B-67985, AUGUST 8, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 68

B-67985: Aug 8, 1947

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COMPENSATION - POSTAL SERVICE - INITIAL SALARY RATES OF SUPERVISORS TRANSFERRED TO CLERICAL GRADES SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES IN FIRST-CLASS POST OFFICES WHO ARE TO BE REASSIGNED TO CLERICAL GRADES BECAUSE OF DECREASE OF POSTAL RECEIPTS OR FOR ANY OTHER REASON MAY NOT. OR 14 WHICH WERE CREATED BY SECTION 12 (A) OF THE POSTAL SERVICE PAY STATUTE OF JULY 6. FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROMOTING THERETO CERTAIN EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE RENDERED PRESCRIBED MINIMUM PERIODS OF FAITHFUL AND MERITORIOUS SERVICE. THAT IS. PROVIDES THAT EMPLOYEES IN THE POSTAL SERVICE WHOSE RATES OF COMPENSATION ARE PRESCRIBED UNDER PUBLIC LAW 134 SHALL RECEIVE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF $400 PER ANNUM. FROM TIME TO TIME IT IS NECESSARY TO REASSIGN EMPLOYEES IN THE SUPERVISORY GRADES TO THE CLERICAL GRADES BECAUSE OF DECREASE IN POSTAL RECEIPTS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 31.

B-67985, AUGUST 8, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 68

COMPENSATION - POSTAL SERVICE - INITIAL SALARY RATES OF SUPERVISORS TRANSFERRED TO CLERICAL GRADES SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES IN FIRST-CLASS POST OFFICES WHO ARE TO BE REASSIGNED TO CLERICAL GRADES BECAUSE OF DECREASE OF POSTAL RECEIPTS OR FOR ANY OTHER REASON MAY NOT, UPON REASSIGNMENT, BE PLACED IN GRADES 12, 13, OR 14 WHICH WERE CREATED BY SECTION 12 (A) OF THE POSTAL SERVICE PAY STATUTE OF JULY 6, 1945, FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROMOTING THERETO CERTAIN EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE RENDERED PRESCRIBED MINIMUM PERIODS OF FAITHFUL AND MERITORIOUS SERVICE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, AUGUST 8, 1947:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF JULY 14, 1947 (REFERENCE 15), AS FOLLOWS:

WITH RESPECT TO THE PROMOTION OF REGULAR CLERKS AND CITY CARRIERS IN FIRST-CLASS POST OFFICES, SECTION 12 (A) OF PUBLIC LAW 134, APPROVED JULY 6, 1945, READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * PROVIDED, THAT FOR SUCH EMPLOYEES AT POST OFFICES OF THE FIRST CLASS THERE SHALL BE THREE ADDITIONAL GRADES; THAT IS, GRADE 12- - $2,800; GRADE 13--- $2,900; GRADE 14--- $3,000, AND THAT EMPLOYEES WHO PERFORM FAITHFUL AND MERITORIOUS SERVICE SHALL BE PROMOTED TO GRADE 12 AFTER THREE YEARS OF SUCH SERVICE IN GRADE 11, SHALL BE PROMOTED TO GRADE 13 AFTER FIVE YEARS OF SUCH SERVICE IN GRADE 12, AND SHALL BE PROMOTED TO GRADE 14 AFTER SEVEN YEARS OF SUCH SERVICE IN GRADE 13; * * *"

PUBLIC LAW 386, APPROVED MAY 21, 1946, PROVIDES THAT EMPLOYEES IN THE POSTAL SERVICE WHOSE RATES OF COMPENSATION ARE PRESCRIBED UNDER PUBLIC LAW 134 SHALL RECEIVE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF $400 PER ANNUM.

FROM TIME TO TIME IT IS NECESSARY TO REASSIGN EMPLOYEES IN THE SUPERVISORY GRADES TO THE CLERICAL GRADES BECAUSE OF DECREASE IN POSTAL RECEIPTS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 31, WHERE THERE IS NO CORRESPONDING ROSTER DESIGNATION IN THE GRADE TO WHICH THE POST OFFICE IS ASSIGNED; FOR DISCIPLINARY REASONS; AT THE REQUEST OF THE EMPLOYEE; OR INCIDENT TO THE DISCONTINUANCE OF A POSTAL UNIT, SUCH AS A CLASSIFIED STATION.

WHEN IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO REASSIGN SUCH SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES TO CLERICAL POSITIONS IN FIRST-CLASS POST OFFICES, MAY THE DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATIVELY PLACE THEM IN GRADES 12, 13, OR 14 AT THE TIME OF SUCH REASSIGNMENT?

NO PART OF PUBLIC LAW 134, APPROVED JULY 6, 1945, 59 STAT. 435, AS AMENDED BY PUBLIC LAW 386, APPROVED MAY 21, 1946, 60 STAT. 203, PRESCRIBES ANY RULE FOR FIXING THE INITIAL SALARY RATES OF SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES WHO ARE TRANSFERRED TO A DIFFERENT SALARY CLASS FOR ONE OR MORE OF THE REASONS OUTLINED IN THE PENULTIMATE PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER. IT FOLLOWS THAT THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION PRESENTED MUST BE CONTROLLED PRIMARILY BY THE APPARENT LEGISLATIVE INTENT AS EXPRESSED IN SECTION 12 (A) OF PUBLIC LAW 134, 59 STAT. 443, SUPRA. THAT IS, THAT POSITIONS IN THE THREE ADDITIONAL GRADES ARE TO BE FILLED ONLY BY THOSE REGULAR CLERKS, CITY CARRIERS, ETC., WHO HAVE PERFORMED "FAITHFUL AND MERITORIOUS SERVICE" FOR THE MINIMUM PERIODS PRESCRIBED IN THE LOWER GRADES. IT WOULD NOT BE REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES WHO MAY BE ASSIGNED TO CLERICAL POSITIONS IN FIRST-CLASS POST OFFICES, FOR ANY OF THE VARIOUS REASONS STATED IN YOUR LETTER, MAY BE PLACED IN AN EXISTING VACANCY IN ONE OF THE SPECIAL OR ADDITIONAL GRADES PROVIDED FOR BY SECTION 12 (A) OF THE PUBLIC LAW 134, WITHOUT HAVING PERFORMED THE REQUIRED MINIMUM SERVICE PRESCRIBED BY THE STATUTE AND OTHERWISE HAVING QUALIFIED FOR ASSIGNMENT THERETO. MOREOVER, IT MANIFESTLY WOULD BE UNJUST TO OTHER REGULAR CLERKS IN FIRST- CLASS POST OFFICES TO HOLD THAT SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES UPON TRANSFER COULD BE APPOINTED INITIALLY TO ONE OF THE ADDITIONAL GRADES, AND IT IS NOT BELIEVED THAT THE CONGRESS INTENDED TO CONFER ANY SUCH PREFERENTIAL STATUS UPON SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES WHO MAY BE TRANSFERRED TO CLERICAL POSITIONS IN FIRST-CLASS POST OFFICES. COMPARE THE ANSWER TO QUESTION 1 IN DECISION OF JULY 13, 1946, B-57938, TO YOU. ALSO, COMPARE 7 COMP. GEN. 295; 21 ID. 436.

ACCORDINGLY, THE QUESTION PRESENTED IN THE FINAL PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.