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"El Reno, Oklahoma,
Referring to your letter of August 10, without file, in connection with adjustment in rate of pay account Telegraphers at Forrest City being required to operate remote control signal plant.
With the understanding, as expressed in your letter of the 10th, I am authorizing the Superintendent to submit a form increasing the rates of the operators at this point 242¢ per hour because of an increase in their responsibilities in the operation of the signal plant at that point.
General Manager.” It is the contention of the organization that inasmuch as the first telegrapher position was granted an increase of 242¢ per hour solely because of the added duties and responsibilities of operating the remote control signals; and since the reclassified position is now performing these same duties, the carrier is violating the agreement made with the organization affecting this position, by now withholding this amount from the position.
When this agreement was made, it was contemplated that it would apply to all positions affected and continue as long as the work of operating the signals was required. Without exaggeration it is our firm belief that had the position been reclassified to that of agent-telegrapher, prior to the time the 242¢ differential was first applied it would have been given the same consideration as the other two positions. Article 17 of the Telegraphers' Agreement reads as follows:
“Telegraphers required to care for interlocking or switch lights will be allowed seventy-five (75°) per light per month, with minimum of three (3) dollars for four (4) lights or less." Article 18 reads:
“Where telegraphers are required to operate pumps, the following extra compensation per month will be allowed: Steam pumps
$15.00 Gasoline or Oil.
7.50 Windmills (Water Stations)
5.00" On pages 25, 26, 28, 30, 37 and 45 will be found footnotes stating that:
"When agent-telegrapher or telegraphers are required to handle levers, the rate will be 272¢ per hour more than rate shown above."
The above articles are cited merely to show that it was the intent that an increase be granted where similar work is imposed on the position.
Following out the principles set out in U. S. Labor Board Decision No. 2374, the carrier has recognized this obligation by granting increases to positions when the incumbents thereof are required to handle levers and operate signals similar to the one in the instant case.
The organization on October 14, 1940, called the attention of Division Superintendent Adams to the fact that since the reclassification the 242¢ per hour adjustment has been, and is being withheld from the agent-telegraph
position. This is evidenced by correspondence between General Chairman Dunnam and Division Superintendent Adams under petitioners' exhibits, “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, “E”, “F”, and “G”. Superintendent Adams' letter formally declining our request is shown as Exhibit “H”.
Whereupon the case was appealed to General Superintendent Bakke as indicated in Exhibit “I” but that officer sustained the decision of Division Superintendent as will be shown by Exhibit “J”. Appeal was then taken to General Supervisor of Wage Schedules, Exhibit “K”, in which we cited our reasons for calling upon him. The Committee also discussed the points orally with the General Supervisor of Wage Schedules, Mr. Mallery, on July 20, 1941, and again on August 27, 1941. However, it is discerned by Exhibit “L” that Mr. Mallery still stands on his decision upholding that of Division Superintendent and General Superintendent.
Therefore, the employes come before this Board requesting that the Board sustain us by ordering the carrier to reestablish the 242¢ per hour differential to the agent-telegraph position, Forrest City, Arkansas, which is rightfully due under the Agreement made between the Carrier and the Committee affecting this position, and that it be made retroactive to June 16, 1939.
CARRIER'S STATEMENT OF FACTS: Prior to June 16, 1939 positions at Forrest City, Ark., covered by the scope rule of the Telegraphers' Schedule were as follows: 1 Agent-rate:
$1.00 3 Telegraphers-rate: .7342 per hour Effective June 16th, 1939, the position of first trick telegrapher, rate 7342 cents per hour was discontinued and the position of agent was reclassified to that of agent-telegrapher, rate $1.00 per hour with assigned hours 8:00 A. M. to 4:00 P. M.
POSITION OF CARRIER: As shown in the Carrier's statement of facts when the positions of agent and first trick telegrapher were consolidated, effective June 16th, 1939 under the title of Agent-Telegrapher, the rate of $1.00 per hour which was the highest rate applicable to either position was retained. On October 14, 1940 approximately 16 months after this change was made, General Chairman W. H. Dunnam of The Order of Railroad Telegraphers addressed a letter to Superintendent C. G. Adams, Little Rock, Ark., reading:
"Effective January 1, 1930, an adjustment of 242¢ per hour was made in the three telegraph positions at Forrest City, Arkansas, on account of installation of remote control signalling for the protection of the Rock Island-Missouri Pacific crossing and the duties and responsibilities placed on the operators. This made the rate at Forrest City at the time 6842¢ per hour, to which should be added 5¢ per hour additional on account of Mediation Agreement A-395 of August 1, 1937, making the present rate 7342¢ per hour.
