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NAPS President Brian Wagner, Executive Vice President Ivan D. Butts, Secretary/Treasurer Chuck Mulidore and Executive Board Chair Tim Ford attended the May 26 consultative meeting via Zoom. Representing the Postal Service were Bruce Nicholson and James Timmons, Labor Relations Policy Administration.
Agenda Item #1
NAPS continually receives concerns regarding involuntary reassignments and the arbitrary changing of EAS work schedules without justifiable reasons. NAPS understands there is a letter regarding temporary involuntary reassignments, but there is nothing in writing about arbitrary, permanent changes to an EAS work schedule.
NAPS contends these changes disrupt members’ lives, as well as operational needs of the USPS. EAS employees put in for jobs according to nonscheduled days and workhours.
When an EAS employee accepts a position, NAPS contends it is a binding commitment by that employee to be available and work at the designated times and tours of the job for which they have been selected. The EAS employee is making a commitment to the USPS that they will schedule all other life events (doctor visits, grocery shopping, quality time with family outside of vacations and more) around the committed times and tours.
NAPS contends that when the USPS unjustly changes EAS work schedules, the agency fails to live up to its commitment in the job selection process. These unjust changes not only disrupt the family life of the EAS employee, but also disrupt postal operations with disengaged, low-morale EAS employees who have had their personal and family lives disregarded and disrupted by the USPS calling them to lead the workforce in completing their appointed tasks.
NAPS contends this is a major contributing factor to the low morale that plagues the EAS ranks as documented in Postal Pulse surveys. NAPS requests the USPS stop engaging in demoralizing acts against the better interest of postal operations.
Changes in schedules of nonbargaining employees are not demoralizing acts and are intended to satisfy developmental needs of the employee or needs of the Postal Service. Increases and decreases in the number of bargaining-unit positions in a facility and/or on different tours in the facility may result in a need to permanently change the schedule of the supervisor. Changes in workload could create a need for a change in scheduled days off, hours, etc. If there is a business need to change an employee’s schedule, then it should be pursued. In addition, it can provide relief to other nonbargaining employees who are providing coverage due to a supervisor not being available on a specific tour. The memorandum on temporary involuntary reassignments has been reissued over the years, most recently on Aug. 31, 2015. We will discuss this memo further with the resident officers to determine whether the memo should be reissued as written or revised. Although the 2015 memo is specific to temporary involuntary reassignments, the guidelines in the memo should be followed with all nonbargaining reassignments, when practicable.
NAPS responded that the USPS should enforce the rules and directives currently in place when these types of issues arise.
Agenda Item #2
NAPS has received reports that supervisors and managers are reporting to other stations to perform craft duties, delivering mail and parcels. Other reports note that EAS employees are scanning packages, which is work that belongs to the clerk craft.
NAPS contends this issue is similar to Agenda Item #1. The Postal Service and EAS employees would benefit from an accurate staffing package that adequately addresses the needs of supervisory oversight that the current staffing model consistently fails to do.
Properly staffing postal operations would significantly reduce the cost of grievance payouts for the variety of grievances (Article 8, EAS crossing craft) being paid out by the USPS.
Prohibitions on the performance of bargaining-unit work by nonbargaining personnel are stipulated in our collective-bargaining agreements. Other articles of those CBAs proscribe procedures for properly administering overtime. Actions by local leaders must be in compliance with these agreements.
The Postal Service is currently hiring up to contractual caps of noncareer employees and conducting hiring activities in advance of peak season. The hiring freeze will be lifted following placement activities of nonbargaining employees and should address concerns of vacant assignments.
Agenda Item #3
On Monday, May 3, 2021, at 4:20 p.m., NAPS President Wagner received an email that discussed representation:
“Attached is the list of positions that no longer will be assigned to the districts. As you are aware, when district reporting positions have been shifted to Headquarters and report within the Headquarters structure, the Postal Service has not historically recognized NAPS as the representative for consultation purposes for those positions.”
NAPS contends the USPS has made this type of assertion in the past during monthly consultative meetings in response to agenda items regarding USPS Headquarters EAS employees and did not involve the sole issue of representation in a matter protected under the provision of ELM 650.2.
NAPS is requesting all documents (legal or otherwise) on which the USPS is relying to not recognize NAPS’s rights under 39 U.S. Code § 1004(b) as the recognized organization of supervisory and other managerial personnel who are not subject to collective-bargaining agreements under Chapter 12 of Title 39 and for those EAS employees who are categorized as reporting to Postal Service Headquarters and area offices.
The Postal Service continues to recognize NAPS as the representative of field supervisors, managers and other district EAS administrative staff assigned to the field as it agreed to with NAPS more than 40 years ago. The Postal Service and NAPS still are in discussions on this matter outside this forum through formal correspondence and in litigation.