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NAPS President Ivan D. Butts, Executive Vice President Chuck Mulidore and Secretary/Treasurer Jimmy Warden attended the July 6 consultative meeting via Zoom. Representing the Postal Service were Bruce Nicholson and James Timmons, Labor Relations Policy Administration.
Agenda Item #1
NAPS asked why Level-18B postmasters are not considered special exempt by the USPS, considering the following ELM language:
432.112 Nonbargaining Unit Employees
“Nonbargaining unit employees are categorized as follows:
“Full-time salaried— one of the following categories of salaried employees employed according to procedures established by the Postal Service [emphasis added]:
“1. Exempt salaried—career employees who are exempt from the FLSA provisions, are not limited to working a specified number of hours in a service week, and are expected to work or have excused leave for at least 40 hours per week fulfilling the responsibilities of their positions.
“2. Special Exempt—career employees who are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provisions, whose permanent assignments are to Executive and Administrative Schedule (EAS)-15 through -18 positions, and who directly supervise two or more equivalent bargaining-unit employees in production operations [emphasis added].
“3. Nonexempt salaried—career employees who are not exempt from (i.e., are covered by) FLSA provisions and are assigned to work schedules consisting of five 8–hour days in a service week.
“a. Part-time salaried—career hourly rate employees assigned to regular work schedules of less than 40 hours in a service week.”
The USPS had responded earlier to NAPS’ inquiry on this issue:
That policy provision does not automatically make every exempt position in levels 15-18 that supervises bargaining-unit employees eligible for additional pay. Even if it did, 18B is its own grade, which is one level higher than a Level-18 and would not be eligible.
NAPS continues to question that response as Level-18B postmasters supervise craft employees and, based on ELM 432.112.2, should be classified as special exempt.
An explanation already was provided to NAPS outside the consultation process on eligibility for special-exempt status and additional pay, which is subject to the pay consultation process. The explanation also included the following, but was not included with this item:
Level-18 and 18B exempt postmasters are not recognized as special exempt. I included the list of job titles that are designated as special exempt and eligible for additional pay.
When the special-exempt status was established as part of the 1996 pay decision, this designation was primarily provided to front-line supervisors and several other job titles. In addition, please see the ELM provision below that references FLSA-exempt employees eligible for additional pay.
434.134 FLSA Exempt EAS Additional Pay
“FLSA-exempt EAS additional pay is compensation directed by Postal Service regulations to be paid to eligible FLSA-exempt employees [emphasis added] and is calculated by dividing the annual salary by 2080 and applying this rate to each eligible hour worked.”
Agenda Item #2
NAPS asked for the results of the most recent Postal Pulse survey, administered prior to the one that began June 14, 2022. NAPS also requested that the results of the Postal Pulse survey administered June 14 to July 15, 2022, also be released to NAPS when available.
The Postal Service sent NAPS a notification dated Feb. 28, 2022, of the FY21 Postal Pulse Survey results that included the results as an enclosure. NAPS posted this information on its website.
Agenda Item #3
NAPS has heard from EAS employees in the BSN that they were to be upgraded to Level-19 in February 2022, which would involve the 4% upgrade in pay. What is the status of this level increase?
A request for a job evaluation review in accordance with ELM 222 was submitted earlier this year for the Business Service Network representative, EAS-16. NAPS was notified of this change on July 5.
The evaluation results and decision are the job will be upgraded to EAS-17. Salary increases resulting from this change will be made in accordance with ELM 413.3.
ELM 413.3 Position Upgrade
“When an employee’s position is upgraded through the Workload The Postal Supervisor / September/October 2022 15 Credit or job evaluation process, a 4 percent basic salary increase is provided. The increase is adjusted higher if necessary to bring the salary to the minimum of the new grade or the minimum salary for certain supervisory positions as described in Exhibit 412.12b. The increase is adjusted lower if necessary, to keep the salary from exceeding the maximum of the higher grade.”
Agenda Item #4
NAPS previously raised the issue of an RSS unit being removed from Rapid City, SD, last year. The USPS response was that it was being relocated due to lack of use; that RSS remains in Rapid City. It has not been relocated, just removed as a tool to service customers. What is the rationale for this action?
The Rapid City, SD, office was scheduled to have one RSS terminal removed from the office due to being underused. Underused terminals are calculated via the STEM report. It reviews walk-in revenue, number of transactions and WOS-earned staffing hours. The office was provided boxes and return labels last year to return the unit. New labels will be reordered and shipped to the office.
