B-52327, SEPTEMBER 28, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 308

B-52327: Sep 28, 1945

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WAS ADVANCED ON APRIL 1. 1945: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 7. ARE ENTITLED TO AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS IN SALARY EFFECTIVE JULY 1. FOR WHOM AUTOMATIC PROMOTION GRADES ARE PROVIDED IN THIS ACT. WOULD HAVE RECEIVED AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS IN SALARY ON OCTOBER 1. ARE PROVIDED IN THIS ACT. AS SET OUT IN SECTION 12 THE INITIAL RATE OF PAY FOR SUBSTITUTE CLERKS IN FIRST- AND SECOND-CLASS OFFICES AND SUBSTITUTE CITY DELIVERY CARRIERS IS 84 CENTS PER HOUR. PRIOR TO THE PASSAGE OF THIS ACT THE INITIAL RATE FOR SUCH SUBSTITUTES WAS 65 CENTS AN HOUR PROGRESSING TO 69 CENTS PER HOUR FOLLOWING ONE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE. ALL SUBSTITUTE CLERKS AND CARRIERS WHO WERE IN THE GROUPS RECEIVING 65 CENTS PER HOUR AND 69 CENTS PER HOUR AS OF JUNE 30.

B-52327, SEPTEMBER 28, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 308

COMPENSATION - POSTAL SERVICE PAY STATUTE OF JULY 6, 1945 - SUBSTITUTES IN THE CASE OF A SUBSTITUTE POSTAL CLERK WHO, UPON COMPLETION OF ONE YEAR'S SERVICE, WAS ADVANCED ON APRIL 1, 1945, FROM THE RATE OF 65 CENTS PER HOUR TO THE 69-CENT RATE, UNDER THE LAW THEN IN EFFECT, AND WHOSE COMPENSATION OTHERWISE WOULD BE CONVERTIBLE AS OF JULY 1, 1945, TO THE SAME INITIAL RATE (84 CENTS) UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE POSTAL SERVICE PAY STATUTE OF JULY 6, 1945, AS SUBSTITUTES PREVIOUSLY RECEIVING 65 CENTS PER HOUR, THE ADVANCE ON APRIL 1, 1945, MAY BE DISREGARDED IN APPLYING THE AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS PROVISIONS OF SECTION 21, AND HIS INITIAL RATE UNDER SAID SECTION 12 MAY BE FIXED AT THE SECOND AUTOMATIC RATE (89 CENTS).

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, SEPTEMBER 28, 1945:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 7, 1945, REFERENCE 15, AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 21 OF THE ACT OF JULY 6, 1945, PUBLIC LAW 134, READS AS FOLLOWS:

"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 SECTION 23 AND 24 OF THE ACT. 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.'

AS SET OUT IN SECTION 12 THE INITIAL RATE OF PAY FOR SUBSTITUTE CLERKS IN FIRST- AND SECOND-CLASS OFFICES AND SUBSTITUTE CITY DELIVERY CARRIERS IS 84 CENTS PER HOUR. PRIOR TO THE PASSAGE OF THIS ACT THE INITIAL RATE FOR SUCH SUBSTITUTES WAS 65 CENTS AN HOUR PROGRESSING TO 69 CENTS PER HOUR FOLLOWING ONE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE. ON JULY 1, 1945, ALL SUBSTITUTE CLERKS AND CARRIERS WHO WERE IN THE GROUPS RECEIVING 65 CENTS PER HOUR AND 69 CENTS PER HOUR AS OF JUNE 30, 1945, WERE CONVERTED TO THE 84 CENTS HOURLY RATE UNDER PUBLIC LAW 134.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 20 OF THE ACT SUBSTITUTES, AMONG OTHER EMPLOYEES, WHO UNDER THE LAWS IN EFFECT JUNE 30, 1945, WOULD HAVE RECEIVED A PROMOTION ON OCTOBER 1, 1945, SHALL BE GIVEN CREDIT FOR THE TIME SERVED SINCE THEIR LAST PROMOTION PRIOR TO JUNE 30, 1945, IN DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR AUTOMATIC PROMOTION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT PUBLIC LAW 134 PLACES SUBSTITUTES IN BOTH THE 65 CENTS HOURLY RATE AND THE 69 CENTS HOURLY RATE IN THE SAME CATEGORY WITH RESPECT TO CONVERSION TO THE 84 CENTS HOURLY RATE WILL PROMOTIONS OF SUBSTITUTES FROM 65 CENTS TO 69 CENTS PER HOUR PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945, BE CONSIDERED AS "PROMOTIONS" UNDER PUBLIC LAW 134?

