B-82913, APRIL 14, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 573

B-82913: Apr 14, 1949

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" SUBSTITUTE POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES WHO WERE TERMINATED AS SUBSTITUTES AND APPOINTED TO OTHER POSITIONS IN THE SERVICE MAY COUNT SATISFACTORY SERVICE WHICH WAS CREDITABLE FOR AUTOMATIC PROMOTION PURPOSES IN THEIR SUBSTITUTE POSITIONS PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF APRIL 15. IRRESPECTIVE OF THE TYPE OF PERSONNEL ACTIONS WHEREBY THE SEPARATIONS AND APPOINTMENTS WERE ACCOMPLISHED. IT IS STATED THAT AN EMPLOYEE WAS APPOINTED AS A CLASSIFIED SUBSTITUTE MAIL HANDLER ON JUNE 3. AT ?90 PER HOUR AND WAS PROMOTED TO $1.04 PER HOUR ON JULY 1. HIS SERVICE AS SUBSTITUTE MAIL HANDLER WAS TERMINATED. HE WAS APPOINTED A CLASSIFIED SUBSTITUTE CARRIER AT $1.04 PER HOUR. THAT SAID SALARY RATE WAS INCREASED TO $1.29 PER HOUR ON JULY 1.

B-82913, APRIL 14, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 573

COMPENSATION - POSTAL SERVICE - AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS - SERVICE CREDITS - SUBSTITUTE EMPLOYEES APPOINTED TO OTHER POSITIONS UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 19, 1948, AUTHORIZING THE CREDITING OF ALL SATISFACTORY SERVICE PERFORMED BY POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING ELIGIBILITY FOR PROMOTION IN A POSITION TO WHICH "TRANSFERRED," SUBSTITUTE POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES WHO WERE TERMINATED AS SUBSTITUTES AND APPOINTED TO OTHER POSITIONS IN THE SERVICE MAY COUNT SATISFACTORY SERVICE WHICH WAS CREDITABLE FOR AUTOMATIC PROMOTION PURPOSES IN THEIR SUBSTITUTE POSITIONS PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF APRIL 15, 1947, TOWARD AUTOMATIC PROMOTION IN THE POSITION TO WHICH TRANSFERRED, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE TYPE OF PERSONNEL ACTIONS WHEREBY THE SEPARATIONS AND APPOINTMENTS WERE ACCOMPLISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, APRIL 14, 1949:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 14, 1949, REFERENCE 12, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE APPLICATION OF PUBLIC LAW 674, 80TH CONGRESS, APPROVED JUNE 19, 1948, 62 STAT. 484, TO TWO SPECIFIC CASES SET OUT BELOW.

AS TO THE FIRST CASE, IT IS STATED THAT AN EMPLOYEE WAS APPOINTED AS A CLASSIFIED SUBSTITUTE MAIL HANDLER ON JUNE 3, 1946, AT ?90 PER HOUR AND WAS PROMOTED TO $1.04 PER HOUR ON JULY 1, 1947; THAT HE HAD ESTABLISHED HIS ELIGIBILITY FOR A POSITION AS SUBSTITUTE CARRIER THROUGH QUALIFICATION IN AN OPEN COMPETITIVE CLERK-CARRIER EXAMINATION; THAT ON MAY 20, 1948, HIS SERVICE AS SUBSTITUTE MAIL HANDLER WAS TERMINATED, AND ON MAY 21, 1948, HE WAS APPOINTED A CLASSIFIED SUBSTITUTE CARRIER AT $1.04 PER HOUR; AND THAT SAID SALARY RATE WAS INCREASED TO $1.29 PER HOUR ON JULY 1, 1948, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 101 OF THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948, PUBLIC LAW 900, APPROVED JULY 3, 1948, 62 STAT. 1260. UNDER THOSE STATED FACTS YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE SERVICE PERFORMED AS SUBSTITUTE MAIL HANDLER MAY BE INCLUDED WITH SERVICE AS SUBSTITUTE CITY CARRIER IN DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR AUTOMATIC PROMOTION UNDER THE PROVISION OF SECTION 1 OF PUBLIC LAW 674.

