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FY20 PFP—Leaping to Conclusions
By Brian J. Wagner
Happy Leap New Year! I hope your 2019 was all you had hoped it would be. However, if it fell short of your expectations, I wish 2020 to be a better year for you and your family. The good news: It’s a leap year. For 2020, you have an extra day for fun, relaxation or contemplation, if needed.
What NAPS expected in 2019 was a favorable USPS FY16-19 EAS pay decision. Unfortunately, that fell short of our expectations. Does that mean the FY20 PFP will be better? Here’s the scoop!
On July 26, 2019, NAPS filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service for its failure to comply with the law (Title 39, Section 1004) regarding the agency’s final FY16-19 EAS field pay decision issued on May 15, 2019. In addition, our legal complaint seeks NAPS’ rights under the law to represent all EAS employees, including postmasters and EAS employees who report to USPS Headquarters and area offices.
Although our lawsuit is pending, time does not stop and neither does the business of NAPS with the USPS. NAPS continues to attend monthly consultative meetings, briefings on postal policy and operational changes and special meetings with USPS executive leadership, to name just a few business activities.
What also has not stopped, but has yet to be scheduled, is the USPS/NAPS pay consultation for FY20 and, potentially, future fiscal years. Title 39 has not changed; consequently, neither have the rules that govern when a new round of EAS pay consultations may begin. However, that has not stopped the Postal Service from implying there is an EAS FY20 Pay-for-Performance (PFP) system now in place.
I caution members about leaping to conclusions about a FY20 PFP. To be clear, NAPS and the USPS have not consulted or agreed on any official FY20-or-beyond EAS pay agreement, including any aspects of a PFP system.
The Postal Service still continues to implement and promote an FY20 National Performance Assessment (NPA) program with numerous corporate and unit indicators, various unit scorecards and continuous messaging about NPA goals. The USPS has the right to establish all the FY20 NPA goals it wants.
No matter how much the USPS may tout that EAS employees must achieve the current fiscal year’s NPA goals in order to earn a PFP payout for FY20, that simply is not true. Again, the USPS and NAPS have yet to consult on any EAS pay agreement for FY20 and beyond. Therefore, in NAPS’ viewpoint, a FY20 PFP does not exist.
However, if the Postal Service goes ahead and relates the achievement of FY20 NPA goals to an EAS PFP payout for FY20 without consultation with NAPS, the Postal Service again would be in violation of Title 39. This type of unilateral EAS pay process by the USPS is one with which NAPS does not agree.
What NAPS can agree with is the three-member Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) fact-finding panel’s April 30, 2019, report that found the current USPS PFP system to be “seriously flawed.” In the words of some EAS employees, PFP now stands for “pray-for-pay.”
If the Postal Service continues to link EAS FY20 compensation to unrealistic, unreasonable and unattainable NPA goals to PFP, how many thousands of EAS employees again will not receive annual salary increases? Therefore, for these EAS employees, NPA will continue to stand for “no-pay-again.”
It is time for the Postal Service to replace its current NPA and PFP systems and develop a true EAS compensation program that adheres to the law and is more fair and equitable for all EAS employees. Let me reiterate: At this time, there is no official FY20 Pay-for-Performance (PFP) system on which NAPS has consulted or agreed.
NAPS encourages members to leap into action and do the right thing, all the time, in performing their duties. Just because there is no current FY20 EAS pay package, including PFP, EAS employees always should properly report mail volume and delays, ensure TACS clock rings are accurately maintained, keep the integrity of scans, document that they asked for the necessary resources to do their jobs and follow union contracts to avoid unnecessary grievances and financial settlements, to name just a few actions.
Maintaining the integrity of your performance and the credibility of the USPS are extremely important. Do not be enticed to do the wrong thing to achieve ill-gotten FY20 NPA goals with the hope or even thought of receiving a FY20 PFP payout that currently does not exist.
If you must leap to conclusions in 2020, know that NAPS is diligently working for a positive outcome regarding the lawsuit it filed against the USPS related to EAS pay, benefits and the right to represent all EAS employees, including postmasters. Also, know that NAPS will vehemently work to ensure future pay agreements with the Postal Service will yield EAS employees, including postmasters, a fairer and more equitable pay system under the law.
I now will leap right to my January 2020 ice-cream-flavor-of-the-month recommendation: lemon blueberry cake.