these issues to the United States District Courts. It would thwart congressional intent to imply into the Federal Courts Improvement Act a repeal of an explicit legislative choice to vest jurisdiction in this Court. The Court will not read the Courts Improvement Act to demand so unlikely a result.
Accordingly, the Court cannot find that the Courts Improvement Act explicitly or implicitly repealed or amended the jurisdictional provisions of the Foreign Service Act. As such, the Court is satisfied that it has jurisdiction over this case.
THE COURT MUST FIND THAT THE DECISION OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE GRIEVANCE BOARD WAS SUPPORTED BY SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE IN THE RECORD.
The Foreign Service Act of 1980, 22 U.S.C. § 3901 et seq., was designed to strengthen and improve the Foreign Service by consolidating and reorganizing the branches of the then-existing Foreign Service. See 22 U.S.C. § 3901. The Act revamped, among other things, the classification and pay systems that were established by the Foreign Service Act of 1946, as amended. See 22 U.S.C. §§ 867, 869 (1979).
Under the 1980 Act, foreign service officers who had been given appointments at Class 2 or higher under the schedule established by the 1946 Act would be converted to a different classification system. Those officers who were available for worldwide duty would be converted to the new Senior Foreign Service and paid according to the Senior Executive Service ("ES") schedule; foreign service officers who were not able to serve worldwide would be converted to the "General Schedule" ("G.S.") system after a three-year transition period as part of the Senior Foreign Service. See 22 U.S.C. §§ 4152-4154.
On February 21, 1981, the President issued Executive Order 12,293, which divided the Senior Foreign Service into three classes: Career Minister, Minister-Counselor, and Counselor. Executive Order 12,293 also set pay rates for members of the Senior Foreign Service; Counselors could be slotted at a pay rate between ES-1 and ES-6, Minister-Counselors could be paid at a rate from ES-4 to ES-6, and Career Ministers were to be paid at the ES-6 rate. E.O. 12,293; cf. 5 U.S.C. § 5332 (salary rates for ES levels).
Plaintiff was not available for worldwide service and therefore fell into the category of foreign service officers who would eventually be converted to the "G.S." scale. See, e.g., Record 26, at 3. Defendant identified plaintiff's former rank, FSRU-2, as corresponding to the Counselor class, and plaintiff does not dispute this. Rather, the dispute between the parties centers on the classification and pay category to which plaintiff was assigned.
Before plaintiff was affected by the 1980 Act, he was classified an FSRU-2/pay step 7. Id. As such, he had a "scheduled salary" of $ 62,241 per year, although, like other highly paid government officials, he was subject to a cap limiting his pay to $ 50,112 per year. Id. During the three-year transition period, plaintiff was converted to Executive Salary Level 4 ("ES-4") and, after that transition, he was converted to the GS-16, step 5 level. Id.
Plaintiff maintains that he should have been converted to Executive Salary Level 6 ("ES-6"), rather than ES-4. He claims that the Foreign Service Act mandates that he suffer no reduction in salary as a result of the conversion, and he argues that he suffered a reduction when he was converted from an FSRU-2/7 job that paid $ 62,241 to an ES-4 level position, which has a salary of $ 57,673. Record 02.1.5. The Foreign Service Grievance Board rejected plaintiff's claim, and it was right to do so.
The statutory section upon which plaintiff relies states:
Every individual who is converted under this subchapter shall be converted to the class or grade and pay rate that most closely corresponds to the class or grade and step at which the individual was serving immediately before conversion. No conversion under this subchapter shall cause any individual to incur a reduction in his or her class, grade, or basic rate of salary.