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Early outs to be offered to managers, supervisors and postmasters

Note: The Federal Times says it was told by USPS Headquarters that the NAPS announcement below contains some unspecified “inaccuracies”.

September 04, 2013
From the National Association of Postal Supervicors:

naps-logoIn the last few days, the Postal Service’s plan to re-rank mail processing plants has become public knowledge despite their best efforts to keep the information confidential until September 6, 2013. The confidential nature of the discussions between NAPS and USPS Labor Relations was due to the fact that the Postal Service had not finalized their plans nor had they briefed Area and District Managers.

During our discussions, the following items were outlined:

• A VERA will be offered to all PCES and Field EAS with the exception of Headquarters employees. The VERA offer also includes all Area, District EAS employees and Postmasters. The notification period will includes written notification from the United State Postal Service beginning on September 16, 2013, and running through September 20, 2013, to all eligible VERA candidates.

• The VERA application period will begin September 20, 2013 with an irrevocable date of November 29, 2013. Two effective dates for retirement have been scheduled: For CSRS applicants the date is December 21, 2013 and for FERS applicants the date is January 31, 2014. The expanded date for FERS is to allow them to utilize 100% of their accrued sick leave balance. VERAs will have an irrevocable date of November 29, 2013.

• Mail Flow Controllers will be allowed to remain in their positions until at least April 18, 2014.

• The re-ranking of the plants will be formally announced on September 7, 2013. This was supposed to be the date that the information was supposed to be released. We expected that this information would be provided to the Executive Board at that time. Now, here are some details regarding the process:

The supervisor staffing ratio in the plants will remain the same. This was confirmed by USPS Headquarters during our meetings. In addition, there will be one MDO per tour and the level of the MDO will be tied into the ranking of the individual plant.

Plants will be classified as: Major, followed by PCES 1,PCES 2, PCES 3, PCES 4, EAS 25 and EAS 24. The support staff, MIPS and TANS Manager will be tied into the ranking of the plant while Maintenance staffing will be tied into the earned maintenance craft complement. Plant Managers, whose plant has been re-ranked, and choose to assume the newly ranked position will have appropriate ELM provisions in force. Employees who earn an increase will see a 2% salary increase while those plant ranking is reduced and elect to remain in the position will have saved salary for two years. Level 22 and below plants will be increase to level 24 and above plants, depending upon the outcome of the re-rankings.

The RIF avoidance timeline will be in effect from September 7, 2013 until February 11, 2014. General RIF notices will be mailed on January 14, 2014 and specific RIF notices mailed on February 12, 2014.

As a reminder all EAS should update their eCareer and any EAS level 16 and below must take the 642 exam. Please read all postings and be aware of eligibility and any limited areas of consideration. As always, there will be a review of SWC’s to determine the number of Supervisors to justify the position and/or posting of vacancies. Finally, there will be no form of incentive offered.

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Senator Bernie Sanders Statement on Postal Service Bill

bernieWASHINGTON, Aug. 2 – Sen. Bernie Sanders today issued the following statement on a Postal Service reform bill introduced late Thursday in the Senate that could end Saturday and door-to-door mail delivery and close mail processing plants:

“While I have a great deal of respect for Sens. Carper and Coburn, the Postal Service bill that they introduced is significantly weaker than the bill that passed the Senate last year with 62 votes. That makes no sense. Over a short period of time, the Carper-Coburn bill will allow the Postal Service to shut down over half of the mail processing plants in this country, end Saturday delivery and even deliver mail fewer than 5 days a week.

“In the midst of a severe recession, this bill would lead to the elimination of tens of thousands of decent-paying jobs – many of them held by military veterans. That is why I have introduced the Postal Service Protection Act with 28 cosponsors, a bill that would sustain the Postal Service, avert unnecessary closures and save American jobs. Similar legislation introduced in the House by Rep. DeFazio now has 166 cosponsors.

“The Postal Service is an institution of enormous importance to the American people. It must be preserved and protected. About 80 percent of the financial problems of the Postal Service are the result of an unprecedented and onerous mandate that forces it to pay 75 years of future retiree health benefits over a 10-year period.

“While we all understand that the Postal Service is experiencing financial problems today and that changes need to be made, providing fewer services and poorer quality is not the way to save the Postal Service. That is why I am strongly opposed to this legislation.”

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Connecticut Congresswoman to Introduce ‘Protect Overnight Delivery Act’

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) will introduce legislation to preserve overnight mail delivery and, in the process, protect mail processing facilities from closure, she told fellow lawmakers in a letter dated June 13. [PDF]

Rep. DeLauro invited House members to become original co-sponsors of the Protect Overnight Delivery Act, which she plans to introduce later this month. Forty-three representatives have already signed on as co-sponsors, she said.

“The elimination of overnight delivery standards and consolidating processing facilities will have a disastrous impact on local and national unemployment,” Rep. DeLauro wrote. “The USPS is a major employer around the country and employs over 500,000 workers. With an unacceptably high unemployment rate, it would be particularly inopportune for the USPS to close these facilities.

The legislation would protect mail processing plans from closure by preventing the Postal Service from moving to two- to three-day delivery standards. As a result, Rep. DeLauro wrote, the bill would stop the elimination of jobs at mail processing facilities.

