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It’s All About the Data
By Ivan D. Butts
NAPS National President
Hello, my NAPS brothers and sisters. I recently read a leadership message stating employee availability was in the high 80s. Now, such a statement should have been a settling message, affirming that the necessary resources are in place to ensure that supervisors, managers and postmasters successfully complete their task of delivering America’s mail.
I am breaking from thoughts of speaking to this “boss” mentality to say thank you, EAS employees, for the great job you are doing in these crazy and challenging times in the Postal Service. You are proving to Americans that you are, indeed, the backbone of this agency.
You have been saddled with an onboarding process that has proven to be nothing less than a disaster. Local services are vetting one person at a time, not allowing the direct manager to drive the onboarding process and turning a deaf ear to the calls from NAPS and the field for a better process.
We have heard stories from around the country of having to wait two months or more to get a position filled, only to receive an unqualified candidate and then having to start the process over. I recently heard a leader say that when she received her new hire CCA, the person reported to work using a walker. Maybe the person conducting the onboarding process thought the walker would serve as a parcel carrier or satchel holder.
Levity aside, NAPS well knows this failed onboarding process is a significant contributor to the staffing shortage. We also know these staffing shortages are, in some cases, leading to supervisors, managers and postmasters being mandated to deliver mail. This leads me back to a question regarding the statement I quoted at the opening of this column. If employee availability is in the 80s, why are supervisors, managers and postmasters mandated to perform craft work in violation of the CBA?
So, it seems as if the employee availability data does not match what is happening with “boots on the ground.” I am not surprised. Leadership has used flawed data for years to operate America’s Postal Service. Let’s look at this issue.
Who is accounting for and transferring the work-hours being used by EAS employees doing craft work from a supervisory function to a craft function? I believe that is what the Loan, Transfer and Training System (LTATS) is intended to do. The program allows you to manually enter a transfer of hours for current or previous pay periods and weeks to another Finance Number/Pay Location. LTATS only will transfer work and/or OT by Finance Number, Pay Location, Finance Unit, D/A and LDC.
What happens to a budget the following year that does not correctly transfer work-hours? What about doing that for five or 10 years? What happens when that is done with mail volumes being moved from facility to facility? The one thing that always holds true is “bad data in, bad data out.”