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and classified substitute postal employees to the extent that such credit has not already been granted.
It can be seen that certain employees receiving credit under the provisions of Public Laws 134 and 577, Seventy-ninth Congress, might never have received full credit for their military service. For example, mail handlers prior to their military service who, upon their return from military service, accepted a position as clerk have not received any credit for their military service toward promotion as a clerk. The same is true of veterans who received credit under the McCormack Act, Public Law 577, Seventy-ninth Congress, but who had served in the military service for a considerable length of time before this credit accrued. As amended, this bill will treat all veterans in the postal field service alike with respect to credit for their military service. That is, all veterans will receive on a pro rata basis credit for all military service to the extent they have not received such credit under other acts providing for military credit toward promotions for such employees
The credit provided under this section is applicable only toward the automatic grades provided for employees in the postal field service. Since the credits provided under sections 1 and 2 relate only toward promotion in the automatic grades, benefits of this bill will not be received by those employees who do not have automatic grades. In this class would be postmasters and supervisors. To a lesser degree charmen, charwomen, custodial employees, mail handlers and others who have a limited number of automatic grades would not receive the same number of promotions as those in positions having the higher number of automatic grades. This result would depend, of course, upon the individual having a long period of military service for which he receives credit under section i together with the four grades he would receive under section 2.
Section 1 of the amendment defines the employees eligible under this act as those who
(a) Served in the armed forces of the United States during World War II (sec. 5 establishes the period of World War II for purposes of this act as the period beginning September 16, 1940, and ending June 30, 1946).
(6) Were separated from military service under honorable conditions
(c) Are either in the postal field service at the time of the enactment of this act or enter such service prior to July 1, 1950 (the Civil Service Commission estimates they will have completed
the first round of examinations by that date). The estimated cost of section 1 for the fiscal year 1950 is $27,500,000. It is estimated that approximately 120,000 veterans will be eligible for the benefits under this section. The cost is an annual one but is reduced each year The bulk of the cost of this section is reduced at the end of 4 years and at the end of 8 years will practically disappear when most of the men subject to its provisions will have reached the top of the automatic grade. The over-all cost of this section is $193,375,000.
SECTION 2 This section gives employees eligible under this act who were in the military service prior to July 1, 1945, four additional grades as of the
date they received their regular appointment. There is no restriction as to the length of time an employee must have served in the military service to receive the four additional grades provided in section 2. The requirement for eligibility under this section is met merely by the service of any length of time prior to July 1, 1945. The same treatment is accorded to veterans under this section irrespective as to whether they might have served 2 weeks or 2 years in the military service.
Most other postal employees have received such advancement in grade. When Public Law 134, Seventy-ninth Congress was passed, regular employees of the postal field service, on the effective date of that act, July 1, 1945, were given four additional grades in converting their grades to the new grades provided under that act. Subsequently, by Public Law 317, Seventy-ninth Congress, as amended, those employees who were substitutes and on the rolls of the postal field service June 30, 1945, were given four additional grades when they received their regular appointment.
Veterans who were in the postal field service or who would have been offered an appointment from a register except for the fact they were in the military service, were given four additional grades when they received their regular appointments under Public Law 134 or Public Law 577, Seventy-ninth Congress.
The Post Office Department estimates that approximately 68,000 employees will receive the benefits of this section. The cost for the fiscal year 1950 will be $26,400,000. The over-all cost of this section is $260,800,000.
SECTION 3 This section provides that each such substitute employee shall, for the purpose of determining his hourly rate of pay, be held to have been promoted to a regular position, as of the date of occurrence of the first vacancy in such position, to which he could have been promoted had he not been in the armed forces. This section concerns substitute employees who were in the postal field service prior to their military service and who, during the time they were in the military service, were entitled to promotion to regular but did not receive such promotions by reason of being in the armed forces. In these cases, vacancies do not presently exist in the offices concerned so they may be promoted to regular. Therefore, they have not had an opportunity to receive the four-grade advancement they would have received had their postal service not been interrupted by their military service. The Post Office Department has testified that there are only a handful of employees in this category and that the cost of this particular section is negligible.
SECTION 4 This section provides that there will be no retroactive pay accruing to employees under sections 1 and 2 and provides there will be retroactive payments under section 3.
This section establishes the date of World War II for the purpose of this act as the period from September 16, 1940, to and including June 30, 1946.
Total cost of this legislation is estimated at $53,900,000 for the first year. This cost, while on an annual basis, will be reduced each year. The bulk of the annual cost will have been substantially reduced at the end of 4 years and be almost completely eliminated at the end of 8 years when these employees will have reached their highest automatic grade. The over-all cost of the bill will be approximately $454,175,000.
