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The National League of Postmasters is Committed to the welfare of Postmasters, OICs, PMRs and EAS employees, the LEAGUE represents all its members through alliance with officials of the U.S. Postal Service and members of Congress on Capitol Hill.
News and Feature Highlights
July 7, 2014
Updated Information on the July 8th LAC Posting for Impacted Postmasters
LEAGUE Headquarters wants to remind all impacted Postmasters that the Limited Area of Consideration (LAC) special job posting opens July 8 and closes July 23. The LEAGUE received the attached sample letter which is being sent to Postmasters who took voluntary downgrades to 6 hour Postmaster jobs. These 431 Postmasters will be able to apply for jobs during the LAC in July.
The letter also states that Postmasters who were formerly in a POStPlan post office and took a voluntary reassignment to their current 6-hour RMPO or PTPO position are included in the incentive offer to separate by resignation, voluntary early retirement, or optional retirement.
We will keep you updated as new information becomes available.
July 3, 2014
Updated POStPlan FAQs and Incentive Payment FAQs
On June 27th LEAGUE Headquarters posted new information on the POStPlan RIF timeline. We also shared information on the VER with $10,000 incentive. For those Optional and VER eligible Postmasters that qualify and accept this incentive, the payout will be December 5, 2014. These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the incentive payment can assist in answering questions you may have.
The LEAGUE also received an updated version of the POStPlan FAQs These FAQs have updates explaining the RIF process and links to liteblue, Human Resources that can also answer a lot of questions you may have.
There have been a lot of questions on the posting in July that is a Limited Area of Consideration (LAC) for POStPlan impacted Postmasters. It should be noted that the area of consideration has been expanded for this posting to include adjacent Districts not just the District your office is in.
Part Time 6 hour Postmaster jobs will not be posted in this LAC. This is the reason given to us by the Postal Service for not filling them at this time: The APWU has filed a national level dispute regarding the Postal Service’s decision to staff Level 6, Level 4, and Level 2 offices with part-time career Postmasters and PMRs. The case has been arbitrated, the parties have submitted briefs, and the Postal Service is awaiting the arbitrator’s ruling. Until we get that ruling, it would be inappropriate to include the Level 6 offices as a viable landing spot for Postmasters, because if we receive an adverse ruling from the arbitrator, those offices would not be a viable landing spot.
We will continue to post new information as it becomes available.
June 27, 2014
Postal Service Shares POStPlan RIF Timeline, VER and POStPlan Implementation Information with Postmaster Organizations and the Field.
The Postmaster organizations have had numerous meetings with Postal Headquarters regarding the final implementation of POStPlan since the announcement of the extension of the POStPlan RIF date from September 30, 2014 to Jan 9, 2015. Today a number of clarifications on the implementation and the POStPlan Timeline were shared with the field as a result of those joint meetings.
Megan Brennan, COO and Executive Vice President, sent a letter to the AVP’s clarifying the results of the re-evaluation of POStPlan offices using FY/13 data and how the remaining offices being implemented for POStPlan would be impacted.
Community meetings will take place in those remaining offices and the implementation process completed by September 30, 2014. Those POStPlan offices that are vacant will have the operation hours changed consistent with current guidelines. Those offices with encumbered Postmasters will maintain their current grade, salary and hours of operation until Jan 9 2015 or when it becomes vacant. The letter also states that Postmasters will not be involuntarily moved from their office for assignments or details.
This letter helps clarify some problems we were having in the field where POStPlan Postmasters were being told that their hours would be reduced to the level of the POStPlan office regardless of the RIF date or they could be sent to another office to work. We encourage Postmasters to seek details and assignments to improve their chances of getting a promotion or being placed into another position, but that decision is voluntary.
Click on POSTPlan Org Change/RIF Timeline to view the dates and events that lead up to the 1/09/2015 effective date of RIF separation. Key dates include the official mailing to all impacted Postmasters, the annuity estimates, VER package, POStPlan memo which includes the implementation timeline. These impacted Postmasters only who qualify for Optional or VER retirement have another decision to make as the VER window period is from 6/30/2014 – 8/18/2014 with a VER effective date of 9/30/2014. There is a $10,000 incentive for the early retirement but it is only for those impacted Postmasters who qualify for Optional or VER retirement.
