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Classification & Qualifications Appeal Decisions

Washington, DC

U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Job Grading Appeal Decision
Under section 5346 of title 5, United States Code

Michael F. Lee
Locksmith
NA-4804-9
Hale Koa Hotel Engineering Department
Fort De Russy Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC)
Department of the Army
Honolulu, Hawaii

Maintenance Worker
NA-4749-8
C-4749-08-03

Robert D. Hendler
Classification and Pay Claims Program Manager
Agency Compliance and Evaluation
Merit System Accountability and Compliance

01/05/2015


Date

As provided in section S7-8 of the Operating Manual: Federal Wage System, this decision constitutes a certificate that is mandatory and binding on all administrative, certifying, payroll, disbursing, and accounting officials of the Government.  There is no right of further appeal.  This decision is subject to discretionary review only under conditions specified in section 532.705(f) of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (address provided in the Introduction to the Position Classification Standards, appendix 4, section H).

As indicated in this decision, our findings show that the appellant’s official job description (JD) does not meet the standard of adequacy described in Federal Wage System-Appropriated Fund Operating Manual, Subchapter S6-6.d.  Since JDs must meet the standard of adequacy, the agency must revise the appellant’s JD to reflect our findings.  The servicing human resources office must submit the corrected job description within 30 days of the date of this decision to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Agency Compliance and Evaluation (ACE), San Francisco office.

Since this decision lowers the grade of the appealed position, it is to be effective no later than the beginning of the sixth pay period after the date of this decision, as permitted by 5 CFR 532.705(d).  The applicable provisions of parts 351, 432, 536, and 752 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, must be followed in implementing the decision.  If the appellant is entitled to grade retention, the two-year retention period begins on the date this decision is implemented.  The servicing human resources office must submit a compliance report containing the corrected job description and a Standard Form 50 showing the personnel action taken.  The report must be submitted within 30 days from the effective date of the personnel action to ACE’s San Francisco office.

Introduction

On May 19, 2014, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Agency Compliance and Evaluation (ACE), San Francisco office accepted a job grading appeal from Mr. Michael F. Lee.  On July 17, 2014, we received the agency’s complete administrative report.  The appellant works at the Hale Koa Hotel, Engineering Department, Fort DeRussy Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC), Department of the Army in Honolulu, Hawaii.  The appellant’s job is currently graded as Locksmith, NA-4804-9, but he believes it should be upgraded to grade 10 based on his work with computer-managed electronic locks.  We have accepted and decided this appeal under section 5346 of title 5, United States Code (U.S.C.). 

General issues

The appellant believes the 4804 Locksmithing Job Grading Standard (JGS) is outdated because it does not take into account changes in technology of commercially manufactured locking devices.  However, the content of JGSs established for his job is not appealable (5 CFR 532.701).  All occupations change over time, some more rapidly and profoundly than others, but the fundamental duty and responsibility patterns and qualifications required in an occupation normally remain stable.  Therefore, careful application of the appropriate JGS to the work performed should yield the correct grade for a job.  Any duties not specifically referenced in the JGS can be evaluated properly by comparison with similar or related duties which the JGS describes as well as with the entire pattern of grade-level characteristics.

The appellant makes various statements about his agency’s evaluation of his position, and compares his duties to previous higher-graded locksmith positions of the hotel.  In adjudicating this appeal, our responsibility is to make our own independent decision on the proper classification of his position.  By law, we must make that decision solely by comparing his current duties and responsibilities to the appropriate JGS (5 U.S.C. 5346) and have considered the appellant’s statements only insofar as they are relevant to making that comparison. Since comparison to the JGS is the exclusive method for grading jobs, we cannot compare the appellant’s job to others that may or may not be properly classified, as a basis for deciding his appeal.  Because our decision sets aside all previous agency decisions, the appellant’s concerns regarding his agency’s job grading review process are not germane to this decision. 

Although the appellant and his supervisors (current and former) have certified to the accuracy of the appellant’s official job description (JD) number 15021, our findings disclosed that it is not completely accurate. While we find the appellant’s job performs basic carpentry work duties, he does not perform carpentry work requiring him to follow specific instructions and aids from the use of templates, preplanned, or precut materials or to apply a general knowledge of wood, composite materials, wood substitutes and wood work techniques as stated in his JD.  Also, under “Skills and Knowledge,” the JD states the job requires “knowledge of commercially manufactured locking devices as well as their working interrelationship with a variety of equipment such as monitors, alarms, timing mechanisms sensor and related items.” As discussed later in this decision, we find the job does not require this type of knowledge.  Further, the appellant does not repair electrical equipment typically performed in jobs covered by the 2854 Electrical Equipment Repairing Series; hence, he does not use “knowledge of electrical principles and formulas and their practical application to the equipment and systems repaired” as stated in his JD. Therefore, the agency must revise the JD to reflect our findings as addressed in this decision.

