It is the policy of Congress that rates of pay of prevailing rate employees be fixed and adjusted from time to time as nearly as is consistent with the public interest in accordance with prevailing rates and be based on principles that—
(1) there will be equal pay for substantially equal work for all prevailing rate employees who are working under similar conditions of employment in all agencies within the same local wage area;
(2) there will be relative differences in pay within a local wage area when there are substantial or recognizable differences in duties, responsibilities, and qualification requirements among positions;
(3) the level of rates of pay will be maintained in line with prevailing levels for comparable work within a local wage area; and
(4) the level of rates of pay will be maintained so as to attract and retain qualified prevailing rate employees.
(Added Pub. L. 92–392, §1(a), Aug. 19, 1972, 86 Stat. 564.)
A prior section 5341, Pub. L. 89–554, Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 471; Pub. L. 90–83, §1(97), Sept. 11, 1967, 81 Stat. 220; Pub. L. 90–560, §4, Oct. 12, 1968, 82 Stat. 997, provided prevailing rate system for trades and crafts and is covered by sections 5343(c), (d) and 5349(a) of this title.
Pub. L. 92–392, §15(a), Aug. 19, 1972, 86 Stat. 575, provided that: "The provisions of this Act [enacting this subchapter and section 5550 of this title, amending sections 2105, 5337, 5541, 5544, 5548, 6101, 7154, and 8704 of this title, repealing section 6102 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 5341 and 5343 of this title and sections 4531 and 4571 of Title 2, The Congress] are effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period which begins on or after the ninetieth day after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 19, 1972], except that, in the case of those employees referred to in section 5342(a)(2)(B) and (C) of title 5, United States Code (as amended by the first section of this Act), such provisions are effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period which begins on or after the one hundred and eightieth day after such date of enactment or on such earlier date (not earlier than the ninetieth day after such date of enactment) as the Civil Service Commission may prescribe. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, section 5343(e)(1)(D) and (E) and (e)(2)(C), as enacted by the first section of this Act, shall not be effective until the first day of the first pay period commencing after (1) the date on which the President ceases to exercise his authority under the Economic Stabilization Act of 1970 [formerly set out as a note under section 1904 of Title 12, Banks and Banking] to stabilize wages and salaries, or (2) April 30, 1973, whichever occurs first."
Pub. L. 92–392, §13, Aug. 19, 1972, 86 Stat. 575, provided that:
"(a) All laws or parts of laws inconsistent with this Act [see Effective Date note above] are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.
"(b) Subsection (a) of this section does not repeal or otherwise affect section 5102(d) of title 5, United States Code, section 305 of title 44 of such Code, or the provisions contained in section 180 of former title 31, United States Code."