APWU Q&A About May 23 Retirement Incentive Payment

May 14, 2014 – The APWU-negotiated Retirement Incentive Agreement signed on Sept. 28, 2012, awarded eligible employees two lump-sum payments totaling $15,000. The first installment of $10,000 (minus applicable taxes) was distributed on May 24, 2013. The final installment of $5,000 (minus applicable taxes) will be distributed on Friday, May 23, 2014.

APWU Retiree Director Judy Beard met with the USPS Shared Services representative, which resulted in the frequently asked questions and answers listed below.

What is the procedure for picking up checks?

Incentive payments will be mailed to the installation head of the duty station from which employees retired or separated. The incentive checks will be dated May 23, 2014, and will be mailed with the regular payroll and terminal leave checks generated for Pay Period 11-2014. Continue reading

Field organizational changes- USPS continues operational efficiency initiatives

From USPS News Link:

As a part of its network optimization effort, USPS has developed a facility ranking strategy to align staffing across the entire mail processing network. Included in this strategy are processing and distribution centers, processing and distribution facilities, logistics and distribution centers, network distribution centers, international service centers and annexes.

New rankings and Executive and Administrative Schedule (EAS) staffing criteria went into effect Sept. 7. With these changes, USPS also will implement an organizational change process that could include a reduction-in-force (RIF).

Communications about these changes began last week. Managers will keep employees informed throughout the process.

As part of the effort to avoid a RIF, USPS is offering a Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) to field EAS employees at all locations, regardless of whether they’re impacted. An incentive is not a part of this VER offering.

VER eligibility is based on a Dec. 31, 2013 VER-effective retirement date. USPS will mail annuity estimates to VER-eligible employees the week of Sept. 16. VER-eligible employees may retire either Dec. 31, 2013, or Jan. 31, 2014. Requests for early retirement must be submitted no later than Nov. 29 and can’t be withdrawn after that date.

More information related to the RIF and the VER is available on the LiteBlue employee website. Go to the Organizational Changes pages and the Workforce Connection site. Employees also can find these links in the “Hot Topics” section on LiteBlue, or the “My HR” section on the upper right corner of the LiteBlue home page.

Employees should check these sites often for updates.

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.

NAPUS President Discusses Early Outs and Incentives in Meeting With PMG

From the National Association of Postmasters of the US:

In yesterday’s monthly meeting with Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, NAPUS President Bob Rapoza discussed Voluntary Early Retirements (VERs), Incentives and adding years of service as possibilities to help ease the financial burdens of the USPS. While many options are being considered as the Postal Service attempts to reduce the number of on roll employees, President Rapoza suggested that VERs, Incentives and adding years of service should be strongly considered as part of the process.

Postmaster General Donahoe is scheduled to address nearly 1,200 attendees at the NAPUS National Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico next week. Attendees are hopeful that the PMG may provide a preview of a “major announcement” that is scheduled to be released on September 15.

In a story published in the Washington Post, the White House plans to present a USPS financial rescue plan in coming weeks. The proposed plan would be included in the Obama administrations deficit reduction package. The White House is requesting that Congress provide the USPS with a 90-day extension to pay mandatory annual retirement payments of more than $5 billion.

In a related story, the PMG told Senators that the Postal Service could lose up to $10 billion by the end of the fiscal year.

Charlie Moser

September 7, 2011

Timeline announced for VER offered to carriers and clerks in select Pacific Area locations

In a move to further right-size complement levels to better match workload, the Pacific Area is offering a voluntary early retirement (VER) to carriers and clerks working at select impacted sites and at non-impacted offices within a 50-mile radius of the impacted sites. Following is the timeline:

  • July 19-22, 2011— Annuity estimates and VER offer mailings to VER-eligible employees
  • July 25-August 26, 2011— Window period for employees to consider VER offer
  • August 26, 2011 — Decision-to-retire irrevocable date for VER
  • September 30, 2011— VER effective date. Note: If eligible, employees may choose to retire early on August 31, 2011.

Should the number of employees electing to take the VER exceed the number of impacted employees at the select sites, first consideration will be given to the impacted employees. Additional VER applications will be approved on a first-come, first-serve basis as determined by the earliest date of receipt of Acknowledgement of Irrevocability & Application for Immediate Retirement (VER).