Job information

Under general supervision, the appellant performs locksmithing functions at the Hale Koa Hotel, an 817 guest room destination resort of the AFRC.  AFRCs are centrally managed, Installation Management Commands (IMCOM) G9-operated facilities with a mission to provide rest, relaxation, recreation, and sustainment for Army personnel and other members of the total Defense Force including active-duty military, retirees, Department of Defense civilians, reservists, delayed entry recruits, and their respective family members.  The facility has multiple kitchens, restaurants, banquet rooms, a fitness facility, public area restrooms, business offices, and employee facilities and office spaces. 

As the sole locksmith for the hotel, the appellant’s primary function is to maintain, adjust, repair troubleshoot and install a wide variety of commercially manufactured locking devices including electrical and or mechanical locks such as combination, cipher, cylinder/core and push bar locks.  The security units typically secured by such devices include guest rooms, desks, safes, cabinets, equipment and secured areas.  The appellant maintains control of all cylinder and core magnetic keys (i.e., “dog tag” keys) by proper identification and documentation and is responsible for specified accountable property, e.g., Y29 master key.  He makes flute steel, duplicate bit, cylinder and double-sided keys by impression or duplication methods and re-issues keys to different doors in the hotel due to damage or loss by the authorized key holder.  The appellant provides emergency lock services for incidents requiring entrance into rooms, and any other area or equipment that is secured using a key, cipher or electronic lock.  If during the course of his work he detects signs of tampering, he notifies security for investigation.  Likewise, security will call upon the appellant to evaluate whether a lock has been tampered with.  The appellant uses a variety of hand, power, and specialty tools to do the work, e.g., files, chisels, hammers, picks, tweezers, drills, grips, duplicating machines, lathes, grinders, buffers, torches, and soldering irons.  He maintains parts, materials, tools, and equipment at prescribed levels, ensures proper safety equipment is used and enforces safety rules and regulations.

The appellant’s tour of duty is Tuesday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday from 3:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. (i.e., dog watch/night shift).  When working the night shift the appellant responds to emergency calls for repairs related to electrical, plumbing, air conditioning and carpentry work.  Also, in an emergency he may be called upon to repair kitchen equipment such as dishwashers, warmers and ovens.

In reaching our job grading decision, we have carefully reviewed all information furnished by the appellant and his agency, including his official JD, which we have incorporated by reference into this decision.  In addition, to help decide the appeal we conducted separate telephone interviews with the appellant and his immediate supervisor. 

Series, title, and standard determination

The agency allocated the appellant’s job to the 4804 Locksmithing occupational series, titling it Locksmith.  We disagree with the agency’s title and series determination.  The JGS for the 4749 Maintenance Mechanic occupation covers nonsupervisory work involved in the maintenance and repair of grounds, exterior structures, buildings, and related fixtures and utilities, requiring the use of a variety of trade practices associated with occupations such as carpentry, masonry, plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, cement work, painting, and other related trades.  To be placed in this occupation, the two following elements must be met:  (1) the work requires the application of more than one trade practice, and (2) the highest level of work is performed in at least two of the trades involved.  As explained below the appellant’s job meets both criteria, and is properly covered by the 4749 JGS.  Jobs in the 4749 occupation, at grades 8 and below, are titled Maintenance Worker.  This is the proper title for the appellant’s job based on the grade-level analysis in the “Grade determination” section of this decision.

The 4749 JGS provides guidance as to how maintenance mechanic occupations are graded, but does not provide individual grading criteria for the various occupations included.  Consequently, we have graded each of the trades involved in the appellant’s work by reference to the relevant FWS JGSs to determine the appellant’s highest graded work.  Therefore, the following FWS JGSs will be evaluated:  4804 Locksmithing, 2805 Electrician, 4206 Plumbing, and 5306 Air Conditioning Equipment Mechanic. 

The appellant indicates that he has the ability and skill to perform the carpentry work listed in his JD.  However, Saturday night shifts are “watch-dog” shifts and major carpentry projects are not performed.  He cannot enter guestrooms after 5:00 p.m. or perform work that would create loud noises; therefore, his work is limited to responding to emergency calls and generally only performs temporary fixes.  For example, if a pane window breaks, he will board up the area with a piece of wood, or if a section of pipe breaks and falls off the ceiling, he would use wood to create a platform to base and secure the pipe.  All major work requiring specific parts is left for the hotel carpenter to complete (Carpenter, NA-4607-10) during the regular morning shift.  The appellant’s supervisor confirms that the appellant is knowledgeable in the work but is only required to perform emergency carpentry work at a basic level.  Further, the record shows that the carpentry duties that the appellant performs are within the scope of his locksmith duties.  For instance, he aligns locks on wooden doors which may require him to drill holes on the door.  He also sands doors and uses a hole saw to make additional holes for deadbolts or internal mechanisms to lock doors.  We find that this work does not impact the grade level of the job and will not be evaluated in this decision. 

Grade determination

As indicated earlier the appellant performs work in several occupations.  The grade level of mixed jobs like the appellant’s is determined by identifying duties that (1) involve the highest skill and qualification requirements for the job, and (2) are a regular and recurring part of the job.  Determinations of the highest skill and qualification requirements are made through comparison of each type of work performed to the occupation’s JGS.

