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Your Rights as a NAPS Member: A Refresher
By Chuck Mulidore
Thomas Jefferson wrote, “… that knowledge is power, that knowledge is safety, and that knowledge is happiness.” So, every now and again, I go back and refresh an article for publication in The Postal Supervisor that continues to be relevant or about which I have received many calls or inquiries.
In April, I discussed a couple issues about which we receive many calls at NAPS Headquarters. As I travel about the country, I continue to get questions regarding when a person can leave the union after promotion to EAS and what rights EAS employees have as NAPS members. They are important topics, so, here we go once more.
First up: How a promoted supervisor leaves the craft union once they become an EAS employee. This matter is governed by the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM), Section 925.122(c), Special Circumstances:
“An employee whose documented position is not within a recognized bargaining unit (such as a supervisor), but who is having dues withheld for a labor organization that is recognized as a bargaining agent (see 923a), may voluntarily cancel the dues withholding authorization, effective the first full pay period after the request for cancellation is received at the HRSSC. The PS Form 1188 should be annotated to reflect the employee’s current job title and effective date.”
In other words, once you have been promoted to a titled supervisory, EAS position, you may leave the union at any time, provided you note your current position title and effective date of your promotion on the PS Form 1188 you would submit to the Shared Services Center (HRSSC) in Greensboro, NC.
Another issue about which members contact us, unfortunately, is regarding members who work at USPS Headquarters or in a field position that reports to USPS Headquarters who are told they cannot be represented by NAPS or even join NAPS. We are not sure why some individuals misrepresent the facts, but the truth of the matter is this: Any EAS employee—whether they work in the field, at Headquarters, a district or area—can join NAPS and be represented by NAPS in any disciplinary matter.
Such participation is governed by ELM Section 912.1, Right to Participation:
“Postal personnel have the right, freely and without fear of penalty or reprisal, to form, join, or assist a supervisory or managerial organization or to refrain from any such activity. Such personnel are protected in the exercise of such rights. Such rights include participation in the management of the organization and acting as organization representative and may include the presentation of the organization’s views to Postal Service officials, officials of the Executive Branch, the Congress, or other appropriate authority.”
Also, ELM Section 912.2, Right to Membership:
“No interference, restraint, coercion, or discrimination to encourage or discourage membership in such an organization shall be effected in the Postal Service.”
The right to have NAPS represent members in matters that may become disciplinary in nature is governed by ELM Section 651.2, Representation:
“Subject to prohibitions regarding Executive and Administrative Schedule (EAS)/Craft representation, employees have free choice of representation. Representatives designated by employees, if postal employees and if otherwise in a duty status, are granted a reasonable amount of official time to respond to notices of proposed disciplinary action, to prepare for and represent the employee at a hearing held in accordance with 652.24, and/or to represent an employee who has appealed a letter of warning or emergency placement in a nonduty status in accordance with 652.4. Employees covered under these provisions may request representation during investigative questioning if the employee has a reasonable belief disciplinary action may ensue.”
There you have it! Once you are promoted to an EAS position, you can fill out PS Form 1188 and leave the union. You also have the right to join and actively participate in NAPS, as well as be represented by NAPS in any matters that may be disciplinary in nature—no matter what your EAS role at the Postal Service.