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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
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.