Another event of importance to the impacted Postmasters is the Limited Area of Consideration (LAC) posting opening on July 8 and closing on July 23, 2014. This posting will be for eligible impacted career Postmasters only. We have had two LAC postings for all Postmasters over the POStPlan implementation period but this is the first one for impacted Postmasters only. Please review the POStPlan Org Change/RIF Timeline for those positions that will be included in this LAC posting.
The attached timeline gives the dates to all the specific events leading up to a possible RIF separation date of 1/9/2015 and RIF assignment date of 1/10/2015. It is our hope that no one falls into the RIF separation category. Contact your local HR manager or HRSSC with questions you may have. As always the LEAGUE office will do all they can to assist with questions you may have.
One more significant agreement was worked out for those Postmasters who had voluntarily taken a downgrade to a 6 hour PT Postmaster job. Originally the saved hourly rate was to have expired on 10/01/2014. Headquarters has agreed to extend this timeline to mirror the RIF timeline and this saved hourly rate is now protected until 1/09/2015. Headquarters saw no reason to penalize those Postmasters who had already taken steps to find a landing spot freeing up POStPlan offices to be reduced in hours and we could not agree more.
We will continue to share information on the final POStPlan implementation as it becomes available.
May 21, 2014
The LEAGUE and NAPUS Postmaster Organizations informed that RIF Effective Date for Impacted Postmasters has been Postponed until January 10, 2015
There are a lot of anxious POStPlan impacted Postmasters waiting for final news on the specific RIF timelines and events associated with this phase of POStPlan implementation. We continue to meet with Postal Headquarters and minor changes come from each of these meetings which will push back any formal announcement. The LEAGUE and NAPUS Postmaster organizations and Postal Headquarters have spent a great deal of time discussing the implementation and events that will lead up to the final RIF date, with the same end result in mind—get everyone placed before the RIF effective date. These discussions have been in the best interests of all Postmasters who are still impacted and because of this the RIF timeline has been extended. The effective RIF date for impacted Postmasters will now be 1/10/2015.
Timelines for notification of impacted Postmasters, Specific RIF dates and possible VER dates will be released in the upcoming weeks. We clearly understand the importance of getting all the dates and events out to impacted Postmasters; we hope the extension of the RIF effective date relieves some of that stress.
Everyone needs to be very clear on what data will be used to evaluate the remaining 3,200 plus offices. For two years we have shared the process agreed upon with Postal Headquarters. That being said, before RIF letters are sent out, all remaining offices with incumbent Postmasters will be evaluated using FY/13 data to determine the level of the office. Some will go up, some will go down and some will stay the same.
This does not change anything for level 18s with incumbent Postmasters -they will be locked at level 18 until the end of FY/16. Those offices that meet the AEWL criteria will be upgraded the first Pay Period in October, 2014.
After the level 16 and below offices are reviewed for the official POStPlan level, the impacted Postmasters will receive official notification about the timeline, voluntary assignment options, possible VER and PM career options. If you believe there has been a mistake in either receiving or not receiving notification, you need to contact your District immediately for clarification.
The National LEAGUE office and its National Board are always available to answer any questions.
It is still the intent of Postal Headquarters to find a landing spot for every Postmaster who wants to stay in the Postal Service. The Postmaster General included that statement in both of his last two “State of the Business” videos found on the Link. Postmasters need to help themselves to become good candidates for available positions and be flexible about new opportunities. I encourage you to apply for all career positions as they become available to ensure you are placed prior to the RIF effective date.
We continue to be asked if there will be a VER. The Postal Service already has authorization to offer the VER but what continues to be discussed with the Postal Headquarters is the question about an incentive tied to the VER. This is still on the table and an important part of future meetings.
It may be a few weeks before any formal communication is released with all RIF dates, timelines and RIF events; we are working towards the best end result we can get during this timeframe.
As soon as new information becomes available it will be communicated through our normal channels.
April 18, 2014
League Launches Major Additions to eLEAGUE Learning Center
Additions to the Members Only training materials include:
A Successful Interview
Does my Office Earn a Supervisor
What Makes a Good Leader
WSC with Exception Credits
Q.W.I.K.E.E. Quality Work Information Kept Easy and Effective
April 4, 2014
POStPlan Implementation Update
The Postal Service and LEAGUE President Mark Strong along with NAPUS President Tony Leonardi continue to discuss final POStPlan implementation.
Post offices were scheduled to be notified of their daily earned workhours using FY 2013 data by close of Postal Quarter II (03/31/2014). The delay in notifications by the Postal Service is due to ongoing discussions and validation of data.
