B-165412, APR. 24, 1969

B-165412: Apr 24, 1969

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FULLER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE REQUEST OF FEBRUARY 26. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU WERE GIVEN A TEMPORARY PROMOTION FROM GS- 11. THE PERIOD OF THE OCCUPANCY WAS EXTENDED NOT TO EXCEED AUGUST 7. THE TEMPORARY PROMOTION WAS TERMINATED ON AUGUST 6. YOU WERE CHANGED BACK TO GS-11. PROVIDED THAT LONGEVITY INCREASES WOULD BE GIVEN TO AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE: "* * * FOR EACH THREE YEARS OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE COMPLETED BY HIM AT SUCH MAXIMUM RATE OR AT A RATE IN EXCESS THEREOF AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION WITHOUT INCREASE IN GRADE OR RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION EXCEPT SUCH INCREASE AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY ANY PROVISION OF LAW OF GENERAL APPLICATION. * * *" (NOTE: THE 1954 ACT SUBSTITUTED THE WORD "INCREASE" FOR THE WORD "CHANGE.'' YOU BELIEVE THAT A TEMPORARY PROMOTION IS NOT A "CHANGE (INCREASE) IN GRADE OR RATE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE STATUTE.

B-165412, APR. 24, 1969

TO MR. ASHLEY E. FULLER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE REQUEST OF FEBRUARY 26, 1969, FOR REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 28, 1969, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR A LONGEVITY STEP INCREASE ALLEGED TO BE DUE AS OF SEPTEMBER 30, 1961, TOGETHER WITH THE AMOUNTS ACCRUED THEREAFTER, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU WERE GIVEN A TEMPORARY PROMOTION FROM GS- 11, STEP 6, $8,860 PER ANNUM, TO GS-12, STEP 2, $9,215 PER ANNUM, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 7, 1960, WITH THE PROVISION THAT OCCUPANCY OF THE LATTER POSITION WOULD NOT EXCEED JUNE 26, 1961. HOWEVER, ON JUNE 25, 1961, THE PERIOD OF THE OCCUPANCY WAS EXTENDED NOT TO EXCEED AUGUST 7, 1961. THE TEMPORARY PROMOTION WAS TERMINATED ON AUGUST 6, 1961, AND YOU WERE CHANGED BACK TO GS-11, STEP 6, $8,860 PER ANNUM.

SECTION 703 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 968, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 102 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1954, 68 STAT. 1105, 5 U.S.C. 1123 (1958 ED.), PROVIDED THAT LONGEVITY INCREASES WOULD BE GIVEN TO AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE:

"* * * FOR EACH THREE YEARS OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE COMPLETED BY HIM AT SUCH MAXIMUM RATE OR AT A RATE IN EXCESS THEREOF AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION WITHOUT INCREASE IN GRADE OR RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION EXCEPT SUCH INCREASE AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY ANY PROVISION OF LAW OF GENERAL APPLICATION. * * *" (NOTE: THE 1954 ACT SUBSTITUTED THE WORD "INCREASE" FOR THE WORD "CHANGE.''

YOU BELIEVE THAT A TEMPORARY PROMOTION IS NOT A "CHANGE (INCREASE) IN GRADE OR RATE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE STATUTE. HOWEVER, OUR VIEW FOR MANY YEARS HAS BEEN THAT THE LANGUAGE "THREE YEARS OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE * * * WITHOUT INCREASE IN GRADE OR RATE OF BASIC COMPENSATION" PRECLUDES SUCH AN INTERPRETATION. SEE 31 COMP. GEN. 525. WE FIND NOTHING IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ABOVE ENACTMENTS TO THE CONTRARY. WE POINT OUT THAT SECTIONS 25.51 TO 25.54 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION PERTAINING TO LONGEVITY INCREASES AND IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED, CONTAINED NO INDICATION THAT A TEMPORARY PROMOTION WOULD NOT BREAK THE PERIOD OF "THREE YEARS OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE AT THE MAXIMUM STEP OF A GRADE OR ONE OF THE LONGEVITY STEPS WITHOUT AN INCREASE IN GRADE OR RATE OF COMPENSATION.'

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.