Pay increases associated with the Feb. 16 upgrades will be reflected in March 7 paychecks, but the USPS has informed the APWU that the new level adjustments have not been implemented because the Postal Service has failed to complete the necessary computer programming.
Employees will receive the value of the upgrade, but postal records will continue to indicate that employees are assigned to their former level. For example, an employee who was due to be upgraded from Level 5 to Level 6 on Feb. 16 will receive the value of the upgrade in his or her pay, but the employee’s Form 50 and pay stub will indicate the employee is assigned to Level 5.
The Postal Service expects the programming to be completed by Pay Period 10-2008, when Forms 50 and pay statements will reflect the correct grade assignments. Pay Period 10 begins on April 26; the pay date is May 16.
“There is absolutely no excuse for the Postal Service’s failure to complete this project on time,” said APWU President William Burrus. “The 2006-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement was signed on March 29, 2007. It is unacceptable that the programming required to implement the terms of the agreement is incomplete more than 11 months later.
“I have expressed my dissatisfaction directly to the postmaster general. Apparently, his intervention was insufficient to correct the problem in the short time that remained.”
A letter prepared by the USPS has been mailed to APWU-represented employees, explaining that the pay increases reflect a one-level upgrade, but, due to computer programming difficulties, numerical level adjustments will be made in Pay Period 10-2008.
On payday, March 7:
A notation indicating “Upgrade” will appear on the earnings statement for Pay Period 5 (Feb. 16-29, 2008);
The pay of employees who were upgraded from Grade 1 and Grade 9 (approximately 250 employees) will reflect an upgrade based on the old pay scale. When the programming is complete, the salary to which these employees were upgraded on Feb. 16 will be eliminated, and they will be slotted in the correct, higher grade;
Employees who were upgraded from Grades 3 and 7 will move into pay grades with shorter waiting periods. Because employees carry their waiting time, an adjustment will have to be made in the due-date for the next step increase for these employees. Some employees in these groups may be eligible for an immediate move to the next step. These step increases will not take place on Feb. 16, but will be accomplished by Pay Period 10, along with any necessary retroactive pay adjustments.
Corrected Forms 50 will be executed for all employees once reprogramming of the payroll system has been completed. In the unlikely event that any employees have been overpaid, the Postal Service has agreed, at the union’s request, to waive collection of the overpayment.
Despite the appearance of the erroneous grades on pay documents and Forms 50, postings inviting bids and applications, as well as award notices, will use the correct pay grades.
“We will work with the Postal Service to ensure that no APWU member is adversely affected by the programming delay,” Burrus said, “and that the upgrades we negotiated will be accurately reflected in all postal records as soon as possible.