APWU President Cliff Guffey praised the bill. “If these delivery standards had the force of law, the USPS would be unable to close many of the mail processing plants that are scheduled for consolidation,” he said.

“This bill is good for the American people and good for postal workers,” Guffey said. “We urge our members to ask their U.S. representatives to support the Protect Overnight Delivery Act.”

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Survey Says:Most Americans Oppose Plant Closures

By Greg Bell
Executive Vice President, American Postal Workers Union

gregbellI have always been skeptical of surveys conducted by the Postal Service, because they seem to be designed to generate responses that would justify cutting service, closing postal facilities, or reducing employees’ pay.

But the results of a survey commissioned by the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) in February and March validate what postal workers have been saying: The American people want a strong, vibrant postal service.

The survey, which was conducted by InfoTrends, a leading market research firm, found that more than 70 percent of Americans oppose closing mail processing facilities if it would result in a one- or two-day delay in mail delivery. Seventy-four percent of respondents also oppose reducing the hours of operation at post offices.

The study was designed to learn about Americans’ perception of the Postal Service and the role it plays in their lives. It was conducted online because of cost considerations, the OIG said, with the understanding that segments of the population without Internet access (most likely rural and lower-income citizens) could be reached in a future phase of research via mail, phone, or in-person.

Respondents were not made aware the survey was commissioned by the OIG, which is an independent agency within the Postal Service that conducts audits and investigations to maintain USPS “integrity and accountability.” Results were compiled in a report titled What America Wants from the Postal Service — A Survey of Internet-Connected Americans. [PDF]

Broad Support for USPS

In addition to opposing the reduction of hours at post offices and the closure of mail processing facilities, the survey found, most Americans recognize that the Postal Service provides a public service that should be maintained, even if it is not profitable.

In fact, when asked, “Despite its current financial problems, do you believe the U.S. Postal Service should continue to be required to serve all areas of the country, even if it is not profitable to do so?” 80 percent of Americans who responded said yes. (Among rural respondents 82 percent said yes; 79.3 percent of suburban respondents said yes, and 79.9 percent of urban respondents said yes.) I suspect that if the same question were put to non-Internet connected Americans, the percentage responding “yes” would be even greater.

The survey clearly shows that the American people want the Postal Service to continue to fulfill its legal obligation to provide universal service to the American people at a reasonable and uniform cost.

Although the Postal Service receives no tax dollars to fund its operations, 77 percent of those polled believe — incorrectly _ that the Postal Service is partially- or fully-funded by taxpayers. Of those polled, older Americans are the most likely to know that the Postal Service is self-supporting.

When asked, “If the U.S. Postal Service did not exist in five years, would it have an impact on you,” approximately 95 percent said they would be impacted and about 48 percent said they would be significantly impacted.

One of the most surprising results was that only 5 percent of respondents under the age of 35 said the elimination of the USPS would have no impact on them. This refutes the notion that Internet-savvy young people have no use for the Postal Service. As the report noted, “This finding signifies that the Postal Service has an opportunity to engage these younger Americans and increase its value to them.”

More, Not Less

While most respondents are satisfied with the service and accessibility of their post office, a strong majority indicated they would be interested in more self-service options. The majority of respondents, however, said if they were to have access to postal products and services through an existing non-postal operated retail facility — such as a grocery store or pharmacy — rather than their local post office, it would neither increase nor decrease their use of the Postal Service.

Respondents are generally not opposed to closing post offices to reduce costs, but they are less likely to support the idea if it would result in the closure of their local post office. However, respondents do not support cost-reduction efforts that would delay mail delivery, reduce mail delivery to three days per week, or decrease post office hours.

The majority of respondents are still interested in receiving at least some physical mail. A strong majority of respondents indicated some level of discomfort conducting transactions online, but more than half of those indicated they do so anyway. The majority prefer to receive physical mail over digital messages, although there is at least some interest in receiving specific types of mail electronically rather than physically, such as advertising mail.

Respondents expressed interest in being able to access additional services at post offices, such as renewing drivers’ licenses and obtaining permits. Respondents are also would like the Postal Service to provide digital services, with younger respondents being most enthusiastic of growth in this direction.

We’re Not Alone

Although we are in the forefront of the struggle to protect the Postal Service, we are not alone. As the survey demonstrates, significant majorities of the American people believe the Postal Service remains relevant and important to their daily lives.

As more people wake up to what is being done to the Postal Service, their opposition to cutbacks and privatization will continue to grow.

It’s our job to tap that sentiment and turn it into political action that can achieve comprehensive postal reform that preserves service to the American people and good postal jobs for our members.

 

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Video: Bakersfield P&D is not shutting down, at least for now

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The postal facility on Pegasus is going to remain open longer than originally expected, or at least half of it will.

The entire facility had been scheduled to close its doors for the last time by today, but that didn’t happen.Local mail sorting and delivery will stay take place from the Pegasus facility.

The local chapter of the American postal workers union has been told that a final decision regarding Pegasus’ future won’t be made now until January or February of 2014.

Read more: 23ABC News – The distribution center on Pegasus drive is not shutting down, at least for now – Bakersfield News, Bakersfield, California News & Bakersfield News Local Headlines – KERO TurnTo23.