Effective August 7, 2014, the Postal Service™ is revising the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM), subchapter 420, Wage Administration Policy for Bargaining Unit Employees, sections 422.225 (City Carriers) and 422.325 (Mail Handlers), Reductions in Grade. This policy change applies to the step and next step date to be assigned to bargaining unit employees when they receive a reduction in grade into or within the city carrier rate schedule (RSC Q) or the mail handler rate schedule (RSC M). The reductions in grade include voluntary changes to a lower level, management-initiated changes to a lower level, and demotions.
Current policy determines the step and next step date for bargaining unit reductions in grade by “slotting” the existing salary to the new lower grade with creditable service toward the next step date unless 1) the employee receives an increase of at least one most prevalent step or 2) if the waiting period time already served equals or exceeds that required to advance to the next step. When a promotion is followed by a reduction in grade, some employees may reach top step in their lower grade at a later date than had they remained in that lower grade.
This revision will determine step and next step date as if service had been uninterrupted in the previously held lower grade. For a grade not previously held, the step and next date will be determined as if all career Postal Service had been in the lower grade. This revision, along with compliance with the repromotion rule as stipulated in ELM 422.123a(4), will ensure that bargaining unit employees spend the contractually required number of weeks in advancing to the top step and that they do not receive a penalty for a delay in achieving top step. With implementation of this revision, employees in the same rate schedule and grade with similar tenure will be in the same step.