[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 135 (Friday, July 13, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 41247-41248]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-17123]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 135 / Friday, July 13, 2012 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 41247]]



OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

5 CFR Part 532

RIN 3206-AM59


Prevailing Rate Systems; Abolishment of the Washington, DC, 
Special Wage Schedule for Printing Positions

AGENCY: U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Interim rule with request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is issuing an interim 
rule to abolish the Washington, DC, Federal Wage System (FWS) special 
wage schedule for printing and lithographic positions. Printing and 
lithographic employees in the Washington, DC, wage area will now be 
paid from the regular Washington, DC, appropriated fund FWS wage 
schedule. This change is necessary because Federal employment in 
printing and lithographic occupations in the Washington, DC, wage area 
has declined sharply in recent years, and a separate wage schedule is 
no longer viable or beneficial to employees.

DATES: Effective date: This regulation is effective on July 13, 2012. 
We must receive comments on or before August 13, 2012. Applicability 
date: Agencies will place employees who are paid from the Washington, 
DC, special wage schedule on the Washington, DC, regular wage schedule 
on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or 
after October 21, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Send or deliver comments to Jerome D. Mikowicz, Deputy 
Associate Director for Pay and Leave, Employee Services, U.S. Office of 
Personnel Management, Room 7H31, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 
20415-8200; email pay-leave-policy@opm.gov; or Fax: (202) 606-4264.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Madeline Gonzalez, (202) 606-2838; 
email pay-leave-policy@opm.gov; or Fax: (202) 606-4264.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management 
(OPM) is issuing an interim rule to abolish the Washington, DC, Federal 
Wage System (FWS) special wage schedule for printing and lithographic 
positions. The Department of Defense (DOD) recommended that we abolish 
this special wage schedule because Federal employment in printing and 
lithographic occupations in the Washington, DC, wage area has declined 
sharply in recent years, from 235 employees in 2004 to 24 today. Of the 
24 remaining employees, there are 20 nonsupervisory (XP), 2 leaders 
(XL), and 2 supervisors (XS) employed by 10 agencies, and DOD expects 
the decline to continue.
    None of the 24 employees benefit from being paid from the special 
printing schedule compared to what they would be paid under the regular 
wage schedule for the Washington, DC, wage area. OPM regulations 
provide that special printing schedules must have three step rates. 
Section 532.279(g) of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, provides 
that no step 3 rate on a special printing schedule may be less than the 
maximum rate of the corresponding grade on the regular wage schedule 
for the wage area. This means that each step 3 printing survey rate is 
compared to the step 5 regular schedule rate, and the higher rate for 
each grade is selected for the special printing schedule. The step 3 
rates for the first 10 XP and XL grades and all XS grades in the 
special printing schedule are equal to the step 5 rates in the 
Washington, DC, regular wage schedule. Although the remaining grades in 
the XP and XL schedules are higher than the Washington, DC, regular 
wage schedule step 5 rates, there are no employees in these remaining 
grades.
    Printing and lithographic employees will convert to the Washington, 
DC, FWS regular wage schedule on a grade-by-grade basis. Each 
employee's new rate of pay will be set at the step-rate for the 
applicable grade of the regular wage schedule that equals the 
employee's existing rate of pay. If an employee's existing rate of pay 
falls between two steps on the regular schedule, the new rate will be 
set at the higher of the two steps. If an employee's existing rate of 
pay is higher than the highest rate for his or her grade on the regular 
schedule, the employee will, if otherwise eligible, be entitled to pay 
retention.
    The Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee, the national labor-
management committee that advises OPM on FWS pay matters, reviewed and 
concurred by consensus with this change.
    Since the special wage schedule for printing and lithographic 
occupations in the Washington, DC, wage area was the sole special 
printing schedule remaining, this interim rule removes section 532.279 
from title 5, Code of Federal Regulations.

Waiver of Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Delay in Effective Date

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), I find that good cause exists to 
waive the general notice of proposed rulemaking. Also pursuant to 5 
U.S.C. 553(d)(3), I find that good cause exists for making this rule 
effective in less than 30 days. The notice of proposed rulemaking is 
being waived and the regulation is being made effective in less than 30 
days because notice and comment on this matter is unnecessary. Federal 
employment in printing and lithographic occupations in the Washington, 
DC, wage area has declined sharply in recent years and is expected to 
continue to decline until there are no printing and lithographic 
employees left in the wage area; no affected employees will lose pay as 
result of converting to the FWS regular wage schedule; and, requiring 
DOD to conduct a full-scale wage survey for the diminishing number of 
employees in printing and lithographic positions in the Washington, DC, 
wage area in August 7, 2012, would be an unnecessary expenditure of 
resources.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that these regulations would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because they 
would affect only Federal agencies and employees.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 532

    Administrative practice and procedure, Freedom of information, 
Government employees, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Wages.


[[Page 41248]]


U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
John Berry,
Director.
    Accordingly, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management amends 5 CFR 
part 532 as follows:

PART 532--PREVAILING RATE SYSTEMS

0
1. The authority citation for part 532 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5343, 5346; Sec.  532.707 also issued under 
5 U.S.C. 552.


Sec.  532.279  [Removed]

0
2. Remove Sec.  532.279.
[FR Doc. 2012-17123 Filed 7-12-12; 8:45 am]
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