JGSs use four factors to determine the grade level of a job:  Skill and Knowledge, Responsibility, Physical Effort, and Working Conditions.  A job is graded as a whole against the level of demands found at different grades.  No single factor is considered by itself, but only in relation to its impact on the other factors.  A job is allocated to the grade best representing the overall demands of the work.  Typical of many higher-graded trades and crafts jobs, the Physical Effort and Working Conditions factors are identical at all JGS-defined levels.  These two factors generally have grade-level significance only for lower-graded jobs; e.g., heavier physical demands help distinguish between 3502 Laboring work at grades 2 and 3.  As a result, we will discuss these two factors only if relevant to distinguishing between grade levels in our application of the aforementioned JGSs.

Evaluation using the JGS for Locksmithing, 4804

Skill and Knowledge

Grade 8 level locksmiths apply a thorough knowledge of the internal structure and operating characteristics of a wide range of makes, models, and types of common mechanical locking mechanisms and of their working interrelationships with related components comprising the locking system of the security units in which they are installed in order to select methods used in neutralizing, troubleshooting and repairing the locking mechanisms.  Trouble-shooting at this level is more complicated than at the grade 7 level since the locking devices are typically connected to locking bolts within the container, may be linked to other combination locks and/or are activated by timing mechanisms.  Thus in the event of lockouts caused by defective parts, locksmiths at this level must determine through operational tests which of the components is malfunctioning.  They apply sound judgment in the selection of commonly used neutralization techniques.  Based upon knowledge of points of least resistance of the locking mechanisms and/or containers, they determine precise locations and angles for drilling and/or burning without harming the contents or causing irrevocable damage to the locking mechanisms or the containers.  Depending upon what is malfunctioning, they may aim for safe relocking devices, lock fence removal, lock lever screw removal, lock trigger removal or locking bolt work removal.  They have knowledge of a variety of metals in order to select the drill bits or torches to be used in neutralizing the lockouts.

At the grade 8 level, locksmiths are skilled in the manipulation of combination locks as well as picking key locks.  They also perform the full repair cycle on a wide range of commercially manufactured locking devices as well as locking bolts.  They independently interpret and apply technical manuals, manufacturer diagrams and specifications while repairing and testing locking mechanisms.  Many locksmiths at this level have a knowledge of master key systems in order to set up coding systems involving varying types of locks and keyways.  They are skilled in using electric drills, acetylene torches, soldering irons and brazing torches, bench lathes, and drill presses.

In contrast, grade 9 locksmiths apply a thorough knowledge of the full range of locking devices and their parts in order to select substitute parts which would be suitable for use in fabricating locking devices to meet special security objectives.  They experiment with various types of materials such as metals, alloys, and plastics when developing parts and components.  They are able to select appropriate materials considering such factors as needed strength and hardness, machining characteristics, environmental factors, and the extent to which the materials used could complicate or hamper the use of standard neutralization techniques.  In comparison, grade 8 locksmiths service a wide variety of commonly used locks, and the functions they perform involve repairing, replacing or fabricating parts covered by manufacturer parts catalogs and specifications.

Grade 9 locksmiths also apply a broad knowledge of the functions and capabilities of commercially manufactured locking devices, as well as their working interrelationships with a variety of equipment such as monitors, alarms, timing mechanisms, sensors, and other related items which make up a complete security or surveillance system in order to provide management with recommendations regarding the most suitable locks to be used in solving specific security problems.  In comparison, grade 8 locksmiths need only apply knowledge of the internal structure and operating characteristics of locking devices in order to trouble-shoot and repair them.  Locksmiths at this level also apply a more in-depth knowledge of neutralization techniques than grade 8 locksmiths when conducting investigations to determine if locking devices have been tampered with; e.g., they carefully disassemble the lock and examine for tool marks, abrasions, etc., that would indicate the possibility of an attempted break-in.

At the grade 9 level, locksmiths perform the full installation and repair cycle on commercially manufactured locking devices, as well as rework locks to improve or provide new structural or functional capabilities.  They are skilled in developing drawings or diagrams which identify necessary dimensions and special parts or surfaces to be used in the manufacture and installation processes.  In comparison, grade 8 locksmiths have available appropriate guidelines, manufacturer drawings, diagrams and technical manuals.  Grade 9 locksmiths are skilled in reworking and finishing substitute parts and fabricating parts to close fits.  They coordinate their work with personnel in other shops or trades; i.e., machinists in identifying tolerances and machining irregularly shaped parts.  They assemble, test, and evaluate the completed locking devices considering the desired objectives.

