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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
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.
September 6, 2013
Postal Service Notifies Postmaster Organizations that Postmasters will be Included in Voluntary Early Retirement (VER Offer)
The Postal Service has notified both Postmaster organization presidents that Postmasters will be included in the Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) opportunity offered to all field EAS employees.
VER-eligible employees will be mailed retirement applications and annuity estimates during the week of September 16-20.
VER-eligible employees may apply starting September 20 through the VER decision irrevocability date of November 29. VER-eligible employees may select either of two VER effective dates: December 31, 2013 or January 31, 2014. FERS employees who decide to take the VER opportunity will receive 100% retirement credit for accrued sick leave as long as these employees are on the rolls January 1, 2014. If these employees select the December 31, 2013 VER effective date, they will not receive 100% retirement credit for accrued sick leave. The Postal Service will not offer any financial incentives.
August 5, 2013
LEAGUE Questions Recently-Introduced Senate Postal Measure
August 3, 2013
The Postal Service announced another round of initial postings for 6-hour Postmaster jobs.
There are about 452 of these jobs across the country being posted in eCareer on August 20th and which will close September 4, 2013. These positions are for all the 6-hour offices which implemented POStPlan between May 4th and July 27, 2013. The LEAGUE office needs to know if these positions do not get posted. These jobs can be posted District-wide or Area-wide. The LEAGUE has suggested that these jobs be posted Area-wide to create more opportunity to find jobs. The hourly pay rate that should be posted on these positions should be $12.42 to $18.36 per hour (there was an increase effective 1/12/2013).
ELIGIBILITY STATEMENT FOR INITIAL POSTING:
This position is posted District-wide or Area-wide with a limited area of consideration (LAC) to all career EAS Postmasters and EPM Postmasters Levels 51-55. All qualified career Postmasters are eligible to apply for this position.
Noncompetitive requests from qualified career Postmasters at the same or higher grade, including DUO-impacted Postmasters applying for reassignment at their saved grade/level within their commuting area, may be submitted directly to the selecting official for consideration outside this competitive process. Noncompetitive applicants are encouraged to include a copy of their eCareer profile along with their request.
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.
There was also more legislative news. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), Committee Chair of Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, along with Ranking Committee Republican Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), introduced postal reform bill S. 1486. Click here for the entire bill. It has some language that mirrors H.R. 2748. We are happy to see movement on the Senate side but, at first glance, we have a number of concerns with the legislation. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has already released comments on the bill and has many concerns. The LEAGUE's Legislative Counsel Robert Brinkmann will do a thorough review of this bill and will give our opinions shortly.
July 26, 2013
Final Day at 110th National Convention
The LEAGUE’s newly installed National Executive Board was welcomed at the closing banquet of the 110th National Convention in San Diego on Thursday, July 25. Vice President Steve LeNoir was returned to the Board for a second term and Shelly Souders, who previously served two terms as Secretary/Treasurer, was elected to the open VP position vacated by Kelly McCartney; Stephanie Jett was voted in as the new Secretary/Treasurer. Continuing on in their positions was Sean Acord as Executive Vice President, Vice Presidents Jack Jameson and Mike Engleman, and RLP President Nancy Trautman, elected to a second term for the Retirees.
A prestigious award given at banquet is to name the LEAGUE’s National Postmaster of the Year and it went to Loretta Jaffe of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. The 2012 Postmaster of the Year, Deb Alums of Alabama, presented it and all present past LEAGUE National Postmasters of the Year joined in for photos.
Mind-boggling magic with rings, dollar bills and phone book pages at random involving many of the Postmasters and family members was awe inspiring (skills any Postmaster would be delighted to have …) and warmed the crowd as dancing music by NRG Band turned the quiet evening into a disco atmosphere. Such was the end to election day and the final moments of convention time.
Code changes, previously printed in The Postmasters Advocate in May and June, were all approved during the morning session. Area coordinators continued in past positions except for Dee Johnson of Indiana taking over for the Great Lakes Area. Other Area leaders are: Eastern, Jo Anne Oberly; Northeast, Catherine Winnie; Capitol Metro, Janie Holder; Pacific, Shari Hetzler; Southern, Landa Harris; Western I, Eddie Morgan; and Western II, David Weber.
The new Retiree Board members are President, Nancy Trautman; Exec VP Wes Gordon; Sec/Treas, Doris Conrad; and VPs Barbara Dillard, Ted Stinson, Ray Boone and Hazel Boettcher. The new Auxiliary Board is led by President Fred Gardner; Exec VP Gwenda Mapa; VP Robin Perry; Secretary Antoinette Sheppard; and Treasurer Lucy Olson.
National Editor Bob Mayhar started the newsletter honors off with a special “Editor Emeritus” award to Carol Slocum, CA, Postmaster (Ret). Recognized for Best Educational Forum was Dixie Bentley IA; Best Use of Photos, Ann Joos MN; Best Small Circulation, Carla Zuhlsdorf SD; Best Medium Circulation, Brian Oakes AZ; Best Large Circulation, Donna Geary CA; and Best LEAGUE Newsletter of the Year, Milly Kropp WA.
One of the last things on the agenda at general session was a presentation on next year’s convention site, Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada. Look for full details on the LEAGUE website and in The Postmasters Advocate.
July 25, 2013
Postal Bill Endangers Quality of Rural Mail Service
San Diego, California. July 25, 2013. Mark Strong, President of the National League of Postmasters said today “H.R. 2748, which was reported out of committee last night would endanger the quality of mail service in rural America by lowering the standard of quality to which the Postal Service must adhere.” H.R. 2748 is sponsored by Congressman Darrell Issa (R CA), chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.
Click for More Details
July 25, 2013
“Education” Tops at LEAGUE National Convention on Wednesday, July 24
POStPlan, CSV/SOV AEWL, New WSC 150 and RMPO Credits, and Latest Changes to APO/RMPO/SDA were among the very popular and well attended workshops at the 110th National Convention in San Diego. As “The Education Organization,” the LEAGUE has built extensive Postmaster training through its website, at conventions and 3-digit meetings, and in its flagship publication, The Postmasters Advocate.
This year’s round of dozens of workshops reflect on the rapidly changing postal system adjustments as the Postal Service goes through a right-sizing process with a goal of profitability along with Congress passing needed postal legislation. A legislative breakfast held Wednesday included a review of the Issa bill just marked up in the House. Legislative Counsel Bob Brinkmann emphasized the need for LEAGUE members to contact their representatives with a message that: The Issa postal bill lowers the standard of postal service in rural America; would be disastrous for rural America; and asks congressmen to please maintain the current Postal Service standards for rural America.
In late afternoon, Area meetings were held. Some Area coordinators noted that there is now more District-level interaction needed as the Postal Service’s changes advance. “Communication” was noted as a key to keeping Postmasters, OICs and PMRs informed as to what is coming down the pike and potential conflicts and problems in dealing with the changes. Along with new National Executive Board members (election on Thursday, July 25) being installed on Thursday, several new Area coordinators will also be installed.
At various times during the day, State Photos were taken in the resort’s Rose Garden. As is the new procedure, LEAGUE photo coverage of the convention is posted to the LEAGUE Photo Gallery the week following the convention. This way, all photos are available for use to state newsletter editors as well as every attendee for their personal use. Full coverage of this convention, plus the annual LEAGUE calendar, is in the September/October issue of The Advocate.
One thing we’re unable to put into print and online is the spirit of Wednesday night that came through in a new event: The LEAGUE’s Got Talent. Pictures and recordings will show the high level of talent of LEAGUE members and family, but it was the heartfelt strains of song, stories, funny skits, amusing musical theatrics and B.R.A.T.S. sharing talent that could only be experienced by being there. Look for those photos online next week.
Thursday’s agenda includes elections, installations, newsletter and photo contest awards, voting on code changes and a report on the 2014 National Convention planned for Reno, Nevada.
July 24, 2013
National Convention - PMG Talks Opportunity – NEB Candidates Present – APCU Awards
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe noted that while we have to wait for Congress on legislation, we haven’t rolled over … “Take a look at what’s happening in this economy … there are big, big changes. If we don’t do it ourselves, there’s no one around to do this for us.”
