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WHO WAS DEMOTED TO STEP 10. UNDER REDUCTION IN FORCE AND WHO WAS SUBSEQUENTLY REPROMOTED TO FORMER GRADE. PREVIOUS ACTION IS SUSTAINED SINCE THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO MAKE PAY ADJUSTMENT FOR QUALITY INCREASES IN AN EMPLOYEE'S GRADE PRIOR TO DEMOTION AND HIS PAY RATE UPON REPROMOTION WAS PROPERLY SET UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5334. VOVAKES HAS REQUESTED RECONSIDERATION OF HIS CASE ON THE GROUND THAT HIS RATE OF PAY UPON PROMOTION SHOULD HAVE BEEN HIGHER BECAUSE OF QUALITY INCREASES GRANTED HIM PRIOR TO HIS DEMOTION. WAS REDUCED IN GRADE FROM GS-11. VOVAKES WAS REPROMOTED TO GS-11. VOVAKES WAS OF THE OPINION THAT UPON REPROMOTION. IN OUR EARLIER DECISION WE HELD THAT THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY TO GRANT MR.

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B-178909, AUG 13, 1974

EMPLOYEE IN STEP 7 OF GS-11, WHO WAS DEMOTED TO STEP 10, GS-9, UNDER REDUCTION IN FORCE AND WHO WAS SUBSEQUENTLY REPROMOTED TO FORMER GRADE, REQUESTED RECONSIDERATION OF DECISION DENYING HIM A PAY ADJUSTMENT FOR QUALITY INCREASES PREVIOUSLY RECEIVED IN HIGHER GRADE. PREVIOUS ACTION IS SUSTAINED SINCE THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO MAKE PAY ADJUSTMENT FOR QUALITY INCREASES IN AN EMPLOYEE'S GRADE PRIOR TO DEMOTION AND HIS PAY RATE UPON REPROMOTION WAS PROPERLY SET UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5334.

NORRIS VOVAKES - SALARY ADJUSTMENT:

IN OUR DECISION B-178909, AUGUST 6, 1973, WE SUSTAINED THE DISALLOWANCE OF THE CLAIM OF MR. NORRIS VOVAKES FOR A SALARY ADJUSTMENT IN CONNECTION WITH HIS REPROMOTION SUBSEQUENT TO A DEMOTION IN A REDUCTION IN FORCE. MR. VOVAKES HAS REQUESTED RECONSIDERATION OF HIS CASE ON THE GROUND THAT HIS RATE OF PAY UPON PROMOTION SHOULD HAVE BEEN HIGHER BECAUSE OF QUALITY INCREASES GRANTED HIM PRIOR TO HIS DEMOTION.

DUE TO REDUCTION IN FORCE, MR. VOVAKES, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, WAS REDUCED IN GRADE FROM GS-11, STEP 7, TO GS 9, STEP 10, WITH A RETAINED RATE PURSUANT TO 5 U.S.C. 5537 EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 2, 1969. ON FEBRUARY 21, 1971, MR. VOVAKES WAS REPROMOTED TO GS-11, STEP 7. MR. VOVAKES WAS OF THE OPINION THAT UPON REPROMOTION, QUALITY INCREASES RECEIVED BY HIM IN THE HIGHER GRADE PRIOR TO DEMOTION ENTITLED HIM TO AN ADDITIONAL 2-STEP INCREASE. IN OUR EARLIER DECISION WE HELD THAT THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY TO GRANT MR. VOVAKES AN ADJUSTMENT OF PAY IN RECOGNITION OF THE QUALITY INCREASES HE HAD PREVIOUSLY RECEIVED IN HIS HIGHER GRADE. WE ALSO POINTED OUT THAT THE QUALITY INCREASES RECEIVED PRIOR TO DEMOTION HAD BEEN CONSIDERED IN ESTABLISHING THE SAVED RATE UPON DEMOTION, AND WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR MR. VOVAKES BEING PLACED IN STEP 7, RATHER THAN A LOWER STEP, UPON REPROMOTION. MR. VOVAKES CONTENDS THAT THE LATTER STATEMENT IS INACCURATE AND THAT THE LONG RANGE BENEFIT OF THE QUALITY INCREASES STOPPED UPON REPROMOTION.