“However, effective June 16, 1940, the first trick telegraph duties and responsibilities were added to the duties and responsibilities of the agent, thereby reclassifying the job to agent-telegrapher, and according to my information the 242¢ per hour differential has not been paid to the agent-telegrapher since the change was made June 16, 1939.
“Therefore, we request that the differential of 242¢ per hour be restored to the agent-operator position immediately and that the incumbent be reimbursed for all deductions made since June 16, 1939. An early reply will be appreciated."
In the last paragraph of the above quoted letter Mr. Dunnam requested that the differential of 242€ per hour be restored to the agent-operator position and that the incumbent be reimbursed for all deductions made since June 16, 1939. No deductions had been made to the extent of 242¢ per hour from the salary or earnings of the agent-operator and Mr. Dunnam's letter is misleading in that respect. Later correspondence developed that what he really wanted was an increase of 242¢ per hour added to the agent-operator's rate of $1.00 per hour to make a new rate of $1.025 per hour.
Here we call attention to Article 6-h of the Telegraphers' Schedule reading:
"(h) Other Grievances. Other grievances will be taken up with the proper officials within thirty days; otherwise, redress in such
cases will be waived:" and the fact that although this change at Forrest City was made June 16, 1939 the instant claim was not submitted by the employes until October 14, 1940, approximately 16 months later.
The employes contend that when the position of first trick telegrapher, rate 7342 cents per hour was discontinued and the position of agent was reclassified to that of agent-telegrapher, assuming the duties of first trick telegrapher, the rate of pay of the agent-telegrapher should have been increased from $1.00 per hour to $1.025 per hour. They base their contention on the fact that in 1930 when an electrically operated interlocking plant was installed at Forrest City which increased the duties and responsibilities of the three telegraphers they obtained through negotiations with the Carrier an increase from 66 to 6812 cents per hour in the rates of pay of the three telegraphers; hence they say that the rate of pay of the agent should have been increased to the extent of 242 cents per hour effective June 16, 1939, when his position was reclassified, irrespective of the fact that his hourly rate of $1.00 was 2642 cents higher than the rate (7342 cents) of the first trick telegrapher. They fail to cite any rules or practices in support of their claim and there are none.
It always has been the practice on this property when consolidating the positions of day telegrapher and agent, reclassifying the latter position to that of agent-telegrapher to retain the highest rate paid to either position. For instance, if we had an agent at a lesser rate of pay than a telegrapher working also on the day shift and the telegrapher position was abolished, the higher hourly rate of the telegrapher would, though not required by contract, automatically be transferred to the agent-telegrapher position which would be continued and conversely, as in this case, when the rate of the agent is higher than that of the telegrapher, the reclassified position of agent-telegrapher is given the higher rate of the agent. As evidence that this long established practice is understood and recognized by both parties, not long ago the representative of the Telegraphers' Organization called the Carrier's attention to a change made at Stuart, Ia. several years ago where the agents' rate was 63 cents per hour and that of the first trick telegrapher 64 cents per hour, but when the latter position was discontinued and the position of agent reclassified to agent-telegrapher, the local officers of the carrier overlooked applying the higher rate of 64 cents to the position of agent-telegrapher. When our attention was called to the matter an adjustment was promptly made. In the instant case we have a claim without any foundation under the agreement with the employes and clearly not in harmony with the recognized practice that the higher rate of the agent ($1.00) per hour should be increased 242 cents per hour merely because an increase of 21/2 cents per hour was granted to the telegraph positions in 1930 through negotiations with the Carrier when as a matter of fact, based on the duties and responsibilities of the agent-telegrapher since the change was made, the rate of $1.00 per hour ($1.10 since December 1, 1941) is not now justified.
This claim of the Telegraphers' Organization is clearly a request for an increase in rate of pay which your Board is not authorized to grant; it cannot be sustained under any rule of the applicable agreement and should be dismissed.
OPINION OF BOARD: In the schedule of rates of pay set out in the Agreement there was listed for the town of Forrest City, Arkansas, an agent at 95¢ an hour and three telegraphers at 66¢ per hour. Subsequent to the effective date of the Agreement an interlocking plant was installed at said station to be operated by the three telegraphers, and for the increased duties in the operation thereof it was agreed between the parties to add 242¢ per hour to the stipulated rate for each of the three telegrapher positions. Thereafter, by Mediation Agreement, 5¢ per hour was added to the rate for all positions, making the rate for the Agent $1.00 per hour and for the three telegraphers 73%2¢ per hour.