The PMG affirmed that the Postal Service is holding places for people to jump into as USPS thinks about a plan for tougher times. And, Donahoe added that all the changes the Postal Service is trying to put in place are for the good of our employees. “We’re leaving no stone unturned and what we do should not be on the backs of Postmasters or letter carriers.”
With a conversational sit-down on stage with League President Mark Strong, PMG Donahoe took questions from Leaguers and noted follow-ups on questions asked at Forum. Mark said that under POStPlan, one District was reposting a position every 30 days despite a former Postmaster in place … the PMG noted the best was to deal on the District level first, then take it higher but he said to never feel afraid of telling Mark about these things and “we will take care of quickly …”
As to the wait on Congress, Bob Brinkmann put out the call for everyone to respond to Issa’s new bill just marked up in the House. “It’s not a good bill, but he will get the votes to pass. Make calls to your representatives and ask to retain the current level of service for rural America.” The House bill would reduce the quality of postal service in rural America but there is a very strong coalition in the Senate that protects post offices. “We’re closer than any time in the last six years for postal legislation,” said Brinkmann. And, he noted, Issa has indicated willingness to compromise.
Candidates for the National Executive Board were presented to attendees: Three running for two open positions for vice president are Shari Hetzler, Steve LeNoir and Shelly Souders; Stephanie Jett was the only candidate for Secretary/Treasurer. The election is on Thursday.
APCU gave out four leadership awards – Kathy Hansen, MI; Shari Hetzler, CA; Dawn Sadler, KY; and Lora Herrmann, MI.
National Vice President Jack Jameson received membership’s Eagle Award for a lifetime recruitment total of 343 members. Pin awards were also given to Carol Slocum for 217 members and Linda Augustosky for 557.
Following a free afternoon and evening, Leaguers will have their pick of three rounds of workshops on Wednesday and Area meetings late afternoon. “LEAGUE’s Got Talent,” a new venue for convention activities, takes to the stage Wednesday night.
July 23, 2013
Opening Session at National Convention Highlights Postal Issues in Changing Times
Declining mail volumes, pricing caps, fixed Universal Service Obligation, and labor costs are the multiple factors contributing to the problems at the Postal Service, said Megan Brennan, COO and Executive VP of the Postal Service.
Brennan, speaking to attendees at the 110th League National Convention, showed 69 PowerPoint slides illustrating problems and possible solutions to getting to positive numbers as the Postal Service moves to a new reality in today's economic marketplace. With labor 80 percent of total costs, Brennan discussed how the POStPlan and a new five-year plan could put things on track -- and that included the passage of legislation to give the Postal Service more flexibility in its ability to run the business and resolution of the benefits prefunding situation. Brennan showed detailed figures on how changing from door delivery to curb and centralized boxes could easily save the Postal Service in both labor and time. League President Mark Strong, in his comments, also commented on the savings that could be had by reducing door delivery more than such as reducing delivery on Saturday and cutting back on post office hours. While there was discussion on revenue generation, it would "never be enough" to offset costs to return to profitability. Increases in package revenue cannot make up for the loss in First Class mail.
Napus President Robert Rapoza and Naps President Louis Atkins both echoed comments on how they, together with Mark Strong, have turned many negative areas of the POStPlan around while still having much more work to do. All agreed that the additional demand on Postmasters to run operations under reduced hours and reduced personnel was not viable for the long term. That has been the crux of the management organizations in meeting at Postal HQ -- and to help the approximately 4,600 impacted Postmasters remaining.
It would take the starting round of workshops Monday afternoon and more to follow in the days ahead here at the convention to provide Postmasters, OICs and those in charge of post offices with information on how to manage in these changing times with the evolving POStPlan. The opening session presentations, including President Strong's keynote address, did more than stress the problems--dealing with the issues towards a resolution for a continuing postal career is a key goal for this League convention. New eLearning pages on the League website, articles and reference material in the Postmasters Advocate, 3-digit meetings, state conventions and one-on-one networking for members are all part of how the League will help in dealing with this ever-changing reorganization.
After an exhausting day centered on tough topics, Leaguers turned back the clock with a Sock Hop '50s Welcome Party. Ladies sported poodle skirts and guys had slicked back hair, cuffed jeans and white muscle T-shirts. Couples took to the dance floor to the classics of the past, letting loose to re-energize for the Tuesday session. As well as hearing from the Postmaster General, there will be presentation of the National Board candidates, APCU leadership awards and recognition of state Postmasters of the Year. And, yes, there is now movement of legislation and a need for grass-roots action to fix the most destructive sections of the new bill Rep. Darrell Issa has introduced. There will be more to come of what actions you need to take to help avert the worst case scenario.
July 22, 2013
News From The National Convention
An evening Mexican Fiesta topped off the first day of the 110th League National Convention in San Diego at the Town & Country Resort. It was a fitting end to a day of committee and club meetings as the League prepared for the convention's opening day on Monday, July 22. News late this past week that postal legislation was on the move in Congress bolstered the conversation of many of the attendees.
Sunday's meetings would be the last for some members of standing committees as new members will be appointed in August. Election of new National Executive Board members this year, with the election on Thursday, will include National Secretary/Treasurer, National Vice Presidents and a new Executive Vice President. President Mark Strong will be entering his final year as National League President and candidates for that office generally announce their plans to run the following year, which will be at the 111th National Convention to be held in Reno, Nevada next summer.
For many League members, the weekend before the convention opens provides time for R&R and optional tours. As "The Education Organization," the League starts right off with POStPlan on-point workshops Monday afternoon and a full day of workshops on Wednesday. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe is on the schedule to speak on Tuesday and COO and Exec VP Megan J. Brennan will also address the convention.
The cool ocean breezes (a respite from the hot weather areas many Leaguers traveled from) and sunny skies against a backdrop of tall palm trees provide a relaxing setting to network, meet up with old friends and make new ones, and to get the information they need to stay on top of the evolving changes in the Postal Service. Check here tomorrow for Monday's news and happenings.
July 16, 2013
New Videos for the eLeague Learning Center
Four new videos have been posted to our eLEAGUE Learning Center. National Vice President Jack Jameson has updated the PS 150 video to show how RMPOs are credited to the PS 150 for Postmasters. He also taped a new Adjusted Earned Workload (AEWL) to help Postmasters determine their earned hours using FY/13 data which will determine POStPlan levels. Shelly Souders has a PowerPoint video on POStPlan RMPO level 2 and 4 Single Drawer Accountability (SDA). This training is an excellent resource for those APOs implementing and managing SDAs as well as those RMPOs working with SDA finances. Click here to link to the eLeague Learning Center on our educational section of the website and catch up on this new training developed just for you.
The management associations met this past week with Postal Headquarters regarding FY/14 NPA Unit Indicators. From the meeting came a commitment by all parties to do all we can to have our targets finalized by the start of the fiscal year. As a reminder, you can see FY/13 NPA Unit Indicators on the Blue page under NPA. They are now tracking FY/13 and you can also see individual office report cards at this time on the NPA page.
This past week LEAGUE and NAPUS also met with Headquarters in our continuing effort to work on POStPlan challenges. A major portion of this meeting is being dedicated to discussion on the incumbent Postmasters in impacted POStPlan offices. Getting current vacancies posted and assisting impacted incumbent Postmasters with needed training were two of the topics discussed this week. At this week’s meeting we received further clarification on FLSA Exempt and Non-Exempt Postmasters. There was some talk in the field about whether non-career employees were used in the formula for Exempt status that requires the supervision of two FTE, or the equivalent of two, which is 80 hours per week. We were told that non-career employees are not part of the formula now and there will be no change to the language that is currently in the ELM.
There is some movement on possible postal reform. Rep. Darrell Issa has called for a hearing on his proposed legislation for July 17 at 1:30 EST. The next step after the hearing is to mark up a bill and that could come very soon after the hearing. There are many issues the LEAGUE has with this proposed legislation and it is our hope drastic changes are made.
