B-82624, APRIL 19, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 583

B-82624: Apr 19, 1949

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PERFORMED SERVICE IN A DIFFERENT POSITION AND CLASSIFICATION FROM THOSE TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS PROMOTED AS REGULAR MAY NOT HAVE SUCH SUBSTITUTE SERVICE COUNTED AS CREDITABLE SERVICE SO AS TO BE ENTITLED TO THE 4 ADDITIONAL GRADES AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 6. WAS IN A POSITION WITHIN THE SAME BRANCH OF THE POSTAL SERVICE AS THAT IN WHICH HE WAS APPOINTED AS REGULAR. WAS SERVICE AS SUBSTITUTE CLERKS. THE EMPLOYEES WERE TRANSFERRED TO SUBSTITUTE MAIL HANDLERS AND DULY PROMOTED TO REGULAR MAIL HANDLERS. THE SERVICE AS TEMPORARY AND WAR SERVICE SUBSTITUTE CLERKS WAS CREDITED AS A PART OF THE CONTINUOUS SUBSTITUTE SERVICE OF THE EMPLOYEES. "WHO WAS A SUBSTITUTE IN THE POSTAL SERVICE PRIOR TO JULY 1.

B-82624, APRIL 19, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 583

COMPENSATION - POSTAL SERVICE - INITIAL SALARY RATE UPON APPOINTMENT OF SUBSTITUTE EMPLOYEE AS REGULAR. A SUBSTITUTE POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEE WHO, PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945, PERFORMED SERVICE IN A DIFFERENT POSITION AND CLASSIFICATION FROM THOSE TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS PROMOTED AS REGULAR MAY NOT HAVE SUCH SUBSTITUTE SERVICE COUNTED AS CREDITABLE SERVICE SO AS TO BE ENTITLED TO THE 4 ADDITIONAL GRADES AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 6, 1946, AS AMENDED, EVEN THOUGH THE SUBSTITUTE SERVICE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945, WAS IN A POSITION WITHIN THE SAME BRANCH OF THE POSTAL SERVICE AS THAT IN WHICH HE WAS APPOINTED AS REGULAR.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, APRIL 19, 1949:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 26, 1948, REFERENCE 12, RELATIVE TO THE PROPER SALARY RATES FOR SEVERAL EMPLOYEES OF THE NEW YORK, NEW YORK, POST OFFICE, UPON PROMOTION FROM SUBSTITUTE TO REGULAR MAIL HANDLERS. THE PERTINENT FACTS CONCERNING THE EMPLOYEES REVEAL THAT THE ONLY SUBSTITUTE SERVICE BY THE EMPLOYEES PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945, WAS SERVICE AS SUBSTITUTE CLERKS, AND THAT SUBSEQUENT TO JULY 1, 1945, THE EMPLOYEES WERE TRANSFERRED TO SUBSTITUTE MAIL HANDLERS AND DULY PROMOTED TO REGULAR MAIL HANDLERS. UPON PROMOTION FROM SUBSTITUTE TO REGULAR MAIL HANDLERS, THE SERVICE AS TEMPORARY AND WAR SERVICE SUBSTITUTE CLERKS WAS CREDITED AS A PART OF THE CONTINUOUS SUBSTITUTE SERVICE OF THE EMPLOYEES. SUCH ACTION OF CREDITING THE REGULAR MAIL HANDLERS WITH SERVICE AS SUBSTITUTE CLERKS PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945, RESULTED IN THE EMPLOYEES' ALLEGEDLY BECOMING ENTITLED TO THE 4 ADDITIONAL GRADES AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 6, 1946, PUBLIC LAW 317, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 15, 1947, PUBLIC LAW 35, 61 STAT. 40, FOR ANY EMPLOYEE, UPON PROMOTION TO REGULAR,"WHO WAS A SUBSTITUTE IN THE POSTAL SERVICE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945.'

