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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 03, 2015
LEAGUE Elects New Exec Board, Postmaster of Year Named and Oscar Pogue Award Given
The newly installed National Executive Board of the National League of Postmasters at the National Convention on Thurs., July 2, 2015 included: President Sean Acord, Executive Vice President Mike Engleman, Vice Presidents Shelly Stigall, Gary Choice, Catherine Winnie and David Weber as well as Secretary/Treasurer Stephanie Jett and Retiree President John Olson.
Lauded and honored with the Oscar Pogue Award was Jack Jameson of North Carolina, a former National Executive Board member for many years, lastly Executive Vice President, as well earning this year’s prestigious Eagle Award for outstanding membership recruitment. Jack is now retired.
Norma J. Powell of California received the LEAGUE Postmaster of the Year award recognized for not only her professionalism as a Postmaster but for her community involvement along with serving on many LEAGUE committees and holding various positions at the state level.
The 2016 LEAGUE Calendar photo contest winners were: PM Tammy Rokusek, Lake Andes SD; PM Beth Rioux, Fairfield ID; PM Chuck Wells, Oologah OK; PM Linda Augustosky, North Tazwell VA; PM Tamara Cummings, Butler MO; PM Kandice Diskin, Marcola OI; M (Ret) Gena Nelson, Scottville MI; PM (Ret) Danny Close, Bowling Green KY; PM Denise Serensky, Columbiana OH; PM Nancy Kuszpa, Botsford CT; PM Douglas Bardot, Canterbury CT; and PM (Ret) Ron Shafer, Marion OH.
In honors for LEAGUE Branch newsletters were: Best Large Circulation Newsletter, The Golden State Postmaster, John Paul Cabral, Editor; Medium Circulation, The Leaguette, Ann Joos, Editor; Small Circulation, The Posthorn, Cynthia Lofthus, Editor; Best Use of Photos, The Prairie Leaguer, Carla Zuhlsdorf, Editor; Best Educational Forum, The Ohio Leaguer, Hazel Boettcher, Editor; National Newsletter of the Year, The Washington Postmaster, Milly Kropp; and Editor Emeritus, Lifetime Achievement Award, Brian Oakes, The Arizona Leaguer.
Winners for Best State Websites for 2015 were: Arizona, California, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina and Oregon.
Tony Leonardi, Napus President, spoke of the efforts of both the LEAGUE and Napus in the work done to prepare the merger of the two organizations as UPMA, United Postmasters & Managers of America. While the LEAGUE voted to go ahead with UPMA earlier this week, the final say from Napus has been overwhelming acceptance with 47 state conventions okaying the move as of today, noted Leonardi. “There are no end runs and no hidden agendas,” affirmed Leonardi. The LEAGUE and Napus will hold joint conventions the end of August 2016 in New Orleans with the expectation that UPMA will be the official organization as of November 1, 2016, following the closure of the former associations.
July 02, 2015
LEAGUE Votes to Move Forward with New Organization in 2016
United Postmasters & Managers of America (UPMA) received a majority vote by LEAGUE members at the National Convention in Washington, D.C., on Wed., July 1, 2015, in preparation for creation of the organization along with NAPUS. While the new management association is still a year away, the LEAGUE proceeded with business as usual including today’s nomination of candidates for Thursday’s elections as well as hearing from David C. Williams, Inspector General, U.S. Postal Service.
Williams spoke to the future of the Postal Service in a time of dramatic change. “We think we know what the customer wants,” he said, “but we don’t always ask.”
“We can see the beginning of the future, but need to go on that path without changing our DNA—Postal Service means something, and we need to make sure it is ‘us’ at the end of the day. Studies being conducted were asked for by the mailers, to help with marketing strategies and the ‘mysterious mix’ of postal mail and electronic media. Customers also told us they wanted to go to a post office and deal with you. The ways we communicate are changing dramatically during our lifetime and the Postal Service has an important role in aggressively expanding what we do,” he added.
