B-62391, JANUARY 9, 1947, 26 COMP. GEN. 470

B-62391: Jan 9, 1947

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1947: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 9. SPECIAL DELIVERY MESSENGERS AT FIRST-CLASS OFFICES WERE PLACED ON AN HOURLY OR ANNUAL RATE BASIS EFFECTIVE JULY 1. GEN. 287) IS A SEPARATE AND DISTINCT UNIT OF THE POSTAL SERVICE REGARDLESS OF THE CLASS OF OFFICE FROM WHICH THE ROUTE EMANATES. THE COMPENSATION OF RURAL CARRIERS IS PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 17 OF THE POSTAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945. A TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER SERVING A ROUTE FOR WHICH THERE IS NO REGULAR CARRIER SHALL BE PAID AT THE RATE OF SALARY PROVIDED FOR A CARRIER OF GRADE 1 FOR THE ROUTE ON WHICH SERVICE IS PERFORMED. THE COMPENSATION OF SPECIAL-DELIVERY MESSENGERS EMPLOYED ON A FULL TIME BASIS IN OFFICES OF THE FIRST CLASS IS PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 22 OF SAID ACT.

B-62391, JANUARY 9, 1947, 26 COMP. GEN. 470

COMPENSATION - POSTAL SERVICE - SPECIAL-DELIVERY MESSENGERS TEMPORARILY ASSIGNED AS RURAL CARRIERS SPECIAL-DELIVERY MESSENGERS ASSIGNED AS RURAL CARRIERS IN AN EMERGENCY, UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 23, 1944, SHOULD BE PLACED ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY FROM THEIR REGULAR POSITIONS AND COMPENSATED AS RURAL CARRIERS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 17 (F) OF THE POSTAL SERVICE PAY STATUTE OF JULY 6, 1945--- IT BEING ASSUMED THAT RURAL-CARRIER AND SPECIAL-DELIVERY DUTIES COULD NOT EFFICIENTLY BE COMBINED WITHIN EIGHT HOURS, SO THAT SECTION 22 (E) OF THE LATTER ACT, AUTHORIZING THE EMPLOYMENT OF SPECIAL- DELIVERY MESSENGERS AT OTHER DUTIES AT THEIR REGULAR COMPENSATION RATE WHEN THEIR REGULAR DUTIES DO NOT REQUIRE EIGHT HOURS' WORK IN TEN, WOULD NOT BE FOR APPLICATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, JANUARY 9, 1947:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 9, 1946 (REFERENCE 15), AS FOLLOWS:

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF JULY 6, 1945, PUBLIC LAW 134, SPECIAL DELIVERY MESSENGERS AT FIRST-CLASS OFFICES WERE PLACED ON AN HOURLY OR ANNUAL RATE BASIS EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1945. UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF SECTION 136, TITLE 39 OF THE U.S.C. AS AMENDED, POSTMASTERS MAY ASSIGN EMPLOYEES TO ANY DUTY IN AN EMERGENCY. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE RURAL DELIVERY SERVICE AS STATED IN YOUR DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 25, 1945, (B-51876), (25 COMP. GEN. 287) IS A SEPARATE AND DISTINCT UNIT OF THE POSTAL SERVICE REGARDLESS OF THE CLASS OF OFFICE FROM WHICH THE ROUTE EMANATES, AM I CORRECT IN MY UNDERSTANDING THAT SPECIAL DELIVERY MESSENGERS AT FIRST- CLASS OFFICES ASSIGNED TO A RURAL ROUTE IN AN EMERGENCY MUST BE PLACED ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY AND PAID AS RURAL CARRIERS?

THE COMPENSATION OF RURAL CARRIERS IS PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 17 OF THE POSTAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, PUBLIC LAW 134, 59 STAT. 456, PARAGRAPH (F) OF WHICH SECTION PROVIDES:

(F) A SUBSTITUTE RURAL CARRIER WHO PERFORMS SERVICE FOR A REGULAR CARRIER ABSENT WITH PAY SHALL BE PAID AT THE SAME RATE PAID THE REGULAR CARRIER FOR EACH DAY'S SERVICE, EXCLUSIVE OF SUNDAYS AND AUTHORIZED HOLIDAYS. TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER SERVING A ROUTE IN PLACE OF A REGULAR CARRIER ABSENT WITHOUT PAY SHALL BE PAID AT THE SAME RATE PAID THE REGULAR CARRIER, SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS INCLUDED EXCEPT AT THE BEGINNING OR END OF THE PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT. A TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER SERVING A ROUTE FOR WHICH THERE IS NO REGULAR CARRIER SHALL BE PAID AT THE RATE OF SALARY PROVIDED FOR A CARRIER OF GRADE 1 FOR THE ROUTE ON WHICH SERVICE IS PERFORMED, INCLUDING SUNDAYS AND AUTHORIZED HOLIDAYS EXCEPT AT THE BEGINNING AND END OF THE PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT.