SINCE, IN THE AUDIT OF THE INVOLVED ACCOUNTS, THE SERVICE AS SUBSTITUTE CLERKS PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945, IN A DIFFERENT POSITION AND CLASSIFICATION FROM THOSE OF MAIL HANDLER TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEES WERE PROMOTED AS REGULARS, APPEARED NOT TO BE FOR COUNTING BY THE MAIL HANDLERS AS CREDITABLE SERVICE SO AS TO ENTITLE THEM TO THE ADDITIONAL GRADES AUTHORIZED BY PUBLIC LAW 3, THE POSTAL ACCOUNTS DIVISION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE REQUESTED ADVICE AS TO THE AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR PROMOTING THE EMPLOYEES AT A SALARY RATE HIGHER THAN THE CORRESPONDING SALARY RATE AS A SUBSTITUTE, AS PROVIDED, GENERALLY, BY SECTION 12 (F) OF THE POSTAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT, APPROVED JULY 6, 1945, PUBLIC LAW 134, 59 STAT. 445. TWO DECISIONS WERE CITED IN SUPPORT OF SUCH REQUESTS, NAMELY, B-58196, JULY 22, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 51, AND B 62218, JANUARY 3, 1947, 26 COMP. GEN. 449.

IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE MAIL HANDLERS WERE GIVEN CREDIT FOR SERVICE AS SUBSTITUTE CLERKS IN HE BELIEF THAT 26 COMP. GEN. 449, ABOVE, APPLIED ONLY TO EMPLOYEES WHO TRANSFERRED FROM ONE BRANCH OF THE POSTAL SERVICE TO ANOTHER BRANCH, WHEREAS THE POSITIONS OF CLERKS AND MAIL HANDLERS AT THE NEW YORK, NEW YORK, POST OFFICE, WERE IN THE SAME BRANCH. UPON SUCH BASIS, YOU REQUEST REVIEW OF THE SPECIFIC CASE OF ONE JOSEPH P. BONAVENTURA, WHO ORIGINALLY WAS APPOINTED A TEMPORARY SUBSTITUTE CLERK AT THE NEW YORK POST OFFICE ON SEPTEMBER 6, 1944. HE HAD CONTINUOUS SERVICE AS A SUBSTITUTE CLERK UNTIL MAY 15, 1947, WHEN HE RESIGNED AS A TEMPORARY SUBSTITUTE CLERK AT THE RATE OF $1.14 PER HOUR, GRADE 3. HIS APPOINTMENT AS A TEMPORARY MAIL HANDLER AT THE RATE OF $1.09 PER HOUR, GRADE 3, EFFECTIVE MAY 16, 1947, WAS APPROVED BY THE POSTMASTER GENERAL BY ORDER NO. 926, DATED AUGUST 1, 1947. EFFECTIVE JULY 18, 1947, THE EMPLOYEE WAS APPOINTED CLASSIFIED MAIL HANDLER AT THE RATE OF $1.09 PER HOUR, GRADE 3, AND PROMOTED TO REGULAR MAIL HANDLER EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 1947, AT AN ANNUAL SALARY RATE OF $2,400, GRADE 5, BY ORDER NO. 962, DATED SEPTEMBER 23, 1947, WHICH INDICATED THE DATE OF APPOINTMENT AS OF SEPTEMBER 6, 1944, WITH 1,945 HOURS' SERVICE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945. ON SEPTEMBER 1, 1947, THE SALARY RATE OF A REGULAR MAIL HANDLER OF GRADE 3, WHICH WOULD CORRESPOND WITH THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY AS A SUBSTITUTE MAIL HANDLER AT THE RATE OF $1.09 PER HOUR, GRADE 3, WOULD HAVE BEEN AT THE RATE OF $2,200 PER ANNUM.

