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Decision No. 70

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April 26 1950
In Re: Basic Salary Plan

Digest of Case

Although by the general terms of Paragraph 807, Discipline of 1948, District Superintendents are not included in the classification of 44 "regular active itinerants" (see Judicial Council Decision 65), yet in an Annual Conference which provides for support of District Superintendents on recommendation of the Conference Commission on World Service and Finance (Paragraph 788), if it also adopts the Basic Salary Plan, there should be included therein the support of District Superintendents.

Statement of Facts

At the 1949 session of the Judicial Council, there was submitted for review a decision of Bishop Hazen G. Werner made in the Lima District Conference as to the application of the legislation adopted by the 1948 General Conference concerning the "Basic Salary Plan." (See Judicial Council Decision 65.) One of the questions propounded to the Bishop for a ruling thereon was as to whether or not the provisions of Paragraph 807, Discipline 1948, applied to District Superintendents. On the record, as submitted to the Judicial Council at that time, the Judicial Council then held as follows: "DistrictSuperintendents, as indicated in answer to question 2, are not included by the term 'regular active itinerants' as used in this particular Paragraph." Subsequent to the handing down of the foregoing opinion, there has been submitted a statement to the Judicial Council by Bishop Werner referring to his previous ruling, and quoting a clause from Paragraph 788, Discipline of 1948, as follows: "If an Annual Conference adopts the Basic Salary Plan (Paragraph 807) for ministerial support, the support for the several District Superintendents thereof shall be included therein." The Judicial Council is accordingly now asked to reconsider the ruling heretofore affirmed, as affected by the clause above quoted, and to review the whole matter involved therein.

Decision

For an adequate consideration of the proposition it must be noticed that there are different plans provided by the Discipline for the support of District Superintendents. The first plan is set forth in Paragraph 788, wherein it is made the duty of the Conference Commission on World Service and Finance "to estimate the total amount necessary to furnish a sufficient and equitable support for the District Superintendents of the Conference, including salary and suitable provisions for dwelling, travel, and office expense." Another plan is set forth in Paragraph 789, which permits Annual Conferences to "provide for support of District Superintendents through the Board of District Stewards in each of the several Districts." The foregoing Paragraphs are substantially the same as Paragraphs 788 and 789 of the 1944 Discipline, except that in Paragraph 788 of the 1948 Discipline, there has been inserted the sentence quoted above as to which the Judicial Council is now asked to rule. It is to be particularly noted that the so-called "Basic Salary Plan" is new in our Church legislation, and first appears as Paragraph 807 in the 1948 Discipline, which provides how an Annual Conference may adopt such a plan. It was with reference to the legal application of this Paragraph 807 that the Judicial Council was asked to review the ruling of the Bishop at its 1949 session. On the record as then presented to the Judicial Council, the ruling of the Bishop was affirmed, and we now hold that such affirmation was correct. What we are now asked to rule upon is the application of the sentence inserted in Paragraph 788, above quoted. We accordingly now hold that, in those Annual Conferences which provide for the support of District Superintendents on the recommendation of the Conference Commission on World Service and Finance (Paragraph 788), and which also adopt the Basic Salary Plan as set forth in Paragraph 807 the support of District Superintendents shall be included. However, as this clause was inserted only in Paragraph 788 it must be concluded that it does not apply to any other plan for the support of District Superintendents. Therefore, as to Paragraph 789, where support is provided through the Boards of District Stewards, even though such Annual Conference might adopt the Basic Salary Plan of Paragraph 807, the District Superintendents would not be included therein. Accordingly as modified by the foregoing opinion, the ruling of the Judicial Council as heretofore handed down is hereby affirmed.

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