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The Oct. 17 consultative meeting was held in conjunction with the NAPS fall Executive Board meeting; all board members were present. Representing the Postal Service were Bruce Nicholson, James Timmons, Paulita Wimbush and Tomica Duplessis, USPS Labor Relations Policies & Programs.
Agenda Item #1
NAPS asked why local NAPS leaders are the last to know about Surface Transfer Centers (STCs) closings and other various consolidations. For example, messaging was sent from NAPS Headquarters that the Southern California STC was closing mid-October and EAS employees were being notified of a RIF. Local NAPS leaders had no idea who was impacted.
Impacted were two EAS-17 network specialists and one EAS-22 manager. Ultimately, local NAPS found out the facility was located in Long Beach. NAPS California State President Marilyn Jones contacted the HR manager who was the only person who had the correct information. NAPS requested that local NAPS leaders be included, along with the unions, when these types of facility closings, consolidations or impacts are announced.
The contractor who owns the STC building in Southern California notified the Postal Service on Sept. 14 that the facility would be closed within 60 days. NAPS Headquarters was notified immediately by phone, followed by a formal notification the following day. NAPS Headquarters is notified of these closures and resulting employee impact.
Agenda Item #2
NAPS asked the criteria used to determine whether a delivery support specialist (DSS) and post office support specialist (POSS) must fly or drive to a location. Is it 50 miles?
How is it determined when a DSS and POSS must fly to a location or drive to the location; what is the criteria for flying and driving? Is it 50 miles?
Determining the method of transportation used by an employee is addressed in Handbook F-15, Travel and Relocation, Chapter 5. The employee must use the method of transportation most advantageous to the Postal Service, taking the most direct route and using the least expensive services available that still meet the employee’s needs.
All travel must be requested and approved by the employee’s supervisor in a timely manner and in accordance with Handbook F-15, Chapter 4. As a rule of thumb, employees assigned to these positions are not sent more than two hours from their duty station without hotel and flight considerations based on Handbook F-15. Fifty miles is not the determining factor for flying.
Also, each case is different and depends on the circumstances; there are myriad determining factors. For example, from where is the employee leaving/ going? Is there an airport nearby? Will there be a vehicle available on arrival? What is the total travel time or productive time lost?
Agenda Item #3
NAPS Headquarters has learned that local EAS employees are being interviewed by the unions whose perception is the EAS employees are not cooperating. The union representatives conducting the interviews then inform the EAS employees of Subsection 665.3 of the ELM that stipulates employees must cooperate in any postal investigation.
In some cases, this stipulation is mentioned multiple times if the union representative challenges the EAS employee’s response. NAPS asked for USPS Headquarters’ policy on local EAS employees responding to local union requests for information and interviews.
Union officials may interview supervisors in processing a grievance or to determine whether a grievance exists in accordance with Article 17 of the collective bargaining agreements. Supervisors requiring guidance in preparing for such interviews should contact their district Labor Relations office.
Agenda Item #4
NAPS requested that, on a yearly basis and before the mitigation process opens, USPS Headquarters provides NAPS Headquarters and every EAS employee access to the accumulated triangulation report yearly performance scores for every office at the end of the fiscal year.
A mitigating factor is a significant occurrence beyond an office’s control that triggers a measurable impact not only on the NPA composite summary, but also on the PFP’s overall performance rating. To qualify for consideration, there must be a significant change in an office’s indicator(s) that would 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 office consumed by fire, an AMF destroyed by flood or an act of terrorism that shuts down a transportation network or plant. The following are considered for mitigation: how the occurrence had a profound impact on the office indicator, whether the occurrence caused a downward change in the NPA composite summary and what efforts the unit made to offset the occurrence.
The NPA site includes data on every scorecard and every indicator. Each indicator definition includes a source for where the data was gathered and instructions to employees on how to gather the data and calculate. We do not see the relevance between the triangulation report and unit-level mitigation. There has been an analytical approach with the intent of aligning the line-of-sight indicators with NPA.
Agenda Item #5
NAPS said the CRDO team is obligating postmasters to prepare a triangulation report by 8:30 a.m. on a daily basis. NAPS asked for a more convenient deadline for postmasters who often arrive by 8 a.m. They are checking their operation and morning emails.
The research required to drill down to last-mile failures or any other type of annotated red alert on the triangulation report often takes longer than the allotted deadline given to send this report each day to their MPOO. NAPS requested the deadline be 10 a.m. so postmasters have time to respond to their MPOOs.
The Job Aid indicates reviewing the triangulation report by 8:30 a.m.; the standard work instruction was provided. Any requirement for submitting this report by 8:30 likely is a local requirement at the district level.
Agenda Item #6
NAPS referred to the May 2015 Vehicle Fleet Maintenance restructuring. The presentation sent to the field included a Workload Credit Methodology regarding the VMF Manager Level Matrix and the correct amount of supervisor staffing. In previous discussions with the Postal Service, NAPS has been told that, when all vehicles are deployed, USPS Fleet Maintenance would revisit the EAS levels and staffing.