David E. Williams, COO and Executive VP of USPS, provided an in-depth review of service performance for FY15 Q1/Q2. He noted tremendous growth in package services, and shared customer insights on how we are competing for every single customer where everyone has a choice. Growing the business, he added, will mean more innovations in our industry and in the value of mail. Developments include new mailbox designs that will fit 85 percent of the parcels and with different designs for suburban and urban locations and, as a big game changer, new mobile delivery devices.
Retired League Postmasters held their election in the afternoon, and John Olson was chosen to take the lead as the LEAGUE moves to forming UMPA. He joins the National Executive Board in the RLP President capacity.
APCU presented the annual leadership awards, recognizing the efforts of Glen Cook (MA), Rita Henderson (WV), Daniel Alvis (KY) and Amye Ground-Madsen, (ID).
Workshops on accounting help desk, SOV/CSV/PS 1260, Labor Relations on Grievance Procedures, and PS 150, WSC and Pay Policy/Salary Schedule completed the afternoon before it was time to head to National Harbor for an evening off and perhaps a ride on a giant ferris wheel offering a spectacular view of the nation’s capital along with LEAGUE networking and camaraderie.
June 30, 2015
LEAGUE Takes Change Environment Head-On at National Convention
PMG Megan Brennan was the lead speaker at the LEAGUE’s National Convention opening session in Washington, D.C., on Monday, June 29, 2015 at the Renaissance Hotel in the heart of our nation’s capital, and she wasted no time in declaring that now is a pivotal time for the Postal Service and the mailing industry.
“Growing Together” was the theme of this year’s Postal Forum and PMG Brennan noted that it drew the largest attendance of any such forum in the last five years. “Mail is being challenged in today’s digital world,” she said, “and how we communicate is rapidly changing.” In this multi-channel marketing environment, the lead topic for us now and at our post office level is marrying digital and print … and a very intensive presentation was made on “Irresistible Mail” by Vickie Stephen, director of mailing services for USPS. Both Brennan and Stephen reflected on the many opportunities ahead for growing revenue and attracting more postal customers to what we do best—delivering the last mile.
While Brennan talked of potential closures in facilities and upgrades to equipment to increase capacity at other locations, she also affirmed the need to have predictable two- and three-day service. When staunch postal supporter Congressman Gerry Connolly (VA-11) spoke later, he noted a move in Congress to declare a moratorium on further infrastructure and personnel adjustments in order to sort out the cost/benefit scenarios driving Postal HQ directives. “Closing distribution centers has to be a transparent process and what has happened is a crisis of confidence in the Postal Service’s decisions,” Connolly said. “In my view,” he said, “tackle a few big issues and don’t get sidetracked by too many wishes … one size fits all does not work … we have to get rid of prepayments and no reform bill is worth its salt if that is not in it. ”
In preparation for LEAGUE members to visit their legislators on the Hill on Tuesday, June 30, Legislative Counsel Bob Brinkmann provided two items on the LEAGUE’s political agenda: Fixing the issue of the prefunding of retiree health benefits and creating a seven-year congressional moratorium on post office closings and reductions in post office status and hours. These same items should be presented in the local representatives’ offices by all LEAGUE members. And, according to Brinkmann, the best time window is now through the end of the year for postal legislation to presented and passed.
NAPS President Louis Atkins talked of “protecting our ability to do our jobs” and to delay plant consolidations at this time. “Our allies in Congress have been asking why there are service cuts and considering the growth of the Postal Service, we shouldn’t be the ones hurt in this process.”
National Membership Chairman Linda Augustosky lauded the recruiting efforts of LEAGUE members and recognized outstanding efforts. National VP Mike Engleman earned the Eagle Award for bringing 51 new members to the LEAGUE just in the past year, and awarded the coveted M.B. Morrison “Blue Jackets” to Engleman of Indiana and Deb Alums of Alabama.
After Tuesday’s Hill visits, the LEAGUE opens the general session on Wednesday with candidate nominations for the National Board as well as presentations by Inspector General David C. Williams and COO and Executive USPS VP David E. Williams. Many operational questions and local post office concerns raised to PMG Brennan during questions from the floor were being referred to David E. Williams for further comment.
