B-8618, FEBRUARY 28, 1940, 19 COMP. GEN. 763

B-8618: Feb 28, 1940

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IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS A NEW APPOINTMENT REQUIRING THE INITIAL SALARY RATE FOR THE POSITION TO WHICH TRANSFERRED TO BE FIXED AT THE MINIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITION IS ALLOCATED. WHERE AN EMPLOYEE SERVING IN THE FIELD SERVICE OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT IN AN UNCLASSIFIED POSITION AS SUBSTITUTE GARAGEMAN-DRIVER AT AN HOURLY RATE IS TRANSFERRED TO A POSITION. WHICH IS CLASSIFIED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923. IN A GRADE IN WHICH PER ANNUM RATES ARE PAID. PROVIDES THAT WHEN A SUBSTITUTE GARAGEMAN DRIVER IS APPOINTED AS A REGULAR GARAGEMAN-DRIVER HE SHALL BE GIVEN CREDIT FOR THE ACTUAL TIME SERVED AS A SUBSTITUTE ON THE BASIS OF 1 YEAR FOR EACH 306 DAYS OF 8 HOURS.

B-8618, FEBRUARY 28, 1940, 19 COMP. GEN. 763

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - UNCLASSIFIED TO CLASSIFIED POSITIONS - SALARY RATES AND CLASSIFICATION GRADES - PER ANNUM EQUIVALENT OF HOURLY RATE A TRANSFER FROM A POSITION IN THE FIELD SERVICE WHICH HAS NOT BEEN CLASSIFIED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, TO A POSITION, WHICH FALLS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE ACT, IN THE FIELD SERVICE OF ANOTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY, IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS A NEW APPOINTMENT REQUIRING THE INITIAL SALARY RATE FOR THE POSITION TO WHICH TRANSFERRED TO BE FIXED AT THE MINIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITION IS ALLOCATED, AND HENCE ONE OF THE SALARY RATES ABOVE THE MINIMUM OF THE GRADE, NOT TO EXCEED THE RATE PAID IN THE UNCLASSIFIED POSITION PRIOR TO THE TRANSFER, MAY BE FIXED INITIALLY. WHERE AN EMPLOYEE SERVING IN THE FIELD SERVICE OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT IN AN UNCLASSIFIED POSITION AS SUBSTITUTE GARAGEMAN-DRIVER AT AN HOURLY RATE IS TRANSFERRED TO A POSITION, IN THE FIELD SERVICE OF ANOTHER AGENCY, WHICH IS CLASSIFIED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, IN A GRADE IN WHICH PER ANNUM RATES ARE PAID, HE MAY BE PAID INITIALLY AT A RATE IN EXCESS OF THE MINIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE PROVIDED IT DOES NOT EXCEED THE PER ANNUM EQUIVALENT OF THE RATE PAID PRIOR TO THE TRANSFER, AND SUCH EQUIVALENT MAY BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF SERVICE OF 8 HOURS PER DAY AND 306 DAYS PER YEAR AS THE ACT OF MAY 12, 1939, 53 STAT. 740, PROVIDES THAT WHEN A SUBSTITUTE GARAGEMAN DRIVER IS APPOINTED AS A REGULAR GARAGEMAN-DRIVER HE SHALL BE GIVEN CREDIT FOR THE ACTUAL TIME SERVED AS A SUBSTITUTE ON THE BASIS OF 1 YEAR FOR EACH 306 DAYS OF 8 HOURS.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE FEDERAL WORKS ADMINISTRATOR, FEBRUARY 28, 1940:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 15, 1940, AS FOLLOWS:

IT IS PROPOSED TO TRANSFER MR. CECIL O. DIXON AND MR. JOHN J. TAGGART FROM THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, FIELD SERVICE, TO POSITIONS IN THE FIELD SERVICE OF THIS AGENCY, AND THE QUESTION HAS ARISEN AS TO THE SALARY RATES AT WHICH THEY MAY BE APPOINTED IN THIS AGENCY.

MR. DIXON IS EMPLOYED WITH THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AT FORT WORTH, TEXAS, AS SUBSTITUTE GARAGEMAN-DRIVER AT 55 CENTS PER HOUR, AND IT IS PROPOSED TO APPOINT HIM BY TRANSFER IN THIS AGENCY AS AN ELEVATOR CONDUCTOR, CU-2, AT $1,380 PER ANNUM, FOR DUTY IN THE UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE IN THE SAME CITY. THE QUESTION IN HIS CASE IS WHETHER HE MAY BE APPOINTED AT $1.380 PER ANNUM, OR MUST HE BE APPOINTED AT $1,080 PER ANNUM, THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF GRADE CU-2.

