B-19959, SEPTEMBER 5, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 202

B-19959: Sep 5, 1941

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COMPENSATION - WITHIN-GRADE PROMOTIONS - POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT CUSTODIAL EMPLOYEES THE SALARY RATES OF CUSTODIAL EMPLOYEES OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT ARE REQUIRED TO BE FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923. PROVIDING A UNIFORM WITHIN-GRADE SALARY-ADVANCEMENT PLAN FOR EMPLOYEES WHOSE SALARY RATES ARE FIXED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. IS APPLICABLE TO SUCH EMPLOYEES. 1941: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 27. AS FOLLOWS: YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE AUTOMATIC PROMOTION ACT. AS BEARING UPON THE QUESTION MENTION IS MADE OF YOUR DECISIONS OF DECEMBER 11. EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS: THE ACT SPECIFICALLY CLASSIFIES FOR SALARY PURPOSES ALL OF THE VARIOUS CLASSES OF POSTAL EMPLOYEES TO WHOM THE LAW WAS INTENDED TO RELATE.

B-19959, SEPTEMBER 5, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 202

COMPENSATION - WITHIN-GRADE PROMOTIONS - POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT CUSTODIAL EMPLOYEES THE SALARY RATES OF CUSTODIAL EMPLOYEES OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT ARE REQUIRED TO BE FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, AND, THEREFORE, THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941, PROVIDING A UNIFORM WITHIN-GRADE SALARY-ADVANCEMENT PLAN FOR EMPLOYEES WHOSE SALARY RATES ARE FIXED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, IS APPLICABLE TO SUCH EMPLOYEES.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, SEPTEMBER 5, 1941:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 27, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE AUTOMATIC PROMOTION ACT, PUBLIC, NO. 200, KNOWN AS THE RAMSPECK ACT, APPLIES TO ANY OF THE CLASSES OF CUSTODIAL EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED TO DUTIES IN CONNECTION WITH THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.

AS BEARING UPON THE QUESTION MENTION IS MADE OF YOUR DECISIONS OF DECEMBER 11, 1934, AND OCTOBER 5, 1936, AND TO THE STATUTES CODIFIED AS SECTION 832 OF TITLE 39, U.S.C. 1934 EDITION, EMPLOYEES OF THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE (EXCEPT CHARWOMEN AND CHARMEN) BEING BY SUCH LEGISLATION PLACED UPON THE 40-HOUR WEEK BASIS.

SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1053, ENTITLED " AN ACT RECLASSIFYING THE SALARIES OF POSTMASTERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, READJUSTING THEIR SALARIES AND COMPENSATION ON AN EQUITABLE BASIS, INCREASING POSTAL RATES TO PROVIDE FOR SUCH READJUSTMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES" (ITALICS SUPPLIED), PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, ( ITALICS SUPPLIED), PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS

THAT ON AND AFTER JANUARY 1, 1925, POSTMASTERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE POSTAL SERVICE SHALL BE RECLASSIFIED AND THEIR SALARIES AND COMPENSATION READJUSTED, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT SPECIFICALLY CLASSIFIES FOR SALARY PURPOSES ALL OF THE VARIOUS CLASSES OF POSTAL EMPLOYEES TO WHOM THE LAW WAS INTENDED TO RELATE. THERE IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE ACT ANY GENERAL PROVISION AUTHORIZING THE POSTMASTER GENERAL TO FIX THE SALARY RATES OF OTHER EMPLOYEES IN THE POSTAL SERVICE NOT MENTIONED IN THE ACT. EMPLOYEES OF THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT ARE NOT INCLUDED WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE STATUTE. IN FACT, THESE EMPLOYEES WERE NOT THEN UNDER THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. THEY WERE TRANSFERRED FROM THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6166, DATED JUNE 10, 1933.

IN DECISION OF DECEMBER 11, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 448, 449, IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS:

THE POSITIONS TRANSFERRED FROM THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT UNDER THE ABOVE-MENTIONED EXECUTIVE ORDER REMAINED SUBJECT TO THE SCHEDULE OF SALARY RATES PRESCRIBED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED BY THE WELCH ACT OF MAY 28, 1928, 45 STAT. 776, AND THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 1004. ALSO, ANY NEW POSITIONS CREATED IN THE SAME UNIT, THE SALARIES OF WHICH ARE PAYABLE UNDER THE APPROPRIATION " OPERATING FORCE" FOR PUBLIC BUILDINGS UNDER THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT--- EXCEPT POSITIONS IN THE "MECHANICAL LABOR FORCE" WITHIN THE PROVISO TO THE APPROPRIATION ITEM, WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO THE 40- HOUR WEEK PROVISION, SECTION 23 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 522 --- ARE SUBJECT TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS AMENDED, APPLICABLE TO THE FIELD SERVICE. SEE SECTION 3 OF THE WELCH ACT AND SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT, SUPRA. IN OTHER WORDS, THE STATUS AS TO SALARY, CLASSIFICATION, ETC., OF THE EMPLOYEES IN THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE IN POST-OFFICE BUILDINGS WAS IN NO WAY CHANGED BY THE TRANSFER OF SAID SERVICE FROM THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.