IN THE SECOND CASE, IT IS STATED THAT AN EMPLOYEE WAS APPOINTED AS A WAR SERVICE SUBSTITUTE SPECIAL DELIVERY MESSENGER AT A FIRST CLASS POST OFFICE ON AUGUST 7, 1945, AT ?79 PER HOUR; THAT SAID RATE WAS INCREASED TO ?99 PER HOUR EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 1946, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 386, APPROVED MAY 21, 1946, 60 STAT. 203; THAT ON OCTOBER 1, 1946, HE WAS PROMOTED TO $1.04 PER HOUR; THAT ON OCTOBER 1, 1947, HE WAS PROMOTED TO $1.09 PER HOUR; THAT HIS SERVICES WERE TERMINATED MARCH 31, 1948, IN ORDER TO ACCEPT APPOINTMENT AS A PROBATIONAL SUBSTITUTE CITY CARRIER; AND THAT ON APRIL 1, 1948, HE WAS APPOINTED FROM THE ELIGIBLE REGISTER AS A PROBATIONAL SUBSTITUTE CARRIER AT $1.09 PER HOUR, WHICH RATE WAS INCREASED TO $1.34 PER/HOUR ON JULY 1, 1948, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948, PUBLIC LAW 900, APPROVED JULY 3, 1948, 62 STAT. 1260. AS TO THIS CASE YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE MAY RECEIVE CREDIT TOWARD AUTOMATIC PROMOTION FOR THE TIME SERVED AS A SUBSTITUTE SPECIAL DELIVERY MESSENGER.

WITH RESPECT TO THE TWO EMPLOYEES IN THE SITUATIONS PRESENTED, YOU ALSO REQUEST TO BE ADVISED AS TO THE DATE UPON WHICH EACH OF THE EMPLOYEES IS DUE TO RECEIVE AN AUTOMATIC PROMOTION.

PROVISION IS MADE FOR THE PROMOTION OF SUBSTITUTE EMPLOYEES IN THE POSTAL SERVICE BY SECTIONS 1 AND 2 OF PUBLIC LAW 35, ACT OF APRIL 15, 1947, 80TH CONGRESS, 61 STAT. 40, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THAT ALL SUBSTITUTE EMPLOYEES IN THE POSTAL SERVICE SHALL BE PROMOTED SUCCESSIVELY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER FOLLOWING ONE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN EACH GRADE UNTIL THEY REACH THE MAXIMUM GRADE AUTHORIZED FOR THE RESPECTIVE ASSIGNMENT, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE NUMBER OF HOURS THEY ARE ACTUALLY EMPLOYED IN THE POSTAL SERVICE DURING THE YEAR.

SEC. 2. EACH SUBSTITUTE EMPLOYEE IN THE POSTAL SERVICE SHALL, FOR PROMOTIONAL AND LEAVE PURPOSES, RECEIVE CREDIT FOR ONE-TWELFTH OF A YEAR FOR EACH WHOLE CALENDAR MONTH THAT THE SUBSTITUTE EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN ON THE ROLLS AS A SUBSTITUTE SINCE HIS LAST PROMOTION AS A SUBSTITUTE OR APPOINTMENT AS A SUBSTITUTE, WHICHEVER IS LATER: PROVIDED, THAT WHEN A REGULAR EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN REDUCED TO A SUBSTITUTE POSITION, THE MONTHS OF SERVICE AS A REGULAR EMPLOYEE SHALL BE INCLUDED WITH THE MONTHS SERVED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO DETERMINE THE DATE HE WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR AUTOMATIC PROMOTION UNDER SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE AUTOMATIC PROMOTION OF A SUBSTITUTE EMPLOYEE IN THE POSTAL SERVICE SHALL BE WITHHELD (1) FOR THREE MONTHS WHEN SUCH EMPLOYEE IS ABSENT ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY AND NOT AVAILABLE FOR DUTY NINETY DAYS DURING A CALENDAR YEAR; (2) FOR SIX MONTHS WHEN SUCH EMPLOYEE IS ABSENT ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY AND NOT AVAILABLE FOR DUTY FOR ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY DAYS DURING A CALENDAR YEAR; (3) FOR NINE MONTHS WHEN SUCH EMPLOYEE IS ABSENT ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY AND NOT AVAILABLE FOR DUTY FOR THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY DAYS DURING A CALENDAR YEAR.