The vehicles are coming to VMF now—why wait for full deployment? Other functional areas have mechanisms for upgrades. NAPS asked when it can expect upgrades for fleet managers. What is the deployment schedule for next generation delivery and commercial off-the-shelf vehicles? What is the status of getting VMF technicians trained in new vehicles and technologies?
We are not ready to make changes to the formula that establishes VMF managers and supervisors. Once we are, we will include NAPS in developing any changes.
Agenda Item #7
NAPS Headquarters repeatedly has been informed that relief supervisors are not covering rest days. Districts are not using relief supervisors as intended based on the description of positions as provided NAPS by the Postal Service. The intent of this position was to cover non-scheduled days to reduce T-time and 204 (b) usage.
Relief supervisors are to be assigned a specific schedule, but, in many cases, are being used as “pool and relief” supervisors. NAPS requested that the USPS honor its intention to use these newly created EAS relief positions properly and to instruct the field on the proper use of these positions.
Relief supervisor jobs should be created and scheduled in accordance with Doug Tulino’s June 28, 2023, memorandum, “Establishment of Relief Supervisor Jobs.” Specific allegations of establishing jobs that are inconsistent with the Tulino memo should be reported through appropriate channels to be investigated.
Agenda Item #8
In the beginning of FY23, NAPS said the Headquarters Sales group was given a new NPA performance scorecard based on HERO. In the training, EAS employees were told to have three to five goals posted at all times; these goals would be developed with the individual sales rep and their manager. This would be used to reward hard work and would be done to benefit every level of the Sales group.
In mid-January, the goals were scrapped and Sales at Postal Headquarters came out with new goals. In a briefing on the HERO program, NAPS was told the goals would be developed mutually and only changed with mutual discussions as conditions may warrant. NAPS asked why USPS Headquarters Sales unilaterally changed agreed-on goals and replaced them with often unrealistic mandates.
We are not aware of goals being “scrapped” across the Sales organizations. Goals can be modified for different reasons, such as a goal is tied to a specific project and that project was placed on hold or eliminated. Employees and their managers can replace goals; discussions should be held regarding the matter.
Agenda Item #9
NAPS asked whether DOIS can be programmed to recognize pivot/split route assignments so when a package is scanned it is identified as such.
The DOIS program may not be capable of accommodating this request. However, Headquarters is exploring whether future programming of the mobile delivery devicetechnical refresh (MDD-TR) could include this ability for a carrier to quickly scan the parcels and separate them for other carriers. This will be added to MDD-TR change requests for consideration of a future enhancement.
Agenda Item #10
NAPS Headquarters has been made aware that, as a result of the recent rural route mail count, many rural route carrier evaluations have exceeded $85,000 per year, resulting in unit supervisors making less than the rural carriers they supervise.
NAPS requested a separate supervisor differential adjustment be created for Customer Service supervisors who supervise rural carriers, with pay set at 5% above the highest-paid rural carrier based on Title 39 of the US Code Section1004(a):
“It shall be the policy of the Postal Service to provide compensation, working conditions, and career opportunities that will assure the attraction and retention of qualified and capable supervisory and other managerial personnel; to provide adequate and reasonable differentials in rates of pay between employees in the clerk and carrier grades in the line work force and supervisory and other managerial personnel …”
The request to modify the supervisor differential adjustment policy is appropriate for discussions in pay consultation and should be presented in that forum.
The rural carrier function has several types of schedules for pay, such as a Rural Carrier Mileage Schedule and an Evaluated Schedule. An Evaluated Schedule can be significantly greater than a 40-hour work schedule.
Agenda Item #11
NAPS said that, at the Akron, OH, Post Office, the manager job at the North Hill branch recently was posted with Wednesday and Thursday off. About two years ago, Akron lost the manager, Customer Service Operations (MCSO) position; they did not work weekends. The supervisor at North Hill works on Saturday and Sunday.
NAPS asked why a manager would work on Saturday and Sunday at a delivery unit. Most likely, in this case, it is a way to cover the lost MCSO position duties. When this issue was brought to the Akron postmaster, he indicated that jobs were posted in the plant in this manner. If so, why not in a delivery unit?
Local HR indicated if the postmaster wanted to post a manager job this way, there was nothing to prohibit it. NAPS contends a Customer Service manager position is intended to oversee delivery operations at a unit, work with customers as necessary and support the supervisor at that office in the overall performance of their duties. Manager jobs should be posted with Saturday and Sunday as non-scheduled days.
In this instance, the supervisor at North Hill will face increased workhours on Wednesday and Thursday because the manager will not be there to close the unit. NAPS requested this manager posting be rescinded and posted with Saturday and Sunday as non-scheduled days.
While investigating this matter, Central Area HR and the district manager decided the position would be reposted with non-scheduled days of Saturday and Sunday.
NAPS Headquarters has reported the position has not been reposted with Saturday and Sunday as non-scheduled days.