Prevailing rate systems,

[Federal Register: June 23, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 120)]

[Proposed Rules]

[Page 34134-34135]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[DOCID:fr23jn98-9]

Proposed Rules Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

[[Page 34134]]

Office of Personnel Management

5 CFR Part 532

RIN 3206-AI30

Prevailing Rate Systems; Redefinition of Philadelphia, PA, and New York, NY, Appropriated Fund Wage Areas

AGENCY: Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Proposed rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY: The Office of Personnel Management is issuing a proposed rule that would redefine Ocean County, NJ, excluding the portion occupied by the Fort Dix Military Reservation, from the area of application of the Philadelphia, PA, appropriated fund Federal Wage System (FWS) wage area to the area of application of the New York, NY, wage area. This redefinition will more accurately reflect the transportation facilities and commuting patterns criteria of Ocean County, NJ (excluding Fort Dix Military Reservation).

DATES: Comments must be received by July 23, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Send or deliver comments to Donald J. Winstead, Assistant Director for Compensation Administration, Workforce Compensation and Performance Service, Office of Personnel Management, Room 7H31, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415, or FAX: (202) 606-0824.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark A. Allen at (202) 606-2848, or e- mail: maallen@opm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is engaged in an ongoing project to review the geographic definitions of selected Federal Wage System (FWS) appropriated fund wage areas. The Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee (FPRAC), the statutory national-level labor-management committee responsible for advising OPM on matters concerning the pay of FWS employees, has recommended by majority vote that OPM redefine Ocean County, NJ, excluding the portion occupied by the Fort Dix Military Reservation, from the area of application of the Philadelphia, PA, appropriated fund FWS wage area to the area of application of the New York, NY, wage area.

Section 532.211 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, lists the following criteria that OPM considers when defining FWS wage area boundaries:

(i) Distance, transportation facilities, and geographic features;

(ii) Commuting patterns; and

(iii) Similarities in overall population, employment, and the kinds and sizes of private industrial establishments.

Ocean County is located in central New Jersey and is bordered by Burlington County to the West and Monmouth County to the North. The members of FPRAC studied the appropriate wage area definition of Ocean County exhaustively. Based on their analysis of the regulatory criteria, the management members of FPRAC found no compelling reason to change the wage area designation of Ocean County. The labor members of the Committee argued that the transportation facilities and commuting patterns criteria favor placing Ocean County in the New York wage area. After failing to reach consensus, the Committee voted to accept the labor recommendation. The management members of FPRAC fileda minority report in opposition to the FPRAC majority recommendation.

After careful consideration, OPM finds that it is appropriate to accept the FPRAC recommendation in this case. The distance, geographic features, and overall population, employment, and the kinds and sizes of private industrial establishments criteria do not clearly favor defining Ocean County to one wage area more than another. However, we find that the transportation facilities and commuting patterns criteria clearly favor defining Ocean County to the New York wage area rather than to the Philadelphia wage area.

The largest employer of FWS workers in Ocean County is Lakehurst Naval Air Station, although several other smaller employment sites would be affected by the redefinition of Ocean County to the New York wage area. Employees with official duty stations in the Fort Dix Military Reservation portion of Ocean County would remain in the Philadelphia wage area. Employees with official duty stations at Lakehurst Naval Air Station and other facilities in Ocean County would be redefined from the Philadelphia wage area to the New York wage area on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after 30 days after the issuance of a final regulation implementing this proposed change.

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.

Office of Personnel Management. Janice R. Lachance, Director.

Accordingly, OPM proposes to amend 5 CFR part 532 as follows:

PART 532--PREVAILING RATE SYSTEMS

  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.

  2. Appendix C to subpart B is amended by revising the wage area listings for the New York, New York, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, wage areas to read as follows:

    Appendix C to Subpart B of Part 532--Appropriated Fund Wage and Survey Areas

    * * * * *

    New York

    * * * * *

    New York

    Survey Area

    New York:

    Bronx

    Kings

    Nassau

    New York

    Queens

    Suffolk

    Westchester New Jersey:

    Bergen

    Essex

    [[Page 34135]]

    Hudson

    Middlesex

    Morris

    Passaic

    Somerset

    Union

    Area of Application. Survey Area Plus

    New York:

    Putnam

    Richmond

    Rockland New Jersey:

    Monmouth

    Ocean (excluding the Fort Dix Military Reservation)

    Sussex * * * * *

    Pennsylvania

    * * * * *

    Philadelphia

    Survey Area

    Pennsylvania:

    Bucks

    Chester

    Delaware

    Montgomery

    Philadelphia New Jersey:

    Burlington

    Camden

    Gloucester

    Area of Application. Survey Area Plus

    Pennsylvania:

    Lehigh

    Northampton New Jersey:

    Atlantic

    Cape May

    Cumberland

    Hunterdon

    Mercer

    Ocean (Fort Dix Military Reservation only)

    Warren * * * * *

    [FR Doc. 98-16668Filed6-22-98; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 6325-01-P