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Rethinking EAS Pay and PFP
By Brian J. Wagner
In my January 2020 Postal Supervisor column, I referenced there was no official FY20 PFP agreement between the USPS and NAPS. I would like to bring you up to date on this issue. Here’s the scoop:
In early December, NAPS informed the Postal Service—as a sign of our good faith—that we would participate in a joint workgroup with the Postal Service to explore and resolve supervisory pay issues for FY20, including pay-for-performance (PFP). NAPS made clear its participation in the workgroup process did not waive any of NAPS’ rights and claims in its pending lawsuit against the Postal Service over the FY16-19 pay package and NAPS’ representation of EAS employees.
NAPS also agreed in early December to specific modifications to the FY19 and FY20 pay packages, as proposed by the Postal Service, that would improve NPA corporate and unit composite weights and benefit NAPS members. In a letter dated Dec. 16, 2019, the Postal Service confirmed the adoption of those changes and the application of new NPA corporate and unit composite weights for FY20 for all career, nonbargaining personnel. I will explain these actions and their significance, as well as what’s ahead for the joint workgroup.
As you are aware, the NPA corporate and unit composite weights are part of the formula used by the USPS to calculate final PFP payouts for EAS employees. The new NPA indicator weights that NAPS agreed to were modified to 50% corporate and 50%unit. They will be applied for FY20 to all eligible field nonbargaining employees.
Over the years, the USPS—and even NAPS members—casually have referred to the EAS pay system as PFP, as though the two were synonymous. They are not. As we embark on workgroup talks with the Postal Service over EAS pay, NAPS will work toward creating a pay system that is systemically fair and equitably rewards performance—specifically, individual performance. What role PFP serves in that system remains to be decided.
As I reported in my January column, the USPS has not proposed the elements of a FY20 pay package or any framework for improving PFP. To date, no FY20 PFP rules or any PFP cell matrix or pay percentages have been proposed by the USPS or agreed to by NAPS. That is because more fundamental issues about EAS pay and PFP remain subject to discussion between the USPS and NAPS.
Again, it is unknown at this time what will be in a final FY20 EAS pay system until the pay consultation process has concluded. That is why NAPS is participating in the joint workgroup with the Postal Service. NAPS is aware the Postal Service is not going to shy away from making PFP part of a FY20 pay system. We want to discuss how a future EAS pay system should be designed and whether and how that includes a PFP element.
To reach that outcome, NAPS believes the joint workgroup needs to address how the EAS pay system recognizes fiscal year organizational accomplishments, as well as individual performance, to assure fair and reasonable compensation. As a starting point, NAPS will accept nothing less than an EAS pay system that adheres to the law—and Mails the requirements of Title 39—regardless whether PFP is part of the pay structure.
If PFP remains a part of the EAS pay system, we want to correct the systemic PFP flaws correctly highlighted by the 2019 Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service’s factfinding panel in its report. Finding the right answers on an improved pay system begins with asking the right questions, which will require the USPS and NAPS to focus first on what a fair and equitable EAS pay system means and then, what role, if any, PFP should play. This is why discussions between the parties at this point remain in the conceptual stage, with a specific FY20 EAS pay system yet to be designed.
Until then, NAPS, in good faith, will continue to participate in the joint workgroup with the Postal Service to diligently resolve our EAS pay problems, including those related to pay-for-performance.
Just to let you know, I have worked diligently on selecting a flawless March 2020 ice-cream-of-the-month recommendation: spumoni.