These changes are part of the Pacific Area’s efforts to streamline operations, increase efficiencies and reduce costs in support of the USPS action plan to ensure a strong, viable organization now and in the future.

For more information, contact your district Human Resources office.

Pacific Area VER Timeline July 2011

Voluntary Early Retirement to be offered to some carriers and clerks in Pacific Area

From a Pacific Area Newsbreak posted on 21cpw.com:

In a move to further right-size complement levels to better match workload, the Pacific Area is offering a voluntary early retirement (VER) to carriers and clerks working at select impacted sites and at non-impacted offices within a 50-mile radius of the impacted sites.

VER offer sites and timelines will be announced when the information becomes available.

These changes are part of the Pacific Area efforts to streamline operations, increase efficiencies and reduce costs in support of the Postal Service’s action plan to ensure a strong, viable organization now and in the future.

For more information, contact your district Human Resources office.

Pacific Area VER Offer

Burrus: time for a “healthy” retirement incentive for clerks?

From former APWU President Bill Burrus:

June 1, 2011

To: APWU Members

Perhaps it is time for the Postal Service to consider offering a healthy incentive for APWU represented employees to retire. The wage difference between a Grade 6 Step 0 employee and a newly hired replacement is $18,000 per year ($53,102 vs. $35,182) so for every 1000 employees replaced, the Postal Service saves 18 million dollars per year. It would be in their financial interest to entice those employees eligible for retirement to retire.

The Postal Service is strapped for cash so it will not be easy to fund the cost of an incentive, but there are creative ways to defer the cost while generating savings. In the previous effort, agreement was reached to spread the incentive over two years to lessen its immediate impact on the USPS’ financial position and other innovative approaches could be explored.

The problem is that employees, who are eligible, refrain from severing their employment for a variety of personal reasons and continue to work for lack of an alternative that meets their objectives. An incentive would influence many who will otherwise continue their employment for an indeterminable period.

The consideration of offering an incentive does not include what is known as "early outs" permitting employees to retire earlier than the legal formula. The Postal Service must receive the approval of OPM to offer early outs and such permission will not be granted, if it is intended to replace the retiring employee. Early outs cannot be used to reduce payroll costs.

At a time when the Postal Service is experiencing severe financial problems brought on by the unreasonable payment for future health care costs consideration should be given to this opportunity for significant savings.

In solidarity,

Bill Burrus

via burrusjournal.org – Special Bulletins.

USPS offering retirement incentives to some supervisors in Caribbean, Hawaii, NY Metro areas

From USPS News Link:

The Postal Service is offering a version of the Special Incentive Offer announced earlier this year limited to supervisors, Customer Services, and supervisors of Distribution Operations, in seven districts.

The districts affected are: Caribbean, Honolulu, Long Island, New York, Westchester, Triboro and Northern New Jersey.

According to Human Resources (HR), the affected districts have an exceptionally high number of supervisors but no placement opportunities within their commuting areas. In order to limit the impact on these employees, the Postal Service is extending its Limited Special Incentive Offer to supervisors of Customer Services and Distribution Operations who are VER-eligible, optional retirement-eligible or those who want to voluntarily leave USPS.

USPS has mailed annuity estimates and incentive offer packets to eligible supervisors in the seven Districts.

June 30 is the irrevocable date for VER-eligible employees as well as the opt-in deadline for optional retirement and voluntary resignation under the Limited Special Incentive Offer. The VER-Optional-Resignation effective date is July 31.

Information about the Limited Special Incentive Offer will not be posted on the Organizational Changes website. Instead, local area and district HR managers will advise employees on details about timelines and guidance.

USPS updates FAQs on specific RIF notices due to be mailed tomorrow

In advance of the mailing tomorrow of Specific Reduction in Force notices tomorrow, the US Postal Service has updated its Organizational Redesign FAQs with additional information on those notices. The following items were added today. Needless to say, this information may change, so if you are the recipient of a Specific RIF Notice, be sure to visit the official USPS page. Continue reading