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Report: Employment of Veterans in
the U.S. Postal Service - FY 2006
The U. S.
Postal Service (Postal Service) is one of the largest
employers of veterans in the nation, second only to the
Department of Defense. During FY 2006, the Postal Service
employed 695,890 career employees. This was a decrease of
8,313 employees from the 704,203 employed during FY 2005
There were 179,348 veterans employed in the Postal Service
during FY 2006. This is a decrease of 7,796 veterans from
the 187,144 during FY 2005. Disabled veterans represented
8.8 percent (61,482) of the Postal Service’s career
workforce, as compared to 9.0 percent (63,456) during FY
2005. The representation of disabled veterans in the
Postal Service shows a decline of 1,974 disabled veterans
(Table 13). Additionally, the Postal Service’s
representation of 30 percent or more disabled veterans
declined by 36 from 16,859 in FY 2005 to 16,823 in FY 2006
In FY 2006, veterans received 23.9 percent (6,859) of the
promotions, as compared to 25.1 percent (7,270) in FY
2005. Disabled veterans received 9.5 percent (2,725) of
all Postal Service promotions (28,696) in FY 2006, as
compared to 10.0 percent (2,883) in 2005. This was a
decrease of 158 promotions for disabled veterans. Postal
Service veterans rated as 30 percent or
more disabled received 2.8 percent (810) of the total
promotions in FY 2006 as compared to 2.9 percent (844)
during FY 2005. This was a decrease of 34 advancements for
30 percent or more disabled veterans. The promotion
figures in the table for Postal Service include
reassignments of Postal Career Executive Service employees
and promotions to Executive and Administrative salary
In advancement and promotions, disabled veterans with less
than a 30 percent disability rating accounted for 10.3
percent (2,696) of the total career hires, compared to 7.4
percent (2,620) in FY 2005. This was an increase of 2.9
percentage points. Additionally, 30 percent or more
disabled veterans constituted 4.6 percent (1,191) of total
career hires, as compared to 3.2 percent (1,144) in FY
2005. This was an increase of 1.4 percentage points.
Although the number of disabled veterans with a 30 percent
or more disability rating has declined as shown in Table
13 over the past four years, the percentage of the total
workforce has remained steady at 2.4 percent. In addition,
Table 13 shows the increasing percentage of 30 percent or
more disabled veterans in both categories as a percent of
veterans and percent of disabled veterans.
Service Reservists Eligible for Back Pay
As many as 100,000 military reservists
who worked at the U.S. Postal Service between 1980 and 2000
could be eligible for thousands of dollars in compensation
because they were improperly charged for their military leave,
under a new ruling. The Merit Systems Protection Board decision
greatly expands the scope of a larger back pay issue that
ultimately could cost the government half a billion dollars,
said Matthew Tully, a New York attorney who is representing
affected employees for free. He said complying with the decision
could cost the Postal Service upwards of $200 million. Tully
said the average back payment has totaled $3,500, although
employees have received anywhere from $400 to $14,000 depending
on how long they were in the reserves and their paygrade.
<9pt> <9pt> 9pt>9pt>9pt>
Postal Employee Challenges USPS Over Military Leave
Systems Protection Board (MSPB) recently announced a landmark
ruling which will allow thousands of current and former
Postal Employees to file claims and receive compensation for
improperly charged military leave. Military reservists who
worked at the U.S. Postal Service between 1980 and 2000 could
be eligible for thousands of dollars in compensation because
they were improperly charged for their military leave.
Note: The USPS has
taken the position that they will not pay back pay for nonscheduled
days charged to military leave before FY 2002. See
NALC (PDF) In the case of
David Miller, what he won is discovery and a hearing.
Many veterans continue to hope the USPS will do the right
thing voluntarily. ( see
reservists may be due back pay from 1980-1994)9pt>
vs. U.S. Postal Service (March 7, 2007-PDF)
David Miller, a Postal Service employee, filed an appeal under
the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights
Act (USERRA) alleging that the Postal Service improperly charged
him military leave for his absences on non-workdays. Without
a hearing, the AJ dismissed the appeal for failure to state
a claim because the appellant was a Postal Service employee
and so not covered by the military leave provisions of 5 U.S.C.
