A-56413, JULY 20, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 57

A-56413: Jul 20, 1934

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IT MAY BE HELD ALSO THAT THE BENEFIT OF THE SAVING CLAUSE INURES TO HIM PROPORTIONATELY WHEN THE SAME ROUTE IS REDUCED IN LENGTH. UNLESS AND UNTIL THE ROUTE HE IS SERVING SHOULD BE INCREASED TO A MILEAGE FOR WHICH SECTION 1 (A) OF THE STATUTE FIXES A RATE OF COMPENSATION IN EXCESS OF THE SAVED SALARY. A RULING IS REQUESTED WHETHER THE SAVING CLAUSE QUOTED ABOVE HAS APPLICABILITY IF AT ANY TIME SUBSEQUENT TO JULY 1. IS INCREASED OR REDUCED SUFFICIENTLY TO NECESSITATE A CHANGE IN THE SALARY. OR IF A CHANGE IN THE SALARY OF THE CARRIER IS MADE NECESSARY BY REASON OF HIS TRANSFER OR REASSIGNMENT TO ANOTHER ROUTE. A CARRIER SERVING A RURAL ROUTE 28 MILES IN LENGTH WAS ON JULY 30 RECEIVING A SALARY OF $1.

A-56413, JULY 20, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 57

POSTAL SERVICE - RURAL LETTER CARRIERS - SAVED SALARY A RURAL LETTER CARRIER MAY BE REGARDED AS OCCUPYING THE SAME POSITION IN WHICH THE INHIBITION CONTAINED IN THE SAVING CLAUSE OF SECTION 1 (D) OF THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1934, 48 STAT. 1213, AGAINST REDUCING HIS COMPENSATION MORE THAN $180 PER ANNUM APPLIES, ONLY SO LONG AS HE CONTINUES TO PERFORM AT LEAST THE SAME AMOUNT OF SERVICE ON THE SAME ROUTE, AND IT MAY BE HELD ALSO THAT THE BENEFIT OF THE SAVING CLAUSE INURES TO HIM PROPORTIONATELY WHEN THE SAME ROUTE IS REDUCED IN LENGTH, BUT THE SAVING CLAUSE DOES NOT APPLY UPON THE TRANSFER OF THE CARRIER FROM ONE ROUTE TO ANOTHER. A RURAL LETTER CARRIER WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO ANY INCREASE OVER THE SALARY SAVED TO HIM BY OPERATION OF THE SAVING CLAUSE OF SECTION 1 (D) OF THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1934, 48 STAT. 1213, UNLESS AND UNTIL THE ROUTE HE IS SERVING SHOULD BE INCREASED TO A MILEAGE FOR WHICH SECTION 1 (A) OF THE STATUTE FIXES A RATE OF COMPENSATION IN EXCESS OF THE SAVED SALARY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, JULY 20, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 6, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1934, TO ADJUST THE SALARIES OF RURAL LETTER CARRIERS, WHICH BECAME EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1934, PROVIDES THAT: "/D) IN THE CASE OF ANY CARRIER IN THE RURAL MAIL DELIVERY SERVICE ON THE DATE THIS ACT TAKES EFFECT, WHO SERVES SIX DAYS A WEEK A RURAL ROUTE OF LESS THAN THIRTY MILES, OR WHO SERVES THREE DAYS A WEEK A RURAL ROUTE OF LESS THAN SIXTY MILES OR TWO ROUTES OF A COMBINED LENGTH OF LESS THAN SIXTY MILES, THE ANNUAL SALARY OF SUCH CARRIER SHALL NOT BE REDUCED MORE THAN $180 BY OPERATION OF SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION.'

A RULING IS REQUESTED WHETHER THE SAVING CLAUSE QUOTED ABOVE HAS APPLICABILITY IF AT ANY TIME SUBSEQUENT TO JULY 1, 1934, THE LENGTH OF A ROUTE, LESS THAN THIRTY MILES IN LENGTH, IS INCREASED OR REDUCED SUFFICIENTLY TO NECESSITATE A CHANGE IN THE SALARY, OR IF A CHANGE IN THE SALARY OF THE CARRIER IS MADE NECESSARY BY REASON OF HIS TRANSFER OR REASSIGNMENT TO ANOTHER ROUTE. FOR EXAMPLE, A CARRIER SERVING A RURAL ROUTE 28 MILES IN LENGTH WAS ON JULY 30 RECEIVING A SALARY OF $1,920 PER ANNUM. BECAUSE OF THE SAVING CLAUSE HIS SALARY WAS FIXED AT $1,740 PER ANNUM, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1934, INSTEAD OF THE STATUTORY RATE OF $1,680 PER ANNUM. IF THE LENGTH OF THIS ROUTE WERE REDUCED ON AUGUST 1 TO 27 MILES, WOULD THE SALARY OF THE CARRIER BE REDUCED TO THE STATUTORY RATE OF $1,620 PER ANNUM, OR WOULD THE CARRIER BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE A SALARY OF $1,710 PER ANNUM, THE RATE WHICH HE WOULD HAVE BEEN PAID IF HE HAD BEEN SERVING 27 MILES ON JULY 1, 1934?