Like Rep. Issa, Rep. Cummings, Ranking Member on the House Government Reform Committee (Issa’s Committee), is also circulating a discussion draft asking for feedback on his legislation. Seems we have some different ideas for postal reform from our two leaders of House Government Reform Committee. This draft is available on the congressman’s website.
Have a great week - hope to see you in beautiful San Diego!
Mark Strong, League President
May 31, 2013
Except for the travel to state conventions it has been very quiet - not a lot of news to report on. As some of you are aware, Districts sent out a letter to another group of Postmasters changing their Exempt or Non-Exempt status. Although it did not impact a large number of Postmasters, those that did receive the letter questioned what prompted this round of notifications. The answer is – nothing. The Postal Service is required to review the status of Exempt and Non-Exempt Postmasters periodically to make sure they are classified correctly. This was just one of those reviews. The period used for this review was from October 1, 2011 through September 21, 2012. If you find that one office may be classified incorrectly, let your LEAGUE officer know and we can have it reviewed. Remember, FLSA law dictates Exempt status, not office levels. Click for More Details
March 29, 2013
Level 18 Two Percent Promotion Cap Lifted
The LEAGUE has received a memo (PDF) from Postal Headquarters rescinding the 2 percent salary promotion cap placed on level 18 Postmaster jobs on June 19, 2012. Promotion increases to level 18 Postmasters as well as all others will follow postal policy as outlined in the June 24, 2011 memo (PDF) from Anthony Vegliante. The June 19, 2012, letter (PDF) was sent to the field regarding the 2 percent cap on all promotions to level 18 Postmaster positions just prior to the two rounds of postings limited to Postmasters only last year. The Postmaster organizations had been asking that this cap be lifted since the intent of the policy has run its intended course of action and are pleased to see these Postmaster promotions receive the same raises as all other positions.
March 8, 2013
The League office has received several letters from Postal Headquarters over the past few days on POStPlan. On Tuesday over 1000 level 6 Postmaster jobs were posted. This list of offices can be found here (Excel). Level 6 offices that were posted in December should now be in the second and third round. If they are at the third round they would be open to all career Postal employees and PMRs. Make sure your career employees and PMRs are checking eCareer every Tuesday to see what jobs may have opened up to them.
The training letter (PDF) that was sent to the field last week has created a little confusion in some Districts. It is necessary to ensure that all APO Postmasters receive the training modules - up to the full suite of training - based on their individual needs. The Manager, Post Office Operations should meet with the APO Postmaster and use the Skills Matrix with the training guidelines to determine which training modules will be required. They should also establish a reasonable and effective timeline for the completion of all required training.
It is also necessary to ensure that all PMRs and Part-Time Postmasters receive the necessary training modules - up to the full suite of training - based on their individual needs. The APO Postmaster should meet with each PMR/PTPM assigned to them, and use the attached Skills Matrix to determine which training modules will be required. They should also establish a reasonable and effective timeline for the completion of all required training.
A letter (PDF) was also sent out on the staffing of PTPO and RMPOs. In 2-hour and 4-hour Remotely Managed Post Offices there will be a Primary PMR scheduled 5 days per week, with a Secondary PMR assigned to cover the non-scheduled days and other absences. However, if mutually agreed to by the PMR and the APO Postmaster (or District), the PMR may work 6 days per week. A 6-hour office will have a career Part-Time Postmaster - PTPM. The jobs will be posted 5 days a week but again if mutually agreed to by the PTPM and the APO Postmaster (or District) they can work 6 days a week. Replacement for non-scheduled days and other absences in these offices is a Postal Support Employee - PSE.
The APO Postmaster that will have administrative and managerial responsibility for one or more RMPOs should be the selecting official for the PTPM or PMR assigned to their respective offices. The Manager, Post Office Operations would be the concurring official.
Finally some RMPOs are being assigned to APOs with encumbered Postmasters in the office. All POStPlan impacted offices that are encumbered will continue to operate at their current level, and operating schedule, and continue to report to the POOM until such time as the office becomes vacant (or September 2014) and the office is officially implemented into the POStPlan. At that time, the RMPO office will begin reporting to the APO.
February 13, 2013
Senate Holds Hearing on Postal Crisis
Today Senator Carper (D-DE) chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on Solutions to the Crisis Facing the U. S. Postal Service. The LEAGUE submitted a statement for the record to be part of the hearing today. The hearing lasted three hours with three panels and nine testimonies. Congressman Issa (R-CA) was one of those testimonies. He focused on two points and discussed the possibility of the Postal Service taking their own health care in house. The first point Congressman Issa made was the need for flexibility for the Postal Service to run its business. He also stated that current law never intended for the Postal Service to run at a loss, including forcing them to deliver mail six days a week when the business model has changed so much. The Congressman also mentioned the savings that could be realized from moving the mail delivery from the door to cluster boxes.
Of course Postmaster General Donahoe was one of the nine testimonies and he stayed true to form on the legislative agenda he has shared with us. On the Postal Link today is the full testimony and bullets of requested legislation. The Postmaster General asked that Congress not stop the new delivery schedule going to five days a week on August 5th. He asked that the Postal Service be able to sponsor their own health care which he predicts could produce a savings of 7 billion dollars a year; 5.6 of which is the prefunding requirements. The Postmaster General also asked that a proper audit be completed on the FERS pension funds and that any surplus returned to the Postal Service.
Senator Carper, along with the full committee, stated that they want to get Postal Legislation done soon. He stated they are in the first overtime period of a football game and have no desire to go to a second overtime. Neither do we, this game has gone on far too long.
Click the link
watch to the video of the entire hearing.
February 6, 2013
Postal Service Announces New Delivery Schedule - Six Days of Package Delivery, Five Days of Mail Delivery Begins August 2013
A meeting at Postal Headquarters is scheduled for today with the Mark Strong, League President and the other management organizations and postal unions. Updates will be posted as they become available.
February 6, 2013
National League of Postmasters 43rd Legislative Forum in DC Ends with Hill Visits
LEAGUE members by the hundreds took to the legislative offices of senators and representatives on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, to inform both new and continuing members of Congress of the important concerns and issues in regard to legislation needing to be passed to enable the Postal Service to continue to provide universal service to all Americans in the most timely and efficient way given changes needed due to economic circumstances.
In encouraging LEAGUE members in their efforts, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spoke at the general session Monday at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, noting, “We are not fighting for the status quo … the Postal Service has got to change … but let’s grow the business, not do layoffs, and adapt to the changing era. Postal reform should not close post offices and distribution centers, but give us tools to succeed in the 21st century.”
Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-11-VA) spoke earlier about where the House was on developing new legislation following the failure of “flawed” legislation in the last Congress. “You can close every single rural post office and not save a billion dollars … closing post offices destroys communities and the bill formerly proposed would have done that.”
Both Sen. Sanders and Rep. Connolly encouraged LEAGUERs to make contact both in the home district and on the Hill to make sure the legislators get the real facts on what is needed, i.e., resolving the prefunding and the retirement benefit issues. As to the Postal Service’s look to eliminate Saturday delivery, both legislators commented on it as not a good proposal when, they felt, other avenues to reduce costs were available. (More specifics on their ideas coming in the March Advocate.)
Challenge conventional wisdom, they encouraged, “Build on your momentum … on the need to make changes … these are not insurmountable …”
PMG Patrick Donahoe addressed many Postmaster concerns of what was happening in the field and/or going wrong as POStPlan went forward. He was optimistic that legislation could be passed this year but that it needed to be comprehensive and not just on the prefunding and retirement issues. He said the Postal Service continues to pursue taking over health insurance in-house, stating that it would provide better coverage and save money. He also talked about revenue options with a number of new products on the table and new opportunities, such as beer and wine delivery.
“We’re looking to create more opportunities for secure digital messaging for what people want and will pay for and that whatever we do, it falls in the realm of protecting our brand,” said PMG Donahoe.
President Mark Strong noted that the LEAGUE visits to the Hill came at a critical time … to educate legislators on the Hill of the facts. “We’re starting here,” he said, “and I hope that after being on the Hill and preparing here, we can go back home and make a difference with local legislative contacts as well.”