MR. JOHN J. TAGGART IS EMPLOYED WITH THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AT FREEPORT, LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK, AS LABORER, $1,200 PER ANNUM, AND IT IS PROPOSED TO APPOINT HIM BY TRANSFER TO THE POSITION OF LABORER, CU 2, $1,200 PER ANNUM, FOR DUTY IN THE UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE, NEW YORK, NEW YORK. THE QUESTION IN THIS CASE IS WHETHER HE MAY BE APPOINTED AT THE RATE OF $1,200 PER ANNUM, OR MUST HE BE APPOINTED AT THE RATE OF $1,080 PER ANNUM, THE MINIMUM OF GRADE CU-2.

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT IN BOTH CASES THE EMPLOYEES HAVE NOT BEEN ASSIGNED CLASSIFICATION GRADES IN THEIR PRESENT POSITIONS. THEREFORE, YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THIS AGENCY MAY APPOINT THEM AT A RATE OTHER THAN THE MINIMUM OF THE GRADE.

THE GENERAL RULE FOR FIXING INITIAL SALARY RATES OF NEW APPOINTEES TO FIELD POSITIONS SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 IS STATED IN DECISION OF AUGUST 31, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 183, AS FOLLOWS (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

IN VIEW OF THE MANDATORY PROVISIONS OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT EXTENDING THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION TO THE FIELD SERVICE, ALL NEW APPOINTMENTS TO FIELD POSITIONS SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS AMENDED, MUST BE MADE AT THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE AS REQUIRED BY RULE 6 OF SECTION 6 OF THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923. THE CONTRARY RULE STATED IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 30, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 302, 305, WILL NO LONGER BE FOLLOWED.

HOWEVER, IN A NUMBER OF SUBSEQUENT DECISIONS IT HAS BEEN HELD IN EFFECT THAT A TRANSFER FROM A POSITION WHICH HAS NOT BEEN CLASSIFIED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 TO A POSITION WHICH FALLS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE ACT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS A NEW APPOINTMENT REQUIRING THE INITIAL SALARY RATE FOR THE POSITION TO WHICH TRANSFERRED TO BE FIXED AT THE MINIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITION HAD BEEN ALLOCATED, BUT THAT ONE OF THE SALARY RATES ABOVE THE MINIMUM PRESCRIBED FOR THE GRADE, NOT TO EXCEED THE SALARY RATE PAID IN THE UNCLASSIFIED POSITION PRIOR TO TRANSFER, MAY BE FIXED INITIALLY. 15 COMP. GEN. 102; ID. 797; 16 ID. 994; 17 ID. 1061; 19 ID. 20. COMPARE 18 ID. 223.

SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1060, FIXES THE COMPENSATION RATE OF SUBSTITUTE GARAGEMEN-DRIVERS IN THE MOTOR VEHICLE SERVICE OF THE POSTAL SERVICE AT 55 CENTS PER HOUR. THE ACT OF MAY 12, 1939, 53 STAT. 740, PROVIDES THAT WHEN A SUBSTITUTE GARAGEMAN-DRIVER IS APPOINTED AS A REGULAR GARAGEMAN-DRIVER HE "SHALL BE GIVEN CREDIT FOR THE ACTUAL TIME SERVED AS A SUBSTITUTE ON THE BASIS OF ONE YEAR FOR EACH THREE HUNDRED AND SIX DAYS OF EIGHT HOURS, AND SHALL BE APPOINTED TO THE GRADE TO WHICH SUCH * * * GARAGEMAN-DRIVER * * * WOULD HAVE PROGRESSED HAD HIS ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT AS A SUBSTITUTE BEEN MADE TO GRADE ONE.' UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS LATTER STATUTE, THEREFORE, THE PER ANNUM EQUIVALENT OF THE COMPENSATION RATE OF 55 CENTS PER HOUR FIXED BY STATUTE FOR GARAGEMEN- DRIVERS IS (8 TIMES 306 TIMES 55 CENTS) $1,346.40, WHICH IS LESS THAN $1,380 PER ANNUM, THE MAXIMUM SALARY RATE FOR CU-2, AND MORE THAN $1,320 PER ANNUM, THE NEXT LOWER STEP IN THE GRADE.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE NEITHER OF THE CONTEMPLATED APPOINTMENTS WOULD CONSTITUTE A NEW APPOINTMENT REQUIRING THE INITIAL SALARY RATE FOR THE POSITION TO WHICH TRANSFERRED TO BE FIXED AT THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE FOR THE POSITION, THE INITIAL SALARY RATE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF MR. DIXON IN THE POSITION OF ELEVATOR CONDUCTOR, GRADE CU-2, FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY, MAY EXCEED $1,080 PER ANNUM BUT MAY NOT EXCEED $1,320 PER ANNUM; AND THE INITIAL SALARY RATE OF JOHN J. TAGGART IN THE POSITION OF LABORER, GRADE CU-2, FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY, MAY BE FIXED AT NOT TO EXCEED $1,200 PER ANNUM.