June 18, 2015
Notice Of Name Change
There was an issue that was brought to the attention of both organizations. The acronym for Postmasters and Managers of America (PMA) is also used by the Professional Managers Association (PMA). There are many organizations/companies who’s acronym is PMA. Legal advice was sought and it appears that we would not have a legal problem because we would be incorporating under the name and not the acronym. The biggest issue is the Professional Managers Association is part of the same Federal Coalition that we are a part of. In an attempt to eliminate this issue, both Boards held telecoms to discuss changing the name. United Postmasters and Managers of America (UPMA) was agreed upon. This in no way changes the organizational structure but rather takes care of a potential issue that could have developed. All documents that contain the name of PMA will be changed to UPMA.
June 17, 2015
Changes To Pay Policy
June 17, 2015
From LEAGUE President Sean Acord:
Update. Below you will find some Q&A responses from HQ. These were questions that Tony and I submitted the last part of April.
June 11, 2015
Update. POV program officially launched June 1st. The notice can also be found in the Postal Bulletin dated June 11th.
The below POV Program has been established to increase the use of vehicles by EAS while covering the personnel with insurance. In the current environment, anyone using their POV for postal use has been as risk. The League has been asking for some type of coverage for PM’s when using their POV for many years. Ms. Brennan had promised to resolve this known issue and thus this POV Program was created. It is important to note that this program is voluntary. It is also important to note that your involvement may be cancelled by either the Postal Service or by you at anytime. This is completely on you and your insurance company and the Tort Claim Process does not apply as it does with carriers and other employees. Please read the attached carefully before making your decision.
May 13, 2015
Update - Postal Service Reviewing Adjustment to NPA Financial Plan
The below memo is the USPS HQ response concerning the “Controllable Income” change and the explanation for it. The last paragraph also addresses the lack of budgeted hours to meet the MOU requirements.
As more information becomes available we will give you an update.
May 3, 2015
Reporting requirements on the e1260
There has been many divergent field opinions about whether bargaining unit work performed by an APO Postmaster in one of the RMPO’s for which that APO Postmaster is responsible should be recorded for e1260 reporting purposes. The following is guidance that HQ Labor Relations gave to HQ Operations, Labor Relations in the field and other authorities on the morning of April 29th, 2015.
In response to some inquires, here is the reasoning behind our decision that any clerk craft work performed by a level 18 PM in one of their RMPO’s is to be counted toward the allowable 15 hours per service week. The long standing dispute that was resolved in the 1.6B “global settlement” was the issue regarding a PM’s performance of clerk work in small post offices that have clerk staffing.
Beginning with the Garrett national arbitration award back in the 70’s to the Das award in 2005 and the numerous field level awards in between the arbitrators found that the parties negotiated contractual terms set forth in Article 1.6B were clearly intended to limit the amount of clerk work a PM could perform in small offices and that the phrase in a PM’s job description “when necessary” was further evidence of that intent. Also, bear in mind that our circumstances today – decreased mail volume and financial distress - were exactly the same circumstances we claimed in our position before Garrett back in the day and again in front of Das.
The PostPlan arbitration award and the subsequent remedy resolution resulted in the RMPO’s becoming clerk craft bargaining unit offices assigned to the jurisdiction of a level 18 PM. To now start another battle with the union with a claim that RMPO’s were not included in the “global settlement” and therefore the PM may perform clerk work in those offices with no limitations would fall miserably in arbitration for the following reasons.
The “global settlement” was intended to put the issue to bed permanently. The Service cannot change the conditions via PostPlan and then claim the new landscape with RMPO’s was not covered by the parties’ agreement. We do not bargain in bad faith. The RMPO’s are staffed with bargaining unit employees only. An arbitrator could find that any “replacement” work should not be performed by a PM, but rather only by another BU employee. The office level was upgraded to 18 based on the addition of the RMPO’s and they are therefore viewed as part of the level 18 “installation” and thus, the work hour limits in level 18 offices are applicable. Lastly, see the results of the arbitration awards from Das and Goldberg on the disputes the parties have arbitrated over the course of the past four years (as the union opened each case advising the arbitrators of the 4.5 billion dollars in savings the Service got from the union’s agreements in the 2010 contract and the agreements the Service made in return that have still not been fulfilled) to see how the arbitrators have viewed our positions.
