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The March 14 consultative meeting was held in conjunction with the spring NAPS Executive Board meeting; all board members were present.
Representing the Postal Service were Bruce Nicholson, Phong Quang and Henry Bear, USPS Labor Relations Policy Administration.
Agenda Item #1
NAPS brought Agenda Item #6 from the Aug. 18, 2018, consultative to the table:
The Supervisor Differential Adjustment (SDA) for the position of Supervisor, Business Mail Entry, is provided under the category of “All Other Eligible EAS-15 to EAS-19” on the SDA scale found in ELM Exhibit 412.12b. NAPS has been made aware this EAS position/occupational code does not supervise any PS-6 craft employees.
NAPS contends this EAS position is not being paid a proper SDA per the employees being managed.
NAPS requested the ELM be changed to adequately reflect the SDA for the position of supervisor, Business Mail Entry. This SDA category should be at the craft position of PS-7, step O.
NAPS also requested the USPS consults with NAPS on providing compensation for monies not paid to these impacted employees due to their not being correctly categorized for SDA purposes.
The position is appropriately classified under “All Other Eligible” on the SDA list and is consistent with SDA policy.
This ELM change request is a matter that should be addressed during pay talks that address “changes in pay policies and schedules and fringe benefit programs for members of the supervisors’ organization.”
NAPS brought this item back to the table in disagreement with the USPS’ determination. During the August 2018 consultative, the USPS alleged this position did supervise PS-6 employees, which supported its SDA determination.
NAPS has confirmed that the supervisor, Business Mail Entry, position does not supervise any PS-6 or lower-level craft employees. NAPS provided a list of all employees assigned to supervisor, Business Mail Entry; all these craft employees are Level PS-7.
The Postal Service advised in August 2018 that this requested change to SDA policy was a matter that should be addressed during pay talks. This is the proper forum to address “changes in pay policies and schedules and fringe benefit programs for members of the supervisors’ organization.”
Labor Relations received correspondence from NAPS asking to discuss several items outside the pay consultation process with the Postal Service, including the SDA for the position of supervisor, Business Mail Entry. A meeting was scheduled for Feb. 20, 2019. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the meeting was cancelled. We have requested NAPS’ availability to reschedule.
Agenda Item #2
NAPS requested the USPS creates a HERO process that would allow 204-Bs to access everything to which a regular supervisor is authorized with successful completion of the required training.
NAPS contends this type of educational process might help; when 204-Bs become supervisors, they will need less training.
Local management is empowered to determine the programs to which acting supervisors should have access; there is a process in place to request access to those programs. The Postal Service is open to discussing any specific programs to which NAPS believes acting supervisors should have access.
Agenda Item #3
Our nation recently observed a national day of mourning for the funeral of President George H.W. Bush, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. NAPS asked what specifically was done to mitigate all the affected NPA indicators (including, but not limited to, multiple service score indicators, workhours, scanning, etc., at the national, area, district, MPOO, Lead Finance number and Unit Finance number levels) impacted as a result of this national day of mourning.
The Postal Service applied the existing business rules used for federal holidays in the same manner as the national day of mourning. If the scheduled delivery date or expected delivery date was on this day, based on service standards, it was shifted to the next applicable delivery day. The Postal Service did not identify any negative impacts to the NPA indicators as a result of this national day of mourning.
Agenda Item #4
NAPS asked about the impacts of the extreme polar vortex. The USPS did not deliver mail in many districts on Wednesday, Jan. 30. On Thursday, Jan. 31, some districts did not deliver mail for the second consecutive day; some districts did not deliver mail for their first day.
The impact of these two non-delivery days affected areas and districts differently because of various volumes of origination and destination locations in and outside the impacted non-delivery days.
NAPS asked what specially was done to mitigate all the affected NPA indicators (including, but not limited to, multiple service score indicators, workhours, scanning, etc., at the national, area, district, MPOO, Lead Finance number and Unit Finance number levels) impacted by these non-delivery days.
The Postal Service conducted an initial analysis to determine the impacts of the polar vortex resulting in non-deliveries on Jan. 30 and 31 in some districts. Results did not show a significant impact to year-to-date NPA scores and, therefore, no mitigation was done. The Postal Service plans to review the data again later in the fiscal year to make final determinations.
The following are regarding resolutions adopted at the 2018 NAPS National Convention:
Resolution 55: Current EAS Level-18 post offices that are CSV offices and report their CSAWs have their weekly F4 earned hours that the postmaster “can” work reduced by 15 hours. NAPS requested the CSAW program in Level-18 offices be changed so as not to automatically deduct the 15 hours the postmaster could work as allotted by the con-tract, but only deduct the actual hours worked by the postmaster.
This resolution is not adopted. The expectation is for non-bargaining employees in Level-18 offices to work the 15 hours of bargaining-unit work per week.
Resolution 61: Investigative, corrective and disciplinary actions by the Postal Service are not timely. Some actions in response to allegations have been issued as long as two years after the incidents. Some of these issues involve alleged procedural, instructional, financial, conduct and behavioral actions against NAPS members.
NAPS contends there are no such deadlines/timelines that pertain to these procedures being adhered to at times by USPS leadership when corrective or disciplinary actions are brought against NAPS members.
NAPS requests the Postal Service define timelines/deadlines that afford its members due process in a more capsulated timeframe and those same actions be progressive in corrective and disciplinary proceedings (that is, discussions, letters of warning, suspensions, last-chance agreements and termination).
NAPS further requests the defined timelines be no more than 30 days from the first Investigative Interview or no more than 60 days from the date of incident, whichever is first.
Actions such as non-disciplinary corrective measures, letters of warning, letters of warning in lieu of time-off suspensions and adverse actions are different corrective measures that may be imposed on non-bargaining employees and should be on a progressive basis, depending on the seriousness of the offense.
The Postal Service expects that decisions concerning whether disciplinary action will be imposed are to be made without undue delay. Such decisions should be made based on consideration of relevant factors and should comport, where applicable, with regulations delineating elements that should be considered. Some circumstances may allow for such decisions in less or more time than others. Some circumstances may call for investigatory consideration, evaluation and other situation-specific elements that could require more time than is needed in other circumstances. The Postal Service will not establish the time limit NAPS recommends in this item.
Resolution 62: The USPS has changed the processing of delivery standards of mail. NAPS notes that, currently, mail is not under the same time standards and networks as it was in the past. In concert with this, NAPS advocates have only 10 days to file an ELM 652.231 appeal for LOWs and mediations.
NAPS requests that ELM 652.231—in reference to time limits to request an appeal, records or mediation—be changed to 30 days and that ELM 652.231 be revised to reflect the new time limit.
This resolution is not adopted. Following is the response provided during the January 2017 consultative meeting to the same agenda item/resolution: ELM 652 provides an opportunity for employees who receive a notice of discipline, including adverse actions, an opportunity to be heard prior to and after a final decision is issued by the management officials involved. The change in the mail delivery standards does not affect an employee’s time limits when they are issued or receive a proposed notice of discipline or decision. The time limits begin upon their receipt of discipline.
If an employee is eligible for mediation, then 10 days is a reasonable amount of time from receipt of a proposed notice of discipline to request mediation. Mediation is a means of alternative dispute resolution and an attempt to resolve disputes by controlling costs, producing quicker and more lasting results and preserving the resources needed to carry out the Postal Service’s mission. Extending the time limit to 30 days to request mediation would not be an effective and efficient use of this process.
NAPS notes this marks the end of the resolutions delegates at the 2018 National Convention passed with the expressed desire for inclusion in the monthly consultative process as defined by 39 U.S. Code § 1004(c)(1).