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The Oct. 19 consultative meeting was held in conjunction with the fall NAPS Executive Board meeting; all board members were present. Representing the Postal Service were Bruce Nicholson and James Timmons, Labor Relations Policy Administration.
Agenda Item #1
NAPS has been made aware that two postal unions have disseminated information regarding Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) claims that could negatively affect NPA. With the end of emergency federal employee leave, there could be craft employees making these claims. Will these OWCP claims count toward an office’s Total Accident Rate (TAR)? If so, will the Postal Service mitigate this process in order not to negatively impact NPA?
These OWCP claims must be recorded and will count toward the TAR when final numbers are provided. An OWCP COVID-19 claim must be supported by a positive diagnosis. The USPS will follow the current mitigation process.
A mitigating factor is a significant occurrence beyond a unit’s control that triggers a measurable impact not only on the NPA composite summary, but on the Pay-for-Performance (PFP) overall performance rating, as well. In order to qualify for consideration, there must be so significant a change in a unit indicator(s) that it will cause a downward change in the NPA composite summary resulting in the PFP overall performance rating to be lowered by at least one cell.
Certain unique situations might constitute mitigating factors. For example: a retail unit consumed by fire, an AMF destroyed by flood or an act of terrorism that shuts down a transportation network or plant. What is considered is how the occurrence had a profound impact on the unit indicator, whether the occurrence caused a downward change in the NPA composite summary and what efforts the unit made to offset the occurrence.
If an installation head determines there was a significant number of OWCP claims due to COVID-19 exposure and the number of claims impacted the TAR indicator by greater than a one-cell rating, mitigation would be the appropriate forum to request consideration.
Agenda Item #2
The Retail Customer Experience (RCE) program was modified at one time for SSAs to follow a script. Then, the script was removed because it made SSAs sound robotic. The new RCE format was rolled out to the field on Sept. 23, with a script, specifically asking each customer to take the survey portion of the RCE shop. What was the rationale for bringing back the script?
The script for the sales associates is to invite customers to take the survey; this is different from the “Greet, Inquire, Suggest, Thank” (GIST) script. The sales associate personally inviting the customer to take the survey is not new. Instead of circling or highlighting the receipt, the sales associate will use the verbiage, “We value your feedback. Please take this short survey to share your experience.”
1. Is there an overall numerical percentage number the USPS wises to reach for customers who have taken this survey?
The overall satisfaction (OSAT) POS survey score goal is 90.42%. The USPS does not have a national response rate goal.
What is the actual percentage of customers who take the survey nationally? This data will help identify expenses associated with the survey; if the data shows our customers don’t care about the survey, then why waste our time and/money?
The POS survey response rate nationally, week ending 10/8/21, was (.31%).
2. What percentage of complaints are related to delivery issues, which have nothing to do with rating SSAs? Allowing customers to show their displeasure with a delivery issue skews the survey’s numerical value.
The POS survey questions are directed toward the customer’s overall retail-visit experience, knowledge of the sales associate, efficiency, positive attitude, courtesy and wait-time-in-line. Questions on mail delivery are not included.
3. Has the USPS considered a different wait-time-in-line (WTIL) maximum time limit for offices located in cities and high-density population areas as opposed to scoring everyone equally, compared to low-population rural communities?
Low-population rural communities might not be on the RCE program due to revenue criteria. Larger offices would be expected to have proper staffing based on the office’s complement. Additionally, the WTIL measurement on the POS survey is customer acceptability and reported number of minutes they waited, which, in turn, has a direct correlation to OSAT (see chart below).
Agenda Item #3
A new mandate is for a lead 7 clerk in Function 4 to do TACS time-keeping. How will these additional duties/time in operation 5580/LDC 48 be calculated to earn time and contribute to CSV score?
The performance of timekeeping duties by bargaining-unit employees is not new. NAPS was notified of a time study dated April 2, 2021, on Function 4 operations.
Operations sent a team to 185 randomly selected sites to perform a national time study on F4 work performed. During the study, the team gathered data on TACS duties performed and whether those duties were completed by a clerk or management. The team still is in the process of analyzing the data.
Once the analysis is completed, the results and any proposal from the team will be presented to postal leadership for approval and feedback. We intend to provide NAPS with the time study results following any determination from USPS leadership.
NAPS responded that the NPA CSV goal is an unreasonable increase of 30% in one year. What analysis was used to calculate that 30% was possible in a year?
This change was proposed as part of the NPA Planning team. The CSV/SOV Opportunity Improvement to SPLY indicator likely will be among the Functional Effectiveness indicators for Retail and Delivery. Functional Effectiveness has a 30% weight on a scorecard, not CSV. Functional Effectiveness has three indicators. In FY21, prior to the restructuring, the CSV indicator had a 10% weight on a scorecard.