The reports of the Post Office Department, the Civil Service Commission, the Bureau of the Budget and the Comptroller General were unfavorable and are as follows:
OFFICE OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL,
Washington 25, D. C., March 21, 1949. Hon. Tom MURRAY,
House of Representatives. DEAR CONGRESSMAN: Further reference is made to your request for a report on H. R. 87, a bill relating to the promotion of veterans of World War II, in the field service of the Post Office Department.
Section 1 of the measure, as presently worded, does not clearly define the intended benefits. However, for the purpose of this report it is being assumed that the intent of this section is as follows:
1. That the term “postal employees or substitute postal employees” in line 3, page 1, and lines 4 and 5, page 2, includes all regular, war service, substitute, and temporary employees of the field postal service as defined in the term "employees" in Public Law 134, approved July 6, 1945 (59 Stat. 435), as amended; excluding postmasters, supervisors, and other employees for whom promotional grades are not provided; skilled trades employees of the mail-equipment shops; job cleaners in first- and second-class post offices; employees who are paid on a fee or contract basis; and substitute rural carriers.
2. That the term "who entered the postal service within 3 years of the date of enactment of this act” means to set a limitation date of 3 years after its enactment. Thus, all World War II veterans who entered the postal service prior to that date would be included. Any other interpretation apparently would exclude some World War II veterans with equal rights.
3. That the term "nor otherwise received credit for such military service in determining their salary grade, shall receive credit for all time served in the military or naval forces," means those employees who did not receive benefit to the full extent of their military service under previous laws, such as Public Law 577, approved July 31, 1946 (60 Stat. 749). would receive fully military service credit under this measure.
4. That the term “credit for all time served in the military or naval forces” is for pay as well as promotional purposes.
5. That the provisions are retroactive through the period of World War II; also that veterans of World War II who have left the postal service prior to the enactment of this measure would be entitled to file claim for payment of the difference between the compensation received during their employment and the compensation they would be entitled to receive under the benefits of section 1.
6. That under the proviso clause any veteran of World War II who has been or will be appointed without substitute service to a regular position for which automatic and additional grades are provided in Public Law 134 would be advanced four_grades in addition to the credit for years of military service; and that World War II veterans who have been or will be appointed substitutes would, upon appointment to a regular position, receive salary and promotion of four grades in addition to the credit for years of military service.
7. That credit for promotion for substitute, temporary, and other part-time eroployees would be a monthly on-the-roll basis as provided in Public Law 35.
On the basis of these interpretations it is estimated that enactment of the measure would cost about $61,000,000 as of December 31, 1948, as follows:
$36, 100, 000 24, 400, 000 The above-estimated cost does not include some pyramided costs that would result from higher annual rates each succeeding year for employees benefited who remain on the rolls, which amount cannot be estimated at this time.
61, 000, 000
It is unlikely that the term “on the basis of 1 day's credit of 8 hours in the postal service for each day served in the military or naval forces” would be construed on the basis of 365 days' military service credit compared with postal service work year of 253 days. However, if so construed, this provision would be equal to 1 year and 5 months' postal service credit for each year of military or naval service which would cost an additional $15,000,000 on the effective date of this act.
The estimated cost after January 1, 1949, is about $13,250,000 a year, not including the continuing higher annual rate costs resulting from application of the law prior to January 1, 1949.
Section 1 of the measure is objectionable for reasons as follows: 1. It does not define clearly the intent and benefits.
2. It is discriminatory in that its benefits are restricted to certain employees of the field postal service only.
3. Temporary Christmas and other part-time employees, regardless of length of service or immediate desire for career employment, apparently are included in the benefits.
4. No provision is made to increase the revenue to offset the potential cost of the measure.
5. Honorable military or naval service is not a requirement for benefits. Section 2 of the measure provides as follows:
"SEC. 2. Substitute postal employees who failed of promotion to regular while in the military or naval forces due to administrative error shall, for the purpose of determining their postal salary, be held to have been promoted to such regular position as of the date a vacancy, to which they as senior substitute could have been promoted, occurred.”
It is presumed that the purpose of this section is to relieve certain employees from liability for overpayments of salary due to erroneous promotions upon return from military duty or to give them credit for promotions which they inadvertently failed to receive. Such relief would correct some injustices that now exist and would cost very little money as generally employees entitled to such promotion were given such promotion while in the armed forces. However, it is questionable whether section 2 of the measure, as presently worded, would accomplish the desired purpose.
It is suggested, therefore, that the committee may desire to obtain the comments of the Comptroller General, if the measure is considered to be in the public interest.
The committee is no doubt aware that the benefits of this measure are restricted to veterans of World War II in the field postal service. However, I feel that I should call attention to the fact that the measure is discriminatory for the reason that its benefits are not extended to all veterans of World War II employed in Government service or in private industry.
