(Federal Times) New Merit-Based Bonus Program for USPS Managers in Plans-April 7, 2003-
2002 & 2003 Salary Structure

Postmaster EAS Compensation Changes Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005

EAS Salary Structure effective 2005 & 2006

Supervisor Compensation Changes Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005
source: NAPUS, LEAGUE Leaders Term Postmaster Pay Package ‘Best’ in More Than a Decade Newsletter




The National League of Postmasters will have a meeting with USPS Headquarters officials on July 23, 2003, to finalize the National Performance Assessment (NPA) program, designed to reward Postmasters for their contributions to the success of the Postal Service.
New Merit-Based Bonus Program for USPS Managers in Plans
April 7, 2003

By STEPHEN LOSEY Federal Times

The U.S. Postal Service and postal manager groups are working out the details of a new merit-based bonus program for about 80,000 managers, supervisors and support staff.

The new program, which would hinge bonuses on individual performance, is expected to be ready by September. The Postal Service is discussing what the new program’s goals should be with the National Association of Postmasters of the United States, the National League of Postmasters and the National Association of Postal Supervisors.

NAPUS President Wally Olihovik said nothing has been decided. The new pay-for-performance plan could judge managers on criteria such as overnight delivery rates, controlling sick leave, revenue generation, employee survey scores or injury rates. The Postal Service also has not decided how big the merit bonuses will be.

Postal Service spokesman Gerry Kreienkamp said the merit bonus system will be similar to the system put in place last September for vice presidents and top managers. Under that program, individual goals are set at the beginning of the fiscal year by each person’s superiors. Senior vice presidents and the postmaster general set personal goals that relate to the Postal Service’s overall performance goals.

Olihovik hopes the new program would take mitigating factors into account — for example, postmasters should not be penalized when delivery slows during snowstorms, or if revenue declines in an area where the economy is slumping.

Goals should relate to matters managers can control, Olihovik said. NAPUS is surveying members to find out how the Postal Service can set realistic goals.

Setting specific goals upfront would be a major improvement over the previous bonus program, called the economic value added (EVA) program, which was canceled last year, said Vincent Palladino, president of the National Association of Postal Supervisors. That controversial program never settled on proper goals, he said. As a result, merit bonuses were not handed out objectively and employees did not know how to improve their performance.

The EVA program had some goals that managers could not control, Olihovik said. For example, a postmaster could be penalized for delivering mail late, even if the mail was delayed before it reached his post office.

“You’re being rated on something a mail-processing plant has control over 50 to 75 miles away,” Olihovik said.

National League of Postmasters President Steve LeNoir said the Postal Service’s Inspector General’s Office criticized the EVA program for being hard to understand and not motivating managers.

The Postal Service started the EVA program in 1995 to reward managers who bring in more sales, boost productivity, reduce costs or do other things to make the Postal Service more money.

Mailing industry groups say the EVA program hurt the Postal Service.

Neal Denton, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, a coalition of nonprofit organizations interested in postal policy, said the EVA program created political problems for the Postal Service. The old program drew criticism for providing managers with merit bonuses while the Postal Service was losing money and increasing postal rates.

Olihovik said the upcoming program may encounter the same criticism. But, he said, offering pay rewards for good performance is a standard practice for any company.

Tony Gallo, vice president of the Association for Postal Commerce, an Arlington, Va.-based association of businesses and organizations that use mail for communication and commerce, said the EVA bonuses helped senior postal employees make up for not receiving cost-of-living adjustments. Those managers were making thousands of dollars less than employees with comparable managerial responsibilities in other agencies, he said.

The lower salary meant the Postal Service did not have to pay as much into health and retirement benefits, Gallo said.

“Everybody viewed [the merit bonuses] as part of the salary,” Gallo said. “It became a public relations nightmare.”

Postal managers often could receive salary increases of between $9,000 and $14,000 by moving to other jobs elsewhere in government or the private sector, Gallo said. The Postal Service started to see a brain drain.

“It didn’t do postal employees any favors, and it didn’t do the Postal Service any favors,” said Gene Del Polito, president of the Association for Postal Commerce.

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