- About Us
- Legislative Center
- Contact Us
A Historic Win for NAPS
By Chuck Mulidore
NAPS Executive Vice President
On Feb. 22, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued its opinion in NAPS v. U.S. Postal Service. As I’m sure you know by now, it was a great win for NAPS members! Not only did the court overturn the federal district court judge’s dismissal of our lawsuit filed in 2019 over the pay consultation process from 2016-2019, the court also recognized NAPS’ rights we correctly have been claiming for over 40 years.
Specifically, that claim is NAPS represents all EAS employees—supervisors, managers and postmasters—regardless whether they work in the field or at Postal Service Headquarters—for purposes of pay and benefits consultations. As for representing postmasters in pay and benefits, on page 31 of its decision, the court stipulated: “It follows that Section 1004(b) requires the Postal Service to consult with the Association [NAPS] regarding compensation for these employees [postmasters].”
This is significant because postmasters now will have the largest and strongest postal management organization representing them in pay and benefits consultations. It is unfortunate the organization that previously had exclusively represented postmasters sided with the Postal Service on this issue and, thus, was summarily defeated in its efforts to prevent NAPS from representing postmasters.
That organization should have joined with NAPS for the greater good of all EAS employees, yet, apparently, its leadership could not overcome their own parochial self-interest and sided with the Postal Service in the lawsuit. In NAPS’ opinion, the issue of representation has been settled and is considered law.
The court remanded, or sent back, to the federal district court two issues—supervisory differential and private-sector pay comparability—to determine what pay is owed from 2016 through 2019 and to order backpay as appropriate.
The Appeals Court also held that the Postal Service failed to provide a fair pay differential between supervisors and the employees they supervise, as well as holding that the Postal Service failed to compensate EAS employees comparably to their counterparts in the private sector, as required by law. NAPS will continue its untiring efforts to resolve these key issues, whether through additional court proceedings or resolution with the Postal Service.
One of the more troubling aspects of this lawsuit is why did it have to happen? Why would the Postal Service deny NAPS something so clearly written in the law?
NAPS has argued for over four decades that it has the right to represent all EAS employees in pay and benefits consultations, based on Title 39 of the U.S. Code. Yet the Postal Service denied this obvious fact.
Why did the Postal Service claim it had compared EAS positions to similar jobs in the private sector when it had not? We may never know the answers to these questions, but now is not the time to look back, but, rather, the time to look ahead.
While this is a good win for NAPS, there still is more work to be done. In fact, the work of promoting the well-being of all EAS employees in the Postal Service never ends. It is why NAPS exists—for almost 114 years.
This lawsuit win represents a seminal day in the proud history of NAPS; we should all celebrate and rejoice. But, the work continues.