NO PROVISION OF LAW HAS BEEN ENACTED SUBSEQUENT TO THE QUOTED DECISION WHICH MAY BE REGARDED AS AUTHORIZING THE POSTMASTER GENERAL TO FIX THE SALARY RATES OF CUSTODIAL EMPLOYEES OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT EITHER UNDER THE POSTAL SERVICE RECLASSIFICATION ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, SUPRA, OR OTHERWISE WITHOUT REGARD TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 AS AMENDED. THE ACT OF AUGUST 14, 1935, 49 STAT. 650, REGULATING THE HOURS OF WORK OF POSTAL EMPLOYEES EXPRESSLY INCLUDED EMPLOYEES OF THE CUSTODIAL SERVICE OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT WITHIN ITS TERMS, BUT IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THIS STATUTE IS ONE TO REGULATE THE HOURS OF WORK OF EMPLOYEES AND IS NOT A PAY STATUTE. 15 COMP. GEN. 175; ID. 299. IN DECISIONS OF APRIL 23, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 937, OCTOBER 5, 1936, 16 ID. 331, AND OCTOBER 18, 1939, 19 ID. 445, IT WAS RECOGNIZED THAT THE HOURS OF WORK AND LEAVE OF ABSENCE OF CUSTODIAL EMPLOYEES OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT WERE CONTROLLED BY THE LAWS APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYEES OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, BUT IN EACH OF THESE DECISIONS ATTENTION WAS DIRECTED TO THE DECISION OF DECEMBER 11, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 448, ABOVE QUOTED, HOLDING THAT FOR SALARY PURPOSES THE EMPLOYEES WERE WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED. THAT IS, IT HAS BEEN HELD CONSISTENTLY THAT THE SALARY RATES OF THE CUSTODIAL EMPLOYEES OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT ARE REQUIRED TO BE FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED.

THE SALARIES OF THESE EMPLOYEES ARE PAID, NOT FROM ANY POSTAL SERVICE APPROPRIATION, BUT FROM THE APPROPRIATION ITEM " OPERATING FORCE" APPEARING UNDER THE GENERAL HEADING " PUBLIC BUILDINGS, MAINTENANCE, AND OPERATION," IN THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. SEE THE ACT OF MAY 31, 1941, PUBLIC LAW 88, 55 STAT. 212. IS NOTED THAT THE ESTIMATES ON THE BASIS OF WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS PROVIDED SHOW THAT THE SALARIES OF THE CUSTODIAL FORCE ARE FIXED ADMINISTRATIVELY IN GRADES OR SALARY RANGES PRESCRIBED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923. SEE PAGE 898 OF THE BUDGET FOR 1942.

THE RECORDS OF THIS OFFICE DISCLOSE THAT THE SALARIES OF THE CUSTODIAL EMPLOYEES ARE FIXED AT RATES PRESCRIBED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, WITH STEPS OF $60 IN THE LOWER GRADES AND $100 IN THE HIGHER GRADES.

THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941, PUBLIC LAW 200, 55 STAT. 613, AMENDS SECTION 7 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, TO PROVIDE A UNIFORM WITHIN -GRADE SALARY-ADVANCEMENT PLAN FOR EMPLOYEES WHOSE SALARY RATES ARE REQUIRED TO BE FIXED ADMINISTRATIVELY AT ONE OF THE RATES WITHIN THE SALARY RANGES PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 13 OF THE ACT BASED ON THE ALLOCATION OF THE POSITIONS.

SECTION 2 OF THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT, 42 STAT. 1488, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

THE TERM "POSITION" MEANS A SPECIFIC CIVILIAN OFFICE OR EMPLOYMENT, WHETHER OCCUPIED OR VACANT, IN A DEPARTMENT OTHER THAN THE FOLLOWING: OFFICES OR EMPLOYMENTS IN THE POSTAL SERVICE; * * * HOWEVER, THE TERM "EMPLOYMENTS IN THE POSTAL SERVICE" DOES NOT INCLUDE ALL EMPLOYMENTS UNDER THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT; AND IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE EXCEPTION REFERRED TO RELATES TO POSITIONS IN THE POSTAL SERVICE THE SALARY RATES FOR WHICH WERE FIXED IN THE POSTAL SERVICE RECLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1925, SUPRA, OR IN OTHER STATUTES APPLICABLE TO THE POSTAL SERVICE. SEE DECISION OF AUGUST 30, 1941, B-19955, 21 COMP. GEN. 189, TO YOU, RELATING TO POSITIONS OF FILLERS AND PACKERS IN THE DIVISION OF EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES.

ANSWERING SPECIFICALLY THE QUESTION PRESENTED IN YOUR LETTER, SUPRA, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941, PUBLIC LAW 200, DOES APPLY TO ALL CLASSES OF CUSTODIAL EMPLOYEES OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT WHOSE SALARY RATES, AS HEREINBEFORE SHOWN, ARE REQUIRED TO BE FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED.