B-51413, AUGUST 8, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 165

B-51413: Aug 8, 1945

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) WHICH IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE NEW SCHEDULE. THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 8 (B) SAVING THE BASE ANNUAL COMPENSATION OF POSTMASTERS FROM REDUCTION BY REASON OF THE NEW ACT HAVE NO EFFECT TO SAVE THE POSTMASTER THE RIGHT TO HAVE HIS SALARY BASED UPON THE MORE BENEFICIAL SCHEDULE PRESCRIBED BY SUPERSEDED PRIOR LAW (39 U.S.C. 54.). 1945: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 1. THE DEPARTMENT HAS ENCOUNTERED INSTANCES WHERE THE GROSS RECEIPTS OF A POST OFFICE WERE LESS THAN $600. DURING THE CALENDAR YEAR 1944 SUCH RECEIPTS WERE $600. A DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE POSTMASTERS' SALARIES AT SUCH OFFICES SHOULD BE FIXED AT $5. AN EXAMPLE IS BROCKTON. THE POSTMASTER'S SALARY WAS $5. THE POSTMASTER'S SALARY WOULD HAVE ADVANCED TO &6.

B-51413, AUGUST 8, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 165

POSTMASTERS AT FIRST-CLASS OFFICES - SALARY RATE ADJUSTMENT UNDER ACT OF JULY 6, 1945 SECTION 8 (A) OF THE POSTAL SERVICE PAY STATUTE OF JULY 6, 1945--- EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1945--- FIXING A NEW SCHEDULE OF SALARY RATES FOR POSTMASTERS AT FIRST-CLASS OFFICES BASED UPON GROSS POSTAL RECEIPTS FOR THE PRECEDING CALENDAR YEAR, SUPERSEDES AND RENDERS INOPERATIVE THE SCHEDULE OF SALARY RATES PRESCRIBED BY LAW IN EFFECT ON JUNE 30, 1945 (39 U.S.C. 54,) WHICH IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE NEW SCHEDULE, AND THE SALARY RATES OF POSTMASTERS AS OF JULY 1, 1945, MUST BE FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE NEW STATUTE, EXCEPT AS THE SAVING PROVISION OF SECTION 8 (B) MAY BE APPLICABLE. WHERE, IN READJUSTING AS OF JULY 1, 1945, THE SALARY OF A POSTMASTER AT A FIRST-CLASS OFFICE BASED UPON INCREASED POSTAL RECEIPTS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1944, APPLICATION OF THE NEW SALARY SCHEDULE PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 8 OF THE POSTAL SERVICE PAY STATUTE OF JULY 6, 1945, RESULTS IN A SALARY INCREASE, THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 8 (B) SAVING THE BASE ANNUAL COMPENSATION OF POSTMASTERS FROM REDUCTION BY REASON OF THE NEW ACT HAVE NO EFFECT TO SAVE THE POSTMASTER THE RIGHT TO HAVE HIS SALARY BASED UPON THE MORE BENEFICIAL SCHEDULE PRESCRIBED BY SUPERSEDED PRIOR LAW (39 U.S.C. 54.)

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, AUGUST 8, 1945:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 1, 1945, REFERENCE 15, AS FOLLOWS:

IN THE ADJUSTMENT OF SALARIES OF POSTMASTERS PURSUANT TO PUBLIC LAW NO. 134, APPROVED JULY 6, 1945, THE DEPARTMENT HAS ENCOUNTERED INSTANCES WHERE THE GROSS RECEIPTS OF A POST OFFICE WERE LESS THAN $600,000 PER ANNUM FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1943, BUT DURING THE CALENDAR YEAR 1944 SUCH RECEIPTS WERE $600,000 OR MORE BUT LESS THAN $1,000,000. A DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE POSTMASTERS' SALARIES AT SUCH OFFICES SHOULD BE FIXED AT $5,600 PER ANNUM, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1945, OR WHETHER THEY COME UNDER THE SAVINGS CLAUSE, SECTION 8 (B) OF THE ACT, AND SHOULD RECEIVE A SALARY OF $6,000 PER ANNUM.

AN EXAMPLE IS BROCKTON, MASSACHUSETTS. FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 1945, THE POSTMASTER'S SALARY WAS $5,000 PER ANNUM, BASED ON ADJUSTED RECEIPTS OF $565,615 FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1943. FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1944, THE RECEIPTS OF THIS OFFICE AMOUNTED TO $695,687. UNDER LAWS IN EFFECT JUNE 30, 1945, THE POSTMASTER'S SALARY WOULD HAVE ADVANCED TO &6,000 ON JULY 1, 1945, BUT THROUGH THE OPERATION OF PUBLIC LAW NO. 134 HIS SALARY ADVANCED TO ONLY $5,600 ON THAT DATE, THE GRADE PROVIDED FOR OFFICES HAVING RECEIPTS OF $600,000 BUT LESS THAN$1,000,000.

