By Dan Mooney – February 13, 2023
North Central Area Vice President
As the famous broadcaster Paul Harvey said, “And now you know the rest of the story.” For months and months and months now, EAS employees have been asked and mandated to perform craft work, be it sorting parcels or casing and delivering rural and city routes or both. NAPS made an official inquiry to USPS Headquarters at the November 2021 consultative meeting, asking what postal policy was as concerns EAS employees performing craft work. The response from USPS Headquarters:
“Non-bargaining employees may only be permitted to perform bargaining unit work in emergency situations (the exception is for Level-18 post offices and part-time post offices where 15 hours of bargaining-unit work can be performed). Those emergency situations must be just that—an emergency. The circumstance or circumstances must be unforeseen.
“If a facility, installation or district is planning to schedule a non-bargaining employee to perform bargaining-unit work and because planning is not an unforeseen circumstance and not an emergency, it should be reported to District Labor Relations or Human Resources immediately and escalated.”
Let’s define “emergency. ” According to the dictionary, an emergency is “an unexpected situation that calls for immediate action.” Heck, even in the Postal Service’s response/explanation, the agency stipulated that if it’s scheduled, it’s not an emergency. Fast forward to today and many postal executives at the area and district levels are flat out ignoring the policy by forcing and mandating EAS employees to perform craft work, saying they are following the PMG’s 10-year “Delivering for America” plan.
Let’s break down how these executives are following the PMG’s plan. When EAS employees case and deliver routes, the NALC and National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRLCA) follow up and file grievances for EAS employees doing craft work. I spoke to a NALC national business agent who told me the union has filed many, many cases and won every case, receiving thousands on thousands of dollars in grievance settlements, to say the least.
That payout of grievance dollars goes against your TOE and the national controllable income. But remember, this is part of the PMG’s “Delivering for America” plan.
We are continually told to report accurately. If you don’t report accurately, you could be disciplined, possibly downgraded or removed. Yet, when I continue to ask postal executives what direction EAS employees have been given to report and transfer those hours they performed craft work, the answers have consistently been no direction has been given or sent to the field.
So most, if not all, those work-hours are not properly accounted for in various programs such as DOIS, the variance programs, budgets, SPLY and more. This results in highly skewed, inaccurate DOIS reports, variance reports, budgets and SPLY data.
Postal management says it wants proper data inputs in order to get a true picture of what’s going on and take corrective action when it’s not being done. Yet management continues to turn its back when asked how those EAS workhours used to perform craft work should be transferred and handled.
Moreover, management continues to mandate those type of work-hours be performed with no direction given on how to report those hours. It seems as if accurate information isn’t a priority after all. I guess that, too, is part of the PMG’s “Delivering for America” plan.
I’ve also been told by postal executives that they don’t want “congressionals” from mail not getting delivered, so they instruct EAS employees to deliver the mail. I guess they prefer “congressionals” for postal executives following the PMG’s plan, which violates postal policy and results in “free money” to the NALC and NRLCA, which cuts into TOE and controllable income for the Postal Service. Does that make sense to you? Again, all part of the PMG’s “Delivering for America” plan.
Recently, Simon Story, Postal Headquarters HR, released an EAS dress code policy. I don’t recall the policy mandating EAS employees should come to work dressed to perform craft work. Yet the expectation out there is don’t dress to the established EAS dress code; dress to perform craft work. Again, this must be part of the “Delivering for America” plan.
How about safety? How many EAS employees have been trained to drive the postal vehicles in which they are told to go out and deliver? How many have been trained to deliver mail? How many are sent out to deliver mail without the proper clothing or PPE? Again, all part of the plan.
I’m going to have to reread the “Delivering for America” plan. I don’t recall it covering all the items I’ve outlined.
EAS employees have to do their part in this. Address attendance issues so you have as much staffing as you can. Address poor performance so you can maximize your employees. Maximize the overtime list per the contract. Most importantly, every time EAS employees in your office do craft work, report it via the survey located on the Retail and Delivery Applications & Reports (RADAR) page.
NAPS worked hard to get that survey in place; the Postal Service said EAS employees crossing crafts was not happening much. This is your chance to prove differently. If you are being told not to report using the survey, let your NAPS leaders know.
Also, make sure you are reporting these violations to your district Labor Relations and HR managers. This is very important! The Postal Service is asking—requiring—you to report it per its response in this column. Reporting it documents that violations are occurring.
I find it hard to believe postal executives can’t understand the meaning of an emergency as outlined at the beginning of this column. They must be reading a different version of the “Delivering for America” plan than I read.
Stay on the high road! The view is much better.