The MSPB agreed that Postal Service employees are excluded
from coverage of section 6323. However, the Postal Service
had a policy in effect at the relevant time that was the equivalent
of section 6323 and the MSPB has jurisdiction to enforce employee
rights derived from agency rules, regulations, and collective
bargaining agreements. Accordingly, taking as true the appellant’s
allegations, he did state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. As the appellant was not permitted to engage in discovery
prior to dismissal of the claim and that he was seeking relevant
evidence from a third party, the Defense Finance and Accounting
Service, the MSPB dismissed the appeal without prejudice to
refiling, with no deadline, since there is no deadline for
filing claims under USERRA.
Federally employed reservists due
back pay from 1980-1994 (3/6/06)
employees who served in the military reserves may now be eligible
to be compensated for wrongly charged military leave dating
as far back as 1980, because of a recent ruling from the Merit
Systems Protection Board.
workers are given up to 15 paid days of leave a year to spend
in the National Guard or military reserves. But until 2000,
the government was erroneously counting weekends and holidays
in this tally.
the MSPB ruled that employees who served in the reserves between
1994 and 2000 were eligible for compensation for mistakenly
charged leave. Last week the board, a quasi-judicial body
that handles federal workplace disputes, issued a ruling pushing
the date back to 1980.
of Leave While on Active Duty Military Service
Effective April 13, 2006, the Employee
and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) 517.542, Choice of Annual
Leave or LWOP, is revised to clarify the requirements for
the use of sick leave while on active duty military service.
[Revise the title and text of 517.542 to
read as follows:]
517.542 Choice of Annual Leave, Sick Leave,
Eligible employees who volunteer or are
ordered for a period of military training or for a period
of active military duty beyond the general military leave
allowance may use annual leave or LWOP, at their option. Sick
leave can be used only if the employee is hospitalized, confined
to quarters as directed by competent military medical authorities,
or on convalescent leave due to military service.
Federally employed reservists may be due back pay from 1980-1994
employees who served in the military reserves may now be
eligible to be compensated for wrongly charged military
leave dating as far back as 1980, because of a recent ruling
from the Merit Systems Protection Board. Government workers
are given up to 15 paid days of leave a year to spend in
the National Guard or military reserves. But until 2000,
the government was erroneously counting weekends and holidays
in this tally. Last July, the MSPB ruled that employees
who served in the reserves between 1994 and 2000 were eligible
for compensation for mistakenly charged leave. Last week
the board, a quasi-judicial body that handles federal workplace
disputes, issued a ruling pushing the date back to 1980.
The Employment of Veterans in the Federal
Government – FY 2004
U.S. Postal Service
Veterans make up 27.8 percent of the total U.S. Postal Service’s
career workforce (Table 11, below). The representation of
disabled veterans in the Postal Service declined by 4,097
(5.85 percent) from 70,053 in FY 2003 to 65,956 in FY 2004.
Disabled veterans accounted for 10.4 percent (2,514) of all
Postal Service promotions in FY 2004, compared to 9.7 percent
(2,450) during FY 2003. Veterans rated 30 Percent or More
Disabled received 663 (2.8 percent) of FY 2004 promotions.
This is an increase from the 2.7 percent in FY 2003.
Veterans comprised 27.8 percent (196,173) and 25.1 percent
(453,725) of the Postal Service and non-Postal service workforce
All disabled veterans as a percentage of all employees represented
9.34 percent of the Postal Service’s workforce as compared
to the 4.8 percent of the non-Postal workforce (65,956 in
the Postal workforce and 87,390 in the non-Postal workforce).