“Our time has come to grow,” said President Strong. “We will bend, we will not break and we will weather the storm.”
January 27, 2013
LEAGUE Office Receives Notice of Release of DUO Suspension And New Timeline for Second Round of Level 6 Postmaster Jobs.
On Friday, January 25, the LEAGUE office received a memo from Postal Headquarters releasing the temporary suspension of Delivery Unit Optimization (DUO). On January 11, 2013 DUO was temporarily
suspended while adjustments to the financial worksheets for DUO were completed and changes to the process were made that would require approval of the Area Vice President prior to dates of implementation assigned. These changes have been completed.
On Thursday, January 24, training was completed with the Areas and Districts on the new financial worksheets and approval process. LEAGUE leadership received this training and overview and has been involved in the changes presented.
With this training completed the temporary suspension has been lifted and DUO activities will resume. It is our hope that the changes will improve the process.
The LEAGUE office also received a letter on Friday giving notice of the second posting of 6-hour offices under POStPlan. The first 540 offices previously posted, some of which Postmasters have requested placement in was effective January 26, 2013.
The second list of postings will be available in eCareer starting on March 5 and closing on March 20. This posting will be generated from offices where POStPlan has been implemented, making them 6-hour offices effective either February 9, February 23, or March 9, 2013. For those Postmasters requesting placement, the effective date will be May 4, 2013.
This attachment shows the timeline for future postings that will occur between April 24th and June 29, 2013. The attachment also has language concerning eligibility and pay. In every posting of newly implemented 6-hour positions the process repeats itself and are made available in eCareer to EAS and EPM Postmasters, District-wide or Area-wide under a Limited Area of Consideration (LAC).
January 18, 2013
Temporary Suspension of Delivery Unit Optimization ( DUO).
The LEAGUE has received an update from Postal Headquarters on the suspension of Delivery Unit Optimization ( DUO) that began January 11, 2013. This past week the Postmaster organizations met with Postal Headquarters to discuss concerns and listen to possible changes to the current process. The LEAGUE has provided a number of ideas that could improve the process. It is our hope that this exchange of ideas will provide a better DUO process for the future. On Thursday, January 24, 2013 national rollout of the new DUO process will take place and DUO activities will resume. As mentioned in the January 8, 2013 memo, the DUO moratorium for those offices that have rural routes being counted is still in place. The LEAGUE will continue to keep you updated as to changes with the current process.
January 15, 2013
The 2013 League Legislative Forum is just around the corner, February 3 -5, 2013.
Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel Reservations must be received on or before Friday, January 18, 2013 to receive the Group Room Rate $185.00 Single/Double. Contact the Marriott at: 703-920-3230, Telephone Reservation Group Code "NPXNPXA", state that you are with the National League of Postmasters.
43rd League Legislative Forum Agenda (PDF).
January 8, 2013
The LEAGUE has received the Zone Tolerance ( ZOT) information for POStPlan
December 19, 2012
Release of 2013 Pay Schedules and NPA Update
The LEAGUE National Office received the non-bargaining unit salary schedules (PDF) for 2013. These schedules will go into effect January 12, 2013. Although there were no pay increases for 2012, the new schedules will raise the caps on most all EAS positions.
PFP salary determinations for FY/2013 will be subject to the Postal Service’s review of compensation practices throughout the United States economy. Based on this review, PFP program ratings will either be suspended or applied to salary determinations. For FY2014 and FY2015, PFP rating will be applied to salary determinations.
Last week, LEAGUE and NAPUS started preliminary meetings with Postal Headquarters regarding NPA and the Administrative Rules. These rules will have to be updated to remove CORE requirements. Much of the discussion centered on the need for continued communication and goal setting for Unit and Corporate goals. For 2013, NPA will be weighted with 60 percent of the NPA composite coming from Corporate goals and 40 percent coming from the Unit goals. Clearly the need to discuss how these goals can be met, progress on how we are doing during the year, and the end of year results need to be part of the process. The need for individual mitigating circumstances on Unit goals was also one of the items being discussed. The LEAGUE office will keep you updated on the final changes and complete new Administrative Rules when they are available.
December 5, 2012
POStPlan Staffing of 6 hour Postmaster Positions
Today we received a final document outlining the steps that will be taken to fill vacant part time 6 hour Postmaster positions in the field. LEAGUE and NAPUS has been working with Postal Headquarters to find the best way to fill these jobs while continuing to find a landing spot for impacted Postmasters. These jobs can only be made available after the community meetings have taken place. The initial posting on 12/18/2012 will include most all those offices that have had community meetings so far and the 30 day notice requirement to the community has been met. Future staffing of 6 hour Postmaster positions will repeat this process when the community meetings have taken place.
It is important that Postmasters considering non-competitive downgrades to these jobs start thinking about their choices now as the limited area of consideration (LAC) opportunity to request a downgrade will only be 9 days from 12/18/2012-12/26/12. These positions will then be available in eCareer for all eligible employees to apply. There is a brief description of how to request a non-competitive downgrade on the attached document.
Here is a brief summary of the attached.
• LAC is for EAS Postmasters and EPM Postmasters in Levels 51-55
• LAC is 12/18-12/26
• Postmasters must request a voluntary non-competitive placement
• Level 16 and below will receive saved salary through September 30, 2014. (See FAQs on Saved Salary).
Although not perfect, this LAC will give more opportunity to place impacted Postmasters into positions prior to October 2014.
December 3, 2012
Incentive Payment Information
The LEAGUE office has been getting a number of questions regarding the incentive payments for those Postmasters that took the VERA with the $20,000 incentive this past summer. The LEAGUE office received the following information regarding those payments.
The incentive payment is an adjustment that is included/generated in the normal payroll period pay cycle. The first installment is scheduled to be paid in PP 26/2012 (included on payroll checks dated 12/21/2012). The second installment is scheduled to be paid in PP 26/2013 (included on payroll checks dated 12/20/2013). Because these payments are included in the normal payroll cycle, they follow the normal payroll mailing cycle.
These checks will be mailed to the installation from which the employee retired or separated. They are included with the other checks normally sent to the office each pay period (like terminal leave payments). Former employees make arrangements with their former installations for picking up incentive payments or having those payment mailed to the former employees. There is an exception concerning employees who retired and are reemployed as PMRs. Employees who are due the incentive payment and who have been reemployed as non-career Postmaster Reliefs (PMRs) will have the incentive payments processed as part of their current pay. The incentives will be included on the checks sent to their current employing offices (or included with their Net-To-Bank amounts if that is what they have set up for the handling of their current pay.) We have approximately 275-300 employees that have come back as PMR’s.
Former employees can pick up the checks at the installations from which the employees retired or separated, or they may provide PS Forms 3077 to their final employing offices to have the checks mailed to the addresses provided by the employees on PS Forms 3077 or to the employees’ addresses of record. PS Forms 3077 must NOT be submitted to the Eagan ASC.
Anyone having issues with the incentive payment can contact the Accounting Help Desk at 1-866-974-2733 for assistance
November 8, 2012
Updated NEWSBREAK - LEAGUE Headquarters has just been notified that the FLSA exempt issue for the upgraded level 18 has been corrected. On Oct 6 there were 2858 offices upgraded to level 18 and all of these office were coded non-exempt on their Form 50. Headquarters has now evaluated all 2858 offices and found that 1168 of these offices should be upgraded to FLSA exempt status. This is the list (EXCEL) of those offices. The exempt upgrade will be effective 11/17/2012.
I wanted to share a POStPlan update, 495 offices will be impacted by POStPlan implementation and converted to RMPOs on November 17. This spreadsheet (EXCEL) shows those 495 offices, hours of operation and the APO they report to. POStPlan activities will be suspended during Thanksgiving week, Monday, November 19 through Sunday, November 25. No community meetings will be scheduled for that week and there will be no implementation activities. POStPlan activities will be suspended during the peak Christmas season, starting Saturday, December 8 and continuing through January 6, 2013.
