This page contains several documents put out by NAPUS, the League of Postmasters, and the Postal Service about POStPlan. Check for more recent fact sheets here. Links to the individual fact sheets are at the bottom of this page.
1) Classification of Offices: The POStPlan involves a review of Post Offices with the option of offering remotely managed Post Offices (RMPOs), which are part-time Post Offices and evaluated according to earned workload through Small Office Variance (SOV) or Customer Service Variance (CSV) systems, and not Workload Service Credits (WSCs). Part-time RMPOs with 6 hours per weekday of window staffing will be staffed by career employees (EPM Postmasters), and part time RMPOs with window staffing at less than 6 hours per day will be staffed with noncareer employees (Postmaster Reliefs (PMRs)). In both cases, if a unit currently designated as a Post Office is converted to a RMPO, the employees staffing the office will report to an administrative Post Office, and not the district office, and any such RMPO will be listed under the lead finance number of the Administrative Post Office.
2) Evaluation: For the purpose of evaluation of level of Post Offices, level 18 and above offices will remain with a Workload Service Credit (WSC/PS Form 150) evaluation. RMPOs will be subject to evaluation by a modified SOV/CSV process, and reviewed annually to determine appropriate service levels for these offices. The SOV/CSV ranking for each office will be determined by the then current annual completed fiscal year (FY) SOV/CSV results multiplied by a factor of 1.1, updated with actual scans when available. Earned workload corresponds with window service hours as follows:
Earned Workload Range (Hours)*
Window Service Hours Each Weekday
4.00 to 5.74
2.00 to 3.99
0.00 to 1.99
* The denominator to determine earned workhours for window service only is 5.5 days in a week.
Total anticipated operating time is included in hours and hundredths as follows:
2 hour RPMOs = 2.17 (2 hours and 10 min.)
4 hour RPMOs = 4.33 (4 hours and15min)
6 hour EDM = 6.50 (6.50 hours and 30 min.)
Exceptionally, RMPOs that are more than 25 driving miles from the next nearest postal operated retail facility will be staffed for 6 hours of window service each weekday regardless of actual earned value (5.74 or below), and will be subject to pay and benefits of the applicable EPM, but will report to district offices in lieu of the Administrative Post Office. Post Offices earning 5.75 or above of earned workload using the 1.1 multiplier will be categorized as Level 18 or above
3) Staffing, Pay and Benefits:
a) Noncareer: Noncareer Postmaster Relief (PMR) employees will staff RMPOs providing 4 hours or less of window service each weekday. Compensation will be at an hourly rate of $11.76 per hour. These employees will be employed within the Administrative Post Office and will be assigned in the RMPO. Noncareer PMR employees may apply for vacant career positions. Employees will earn annual leave at a rate of 1 earned hour per 20 hours worked per pay period. Beginning in 2014, the Postal Service will provide eligible PMR employees who meet the requirement for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act of 2009.
b) Career: Career Evaluated Postmasters (EPMs) will staff RMPOs providing 6 hours of window service each weekday. Compensation for individuals who are not currently career postmasters and who subsequently become career evaluated postmasters will initially be set at an hourly rate of $12.30. Thereafter, their compensation will be set pursuant to standard Postal Service policies. Compensation for individuals who are currently career Postmasters and who become career evaluated postmasters of RMPOs will be set as described in paragraph 5.b, below. Current incumbent career evaluated Postmasters will be provided leave and benefits consistent with current policies. Newly hired EPMs serving in RMPOs will earn annual and sick leave in effect at the time of hire. These employees may apply for other positions consistent with standard Postal Service rules.
4) Upgrades: Post Offices level 16 and below that earn 5.75 or greater hours will be upgraded to EAS Level 18 and above offices. Incumbent Postmasters will receive upgrades consistent with standard Postal Service rules.
5) Implementation Plan: The POStPlan process will be rolled out in a six phase implementation process as follows:
a. Phase 1 – The communication plan will be released publicly, and the Postal Service may file a nationwide service change request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to give effect to the POStPlan. The anticipated date of filing and communication is late-April 2012. Postal Service will provide an advance communications plan to Postmaster Associations prior to roll out.
b. Phase 2 – Employees identified as impacted will receive reduction in force (RIF) notifications as applicable. It is anticipated the RIF will be initiated in May 2012 and the Specific RIF Notice will identify the employees’ RIF assignments. However, the effective date of the RIF will be June 20, 2014. The employees will remain in their current positions [continuing their pay and benefits] until the RIF effective date. If an employee declines the RIF assignment, that employee will be separated on the effective date, June 20, 2014. Nothing in this agreement alters the rights of the Postal Service in conducting RIFs of incumbent employees where Post Offices are discontinued. As a result of this paragraph, the two-year retention of grade, pay and/or salary provided by ELM section 415.2 will not apply to any employees identified as impacted, as described earlier in this paragraph. A career Postmaster who is placed in a career evaluated Postmaster position in an RMPO as a result of RIF, or who voluntarily accepts such a position prior to the effective date of the RIF, will be compensated at $18.18 per hour upon being placed in that position. Thereafter, compensation will be set pursuant to standard Postal Service policies.
c. Phase 3 – The Postal Service will announce and offer an incentive based voluntary early retirement (VER) opportunity to eligible EAS Postmasters.
d. Phase 4 – The Postal Service will post all Postmaster vacancies level 18 and above, including newly categorized level 18 offices that are evaluated as such based upon earning 5.75 hours and greater of earned workload, using the 1.1 multiplier. There will be two rounds of limited competition for Postmasters. The first round will occur prior to the VER window period. The second round will occur within a reasonable time after VER implementation.
e. Phase 5 – All vacant Post Offices with earned workload of 5.74 or less hours will be subjected to the POStPlan as described in this instrument during the period beginning June 2012 and continuing thereafter. Such Post Offices will either transition to RMPOs or be discontinued, depending on management’s needs and customer feedback.
f. Phase 6 – Any remaining incumbent Postmasters in offices with earned workload of 5.74 hours or less will be impacted and the office will be subjected to the POStPlan as described in this instrument. Such Post Offices will either transition to RMPOs or be discontinued, depending on management’s needs and customer feedback.
