B-51247, AUGUST 1, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 149

B-51247: Aug 1, 1945

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ARE ENTITLED TO HAVE THEIR SALARIES. EMPLOYEES BE GIVEN CREDIT FOR EARNED AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN EFFECTIVE JULY 1. IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS ON OCTOBER 1. OR WILL HAVE HAD. NOT THE 18 MONTHS' SERVICE CREDIT WHICH WAS REQUIRED FOR AUTOMATIC PROMOTION UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 1. 1945: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 23. AS FOLLOWS: IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL ADVISE HOW THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 21 OF PUBLIC LAW NO. 134 SHOULD BE APPLIED IN SO FAR AS EMPLOYEES OF THE MAIL EQUIPMENT SHOPS. ARE CONCERNED. AS THESE EMPLOYEES WERE FORMERLY COVERED BY PUBLIC LAW NO. 200. ARE ENTITLED TO AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS IN SALARY EFFECTIVE JULY 1.

B-51247, AUGUST 1, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 149

POSTAL SERVICE - MAIL EQUIPMENT SHOPS EMPLOYEES - SALARY ADJUSTMENTS AND AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS UNDER ACT OF JULY 6, 1945 MAIL EQUIPMENT SHOPS EMPLOYEES WHO, ON JUNE 30, 1945, HAD COMPLIED WITH THE 18 MONTHS' SERVICE, EFFICIENCY RATING, AND OTHER APPLICABLE CONDITIONS ENTITLING THEM TO AUTOMATIC SALARY INCREASE ON JULY 1, 1945, UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941, ARE ENTITLED TO HAVE THEIR SALARIES, AS INCREASED, USED AS A BASIS FOR INITIAL SALARY ADJUSTMENT EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1945, UNDER SECTIONS 23 AND 24 OF THE POSTAL SERVICE PAY STATUTE OF JULY 6, 1945, IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 21 THEREOF REQUIRING THAT, BEFORE APPLYING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 23 AND 24, EMPLOYEES BE GIVEN CREDIT FOR EARNED AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1945, UNDER PRIOR LAWS. SECTION 21 OF THE POSTAL SERVICE PAY STATUTE OF JULY 6, 1945, AUTHORIZING CREDIT TOWARD AUTOMATIC PROMOTION UNDER THAT ACT OF SERVICE RENDERED PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945, IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS ON OCTOBER 1, 1945, OR JANUARY 1, OR APRIL 1, 1946, UNDER PRIOR LAWS, HAS NO EFFECT TO AUTHORIZE AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS UNDER SAID ACT DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1946 FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE MAIL EQUIPMENT SHOPS WHO HAD, OR WILL HAVE HAD, ONE YEAR'S SERVICE CREDIT AT THE BEGINNING OF A PARTICULAR QUARTER, BUT NOT THE 18 MONTHS' SERVICE CREDIT WHICH WAS REQUIRED FOR AUTOMATIC PROMOTION UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, AUGUST 1, 1945:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 23, 1945, REF. 40, AS FOLLOWS:

IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL ADVISE HOW THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 21 OF PUBLIC LAW NO. 134 SHOULD BE APPLIED IN SO FAR AS EMPLOYEES OF THE MAIL EQUIPMENT SHOPS, BUREAU OF THE FOURTH ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL, ARE CONCERNED, AS THESE EMPLOYEES WERE FORMERLY COVERED BY PUBLIC LAW NO. 200.

SECTION 21 OF PUBLIC LAW NO. 134 READS IN PART, AS FOLLOWS (ITALICS SUPPLIED):

"EMPLOYEES WHO, UNDER LAWS IN EFFECT JUNE 30, 1945, ARE ENTITLED TO AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS IN SALARY EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1945, AND FOR WHOM AUTOMATIC PROMOTION GRADES ARE PROVIDED IN THIS ACT, SHALL BE GIVEN CREDIT FOR THEIR EARNED AUTOMATIC PROMOTION IN SALARY BEFORE APPLYING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 23 AND 24 OF THIS ACT.'

IN APPLYING THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION IT IS BELIEVED THE SALARY RATE AS OF JUNE 30, 1945 PLUS THE PROMOTION OF THE SALARY STEP PROVIDED UNDER THE OLD RATE, IS TO BE USED AS A BASIS FOR DETERMINING THE NEW RATE OF PAY.

SECTION 21 FURTHER STATES THAT ( ITALICS SUPPLIED):

"EMPLOYEES WHO, UNDER THE LAWS IN EFFECT ON JUNE 30, 1945, WOULD HAVE RECEIVED AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS IN SALARY ON OCTOBER 1, 1945, OR JANUARY 1, OR APRIL 1, 1946, AND FOR WHOM AUTOMATIC INCREASES IN SALARY NOT EXCEEDING $100 PER ANNUM OR 5 CENTS PER HOUR, ARE PROVIDED IN THIS ACT, SHALL BE GIVEN CREDIT FOR THE TIME SERVED SINCE THEIR LAST PROMOTION PRIOR TO JUNE 30, 1945, IN DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.'

PUBLIC LAW NO. 134 PROVIDES FOR AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS AFTER ONE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE. THE ABOVE COULD BE INTERPRETED TO MEAN THAT THOSE EMPLOYEES WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN ELIGIBLE FOR PROMOTION ON OCTOBER 1, 1945, OR JANUARY 1, 1946 (HAVING COMPLETED ONE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE AS OF JULY 1, 1945/--- WOULD BE ENTITLED TO A $100 PROMOTION UNDER THIS ACT EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1945. FURTHER, EMPLOYEES WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO A PROMOTION ON APRIL 1, 1946, HAVING COMPLETED ONE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE ON OCTOBER 1, 1945, WOULD BE ENTITLED TO A PROMOTION AS OF THAT DATE.

THE SECTION COULD ALSO BE INTERPRETED TO MEAN THAT EMPLOYEES WHO HAD COMPLETED 18 MONTHS' SATISFACTORY SERVICE UNDER THE OLD LAW ON OCTOBER 1, 1945, OR JANUARY 1, OR APRIL 1, 1946, WOULD BE ENTITLED TO PROMOTIONS ON THOSE DATES UNDER THIS ACT, AS THEY WOULD HAVE COMPLETED ONE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE, OR MORE, SINCE THEIR LAST PROMOTION.

SECTION 18 OF THE ACT OF JULY 6, 1945, 59 STAT. 457, PUBLIC LAW 134, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1945 (SEE SECTION 28, 59 STAT. 461,) PROVIDES FOR A NUMBER OF SALARY GRADES FOR VARIOUS CLASSES OF EMPLOYEES IN THE MAIL EQUIPMENT SHOPS WITH THE RIGHT TO AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS "SUCCESSIVELY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER FOLLOWING ONE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN EACH GRADE TO THE NEXT HIGHER GRADE UNTIL THEY REACH" THE HIGHEST NUMBERED SALARY GRADE ESTABLISHED FOR THE PARTICULAR CLASS OF EMPLOYEES. PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945, SUCH EMPLOYEES WERE SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, AND WERE ENTITLED TO WITHIN GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENTS IN THEIR RESPECTIVE CLASSIFICATION ACT GRADES EVERY 18 MONTHS, IF OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE PURSUANT TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941, 55 STAT. 613, AND THE REGULATIONS ISSUED THEREUNDER.

SECTIONS 23 AND 24 OF THE NEW PAY STATUTE FOR POSTAL EMPLOYEES, 59 STAT. 460, 461, PROVIDE:

SEC. 23. IN THE READJUSTMENT OF SALARIES TO CONFORM TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT, REGULAR EMPLOYEES FOR WHOM SALARY STEPS, AUTOMATIC AND ADDITIONAL GRADES HAVE BEEN PROVIDED IN SECTIONS 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, AND 19 SHALL BE ASSIGNED TO THE SALARY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE POSITIONS ON THE BASIS OF THEIR BASE SALARY PLUS 20 PERCENTUM, OR $400, WHICHEVER IS LESSER AMOUNT, BUT NOT LESS THAN $300: PROVIDED, THAT WHEN THE APPLICATION OF THE ABOVE FORMULA PRODUCES A SUM THAT IS NOT EQUAL TO A SALARY PROVIDED FOR THE POSITION, THE EMPLOYEE SHALL BE ASSIGNED TO THE NEXT HIGHER SALARY GRADE: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT NO EMPLOYEE SHALL BE ASSIGNED TO A SALARY GRADE ABOVE THE MAXIMUM AUTOMATIC OR ADDITIONAL GRADE PROVIDED FOR THE POSITION: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT CLERKS WHO ARE EMPLOYED NOT LESS THAN FORTY HOURS PER WEEK AT THIRD-CLASS POST OFFICES, AND WHO ARE APPOINTED TO REGULAR POSITIONS, SHALL BE ASSIGNED TO THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE PROVIDED FOR THE POSITION.