We were also advised that Delivery and Post Office Operations decided that Delivery Unit Optimization implementations and Post Office closures will be suspended temporarily starting Monday, November 19 and continuing through Friday, January 4, 2013. This is the normal moratorium that takes place during the holiday season.
November 5, 2012
NEWSBREAK - Last week LEAGUE and NAPUS Presidents met with Postal Headquarters regarding FLSA changes and level 18 Postmaster jobs. The classification of the upgraded level 18 Postmasters jobs to non-exempt when in fact most of these positions were exempt continues to be a problem in the field. Headquarters has assured the organization heads that this issue will be fixed expeditiously and the correct status applied to each position. The FLSA law has not changed and there is no disagreement on what justifies a non-exempt vs. an exempt position. This will be corrected on those impacted Postmasters soon. More Information
November 2, 2012
Help Your Postal Family Recover from Natural Disasters such as Hurricane Sandy - Contribute to the Postal Employees Relief Fund (PERF)
The League is asking it's members and all other members of the Postal Family to contribute to the Postal Employees Relief Fund (PERF), which gives aid to postal employees and retired postal employees who sustain significant property damage as a result of natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy. It is operated jointly by postal unions and management associations.
Please send checks or money orders to: Postal Employees’ Relief Fund, P.O. Box 7630, Woodbridge VA 22195-7630, Click to download a Contribution Form. Credit card contributions can be made by visiting www.postalrelief.com and clicking on “Donate to PERF.” Contributions also can be made through the Combined Federal Campaign by designating CFC#10268. Contributions are tax deductible.
October 23, 2012
NEWSBREAK - On October 6, 2012 POStPLan level 18 offices with incumbent Postmasters received their upgrades. The LEAGUE national office has received numerous inquiries from these Postmasters who were recently upgraded to level 18s and have since been classified to a non-exempt status. Many of these Postmasters have been exempt Postmasters for years and still meet the criteria of being exempt. The LEAGUE office has notified Postal Headquarters officials that it is our position that EAS 18 Postmasters who manage two or more full time equivalent employees (FTEs) should be classified as exempt. FLSA law has not changed and this fact is not disputed by Postal Headquarters.
Headquarters officials have responded to the LEAGUE by saying that they are looking into the matter and will provide a clarification as soon as possible. An update will be posted on the LEAGUE website as soon as information is received from USPS headquarters.
October 2, 2012
Presidents Message - The community meeting dates and surveys started their weekly cycle of being mailed out, the first going out the week of August 29 and the first community meetings starting October 9, 2012. Many customers are receiving them now and a lot of questions are coming in as a result of this. There are over 1500 meetings schedule for October alone. The media has been doing a pretty good job regarding the surveys and the community meetings but one thing they do not emphasize is how critical the surveys are to the results. I want to remind everyone that these community meetings and surveys are for vacant POStPlan impacted offices only. View Details and More Information
August 29, 2012
The USPS has released the attached announcement looking for assistance with the upcoming rural count. The announcement also includes information regarding the hiring of retirees for PMR positions in the level 2 and 4 offices. Anyone wanting more information should contact their District HR department.
August 3, 2012
The LEAGUE’s National Postmaster of the Year honors went to Debra Alums of Alabama as announced during the Thursday evening banquet, August 2, 2012 in Orlando. Alums, who joined the LEAGUE in 1988, seeing something that she wanted to be a part of, said she progressed in her career because of the information gained through the LEAGUE. Her favorite quote, from the Lion King, is “remember who you are …”
During LEAGUE elections earlier in the day, Mark Strong was reelected National President and Mike Engleman and Jack Jameson were voted in as new VPs. Sean Acord was elected as Executive Vice President. Current Board members include VPs Kelly McCartney and Steve LeNoir; Secretary/Treasurer Shelly Souders; and Retiree President Nancy Trautman. Going off the Board are John Olson and Norma Powell.
Barbara Veech, the LEAGUE’s Director of Meetings and Conventions, has retired as of this convention after 30 years and 45 years as a LEAGUE member. Barbara worked under nine presidents and boards, and was named a National Postmaster of the Year and Oscar Pogue winner in the past. “I’ve made so many friends in this journey of life,” she said, “and most important are the people along the way.”
The California State Branch gave a rousing presentation on next year’s National Convention in San Diego. See you there!
July 9, 2012
On Monday the National League of Postmasters received these PMR FAQs that answer a great deal of questions Postmasters and PMRs had asked about the retention and hiring of PMRs after POStPlan begins. These FAQ address some of the salary questions for newly hired vs. those that are currently working in some of the impacted offices. There are also a few FAQs on Postmaster promotions and relocations benefits.
June 15, 2012
The LEAGUE office received the attached LINK outlining the opportunity for optional eligible and VER eligible Postmasters who retire to be hired back to PMR positions to continue to serve their communities and not affect their annuity payments.
Postmasters retiring can apply for PMR positions in the 2 and 4 hour offices they request to work at and supplement their retirement income while utilizing the valuable postal knowledge they have. The attached FAQs answer a number of questions that Postmasters may have about this opportunity. Postal Headquarters will be sending letters to all VER and optional retirement eligible Postmasters with this offer.
Those interested Postmasters should contact their District Human Resource office.
June 14, 2012
The Postal Service has released an update to the POStPlan FAQ's, they changed the question to FAQ #6 to include all career postmasters (it previously read career full-time) and added the link to the Organization Change FAQ #56 that provides detailed information about Discontinued Service Retirement (DSR).
June 8, 2012
The Postal Service has released Updated/Consolidated Frequently asked Questions (FAQS) Related to POStPlan. The update includes a new question #1, which is a summary overview of POStPlan and the summary includes links to three additional sites for detailed information on the VER; the incentive; and the Organization Change FAQs, where employees can find current information about issues such as severance pay, effects on benefits and leave when moving to a part-time career position, retirement, social security and many other topics.
June 1, 2012
The Postal Service has released Updated/Consolidated Frequently asked Questions (FAQS) Related to POStPlan.
May 31, 2012
POStPlan Earned SOV Formula Certified Correct
We have received the attached memo from Dean Granholm, Vice President of Delivery and Post Office Operations. The attached Power Point has the formula that Mr. Granholm has certified on slide 8. I encourage each impacted Postmaster to verify their POStPlan daily earned hours using this formula. The Power Point shows you how to get to SOV on the Postal Service Blue Page. Type in SOV and follow the slides. Once on the Summary page click on your office and the Variance Summary opens. Follow the three steps on the Retail/Admin section. It is important that you use the correct retail days and total operation days from your FY/11 data. If you sort mail at all on Saturday you will be dividing your Workload Value hours by 308 if completely closed then divide by 257. If you have Saturday retail hours you will divide the retail by 282.5 and if no window operation on Saturday then divide by 257. This is the daily earned hours for the POStPlan SOV that is used to determine the level of offices under POStPLan.
Until the mapping is finalized you will not know if the office is a PTPO and meets any of the three exceptions from the POStPlan calculation so that would be the final anomaly that could change the level.
May 25, 2012
Deadline to Initiate Optional Retirement with Incentive Extended
Today the Postal Service announced it is extending the deadline from June 22, 2012 until July 2, 2012 to initiate a VER or Optional Retirement with the incentive. It is important that a well informed decision is made before taking this step and the Postal Service felt the extra time was needed for Postmasters to make this decision.
While many are looking at retirement, others are looking to apply for the approximate 1,600 Postmaster positions that were posted today. These positions are posted District wide for limited competition, meaning only Postmasters can apply.
Postmasters can go to LiteBlue at the Workforce Connection for more detailed information. Human Resources will mail formal communications directly to Postmasters within the next week.
May 22, 2012
The Postal Service has released a 2nd Update to the Additional Frequently asked Questions (FAQS) for HR Related POStPlan Questions, #14 - #25 are New.