NAPS said that, currently, the prior week in CSV is available to be viewed on Monday of the current week. However, standby time is not factored into the CSV percentage earned from the prior week. Could the USPS begin to factor in the standby time to give an accurate CSV percentage earned from the prior week when the report is pulled on Mondays? If standby time isn’t factored in, a manager or postmaster must do this mathematical computation weekly and keep copies for a full year in case they need to use the data for mitigation.
Standby time is a rare occurrence for late trucks or lack of work to be performed while clerks are in a waiting status. Normally when there are transportation issues or mail arrival problems, there are other duties in a facility for clerks to perform. A few examples might be boxing mail, performing UBBM duties, second notices and markups. The variance programs, CSV and SOV, are designed to track productive work practices and provide a performance assessment based on the actual workhours spent versus the workhours earned for that workload. Standby time is not a productive function or an earned workhour metric.
Agenda Item #4
What is the matrix for determining MPOO levels?
The matrix was revised in May 2021 due to the realignment of districts. The MPOO workload indicators were unchanged:
Districts with Level-24 post offices 75 miles or more from another Level-24 may qualify for an EAS-23 MPOO to be upgraded to a Level-25 MPOO, beyond their authorized Level-25 complement.
Agenda Item #5
Currently, the USPS tracking system does not correctly inform customers when they are tracking their parcels. The tracking information reads, “System Generated and Container Generated.” EAS employees know what this means; postal customers may not. As a result, customers call to complain and file unnecessary C-360 complaints regarding parcels not delivered primarily because they don’t know what the tracking information means.
There needs to be language on this page so customers know what “System Generated and Container Generated” means in order to limit phone calls and C-360 complaints.
The Postal Service has two tracking systems, one is the intranet (internal) website that our employees use versus the external website (USPS.com), which is reviewed by customers. Mail & Package Information Systems is not aware of any changes in either system.
The internal tracking site provides information such as “System Generated and Container Generated” input methods. This information is not displayed on the external website (USPS.com).
Agenda Item #6
The field currently is being informed that in order to train a backup lead 7 clerk to perform TACS-related duties, it must be on their bid; otherwise, they cannot be trained. The consequences of this issue will lead to EAS employees performing necessary TACS functions, therefore allowing the APWU to file grievances and win due to EAS employees performing craft work.
In installations that are authorized a lead clerk, local management can determine the clerk(s) in the installation to train as a “backup lead 7 clerk” to perform TACS related duties. A relief (backup) lead clerk serves as a replacement when the lead clerk is off on nonscheduled days or leave.
There is no requirement to change an existing duty assignment of a Level-6 clerk to perform as a relief lead clerk.
Note: The relief clerk is paid in accordance with ELM 233.3.
233.3 Criteria for Evaluating Mixed Assignments
“233.3.b. Regularly scheduled on intermittent days in two bargaining unit positions. When a full-time employee is regularly scheduled on intermittent workdays to perform the work of two separate bargaining unit positions in different grades, the employee is placed in the position in which more than 50 percent of the time is spent. If the time is equally divided, the employee is placed in the higher-grade position.”
Agenda Item #7
What will happen to all the detail positions once the USPS allows normal postings to resume and the RIF ending Oct. 8? Will those employees be put back to their positions? Some who did not want to go back to their Form 50 positions may have retired, which, in turn, would have created more positions that could have been put up for impacted employees if they ended those details before the RIF.
Policies for details have not changed. Vacant authorized jobs can be posted as early as Oct. 19.
Agenda Item #8
In regard to the domicile policy, in paragraph 2, it reads, “they will remain in the domicile position and will be told where prior to the selecting.” Under Approval Process number 5, bullet 2, it reads, “if the position is supporting the local geographic District or Area, they have preference.”
Clarification is needed because the policy says if a person is domiciled in an office and works solely for Headquarters, but later, someone who needs to be domiciled who works for Headquarters, but whose responsibilities support the District or Area, now can have that office.
Employees who support the local geographic district shall have preference over Headquarters employees who do not. If this circumstance were to occur, then consideration would be given to a duty station in the geographic boundaries and in an employee’s local commuting area. There must be a business for a change in a duty station and requires approval by a vice president or designee.
Agenda Item #9
NAPS Headquarters has received inquiries regarding the Juneteenth federal holiday. The holiday was not observed by the USPS this year due to its passage by Congress in June, then going into effect the same month. The understanding was EAS employees would be provided another day for this holiday. How will the Juneteenth holiday be granted to EAS employees?
Incorporation of this holiday for nonbargaining employees should be proposed as a matter of pay consultation. This proposal will be sent to NAPS’ Headquarters soon and discussed. The current intent is to propose this change for calendar year 2022.
Agenda Item #10
If an EAS employee took a lateral downgrade to a Level-17 BMEU or any position upgraded to a higher level, but below their two-year saved grade period, will they keep their two years’ saved grade pay?
Individuals will continue to be recognized at the same level for the two-year saved-grade period. Although the individual may be assigned to a position lower in grade, the Postal Service recognizes the individual at saved grade. An individual would not be eligible for a position upgrade unless the position is reclassified at a grade higher than the saved grade.