Additionally, the 30 Percent or More Disabled veterans represented
2.4 percent of the Postal Service’s workforce as compared
to 2.3 percent of the non-Postal workforce (17,110 versus
Ruling on back pay for federally employed reservists faces
Agriculture Department has decided to appeal a court ruling
that could make federal employees who served in the military
reserves eligible to receive compensation for wrongly charged
leave as far back as the 1980s. Collins, like other federal
employees, has said he was improperly forced to use annual
leave, sick leave and leave without pay to complete his military
obligation while employed at the Food Safety and Inspection
Service in Alameda, Calif. For example, he said he was charged
military leave when performing military duties on Saturdays
and Sundays, quickly using up the 15 days granted to federal
employees in the reserves. Until the November ruling, federal
employees were eligible for the back pay only until 1994,
when the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights
Act was passed. Reed's ruling opens the door for earlier cases
of wrongfully charged leave to be considered (Govexec)
Government appeal delays back
pay for reservists(Federal
employed reservists could be due back pay, judge rules
APWU Initiates Step 4 Dispute Over USPS Charging Military
Leave For Non-Workdays
-A dispute has been initiated by the APWU over the
Postal Service’s practice of charging paid military leave
for non-workdays. The union’s position is that postal employees
who have been charged paid military leave for non-workdays
spent while receiving military training are entitled to compensation
for all lost time and benefits. In addition, the APWU takes
the position that the Postal Service should change Section
517.41 of the ELM to read “15 workdays” instead of “15 calendar
VETS Final Rule
Notice of Rights and Duties Under the Uniformed Services Employment
and Reemployment Rights Act [12/19/2005]
Volume 70, Number 242, Page 75313-75317
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Veterans' Employment and Training Service
20 CFR Part 1002
Notice of Rights and Duties Under the Uniformed Services Employment
and Reemployment Rights Act
AGENCY: Veterans' Employment and Training Service, Department
ACTION: Final rule.
On March 10, 2005,
the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) of the
Department of Labor (Department or DOL) issued an interim
final rule to implement a requirement of the Veterans Benefits
Improvement Act of 2004 (VBIA), Public Law 108-454 (Dec. 10,
2004). The VBIA amended the Uniformed Services Employment
and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) by adding a requirement
that employers provide a
notice of the rights, benefits, and obligations of employees
and employers under USERRA. The text of this notice was included
in the interim final rule, and the Department sought comment
on that text. This preamble to the final rule addresses comments
received during the comment period. This final rule does not
affect the Department's pending proposal to implement USERRA,
which was published in the Federal Register of September 20,
DATES: Effective Date: This rule will be effective on January
More information from the DOL is here:
VETS Final Rule
Upset Over Marine's Body Arriving As Freight -
family said fallen soldiers and Marines deserve better and
that one would think our war heroes are being transported
with dignity, care and respect. It said one would think upon
arrival in their hometowns they are greeted with honor. But
unfortunately, the family said that is just not the case.
Dead heroes are supposed to come home with their coffins draped
with the American flag -- greeted by a color guard. But in
reality, many are arriving as freight on commercial airliners
-- stuffed in the belly of a plane with suitcases and other
cargo. John Holley and his wife, Stacey, were stunned when
they found out the body of their only child, Matthew, who
died in Iraq last month, would be arriving at Lindbergh Field
for Disabled Vets To Increase Effective Dec. 1
Disabled veterans will receive
an increase in their benefits effective Dec. 1, as a result
of recent legislation (P.L. 109-111). The legislation grants
veterans who receive disability payments (or their survivors)
the same cost-of-living adjustments Social Security recipients
receive. The December COLA increase will mean an increase
of 4.1 percent.
Senate moves to close pay gap for feds called to military
The Senate last week approved
a measure that would provide full federal salaries to civil
servants called to military duty. The Senate unanimously passed
the language as an amendment to the fiscal 2006 Defense appropriations
bill (H.R. 2863). The amendment requires agencies to supplement
the military salary of federal employees called to the Reserves
or National Guard, bringing their income to the level it was
before their employment was interrupted
House panel approves $82.5 billion
veterans bill (5/13/05)
"A House Appropriations panel on Thursday approved an $85.2
billion bill to fund medical care for veterans, Department
of Defense health programs, military construction and military
housing in fiscal 2006. Flexing its muscle early in its tenure,
the newly formed Military Quality of Life Subcommittee approved
on voice vote a bill that is nearly $1 billion above President
Bush's budget request and represents a nearly $6 billion increase
over the amount appropriated in fiscal 2005. "This bill represents
an opportunity to make an impact on the quality of life for
our soldiers, sailors and marines and I believe we have done
that," said Subcommittee Chairman James Walsh, R-N.Y."