THE COMPENSATION OF SPECIAL-DELIVERY MESSENGERS EMPLOYED ON A FULL TIME BASIS IN OFFICES OF THE FIRST CLASS IS PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 22 OF SAID ACT, PARAGRAPH (E) OF WHICH SECTION, 59 STAT. 460, PROVIDES:

SPECIAL-DELIVERY MESSENGERS MAY BE EMPLOYED AT DUTIES OTHER THAN THE DELIVERY OF SPECIAL-DELIVERY MAIL WHEN THEIR REGULAR DUTIES DO NOT REQUIRE EIGHT HOURS WORK IN TEN; AND SPECIAL-DELIVERY ARTICLES MAY, IN THE DISCRETION OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, BE DELIVERED BY REGULAR, SUBSTITUTE, AND TEMPORARY POSTAL EMPLOYEES, AND SUCH EMPLOYEES SHALL BE PAID THEIR REGULAR RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR SUCH DELIVERY SERVICE.

IN DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 25, 1945, B-51876, 25 COMP. GEN. 287, IT WAS STATED (PAGE 290):

* * * THE RURAL DELIVERY SERVICE IS UNDERSTOOD TO BE A SEPARATE AND DISTINCT UNIT OF THE POSTAL SERVICE REGARDLESS OF THE CLASS OF POST OFFICE OUT OF WHICH THE ROUTES EMANATE. * * *

AND IT WAS HELD IN SAID DECISION THAT ALL RURAL CARRIERS ARE ENTITLED TO FEES FOR DELIVERING SPECIAL-DELIVERY MAIL ON THEIR ROUTES.

IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE DUTY OF RURAL CARRIERS AND THAT OF SPECIAL DELIVERY MESSENGERS ORDINARILY MAY NOT EFFICIENTLY BE COMBINED WITHIN EIGHT HOURS, AND IF THAT ASSUMPTION BE CORRECT, THE PROVISIONS IN SECTION 22 (E) FOR THE ASSIGNMENT OF SPECIAL-DELIVERY MESSENGERS TO OTHER DUTIES WHEN WORKING LESS THAN EIGHT HOURS WOULD NOT BE FOR APPLICATION.

THE ACT OF DECEMBER 23, 1944, 58 STAT. 922, 39 U.S.C. 136, PROVIDES:

THAT SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1929, ENTITLED " AN ACT FOR THE RELIEF OF PRESENT AND FORMER POSTMASTERS AND ACTING POSTMASTERS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES" (45 STAT. 1441), AS AMENDED (39 U.S.C., 1940 EDITION, SUPP. III, 136), IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

"WHEN IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL THE NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF THE POSTAL SERVICE SO REQUIRE HE MAY EMPLOY MAIL MESSENGERS AND POSTAL EMPLOYEES IN A DUAL CAPACITY, OR ASSIGN EXTRA DUTIES TO SUCH MAIL MESSENGERS AND POSTAL EMPLOYEES; AND, NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 1763, 1764, AND 1765 OF THE REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED ( U.S.C., TITLE 5, SECS. 58, 69, AND 70), COMPENSATION SHALL BE PAID TO SUCH MAIL MESSENGERS AND POSTAL EMPLOYEES FOR SUCH SERVICES AT THE RATE PROVIDED BY LAW FOR SUCH SERVICES.'

AS SPECIAL-DELIVERY MESSENGERS PRESUMABLY COULD NOT PERFORM FULL TIME SERVICE AS SUCH WHILE ACTING AS RURAL CARRIERS, IT APPEARS REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT THEY SHOULD BE PLACED ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY FROM THE POSITION AS SPECIAL-DELIVERY MESSENGER FOR THE TIME COVERED BY SUCH RURAL DELIVERY SERVICE AND THAT WHILE SO SERVING THEY BE COMPENSATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 17 (F), SUPRA. ..END :