AUTHORITY FOR CREDITING SERVICE PERFORMED BY POSTAL EMPLOYEES IN ONE POSITION TOWARD ELIGIBILITY FOR PROMOTION IN ANOTHER POSITION IS CONTAINED IN PUBLIC LAW 674, APPROVED JUNE 19, 1948, 62 STAT. 484, 485, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THAT ANY EMPLOYEE OF THE POSTAL SERVICE WHO IS IN A POSITION FOR WHICH SALARY GRADES ARE PROVIDED IN THE ACT ENTITLED " AN ACT TO RECLASSIFY THE SALARIES OF POSTMASTERS, OFFICERS, AND EMPLOYEES OF THE POSTAL SERVICE; TO ESTABLISH UNIFORM PROCEDURES FOR COMPUTING COMPENSATION; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," APPROVED JULY 6, 1945, AND WHO TRANSFERS OR IS TRANSFERRED FROM SUCH POSITION TO ANY OTHER POSITION IN THE POSTAL SERVICE FOR WHICH SALARY GRADES ARE PROVIDED BY SUCH ACT, SHALL, FOR PURPOSES OF ESTABLISHING ELIGIBILITY FOR PROMOTION IN THE POSITION TO WHICH HE TRANSFERS OR IS TRANSFERRED, (1) IN THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE IN A POSITION FOR WHICH AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS ARE PROVIDED, BE CREDITED WITH ALL SATISFACTORY SERVICE SINCE HIS LAST AUTOMATIC PROMOTION AND (2) IN THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE IN A POSITION FOR WHICH AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS ARE NOT PROVIDED, BE CREDITED WITH ALL SATISFACTORY SERVICE, NOT EXCEEDING ONE YEAR OF SUCH SERVICE, PERFORMED IN SUCH POSITION.

SEC. 2. ANY SUCH EMPLOYEE SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR PROMOTION WITHIN THE SALARY GRADES OF HIS NEW POSITION AFTER COMPLETING AN AMOUNT OF SERVICE IN SUCH POSITION, WHICH WHEN ADDED TO THE PRIOR SERVICE FOR WHICH CREDIT IS PROVIDED BY THE FIRST SECTION OF THIS ACT, GIVES SUCH EMPLOYEE SUFFICIENT SERVICE FOR PROMOTION IN HIS NEW POSITION.

SEC. 3. AS USED IN THIS ACT, THE TERM "EMPLOYEE" INCLUDES POSTMASTERS, OFFICERS, SUPERVISORS, SPECIAL-DELIVERY MESSENGERS IN OFFICES OF THE FIRST CLASS, AND ALL OTHER EMPLOYEES PAID FROM FIELD APPROPRIATIONS OF THE POSTAL SERVICE FOR WHOM SALARY GRADES ARE PROVIDED IN THE ACT ENTITLED " AN ACT TO RECLASSIFY THE SALARIES OF POSTMASTERS, OFFICERS, AND EMPLOYEES OF THE POSTAL SERVICE; TO ESTABLISH UNIFORM PROCEDURES FOR COMPUTING COMPENSATION; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," APPROVED JULY 6, 1945.

SEC. 4. THIS ACT SHALL BE APPLICABLE IN DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR PROMOTION OF ANY EMPLOYEE WHO HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED FROM ONE POSITION OF THE POSTAL SERVICE TO ANOTHER PRIOR TO THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THIS ACT AND WHO HAS NOT RECEIVED A PROMOTION IN HIS NEW POSITION SINCE SUCH TRANSFER, EXCEPT THAT NO EMPLOYEE SHALL BE PROMOTED BECAUSE OF SUCH APPLICATION PRIOR TO THE FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST QUARTER WHICH BEGINS AFTER THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THIS ACT. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

PRESUMABLY, YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER IS WHETHER THE TERM "TRANSFER" AS USED IN THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 674, JUST QUOTED, MAY BE CONSIDERED TO INCLUDE A CHANGE IN ROSTER DESIGNATION WHETHER BY APPOINTMENT, REPLACEMENT, PROMOTION, OR OTHER FORM OF ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WHERE THERE IS NO BREAK IN THE CONTINUITY OF THE SERVICE, OR WHETHER IT IS REQUIRED TO HAVE A MORE RESTRICTIVE MEANING.