The appellant’s job meets the grade 8 level.  Like this level, he applies a thorough knowledge of the internal structure and operating characteristics of a wide range of makes, models and types of common mechanical locking mechanisms and of their working interrelationships with related components.  He applies sound judgment and improvisation in selecting commonly used neutralization techniques such as picking, drilling, and cutting to ensure when possible a locking device can be repaired and returned to service.  In the case of lockouts caused by defective parts, the appellant determines through mechanical or electronic operational tests which of the components is malfunctioning.  The appellant performs precision drilling and burning without irrevocably harming container contents or the locking mechanisms, and selects drill bits or torches based in part on knowledge of a variety of metals.  Comparable to the grade 8 level, the appellant is skilled in picking key locks, and performs the full repair cycle on commercially manufactured locking devices and locking bolts. 

The appellant’s job does not meet the grade 9 level.  While he has knowledge of the full range of locking devices and their parts, he is not involved in substituting parts suitable for use in fabricating locking devices to meet special security objectives.  Unlike the grade 9 level, he does not perform locksmithing duties in support of a complete security or surveillance system, and does not work with major elements of such a system, e.g., monitors/surveillance systems.  While there is one lock on the rooftop of the hotel towers that is connected to an alarm, if the alarm is set off, it is the responsibility of the security team to reset the alarm and the appellant is only involved if the lock on the door needs to be repaired.  He determines whether customer requests for specific locks are justified and might suggest specific locks to ensure customer satisfaction with their quality, but he does not provide management with recommendations for the most suitable locks to be used to solve specific security problems. 

While the appellant has to find substitute parts in order to repair a core magnetic lock and key which is no longer manufactured, the modifications would be needed to ensure the continued function of the device and would not involve any new or special security objective.   Although the appellant must be familiar with the installation and repair of common locking devices and replacement parts and may need to fabricate basic parts to replace worn mechanisms, unlike the grade 9 level he does not rework locks to improve or provide new structural or functional capabilities.  The appellant might need to make adjustments external to a lock to make it work as intended, e.g., alter a container or assign a location where an electronic lock will work, but unlike the grade 9 level he does not redesign, rework, or otherwise modify the lock itself. 

The appellant stresses he applies a thorough knowledge of computerized electronic locks and electronic locking systems requiring him to download information from a computer to program and repair room keycards.  He believes that such work with computerized locking systems and devices requires knowledge and skill exceeding the grade 9 level.  The record shows the appellant uses a hand-held computerized coding device to read malfunction codes and enter simple commands to encode the key card, e.g., code the room number but not by any restoration protocols but by entering data, e.g., room number; and replaces circuit boards as necessary.  Such tasks reflect or build upon his primary knowledge of locks and locking systems, cover simple data processing, and do not change his basic locksmith duties.  The knowledge necessary to perform these tasks was acquired by the appellant primarily from a few hours of training provided by the manufacturer.  This knowledge and attendant skills reflect the gradual evolution of locksmithing technology.  Because this knowledge supports his primary tasks, and is easily obtainable on the job, it does not significantly enhance the knowledge and skill level required to perform the appellant’s work.  Thus, it has no grade-level impact. 

Responsibility

Grade 8 locksmiths receive assignments from the supervisor either orally or through general work orders indicating location, person to contact for further information, and priorities.  Normally the supervisor supervises other trades such as machinists, carpenters, modelmakers, etc., and has little if any technical knowledge of locksmithing practices and procedures.  The nature of assignments requires that work typically be performed on-site, necessitating the locksmiths to use sound judgment in independently selecting work processes, techniques, and tools and equipment; and determining work sequence and type and extent of necessary repairs.  They are responsible for planning, setting up, and maintaining master key systems and assuring that no interchanges occur.  They may also be responsible for providing technical assistance to lower-graded workers and for coordinating their work with others.  Due to the nature of assignments and the supervisor’s limited technical knowledge, completed work is not reviewed for adherence to accepted trade practices but rather for effectiveness of meeting schedules and customer needs.

Grade 9 locksmiths receive assignments from the supervisor specifying the desired final product.  They independently solve problems which require modifying accepted trade practices, procedures and methods and must make more difficult judgments and decisions when modifying and reworking locking devices for special security objectives than is required of grade 8 locksmiths, who apply accepted trade practices in conjunction with the application of specific guidelines and technical manuals.  Grade 9 locksmiths may also be responsible for providing technical assistance and guidance to remote customer locations.  They typically receive no technical supervision, and their work is reviewed on the basis of meeting user needs.

The appellant’s responsibility meets the grade 8 level.  He receives assignments from the supervisor (Supervisory Engineering Technician) through general work orders, given during morning meetings, indicating customer and location or through retrieval from the hotel’s service order management system, Hotel Service Optimization Service (HotSOS).  The supervisor has no technical knowledge of locksmithing practices and procedures.  Work is performed on-site in accordance with standard trade practices.  The appellant independently selects work processes, techniques, tools and equipment; and determines work sequence and type and extent of necessary repairs.  Completed work is reviewed only for effectiveness of meeting schedules and customer needs. 

