The following are excerpts from a letter sent by Susan Carney, APWU Director Human Relations Department to the field:
On May 29, 2009, the Postal Service concluded its National Reassessment Process Limited Duty pilot program. APWU has been notified that this program is being implemented nationwide effective July 13, 2009, with “work status meetings” beginning no sooner than July 27th. You should be aware that the Limited Duty NRP will target limited duty employees as well as those rehab employees who have not yet been subjected ot the original NRP Phase 2, which is now being referred to as the MMI NRP. This new NRP is not intended to replace the MMI NRP. They will exist simultaneously, therefore as explained by the Postal Service, some rehab employees will be subjected to both versions of the program.
It is our belief that this new program has been established to accelerate the NRP, which to this point has proven unfruitful in reducing the Service’s chargeback liabilities when considering the years of resources and finances that the Service has invested in it. We also suspect a dismal response to the USPS’ solicitation , offering early outs is another driving force behind the program.
Nonetheless, the USPS insists that the program merely applies existing NRP processes to the targeted employees and that “available work” decisions will be consistent with current, relevant regulations. However, our review of the new Limited Duty NRP protocol guidelines not only exposed distinct and fundamental differences between the previous MMI program and the new Limited Duty program, but also revealed the continuation of the violations which we previously grieved at the national
Meetings with the USPS
We were advised that districts will start implementation on a staggered basis as determined by each USPS area. The Service projected that there will only be a one-two week period between commencement dates. The USPS further advised that all local and stated union leadership will receive timely briefings, and that employees on the workroom floor will receive a stand up talk regarding the new limited duty process. Additionally, the USPS reiterated that union representation will be provided when bargaining unit employees make such a request.