SEC. 24. IN THE READJUSTMENT OF PART-TIME POSITIONS TO CONFORM TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT, SUBSTITUTE, TEMPORARY, AUXILIARY, AND OTHER PART- TIME EMPLOYEES FOR WHOM HOURLY RATES OF PAY HAVE BEEN PROVIDED IN SECTIONS 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, AND 19 SHALL BE ASSIGNED, RESPECTIVELY, TO THE HOURLY RATE OF PAY THAT MOST NEARLY EQUALS THEIR BASE HOURLY RATE PLUS 20 PERCENTUM: PROVIDED, THAT WHEN THE BASE HOURLY RATE PLUS 20 PERCENTUM DOES NOT EQUAL THE HOURLY RATES PROVIDED BY THIS ACT, FRACTION UNITS OF LESS THAN 50 PERCENTUM SHALL BE DISREGARDED AND FRACTIONAL UNITS OF 50 PERCENTUM OR MORE SHALL BE CONSIDERED AS A FULL UNIT RATE OF PAY.

IF ON JUNE 30, 1945, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE MAIL EQUIPMENT SHOPS HAD COMPLETED 18 MONTHS OF SERVICE SINCE HIS LAST "EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION" COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULES PRESCRIBED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER 8882, DATED SEPTEMBER 3, 1941, AND ALSO HAD ON RECORD THE REQUIRED EFFICIENCY RATING AND CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE AND CONDITIONS WHICH WOULD HAVE ENTITLED HIM TO A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1945, SUCH INCREASED SALARY RATE IS TO BE USED AS BASIS FOR HIS INITIAL SALARY ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE NEW PAY STATUTE FOR THE POSTAL SERVICE PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 21, 23, AND 24 OF SAID STATUTE, AS STATED IN THE THIRD PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER. HOWEVER, IF FOR ANY REASON SUCH EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE BEEN INELIGIBLE FOR THE WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT AS OF JULY 1, 1945, UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS AMENDED, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO COUNT THE SERVICE RENDERED PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945, FOR THE PURPOSE OF INITIAL ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE NEW STATUTE.

THE LAST SENTENCE OF THE PRECEDING PARAGRAPH IS APPLICABLE, ALSO, IN ANSWERING THE SECOND QUESTION WITH RELATION TO AN EMPLOYEE'S STATUS OCTOBER 1, 1945, OR JANUARY 1, OR APRIL 1, 1946. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT BELIEVED THAT THE LAST SENTENCE OF SECTION 21 OF THE NEW PAY STATUTE, 59 STAT. 459, QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, WAS INTENDED TO GRANT AN AUTOMATIC PROMOTION UNDER THE NEW LAW EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1945, AS WOULD APPEAR TO BE SUGGESTED IN THE PENULTIMATE PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER. THE PURPOSE OF THE SECOND SENTENCE OF SECTION 21 IS SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS THE PURPOSE OF THE FIRST SENTENCE OF THAT SECTION--- TO ALLOW CREDIT FOR SERVICE RENDERED PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945, FOR ADVANCEMENTS EFFECTIVE AT THE BEGINNING OF ANY QUARTER DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1946, WHEN AN EMPLOYEE OF THE MAIL EQUIPMENT SHOPS WOULD HAVE BEEN ELIGIBLE FOR A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS AMENDED, HAD THE NEW PAY STATUTE NOT BEEN ENACTED. IN OTHER WORDS, THERE IS NOT EVIDENCED ANY INTENTION BY THE SECOND SENTENCE OF SECTION 21 OF THE STATUTE TO GRANT EMPLOYEES WHO HAD COMPLETED ONLY ONE YEAR'S SERVICE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945- -- MAKING THEM INELIGIBLE FOR A WITHIN GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT AS OF THAT DATE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS AMENDED--- THE SAME BENEFITS GRANTED BY THE FIRST SENTENCE OF THE SECTION TO EMPLOYEES WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN ELIGIBLE AS OF JULY 1, 1945, FOR A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. THEREFORE, THE INTERPRETATION SUGGESTED IN THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER IS CORRECT.