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President Brian Wagner, Executive Vice President Ivan D. Butts and Secretary/Treasurer Chuck Mulidore attended the May 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 questions from the field regarding Not to Exceed (NTE) details in district MOPS shops that people remain in for years. NAPS contends that the USPS has more than demonstrated the need for the new EAS positions and requests that all NTE details in MOPS shops be converted to Form 50 FTE EAS positions that are warranted.
The Postal Service is not aware of any NTE assignments in district MOPS shops.
Agenda Item #2
NAPS brought Agenda Item #6 from the April 10 consultative for an update.
Field EAS employees provided NAPS the following information that impacts its members:
Eastern Area, Pittsburgh Plant Reopening, Pittsburgh District
“Regular operations will resume Friday, April 5, 2019, at 5 a.m. ET for the Pittsburgh NDC, 300 Brush Creek Rd., Warrendale, PA 15095. We appreciate your patience during this unexpected closure.”
NAPS Headquarters is disheartened that USPS leadership is failing to engage NAPS on issues that impact the health and welfare of its membership. However, now that this facility—a major hub for all classes of mail—is being reopened after a 13-day closure, NAPS is requesting a briefing on the mitigating factors for the PFP process due to this closure, which has impacted NPA scores on a national, area, district, MPOO area, Lead Finance Number and Unit Finance Number level. The shutdown of this facility has negative impacts on various NPA scores. These impacts apply across the nation across multiple NPA indicators—not just service indicators.
NAPS asked the exact number of mail articles that have had Event Code 75 applied to them. Based on USPS correspondence received by recipients and mailers concerning mailed articles, NAPS believes and requests that mitigations for this event now be made based on the known data on not only the destroyed mail articles, but also on the numerous mail articles that were delayed in processing during this 13-day shutdown of the Pittsburgh NDC.
There were 6,248 mail articles that had Event Code 75 (event messaging) applied. These pieces were disposed of by the USPS.
As we responded at the April consultative meeting, it is too soon to determine whether there were any impacts to NPA indicators resulting from the NCD’s closure.
NAPS asked how many pieces were delayed from the shutdown.
This information is not known at this time.
Agenda Item #3
NAPS requested an update on agenda item #1 from the February consultative:
NAPS requested reconsideration regarding the USPS’ decision to classify the Learning Development and Diversity Specialist (EAS-16), Occupation Code 0201-0356, as an FLSA-exempt position. The USPS created this position to identify work being done in the PEDC by the Human Resources Specialist (EAS-16), Occupation Code 0201-0078, as an FLSA non-exempt position.
In prior discussions, the USPS cited U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Fact Sheet #17C as guidance for making this FLSA change. On review of this documentation, NAPS reached out to the DOL based on its objection to applying DOL Fact Sheet #17. NAPS contends the position (current or prior) fails to meet the DOL requirement for exempt status as found in DOL Fact Sheet #17, “Administrative Exemption.”
NAPS met with Ben Searle, a representative of DOL’s Wage and Hour Investigation Unit, to review this job classification. The DOL provided NAPS with additional fact tests that must be made in determining an FLSA status.
The DOL judged the USPS classification of the position fails to meet the test of discretion and independent judgment as found in CFR 29, Part §541.202. The Learning Development and Diversity Specialist (EAS-16), Occupation Code 0201-0356, does not exercise any discretion and independent judgment in performing their job duties and responsibilities. The position is at the direction of the manager, Learning Development and Diversity.
In addition, this discretionary and independent judgment is required to be the employee’s primary duty. The DOL defines primary duties in CFR 29, Part §541.700, as principal, main, major or most important duty that the employee performs. This also is not the case for this position.
Based on the clarifications of the DOL on properly classifying administrative exempt positions, NAPS requests that the newly created position of Learning Development and Diversity Specialist (EAS-16), Occu-pation Code 0201-0356, be classified as FLSA non-exempt as its prior position, Human Resources Specialist (EAS-16), Occupation Code 0201-0078, was properly classified as FLSA non-exempt.
The Learning Development and Diversity Specialist (EAS-16), Occupation Code 0201-0356, position is being reviewed to determine if any changes in FLSA classification are necessary.
The latest response: The Postal Service completed a review and has determined that the Learning Development and Diversity Specialist (EAS-16), Occu-pation Code 0201-0356, position is non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employees affected by this change were notified on Friday, May 10, of the immediate reclassification and procedures for positions under FLSA non-exempt. As a result of being misclassified, the notice provided instructions on how to submit information for any unpaid overtime in these assignments made effective Oct. 13, 2018, to the district HR manager for review.
Agenda Item #4
NAPS brought agenda item #2 from the February consultative:
NAPS requested a briefing on the financial benefits for the USPS in extending the Attendance Control Officer (ACO) NTE (EAS-19), Occupation Code 0201-0355, detail. This briefing should include the return-on-invest-ment that has been recorded and reported by the USPS during the EOY review process of this function.
John Prokity, manager of Workforce Planning, Insights & Analytics, attended the meeting to address employee availability. The ACO initiative had a 5% sick leave target, with a savings opportunity of $132,448,243. From the inception of the ACO and into Quarter 1 of FY19, the Postal Service has achieved a reduction in career sick leave of 598,924 hours, with a savings of $18.35 million.
The USPS further responded that the NTE ACO positions were approved February/March 2018. The ACO’s mission is attendance control and improving employee availability. While sick leave decreased, the USPS noticed an increase in leave-without-pay (LWOP) usage. The Postal Service will continue the NTE ACO position through FY19. It then will determine whether to continue the ACO position after reviewing FY19 leave results.
Agenda Item #5
On July 13, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a consent order that has a fiduciary cost of $17,500 per incident in addition to $100 each day the court finds the violations to have continued. This case involves the timely fulfillment of requests for information (RFI) made by the union to the USPS. The USPS has created this violation through continually overburdening EAS employees to complete functions other than ensuring America’s mail is processed and delivered.
The consent order contends that the USPS is in a position to significantly reduce the liability of the consent order by way of a review request in the first 12 months after its entry to the NLRB’s assistant general counsel or designee. If the NRLB’s assistant general counsel or designee determines the Postal Service was in substantial compliance during this 12-month period, the prospective fine structure outlined above will be reduced up to $12,000 for each future violation of the consent order and up to $60 each day the court finds the violations to have continued.
NAPS contends this fiduciary release can best be achieved by EAS leadership focusing on timely completion of this task without the numerous diversion that face field EAS employees attempting to process and deliver America’s mail.
NAPS requests the USPS creates Form 50 FTE EAS positions for RFI coordinators in each district. NAPS proposes these positions be created one EAS employee per 3,000 district employees for proper compliance and district coverage.
The Postal Service does not agree with the need to establish full-time RFI coordinators in each district. Ad-hoc assignments for RFI coordinators (gate-keepers) have been put in place to assist some districts that were cited for violations by the NLRB for untimely responses or the complete failure to respond to RFIs. These employees will assist in coordinating and monitoring supervisor responses. In addition, in-person and WebEx training for all supervisors and managers in these locations are being conducted.
It is important to note that primary causes for the violations were supervisors’ failures to respond to RFIs for up to 60 days or completely ignoring them.