The appellant’s responsibility does not meet the grade 9 level.  Although he receives no technical supervision from his supervisor and work is reviewed on the basis of meeting user needs, unlike the higher level the appellant rarely deviates from accepted trade practices, procedures, and methods and does not do so for the purpose of modifying or reworking locking devices for special security objectives.  The hotel has a complete security team comprising civilian employees who perform security guard duties, monitor television surveillance systems, specify and oversee maintenance on security systems, and work with security equipment, e.g., pop-up bollards and gates.  In addition, hotel security maintains the responsibility of granting access and permissions to all electronic key cards (e.g., Saflok and VingCards). 

Physical Effort

The physical effort described at the grade 8 level is the same for the grade 9 level in the JGS.  In addition to the physical effort described at the grade 7 level, which involves lifting or carrying items weighing in excess of 7 kilograms (15 pounds), and frequent standing, stooping, bending, or kneeling in awkward work areas, grade 8 level locksmiths may be required to lift items weighing up to 23 kilograms (50 pounds) and heavier weights with assistance.  The appellant’s job fully meets the grade 8 level. 

Working Conditions

The working conditions described at the grade 8 level are the same for the grade 9 level in the JGS.  In addition to the working conditions described at the grade 7 level, which involves working inside in well-lighted and ventilated areas, with occasional work outside in bad weather, and exposure to cuts and scrapes, grade 8 locksmiths are exposed to the possibility of burns while using acetylene torches, brazing torches, and soldering irons.  The appellant’s job fully meets the grade 8 level. 

Evaluation using the JGS for Electrician, 2805

The 2805 JGS covers nonsupervisory work involved in the installation, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair of electrical wiring systems, fixtures, controls, and equipment in industrial, institutional, office, and residential buildings, and on ships.  These jobs require knowledge and application of electrical principles, materials, and safety standards.

Skill and Knowledge

At the grade 8 level, electrical workers require knowledge of where fixtures, wiring, and controls, such as switches, circuit breakers, fuses, relays, and outlets, are installed and how they operate.  They must have the ability to read and follow wiring diagrams that specify where wiring, fixtures, and controls are installed or are to be hooked up and show the skill needed to remove and replace fixtures and controls, and to make repairs such as tightening connections, wrapping exposed wiring with insulating tape, and soldering loose wire leads to contact points. They must also have the skill needed to rearrange old or install new outlets, relays, switches, and light fixtures in existing systems, and to test circuits to see if they are complete after making repairs or installations.  At this grade, electrical workers must have the skill needed to measure, cut and bend wire and conduit to specified lengths and angles.  They must have the skill in the use of hand tools and portable power tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers, wirecutters, strippers, drills, soldering irons, and manual or power conduit benders and threaders; and a limited variety of test equipment, e.g., meggers, test lamps, and ammeters.

At the grade 10 level, electricians must have a knowledge of the operation and installation of a variety of complete electrical systems and equipment such as series, parallel, and compound circuits for single and multiple phase alternating current of varying voltage, amperage, and frequency; wiring systems in industrial complexes and in buildings; and power or regulating and control circuits and distribution panels to industrial machinery, ships’ control equipment, computers or laboratory and other electrical equipment.  Because grade 10 electricians plan, lay out, install, modify, troubleshoot, and repair a variety of complete systems as well as any parts of these systems, they must have greater knowledge than grade 8 electrical workers about how various circuits, equipment, and controls operate, fit, and work together.  

Grade 10 electricians must have a knowledge of the various gauges, sizes, and types of wire, conduit, couplings, fittings, relays, boxes, circuit breakers, and other electrical devices, and the ability to arrange and install them in ways that ensure proper and safe operation of electrical systems and equipment.  They must have the ability to interpret and apply the National Electrical Code (NEC), local codes, building plans, blueprints, wiring diagrams, and engineering drawings, and to use trade formulas to calculate common properties, e.g., voltage, voltage drop and current capability in series and parallel circuits, resistance, inductance, capacitance, power factor, current flow, and temperature, and length in single and multiple raceways, conduits, gutters, and cable trays.  They must have skill in the use of hand tools; power tools, such as cable pullers, hydraulic benders, and pipe threading machines; and a wide variety of test equipment, e.g., meggers, multimeters, frequency meters, watt meters, power factor meters, vibro-grounds, phase rotation meters, audio tone location equipment, high potential testers, ground fault interrupter testing equipment, recording ampmeters, circuit analyzers, circuit breaker testers, resistance bridges, and cathodic protection test sets.  Additionally, some positions require a basic familiarity with electronics to electronic components.  For example, the electrician may recognize parts, such as resistors, capacitors, and transistors; may operate basic test equipment such as signal generators, signal tracers, and oscilloscopes; and may read schematics of uncomplicated assemblies to determine locations of defective parts. 