New 5/23/2012 Link to the Organization Change Management RIF FAQs website on Lite Blue: https://liteblue.usps.gov/humanresources/organizationalchanges/pdf/oc_faq.pdf
Additional POStPlan HR FAQ's can be found on Lite Blue: https://liteblue.usps.gov/humanresources/organizationalchanges/pdf/postplan_faqs.pdf
Additional POStPlan Operations FAQ's can be found on Lite Blue: http://blue.usps.gov/delret/L1vp/postplan_faq_internal_05.15.12.pdf
May 18, 2012
The National League of Postmasters has Received the List of Offices that will be Upgraded under POStPLan.
The Postal Service has provided the list of offices that will be upgraded to level 18 under the POStPlan process. Each incumbent Postmaster will receive a letter from the Postal Service informing them of this upgrade. Salary raises will follow current Postal Service policy. Postmasters whose salary is not at the minimum of a level 18 will be slotted in at the minimum of the level 18 pay scale. Postmasters above the minimum salary of the level 18 will receive a 2 percent raise.
Click to view the list of upgraded offices (Excel)
May 16, 2012
Postal Service has released the First Set of Frequently asked Questions (FAQS) for HR Related POStPlan and POStPlan Questions.
May 09, 2012
PMG Announces POStPlan
This morning, Postmaster General Pat Donahoe and Chief Operating Officer Megan Brennan held a press conference regarding the Postal Service’s plan to keep rural post offices open while addressing the declining mail volumes and declining revenue. This new program is called the POStPlan which stands for Post Office Structure Plan. For details visit The LEAGUE's POStPlan site POStPlan
May 09, 2012
Postmaster Pay Package Announced
After months of trying to get a pay packaged that was agreeable, the Postal Service released the pay package that all parties have found common ground on. LEAGUE and NAPUS had decided to take the pay package to third party mediation at one point in the consultative process. All parties felt that an agreement could be reached without outside intervention. In December of 2011 we went back to the table. Although far from the perfect pay package, we believe it is fair to all parties and in line with the financial difficulties facing the Postal Service while recognizing the hard work of Postmasters. View Details
April 25, 2012
S. 1789 Passes Out of Senate
Mark Strong, President of the LEAGUE, wishes to thank Senators Lieberman, Collins, Brown, Carper and all the other senators for the hard work that went into S. 1789. I want to congratulate the senators on their effort and the fact that they showed that legislation can still work, especially with this very difficult bill. The LEAGUE is pleased with the amendments that strengthened S. 1789 that gave extra protection to rural post offices and dealt with some of the overpayment issues, specifically the FERS overpayment. Click to view the text for s.1789. (PDF)
April 25, 2012
Washington, D.C., April 25, 2012 - Senate Passes Postal Bill - Rural Post Offices Get Support, New Restrictions on Closing Added
Today, the United States Senate passed S. 1789, the 21st Century Postal Act of 2012, in a bi-partisan fashion 62 to 37. The bill gives rural post offices more support and adds on a number of restrictions to the Postal Service’s ability to close them. Clearly, the Senate was not at all pleased with the behavior of the Postal Service in attempting to close thousands of small post offices over the last year or two. The bill contained a moratorium on closing small post offices in rural areas for one year, as well a moratorium of going to five-day delivery for two years.
From a broader perspective, the bill returns some $11 billion of overpaid FERS money back to the Postal Service, allowing some to be used for buyouts, and the remainder to be used to pay down its debt and to cover other employee benefits, such as workers’ compensation, pensions and health care. Further, the bill also begins a 40-year amortized payment schedule for the Postal Service to fund the rest of its retirees’ health benefits and would calculate those payments using the same discount rate that is used for the major federal government retirement funds. Open For More Information...
April 24, 2012
Senate Consideration of S. 1789 Continues. Final Vote on Passage Set for Wednesday.
Washington - Tuesday April 24 2012. Today the Senate actually started voting on amendments to S. 1789. The first vote was a critical vote on waiving a budgetary point of order. It passed and the budgetary point of order was waived. This was necessary because of the quirky way CBO calculates a score and its failure to adjust for the Postal Service’s unique on/off budget situation which gives S 1789 a positive score. Thus, it appears that passage of the bill would cost the government money, even though that is not the case.
Among the amendments adopted were ones by Senators Tester, McCaskil, Bennett, and Blunt that give further protections to communities to avoid post office closings, and set a one year moratorium, although it would let the Postal Service reduce hours if appropriate.
Among those amendments that failed was one extending the moratorium from going from 6 day to 5 day delivery beyond two years. There were several negative amendments, notably ones by Senator Corker (R TN), McCain (R AZ) and Paul (R KY) that would have destroyed the Postal Service which also failed.
About half the amendments have been considered. The other half should be considered tomorrow as should a vote on final passage. So far, things look pretty good for passage. The vote on the budget waive was a very good sign.
April 23, 2012
Postal Legislation: The Deals Continue
The National League of Postmasters is continuing to monitor the deal making and political maneuvering of all sorts continued over the weekend. The postal bill and amendments are scheduled to go to a vote tomorrow, Tuesday around 2:15 p.m., although that time could easily change. It will be cablecast on CSPAN 2. I would not be surprised to see some postal speeches on the floor today, although the votes will be tomorrow.
At this point, the number of amendments have decreased to 39 and rewriting is ongoing in order to make amendments more palatable to a broader group. Indeed, several amendments might be combined and offered up by unanimous consent. We also we expect some senators to back off of some of the other amendments. Don’t be surprised, then, when Tuesday rolls around, to see a narrower field of amendments. More Information...
April 19, 2012
Postal Legislation: Behind-the-Scenes Maneuvers Continue as Senate Considers Postal Legislation
There are some 79 amendments that have been officially noticed for S. 1789 and the Senate is in the process of trying to narrow down those that will simply be accepted by the managers of the bill, those that will have a vote, and those that will have neither a vote nor be accepted. The idea is to eliminate all (or as many as they can) of the non-germane amendments to the bill, and get senators with very similar amendments to combine their amendments.
Among them is a McCaskill/Merkley amendment that the League supports that will further improve small rural post offices position in the legislation, and other amendments to better the bill. There is also an amendment by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to eliminate the postal monopoly, and another Rand amendment to drive up the premiums of the Federal Employee Health Benefits system.
Negotiations are intense and senators are pushing hard for their positions. A very strong contingent is insisting on yet better protections for small rural post offices--a position we strongly support.
April 18, 2012
Postal Legislation: Senate Continues with Consideration of S. 1789 Attempts to limit Amendments Only to Those Relevant to the Postal Bill
Today, the Senate continues its intermittent consideration of S. 1789 as Senators are giving speeches on the Postal Service, small post offices, and the current state of postal affairs. Democratic and Republican leaders are working on an agreement to limit amendments only to those relevant to postal matters. They have called for all Senators to submit to them any amendment they wish to offer to the bill. The deadline for the submissions was 1:00 pm today.
April 17, 2012
Postal Legislation: Senate Cloture Vote on Motion to Proceed Passes S. 1789 Goes to Senate Floor
The Senate Motion for Cloture on the Motion to Proceed passed this time around, 74 to 22.. The brings S. 1789 to the floor of the Senate for debate. The first item of business will to be substitute the managers’ amendment, see section by section analysis here, and then debate will occur and other possible amendments will be possible. It is not clear how long the Senate bill will remain on the floor. Some have suggested that the Republicans could keep it on the floor for up to two weeks in order to eat up Senate legislative time during an election time. We will see. Both Maryland Senators, liberal democrats both, voted against the Motion, thus probably indicating that some bad feelings between them and Senator Carper remain.
April 16, 2012
Postal Legislation: S. 1789 to proceed to Senate Floor for Debate, Consideration, and a Eventually a Vote.
Both parties in the Senate have reached an agreement to reconsider the cloture vote tomorrow, April 17, on the motion to proceed to S.1789 that failed a little less than a month ago. Following routine morning business tomorrow, the motion to proceed to the motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the motion to proceed to S.1789 will be taken up, and the agreement is that the motion to reconsider will be agreed to.
This will start around 11 a.m. tomorrow, with the vote around 11:10. It will be cable and web cast on CSPAN 2. That means that S. 1789 will go to the Senate floor tomorrow for debate and ultimately for a vote on passage. Debate will surely last several days, or more.