THE PURPOSE OF S. 1082--- WHICH BILL BECAME PUBLIC LAW 674, SUPRA--- AS STATED BY THE COMMITTEE ON CIVIL SERVICE IN SENATE REPORT NO. 721, 80TH CONGRESS, ST. SESSION,"IS TO ADVANCE THE CAUSE OF SOUND PERSONNEL IN THE POSTAL FIELD SERVICE, TO IMPROVE THE MORALE OF EMPLOYEES IN THAT SERVICE, AND TO GRANT CREDIT TOWARD SALARY ACCRETIONS FOR SERVICE RENDERED SINCE THE LAST ADVANCEMENT OF SUCH EMPLOYEES.' ALSO, SEE HOUSE REPORT NO. 1921, 80TH CONGRESS, 2ND SESSION, SUBMITTED ON THE BILL BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON POST OFFICE AND CIVIL SERVICE IN WHICH IT IS STATED:

THE PURPOSE OF THIS LEGISLATION IS TO ENABLE EMPLOYEES IN THE FIELD POSTAL SERVICE, WHEN TRANSFERRED FROM ONE POSITION TO ANOTHER, TO RECEIVE CREDIT TOWARD SALARY ADVANCEMENT FOR SERVICE ACCUMULATED SINCE THE LAST ADVANCEMENT.

HAVING IN MIND THE PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION AS MANIFESTED IN THE ABOVE- QUOTED PORTIONS OF THE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE REPORTS, IT IS NOT BELIEVED THAT THE BENEFITS GRANTED BY PUBLIC LAW 674 WERE INTENDED TO BE LIMITED ONLY TO THOSE INSTANCES IN WHICH A STRICT TRANSFER IS INVOLVED. RATHER, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE LEGISLATION IS INTENDED TO COVER A SITUATION WHERE THERE IS A SEPARATION FROM ONE POSITION IN THE POSTAL SERVICE FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACCEPTING ANOTHER POSITION IN THE POSTAL SERVICE IRRESPECTIVE OF THE TYPE OF PERSONNEL ACTION WHEREBY THE SEPARATION AND NEW APPOINTMENT ARE ACCOMPLISHED.

WITH RESPECT TO THE EMPLOYEE IN EACH OF THE SITUATIONS PRESENTED THERE IS FOR NOTING THAT THE ,TRANSFER" IN EACH CASE TOOK PLACE PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 674. PRESUMABLY, AT THE TIME YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION WAS SUBMITTED NEITHER OF SUCH EMPLOYEES HAD RECEIVED AN AUTOMATIC PROMOTION SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF THE "TRANSFER.' ACCORDINGLY, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF SECTION 4 OF THAT ACT, PUBLIC LAW 674 WOULD BE APPLICABLE IN DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR PROMOTION, AND THE EMPLOYEES IN THE SITUATIONS PRESENTED MAY RECEIVE CREDIT TOWARD AUTOMATIC PROMOTION IN THEIR PRESENT POSITIONS ON ACCOUNT OF SERVICE PERFORMED IN THE POSTAL SERVICE PRIOR TO APPOINTMENT IN THEIR PRESENT POSITION. ALLOWING CREDIT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISION OF PUBLIC LAW 674, AND APPLYING THE PROMOTION PROVISION OF PUBLIC LAW 35, SUPRA, AND ASSUMING THAT THE SERVICE IN EACH CASE WAS SATISFACTORY, THE EMPLOYEE IN THE FIRST SITUATION WAS ENTITLED TO AN AUTOMATIC PROMOTION ON JULY 1, 1948, WHICH WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER FOLLOWING ONE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE. LIKEWISE, THE EMPLOYEE IN THE SECOND SITUATION WAS ENTITLED TO AN AUTOMATIC PROMOTION ON OCTOBER 1, 1948.