Pentagon List of Recommended Military Base, Facility Closings
list of military facilities the Defense Department recommended
for closure Friday:
OPM Revises Application for
10-Point Veterans' Preference
- U.S. Office
of Personnel Management (OPM) Acting Director Dan G. Blair
today announced efforts the agency is taking to make veterans'
preference available to more of America's veterans. OPM
is revising the
Form 15 (SF 15), Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference,
and locating it on the agency's website (www.opm.gov)
for immediate use in accepting Department of Veterans Affairs
letters of disability. The online application is used by
agencies, OPM examining offices, and agency appointing officials
to adjudicate individuals' claims for veterans' preference
in accordance with the Veterans' Preference Act of 1944.
Preference, which became law in 1944, awards veterans special
consideration in hiring, promotion and reduction-in-force
proceedings. Veterans who apply for federal jobs are automatically
given an advantage over equally qualified nonveterans. A
federal manager is not permitted to hire a nonveteran over
an equally qualified veteran without sufficiently explaining
the decision to OPM. In 1998, President Clinton signed a
law allowing managers who do not follow the veterans preference
regulations to be fired
"We must ensure
those who are eligible for veterans' preference receive
the benefits to which they are entitled," said Blair. "OPM
places a strong emphasis on the rights of veterans, including
employment opportunities, and this latest version of the
SF 15 strengthens that commitment for supporting our veterans
in seeking federal employment opportunities."
The SF-15 has
been revised to be consistent with the policy of the Department
of Veterans Affairs which considers letters issued in 1991
or later as proof of a permanent disability, unless specifically
stated otherwise. In addition, OPM eliminated outdated references
from the application form.
show OPM's commitment to this nation's veterans, OPM currently
is in the second stage of its Veterans' Invitational Program
(VIP). VIP II includes seminars conducted by OPM recruiters
and hiring specialists at military bases and medical centers,
explains veterans' preference and appointing authorities,
workshops on resume writing and interviewing skills, and
hands-on guidance with OPM's USAJOBS website -- www.usajobs.opm.gov
-- the primary source for finding federal jobs.
II visits are scheduled for the following cities: Cherry
Point, NC; Camp Lejeune, NC; Bolling Air Force Base, Washington,
D.C.; Fort Sam Houston and Fort Bliss, TX; and Fort Lee,
USPS to Pay Employee Portion of Health Premiums for Workers
Called to Active Duty
APWU Web News
Article #10-05, March 22, 2005
The Postal Service
has announced it will pay the employee’s share – in addition
to the USPS share – of health insurance premiums for up to
24 months for career USPS employees who are called to active
duty. The change was made in response to a request from the
APWU in August 2004.
have been instructed that the new
policy [PDF] took effect March 17, 2005, and is retroactive
to Dec. 28, 2002. It applies to qualified career employees
activated for military service under Executive Order 12302
or 13223 in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Noble Eagle,
and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Postal Service will assume
the full cost of employees’ premiums for the time that they
perform qualifying military service only.
are made pursuant to new federal guidance on the extension
of coverage, and are made in our continuing efforts to support
our employees called to active military duty,” the manager
of Labor Relations Policies and Programs wrote to APWU President
of Personnel Management (OPM) has determined that employees
who are absent for military service may extend their Federal
Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) coverage and their Federal
Employee Group Life Insurance protection by using paid leave
for eight consecutive pay periods. Employees may use as little
as one hour of paid leave per pay period to meet this requirement.
who receive invoices for health benefits premiums should wait
to pay them until they return from active duty, the instructions
say. “The amount owed will be based on the documentation of
eligibility presented at that time, and to the extent possible,
will be deducted from pay on a pretax basis, thereby reducing
the out-of-pocket cost.”
Burrus praised the Postal Service’s decision to pay health
plan premiums for employees called to active duty. “We applaud
the sensitivity shown by management in supporting the postal
heroes who are serving their country,” he said.