Initially, there will be a managers amendment in the nature of a substitute bill. This will strike all the language of S. 1789 and replace it with the language of the managers amendment. That amendment includes most of the text of S. 1789 but adds some measures, deletes others, and changes still others. You can see the managers amendment in the nature of a substitute here. Once the managers amendment passes, the amended bill will be the subject of the debate. Many amendments are expected.
The League is analyzing the managers amendment and will release a statement after careful and deliberate analysis of the measure.
March 27, 2012 4:15 pm
Postal Legislation: First Cloture Vote Fails.
This afternoon, the Senate voted against invoking cloture on S. 1789. Sixty votes are required to pass a cloture amendment, and thus the Republicans control the outcome. The final vote was 51-46.
The primary reason for the “no” vote is that the Senate wants to keep its focus on the oil and gas bill that is before them now, and there is a concern that not all the issues in the postal bill managers’ amendment have been satisfactorily dealt with.
Senator Reid and several others ended up voting against cloture so they can move to reconsider the vote in the future, probably after the Senate returns from its Easter recess on April 16. By then, the Republicans will either vote with the Democrats to invoke cloture or allow the bill to proceed to debate.
The following is a helpful excerpt from a 2011 Congressional Research Report, explaining the procedure:
“In relation to the Senate’s initial consideration of a bill or resolution, there usually can be at least two filibusters: first, a filibuster on the motion to proceed to the measure’s consideration; and second, after the Senate agrees to this motion, a filibuster on the measure itself. If the Senate cannot agree to take up a measure by unanimous consent, the majority leader’s recourse is to make a motion that the Senate proceed to its consideration. This motion to proceed, as it is called, usually is debatable and, consequently, subject to a filibuster.14 Therefore, the Senate may have to invoke cloture on this motion before being able to vote on it. Once the Senate adopts the motion to proceed and begins consideration of the measure itself, a filibuster on the measure then may begin, so that cloture must be sought anew on the measure itself. Except by unanimous consent, cloture cannot be sought on the measure during consideration of the motion to proceed, because cloture may be moved only on a question that is pending before the Senate.
March 26, 2012
Postal Legislation: Senate Consideration Likely To Be Delayed
Late last week it seemed that the final stages of the process to pass postal legislation through the Senate would start today, Monday, March 26. However, developments late this morning have changed that and indicate that consideration might be put off until after the upcoming Senate Easter recess, which is scheduled for the first two weeks of April. A procedural vote on cloture could occur later this week. Watch our website for updates. View More Details
March 22, 2012
Postmasters Advocate Featured Article
February 29, 2012
Postmaster Organizations Agree that Pay Talks Should Continue
On February 28 League President Mark Strong and NAPUS President Bob Rapoza met with Postal Headquarters regarding the 2011-2015 pay package. Today an agreement was reached with the Postal Service to extend the talks. The pay talks were set to expire today February 29, 2012. We have made progress with our last few meetings and believe it to be in the best interest of everyone to remain at the table.
The Postmaster organizations began these pay talks in July of 2011 and could not reach an agreement with the final offer coming from the Postal Service on November 11, 2011. The LEAGUE and NAPUS entered third part mediation on November 17, 2011. In early December after a meeting with Postmaster General Pat Donahoe both organizations agreed to extend the talks and get back to the table.
The pay talks were extended again in January and most recently today. If we did not feel that progress was being made we would have stopped the talks long ago. It is in the best interest of all parties to find common ground, make needed compromises on both sides and reach agreement if possible without third party intervention.
February 27, 2012
Ratings Recourse Requests can be submitted from February 21, 2012 through March 21, 2012 only.
Final ratings for individual PFP are now posted for 2011. Even though there is no pay associated with PFP for 2011 you need to review your scores.
We are concerned that some rating managers may have taken shortcuts in FY 2011 when rating their employees due to the fact that there are no raises associated with PFP. Be sure that this did not happen to you by logging into PES and reviewing your core requirement ratings NOW.
Recourse is still valid and it is incumbent upon YOU to file Recourse if you do not agree with the score. Keep in mind that these scores can have lasting impacts. RIF procedures as well as some hiring procedures for the Inspection Service and OIG look at these ratings. You never know when these ratings are going to be reviewed and taken into consideration for upward mobility and hiring. You are responsible for any Recourse action.
Part of the RIF scoring process when decisions are made on who stays and who leaves uses the ratings for the last three years. Non-contributor ratings can have a very large impact on the RIF process. Although we have not received the 2011 recourse guide and overview we have not been made aware of any changes. Utilize the 2010 eRecourse process with this flow chart, the eRecourse overview and the quick-start guide for employees.
February 17, 2012
Things are heating up on the Hill in the usual jump ahead, pause, jump ahead, pause, soar ahead fashion. S. 1789, which those pushing it said was to be cued up and ready to go to the floor, is slowing down just a bit as Sen. Bernie Sanders, with whom we have worked closely, has sent a letter to Senators Lieberman, Collins, Carper and Brown with 26 other Senators congratulating the four of them on their work to date, and asking for further changes to S. 1789 to further protect small post offices and the quality of service. You can see a copy of the letter and for more information on this week in Washington click here for the Presidents message.
January 20, 2012
Presidents Message - The LEAGUE is preparing for its 42nd Legislative Forum January 29-31. Timing could not be better as the House returned to the Hill this week from its holiday break and the Senate returns next week. Depending on who you talk to, there are over 20 bills having to do with post office legislation pending and many feel that postal legislation will take a front seat during this session of Congress. View Details and More Information
December 26, 2011
PRC Releases Advisory on Postal Service’s Retail Access Optimization Initiative
On Friday December 23rd the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) released this press release on the long awaited advisory for the Postal Services Retail Access Optimization Initiative (RAOI). The LEAGUE had submitted over a hundred pages of rebuttal testimony, briefs and reply briefs, along with actual testimony from LEAGUE President Mark Strong and Mayor Hobbs from Iowa. Our legal counsel cross-examined almost every witness and we were heavily involved in this advisory. Indeed, it was favorable to our position that the RAOI was fundamentally flawed and the PRC had recommendations for the Postal Service about what needed to take place to improve it. You can read the entire advisory to better understand the PRCs recommendations. What they found is that the model they used simply did not take enough into consideration when looking at closing offices, and that managers in the field need to be trained on how to close and properly use the PUB 101.
It is true that it is just an advisory, but the wakeup of Congress with regard to rural post office closure and the impact it has on rural America, gives this Advisory more weight. On page 117, Chairman Goldway gives her opinion. Her last paragraph says it best….
“The Commission's Advisory Opinion advises the Postal Service on the best methods to maintain service comparable to 1983 levels and, in fact, how overall service can be improved while making necessary cuts. We do so by presenting the outlines for developing a bona fide optimization plan. Such a plan would include the comprehensive analysis of hard data and the more careful consideration of each individual community's needs.
The Postal Service, by law, may not be required to follow the recommendations presented in the Commission's decision. If it chooses not to and rather proceeds with the RAOI as originally submitted to the Commission, it risks, I believe, violating the law I cited earlier and the consequences that could follow.”
December 13, 2011
USPS Delays Closings and Consolidations
USPS, in response to a request made by multiple U.S. Senators, has agreed to delay the closing or consolidation of any Post Office or mail processing facility until May 15, 2012.
The Postal Service will continue all necessary steps required for the review of these facilities during the interim period, including public input meetings.
USPS hopes this period will help facilitate the enactment of comprehensive postal legislation. Given the Postal Service’s financial situation and the loss of mail volume, the Postal Service must continue to take all steps necessary to reduce costs and increase revenue.
This is in response to the letter from 22 US Senators calling for a moratorium on post office and mail processing facility closures. This will prevent the Postal Service from proceeding further with any closings or consolidations and allow Congress to work out an appropriate long term solution.
December 9, 2011
LEAGUE and NAPUS Agree to Re-open Pay Talks.
