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NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLRS. UNION v. REAGAN

July 31, 1985

NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION, ET AL., Plaintiffs,
v.
RONALD REAGAN and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendants; AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, ET AL., Plaintiffs, v. RONALD REAGAN and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendants


Gasch


The opinion of the court was delivered by: GASCH

These are actions challenging the constitutionality of the Federal Pay Comparability Act, 5 U.S.C. § 5301 et seq., based on the Act's one-House legislative veto provision, and the authority of the President to implement an "alternative pay plan" under the Act. *fn1" Presently before the Court is defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings in National Treasury Employees Union v. Reagan and cross-motions for summary judgment in both cases. For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings and grants defendants' motions for summary judgment.

 BACKGROUND

 Plaintiff American Federation of Government Employees AFL-CIO ("AFGE") is an unincorporated association having its principal place of business in Washington, D.C. It is the exclusive bargaining representative for about 690,000 federal employees. The other named plaintiffs in AFGE v. Reagan2 are members of AFGE who work and reside in the District of Columbia and who are federal employees paid under the General Schedule whose rates of pay were adjusted under the alternative pay plans submitted by the President for fiscal years 1980, 1981, 1983 and 1985 under the Federal Pay Comparability Act ("Pay Act").

 Plaintiff National Treasury Employees Union ("NTEU") is an unincorporated association having its principal place of business in Washington, D.C. It is the exclusive bargaining representative for approximately 110,000 federal employees. Named plaintiff Haamid Nuriddin is a member of NTEU who works and resides in the District of Columbia and who, like the AFGE individual plaintiffs, is a federal employee whose pay was adjusted under the 1985 fiscal year alternative pay plan. *fn3"

 The Pay Act provides the statutory mechanism for annual adjustment in the rates of pay of federal employees subject to statutory pay systems. It implements the Congressional policy that federal pay for employees under statutory pay systems (1) provide equal pay for substantially equal work; (2) maintain pay distinctions in keeping with work and performance distinctions; (3) make federal pay rates comparable with private sector pay rates for the same levels of work; and (4) ensure that pay levels for the statutory pay systems are interrelated. See 5 U.S.C. § 5301(a).

 The Pay Act directs the President to select a Pay Agent to prepare an annual report comparing rates of pay in private enterprise with rates in the statutory pay systems and recommending appropriate adjustments for federal salaries. 5 U.S.C. § 5305(a)(1). Section 5305(b) establishes procedures to be followed by the Pay Agent in arriving at a recommended increase. After considering the Pay Agent's report and the findings and recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Federal Pay established pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 5306, the President adjusts the rates of pay of each statutory pay system in accordance with the principles set forth in Section 5301(a). 5 U.S.C. § 5305(a)(2). The pay adjustment becomes effective without any further Congressional action as of the beginning of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after October 1 of the applicable year. Id.

 If national emergency or economic conditions affecting the general welfare render a pay adjustment required by Section 5305(a) inappropriate, the President may prepare and transmit to Congress before September 1 of that year an alternative plan for pay adjustments. 5 U.S.C. § 5305(c)(1). The alternative pay plan becomes effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after October 1 of that year unless, within 30 days of transmittal, either House adopts a resolution disapproving the alternative pay plan. 5 U.S.C. § 5305(c)(2). If the alternative pay adjustment plan is disapproved, the President must adjust pay in accordance with the four principles of comparability set forth in 5 U.S.C. § 5305(a)(2), (3). 5 U.S.C. § 5305(c)(2), (m).

 AFGE challenges the President's alternative pay adjustment plans for fiscal years 1980, 1981, 1983 and 1985; NTEU challenges only the fiscal year 1985 plan.

 On August 29, 1980, President Carter sent to Congress an alternative pay plan proposing an average increase of 9.1% in GS pay rates for fiscal year 1981, in lieu of an average comparability increase of 13.5% recommended by his pay agent. Neither House of Congress disapproved. On October 16, 1980, President Carter issued Executive Order No. 12248, 45 Fed. Reg. 69199 (1980), which increased GS pay rates by an average 9.1% beginning the first day of the first applicable pay period on or after October 1, 1980, and continuing through September 30, 1981. AFGE Motion at 7; Defendants' Motion at 8.

 On August 26, 1982, President Reagan sent to Congress an alternative pay plan proposing an average increase of 4% in GS pay rates for fiscal year 1983, in lieu of an average comparability increase of 18.47% recommended by his pay agent. Neither House of Congress disapproved. On October 8, 1982, President Reagan issued Executive Order No. 12387, 47 Fed. Reg. 44981 (1982), which increased GS pay rates by an average 4% beginning the first day of the first applicable pay period on or after October 1, 1982, and continuing through September 30, 1983. AFGE Motion at 7; Defendants' Motion at 8-9.

 On August 30, 1984, President Reagan sent to Congress an alternative pay plan proposing no increase in GS pay rates for the first three months of fiscal year 1985 and an average 3.5% increase beginning the first day of the first applicable pay period on or after January 1, 1985, in lieu of an average comparability increase of 18.28% recommended by his pay agent. Neither House of Congress disapproved. The 3.5% increase became effective on January 1, 1985, ...


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