6) Consultations: It is understood that the consultation process under 39 U.S.C. § 1004 is satisfied, and no further consultations on the POStPlan concept or its implementation as described by Postal Service management to date are necessary. If the Postal Service implements the POStPlan in a manner that differs from that described in this document, the Postal Service will consult with the Postmaster Associations about those changes. The Postmaster Associations will receive informational copies of changes to Postal Service regulations that give effect to the POStPlan once they are ready for review, but their circulation to the Postmaster Associations will not trigger a new set of consultations.
7) Publicity: It is understood that Postal Service management and the Postmaster Associations may publicize the understanding reached on the POStPlan, however, the Postmaster Associations will not issue public representations against the plan or oppose the POStPlan at the Postal Regulatory Commission, as long as its implementation conforms to the description contained in this document, should it be presented to the Postal Regulatory Commission as a nationwide service change.
8) Consolidation: It is understood by both Postal Service management and the Postmaster Associations that this change in reporting structure and the elimination of the competitive area of the former Post Office converted to an RMPO does not give rise to a discontinuance or "consolidation" requiring the posting of a final determination under 39 USC 404(d), consistent with current regulations published in Handbook PO-101, which were made effective on December 1, 2011.
9) Discontinuance: Nothing in this plan prevents Postal Service management from undertaking to discontinue a Post Office under Handbook PO-101 in lieu of converting it from a Post Office to a RMPO. As a matter of routine practice, communities will be informed of various options (service through nearby office, rural carrier/HCR expansion, contractor-operated retail facility, as well as the implementation of POStPlan), when management undertakes to study a Post Office that is not suspended or likely to be suspended in the foreseeable future. Management will implement any one of these options, which may or may not include the POStPlan.
10) Prior Decisions: The prior understanding between the Postal Service and the Postmaster Associations regarding the impact of Delivery Unit Optimization (DUO) shall remain in effect. This means that, as reflected in the Postal Service’s letter of February 14, 2011 to each of the Postmaster Associations concerning DUO implementation, postmasters and station managers whose EAS grade levels have been reduced as a result of the implementation of DUO will retain their eligibility for saved grade and saved salary, as further specified in those letters, notwithstanding the implementation of the POStPlan.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Explain the strategy and the options.
The new strategy would preserve rural Post Offices by modifying retail hours to match customer use. Lobby and P.O. Box access would remain unchanged. The ZIP Code and community identity would be retained. This new strategy complements existing alternatives, which include :
- Providing mail delivery service to residents and businesses in the affected community by either rural carrier or highway contract route;
- Contracting with a local establishment and creating a Village Post Office; and
- Offering service from a nearby Post Office.
2. How many Post Offices will be considered for the new plan?
Approximately 13,000 of the nation’s smallest Post Offices will be reviewed using this new strategy.
3. Are the Post Offices announced in July included in this plan? Yes.
4. What criteria were used to establish this list?
The Post Offices having the least amount of retail business and the lowest earned work load are on the list.
5. Will community members be given the opportunity to provide input regarding the alternatives?
Yes, community members will have an opportunity to voice their opinions at community meetings and through surveys.
6. Will the Postal Service conduct meetings in all locations — even in areas that held meetings previously?
Yes, meetings will be conducted in all locations under consideration for this new operating alternative, except for locations where the Post Office has already physically been closed.
7. Does this mean the Post Offices slated to close from the announcement last July will remain open?
If it is decided that keeping the Post Office in place and adjusting hours will efficiently serve the respective community, the Post Office will continue to operate with modified hours. A Post Office will remain open unless a community has a strong preference for one of the other options.
8. How many of the Post Offices could remain open with fewer hours?
The Postal Service expects many of the offices will remain open under this scenario. However, communities may prefer another option, such as a Village Post Office that could be open 7 days a week, 12 hours per day.
9. How will window service hours be determined?
For Post Offices with modified retail hours, operating hours will range from 2 to 6 hours. The number of hours of operation will be based on Post Office earned workload and the proximity to other nearby Post Offices.
10. What about isolated Post Offices?
Post Offices located 25 driving miles or more away from another Post Office will be operational for six hours per day regardless of workload.
11. Will adjusting the retail hours of a Post Office affect the employees who work there?
The Postal Service will use established procedures and will work diligently to ensure the impact on employees is minimal.
12. Will the person operating the Post Office with adjusted hours be a postal employee or a contractor?
All Post Offices will be staffed with Postal Service employees.
13. How soon could this happen? The timeline has not been finalized at this point. However, no changes in service will be made until at least three months after the Postal Service files a request for an Advisory Opinion with the Postal Regulatory Commission
When will the communit ymeetings take place? In the coming months, the Postal Service will provide notice regarding the time and place of these meetings.
14. Why did the Postal Service make this change in direction?
The Postal Service made this change based on customer and stakeholder feedback. The Postal Service has stated from the beginning that meeting community needs are a priority. This strategy preserves rural Post Offices while enabling the Postal Service to cut costs and return the organization to financial stability.
15. What is the most likely outcome?
It is anticipated that this new alternative will be the most widely implemented operational outcome.
16. How does the voluntary moratorium impact this new alternative?
The voluntary moratorium for Post Office closures remains in effect until May 15, 2012.
17. Does this mean the Postal Service won’t be closing Post Offices anymore?
No. Discontinuance studies will continue to be conducted if it is determined that the new option is not suitable for a Post Office or if the community prefers one of the other options.
18. Is there a list of the Post Offices affected by this announcement?
Yes. The list is available at http://about.usps.gov/ourfuturenetwork/
19. What is the projected savings for this plan?
Savings are projected to exceed a half billion per year after the plan’s completion in Sep. 2014. 2 | May 2012
18. What is a RIF?
A RIF is an acronym which stands for the term, Reduction in Force. The Postal Service implements the RIF process under applicable law when an employee will be separated or demoted due to a reorganization.
19. Who will receive a Specific RIF Notice?
For purposes of POStPlan, all Postmasters in level 16 or below Post Offices will receive a Specific RIF notice.
20. What does it mean if I receive a Specific RIF notice?
Employees whose positions have been abolished may receive Specific RIF Notices specifying that they will be demoted or separated. These employees need to consider all of their options. In particular, if an employee who has received a Specific RIF Notice of separation does not find another position before the RIF effective date, June 30, 2014, he or she will be separated effective that date.
21. What should I do if I receive a Specific RIF Notice?
You should pay attention to ALL notifications and consider all of your options to choose what is most appropriate for you.