The appellant’s job meets the grade 8 level.  Comparable to this level, the appellant has the knowledge and skill to check out and replace light fixtures, switches, outlets, fuses and circuit breakers throughout the hotel facilities.  For instance, when an outlet is not working, he checks the breaker; if the problem does not involve the breaker, he removes and replaces the outlet.  Like at this level, the appellant makes repairs that can be accomplished by removing, replacing, tightening, splicing, soldering, and insulating defective wiring, equipment and fixtures.  For example, he fixes light ballast starters and repairs burned wiring by stripping, cutting and replacing it.  He locates and repairs loose connections, damaged light fixtures, poorly operating thermostats, and he repairs electrical components of kitchen water heaters and disposal units.  Also, like at this level, the appellant has the ability to read and follow wiring diagrams that specify where wiring, fixtures and controls are installed or are to be hooked up.  For example, during a power outage, the appellant locates circuit breaker panels or controls to override certain areas of the hotel so when the power comes back up it does not cause damage to installed systems.  Like at this level, the appellant has the skill in the use of hand tools and portable power tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers, wire cutters, strippers, drills, manual or power conduit benders and threaders; and a limited variety of test equipment, e.g., test lamps and ammeters.

The appellant’s work does not meet the grade 10 level.  The work at this level which requires knowledge on how various electrical systems, circuits, equipment and controls are installed, operate, and work together to support industrial operations, computer complexes, or similar complex electrical loads.  Unlike this level, the appellant is responsible for repair and replacement of non-complex office or residential type work through visual inspection or through the use of a small variety of test equipment (i.e., test and polarity lamps) and a limited portion of more complex electrical systems found in the electrical and heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) rooms of the hotel, as is typical of the grade 8 level electrical workers.  Work requiring the application of grade 10 level knowledge and skill on the systems maintained by the appellant is performed by independent contractors.  We find the skill and knowledge required to perform the appellant’s regular and recurring work is comparable to the grade 8 level.

Responsibility

At the grade 8 level, a higher-graded worker or a supervisor plans, lays out, and assigns work orally or through work orders and wiring diagrams.  Grade 8 electrical worker selects tools, decides on methods and techniques to use, and carry out the work with little check during its progress.  They use materials called for in work orders and schematic drawings, or obtain replacement parts by comparison with samples such as switches and wall outlet fixtures.  They replace worn or bad switches, relays, and outlets by unscrewing or cutting wiring from connections, inserting the replacement, and splicing, tightening, and soldering wiring to connections.  They also install or rearrange light fixtures, switches, and outlets by following schematic drawings that provide the exact work specifications, e.g., the location where the electrical wiring is to be hooked into the installed system; the type, size, and measurements of wire, conduit, couplings, and fittings to use; and the type and placement of the electrical device to be installed.  Routine repair and maintenance duties are accomplished independently.  If unusual problems arise, or if installation or repair of unfamiliar or complex industrial electrical systems is assigned, a supervisor or higher-graded worker provides advice and checks to see that completed work meets requirements.

Grade 10 electricians work from building plans, wiring diagrams, and engineering drawings.  They are responsible for planning and laying out the routing, placement, and arrangement of industrial or similarly complex systems, circuits, controls, and equipment.  They determine installations and repairs including such things as the types, sizes, gauges, and lay out of conduit, wiring, couplings, fittings, relays, controls, and distribution panels, and other electrical devices used in a variety of complete electrical systems and the best methods of installation and repair.  They are responsible for safe and proper operation of systems and equipment, and for compliance with the NEC.  They complete installations, modifications, and repairs, and load and test systems, circuits, equipment, and controls with little or no check during the progress or upon completion of the work.  The supervisor checks overall work to see that it meets accepted trade standards and is completed in a timely manner.

The appellant performs his routine tasks independently as is typical at the grade 8 level.  Like at the grade 8 level, the appellant is expected to report to the supervisor the need for major repairs.  When problems develop requiring work on the types of circuits and equipment typical of the grade 10 level, the work is performed by an electrician (i.e., contractor, since hotel electrician retired and position was not filled).  Although the appellant functions with little or no supervision and does not have a higher-graded employee setting job order requirements or inspecting his work, he does not perform the work at the grade 10 electrical work as discussed previously.  Specifically, he is not responsible for laying out the complex systems described at the grade 10 level.  Thus, this factor is credited at the grade 8 level.  

Evaluation using the JGS for Plumbing, 4206

This JGS is used to grade nonsupervisory work involved in installation, modification, and repair of utility, supply, and disposal systems, fixtures, fittings, and equipment such as sewage, water, gas, and oil lines, compressed air, vacuum, and acid systems, water closets, water heaters, hydrants, valves, and pumps. 

Skill and Knowledge

At the grade 7 level, plumbing workers must have knowledge of standard plumbing methods and techniques.  For example, plumbing workers must know to measure, cut, bend, and thread pipe and tile, and how to caulk and seal such things as elbows, union joints, tile pipe, faucets, and shower drains.  Plumbing workers must have the skill needed to remove, clean, reinstall, or replace joints and fixtures, e.g., traps, faucets, and unions.  Grade 7 plumbing workers must also have the skill needed to hook up equipment (for e.g., water heaters and disposal units) to installed systems, and replace sections of pipe and tile by following previously-used routes, hangers, and levels.  Plumbing workers must have the ability to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and work with simple factions.  They must also have skill in the use of tools and equipment such as tapes, rules, hacksaws, hand and power pipe threaders and cutters, packing and caulking irons, and pipe wrenches. 

