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Identity Theft—Are You a Craft Employee or a Manager?
By Aric Skjelstad
President of Branch 66, Portland, OR
Newsflash—Many postmasters, managers and supervisors perform craft work on a regular basis as COVID-19 issues have affected many units with greater employee absences, higher-than normal parcel volume and more. As always, EAS employees are doing everything in their power to deliver all mail received each day.
This can lead to EAS employees sorting parcels, casing routes and, in some cases, delivering routes or parts of routes. This is what EAS employees do; we get it done! How can you protect yourself from this becoming a normal situation?
The need to complete this work is undeniable. However, the proper employees for this work are craft employees. A postmaster, manager or supervisor needs to ensure the work you perform is tracked properly. Tracking this work makes your life easier in the long run. Yes, you may get grievances that will need to be answered, but, having an accurate account of your hours, volumes and conditions makes answering those grievances much easier.
Accounting for these hours as “craft” hours will help justify your need for employees and workhours in the future. The memory will fade of how you accomplished such greatness this year under such stressful conditions.
The people who set your “planned” or “budgeted” hours next year will look back at this year, at SPLY. They will see the volumes your unit processed and delivered. However, if they see modest craft hours used, your budget for next year will be based on those misleading baseline craft hours.
Use your own individual office payroll transfer system to transfer these hours into the proper functions LDC and operational work code. Do this for both F4 clerk and F2 carrier operations.
This current higher-than-normal parcel volume may be the new norm. The United States is undergoing a transformation as the pandemic has exponentially increased the number of people shopping and ordering online for just about everything.
The business model of the Postal Service is shifting with the increase of online ordering. Letters and flats volumes are dropping; parcel volumes are increasing and expected to stay high.
As postmasters, managers and supervisors, we need to watch out for ourselves—and the agency. Position the USPS in the best position possible for the coming years.
Report hours properly, transfer hours correctly and put workhours in the proper function, LDC and operation. Set up for success!