A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE OF THE OPERATION OF THIS PHASE OF THE LAW FOLLOWS:

SUBSTITUTE CLERK "A" WAS APPOINTED APRIL 1, 1944, AT 65 CENTS PER HOUR. ON APRIL 1, 1945, HE WAS PROMOTED TO 69 CENTS PER HOUR. HE WAS CONVERTED TO 84 CENTS PER HOUR IN ACCORDANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 134 ON JULY 1, 1945. UNDER PUBLIC LAW 134 WILL HE BE ELIGIBLE FOR PROMOTION APRIL 1, 1946, OR SHOULD HIS TIME BE COMPUTED FROM APRIL 1, 1944, MAKING HIM ELIGIBLE FOR CONVERSION TO THE 89 CENTS RATE ON JULY 1, 1945, BY VIRTUE OF THE FACT THAT THE 65 CENTS HOURLY RATE WAS MERGED WITH THE 69 CENTS HOURLY RATE IN THE CONVERSION?

ANOTHER EXAMPLE: CLERK "B" WAS APPOINTED OCTOBER 1, 1944, AT 65 CENTS PER HOUR. HE WAS CONVERTED TO THE 84 CENTS HOURLY RATE ON JULY 1, 1945. OCTOBER 1 HE WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR PROMOTION TO THE 89 CENTS RATE. IF IT IS DETERMINED THAT IN THE EXAMPLE FOR CLERK "A" THE PROMOTION FROM 65 CENTS PER HOUR TO 69 CENTS PER HOUR REPRESENTS AN ACTUAL PROMOTION AND THAT CLERK "A" WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR ANOTHER PROMOTION UNTIL APRIL 1, 1946, THEN THE LAW OPERATES TO PLACE CLERK "B" IN A HIGHER GRADE THAN CLERK "A" NOTWITHSTANDING THAT CLERK "A" IS SIX MONTHS SENIOR TO CLERK "B.'

SECTION 24 OF THE ACT OF JULY 6, 1945, 59 STAT. 461, PROVIDES:

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.

SINCE 65 CENTS PER HOUR PLUS 20 PERCENT RESULTS IN A RATE OF 78 CENTS PER HOUR, AND 69 CENTS PER HOUR PLUS 20 PERCENT, IN A RATE OF 82.8 CENTS PER HOUR--- BOTH RATES BEING LESS THAN 84 CENTS PER HOUR, THE NEW MINIMUM RATE ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 12 OF THE NEW STATUTE, 59 STAT. 443--- IT WAS PROPER TO FIX THE INITIAL SALARY RATE OF ALL SUBSTITUTES OF THE CLASS HERE INVOLVED AT 84 CENTS UNDER SECTION 24 OF THE NEW STATUTE. HOWEVER, IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY PROVISION IN THE STATUTE PROVIDING OTHERWISE, IT IS REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT SECTION 21 OF THE NEW STATUTE, 59 STAT. 459, QUOTED IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER, SHOULD NOT BE SO APPLIED AS TO AUTHORIZE THE EARLIER ADVANCEMENT OF A SUBSTITUTE RECEIVING 65 CENTS PER HOUR ON JUNE 30, 1945, TO 89 CENTS PER HOUR, THE SECOND RATE UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE NEW STATUTE (EXAMPLE B), THAN A SUBSTITUTE WHO IS RECEIVING 69 CENTS PER HOUR ON JUNE 30, 1945 (EXAMPLE A). THEREFORE, IN EXAMPLE A IT IS CONCLUDED THAT ALL OF THE SUBSTITUTE SERVICE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945, THAT IS FROM APRIL 1, 1944, MAY BE COUNTED SO AS TO FIX HIS INITIAL SALARY RATE UNDER THE NEW STATUTE AT 89 CENTS PER HOUR JULY 1, 1945, THEREBY MAINTAINING HIS SAME RELATIVE POSITION AS TO SALARY THAT HE HELD WITH OTHER SUBSTITUTES PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945.