22. I have heard the term “soft landing”. What does that mean?
A “soft landing” is the approach of trying to find a place of employment, or other option, for our current employees. As an example, there will be a Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) opportunity offered. To some individuals, this would be the best option and would represent their “soft landing”. Some employees, who wish to remain employed with the Postal Service, will have the opportunity to apply for other positions within the Postal Service. Impacted employees will be able to apply for Postmaster vacancies on a limited competition basis. Employees with a Specific RIF Notice would be advised to put an application in for EVERY job they would be interested in and not just their first choice. If selected for one of the vacant positions, that selection would be the “soft landing” for that employee. It must be noted that this is in no way a guarantee that all employees will get the jobs they apply for or that all employees will get a soft landing.
23. Does soft landing mean that the Postal Service will ensure that I stay employed within the Postal Service?
No it does not. However, the majority of impacted employees will receive a position, either part-time career or non-career, through the RIF process. Some impacted employees may receive a craft position through the RIF process. Those employees who do not receive a RIF assignment will be separated on June 30, 2014 unless they are able to find another position prior to that date.
24. If I received a Specific RIF Notice, what is going to happen to my Post Office?
If you receive a Specific RIF Notice, then it is possible that the Post Office where you are assigned is going to be considered for either reduced hours or discontinuance. In the former scenario, the office could become a Remotely Managed Post Office (RMPO) or it could become a Part Time Post Office (PTPO).
25. If the office is upgraded to an Administrative Post Office (APO) due to the cluster rule (no more than 10 RMPO reports to the APO), then does the PM of that office still get an initial Specific RIF Notice. Yes. We will not know the results of the mapping program for cluster upgrades for many weeks.
26. Am I limited to the number of jobs I can put in for?
No, you can put in for as many jobs as you are interested in. Once selected for a job, you will no longer fit into the category of impacted or affected employee and you will no longer be eligible to put in for future restricted vacancies.
27. What is an RMPO?
An RMPO is a Remotely Managed Post Office that will be staffed by a career Evaluated Postmaster (EPM) or a non-career Postmaster Relief (PMR) who reports directly to the Postmaster of the Administrative Post Office. The office will only offer window hours commensurate with the community needs. In other words, if the community does 2 or less earned workload, the office will be open for only 2 hours per day. The actual hours will be determined by the District. POStPlan identifies the RMPOs as either 2, 4, or 6, meaning the office will be open for either 2 hours per day, 4 hours per day, or 6 hours per day as determined by the earned work hours. EPMs will be assigned to 6 hour RMPOs and PMRs will be assigned to 4 and 2 hour RMPOs.
28. What is a PTPO?
A PTPO is a Part Time Post Office. PTPOs are currently EAS Level 16 and below offices that are 25 or more driving distance miles away from other postal retail units. These offices, regardless of adjusted earned workload, will offer service 6 hours per weekday, with Saturday hours determined by their District. PTPOs will be staffed by Evaluated Postmasters (EPMs) and report to District Offices.
29. What is an Administrative Post Office?
An Administrative Post Office is defined in Handbook PO-101 as a Post Office that has administrative control or responsibility of a contractor-operated retail facility, classified station or branch, or a Post Office. In the context of POStPlan, Administrative Post Offices will be responsible for managing up to 10 RMPOs. The Postmaster of an APO will be an EAS Level 18 or above employee. The APO will be given all credits for the reporting offices as currently allowed for in Postal Regulations.
30. What will be the title of the employee at the RMPO?
It would be an EPM for offices that are 6 hour office and PMR for offices that are either 2 or 4 hour offices.
31. What will be the title of the employee at the PTPO?
32. Will this process stop all of the discontinuance studies?
Not necessarily. POStPlan is a program set apart from the discontinuance process. All of the provisions of the PO-101 are still available to the Postal Service and certainly Post Office closures are still an option. POStPlan does give the Postal Service an additional option to consider in maintaining community visibility.
33. Does this process mean that the Postal Service will no longer close or suspend services of Post Offices?
No. There will be situations that will still require the closure of Post Offices.
34. What caused the Postal Service to make this change in their approach?
Listening to the stakeholders during the discontinuance process in Retail Access Optimization Initiative (RAOI), the Post Service recognized this opportunity existed and subsequently developed POStPlan.
35. When will all of this happen?
At this time, individual components of this process may shift slightly. The current goal is to complete the PRC filing by May 25, 2012. Two weeks after the filing, the Specific RIF Notices are scheduled to be released, which will start the process of VER, job postings, etc. It is currently anticipated that POStPlan will be fully implemented by May of 2014.
36. Is the POStPlan still part of the discontinuance process?
POStPlan is not part of the discontinuance process. It is an option for Postal Management to consider for reducing the operating expenses of the organization.
37. If an office receives reduced hours and remains open under POStPlan, does that mean that management will never consider closure of that office again?
No. Even if we reduce hours to the local Post Office, circumstances may require the Postal Service to study the individual office for probability of discontinuance should community usage continue to decline. Because of this, POStPlan provides for annual reviews of adjusted annual earned workload, which also could affect the hours of the office. If a community demonstrates there is no need for a Postal presence, then the Postal Service should reduce the infrastructure.
38. How many offices will be affected by POStPlan?
There is no way to totally project the final impact of a process such as POStPlan because community dynamics continually change. Initially, there will be approximately 14,000 Post Offices considered under this process.
39. Does POStPlan mean a reduction in types of services provided to the community?
No. The POStPlan Post Office would offer all the services that the existing Post Office offered.
40. If my office is closed, what will happen to my employees?
Post Office discontinuance procedures are outlined in Handbook PO-101. If an office reduces hours and had a full-time clerk, that clerk position may be abolished and the clerk excessed out of the unit.
41. After the moratorium ends, how long will it take to find out if my office is targeted for closure?
Any operational Post Office at Level EAS 16 or below studied for closure under RAOI will have a second community meeting (if one was already held) and the Postal Service will then determine if reduced hours will be a better alternative for the community. The process should be completed by May of 2014.
42. In the new structure, who will have the overall responsibility for each individual Post Office?
The Postmaster of the Administrative Post Office for the RMPOs and the District POOM for the PTPOs.
43. In the new structure, who will approve leave requests and monitor time and attendance?
Same as number 42.
44. In the new structure, who provides back up if employees call in sick?
Same as number 42.
45. In the new structure, who would handle political inquiries?
Same as number 42.