April 24, 2015
Postal Service Reviewing Adjustment to NPA Financial Plan
Complaints from the field have been received concerning the lack of the NPA Reports not being updated since December of 2014. The Postal Service response is as follows:
The report cards have not been updated because savings through reduced costs of hiring Tier 2 bargaining unit employees have been greater than anticipated. This affects controllable income scoring significantly. The effect is due only to impact of implementation of collective bargaining provisions. Report cards published with this erroneous data would not show accurate current scores. The Postal Service has been adjusting budgets based on current circumstances, as it does normally throughout each year. The distinguishing factor in this matter has been the relatively significant dollars involved. The Postal Service advised that the Board of Governors and the Executive Leadership Team are reviewing to determine whether action will be taken regarding adjustment of the Postal Service Integrated Financial Plan for FY 2015.
As more information becomes available we will give you an update.
April 14, 2015
Sunday HUB Control Unit Standard Operating Procedures
January 23, 2015
Consolidation Proposal Documents
Postmasters and Managers of America ----- PMA
After years of unsuccessful negotiations, the members of the LEAGUE and NAPUS Executive Boards have reached an agreement on a blueprint for the forming of one united Postmaster/Management Organization.
A committee was formed to work out the details of the proposal and this process was finalized on 1/21/2015. Representing the LEAGUE on this committee was John Olson and Jack Jameson. NAPUS was represented by John Galera and Daniel Heins. Both Tony Leonardi and myself worked many hours on differences between the two organizations and put together ideas that we felt must be in place in order for this be presented to you for a vote. The committee did an outstanding job combining the best of both organizations into the documents you see attached.
PostPlan and other arbitration decisions including the loss of the 6 hour Postmaster positions (formerly EPM Postmasters) have devastated both organizations from a potential member standpoint.
Postmaster positions have decreased 10,000 employees in the last 10 years.
The decision to officially dissolve the League and NAPUS as we know them and to unite as a new organization is yours to make.
The attached documents spell out the process and allows you a look into the structure of PMA. I ask that each member read the proposal and let your voice be heard.
As your LEAGUE President and National Executive Board, our pledge requires decisions for the good of all postmasters, presently and in the future. Just as Postmasters have faced difficult times throughout history, there comes a time when we either move forward or get left behind in the past.
The official vote will take place at our Annual Convention in Washington, DC this summer. Please plan to attend for this historical vote.
January 9, 2015
Postal Annuitant short-term non-career PMR employment opportunity
The USPS has a short-term non-career PMR employment opportunity during the February 2015 rural mail count. See the below letter for details
January 6, 2015
RIF Extension and PTF Offer
On January 5th, the Postal Service released a notice extending the RIF deadline to February 7th, 2015. This is a result of an addendum to the MOU dated September 22, 2014. The addendum allows for impacted Postmasters in level 2 and 4 offices to be offered PTF clerk jobs in level 4 locations. The extension of the deadline will give the Postal Service time to offer a position to all the impacted Postmasters that would like to remain employed. The details of both letters can be seen below.
December 16, 2014
One time change in the PFP Matrix for 2014
Good news for those that fell into cell 2 or 3 at the end of FY 14. The Postal Service has recognized the efforts of approximately 5600 employees that would once again receive no NPA payout. For those that landed in cell 2 or 3 you will now receive a 1% increase for your FY 14 achievements. This change only impacts FY 14 and is not a permanent change to the matrix. We will be holding talks with Postal HQ in January to look at possible modifications for FY 15.
November 26, 2014
SAVED HOURLY WAGE!