IF YOU CONCLUDE THAT POSTMASTERS AT SUCH OFFICES SHOULD RECEIVE SALARIES OF $6,000 PER ANNUM EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1945, UNDER SECTION 8 (B,) WILL THIS SAVINGS CLAUSE CONTINUE TO OPERATE FOR POSTMASTERS AT SIMILAR OFFICES WHO WERE INCUMBENTS AS OF JUNE 30, 1945, IN ADJUSTING THEIR SALARIES ON JULY 1, 1946, JULY 1, 1947, ETC. ? FOR EXAMPLE, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OFFICES THAT HAD GROSS RECEIPTS OF $500,000 BUT LESS THAN $600,000 DURING THE CALENDAR YEAR 1944; THE POSTMASTERS' SALARIES WERE SET AT $5,300 PER ANNUM ON JULY 1, 1945, IN ACCORDANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW NO. 134. IT IS PROBABLE THAT SOME OF THESE OFFICES WILL HAVE GROSS RECEIPTS OF $600,000 OR MORE BUT LESS THAN $1,000,000 DURING THE CALENDAR YEAR 1945. UNDER LAWS IN EFFECT PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945, SUCH POSTMASTERS WOULD HAVE THEIR SALARIES ADVANCED TO $6,000 ON JULY 1, 1946, BUT UNDER PUBLIC LAW NO. 134 THEY MAY ADVANCE TO ONLY $5,600 ON THAT DATE.

SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF JULY 6, 1945, PUBLIC LAW 134, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1945 (SEE SECTION 28, 59 STAT. 461), PROVIDES, SO FAR AS HERE MATERIAL, AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 8. (A) THE COMPENSATION OF POSTMASTERS SHALL BE ANNUAL SALARIES TO BE FIXED BY THE POSTMASTER GENERAL FROM THEIR RESPECTIVE QUARTERLY RETURNS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE ADJUSTMENT, BASED ON GROSS POSTAL RECEIPTS AT THE FOLLOWING RATES * * *

FIRST CLASS

$600,000 BUT LESS THAN $1,000,000 ----------------------- 5,600

(B) THE BASE ANNUAL COMPENSATION OF AN INCUMBENT POSTMASTER SHALL NOT BE REDUCED IN THE READJUSTMENT TO CONFORM TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT, EXCEPT FOR A DECREASE IN GROSS POSTAL RECEIPTS TO AN AMOUNT FOR WHICH A LOWER SALARY GRADE IS PROVIDED.

SECTION 54, TITLE 39, U.S.C. IN EFFECT ON JUNE 30, 1945, FIXED THE ANNUAL SALARY RATE OF $6,000 FOR POSTMASTERS OF FIRST-CLASS POST OFFICES BASED UPON GROSS POSTAL RECEIPTS OF THE OFFICE FOR THE PRECEDING CALENDAR YEAR (1943 FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1945) OF $600,000 BUT LESS THAN $1,500,000. COURSE, THAT PROVISION OF LAW WAS SUPERSEDED AND RENDERED INOPERATIVE BY SECTION 8 (A) OF THE NEW STATUTE, 59 STAT. 437, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1945. THAT IS TO SAY, THE NEW STATUTE HAVING PROVIDED ENTIRELY NEW SCHEDULES OF SALARY RATES FOR POSTMASTERS BASED, IN MANY INSTANCES, UPON DIFFERENT RANGES OF POSTAL RECEIPTS OF THE OFFICE, THE LAW IN EFFECT ON JUNE 30, 1945, SO FAR AS INCONSISTENT WITH THE NEW LAW, CEASED TO OPERATE THEREAFTER, AND THE ADJUSTMENT OF SALARY RATES OF POSTMASTERS AS OF JULY 1, 1945, MUST BE FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE NEW LAW BASED UPON POSTAL RECEIPTS OF THE OFFICE FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1944, EXCEPT SO FAR AS SUBSECTION (B) TO SECTION 8, 59 STAT. 438, MAY BE APPLICABLE. UNITED STATES V. TYNEN, 11 WALL. 88, 92.

SUBSECTION (B) OF SECTION 8 DOES NOT PROVIDE, AND MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED TO MEAN, THAT THE SALARY RATE OF A POSTMASTER SHALL NOT BE LESS THAN HE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED ON JULY 1, 1945, UNDER THE LAW IN EFFECT JUNE 30, 1945--- COMPARE SECTION 21 OF THE STATUTE AND DECISION OF AUGUST 1, 1945, B-51247, 25 COMP. GEN. 149, TO YOU, REGARDING EMPLOYEES OF THE MAIL EQUIPMENT SHOPS --- BUT SAVES TO A POSTMASTER ONLY THE SALARY HE ACTUALLY WAS RECEIVING ON JUNE 30, 1945, UNDER THE LAW THEN IN EFFECT, PROVIDED THERE IS NO SUCH DECREASE IN POSTAL RECEIPTS OF THE OFFICE HE OCCUPIED FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1944, AS WOULD REQUIRE A REDUCTION IN HIS SALARY RATE BY APPLICATION OF THE FORMULA PRESCRIBED BY THE NEW STATUTE.

THEREFORE, REFERRING TO YOUR FIRST QUESTION, THE SALARY RATE OF THE POSTMASTER IN THE CASE PRESENTED SHOULD BE FIXED AT $5,600 PER ANNUM EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1945, AN INCREASE OF $600 PER ANNUM OVER THE SALARY RATE HE WAS RECEIVING ON JUNE 30, 1945.

THE ANSWER TO YOUR FIRST QUESTION RENDERS IT UNNECESSARY TO ANSWER YOUR SECOND QUESTION.