A determination and timeline on implementation is expected soon. We will update the LEAGUE website when information is finalized.
February 12, 2014
Forum 2014 Takes LEAGUERs to the Hill
At the end of the general session for the 44th LEAGUE Forum February 9-11, closing speaker Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) could not have done more to motivate the 200 in attendance to take our message to the Hill than bellowing a reminder that “this is our watch … let it not be said that we allowed [the Postal Service to lose its importance to the American people] while we stood by …”
Earlier in the afternoon, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) affirmed that the current postal issues are a concern for every American citizen. She recently held a two-hour talk radio program where 80 percent of the calls were on postal issues and not the health care hot topics. She noted that we cannot sustain a quality product on the path the Postal Service is on. People care, she said. “When we look at revenue challenges, we’re never going to resolve that if you are not delivering a great product.”
The legislators spoke following a morning talk by PMG Pat Donahoe and afternoon presentation with DPMG Ron Stroman. Of the many updates on POStPlan and organizational direction Postal HQ is taking, it was stressed that not much more can go forward without good legislation. The PMG called the Senate bill “livable” but that the challenge was with the House in getting collaboration and compromise. This is where the LEAGUE comes in with not just the Hill visits, but encouraging members to go one-on-one with legislators back in their home Districts.
LEAGUE members were updated on the many new Effective Service training materials now available and that a newly designed secure website learning center would soon be online. There are changes to the APO/RMPO guidelines and that was the focus among workshops on Sunday, all with packed rooms. eCareer profile building and development workshops targeted the position changes ahead for many Postmasters.
Sen. Heitkamp said in her remarks that “the biggest obstacle in Congress is denial …” correcting that will take many rounds of visits to individual legislators giving them the full facts and reminding them of the importance of mail starting at the birth of our country.
As LEAGUE President Mark Strong said in his opening remarks, “If it is to be, it’s up to me.”
“We have to be part of the solution … it can’t continue the way it is.”
Follow the legislative updates on the LEAGUE website and through President Strong’s email updates. Look for full coverage of the 44th Forum in the March issue of the Postmasters Advocate.
February 6, 2014
Today, February 6, 2014, after multiple amendments and amendments to those amendments, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee favorably reported out S. 1486, a bill to reform the Postal Service. We are studying the amendments and it will be several days until the final language is released. The bill did contain increased protections for small rural post offices. S 1486 will go to the floor of the Senate at some point in the future, where more amendments are expected.
January 23, 2014
Postmasters and EAS to Receive One Percent Pay Raise
LEAGUE headquarters received a letter today announcing that all Postmasters and EAS would be receiving a one percent (1%) pay raise for their FY2013 efforts effective January 25, 2014. For some time the organizations have been working with Postal Headquarters to get some sort of raise for FY2013. Although the raise is less than what we had hoped for, it recognizes the efforts of Postmasters during a very tough year. This is not a Pay-for-Performance (PFP) raise and has nothing to do with the final score an individual may have received in FY2013. It is an across-the-board pay raise to all Postmasters, recognizing your efforts over the past year and the fact you had already gone two years without any pay increases.
FY2014 will have NPA scores applied to PFP, and salary increases will be determined from those final PFP ratings. Although PES is still a requirement and a part of NPA, it has no impact to the final PFP rating. Report cards for individual units through November 2013 are available on the USPS Blue page.
Effective January 25, 2014 the Postal Service has also lifted the suspension of the employee awards program for non-bargaining employees for 2014.
Additionally, for some time we have also been asking that adjective description for the PFP program be removed. This does not change the numerical ratings only that the terms Non-Contributor, Contributor, High Contributor and Exceptional Contributor no longer be used. The Postal Service will continue to use four (4) performance levels for reduction-in-force (RIF) purposes.
December 20, 2013
Adjective Rating Change.
The National League of Postmasters received a letter from Postal Headquarters today regarding a change in the FY/13 PFP adjective ratings. Through the consultative process with LEAGUE, NAPUS and NAPS Postal Headquarters has decided to adopt our recommendation that any non-bargaining employee whose FY 2013 overall numerical rating in the Performance Evaluation System (PES) is 3 or below will receive an adjectival rating of contributor. These employees normally would have received a non-contributor rating. Non-contributor ratings can have a negative impact for employees in the RIF process.