For the reasons stated, the proposed legislation is not favored by this Department.
I have been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there would be no objection to the submission of the report to the committee. Sincerely yours,
J. M. DONALDSON,
UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION,
Washington 25, D. C., June 10, 1949. Hon. Tom MURRAY, Chairman, Committee on Post Office and Civil Service,
Old House Office Building, House of Representatives. DEAR MR. MURRAY: Reference is made to your letter of March 2, 1949, requesting a statement of the Commission's views concerning H. R. 87, a bill relating to the promotion of veterans of World War II in the field service of the Post Office Department.
The purposes of section 1 of H. R. 87 are to give credit for military service to veterans of World War II who are now in the postal field service but who did not leave the postal service to enter the armed forces; and to provide further that substitute postal employees, upon appointment to regular positions, should receive the benefits of Public Law 317 if such employees had been in the armed forces on or before June 30, 1945. The Commission has no information concerning section 2 of the bill, and our further comments relate to section 1.
Veterans of World War I were granted credit for military service in determining their pay grade in the postal service, whether they had had prior service in the postal field service or not. Provisions granting such credit to those who left the postal service to enter the armed forces were contained in section 9 of the Post Office Appropriation Act of July 2, 1918 (40 Stat. 754, 39 U. S. C. 818). This section stated that such veterans "*
shall, when honorably discharged from such service, be reassigned to their duties in the postal service at the salary to which they would have been automatically promoted had they remained in the postal service.” Provisions for the benefit of veterans who had not had service in the postal service prior to their service in the armed forces were first enacted in the Post Office Appropriation Act for the fiscal year 1922 (act of March 1, 1921, 41 Stat. 1151), as amended by the same appropriation act for 1923 (act of June 19, 1922, 42 Stat. 662). Although contained in appropriation acts, these provisions of the 1921 and 1922 acts were permanent legislation as amendments to the Postal Salary Reclassification Act of June 5, 1920 (41 Stat. 1045). They were interpreted by the Comptroller of the Treasury and the Comptroller General as applying only to clerks in first- and second-class post offices, and carriers in the city delivery service. Section 11 of the Postal Salary Reclassification Act of 1925 extended these benefits to all postal employees who were in the postal service on October 1, 1920 (act of February 28, 1925, 43 Stat. 1065. 39 U. S. C. (1940 ed.) 107)
The Comptroller General's statement in his decision of February 8, 1923 (2 Comp. Gen. 493), summarizes this legislation pertaining to credit for service in World War I. “The apparent purpose of the provision under consideration was to place employees who were in the military service during the late war and thereafter entered or reentered the postal service on an equal footing as to promotion with employees who were in the postal service rather than the military service during the war."
Section 25 of Public Law 134, approved July 6, 1945, provides that substitutes and regular employees who left the postal service to enter the armed forces receive credit for their military service in determining their pay upon their return to the postal service. However, no provision of existing law gives credit for military service, for pay purposes, to those who had not been in the postal service when they entered military service. Section 1 of H. R. 87 covers this group of postal employees.
There are numerous points in this bill, however, which require clarification. Line 3, page 1, would require the granting of such credit to temporary employees, such as those employed during the Christmas period. Such a requirement, involving a search of the military record of each temporary employee, would delay their appointment, and seriously interfere with the prompt dispatch of the mails during peak periods. This can be corrected by restricting the application of the bill to those appointed from civil service eligible lists to classified positions. It is suggested that line 3 be revised to read "That classified postal employees or classified substitute postal employees who
Lines 4 and 5, page 1, can be construed to benefit (1) all those who are in the postal service and who enter it within 3 years after enactment, or (2) only those who entered the postal service 3 years prior to enactment. It seems clear, however, that the intention was to extend these benefits to all veterans who enter the postal service within 3 years after enactment. On that basis, it is suggested that line 4 be revised to read, ** are in the postal service on the date of the enactment of this act, or who shall enter the postal service within 3 years after the date *
There is no provision limiting the benefits of the bill to veterans who served under honorable conditions. It is suggested that there be inserted after the comma in line 7, page 1, the words "terminated under honorable conditions."
Lines 7 through 10, page 1, are also not clear. These lines would exclude from the bill's benefits those who "* * * otherwise received credit for such military service in determining their salary grade *** ". Numerous beneficiaries of the McCormack Act. Public Law 577, Seventy-ninth Congress, have received partia) credit for their military service in determining their present pay grade. These lines could be construed to prevent their
receiving full credit for all of their military service. If it is desired that these employees receive full credit, it is suggested that lines 8 and 9 and the first eight words in line 10 be stricken out, and that the following be subtituted therefor "shall receive credit for time served in the military or naval forces to the extent that they have not already received credit for such military or naval service in determining their salary grade.”