN RELATION TO THAT RATE.

FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL SUPPLEMENT (FPM) 532-1, PARAGRAPH (A) OF SECTION S5-11G (3) READS AS FOLLOWS:

"THE SUPERVISORY PAYLINE FOR GRADES ONE THROUGH 10 IS SET ON A DIFFERENTIAL RELATIONSHIP TO THEIR CORRESPONDING NONSUPERVISORY GRADES, AND RATES FOR GRADES 11 THROUGH 19 ARE BASED ON A PARABOLIC CURVE LINKING THE GRADE 10 RATE TO THE GRADE 19 RATE WHICH, IN TURN IS SET AT THE FIRST RATE OF GENERAL SCHEDULE GRADE GS-14 ON THE SCHEDULE IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF AN AREA WAGE SCHEDULE ADJUSTMENT."

YOU SAY THAT THE RECENT INCREASE IN GENERAL SCHEDULE RATES, EFFECTIVE THE FIRST PAY PERIOD ON OR AFTER DECEMBER 27, 1969, MEANS THAT THE GRADE GS-14 RATE WHICH WAS USED AS THE BASIS FOR SUPERVISORY WAGE SCHEDULES IN GRADES 11 THROUGH 19 AT THE TIME OF THE LAST AREA WAGE SCHEDULE ADJUSTMENT IS NOT ACTUALLY THE RATE IN EFFECT AS OF THAT DATE.

WE UNDERSTAND YOU HAVE REFERENCE TO THE SITUATION WHERE THE AREA WAGE SCHEDULES FOR NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES WERE ADJUSTED BETWEEN THE FIRST PAY PERIOD AFTER DECEMBER 27, 1969, AND APRIL 15, 1970, THE DATE OF APPROVAL OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1970. AT THAT TIME WE ASSUME THE SALARY RATE FOR GRADE 19 IN THE SUPERVISORY CATEGORY WAS SET AT $18,531 PER ANNUM. THAT RATE ON APRIL 15, 1970, BECAME $19,643 RETROACTIVE TO THE FIRST PAY PERIOD ON OR AFTER DECEMBER 27, 1969, BY VIRTUE OF SECTION 9 (A) OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1970, PUBLIC LAW 91-231.

UNDER SIMILAR RETROACTIVE PROVISIONS OF SALARY INCREASE STATUTES, WE HAVE REQUIRED--IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC LANGUAGE TO THE CONTRARY- THAT SUCH PROVISIONS BE APPLIED TO REFLECT THE PAY STATUS AN EMPLOYEE (TO WHOM THE ACT WAS OTHERWISE APPLICABLE) WOULD HAVE ATTAINED HAD THE AMENDED PAY SCHEDULES BEEN OPERATIVE AND APPLIED CURRENTLY DURING THE RETROACTIVE PERIOD. 31 COMP. GEN. 166, 320; 38 ID. 188; 44 ID. 171.

THE EFFECT OF THE ABOVE INSTRUCTION IS TO ASSIMILATE THE PAY OF A GRADE 19 WAGE BOARD SUPERVISOR TO THE PAY OF THE FIRST RATE OF GRADE 14 UNDER THE GENERAL SCHEDULE WITHOUT THE NECESSITY OF ANY FURTHER ACTION. IN VIEW THEREOF, WE SEE NO REASON WHY THE SUPERVISORY WAGE SCHEDULE FOR GRADE 19 MAY NOT BE RECONSTRUCTED TO REFLECT THE INCREASED SALARY RATE OF GRADE GS- 14 FROM THE DATE OF THE AREA WAGE SCHEDULE ADJUSTMENT FOR NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES.