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September 22, 2023
President Ivan D. Butts, Executive Vice President Chuck Mulidore and Secretary/Treasurer Jimmy Warden attended the June 28 Zoom consultative meeting. Representing the Postal Service were Bruce Nicholson, James Timmons, Paulita Wimbush and Tomica Duplessis, Labor Relations Policies & Programs.
Agenda Item #1
NAPS noted that the APWU has requested access to TACS management reports so they can run them for management. However, to date, USPS Headquarters has not provided access to these reports. Therefore, local management has to run/pull these reports, which is lead 7 clerk work according to the APWU and generates a grievance. The resolution would be to allow the lead 7 clerk to have access to these reports.
This matter already has been posed to Headquarters and is being evaluated.
Agenda Item #2
NAPS is concerned that upward mobility details are being offered to non-career employees due to lack of interest by local EAS employees. NAPS has two concerns:
1. Local NAPS members are not seeing details posted locally to apply for them.
2. NAPS has expressed its concerns over the lack of mentoring and development of EAS employees that is further actively disengaging EAS employees.
NAPS requested that USPS Headquarters develops a posting policy for all details (authorized and unauthorized). NAPS also requested that, if no suitable EAS employee is found locally for a posted detail assignment, the detail assignment be offered to a wider area of consideration to Form 50 EAS employees.
We have discussed this with NAPS on previous occasions. Staffing NTE positions and/or details are opportunities usually of a developmental nature and are temporary. The best qualified or suitable individual should be selected.
Those employees interested in career advancement should notify their manager. HERO also is a great tool for those interested in career advancement. Ensure that your HERO profile is completed and up to date. Career conversations can be requested through HERO and development plans can be established with your manager.
HERO development outlines three important steps for employees who seek advancement opportunities to follow:
1. It starts with your HERO Profile.
2. Have a career conversation.
3. Develop a plan.
Career conversations facilitate an environment for the employee and their designated/selected managers to have meaningful conversations about the employee’s career aspirations, organizational needs and a path for developing and achieving career goals.
A development plan is a living document that outlines key development activities necessary for obtaining knowledge, skills and experience that can advance an employee in their current role or a role into which they intend on growing.
HERO also affords local management the opportunity to develop talent pools. Talent pool management serves as the foundation for identifying and promoting talent, facilitating career development and organizing corporate succession planning. By using talent pools, the organization can calibrate their talent, draw from both formal and informal experiences and support the future work of the Postal Service.
Talent pools provide an online area to organize and calibrate your talent. Talent pools eliminate hard-copy succession plans. Instead, succession plans are stored in one, centralized location where talent can be identified, sorted and managed. Talent pools can be private or shared with other employees who have access to them.
Agenda Item #3
NAPS referred to the mercury spills occurring around the country in various facilities, large and small, and observed it is incumbent on the organization to ask and pursue what effects these spills are having on NPA data in and around these impacted facilities. Closures, shutdowns, network changes, scanning impacts, workhour impacts and COOPs have ripple effects across operations, service, budgets and more.
NAPS noted it further is concerned about the safety impact to those employees, including EAS, who work in these facilities. NAPS asked what has changed in the induction process for these types of parcels that is allowing these dangerous chemicals to enter the mailstream. What will the USPS do to investigate and correct these deficiencies?
Determining whether there is any impact to NPA can occur months later. For example, some financial indicators are measured monthly and reporting is not yet available. If there is a significant impact on NPA for these events, then mitigating factors are considered.
The process for package acceptance has not changed. The emphasis on keeping mercury out of the mail stream continues to increase and can be measured by escalating focus and additional resources provided to the field as it relates to this prohibited item. Some recent/ongoing/upcoming actions include:
Additionally, there is collaboration across multiple functions at Headquarters to remind customers, mailers, shippers and employees that mercury is not mailable. Standardized, consistent messaging, internally and externally, is being prepared. This includes collaboration with the Inspection Service that still is conducting an investigation in response to the mercury spills.
There is a strong response plan to protect people, facilities and the mail that is managed through National Preparedness. Communications will start June 26.
Agenda Item #4
On Nov. 30, 2022, a letter was sent to NAPS President Ivan D. Butts concerning the evaluation of nonbargaining positions assigned to S&DCs, specifically the hub and spoke offices scheduled for implementation in February 2023. The USPS determined, for the February 2023 implementation, that the incumbent postmaster in the spoke offices and their corresponding grades will remain unchanged.
NAPS asked what the USPS position is after February 2023 with incumbent postmasters from spoke offices and their current corresponding grades. Will they remain the same or change? If they remain the same, for how long? If they change, when will the change take place?
Postmasters in spoke offices will remain in their installations. The levels of those postmasters will not be reduced due to this organizational change.
Agenda Item #5
NAPS contended that, currently, a CCA who is a non-career employee has 90 days to prove they can do the job in order to be hired. More often than not, they take most of their probation time to be comfortable with the area and the location regarding routes they have been assigned to case and deliver.
These new non-career CCA employees adversely affect local management’s NPA scores regarding the F2DPH%SPLY goal as they run over in the street because they are new. The non-career CCAs often can’t maintain authorized time on routes assigned this early in their postal tenure. How is this fair to the office regarding their NPA, which affects the Functional Effectiveness portion of their scorecard, worth 50%?
All new employees require time to master skills and become proficient at their jobs. NAPS has raised concerns in the past concerning employee vacancies, hiring, onboarding, overtime, service, supervisors carrying mail and how these issues impact hours, budget and NPA. Now that we are seeing improvements in hiring, we need to focus on retaining these employees.
As we properly train and retain more of these new employees, there will be less of a need to be constantly replacing them and starting the process over. As NAPS is aware, as CCAs are hired on, they become part of the facilities’ SWC workload.
This F2DPH indicator is measured against SPLY; new CCAs are hired throughout the year. Essentially, the indicator is measuring performance of new CCAs against the prior year’s per-formance (SPLY) of CCAs who were new during that time period.
Agenda Item #6
NAPS asked if USPS Headquarters will move offices owned by the USPS into an S&DC.
We need clarification on this question.
Agenda Item #7
NAPS asked when an office is relocated into an S&DC location/environment, how long will it be before USPS Headquarters requires a new pay-level evaluation for the displaced postmaster?
The postmaster has not been “displaced.” In our Nov. 30, 2022, letter to NAPS, we specified that incumbent postmasters in spoke offices and their corresponding grades will remain unchanged. If that office becomes vacant or is currently vacant, then the level of the office may change. See response to Agenda Item #4.
Delegates at the 2022 NAPS National Convention expressed by resolution the following issues for discussion:
That the current waiting period for higher-level compensation for EAS employees be abolished, and that a new, higher-level compensation procedure be created that will serve to acknowledge and compensate EAS employees immediately when they are required to perform higher-level duties in full daily shifts.
This is a request to modify pay policy and should be provided during pay consultations, Title 39 1004(e).
That NAPS enters into consultations with the USPS to develop and implement a Supervisor Staffing Workload model for Mail Processing facilities, and that the Supervisor Staffing Workload Evaluation process encompasses all duties, employees, machinery and responsibilities of SDO positions.
This resolution is not adopted. The Postal Service has determined that the onrolls craft count in calculating supervisor positions in plants is appropriate.
That ELM 519.733 be amended to compensate exempt field employees for all additional hours they are required to work due to staffing issues and operational requirements, and that ELM 519.733 be amended to allow exempt field employees who work additional hours be allowed to choose among:
1. Taking a day off not within the same service week.
2. Compensation with pay for all additional hours worked (additional time).
3. Compensation of one hour of annual leave for one hour of required additional work added to their leave balance.
This resolution is not adopted. ELM 519.733, Directed to Work, is for full days only, when an exempt employee is directed to work a full day on a holiday or other full day in addition to normal workdays, not for any other additional hours worked.
While Headquarters has an interest in facilitating resolutions, field management is responsible for controlling their workhour budget of their assigned installation. If employees are allowed to choose their unscheduled days, it would circumvent ELM provision 519.751. Supervisors are exempt employees. If this is implemented, then requiring another day off would circumvent supervisor T-time/additional pay.
Additionally, Human Resources is working with Operations on reducing nonbargaining vacancies by posting and filling positions expeditiously. The authorization of relief supervisors will contribute to the reduction in requiring exempt employees to work additional hours. Although exempt employees are not limited to a certain number of hours, there is a practical limit on the extent and regularity of requiring additional hours of employees.
The Postal Service policy for nonbargaining unit personal absence time is located in ELM 519.7 (detailed as follows). This language contains limitations and exceptions for full- and partial-day absences.
519.7 Nonbargaining Unit Personal Absence
“Nonbargaining unit employees’ personal absence time is paid time off. It is not charged as annual leave, sick leave, or any other paid leave category. Only FLSA-exempt employees are eligible for such time off.”
“Nonbargaining unit exempt employees are paid on a salary basis. This means that under the FLSA they are not considered to be hourly rate employees. Therefore, partial day absences are paid the same as work time. While exempt employees are expected to work a full day, they may request time off to attend to personal matters during the workday, including time off due to conditions covered by FMLA. If approved, the time off is ‘personal absence time’ and is not charged to annual leave, sick leave, or LWOP.”
519.73 Limitations and Exceptions
519.731 Full-Day Absences
“Except as provided for in 519.733, personal absence time is not authorized for a full-day absence, which must be charged to annual leave, sick leave, or LWOP, as appropriate. An exempt employee who plans to be absent from work for more than a half day on a workday should apply in advance for a full day of annual leave, sick leave, or LWOP, unless the absence is for an FMLA-covered condition.”
519.732 Partial-Day Absences
“Normally, personal absence time is limited to no more than half an employee’s workday. However, when an unanticipated need for time off occurs after the employee reports to work and the employee is allowed to leave work but is unable to return, the half-day limit does not apply. For example, when an employee gets sick after 2 hours at work and must leave for the remaining 6 hours of the workday, the entire 6 hours is treated as personal absence time. However, managers may disapprove personal leave requests when necessary to carry out their responsibilities to control work hours as set forth in 519.75. In this regard, managers may require the use of an appropriate leave category, for example, sick leave in the case of partial-day absences for FMLA-covered conditions.”
519.733 Directed to Work
“When an exempt employee is directed to work a full day on a holiday or other full day in addition to normal workdays, the supervisor may grant a full day of personal absence without charging it to official leave.”
“A full-time exempt employee is expected to work a full day and a part-time exempt employee is expected to work the full or partial day specified at the time of their employment. A full day is defined to include the continuous or nearly continuous time that an employee normally works in a 24-hour period. A half day is half that number of hours.”
“Except for postmasters and installation heads, exempt employees must obtain prior approval from their supervisors for all absences, whether or not such absences are to be charged to the employee’s leave account. At the discretion of the installation head, PS Form 3971 may be used to request personal absences not charged to leave.
“Postmasters and installation heads normally are not required to obtain advance approval for personal absences. They are required, however, to keep an accurate record of all such absences and generally to keep their manager informed of planned periods away from the office. In this respect, the manager may require the use of PS Form 3971 to report absences. On an individual basis, vice presidents of Area Operations may require that a postmaster or installation head obtain advance approval of all absences, including personal absences, from the plant or district manager, as appropriate, when the individual’s previous performance warrants such action.
“When PS Form 3971 is used for personal absence time, it must indicate in Remarks: ‘Do not charge to leave.’”
519.743 Full-Day Leave
“Each full day of approved absence is to be charged to official leave. Absences such as court leave, military leave, holiday leave, donated leave, continuation of pay, and all administrative leave are to be approved and reflected on an exempt employee’s time record.”
519.75 Management Controls
“Managers are responsible for controlling the workhours of their exempt employees. They may require the attendance of these employees during and outside of regular service hours and, when warranted, may disapprove advance requests for late arrivals, early departures, or other absences, as well as leave. These instructions are not intended to be overly restrictive, but managers must be aware of the frequency of requests for personal leave, recognize patterns in the use of this leave, and be alert to possible abuse. They must also give consideration to the amount of the current workload or urgency of a particular program or project that requires the employee’s presence.”
“This program must be administered in a fair and equitable manner. Managers must advise their employees of the reasons for requiring their attendance during or outside of regular service hours and for denying their requests for personal absence or leave. Employees are also to be given the opportunity to informally discuss the decision with the managers.”
That NAPS consults with the Postal Service to change the language in the ELM 519.733 to reflect: “When an exempt employee is directed to work on a holiday or other day in addition to normal workdays, the supervisor shall grant a full day of personal absence without charging it to official leave, of the employee’s choosing.”
This resolution is not adopted. Field management is responsible for controlling their workhour budget of their assigned installation. If employees are allowed to choose their unscheduled days, it would circumvent ELM provision 519.751. Supervisors are exempt employees. If this is implemented, then requiring another day off would circumvent supervisor T-time/additional pay.
Categories: The Postal Supervisor