Agenda Item #5
NAPS asked for a briefing on the new route inspection process to which the NALC has agreed as this directly affects EAS supervisors, managers and postmasters in delivery unit Bob Soutar, city delivery specialist III, provided a briefing on this process:
The Postal Service and NALC have agreed on exploring new and innovative methods for maintaining routes in proper adjustment throughout the year in an efficient and effective manner.
The USPS and NALC jointly agreed on the Technology Integrated Alternate Route Evaluation and Adjustment Process 2022-2023 (TIAREAP), which is intended to reduce disputes and is more effective and less intrusive. The parties have agreed to this process, which includes evaluating and adjusting city delivery routes with information made available using Digital Street Review (DSR) technology as the primary means.
The parties will appoint joint USPS/NALC route evaluation teams in each district that will be used to implement the methodology.
Agenda Item #6
Currently, the DOIS parcel volume sorted on Saturday afternoons shows up on Sunday non-hub DOIS offices. However, the Sunday parcel volume does not roll in automatically to Monday’s parcel volumes. The field has been instructed not to add these Sunday parcel volumes manually into Monday. Currently, the Monday DOIS parcel volume is not accurate. What can be done to ensure the accuracy of parcel volumes on Mondays?
Bob Soutar said the DOIS team is aware of the problem and is working on a solution. In the meantime, the missing volume should continue to be entered manually.
Agenda Item #7
Currently, local NAPS officials are not being made aware of new supervisor classes in order to be given an opportunity to speak to these individuals who may want to join NAPS. Oftentimes, local NAPS officials are alerted by NAPS members who know someone in a class.
Several years ago, before COVID, the USPS provided NAPS Headquarters a list of all supervisor training classes across the country. NAPS asked that this list be made available to NAPS Headquarters and local NAPS officials be granted access to these classes to explain NAPS membership to these newly promoted EAS employees.
This department is not aware of any request for this list as far back as 10 years ago. In August 2014, NAPS asked USPS Headquarters that local NAPS officials be permitted to participate in initiating programs in each district, such as new supervisor training. The response was that our practice has been to allow districts the discretion in making those decisions; we will continue with that practice. Local NAPS representatives should contact local HR with these requests.
Agenda Item #8
NAPS Headquarters repeatedly has been made aware by EAS employees in the field of telecons and/or Zoom meetings where district, area and, at times, Headquarters leadership has treated EAS employees with disrespect, threats and harassing behaviors.
NAPS has repeatedly over the years brought these concerns to Postal Headquarters, yet this type of behavior continues to be tolerated, possibly encouraged, by senior postal leaders. What will it take for this behavior to no longer be tolerated?
The Postal Service has established policies on understanding, reporting, investigating and preventing harassment:
Specific allegations should be reported through the appropriate channels to be investigated.
Agenda Item #9
NAPS Headquarters has heard from Headquarters EAS personnel in the field of an inability to use staff vehicles. These EAS employees are told the vehicles belong to the district a are unable to be used by Headquarters personnel assigned to the field, many of whom work in those district facilities.
These vehicles are necessary to perform Headquarters EAS duties to perform audits, attend meetings and oversee those operations under their control. Does USPS Headquarters have a plan to assign vehicles to these Headquarters EAS in the field?
As discussed with NAPS during the May consultative meeting, Fleet Management is working on an administrative vehicle initiative. Once the initiative is put into action, there no longer will be vehicles assigned to people, nor will vehicles be assigned to a particular district.
Vehicles will be assigned to select positions; as the holders of those positions change, the vehicle will remain in place. The pools of vehicles staged at large postal facilities (primarily P&DCs) will be available for all postal employees, regardless of district or Headquarters assignment, who have a work-related, time-to-time need for a vehicle.
Additionally, fleet management will regularly review utilization data to identify situations where it may be prudent to assign a position a vehicle. Conversely, this same review could identify positions where an assigned vehicle may not be prudent.
A district should not be putting Headquarters employees in a position where they’re not able to complete their missions. Fleet Management did not move vehicles as a result of the reorganization. If a district had ample vehicles before the reorganization, there still should be ample vehicles in the district to accommodate both district and Headquarters employees.
This initiative still is in the planning stages, but is expected to be finalized soon. Additional information will be provided to NAPS as it becomes available.