Announces New USERRA Notice of Rights and Benefits
Secretary Chao today announced that a
notice in poster format explaining the rights of employees
under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights
Act (USERRA) is now available for employers to download from
the DOL Web site. Read the
2.4 Million Veterans Will Pay New Fee
Republican majorities on the House and Senate veterans' affairs
committees have voted to impose an enrollment fee of at least
$230 a year on 2.4 million veterans - one of every three now
eligible for Veterans Affairs Administration health care.
Those targeted are in priority categories 7 and 8, meaning
they are neither poor nor suffering from service-connected
disabilities. Half of the 2.4 million used the VA health system
The Bush administration proposed the enrollment fee to hold
down costs. The VA committees rejected another Bush proposal
to raise co-payments on VA-filled prescriptions for these
same priority 7 and 8 veterans.
While both committees endorsed enrollment fees, differences
emerged. The Senate panel, chaired by Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho,
embraced the Bush plan for a straight $250 annual fee.
The House committee, chaired by Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind.,
voted to set the fee for priority 7 enrollees at $230, matching
the enrollment fee of under-65 military retirees using Tricare
Prime, the military managed care program. For priority 8 veterans,
Buyer proposes a sliding scale fee of $230 to $500, depending
upon veteran income. (2/26/05)
Some federal reservists may
reclaim lost time off
Office of Personnel Management told federal agencies Wednesday
to restore annual leave to employees who were unfairly penalized
when they left to participate in reserve military training.
The OPM directive comes as a result of a 2003 decision by
the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which found
that federal employees on military leave were being unjustly
forced to take time off. In the case,
Butterbaugh v. Justice Department, the court found
that employees who were training with the reserves and exceeded
their allotted 15 days of military leave were compelled to
take personal vacation time to fulfill their military commitment.
"Agencies should have allowed 15 workdays of military leave
for reserve training (instead of 15 calendar days, as the
language in this section was previously interpreted and applied
prior to the court's ruling)," the OPM memo said. "The plaintiffs
in Butterbaugh maintained that, because they were charged
military leave for nonwork days within their period of military
duty, they exceeded their allowance of 15 days of military
leave each fiscal year and were forced to take leave without
pay or annual leave to complete their annual reserve training."
DOL Issues Draft Regulations
for Law that Safeguards Guard and Reserve Members' Jobs and
Benefits-The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) today announced
that it has published draft regulations in the Federal Register
that interpret the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment
Act of 1994 (USERRA). Congress passed USERRA to safeguard
the employment rights and benefits of service members upon
their return to civilian life. These regulations will spell
out the rights of our returning service men and women and
the responsibilities of employers to honor their service.
This Administration will back up these first— time—ever USERRA
regulations with aggressive outreach and enforcement." This
action by the Department represents the first time regulations
have been developed to help enforce USERRA since passage of
the law in 1994. It is the latest in a series of proactive
steps the department has taken to ensure job security for
the largest group of mobilized National Guard and Reserve
service members since World War II. Read the
proposed regulations (9/04)
Postal Reporter Reader Seeks Help
in Protecting Veteran/Military Retiree Rights
I urge everyone who read this,
and spread the word to others, to contact your Congressional
Representative and Senator to support the two bill referenced
below. Simply, what it amounts to is, making Congress,
for that matter - America as a whole, keep it's word to Veterans
and they benefits earned as military retirees
I have followed this problem ever since George "Bud" Day,
Medal of Honor Winner, Retired Air Force Colonel, and lawyer
filed a Class Action Law Suit against the United States for
failure to keep it's word to all those who served in the Military
and especially those who retired from the Military.
Year by year Congress is reducing the benefits or stopping
them all together that Military Retirees were promised after
serving 20 plus years of active duty
Congress has proposed a fix to this problem by writing HB3474
in the House of Representatives, and with Senate Bill S2065,
"Keep Our Promise To America's Military Retirees Act."
Please contact, by phone, mail or email, your Congressional
Representative and Senator to voice your support both bills.
Please take note that this is not a request for money, just
a simple request to take a few minutes of your time and support
our Military Retirees.
To learn more about this, go to
Class Action Lawsuit
Your support is welcome.
Philip (Rusty) Bracewell, Jr.