After multiple attempts to secure a saved hourly wage for all level 6 Postmasters, Postal HQ has agreed to just that. This announcement brings much overdue good news to approx. 1100 Postmasters. Mark Strong and Tony Leonardi began these talks in late September and I was able to pick up where Mark left off and continue to pursue the ethically correct decision. I hope this information will add some joy to your Holidays. (See the official letter below)
November 4, 2014
More POStPlan Q&A's
League HQ has received another 48 Q&A’s concerning the APWU POStPlan Arbitration. This list answers all the questions that we have submitted to Postal HQ to date. It does raise at least a few additional questions that we will submit for answers. If you have any additional question, please send them to
October 30, 2014
POStPlan Q&A's October 30, 2014
The League office received today a list of Q&A’s that were submitted to Postal HQ for answers concerning questions about POStPlan. This is only a few of the questions that were submitted and once the remainder of the questions are answered we will post them as well.
October 17, 2014
Updated Limited Area of Consideration (LAC) Postings for PTPOs, Level 18 Postmaster and EAS Vacancies Announced.
The LEAGUE has received new language that will give impacted Postmasters more opportunities to find positions prior to the RIF effective date. Both Postmaster organizations are very pleased that the Postal Service is taking additional steps to give those remaining impacted Postmasters limited competition postings to get landing spots prior to January 9, 2015. The message below was received by both Postmaster organizations today:
We are continuing to seek placement for the remaining impacted Postmasters. The following limited area of consideration (LAC) language will be on postings for specific vacancies between now and the RIF effective date. This language supersedes any related previous guidance you may have received over the last few months.
LAC language for PTPO Vacancies through January 9th, 2015 (open to all remaining career POStPlan-impacted Postmasters 2 & 4 hour offices only):
This position is posted with a limited area of consideration (LAC) to all remaining career POStPlan-impacted Postmasters whose offices were re-evaluated as a 2 or 4 hour office service-wide.
NOTE: You must submit your application through eCareer in order to be considered competitively for this vacancy. You may request a non-competitive lateral or downgrade by submitting a written request to the selecting official.
LAC language for EAS-18 Postmaster vacancies through January 9th, 2015 (open to all remaining career POStPlan-impacted Postmasters):
This position is posted with a limited area of consideration (LAC) to all remaining career POStPlan-impacted Postmasters whose offices were re-evaluated as a 2, 4, or 6 hour office service-wide.
LAC language to be used for all other EAS vacancies through February 6, 2015:
(Include standard language for area of consideration, e.g., district-wide, area-wide) all remaining career POStPlan-impacted Postmasters AND all eligible impacted career, non-bargaining HQ/HQ related employees.
NOTE: You must submit your application through eCareer in order to be considered competitively for this vacancy. You may request a non-competitive lateral or downgrade by submitting a written request to the selecting official.
October 15, 2014
PMRs and PMR Annuitants Receive MOU Impact Notice
LEAGUE Headquarters received copies of the letters sent to current PMRs and PMR annuitants regarding the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the APWU on the POStPlan arbitration. The notices let both the PMR and the PMR annuitants know that they could still be used in 2-hour offices if they chose to continue to be PMRs.
In addition, the Postal Service let the PMRs know that they could apply for PSE positions under the provisions of the MOU and because their knowledge, community connections and ability to provide great service make excellent candidates for these positions. The annuitant letter states that they, too, are eligible to apply for other postal positions if they desire to continue working; any such reemployment will subject the annuitant to the mandatory offset, or reduction, to salary normally required of a reemployed annuitant.
The PMR letter provided information on how to apply for PSE vacancies that are announced on www.usps.com/employment. The LEAGUE also has a PowerPoint to assist PSEs in application process.
Many of the PSE jobs started getting posted last week and will continue over the weeks to come. We urge our current PMRs who want to apply for PSE positions to do so. Do not delay if you are interested in applying for PSE positions – register and build your profile now at www.usps.com.
September 24, 2014
POStPlan Arbitration MOU
Monday's announcement on the POStPlan Arbitration has raised several questions. Attached is the POStPlan Arbitration MOU that may help clarify some of those questions.
