B-4356, JULY 18, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 70

B-4356: Jul 18, 1939

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1938 52 STAT. 167 BUT THE EXCESS WAS BROUGHT ABOUT NOT ONLY BY AUTOMATIC INCREASES TO THE LIBRARIANS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1939 BUT ALSO BY THE FILLING OF VACANCIES IN THE FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY BY APPOINTMENTS IN THE LOWER SALARY BRACKETS ONLY THE EXCESS OCCASIONED BY THE AUTOMATIC INCREASES NEED BE ADJUSTED IF AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FISCAL YEAR 1939 THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES OF THE SCHOOL LIBRARIANS DID NOT CONTRAVENE THE AVERAGE PROVISION. 1939: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 5. AS FOLLOWS: THE COMMISSIONERS ARE IN RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 27. 200.00 PER YEAR IS REACHED. IS NOT REQUIRED TO EFFECT THE ANNUAL INCREASE OF $100.00. THE EFFECT OF YOUR DECISION IS TO REDUCE THE SALARIES OF THOSE SCHOOL LIBRARIANS WHO HAVE RECEIVED ANNUAL INCREASES DURING THE FISCAL YEARS 1938 AND 1939.

B-4356, JULY 18, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 70

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - SCHOOL LIBRARIANS SALARY RESTRICTION WHERE THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES PAID LIBRARIANS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS EXCEEDED, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1939, THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES PAID EMPLOYEES PERFORMING THE SAME GRADE OF WORK IN THE FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY, IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE RESTRICTION IN THE 1939 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT, APPROVED APRIL 4, 1938 52 STAT. 167 BUT THE EXCESS WAS BROUGHT ABOUT NOT ONLY BY AUTOMATIC INCREASES TO THE LIBRARIANS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1939 BUT ALSO BY THE FILLING OF VACANCIES IN THE FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY BY APPOINTMENTS IN THE LOWER SALARY BRACKETS ONLY THE EXCESS OCCASIONED BY THE AUTOMATIC INCREASES NEED BE ADJUSTED IF AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FISCAL YEAR 1939 THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES OF THE SCHOOL LIBRARIANS DID NOT CONTRAVENE THE AVERAGE PROVISION. DECISION B-4356 JUNE 27, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 992, AMPLIFIED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO THE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, JULY 18, 1939:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 5, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

THE COMMISSIONERS ARE IN RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 27, 1939, INTERPRETING THE AVERAGE SALARY PROVISION IN THE 1939 D.C. APPROPRIATION ACT AFFECTING LIBRARIANS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIANS PERFORMING THE SAME GRADE OF WORK IN THE FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY AND HOLDING IN EFFECT THAT IT WOULD "BE NECESSARY TO ADJUST THE SALARY RATES OF SCHOOL LIBRARIANS FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR BY RESCINDING THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WHICH RESULTED IN THE VIOLATION OF THE STATUTORY RESTRICTION AND TO MAKE THE NECESSARY COLLECTIONS FROM EACH OF THE INVOLVED SCHOOL LIBRARIANS.' THE TEACHERS' SALARY ACT OF JUNE 24, 1924 (43 STAT. 368), UNDER CLASS 4, GROUP A, PROVIDES: "A BASIC SALARY OF $1,400.00 PER YEAR WITH AN ANNUAL INCREASE IN SALARY OF $100.00 FOR EIGHT YEARS, OR UNTIL A MAXIMUM SALARY OF $2,200.00 PER YEAR IS REACHED,"ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION, THEREFORE, IS NOT REQUIRED TO EFFECT THE ANNUAL INCREASE OF $100.00. OTHER WORDS, THE EFFECT OF YOUR DECISION IS TO REDUCE THE SALARIES OF THOSE SCHOOL LIBRARIANS WHO HAVE RECEIVED ANNUAL INCREASES DURING THE FISCAL YEARS 1938 AND 1939, WHICH IS THE GROUP RECEIVING THE COMPENSATION. IN 1939 AUTOMATIC INCREASES WERE RECEIVED BY FOUR LIBRARIANS AMOUNTING TO $350.00 AND IN 1939 THE AUTOMATIC INCREASES OF SIX LIBRARIANS AMOUNTING TO $460.00 WILL HAVE TO BE RESCINDED IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE NECESSARY SAVING FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1939. THE LIBRARIANS INVOLVED ARE AS FOLLOWS:

* * * * (CHART OMITTED) * * * *

AT THE TIME THE AUTOMATIC INCREASES WERE AUTHORIZED UNDER THE ACT OF 1924 FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1938, THE AVERAGE SALARIES OF THE LIBRARIANS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS DID NOT EXCEED THE AVERAGE SALARY PAID TO LIBRARIANS PERFORMING THE SAME GRADE OF WORK IN THE FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY. COMPUTING THE AVERAGE SALARY OF HE LIBRARIANS IN THE FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1938, THE SUBPROFESSIONAL GROUP (SP 5) WHICH IS THE GROUP THAT YOU HELD WAS NOT FOR CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING THE AVERAGE SALARY TO BE PAID LIBRARIANS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. OMITTING FROM CONSIDERATION THE SUBPROFESSIONALS AND VACANCIES FOR PART OF THE YEAR AND FILLING THE POSITIONS AT LOWER GRADES, THE AUTOMATIC INCREASES AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF 1924 WOULD NOT BE PROHIBITED UNDER YOUR DECISION FOR 1938, BUT NEVERTHELESS IS FOR ADJUSTMENT IN 1939. IN OTHER WORDS BECAUSE OF THE RETROACTIVE EFFECT OF THIS LIMITATION IN 1939 ACT BY RESCINDING THE AUTOMATIC INCREASES, THERE IS TO BE DEDUCTED FROM THE LIBRARIANS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOR 1939 THE TOTAL SUM OF $810.00 WHEREAS THE DIFFERENCE IN ACTUAL COMPENSATION TO BE PAID FOR 1939 ON THE BASIS OF YOUR DECISION IS ONLY $673.63.

UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, WILL YOU PLEASE ADVISE THE COMMISSIONERS WHETHER THE AUTOMATIC INCREASES IN 1938 CARRIED OVER INTO 1939 SHOULD BE RESCINDED, AS WELL AS THOSE AUTOMATIC INCREASES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1939?

IF AS STATED IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER AND AS INDICATED IN YOUR PREVIOUS LETTER OF JUNE 13, 1939, THE AVERAGE SALARY OF THE LIBRARIANS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS DID NOT EXCEED THE AVERAGE SALARY OF THE LIBRARIANS IN THE FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1938, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO REQUIREMENT THAT THERE BE RECOVERED FROM ANY PUBLIC SCHOOL LIBRARIANS ANY AMOUNTS RECEIVED BY THEM FOR SUCH FISCAL YEAR AS A RESULT OF AUTOMATIC INCREASES DURING THAT FISCAL YEAR.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE EXCESS IN THE AVERAGE FOR 1939 WAS BROUGHT ABOUT BY TWO FACTORS: FIRST, BY REASON OF AUTOMATIC INCREASES TO LIBRARIANS OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1939, AND SECOND, BY APPOINTMENT IN THE LOWER BRACKETS OF EMPLOYEES IN THE FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY, THEREBY REDUCING THE AVERAGE IN THAT LIBRARY. WHILE THE FILLING OF VACANCIES AND MAKING OF APPOINTMENTS IN THE FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1938 SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN THE ADJUSTMENT OF SALARIES OF THE SCHOOL LIBRARIANS DURING SAID YEAR SO AS TO AVOID ANY PAYMENTS IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE AVERAGE PROVISION, IT IS NOT BELIEVED THAT SUCH AVERAGE PROVISION CONTEMPLATED THE REDUCTION OF SALARIES OF LIBRARIANS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS OTHERWISE FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW MERELY BECAUSE SUBSEQUENT APPOINTMENTS IN THE FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY CAUSED THE AVERAGE IN SUCH LIBRARY TO BE BELOW THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES OF THE SCHOOL LIBRARIANS.

TO THE EXTENT THAT THE EXCESS IN THE AVERAGE MAY BE ADJUSTED BY RESCINDING THE AUTOMATIC INCREASES MADE DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1939, TO LIBRARIANS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, THAT ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN. HOWEVER, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO NEED TO OTHERWISE REDUCE THE SALARIES OF PUBLIC SCHOOL LIBRARIANS TO ADJUST THE BALANCE OF THE EXCESS IF AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FISCAL YEAR 1939 THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES OF THE SCHOOL LIBRARIANS DID NOT CONTRAVENE THE AVERAGE PROVISION.

IT IS ASSUMED, OF COURSE, THAT PROPER ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WILL BE TAKEN TO AVOID ANY PAYMENTS HEREAFTER IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE AVERAGE PROVISION IF IT SHOULD BE REENACTED.