At the grade 9 level, plumbers must have knowledge of how various supply, disposal, and utility systems and equipment, such as water and gas systems, fire sprinkler equipment, and water closets, are installed and operate.  Plumbers must have the ability to plan and lay out the installation and modification of various systems and equipment, for e.g., the routing, openings, slant, and level of gas and water lines, and the location and arrangement of water closets, sinks, and fire sprinkler equipment.  Plumbers must have the ability to interpret and apply building plans and blueprints, use shop mathematics, and lay out such things as angles, arcs, and circles.  Grade 9 plumbers must have skill in the use of any of the accepted trade methods and techniques, such as wiping and pouring lead joints, seating equipment, and installing any combinations of couplings, unions, and joints needed for the proper operation of the systems.  Plumbers must also have skill in the use of tools and equipment such as plumb bobs, mercury gauges, dividers, closet augers, hydrostatic pumps, and lead pots. 

The appellant’s job meets the grade 7 level.  Like at the grade 7 level, he uses knowledge of standard plumbing methods and techniques when repairing or replacing leaking faucets, toilets, and shower heads in the hotel’s facilities and guestrooms.  Also, like at this level, the appellant has the skill to replace sections of pipes and tile that are broken or warped by following previously routes, hanger and levels.  Similar to the grade 7 level, he uses common plumbing tools such as hacksaws, pipe threaders and cutters, packing and caulking irons, snakes and various wrenches, e.g., strap, basin and locking wrenches. 

The appellant’s job does not meet the grade 9 level.  Unlike this grade, the appellant’s work orders to not require the planning and laying out the installation and modification of various systems and equipment.  Rather, his tasks involve repair of existing components of relatively non-complex systems typical of the grade 7 level.  The nature of the appellant’s tasks do not require him apply knowledge of how various supply, disposal, and utility systems and equipment are installed and operate, as described at the higher level.  Therefore, this factor is credited at the grade 7 level.

Responsibility

At the grade 7 level, a higher-graded worker or supervisor assigns work orally or through work order and sketches.  Grade 7 plumbing workers select tools, decide on methods and techniques to use, and carry out the work with little check during its progress.  They use materials that are specified in work orders, or obtain replacement parts, such as unions, traps and elbows, by comparison with samples. Plumbing workers also measure, cut, bend, and thread pipe and tile according to measurements specified in work orders or sketches, or by measurements take from samples.  They install equipment, such as water heaters and disposal units, and replace sections and tile by following exactly previously used routes, openings, hangers and levels and reconnecting equipment units to already-installed systems.  A higher-graded worker or the supervisor gives advice on unusual problems, and checks to see that completed work meets requirements.

At the grade 9 level, the supervisor assigns work orally, and through work orders, building plans, and blueprints.  Grade 9 plumbers plan and lay out the needed routing, placement, slant, slope, and fall systems.  They determine that parts (e.g., pipe, reduction couplings, elbows, traps and valves) are the proper kind and size.  Grade 9 plumbers also complete installations, modification and repairs with little or no check during their progress or upon completion.  They test and make needed adjustments to systems and equipment, after completing the work, for proper operation, flow, drainage, and sanitary conditions.  The supervisor checks the plumbers overall work to see that it meets accepted trade standards. 

The appellant’s work meets the grade 7 level.  The appellant’s typical tasks include checking for leaks, clearing stoppages in drain pipes; disassembling and repairing damaged sections; or repairing and replacing toilets, faucets, sinks, shower stalls, tiles, and showerheads.  Like the grade 7 level, this work may involve repairing or replacing the equipment already in place, such as water heaters and sections of pipe and tile, by following previously used routes, openings, hangers, and levels, and then re-connecting units to already-installed systems. The work that he performs does not involve complete installations (i.e., the planning and laying out of the routing, placement, slant, fall, and proper location of plumbing systems), modifications, and repairs described at the grade 9 level.  Therefore, this factor is credited at the grade 7 level.

Evaluation using the JGS for Air Conditioning, 5306

This JGS covers nonsupervisory work that is performed to repair and modify a variety of equipment and systems that achieve regulated climatic conditions.  This work requires a knowledge of principles of air conditioning, the ability to recognize and determine the best method for correcting malfunctions, and the skill to make repairs to a variety of air conditioning and cooling unit systems. 

Skill and Knowledge

Grade 8 mechanics use a basic knowledge of the principles and theories of the refrigeration cycle, temperature measurement, the properties of several refrigerants, and the knowledge of the construction and operation of a variety of domestic units and systems such as domestic and commercial refrigeration and air conditioning units, walk-in and reach-in coolers, refrigerators, ice cream cabinets, and equipment of comparable complexity.  Grade 8 mechanics use a knowledge of the refrigeration cycle of a variety of systems to make proper operation of different parts of the refrigeration cycle; proper temperature of conditioned spaces; the proper operation of different parts of the refrigeration cycle; proper oil levels; unusual noises; overheated bearings; loose connections; faulty insulation; frayed or loose belts, gaskets and pulleys; and other similar defects. 

