USPS/NAPS May 2009 Consultative Minutes

Representing the Postal Service:
Bill Jones, Manager, Labor Relations, Policy Administration
Lee Olohan, Labor Relations Specialist
John Mularski, Manager, Complement Staffing & Field Policies

Representing NAPS:
Ted Keating, National President
Louis Atkins, Executive Vice President
Jay Killackey, Secretary/Treasurer
Marilyn Walton, Western region VP
Ivan Butts, Eastern Region VP
Tommy Roma, NY Area VP
Hans Aglidian, Mid-East Area VP
Cyril Dumas, New England Area VP

The meeting opened with a briefing on the current situation with the USPS. Next years’ anticipated volume is expected to be 168 billion pieces which is 45 billion less than 2007.

NAPS discussed the fact that individuals who are attempting to lateral to another position at the same level or downgrade to a lower level position are being advised that they cannot make these requests.

NAPS reminded management that a response on their FAQ sheet was that this was allowable. USPS said that they would ensure that this information is correct in the field.

NAPS stated that there are issues with a lack of information for members who are impacted in the consolidation of the Spokane District and that there are problems with finding all available positions in eCareers.

Other attendees from the meeting representing NAPS stated that they are seeing the same problems with eCareers in their areas. It was added that Phase One was limited as to the number of positions that were posted while in Phase Two there would be many jobs posted and that if problems still existed in displaying positions that some sort of accompanying spreadsheet should be provided so that individuals seeking positions to apply for would know all of the positions available without having to shift through the many pages of eCareer.

The USPS responded that they would look into this matter. NAPS requested that a teleconference be set up with Shared Services to discuss this problem.

NAPS Item #1

NAPS is requesting an update on BMC Changes.

USPS Response:

Dave Williams, Manager Processing Operations provided a handout of the planned changes in the BMC Network. Full details of this presentation have been sent out to the Executive Board as Board Memo 051/09. this a large file so it was sent out in separate email messages.

NAPS Item#2

NAPS HDQTS has been notified that there are 4 abolished ATS positions at AMC/AMFs but their city’s P&DC has a vacant Networks Specialist of the same grade.

These include:
*Albuquerque AMF – Albuquerque P&DC, *Nashville Priority Annex -Nashville P&DC, *Seattle AMC – Seattle P&DC, *Milwaukee AMC -Milwaukee P&DC

We determined that there are only three impacted ATS employees without a landing spot:
*EAS-18 ATS Bradley AMF (Hartford P&DC does not have a vacant Networks Specialist.)
*EAS-16 ATS Tulsa AMF (Tulsa P&DC does not have a vacant Networks
*EAS-18 ATS San Antonio AMF (San Antonio P&DC does not have a vacant Networks Specialist.)

For the impacted ATS in AMC/AMF where no successor Network position is available, these employees need to be notified and provided their RIF avoidance opportunities. Per information I received from Shirley Ford, if these are active AMC/AMF, the RIF will be conducted in that competitive area. If the AMC/AMF has been closed and these employees have been moved to plants, they will be processed in the plant organization change.

Area/District HR should complete the process of placing successor ATS in the Network positions in the appropriate competitive area. Likewise, for those ATS employees in the AMF/AMC who are successors to their city P&DC positions, they too need to be informed and paperwork processed.

NAPS is requesting that USPS Headquarters intercede and that the field be instructed not to post any Network Specialist vacancy where an incumbent ATS is impacted. NAPS would like to know the position of USPS in addressing this concern.

USPS Response:
The Postal Service is still reviewing this situation to come up with a remedy.

NAPS Item #3
NAPS has been advised by members in the field that there has been a change in one of their Core goals and that this seems to have been done arbitrarily by the receipt of an email. The text of the message is shown below:

The core requirement Injury Claim Processing Timeliness – (CA-1s, CA-2s, & CA-7s) has been changed in the Performance Evaluation System (PES) to Injury Claim Processing Timeliness – (CA-1s, CA-2s). Your core requirements have been automatically updated in PES and no further action is required on your part for this change.

NAPS would like to know the reason(s) for this change. The members who brought this to NAPS HQ attention stated that this goal was being tracked and that they have been successful in meeting the established targets. They believe that this Core goal was changed as it was being accomplished.

USPS Response:
The reason that the USPS concluded that this was a necessary change was not due to the fact that individuals were achieving this goal. The change was due to the anticipated changes in the Limited Duty Pilot Program that are expected to see employees increase their filings of CA-7’s by an anticipated 300% over the current filings.

Had management not took this projected increase into consideration and changed the goal at the mid-year point, individuals who had this as a Core Goal would have received a non-contributor rating at the end of the fiscal year.

NAPS has received information that there are ASP classes underway in several Districts in the Pacific Area. NAPS is concerned that if there are some Districts who are continuing these classes, (NAPS believes that none of the classes should have been halted as they are necessary). From the information we have received it is apparent that the ASP classes are necessary. Why isn’t the Postal Service doing the same thing everywhere?

USPS Response:
The USPS found that there were several Districts who had not met the requirements of USPS HQ for cessation of ASP classes. Now, all classes have been stopped.

ASP’s who are reaching their 18 month threshold for promotion to EAS-17 are being advised that they will not receive their promotions. This promotion time schedule was reached through negotiation with NAPS. NAPS has not been consulted about the changes in the agreement on this promotion and the actions of the Postal Service are denying negotiated salary increases that can be appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board.

In order to avoid the cost and delay in going through with these appeals, NAPS is requesting that the Postal service comply with the agreement on promotional increases of ASP’s after 18 months.

USPS Response:
This is a move that has been implemented only on a temporary basis and the decision will be reviewed at a later date following the restructuring period.