SECTION 5336 OF TITLE 5, U.S.C. AUTHORIZING QUALITY STEP INCREASES, PROVIDES IN RELEVANT PART:

"(A) WITHIN THE LIMIT OF AVAILABLE APPROPRIATIONS AND UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, THE HEAD OF EACH AGENCY MAY GRANT ADDITIONAL STEP-INCREASES IN RECOGNITION OF HIGH QUALITY PERFORMANCE ABOVE THAT ORDINARILY FOUND IN THE TYPE OF POSITION CONCERNED. HOWEVER, AN EMPLOYEE IS ELIGIBLE UNDER THIS SECTION FOR ONLY ONE ADDITIONAL STEP- INCREASES WITHIN ANY 52-WEEK PERIOD.

"(B) A STEP-INCREASE UNDER THIS SECTION IS IN ADDITION TO THOSE UNDER SECTION 5335 OF THIS TITLE AND IS NOT AN EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN PAY WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 5335(A) OF THIS TITLE."

THE STATUTE CITED ABOVE CONTAINS AUTHORITY FOR GRANTING QUALITY INCREASES IN AN EMPLOYEE'S GRADE WHICH HE OCCUPIED WHEN THEY WERE GRANTED BUT CONTAINS NO PROVISION FOR MAKING ANY SPECIAL PAY ADJUSTMENT WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS REDUCED IN GRADE THROUGH NO FAULT OF HIS OWN, AS IN THIS CASE, AND IS SUBSEQUENTLY PROMOTED. IN VIEW OF THIS AND SINCE WE ARE AWARE OF NO OTHER STATUS PROVIDING FOR ADJUSTMENT FOR QUALITY INCREASES IN A HIGHER GRADE PREVIOUSLY HELD BY AN EMPLOYEE, THE PAY RATE OF AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAS BEEN DOWNGRADED AND SUBSEQUENTLY PROMOTED IS REQUIRED TO BE FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 5334 GOVERNING PAY RATES UPON APPOINTMENT CHANGES. SINCE THE RECORD INDICATES THAT MR. VOVAKES' PAY RATE WAS PROPERLY FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THAT STATUTE, AS EXPLAINED IN DETAIL IN OUR PREVIOUS DECISION, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR ANY ADDITIONAL PAY ADJUSTMENT.

REGARDING MR. VOVAKES' CONTENTION THAT THE LONG RANGE BENEFIT OF HIS QUALITY INCREASES STOPPED UPON REPROMOTION, WE POINT OUT THAT HE RECEIVED BENEFITS FROM SUCH INCREASES DURING HIS SAVED PAY PERIOD AND THE PERIOD AFTER HIS REPROMOTION. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT HAD MR. VOVAKES NOT RECEIVED THE QUALITY INCREASES, HIS PAY RATE AT THE TIME OF HIS DEMOTION WOULD HAVE BEEN THAT OF GS-11, STEP 5, INSTEAD OF THAT OF STEP 7. THE RATE OF PAY DURING HIS SAVED PAY PERIOD WAS THAT OF GS-11, STEP 7, INSTEAD OF THAT OF STEP 5 WHICH HE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED HAD HE NOT RECEIVED THE QUALITY INCREASES. MOREOVER, UPON REPROMOTION, MR. VOVAKES' PAY RATE WAS FIXED AT GS-11, STEP 7, INSTEAD OF STEP 6, WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN THE PROPER RATE HAD MR. VOVAKES' RECEIVED THE STEP 5 PAY RATE AT THE TIME OF HIS DEMOTION. THUS, MR. VOVAKES HAS RECEIVED AND HAS RETAINED INCREASED PAY BENEFITS AS A RESULT OF THE QUALITY INCREASES HE RECEIVED.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE WE MUST SUSTAIN OUR PREVIOUS ACTION IN THIS MATTER.

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