THE DECISION REFERRED TO, NAMELY, B-62218, JANUARY 3, 1947, CONSIDERED THE SPECIFIC QUESTION OF WHETHER A POST OFFICE CLERK UPON PROMOTION FROM SUBSTITUTE TO REGULAR MAY BE GIVEN CREDIT FOR AN ADDITIONAL 4 GRADES UNDER PUBLIC LAW 317--- LATER AMENDED BY PUBLIC LAW 35--- IF HE WAS A SUBSTITUTE ON JUNE 30, 1945, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT SUCH SUBSTITUTE SERVICE MAY HAVE BEEN IN A DIFFERENT BRANCH OF THE POSTAL SERVICE. THAT SPECIFIC QUESTION WAS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE. HOWEVER, THE ANSWER WAS PREDICATED UPON THE FACT THAT THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 317, AUTHORIZING AN EMPLOYEE TO BE PLACED UPON PROMOTION FROM SUBSTITUTE TO REGULAR IN THE GRADE TO WHICH HE WOULD HAVE PROGRESSED HAD HE BEEN APPOINTED TO GRADE 1, PLUS 4 GRADES, WERE APPLICABLE ONLY TO EMPLOYEES WHO WERE ENTITLED TO CREDIT FOR SUBSTITUTE SERVICE RENDERED PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945, AND UPON THE FACT THAT CREDITABLE SUBSTITUTE SERVICE WAS LIMITED TO SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN THE PARTICULAR CLASSIFICATION OR POSITION OF EMPLOYMENT IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS PROMOTED TO REGULAR. SUCH PREMISES ARE CONSISTENT WITH THE WELL ESTABLISHED RULE THAT, GENERALLY, SUBSTITUTE SERVICE IN ONE CLASS OF SUBSTITUTE POSITION MAY NOT BE COUNTED IN COMPUTING LONGEVITY FOR THE PURPOSE OF AUTOMATIC INCREASES IN COMPENSATION IN ANOTHER CLASS OF SUBSTITUTE POSITION EVEN THOUGH BOTH POSITIONS ARE IN THE SAME BRANCH OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, BUT THAT THE COUNTING OF SERVICE IN EACH CLASS OF SUBSTITUTE POSITION SHOULD BE KEPT SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FOR THE PURPOSE OF GRANTING AUTOMATIC INCREASES IN COMPENSATION IN EACH CLASS OF SUBSTITUTE POSITION. SEE 23 COMP. GEN. 920; 26 ID. 51; 27 ID. 720; ID. 773.

THE CLASSIFICATION AND COMPENSATION OF THE CLERICAL FORCES OF FIRST , AND SECOND-CLASS POST OFFICES ARE PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 12 (A) OF PUBLIC LAW 134, 59 STAT. 443, AND THAT OF MAIL HANDLERS BY SECTION 12 (B) THEREOF, 59 STAT. 444. SECTION 1 OF PUBLIC LAW 35, ABOVE, PROVIDES THAT SUBSTITUTE EMPLOYEES SHALL BE PROMOTED SUCCESSIVELY ON THE BASIS OF SATISFACTORY "SERVICE IN EACH GRADE.'

ACCORDINGLY, AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS NOT ENTITLED TO CREDIT FOR SUBSTITUTE SERVICE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945, ACTUALLY RENDERED IN THE SAME POSITION OR CLASSIFICATION TO WHICH APPOINTED AS REGULAR, IS NOT ENTITLED TO THE 4 ADDITIONAL GRADES AUTHORIZED BY PUBLIC LAW 35, REGARDLESS OF THE FACT THAT THE EMPLOYEE MAY HAVE HAD SUBSTITUTE SERVICE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945, IN A POSITION IN THE SAME BRANCH OF THE POSTAL SERVICE IN WHICH THE POSITION TO WHICH HE WAS APPOINTED AS REGULAR IS CONTAINED. THE PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE HERE INVOLVED, WHO WAS PROMOTED TO A REGULAR MAIL HANDLER, HAD NO SERVICE AS A SUBSTITUTE MAIL HANDLER PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1945, AND, THEREFORE, WAS NOT ENTITLED TO ANY ADDITIONAL GRADES UNDER PUBLIC LAW 35. RATHER, UPON APPOINTMENT FROM SUBSTITUTE MAIL HANDLER AT THE RATE OF $1.09 PER HOUR, GRADE 3, TO REGULAR MAIL HANDLER, EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 1947, HE WAS ENTITLED ONLY TO THE PER ANNUM RATE OF $2,200, GRADE 3, TO CORRESPOND WITH HIS SALARY RATE AS A SUBSTITUTE MAIL HANDLER, AS REQUIRED BY PUBLIC LAW 134.

THERE HAVE NOT BEEN OVERLOOKED THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 19, 1948, PUBLIC LAW 674, 62 STAT. 484, WHICH NOW WOULD AUTHORIZE POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES WHO TRANSFER BETWEEN CERTAIN POSITIONS IN THE POSTAL SERVICE TO COUNT ALL SATISFACTORY SERVICE TOWARD AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS IN THE POSITIONS TO WHICH TRANSFERRED. HOWEVER, SUCH PROVISIONS MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS ENTITLING THE EMPLOYEES HERE INVOLVED TO THE 4 ADDITIONAL GRADES AUTHORIZED BY PUBLIC LAW 317, AS AMENDED BY PUBLIC LAW 35, BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEES' SERVICE AS SUBSTITUTE CLERKS WAS NOT AUTHORIZED TO BE CREDITED AT THE TIME OF THEIR APPOINTMENTS TO REGULAR MAIL HANDLERS.