On Tuesday, December 6, 2011, LEAGUE President Mark Strong and NAPUS President Bob Rapoza met with Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and agreed to re-open Postmaster pay talks. This agreement was reached in the midst of the selection of a fact-finding panel from a list of panelists received from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. If no agreement is reached by the January 27, 2012 deadline, the fact-finding process will resume. All parties are looking to find an agreeable compromise to the pay package without a third party. We look forward to further discussion on our proposals.
At a meeting on Friday December 2, 2011 both Presidents met with Postal Headquarter to discuss RIF- Avoidance procedures. We have a commitment from Labor Relations for RIF Avoidance for impacted Postmasters. This RIF Avoidance link explains RIF Avoidance in 354.23 and specifically RIF Avoidance for Postmasters impacted by discontinuance in 354.3. Part of RIF Avoidance may include Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) and the possible use of incentives. We will continue to meet with Postal headquarters and discuss incentives as well as who should be offered VERs. We hope to get more information and have this resolved before the end of the year.
Late breaking news, today December 9, twenty Senators sent a letter to the leadership of the Senate requesting a 6 month moratorium on post office and mail processing closures to be inserted in the next appropriations bill to pass. This would prevent the Postal Service from proceeding further with any closings or consolidations and allow Congress to work out an appropriate long term solution.
December 8, 2011
Updated - 42nd League Legislative Forum Program Summary. The League Forum is approaching fast, January 29 -31, 2012. It has never been more important than now to have your voice heard. Make your plans to attend and Register now!.
December 3, 2011
Final Rule on Consolidations and Staffing of Post Offices is Effective December 1, 2011.
On November 30th the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) issued their decision denying a complaint filed by the LEAGUE and NAPUS. On November 7, 2011 the LEAGUE and NAPUS renewed a complaint previously filed on the changes proposed to 39 CFR part 241. The PRC denied our request for an expedited process as well as a request to prevent the Postal Service from implementing the Final Rule on December 1, 2011. The PRC did leave it open for the Postmaster associations to file another complaint against the Postal Service on the issue of consolidation and staffing of Post Offices.
The LEAGUE and NAPUS Presidents will be meeting with legal counsel next week to review our options. Read further for the events leading up to the Final Rule going into effect.
November 18, 2011
LEAGUE and NAPUS file request with Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for Fact Finding Panel. View Details
November 10, 2011
Extensive Grassroots Work Pays Off: Senate Committee Markup Adopts Small Post
Office Closing Standards Amendment.
The LEAGUE wants to thank the many Postmasters who helped generate tens of thousands of legislative contacts who were instrumental in making this happen. We are pleased that the committee adopted this amendment for rural post offices that also resulted in an agreement to stop the closings until legislation has a chance to work. This idea of a moratorium was first suggested by President Strong in his direct testimony in front of the PRC on October 18.
November 10, 2011
National League of Postmaster Files Final Reply Brief on RAOI with PRC
Yesterday the LEAGUE filed their reply brief with the PRC regarding the advisory request by the Postal Service for their Retail Access Optimization Initiative (RAOI). Months of interrogatories, testimony, cross examinations, the initial brief and reply brief finalized the efforts of the LEAGUE to present the case for the importance of rural post offices to America and the fundamental flaws of this initiative. The case is now in the hands of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). It is our hope that the LEAGUE along with a number of intervenors have provided them with enough information so they have the knowledge to make the right decision. Both the initial brief and the reply brief are available for you to read.
November 9, 2011
Postmaster Pay Package Released for FY 2011-2015.
During the past four months, The LEAGUE and NAPUS have been engaged in pay talks with the Postal Service. During this time we presented our case and put forth our best arguments to no avail due to the current financial condition of the postal service. Today we received the final pay package delivered to our offices. Below is a joint statement from The LEAGUE and NAPUS.
November 2, 2011
Bipartisan Senate Postal Legislation Introduced
A group of bipartisan Senators introduced legislation that addresses several areas of the financial and service issues facing the Postal Service.
The 21st Century Postal Service Act of 2011 (S 1789), introduced by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Scott Brown (R-MA), appears to provide relief for the Postal Service.
The LEAGUE appreciates the efforts of these four Senators and looks forward to a more in depth look at how this legislation impacts the financial difficulties in addition to the impact on our service obligations.
Attached is a short version, as well as a detailed summary that gives an overview of this Legislation. The actual text of the bill will be available shortly. The LEAGUE will be reviewing this legislation and will provide further information after we have had the opportunity to analyze the total contents of the bill.
October 13, 2011
Statement of the National League of Postmasters on Markup of the H.R. 2309, the Issa Bill
Finally, We Are Beginning to Win the Post Office Closing Battle. The rural Congressional Giant is finally awake. Thanks to all the grassroots efforts of the members of the National League of Postmasters... Click for details (PDF)
October 7, 2011
Legislative Updates and Closing News
There are a number of activities going on with regard to legislation and new Bills on the hill. You received my message on H.R. 2309 and what a disaster it is. The good news is that it was suppose to get marked up in full committee this past Wednesday and did not. Click for details and other information
October 7, 2011
Legislative Picture Diversifies In Senate. A number of bills have been recently in introduced to oppose the current attempts to close small post offices. Read More.. (PDF)
September 29, 2011
News Release - LEAGUE President Mark Strong Tells Commission That Closing Rural Post Offices Will Harm Economy of Rural America and not Help Postal Service.
For Immediate Release (PDF)
September 22, 2011
The National League of Postmasters Oppose H.R. 2309
Yesterday the House Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Federal Workforce & U.S. Postal Service favorably passed out of Subcommittee H.R. 2309, the Issa bill, with an amendment by Subcommittee Chairman Dennis Ross (R FL).
The League very strongly believes that H.R. 2309 would destroy the Postal Service if it were to pass. More details (PDF)
September 19, 2011
News Release - National League of Postmasters: Should the Postal Service Be Closing Small Post Offices In America’s Rural Communities?
For Immediate Release (Word)
September 6, 2011
LEAGUE President Mark Strong submitted a Statement today to the Senate hearing on the Postal Service Crisis. View the press release addressing the League statement. Click to read the entire statement submitted to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the United States Senate.
August 31, 2011
The website "Save the Post Office" is administered by Steve Hutkins, who lives in a small town in New York's Hudson Valley. He has no affiliation with the U.S. Postal Service—he doesn’t work for it, nor does anyone in his family. Like millions of Americans, he just likes his local post office, and he doesn’t want to see post offices being closed. Click for more information
August 24, 2011
The League acknowledges and greatly appreciates the PAC and EMP supporters, listed are the attendees who received awards during the National Convention.
August 15, 2011
League of Postmasters Releases Statement on USPS Newsbreak Regarding Retirement and Health Benefit Proposal.Click for details
August 14, 2011
OIG Gives Final Response to Requested 2009 NPA Investigation Click for details
August 12, 2011
PRC Responds to CFR 39 Complaint.
On Thursday the PRC issued an order dismissing the complaint filed by the LEAGUE and NAPUS. The complaint was filed on March 31 because of the USPS proposed changes to CFR 39.... Click for details
August 12, 2011
The 108th National Convention, Albuquerque New Mexico
It started with a welcome party for the first timers and ended with a Mexican Fiesta that put an exclamation point on a great week. Sunday, after our committee meetings, a full house waited for my arrival to talk about our plan to address the recent announcement regarding the 3,600 possible office closures. With the plan we rolled out... Click for details
August 11, 2011
Postmasters Receive Second RIF Notice
On August 2nd Areas sent another RIF notice to Postmasters impacted by DUO. Many Postmasters had received a RIF notice when their office was going through the DUO process. Click for details
July 27, 2011
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe Meets with Management Organizations
On Wednesday July 27 The LEAGUE along with NAPUS and NAPS met with Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe regarding the financial situation the Post Office is facing. Volume continues to decline in most categories with First Class Mail causing the greatest concern. Although standard mail stayed fairly flat the revenue from FCM continues to erode the bottom line with the other mail classes not able to fill the gap. Click For More
February 9 - 11, 2014
League Legislative Forum
Crystal Gateway Marriott
1700 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202