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President Brian Wagner, Executive Vice President Ivan D. Butts and Secretary/Treasurer Chuck Mulidore attended the July consultative meeting. Executive Board Chair Tim Ford attended via telecon. Representing the Postal Service were Bruce Nicholson, Phong Quang and Henry Bear, USPS Labor Relations Policy Administration.
Agenda Item #1
NAPS has received numerous concerns over the new Transportation Yard Visibility System (YV) currently being pilot-tested at the Atlanta NDC. There are concerns regarding the mandate for no late-departing trips.
NAPS has been informed that EAS employees are being instructed to dispatch these trips empty, despite having mail staged for loading on the trailers. NAPS has been advised this is resulting in extra trips having to be called to dispatch mail that should/could have been loaded on the scheduled transportation.
NAPS asked for a briefing on the pilot and the data on all transportation loads and dispatch information for the Atlanta NDC pilot site.
Veronica Hale, manager, Visibility Business Systems, and Jason Tamayo, senior Visibility Program specialist, provided the overview. The current Yard Management System (YMS) is outdated; the new system, the Transportation Yard Visibility System (YV), is a component of IV—integrated visibility. The current pilot at the Atlanta NDC does not affect the Trips on Time indicator. Trips are scheduled to leave at a specific time in order to arrive before the critical time entry at the destination P&DC for mail to be processed and delivered in a timely manner.
If trips are held at the origin facility, the risk of failing containers and, possibly, full loads of mail is increased significantly. Many trips also have additional stops en route to their final destinations, as well as scheduled trips to Surface Transfer Centers where containers are transferred to other trailers awaiting transportation to other destinations. Employees may believe that holding a truck to ensure every piece of mail gets on the truck is the right thing to do. However, this increases the chance of failing every piece of mail on that truck.
There is limited data available at this time on this pilot at the Atlanta NDC.
Agenda Item #2
NAPS has been made aware of an issue where the USPS informed a non-veteran, preference-eligible EAS employee in a written proposed removal that, because they had been an EAS employee for less than one year, they did not have any appeal rights. The EAS employee was not granted Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) rights or rights to an ELM 650 hearing.
Local NAPS representatives discussed this lack of appeal rights with the respective district to no avail.
NAPS escalated this appeal issue to the respective USPS area office, but received no response.
NAPS asked whether the district, in this case, was correct in not granting any appeal rights.
Grievances of individual employees shall not be matters that may be included as agenda items for consultation.
Agenda Item #3
On May 15, 2019, the USPS issued the “final decision concerning changes in pay policies, schedules and fringe benefit programs for Field Employee and Administrative Schedule (EAS) employees.” Included in this policy was collapsing EAS-12 positions:
7. Position Upgrade
“The salary schedule of EAS-12 will be collapsed, and the position of Administrative Assistant (FLD) EAS-12 (OCC Code 0318-0007) will be upgraded to EAS-15. Incumbents in this position will receive a 2% basic salary increase. The increase is adjusted higher, if necessary, to bring the salary to the minimum of the new grade. The increase is adjusted lower, if necessary, to keep the salary from exceeding the maximum of the higher grade.”
Collapsing the EAS-12 positions impacted current administrative assistants (FLD) EAS-12 (OCC Code 0318-0007), resulting in an upgrade to EAS-15. NAPS requested a time frame for when these administrative assistants will receive their upgrade, salary level increase and retroactive pay from the January 5, 2019, effective date.
The Form 50 actions upgrading the EAS-12 administrative assistants (FLD) position to EAS-15 were processed in pay period 13 of FY19. Processing of the salary increases and retroactive pay as a result of the upgrade was done in pay period 14. Employees should see these adjustments reflected on their paystub in pay periods 15 and 16.
Agenda Item #4
Other than the Pittsburgh NDC, NAPS asked if there have been other confirmed mercury spills in Postal Service facilities in the United States and U.S. Territories (Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam) in FY19.
A spill occurred at the Arecibo Pueblo, PR, Post Office on Friday, April 12, 2019. A parcel containing a blood pressure monitor that mailed from New York to the Arecibo Pueblo Post Office broke open at Arecibo. The facility was closed that Friday afternoon and re-opened Monday, April 15. An Emergency Planning, Response and Recovery Services contractor was brought in to assess and remediate the spill. Communication was sent to local employee organization representatives by the Northeast Area Office.
Agenda Item #5
On May 21, 2019, the USPS notified NAPS of changes to various craft positions. The changes included the addition of lobby assistant and passport duties to six identified craft positions. NAPS acknowledged this change and contends that EAS employees no longer should be man-dated to complete lobby assistant duties due to the USPS formally designating this as a craft function.
Assisting our customers is an essential function of the Postal Service’s mission. Post office lobbies are the principal business offices of the Postal Service. While providing lobby assistance was added to the duties and responsibilities for certain craft positions, customer service remains everyone’s responsibility.
When necessary, supervisors should conduct lobby sweeps for customers who are conducting nonrevenue transactions when lines are long due to retail associates conducting lengthy transactions. Having frequent contact with the public, providing information on postal services and accepting mail at public windows remain part of the supervisor’s duties and responsibilities.
Lobby assistance is not a position, but, rather, duties in the lead SSA and SSA job descriptions. These duties should be performed by available SSAs. Prior to a supervisor providing assistance in the lobby, all clerks in the office should be used (including using overtime, as appropriate) at the window or as lobby assistants.