Grade 8 air conditioning equipment mechanics are skilled in servicing power sources.  For example, they tighten connections, make splices, insulate exposed wires, and clean and lubricate moving parts, and they test for proper operation and replace items such as belts, fans, and fuses.  Grade 8 mechanics are also skilled in replacing major portions of various cooling units, such as compressors, condensers, expansion valves, float and service valves, thermostats, coils, and drive assemblies. 

Grade 10 mechanics use knowledge of the refrigeration cycle of a variety of commercial and industrial systems to locate and check elements such as those which control low side and high side pressure; the temperature of the cooling units; the temperatures of the liquid and suction lines; and the running time of the various mechanisms.  They check for the probability of leaks by visual and audible examination of equipment components; by applying prescribed test procedures and equipment; and by exploration of probable reasons for equipment failure.  They know principles and theories of air conditioning and refrigeration such as the refrigeration cycle, heat transfer laws, the use of refrigerant tables, how to calculate airflow, and the pressure temperature characteristics for the different systems in order to locate and repair faulty equipment swiftly and to reduce inoperative time to a minimum.  They know how to locate trouble before dismantling and to make repairs which ensure proper functioning after assembly.

Malfunctions of larger, more varied and complex systems are more difficult to locate than those described at the grade 8 level because the controls are more difficult to balance.  For example, the systems which grade 10 mechanics know may include those with a variety of compressors such as gear, reciprocating, centrifugal, or rotary pump, and a variety of refrigerant controls such as those with low and high pressure side, automatic thermostatic expansion valves, capillary or choke types and those based on volume or quantity changes.  A variety of complicated motor controls are also used such as hermetically sealed motors and pressure controls, thermostatic motor controls (remote and double remote), full and semi-automatic defrosting controls, relays, and other controls to protect against overload or overheating.  Various types of power sources are used with various combinations or pulleys, belts, horse power capacity, and tensioners. 

The appellant’s job meets the grade 8 level.  Like this level, he is knowledgeable of the principles and theories of the refrigeration cycle, temperature measurement, the properties of several refrigerants to recognize the causes of faulty equipment and make repairs on domestic and commercial refrigeration and air condition units and systems throughout the hotel (i.e., in refrigeration units in kitchens, chiller rooms and air conditioning units in ballrooms and guest rooms).  He makes visual, audible and mechanical checks to identify unusual noises, loose connections, faulty coils, belts, motors and other similar defects in air conditioning units.  Similar to the grade 8 level air conditioning equipment mechanic, the appellant services power sources and tightens connections, makes splices, cleans and lubricates moving parts, tests for proper operation and replaces items such as belts, fans and fuses when repairing air handlers, refrigerators, and deep and walk in freezers. 

The appellant’s job does not meet the grade 10 level.  Unlike that level, where work involves installing, recognizing the cause of faulty equipment, and making repairs on large systems with more complex problems and with more extensive repairs requiring difficult determinations concerning the location of faulty equipment and the kind and type of supplies needed to repair and balance the systems, the units and systems serviced by the appellant are located in single or adjoining areas or otherwise designed so that a few testing techniques will locate worn and broken parts.  Work at the grade 10 level is performed by the hotel’s air conditioning equipment mechanics. 

Responsibility

At the grade 8 level, the supervisor assigns work through work orders, blueprints, sketches, and other oral and written instructions.  Grade 8 mechanics select their tools, decide on the methods and techniques to use, and complete the work with little check in progress.  They select materials and obtain replacement parts by comparison with the part to be replaced, or by reference to supply lists and manufacturers’ catalogs.  They test the units or systems upon completion of the repair to ensure that the air is conditioned or equipment is repaired according to requirements.

At the grade 10 level, the supervisor assigns work orally and through work orders accompanied by building plans, shop sketches, or blue prints.  Grade 10 Air Conditioning Equipment Mechanics plan their testing procedures, determine the proper kind and type of parts and equipment they need, and install and repair a variety of systems with little or no check during the progress of the assignment. Completed work is checked to ensure that it meets accepted practices.

The appellant’s responsibility meets the grade 8 level.  Comparable to grade level 8, the appellant receives oral instructions through work order calls and performs.  Like at this level, he selects materials and obtains parts to be replaced, if available by comparison with the part to be replaced.  He tests the units or system upon completion of repair to ensure it meets requirements.  Unlike the grade 10 level, the appellant’s work does not require the judgment and independent action to plan testing procedures or determine the equipment needed to be installed.  These program demands rest with the hotel’s air conditioning mechanics.  Therefore, this factor is credited at the grade 8 level.

Summary

The appellant’s work is evaluated as follows:

Locksmith, 4804-8

Electrical Worker, 2805-8

Plumbing Worker, 4206-7

Air Conditioning Equipment Mechanic, 5306-8

We find the highest level of regular and recurring work performed by the appellant is grade 8.  

Decision

The appellant’s job is properly graded as Maintenance Worker, NA-4749-8.

 

 

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