46. In the new structure, who would handle media issues?
Same as number 42.
47. In the new structure, who makes managerial decisions on customer concerns?
Same as number 42.
Updated: May 15, 2012 4
HR FAQs ON POST PLAN
1. What is the Postal Service doing?
It is offering a $20,000 early out incentive to all full-time career postmasters except Postal Career Executive Service (PCES) postmasters. It is offering a prorated incentive to all part-time career postmasters. Postmasters have until June 22, 2012, to accept the offer and agree to leave the Postal Service by July 31, 2012.
2. How many postmasters does that cover?
3. How will they receive the $20,000?
Full-time postmasters accepting the offer will receive two payments — $10,000 on Dec. 30, 2012, and $10,000 on Dec. 31, 2013, less taxes and other withholdings. Part-time postmasters will receive prorated payments on the same dates.
4. Why isn’t the incentive being paid in one lump sum payment?
Issuing the payments over a two year period helps the Postal Service better manage its cash flow. By offering two payments in separate years, some postmasters accepting this offer may see a savings on their income taxes.
5. How many postmasters do you anticipate will accept the offer?
Accepting the incentive and choosing to leave the Postal Service is a personal decision and therefore we don’t know how many postmasters will accept the offer.
6. What is a PCES Postmaster and why are they not included?
Postal Career Executive Service (PCES) postmasters typically manage Post Office Operations in the nation’s larger cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. They have not been extended this offer because their customer base continues to grow.
7. What is a postmaster relief employee and why aren’t they included?
Postmaster relief employees typically fill-in for postmasters on their days off and are ineligible because they are not career employees.
8. What happens to postmasters who choose not to leave? Will they be laid off?
The offices of postmasters who are impacted by this change will have the hours of operation adjusted to the appropriate number required based on workload. Postmasters who remain in offices where hours are reduced will be downgraded by the reduction-in-force (RIF) process. Impacted postmasters will have opportunities to apply for other positions prior to the RIF effective date in 2014.
9. What is the RIF process?
RIF is a uniform and systematic way of making organizational changes. The Postal Service must implement the RIF process in a competitive area if at least one career and/or certain non-career employees will be demoted or separated due to reorganization. A reorganization can include, for example, a change in the number, type, level, and/or duty station of positions in a continuing competitive area, and/or the establishment of a new competitive area.
Updated: May 15, 2012 1
Updated May 22, 2012
Do all postmasters have Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) rights?
Postmasters and certain other postal employees have MSPB rights to appeal an adverse action; only preference-eligible employees (postmasters and others) have MSPB rights to appeal a RIF demotion or separation.
Who is a preference-eligible employee?
Preference eligibles are:
Certain individuals who served in the armed forces; and
Specified relatives of certain individuals who served in the armed forces.
Not all individuals who served in the armed forces are preference eligible, and not all individuals who are preference eligible served in the armed forces. In addition, some individuals who retired from the armed forces are not preference eligible for reduction-in-force (RIF) purposes, although they are preference eligible for hiring and other federal employment purposes. For further information see ELM 354.215.
What is my competitive area?
At the present time, your competitive area is your post office.
My office has been evaluated at 6 hours a day. What does that mean for me as a career full time postmaster?
The 6 hour a day post offices will be staffed by a part-time career postmaster. If you are not successful in securing a vacant EAS position prior to June 2014 you will receive a Specific RIF Notice with the part-time postmaster position as your RIF assignment effective October 1, 2014. At that time your salary will be reduced to the part-time postmaster hourly rate.
My office has been evaluated at 2 or 4 hours a day. What does that mean for me as a career full time postmaster?
The 2 and 4 hour a day post offices will be staffed by a non-career postmaster relief. If you are not successful in securing a vacant EAS position prior to June 2014 you will receive a Specific RIF Notice of separation effective September 30, 2014.
I’m a postmaster relief (PMR) in an office that will be 2 or 4 hours of operation. Will I be kept as the PMR in this office?
If you are a PMR in an office that has 2 or 4 hours of operations daily the district office can assign you to the position at your office.
I’m a postmaster relief (PMR) in a part-time office that will be staffed by a part-time postmaster. Will I be retained as a PMR in this office?
At this time it is expected that the hourly office (2,4 or 6 hours) will operate six days a week so PMRs may be needed for the sixth day.
What is an RMPO?
Remotely Managed Post Offices (RMPO) are offices that are grouped geographically and have operations of 2, 4 or 6 hours. They report to an Administrative Post Office.
What is a PTPO?
Part Time Post Offices (PTPO) are stand alone offices that do not fit the RMPO model; they have 6 hours a day operations and report to the District MPOO.
My office was downgraded by DUO but I am still at my original grade. Do I have salary protection?
Postmasters who were downgraded by DUO RIF (November 5, 2011) will keep the salary protection offered to them at that time.
Can I apply for vacant positions before the RIF?
Postmasters will have opportunities to apply for vacant postmaster and other vacant positions prior to September 30, 2014, the RIF effective date.
My office will be upgraded to EAS-18. What increase will I get?
Postmasters whose positions will be upgraded to EAS-18 will receive a 2% increase or the amount of increase needed to bring the salary to the EAS-18 minimum.
Can an impacted postmaster return to a bargaining position?
During the RIF process, an employee can be assigned to a position only in his or her competitive area. Because there will be no bargaining unit positions in an impacted postmaster’s competitive area, there will be no bargaining positions available for RIF assignment for an impacted postmaster. Voluntary return to the craft is a management prerogative and not a right for the employee to claim. The ELM and the applicable labor agreement would provide guidance on this alternative.
Clarification of DUO impacted Postmasters Examples:
Level 18 down to Level 13 as a result of DUO now down to a non-career as a result of POStPlan
This question refers to individual who received conditional DUO salary protection because s/he was demoted through a RIF notice effective November 5, 2011. This individual received conditional salary protection at level 18. If POStPlan now evaluates the office as a 2 or 4 hour your non-career position, the incumbent will receive a RIF separation in September 2014, Salary protection will continue until the RIF separation date, September 30, 2014.
Level 18 down to Level 13 as a result of DUO now down to an EPM (XXXXXXXX) 6 as a result of POStPlan.