AGAIN, IF A ROUTE OF 22 MILES SERVED BY A CARRIER ON JULY 1, 1934, WHOSE SALARY BECAUSE OF THE SAVING CLAUSE HAS BEEN FIXED AT $1,548 PER ANNUM, IS LATER INCREASED IN LENGTH TO 24 MILES, SHOULD THE SALARY OF THE CARRIER BE INCREASED TO $1,620 PER ANNUM, WHICH IS THE RATE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN PAID HIM IF HE HAD BEEN SERVING A 24-MILE ROUTE ON JULY 1, 1934, OR SHOULD HE BE PAID THE STATUTORY RATE OF $1,440 PER ANNUM FOR SERVICE OVER A ROUTE 24 MILES IN LENGTH?

IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF YOUR RULING COVERING THESE QUESTIONS IS RENDERED WITHIN THE SHORTEST TIME POSSIBLE IN ORDER THAT WE MAY PROCEED WITH THE ISSUANCE OF NECESSARY INSTRUCTIONS TO FIELD OFFICERS OF THE POSTAL SERVICE.

IN DECISION OF JULY 5, 1934, A-56413, 14 COMP. GEN. 13, IT WAS STATED:

SUBSECTION (A) OF SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1934, IS GENERAL LEGISLATION FIXING THE BASIS FOR DETERMINING THE RATE OF COMPENSATION TO BE PAID REGULAR AND SUBSTITUTE RURAL CARRIERS, WHEREAS SUBSECTION (A) IS MERELY A "SAVING CLAUSE" FOR THE BENEFIT OF CARRIERS IN THE RURAL MAIL DELIVERY SERVICE ON JULY 1, 1934, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ACT; THAT IS TO SAY, IT IS INTENDED TO LIMIT THE AMOUNT BY WHICH CERTAIN SALARIES BEING PAID ON JUNE 30, 1934, MAY BE REDUCED. * * *

IN THE APPLICATION OF SAVING CLAUSES PREVENTING OR LIMITING LOSS OF SALARY, WHICH HAVE APPEARED IN STATUTES READJUSTING OR AUTHORIZING THE READJUSTMENT OF SALARY RATES OF FEDERAL PERSONNEL, IT HAS BEEN UNIFORMLY RECOGNIZED THAT THE SAVING CLAUSE IS PERSONAL TO THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE, AND CONTINUES ONLY SO LONG AS HE CONTINUES TO HOLD THE SAME OFFICE OR POSITION. 6 COMP. GEN. 322; ID. 727; 11 ID. 352. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE WORDING OF THE SAVING CLAUSE IN SECTION 1 (D) OF THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1934, 48 STAT. 1213, TO JUSTIFY OR AUTHORIZE ANY DIFFERENT APPLICATION.

PURSUANT TO THIS PRINCIPLE, A RURAL LETTER CARRIER MAY BE REGARDED AS OCCUPYING THE SAME POSITION IN WHICH THE INHIBITION AGAINST REDUCING HIS COMPENSATION MORE THAN $180 PER ANNUM APPLIES, ONLY SO LONG AS HE CONTINUES TO PERFORM AT LEAST THE SAME AMOUNT OF SERVICE ON THE SAME ROUTE, AND IT MAY BE HELD ALSO THAT THE BENEFIT OF THE SAVING CLAUSE INURES TO HIM PROPORTIONATELY WHEN THE SAME ROUTE IS REDUCED IN LENGTH, BUT THAT THE SAVING CLAUSE DOES NOT APPLY UPON THE TRANSFER OF THE CARRIER FROM ONE ROUTE TO ANOTHER.

IN THE FIRST CASE PRESENTED, THE SALARY OF $1,740 PER ANNUM WHICH WAS SAVED TO THE CARRIER SO LONG AS HE SERVED THE 28-MILE ROUTE, IS TO BE REDUCED BY $60, OR TO $1680, WHEN THE ROUTE IS REDUCED FROM 28 MILES TO 27 MILES, $60 PER ANNUM BEING THE DIFFERENCE FIXED BY SECTION 1 (A) OF THE STATUTE BETWEEN A 28- AND A 27-MILE ROUTE.

IN THE SECOND CASE PRESENTED, THE SALARY OF $1,548 PER ANNUM, FIXED AS OF JULY 1, 1934, PURSUANT TO THE SAVING CLAUSE, FOR A ROUTE 22 MILES IN LENGTH WOULD CONTINUE TO BE THE SAME FOR A ROUTE 24 MILES IN LENGTH, $1,548 PER ANNUM BEING MORE THAN $1,440 PER ANNUM, THE RATE FIXED FOR A ROUTE 24 MILES IN LENGTH BY SECTION 1 (A) OF THE STATUTE. THAT IS, THE CARRIER WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO ANY INCREASE OVER THE SAVED SALARY UNLESS AND UNTIL THE ROUTE HE IS SERVING SHOULD BE INCREASED TO A MILEAGE FOR WHICH SECTION 1 (A) OF THE STATUTE FIXES A RATE OF COMPENSATION IN EXCESS OF THE SAVED SALARY. FOR INSTANCE, IF THE ROUTE IN THE SECOND CASE PRESENTED SHOULD BE INCREASED TO 26 MILES, THE CARRIER WOULD THEN BE ENTITLED TO $1,560 PER ANNUM (26 TIMES $60) WHICH WOULD BE $12 MORE THAN THE SAVED SALARY.

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