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President Brian Wagner, Executive Vice President Ivan D. Butts, Secretary/Treasurer Chuck Mulidore and Executive Board Chair Tim Ford attended the May 21 consultative meeting via Zoom. Representing the Postal Service were Bruce Nicholson and Henry Bear, Labor Relations Policy Administration.
Agenda Item #1
NAPS requested a moratorium on appealing actions issued to EAS personnel, similar to one signed with the craft unions. This would help address the difficulties in not having face-to-face interviews/mediations in light of COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines. In addition, discussing an EAS case over a teleconference, without the opportunity for the employee and their respective NAPS representative to side bar, may not be beneficial to the process for NAPS or the USPS and could further hinder a case being settled at the lowest level possible.
The parties should be encouraged to discuss and resolve appeals, disputes, etc., as they arise. An employee, the employee’s representative and the Postal Service should be encouraged to discuss any challenges in appealing disciplinary actions due to the pandemic and any challenges in meeting timelines, including the manner of communication.
Telephonic mediation is an option in lieu of the traditional in-person mediation. The parties have other available alternatives for meeting in a non-traditional manner, such as Zoom or other methods agreed to by the parties. Such alternatives must be amenable to all parties, as well as any need for extensions due to the pandemic.
Any postponement of meeting on 650 appeals must be agreed on in writing by all parties, including the hearing officer, and a copy submitted to the ELM 650 facilitator for record-keeping purposes.
Agenda Item #2
NAPS is concerned about the number of positive COVID-19 cases reported in Great Lakes Area facilities, including Detroit, Chicago and Indianapolis. NAPS also is concerned that the current MMO on cleaning USPS facilities may not be as effective in controlling exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. Besides following MMO guidelines, NAPS would like a briefing on whether the USPS is considering other strategies, such as misting sprayers, to better disinfect USPS facilities against the spread of COVID-19.
It is not possible to determine whether employees are contacting the virus at work or away from work. The Postal Service’s cleaning procedures continue to follow CDC guidelines. Those guidelines are continually monitored and any necessary adjustments to the current MMO on cleaning will be made accordingly.
The Postal Service has been vigilant in quarantining employees who test positive, as well as individuals deemed to have been in close contact to those employees in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus to other employees in a facility. The Postal Service is considering other strategies, including a pilot of voluntary temperature-testing in several mail processing and customer service facilities.
Opportunities to minimize the spread of the virus contributing to the safety and health of employees and their families will be considered. The Postal Service is continually evaluating the pandemic and its impact to postal employees. We will continue to notify NAPS of any new measures.
Agenda Item #3
NAPS asked to discuss the pursuit of ADE scans after 2000 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. NAPS is concerned that the focus on service could be at the expense of safety.
There is an expectation from customers for parcels to be delivered by 2000. The safety of Postal Service employees is of the utmost importance. There is an emphasis on getting carriers back off the street earlier.
NPA indicators are used to measure performance and identify root causes that affect performance, such as staffing and delivery issues and other challenges, and make appropriate modifications that can improve performance. Reviewing these indicators, even during the pandemic, remains critical to our operations.
Agenda Item #4
NAPS asked for an update on the USPS-proposed March 18, 2020, letter regarding changes to ELM 450, Collection of Postal Debts from Non-bargaining Unit Employees by Salary Offset.
Updates were provided to NAPS with changes to ELM 450; NAPS will continue to be notified with any further changes.