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JOHN J. O'PEIL v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (02/25/75)

decided: February 25, 1975.

JOHN J. O'PEIL, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, STATE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, APPELLEE



Appeals from the Orders of the State Civil Service Commission in cases of Appeal of John J. O'Peil, Nos. 1518 and 1547.

COUNSEL

Frank J. McDonnell, with him Haggerty & McDonnell, for appellant.

J. Justin Blewitt, Jr., Deputy Attorney General, with him Lawrence Silver, Deputy Attorney General, and Israel Packel, Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr. and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 468]

We have for our consideration two appeals filed by John J. O'Peil (O'Peil) from orders of the State Civil Service Commission (Commission). These appeals raise the single issue of whether O'Peil was entitled to merit salary increments in January 1973 and January 1974.

O'Peil was promoted to a Corporation Tax Officer II on October 29, 1971. His pay range for this position was 35 and he was at step E. On November 14, 1971, O'Peil received a general pay increase and, on January 7, 1972, he was upgraded to step F of pay range 35 and received a salary increase corresponding with his new pay range.*fn1

The Commonwealth Executive Board (Board), on November 14, 1971, by duly promulgated resolution, changed the Commonwealth compensation plan by reducing the number of steps assigned to every pay range

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 469]

    from seven steps to six steps.*fn2 At the same time, it authorized a general pay increase of 5 percent for all Commonwealth employes without exempting those who had already arrived at the eliminated seventh step.*fn3 However, those employes classified Corporation Tax Officer II who were at the seventh step prior to the Board's November 14, 1971 resolution have not received a merit salary increment since the date of the resolution.

When O'Peil's merit increments were not granted to him in January 1973 and January 1974, he appealed to the Commission, alleging discrimination.*fn4 Section 905.1 of the Civil Service Act, Act of August 5, 1941, P.L. 752, as amended, 71 P.S. § 741.905a (Supp. 1974-1975), provides: "No officer or employe of the Commonwealth shall discriminate against any person in recruitment, examination, appointment, training, promotion, retention or any other personnel action with respect to the classified service because of political or religious opinions or affiliations because of labor union affiliations or because of race, national origin or other non-merit factors." Alleged violations of Section 905.1 may be appealed to the Civil Service Commission pursuant to Section 951(b) of the Civil Service Act, 71 P.S. § 741.951(b) (Supp. 1974-1975).

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 470]

On appeal to this Court, an adjudication of the Commission shall be affirmed unless it appears that such was not in accordance with law, that any finding of fact necessary to support such adjudication is not supported by the evidence, or that the constitutional rights of the appellant have been violated. Department of Transportation v. State Civil Service Commission, 5 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 263, 290 A.2d 434 (1972). It is the duty of the Commission to determine the credibility of witnesses appearing before the Commission and to determine the value of their testimony. Mettee v. Civil Service Commission, 6 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 82, 293 A.2d 147 (1972). This Court will not weigh, but only ...


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