This question refers to individuals who received conditional DUO salary protection because s/he was demoted through a RIF notice effective November 5, 2011. This individual received conditional salary protection at level 18. If POStPlan now evaluates the office as a 6 hour position, the incumbent will receive a RIF assignment to an EPM-55 part-time career position in September 2014. The salary protection will provide that the employee continues to receive the hourly rate for the level 18 position for the number of hours of the office’s evaluation (6 hours).
What will be the level of pay for upgraded Postmasters?
From Level 13 to 18 to SOV earned and no additional offices?
An incumbent employee in an office upgraded to level 18 will receive a 2% salary increase or the amount necessary to get to the minimum of salary range of the new grade level.
Will all retirement and VER eligible’s receive a retirement packet and when?
Eligible employees in full time offices have been sent their retirement packets. Interested employees in part-time offices need to request retirement packets from the HRSSC.
Do we have a plan to fill the vacancies on August 1 and transfer all these offices on the same day? Our understanding is that all those who chose to retire by June 22 will leave on the same day.
The retirement effective date is July 31, 2012.
What happens to the impacted offices in which the PM retires on July 31? Will they remain at that level until after the community meetings? What salary rate will the OlCs earn?
Actual changes to office hours will not occur until after the community meetings.
The Implementation Plan states – b. Phase 2 – Employees identified as impacted will receive reduction in force (RIF) notifications as applicable. Is is anticipated the RIF will be initiated in May 2012 and the Specific RIF Notice will identify the employees’ RIF assignments (EPM or PMR). Does this mean that after two years, RIF assignments will be offered to Postmasters who will be PMRs (non-career?) For example, if a level 13 PM is downgraded to a level 4 or 2 hour office, will they be offered RIF assignments at the end of two years?
The RIF will not be initiated in May 2012. The Specific RIF Notice will be sent to employees following RIF avoidance activities. The Specific RIF Notice will be issued June 2014 and the RIF effective date will be September 30, 2014.
Will NAPUS be provided with a list of upgraded offices?
The two association presidents were provided with a CD containing POStPlan changed offices on Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
Why are some Post Offices not on the list of impacted offices (Ex; EAS-11, 13 or 15?) Since they are not on the list of downgraded offices, are we to assume they will be upgraded?
Each impacted postmaster will receive a follow-up letter from Operations identifying the change in their office.
When will vacant level 18 and level 6 hour offices be posted?
Vacant level 18 offices will be posted in eCareer May 25 thru June 1. The date for posting 6 hour office vacancies is not determined at this time.
What criteria were used to select the offices that were upgraded to EAS 18?
Offices upgraded to Level 18 had FY 2011 annual earned workours.
Can current EAS 18 Postmasters lateral in to a newly established or vacant EAS-18?
Yes, non competitive requests at the same or lower grade may be submitted directly to the selecting official for consideration outside the competitive process. Noncompetitive applicants are encouraged to include a copy of their eCareer profile along with their request.
How will POStPlan impacted Postmasters who were previously DUO’d from a full time office to a part time office be paid? (example, If an EAS 13 PM is reduced to a 6 hour office as a result of DUO will they be paid for 8 hours for 2 years? Or, will the PM be paid at the saved hourly rate and immediately reduced to the part time hours, as described in the ELM 415.23?
Postmasters who were demoted by DUO RIF effective November 5, 2011 have the conditional grade/ salary protection provided at that time. If they are further impacted by POStPlan their grade/salary protection will continue through September 2014. If these postmasters are in offices that are evaluated at 6 hours a day they will get a RIF assignment to the EPM-55 part-time career position and their grade/salary protection at that time will afford them the hourly rate of their former protected salary for the 6 hours per day effective October 1, 2014. If these postmasters are in offices that are evaluated at 2 or 4 hours a day they will get a RIF separation effective September 30, 2014.
Postmasters who were not demoted by DUO RIF but who are now impacted by POStPlan will remain in their current position, current grade and current salary (or increased salary if salary is increased under regular pay policies before September 30, 2014) until September 30, 2014 and at that time there is no grade/salary protection. These postmasters whose offices are evaluated at 6 hours a day will get a RIF assignment to the EPM-55 part-time career position and their salary at that time will be the hourly rate of the EPM-55 position. If these postmasters are in offices that are evaluated at 2 or 4 hours a day they will get a RIF separation effective September 30, 2014.
5/9/2012 Questions and Comments:
Susan from CO:
Q – If my current office is upgraded to a level 18 will I need to apply for the position or will I just be "grandfathered" in?
A – Incumbent PMs will not have to re-apply for their current position.
Ken from NH:
Q – In a targeted Post office going from 8 to 6 which will be career part-time Postmaster will the current PM be offered the position?
If a PM wants to retire before July 31 but does not have the paper work in as of May 9th can they retire before July 31st (I.E. June 30) and still get the incentive?
A – In 2014, a career Postmaster who is placed in a career evaluated Postmaster position in an RMPO as a result of RIF, or who voluntarily accepts such a position prior to the effective date of the RIF, will be compensated at $18.18 per hour upon being placed in that position. Thereafter, compensation will be set pursuant to standard Postal Service policies.
Postmasters will have until June 22, 2012 to retire and must agree to leave the USPS effective on July 31, 2012.
Richard from MS:
Q – If I do not take the buyout and retire and my office is downgraded to a 4 or 6 level, Will my salary be affected?
I have 31 yrs. with the Postal Service. In other words what happens if I elect to do nothing and stay right here?
A – In 2014, a career Postmaster who is placed in a career evaluated Postmaster position (in this case a level 6) in an RMPO as a result of RIF, or who voluntarily accepts such a position prior to the effective date of the RIF, will be compensated at $18.18 per hour upon being placed in that position. Thereafter, compensation will be set pursuant to standard Postal Service policies.
If the office is re-evaluated as a non career office, and you don’t retire or obtain another career position, you will be RIF’d in 2014 (RIF Avoidance procedures in place at that time will apply.
Paula from ME:
Q – I am PM in Level 15 but have currently been OIC in Level 13 (my decision) since Nov 2009. How will I be affected by this change?
Will the level 15 office be posted as an 18 and I will apply like everyone else or will I keep it because I am already Postmaster?
Have I jeopardized myself by not working in the level 15 for so long?
What should be my best move at this time to insure that I don’t lose my level 15 office?
A- Your office of record (Form 50) will determine your status in POStplan.
Steve from VA:
Q – My office is on the list of 13000 and is scheduled to change. My office is currently Level 16
with 3 routes and is showing changing from 8 hrs. to 6 hrs.