On June 16, 1939, the position of first trick telegrapher at Forrest City was discontinued and the position of agent was reclassified to that of agenttelegrapher at the rate of pay of $1.00 per hour, the same rate theretofore drawn by the agent.
The Carrier insists that it had long been the practice when two positions were combined to then pay for the combined positions the higher of the two rates which it had been paying for the two positions.
The petitioner contends that the 242¢ per hour increase granted to the three telegrapher positions was for the additional duties and responsibilities imposed on the positions by the operation of the interlocking plant and that since the agent-telegrapher was now operating the interlocking plant during the same hours it was formerly operated by one of the telegraphers, the 242¢ per hour should be added to the $1.00 per hour rate being paid to the agenttelegrapher. The petitioner says, “It is our firm belief that had the position been reclassified to that of agent-telegrapher, prior to the time the 242c differential was first applied, it would have been given the same consideration as the other two positions."
If this statement were true, it still would give this Division no authority to sustain the claim. It is not the business of this Division to raise rates of pay, even though of the opinion that if the matter had been considered by the parties around the table the raise would have been agreed to. For us to hold otherwise would be to place the Division in the position of making agreements for the parties a matter clearly outside of our jurisdiction.
The facts of this case disclose no violation of the agreement which the parties made.
FINDINGS: The Third Division of the Adjustment Board, after giving the parties to this dispute due notice of hearing thereon, and upon the whole record and all the evidence, finds and holds:
That the carrier and the employes involved in this dispute are respectively carrier and employes within the meaning of the Railway Labor Act, as approved June 21, 1934;
That this Division of the Adjustment Board has jurisdiction over the dispute involved herein; and
That the Carrier did not violate the Agreement.
The claim is denied.
NATIONAL RAILROAD ADJUSTMENT BOARD
By Order of Third Division
ATTEST: H. A. Johnson
Dated at Chicago, Illinois, this 11th day of June, 1943.
Docket No. TE-1942
NATIONAL RAILROAD ADJUSTMENT BOARD
H. Nathan Swaim, Referee
PARTIES TO DISPUTE:
THE ORDER OF RAILROAD TELEGRAPHERS
THE ATCHISON, TOPEKA & SANTA FE RAILWAY
STATEMENT OF CLAIM: Claim of the General Committee of The Order of Railroad Telegraphers, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company that
(a) The Carrier violated the provisions of the Telegraphers' Agreement when on completion of his tour of duty June 26, 1941, Telegrapher E. E. Huycke was removed from a telegraph schedule position at Amarillo, Texas, to which he had been assigned in accordance with the rules of the Agreement and which was then on bulletin, and required to protect a vacancy at Wellington, Kansas, and
(b) In consequence thereof said Telegrapher Huycke is entitled to and shall be paid actual living and traveling expense incurred June 27 to July 3, 1941, inclusive.
EMPLOYES' STATEMENT OF FACTS: Copies of an agreement between the parties to this dispute, bearing an effective date of December 1, 1938, are on file with the National Railroad Adjustment Board.
The telephone position in the Amarillo office, as listed at page 56 of the Telegraphers' Agreement, became vacant. While in the process of filling said position by bulletin, telegrapher E. E. Huycke as the senior available extra board ploye was assigned thereto, beginning June 14, 1941 and continued thereon to and including June 26, 1941.
Effective June 27, 1941, Huycke was required or permitted to vacate the Amarillo telephone vacancy, having been sent to Wellington, a travel distance of 313 miles, to protect a vacancy at the latter location. Mr. Huycke remained on the Wellington vacancy to and including July 16, 1941, at which time he proceeded to La Junta to occupy a position bid in by and assigned to him as of July 3, 1941.
Mr. Huycke was relieved from the telephone position by Miss Haynie, who was regularly assigned to a PBX position covered by the Clerk's Agreement, and who has seniority thereunder. Miss Haynie returned to her regular PBX position July 4, 1941.
POSITION OF EMPLOYES: As indicated by the Organization's Statement of Facts, the telephone position (not switchboard) at Amarillo became vacant on or about June 14, 1941 due to the employe previously assigned thereto having been assigned by bid to a printer-clerk position in the same office. Mr. È. E. Huycke the then senior extra board employe stood to catch and