September 22, 2014
Decision is Reached on POStPlan Arbitration
LEAGUE and NAPUS have received Steven Goldberg's arbitration decision on POStPlan. Both organizations are deeply disappointed with the decision and are still working through the details of the arbitration document. Clearly this will have an impact on PMRs in 4-hour RMPOs, vacant 6-hour RMPOs and 6-hour Postmaster positions in the future. We can be thankful that incumbent 6-hour Postmasters (including those being RIF’d to 6-hour Postmaster positions), will keep their Postmaster position as long as they do not vacate the office. Once these offices are vacated, they too will be staffed by clerk craft employees.
Here is an overview of the arbitration:
- 2-hour RMPOs will stay staffed with PMRs.
- 4-hour RMPOs will be staffed with PSEs. The PMRs in these offices will have the opportunity to take the test and apply for the positions.
- 6-hour RMPOs will be staffed by NTFT employees or traditional employees. Those offices with incumbent Postmasters, including those accepting their own office as a RIF offer with a reduction to 6 hours, will stay in the jobs until vacated.
- PTPOs 6-hour offices will stay staffed with a Postmaster. These offices were not part of the arbitration decision since they still have all of the Postmaster administrative responsibilities.
When any RMPO or PTPO is evaluated and increases to a Level 18, the office will then be posted and filled by a non-bargaining employee and managed by a Postmaster. All Level 18 offices will be staffed with PTFs instead of PSEs, ending the staffing issues for many Level 18 Postmasters.
Both Postmaster organizations continue to review the POStPlan Arbitration. Clearly, the fact that Postmaster administrative duties were removed from the 6-hour Postmaster positions and the 4-hour RMPOs weighed heavily on the arbitrator’s decision.
We will keep you posted as to further developments regarding the arbitration as well as the timeline for conversion of the 4-hour RMPOs from PMR to PSE employees.
September 11, 2014
LEAGUE and NAPUS Presidents met this past week with Headquarters to discuss POStPlan questions that have surfaced and to see where we were on impacted Postmasters. After the LAC posting and the VER incentive there are far fewer impacted Postmasters that need to find jobs. There are a few Districts in the country that concern us more than others but headway is being made to find landing spots while many have chose to retire. Headquarters and the organizations continue to monitor the impacted list to do all we can to reduce this number;
Postmasters need to do all they can to help themselves.
One question that keeps coming up was answered by Headquarters this week. There has been a concern that Level 11 and 13 Postmasters could be placed in Level 17 supervisor jobs. This can’t be done under a RIF as it is a promotion and a Postmaster can’t gain from a RIF. They can apply, compete and be appointed but they can’t be placed in a supervisor 17 job as a RIF offer.
We also were told the SOV and CSV has been updated for all Level 18 Postmasters with the maximum number of hours a Postmaster can work as a clerk in this level office. The Management Involvement for CSV and the Postmaster Administrative Time all have been updated to reflect the number of hours they can work as a clerk. This should show more earned time and help with some of the staffing issues we have had in Level 18 offices.
We will continue to keep you updated on POStPlan as information becomes available.
August 06, 2014
LEAGUE Ends Reno Convention with Honors and Fanfare
The final day of the LEAGUE’s 111th National Convention on Wednesday, August 6, closed with election of National Officers, a detailed presentation on postal change by USPS COO and Exec VP Megan Brennan, many awards and top LEAGUE recognition at the banquet gala.
Margaret Daniels, (Ret) Nevada/California Postmaster, was bestowed with the Oscar Pogue Award. A stalwart LEAGUE member, who has worked tirelessly on both national and state levels and is well-known for her work on the Hill and with legislators, Daniels received the top award—last given four years ago. A member since 1978, she is in the M.B. Morrison Blue Jacket club for outstanding recruitment in membership, used 3-digit meetings long before they became a LEAGUE staple and was National Postmaster of the Year in 2007.
Wisconsin Postmaster Mark Kluge of Hubertus was named 2014 National Postmaster of the Year. Kluge has been honored previously with an APCU Leadership Award, has been an Adverse Action Counselor for over 15 years (he also holds a Masters degree in Counseling), served as an Area Coordinator and is currently Wisconsin State President. He’s been to every state convention, National Convention and Forum since becoming a member in 1995.