My question is about the statement that the postmasters in levels 16 and below will not be impacted until 2014.
But the early out notice has to be taken by June 22nd and effective date by July 31st.
What would happen to me in 2014 if I do not take the early out?
I am 51 Years of age and would only be 53 in two years. I am civil service. Any clarification you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
A – After two years, a career Postmaster who is placed in a career evaluated Postmaster position in an RMPO as a result of RIF, or who voluntarily accepts such a position prior to the effective date of the RIF, will be compensated at $18.18 per hour upon being placed in that position. Thereafter, compensation will be set pursuant to standard Postal Service policies.
Connie from PA:
Q – So what’s with the plan to reduce business hours in all level 16 and below offices?
My level 13 office is supposed to be cut to 6 hours a day. How’s that gonna work?
Could this be an obvious ploy to get twenty thousand middle aged postmasters to jump at an early out?
Where do I sign up for the class action age/sex discrimination lawsuit?
A – EAS 16s and below will be evaluated with SOV and CSV. All EAS 18’s and above will be evaluated through the WSC process.
Viviane from PA:
Q – In regards to the incentives –Why are we offered only $20,000 when 2 years ago the clerks were offered $25,000?
What happened to the suggestion of giving us added service time? (There is still excess money in the retirement account–the Senators did not give us all of our overpayments.)
Did they ever pass the law that would let us put our Annual Leave payment into the Thrift Savings Plan?
A – The $20,000 incentive was a USPS decision. Added years of service to incent employees to retire must be legislated before it can be part of any offer. NAPUS is unaware of any passage of a law that allows employees to apply annual leave to their TSP contributions.
Warren from MS:
Q – I know it’s early but if the Postal Service goes through with this hour reduction plan how is there going to possibly be enough jobs to go around. I am EAS 11 with only 22 years in. Where is the soft landing?
A – Postmasters will not be impacted for two years, giving them opportunities to apply for other career positions, including vacant positions resulting from the VER and incentive retirement offers.
Bill from MO:
Q – What jobs do you think will be available to these "RIF’d" PM’s?
A – RIFs will not be effective until 2014, and job availability will be based on the evaluation of offices at that time.
Donna from WI:
Q – When will be informed if our offices are upgrade to 18 offices?
A – Encumbered upgraded Postmasters will be notified that their office will be upgraded in the next several weeks. NAPUs will post the information as soon as it becomes available
John from MO:
Q – I am currently the postmaster at a level 13 office. Several years ago, my office was downgraded from a level 16 and as a result, I was given saved grade for 2 years and indefinite saved salary.
My office is on the list to be downgraded again from an 8 hour office to a 6 hour office in September of 2014.
When that happens, will my indefinite saved salary still apply? If so, will it be my yearly salary or my hourly salary?
Also, in a 6 hour office, who works on Saturday the PMR or the PM?
A – The DUO indefinite saved salary question will be forwarded to Headquarters and we will post their response at a later date. After two years, the PM will be scheduled to work 6 days per week.
Jolene from NE:
Q – Is it correct that current postmasters in the offices that will be effected under the new Post plan, will not have their pay, benefits or work hours cut for 2 years?
A – Yes
Doug from IL:
Q – Tough time for our PM's wondering if the offer will be for all PM's or only those impacted.
My guess was all, to open up positions for those displaced, but I don't want to speculate.
Do you know when things will be announced? Good luck.
A – ALL non-PCES Postmasters will be given two opportunities to apply for vacant Postmaster positions. The two limited competition posting periods will be announced soon, and available for Postmasters ONLY. Please look for posting information on the NAPUS website, as soon as it becomes available.
Georgia from WI:
Q – We are supposed to have postmasters on a telecom, which seems to have not been set up after all. The subject is restructuring all of the smaller offices.
A – The telecom should have been available to all impacted Postmasters. POStPlan is available information is available on the NAPUS website, and the USPS liteblue page.
Teresa from VA:
Q – In FDB, under facility times, we enter the time of day mail arrives for processing, not when the first employee arrives.
In SOV this time is showing up under Complement, workload, window, manual. Is this right?
Our first employee does not report till 7:30. Should we have put 7:30 under First Time mail arrives in FDB?
A – SOV and CSV issues should be addressed at the District and if they can’t be resolved, forward them to the chapter president (in this case, you) and send them to us to resolve with USPS headquarters. You may want to check our SOV/CSV link on the NAPUS website under reference documents. NAPUS has a representative on the USPS Hdqtrs SOV/CSV team.
In our communications with USPS Hdqtrs, it was agreed that these programs would be consistent and universally applied in all Districts, under the direction of Hdqtrs.
5/10/2012 Questions and Comments:
Dave from PA:
Q – How soon before this goes into effect?
A – Incumbent PM will be impacted in 2014, please check NAPUS website for POStPlan implementation process by clicking on the Post Office Structure Plan.
Pam from IN:
Q – On August 11, 2011, the Postal Service moved the rural route from XXXXX IN into my office. They did this abruptly so the route could be counted in XXXX IN where they would be located, which I understand and don't have a problem with.
What I do have a problem/concern with is that they were able to move the route to XXXX, change all of the paperwork to my finance number, and adjust the rural carriers pay and finance number yet they have not adjusted the level of the office to a 15 or adjusted my pay.
Every time I have inquired it is ignored. I realize all of the Postal reform that is going on but it wasn't in effect Aug 11, 2011 and I feel that the office level should have been raised at that time as the form 50 even stated immediate upgrade. In addition, I have been without a PMR since Dec, 2011, and they keep ignoring my request to hire or tell me they are waiting for a number so that I can post the position.
Now our office is on the list for retail hour reduction and I feel the decision is being based on an office level 13. I am not trying to get out of the reduction in hours but l feel the office should have been reviewed as a level 15 not 13 and therefore only be reduced to 6 hrs instead of 4 if needed. I would also like to have a PMR. I believe that they purposely ignoring the situation. I am contacting you for help on this matter and would love to get back pay for the work, have my office raised as it should have been in Aug. and be able to hire a sub.
I have heard that their plans are to move the 2 routes to XXXXX IN in addition to the reduction of hours that is another concern because I don't know if they are basing the information on a level 13 or a level 15?