In the New York Metro Area, at the time the most recent SWC’s was implemented, the Area determined that it would provide relief coverage in areas where the regular supervisory staffing did not provide adequate coverage for the non-scheduled days of the supervisors that were assigned to the office. The offices in question received a variance in their staffing so that a relief supervisor could be assigned to cover non-scheduled days of the supervisors in the offices.
With the recent restructuring, the NY Metro Area made a determination that the relief supervisor positions were no longer necessary and that the offices would be required to function without them. This is placing a significant hardship on the office where these positions were eliminated.

NAPS is requesting that this decision be reviewed and that the relief supervisors be returned to the office who have already received a variance.

USPS Response:
The USPS reviewed the staffing of offices that had received variances based on the current economic situation and the changes in volume and determined that these positions could no linger be supported.

As it is shown on the job description of Postmasters and Managers, these individuals can directly supervise craft employees and should do so in cases where supervisors are non-scheduled.

Pending Items
1. NAPS is requesting a briefing on the plans of the USPS to provide specific on-the-job or classroom training to individuals who will be crossing over from either support or processing positions in customer services. (4/1/2009 Agenda)

USPS Response:
training programs to assist individuals in job transitions. These training As was previously discussed with NAPS, the USPS is developing several programs should be ready for the field in June, 2009.

2. NAPS has previously expressed to Bill Jones our position on the impact on EAS employees in Plant operations, particularly those EAS employees whose positions may not be directly impacted by the staffing reductions brought forward by the change in the EAS to craft ratios and the fact that they are the “owners” of current positions, a position that we have long held and that has been supported by the Postal Service for many years.

t is our position that EAS employees who are currently in bid positions that are not impacted by the staffing changes should not be required to apply for consideration for their current position.

Due to the consolidation of Tour Two operations concurrent with the staffing ratio changes, there may be some situations where slight schedule adjustments may be required but the changes in time do not change the basic duties of the position; i.e. automation, flat operations, platform operations, etc.

We are concerned that it has already been discussed at the District level that all positions would be placed into a pool and that all EAS employees in Processing & Distribution would be required to re-bid their positions. Application for positions should be limited to those individuals whose positions are impacted by tour compressions. (4/1/2009 Agenda)

USPS Response:
After the last board meeting, when this topic was first discussed, USPS HQ conducted a teleconference with the Area offices and advised them that they should not utilize a plan that required all individuals to bid for positions.
The USPS does not expect that a national policy be developed for this matter as the issue is best handled at the local level.
NAPS officials in attendance advised the USPS that in several situations individuals have been moved off their tour to another tour when there was no logical reason, i.e. seniority, etc. NAPS contended that these transfers are violations of the Donahoe letter.

The USPS advised that these matters should be dealt with locally.

NAPS insisted that these are local issues but, when they cannot be settled through local negotiations that there should be some national guidance using a RIF retention list as a guide for seniority when individuals need to be excessed from a tour and that this should not be accomplished by choosing and individual because it is a good fit for the USPS.

3. NAPS has been hearing complaints that the NPA process has not been properly followed by several field managers and believe that someone other than the immediate manager must review the process.

After review by the immediate supervisor, the rating still is in question, the immediate manager will review the rating and if that rating is still lowered, a qualified written response explaining the reason must be provided.

If no agreement can be reached between the parties, an independent method of decision with regards to the process will be established.

NAPS explained in detail the problems that are occurring in the field. There are managers who are arbitrarily changing goals at the mid-year point just because they do not like the goals that were given at the start of the year.

NAPS also provided feedback that when our members receive exceptional contributor ratings, the ratings are lowered by the PCES  installation head and there is no response from that individual as to why the lowered the ranking.

Also, there are instances occurring where individuals get a highcontributor rating that a second level manager arbitrarily reduces to a contributor rating. (3-11-09 Agenda)

USPS Response:
4. A supervisor in the NY Metro Area was assigned to two offices during the evaluation period. The first office he was assigned for four months. Following the four month assignment, the supervisor was then assigned to another station for the remainder of the year.

Documentation in the file indicates that his consecutive details were four months and eight months in length.
NAPS is requesting that this problem be investigated at the national and that the dates of the detail assignments be corrected in the PFP system which will ultimately result in a correct NPA payout. (3-11-09 Agenda)

USPS Response:
It is the responsibility of the individual to maintain their profile in order to ensure that their evaluations reflect the positions that they held during the rating period. The USPS cannot provide for changes that resulted in the failure of individuals to maintain their PES profile.

5 There have been problems with delays in decisions from management officials in ELM 650 cases. Management stated at our January meeting that this matter would be discussed at a future meeting of Area level H/R managers. (3-11-09 Agenda)

USPS Response:
NAPS has already provided some of our concerns in changes that we believe are necessary in ELM 650. Those included: directing the field to maintain the time periods for processing cases (they now are not complying) and to not allow the frequent use of emergency off-duty status without pay in violation of the ELM.

The USPS added that once the restructuring process is concluded that more time can be allocated to discuss and resolve ELM 650 issues.

6 At our last consultative meeting, Vice President Doug Tulino agreed with a proposal from NAPS to provide a letter that would give instructions to the field in the matter of arbitrary changes in Core goal result scores at the end of year for the 2008 NPA. NAPS would like to move forward on the discussions we held with Doug Tulino and return the affected eRecourse cases to the local level for adjudication.

We would like to have this correspondence prepared as soon as possible. (4/1/2009 Agenda)

USPS Response:
A draft letter has been prepared and is in final review. The USPS is attempting to determine the process that will be used to properly address NAPS concerns with respect to problems with NPA.