Executive Vice President Sean Acord was elected as LEAGUE President; Shelly Stigall is the new Executive Vice President; Mike Engleman won election to a second term as Vice President; and Gary Choice of Texas and Cathy Winnie of New York join the National Board as Vice Presidents. Mark Strong becomes the Immediate Past President for the next year and Vice President Jack Jameson completed his Board terms. Continuing on the Board is VP Steve LeNoir, Secretary/Treasurer Stephanie Jett, and Retiree President Nancy Trautman.
Earlier in the day, Brennan’s presentation took each part of the Postal Service’s key areas of volume, pricing, the Universal Service obligation and labor costs in breakdowns of great detail. The reality, she said, is that there’s less mail going to more addresses.
“We have to have a more flexible workforce going forward,” she said. “With the POStPlan, 50 percent of the post offices have been realigned to match community needs. Consolidation of 82 mail processing sites is expected to be completed in 2014 and we’re working on load leveling for adjusting mail volumes on the various week days.”
Reiterating PMG Donahoe’s remarks on Tuesday, she said, “Let’s not be running missent mail around the countryside.” Other topics touched upon included box dimensions for package growth and pricing adjustment for packages 6-10 lbs.; different vehicles needed in different parts of the country; cluster boxes at strip malls; equipment for package sortation; and the introduction of Metro Post on-demand pickup and delivery in New York City.
“Opportunity begins with visibility,” Brennan noted. “Visibility is a game changer.”
“We need to optimize the value of infrastructure and we can deliver more than mail.”
The LEAGUE talent show rounded out the banquet evening of social networking and good food, but a plethora of tributes to outgoing LEAGUE President Mark Strong was the most memorable of all. With the incredible voice of Wanetta Bryant of Texas, dozens upon dozens of LEAGUE members formed a procession with each carrying a red rose and bringing a hug to honor Strong. The strains of “You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings” reminded all that the LEAGUE is family and has been a professional resource for more than 120 years. Founder Oscar Pogue, a 4th Class Postmaster, would be proud!
August 05, 2014
PMG Shares Postal Service Updates with LEAGUERs
General session at the National Convention in Reno on Tuesday, August 5 was headlined by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. While leaving details to many answers to fall to Megan Brennan who was to speak on Wednesday morning, Donahoe responded to questions from the LEAGUE “suggestion” box from attendees including some that seem unresolved for many years.
On the continuing saga of missent mail, the PMG said he was intolerant of the time and effort spent to deliver such mail – unless it was Express Mail that needed to be taken care of. He talked about plant and District structure that dates to 1992 that needs an organizational review to find what the right structure would be. On replacing fleet vehicles, he listed questions on: how many do you need; right-sizing to handle package volume; buying or refurbishing; CNG conversions and what kind of fuel would you buy. As to loss of distribution centers, many are now being used for transitions for package delivery including grocery deliveries in the San Francisco area starting this Friday. Large mailers, he said, have already consolidated operations and ones such as AT&T and Verizon drop in three to four places nationally, with presorting and cancellation drying up dramatically.
“Package volume continues to grow and we are working closely with Amazon and eBay as well as developing opportunities for small businesses,” he said. “We’ve been very careful to hold prices down and we’ve cut prices to be more competitive.”
Another bright spot is an increase in direct mail, linking the mail piece to other marketing venues and he cited the major use of mail by political candidates.
The legislative area is still an unknown as far as postal reform, noted Donahoe, and legislative consultant Bob Brinkmann reported on this area later in the program. While Brinkmann affirmed the total dysfunction of the current Congress, he expects some positive changes ahead after the fall elections and called for LEAGUE members to organize for grass roots efforts in the near future. There is the possibility of a Republican controlled Senate as well as the House that could aid accountability in getting legislation passed
“The visibility of the Postal Service has steadily increased,” he said. “Major news media listed the top four concerns for legislative action as immigration, energy, health care –and the Postal Service. The stars are starting to align for postal legislation.”