A – When the carriers arrived in your office, a new WSC form should have been completed to determine the level of the office. If the office fell into the appropriated WSC range, it should have been upgraded. Staffing and office levels need to be addressed at the District level through the local NAPUS president. Whether an office was in the proper WSC for an upgrade or whether it was in the ZOT (delayed upgrade,) will determine the justification for a salary adjustment.
The new POStPlan level process will use SOV and CSV to determine office levels in 16’s and below, and WSCs will be used to determine 18s and above.
Q – What if you are a level 16 PM and your office is not listed, does that mean you are one to be upgraded to level 18?
A –Encumbered upgraded Postmasters will be notified that their office will be upgraded in the next several weeks.
Steve from TX:
Q – I have not seen the answer to this question on your website. Those Level 16 offices (of which I am one) fortunate enough to not be on the downgrade list are upgrading. Do you know when this will take place? Will it occur prior to any job postings?
A – Please see previous answer (to Dane.) If level Incumbent 11-16 offices are not upgraded to Level 18, they will not be posted. Instead, they will be subject to POST Plan implementation beginning September 2012. Incumbent upgraded Postmasters will be notified that their office will be upgraded in the next several weeks. Vacant upgraded level 18 offices should be posted within 30 days.
Pam from IN:
Q – I recently sent an email in regards of XXXX IN's office level, pmr, and reduction of hours. I wanted to add that the have completely closed the XXXX IN post office and made XXXX IN the administrative office of XXXX and XXXX. I don't feel that the information is being accurately reviewed due to the recent additions to the office. We are not the same as we were 6 months ago, they just did this a little over a month ago and I feel if it's not looked into very soon this office could lose more than it should.
A – EAS 16 and below offices will be evaluated based on SOV and CSV. If you feel there is a discrepancy, please check with the District office for clarification, before contacting the NAPUS chapter president. NAPUS currently has an SOV/CSV team working with USPS Headquarters and those contact email addresses will be posted on the website for those who want to submit questions concerning those programs. You can also visit the NAPUS website to review the SOV process and calculation links.
Allyson from PA:
Q – I am under the Fers retirement service. On March 27, 2012, I completed my 25 year.
I believe I will be eligible for the VERA, but wanted to know if there was a cutoff date for them offering the VERA. I.E. will I be eligible?
A – Please visit the NAPUS website and go to the POStPlan banner and open the VER link for information about FERS retirement eligibility.
John from VA:
Q – Will there be any changes coming that will adjust the levels of offices that are currently 18s and earn 18-20 hours a day? It doesn't seem fair that a level 13 that earns 6 hours should get upgraded and get the same pay as my office that earns 18-20 hours per day and has 5 routes and 2000 PO boxes when she has no routes and 400 boxes.
A – EAS 18 offices levels will be determined by WSCs. Some of the new offices that will be upgraded through the POStPlan process, will also have administrative responsibilities for several remote offices.
Dave from KS:
Q – Sirs, why couldn't the Dec. 2013 payment be made in Jan. 2013?
The postal service is getting this money in a lump sum. Why do they get to set on it for a whole year to draw interest in their pocket?
We could use the incentive back to back, Dec 2012, and Jan 2013 which would be more useful for us that are forced to retire.
Could you work on this?
A – The VER payment process decision was made by the Postal Service. Based on the demand of many NAPUS Postmasters, NAPUS requested the USPS to provide VER and incentive opportunities for eligible employees. Implementation date decisions were made by the USPS.
Judy from ME:
Q – Can you tell me if a PM that will have 30 yrs in by 2014, but will only be 54 (with 56 being the retirement age) will still be able to retire if a job is not found?
Or will they lose their retirement?
So many questions, so few answers.
A – In order to retire in 2014, you must be eligible for retirement within the eligibility rules of FERS or CSRS. Your decision or need to retire may depend on whether you are serving in a career (6 hour or 18 and above) or a non-career (2-4 hour offices) position. You can check with your local District office for further information. You may also want to look at some the POStPlan information on the NAPUS website.
5/10/2012 Questions and Comments:
These were received after 3:45 pm
Steve from KY:
Q – My office has proposed retail of 4 , will I be a part time postmaster or riffed?
A – The 2 and 4 hours a day post offices will be staffed by a non-career postmaster relief. If you are not successful in securing a vacant EAS position prior to June 2014 you will receive a Specific RIF Notice of separation effective September 30, 2014.
Mickey from KY:
Q – Can you and will you provide postmasters that are being affected with the SOV formula so that we can calculate our score ourselves?
We have been told this onfo but not what our actual score is. I am currently at a level 15 office. When I compare my numbers vs other 15's in my area not on the list, the only difference I see is PO Box rentals. These offices cannot compare to my retail nor carrier deliveries.
A – SOV information can be found on the POStPlan link on the NAPUS website, click on the SOV/CSV quick link.
Some level 15 offices may become administrative offices, which may move them to a level 18. Postmasters in offices that are not on the list will receive a letter within the next week, the same as PMs who are on the list. Information concerning the status of your office should be contained in that letter.
Jeanette from KS:
Q – I would like to ask a question concerning the POStPlan upgrade of offices with 5.75 hours of adjusted earned workload/day that will be staffed by a full time career Postmaster to Level 18. It states in the Vacancy Announcements for Postmasters Only section that: In the near future, there will be two limited competition postings of vacant offices, including the newly upgraded EAS 18 offices, which will be posted for Postmasters only.
Does this mean that if I am currently Postmaster in an office that qualifies for the upgrade, that when it is upgraded to the Level 18 I will have to compete or re-apply for my position?
Or is it for a vacant office that meets these requirements that will be posted for limited competition postings?
A – Incumbent Postmasters will not have to re-apply for EAS 18 positions they are presently in (Form 50 assignment.) If you choose to apply for a vacant EAS 18 position, you will have to go through the application process.
Deana from NY:
Q – These questions are coming from Saratoga, Washington, Warren Tri-County Association.
What about the postmasters who are in offices that are being upgraded? Will they have to apply for their own office?
How does this change the 150 process for determining levels of offices?
One of our members looked at the League site and at the NAPUS site and found the League’s site on SOV more helpful. The League had a speaker and a 29 page power-point that went over every item and told you how to calculate each item. Is this something we can do to improve our information provided to our members.
How soon are they going to post the currently vacant offices that are being changed to part-time?
Will the part time offices be a 5 or 6 day a week position?
When will they be posting all existing vacant offices?
Will the posting be open to all postmasters or only the affected postmasters?