The LEAGUE is pleased with this announcement and we hope that Postal Headquarters considers some of the other changes to FY/13 NPA/PFP that we have recommended. LEAGUE and NAPUS have been working on the adjective rating for PFP since the 2011-2015 pay package was consulted on. For a number of years we felt that with the financial crisis facing the Postal Service and so many NPA indicators being out of the Postmaster’s control, labeling a Postmaster a “non-contributor” needed to change. Postmasters have faced, and risen, to the extreme challenges presented over the last few years and those efforts needed to be recognized by building a positive work environment and showing support and confidence in their leadership; removing unwarranted adjective ratings of non-contributor is one way of doing so. It is our hope that non-contributor ratings can be removed from all future PFP ratings.
November 14, 2013
The Postal Service announced another round of initial postings for 6-hour Postmaster jobs.
The LEAGUE has been notified that there is another eCareer posting of part time 6 hour Postmaster on December 17. About 168 jobs around the country will be posted in eCareer and will be limited to Postmasters only on the first round. These jobs are for those offices POStPlan implemented from July 28 through November 16. A full list of these offices will be added to the website on Monday. All EAS can apply on the second round. These jobs will be posted to these first two phases only. This is the last round of mass posting of these 6 hour part time Postmaster jobs. The last posting was done August 20, 2013 and had over 450 vacancies. Starting with the 2014 POStPlan implementations; the Postal Service will be posting those part time 6 hour jobs which become vacant on an individual basis versus the mass posting procedure they are currently following. The requirements will be that the job is vacant and has implemented; this means that the job most likely would be posted approximately the second Tuesday after implementation. This is being done to escalate the possibility for current Postmasters to fill the position as the actual POStPlan RIF date gets closer.
Under POStPlan, a Postmaster Level 16 or below who requests and accepts a 6-hour Postmaster position will maintain his or her currently hourly rate for hours paid in the PTPO or RMPO Postmaster position. If the current hourly rate exceeds the maximum for the grade, the rate will be protected until September 30, 2014. Beginning October 1, 2014, the hourly rate will be reduced to the maximum for the pay grade. For a summary of effects on benefits and leave for full-time Postmasters placed into part-time Postmaster positions, see Organizational Change FAQ #148 at https://liteblue.usps.gov/humanresources/organizationalchanges/pdf/oc_faq.pdf
If the initial posting does not result in a selection, the District may repost the 6-hour Postmaster positions to all career EAS employees. These "Sequence 2" postings are limited to career EAS employees, including EAS Postmasters and EPM Postmasters Levels 51 - 55. They can be posted District-wide, Area-wide, or Service-wide.
November 2, 2013
Bob Brinkmann, LEAGUE Legislative Counsel, reported early this week that the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee had announced a committee markup on Wednesday, November 6, 2013, of the Carper/Colburn Senate Bill, S. 1486. Bob Brinkmann has now reported that this committee markup will be postponed. The LEAGUE does not support the bill as written and indeed the bill does not enjoy wide support. This is why the markup has been postponed. There is still a division between key senators on the health care proposals as well as objection from mailers on pricing flexibility. The LEAGUE has strong objections to the small post office provisions and is working with sympathetic senators, lead by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D- ND) to alleviate our concerns. We are hoping that an amendment will make sure small post offices receive consideration while giving the Postal Service the means to increase revenues and reduce costs to strengthen its financial position well into the future. The possibility of broad, significant amendments is very real. Please be on the alert and ready to reach out to senators or to get involved in any Legislative Call to Action that might be necessary. If the bill is not significantly amended it will be very difficult for the bill, as written, to make it out of Committee.
October 1, 2013
Postal Service has released 2014 Pay for Performance Program and NPA Corporate and Unit Indicators;
Management organization Presidents, along with Headquarters managers, made a commitment months ago to work through the PFP program to ensure NPA indicators were available at the start of FY/2014. Chief Human Resources Officer and Executive Vice President Jeffrey Williamson released a statement thanking those involved for the cooperative effort to complete the process by the start of the year.
Since the inception of NPA we have seldom seen our targets, weights and thresholds at the start of a new fiscal year. It is important to note that the Corporate Indicators are proposals at this point until the Board of Governors approves them later this fall.
Although not perfect and the heavily weighted, Unit Indicators are only as good as the plan that comes with it, however we are far better positioned for success seeing what the target is early in the year. In FY 2014, NPA will be applied to PFP and Postmasters will receive a pay raise for their efforts for the first time since FY 2010.
Below are the attachments released by the Postal Service. We will have more information in the November Advocate.