Closing out the session was the annual presentation of leadership awards by the Atlanta Postal Credit Union. This year’s honorees were: Dee Johnson, Indiana; Gordon Strater, New Jersey; Patti Lipeika, Arizona; and Wayne Francis, North Carolina. The 2014 State Branch Postmasters of the Year posed for a group photo with the National Postmaster of the Year to be announced at Wednesday night’s banquet.
August 04, 2014
LEAGUE Speakers Address Work Change Environment
On Monday, August 4, the LEAGUE National Convention general session in Reno, Nevada, opened the convention floor with rousing Western themed dance choreography that brought LEAGUE President Mark Strong to the stage as a dance partner. It was part of what will be a fitting tribute to the end of Strong’s four-year tenure as the LEAGUE leader and his hard work in representing the LEAGUE in postal change discussions at Postal HQ, on the Hill and in keeping Postmasters on top of POStPlan implementation and the next phase of the organizational downsizing.
Featured speaker Jeffrey Williamson, Chief Human Resources Officer and Exec VP at USPS, described new programs that are being implemented to improve communications at the various employee levels so that training will be a shared and well-rounded experience and consistent from top to bottom. He stressed that the Postal Service looked to focus on the employee life cycle – “We don’t do enough and we need to do more to develop our employees …” on both professional and personal levels. “Our business success depends on engaged employees that are high-performing and customer focused.”
Williamson affirmed that the Postal Service wants to be “predictive instead of reactive.” With jobs changing and a greater need for training, he said USPS is building a new framework for appropriate training and continuous development on multiple platforms and not just with an online focus. A member question from the floor asked about required training for some smaller offices on something they would never use—including pointing out that Internet service is not always good at some locations and unable to meet some standards that have been set. “Start at the bottom … and listen …” was the suggestion to Williamson on directional change the Postal Service intends to make.
Western Area VP Drew Aliperto told LEAGUERs that they are “already on a winning team … and that we have a bright future filled with promise …
“We can all make a difference and heart and soul should be a part of it, not just making the budget. Inspire others by your success and attitude. Trust builds loyalty and people trust the Postal Service.”
President Mark Strong’s keynote address included an overview of where we are and where we are going. It will be published in its entirety in the upcoming September/October Postmasters Advocate that includes LEAGUE Calendar 2015. He noted a quote from Dale Carnegie in that “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” National Convention features not only the workshops, detailed information on our work environment and the continuing changes but member networking with a night of partying to country western tunes, a great meal, dancing and a Price Is Right game show … and more folks cruising by the little electric car in the reception area to wish and hope that they will be the one to take it home! But everyone gets to take home the memories of this convention with yet a few more days ahead of speakers including the PMG, election of new National Officers and a gala banquet evening on Wednesday.
August 03, 2014
LEAGUE Opens 111th National Convention with Focus on Future
The Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada welcomed hundreds of LEAGUE members on Sunday, August 3, 2014, to an exciting atmosphere of professional development workshops, post office operations networking and renewal of friendships that have been at the center of the LEAGUE’s caring core. Monday begins general sessions with presentations by top postal officials and opportunity to clarify what changes are ahead for Postmasters.
Sunday’s opening registration hours melded with a series of committee workshops for legislative, effective service, membership, branch editors, presidents/vice presidents club, secretary/treasurers club, retirees and auxiliary. The exhibit area featured many drawings from the dozens of vendors and an exuberant crowd looking ahead to a sit-down welcome dinner for first-timers and a bowling party for all ages of LEAGUE family members in the evening.
Handfuls of members gathered around an electric car offered in a drawing by Federal Employee Services that quickly became the center of a unique photo opportunity. LEAGUE convention photographer, National Editor Bob Mayhar, had already picked out a unique spot for state branch photos outside Grand Sierra where bronze full-sized running horses turned heads at the main entrance. With a clear view of the surrounding mountains and vast open spaces, the convention location sets one apart of the regular hustle and bustle of post office operations. Much of the overheard conversations of members included talk of dealing with changes ahead and the most recent Postal HQ plans for continued downsizing. Many were already getting questions into words to have PMG Pat Donahoe and/or other postal leaders address during the general session. For now, it was time to decompress and enjoy renewing LEAGUE acquaintances as well as establishing new ones.
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.