A – Please see previous answer concerning incumbent Postmasters.
150 and WSC only apply to 18s and above, not former 16s and below.
We have checked both websites and found the same information on each, but presented in different styles.
See SOV link on POStPlan link at NAPUS website.
Part time office postings will soon be determined (Only 6 hour offices will be posted for incumbent PMs.)
6 day weeks.
Only career positions will be posted (level 6) and that will be determined soon.
All Postmasters can apply for career PM vacancies.
Jeanie from MS:
Q – I just read on postal news that the new Post plan will drop pay for level 16 and below to like 12 dollars an hour. I sure hope this is NOT true.
What are y'all doing about this?
It is all very confusing… we do not know who to believe. It sounds like Postmasters have been sold out…..
A – Incumbent PMs will not be impacted for two years. Please check the NAPUS website POStPlan Information link and click on POStPlan Implementation plan.
The two Postmaster organizations bought in to the process to save Postmaster positions. Without consulting with USPS Headquarters, we could have lost 17,728 career positions. Through the consultative process, we were able to save more than 8,700 non career positions, and nearly 8,900 career positions (including 4,561 which will be upgraded to level 18’s.) This was accomplished by the Postmaster organizations, even though we don’t have the right to collective bargaining.
Q – If a person is RIFed, are they eligible to continue group insurance as they are w/ VERA?
A – Referred to USPS Hdqtrs, a response will be posted asap
5/11/2012 Questions and Comments:
As of 4:15 p.m.
Deborah from NY
Q – Are the new postmaster actions legal?
I thought that our org. was there to protect postmasters,but I guess I was wrong. Will a list of offices that postmasters can apply for be available before the deadline to file for retirement?
If I or any other postmaster in an office that will be open limited hours decide not to retire can we work at our office(limited hours) untill such time we decide to retire?
Will the limited hours be split or will an office be open just mornings or just afternoons?
A – As state earlier, the two Postmaster organizations bought in to the process to save Postmaster positions. Without consulting with USPS Headquarters, we could have lost 17,728 career positions. Through the consultative process, we were able to save more than 8,700 non career positions, and nearly 8,900 career positions (including 4,561 which will be upgraded to level 18’s.) This was accomplished by the Postmaster organizations, even though we don’t have the right to collective bargaining.
The USPS will try to post career positions within the next few weeks.
New office hours will be determined after community meetings are held by the Districts.
Diane from KY
Q – What will be the salary for a 36 hour office — my office is slated for the 6 hours
A – Please see the POStPlan Implementation Plan on the POStPlan link (5B, Phase 2.)
Charles from VA
Q – I am an effected Postmaster by the PostPlan. I am also a 30 percent disabled veteran.
Will my veterans status effect my ability to land another position?
What rights do I have as a disabled veteran?
This question has been referred to USPS Hdqtrs and a reply will be provided asap.
Evelyn from NC
Q – I know you have many questions about the recent announcement. I have one that is important to me. I put all my paperwork in prior to 5/9/2012 for retirement May 31, being 60 with 26 years in. I called shared services the minute I heard about the incentives. I asked if I would have to change my retirement date to July 31 2012. I was told that as long as my paperwork was in prior to May 9th that I could still retire on 5/31/2012, that they would not require me to wait 2 more months. I want to make sure I get the incentive. I have checked the VER fact page but did not see anything about this.
Is this true?
A – Referred to USPS Hdqtrs, reply asap.
Bradley from AL
Q – My office is on the list to move to 4 hours a day. I missed being able to take the VERA by 3 months and 18 days, I go over 25 years Nov 18, 2012.
Is the Union working to ensure that Postmasters that meet the VERA after this initial deadline but before the office is converted can take an early out?
I have a special needs child and must maintain my insurance. I am willing to take an early out with no incentive.
Please let me know what the Union is doing for Postmasters in my situation?
A – VERs will only be available to VERA eligible Postmasters. The possibility for future VER opportunities is unknown at this time. We will continue to consult with USPS to find RIF Avoidance opportunities for impacted PMs.
Marcus from MN
Q – For those of us on the 2 or 4 hour office list: The website information lists those offices as being staffed by a non-carrer OIC.
Will there be any pay rate protection for existing PMs in small offices?
Will we be RIFed or downgraded to non-career OICs at less that 1/2 the pay and no benefits?
Any more detail on what would happen to existing PMs would be appreciated.
A – No impact to you for two years (salary and benefits.) Please check the POStPlan information link and click on the Implementation link.
General Information on POStPlan Questions
- Vacancy Posting Dates 5/25/12 – 6/1/12
- First Round posting will be for all career PMs, with Limited Area of Consideration (District Wide.)
- Noncompetitive requests from PMs at the same or higher grade, including DUOd PMs applying for reassignment at their saved grade/level within their district, may be submitted directly to the selecting official for consideration outside this competitive process. Noncompetitive applicants should include copy of their eCareer profile.
- First round of postings will be limited to all PMs Districtwide
- Second round of postings would be limited to all PMs nationwide. Second posting is expected to go out in August or Sept 2012.
- Discontinued Service Annuity information will be available on the USPS HR Shared Services link, which will be posted.
- Questions about clerk staffing in upgraded EAS 18s, currently with no clerks will be addressed as a FAQ from headquarters.
- Current SOV formula and instructions will be posted on website.
- Mapping of offices are currently being rolled out to the Areas.
- There will be no salary/level changes for two years, including future DUO offices (Former DUO offices will continue to receive indefinite salary protection, unless they are successful in applying for another office-including laterals and voluntary downgrades.)
- An incumbent who is downgraded to a 6 hour office will receive $18.18 per hour in 2014, but an encumbered DUO PM will retain indefinite salary protection.
- EAS 18 upgrades were all based on earned workload for FY-11, future administrative responsibilities were NOT considered in the upgrades.
- 6 hour offices will not be posted at this time. Current PMs can downgrade to 6 hour offices.
- Any PM who laterals, downgrades or applies for any other office will lose previous salary protection (except what’s covered in POStPlan.)
- Admin offices will schedule and perform admin duties for remote offices. It is believed that Districts will screen and fill vacancies and other hiring functions.
- Decisions on whether a PM in a 6 hour office will work 5 or 6 days per week, will be made by the administrative office.
- The AO will decide whether a 6 hour PM will work a six day week or use a PMR on Sat.