OPM Finds Veterans Get Due Preference
for Civil Service Jobs
A probe by the Office of Personnel Management
has found that most military veterans receive "appropriate
consideration" in hiring for civil service jobs where applicants
compete for employment. Through a series of laws, veterans
-- and especially disabled veterans -- are entitled to preference
when civil service jobs are being filled. As a general practice,
veterans who meet minimum qualifications for a job have five
or 10 points added to their numerical score or rating when
competing for civil service positions. OPM, in a "Veterans'
Employment Audit Report" scheduled for release this week,
found only four cases at three agencies where veterans' preference
had not been properly followed during the hiring process.
OPM and the agencies are taking or have taken steps to correct
the violations, the report said. For its report, OPM examined
the hiring practices of 19 federal agencies. (Wash Post 7/6/04)
bill draws attention to reservists’ rights-Most managers
are adhering to a federal law that prohibits job discrimination
against employees who volunteer for the uniformed services,
although some employers are unaware of their obligations under
the law, officials said June 23 before the House Veterans’
Affairs Committee.The law, the 1994 Uniformed Services Employment
and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), primarily is intended
to ensure that employees serving as National Guard members
or reservists do not lose their jobs or benefits because of
their service requirements. (Federal
Federal law reserves jobs of employees called to military
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
(USERRA), passed in 1994. The law applies to all businesses
regardless of size, and protects the jobs of uniformed service
members, including noncareer National Guard and Reserve members
and active duty personnel.
USERRA entitles workers to the job seniority, status and pay
they would have received had they remained continuously employed
by that company, according to the Employer Support of the
Guard and Reserve (ESGR) resource guide. (4/26/04)
VA REPORT CALLS FOR IMPROVED SERVICES FOR DISABLED VETS-The
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Task Force released
The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program for the
21st Century Veteran – a report calling for improved vocational
rehabilitation and employment services for disabled veterans.
“Restoring the capabilities of disabled veterans is a critical
and necessary component of our obligation to service members
injured or disabled in our defense,” said Secretary of Veterans
Affairs Anthony J. Principi. “We must continuously improve
our services to meet the needs of veterans seeking our assistance.”
In May 2003, Principi created the 12-member Vocational Rehabilitation
and Employment Task Force - an independent Department of Veterans
Affairs task force. He charged the group with giving the VR&E
program an “unvarnished, top-to-bottom independent examination,
evaluation, and analysis.” Members of the task force included
representatives from the public and private sectors with expertise
in disability issues, vocational rehabilitation, clinical
practices, data management and employment placement. Among
other enhancements, the task force recommended that VA improve
the independent living program and expand current services
to National Guard and reserve personnel (4/1/04)
Postal Employees Get 5-Day Leave For Anti-Terrorism
Military Call Up
military members entitled to five days leave (source USPS )
President Bush recently issued a directive authorizing five days of
administrative leave for federal employees returning from active duty
in Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
The Postal Service supports this directive and appreciates the service
and sacrifice of its employees who are members of the Reserve Forces
and the Air and Army National Guard. Even though USPS employees aren't
covered by the president's directive, the Postal Service will provide
the same benefit to its members of the Reserve and National Guard
who were engaged in these operations.
Who qualifies? If you're a career employee who served on active military
duty for more than 30 consecutive days under official orders dated
on or after Sept.11, 2001, for Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring
Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom or any other military operations
later established under Executive Order 13223, you're eligible for
five days of administrative leave.
Employees need to provide a copy of their orders to their manager
to establish eligibility. Leave should be taken as five consecutive
days, not intermittently
November 25, 2003
Mr. William H. Young
National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO
100 Indiana Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001-2144
On November 14, President
of the United States George W. Bush issued a memorandum to the heads
of Executive departments and agencies directing them to provide five
(5) days of uncharged leave to Federal civil servants who were called
to active duty in the continuing Global War on Terrorism.
The Postal Service recognizes the service and sacrifice of members
of the Reserve Forces and the Air and Army National Guard, and wishes
to ensure that Postal Service employees, who are not covered by the
President's Memorandum, are included in this directive. The Postal
Service will continue its tradition of being a model for employer
support of the Guard and Reserve.
This is notification
that Postmaster General John E. Potter has determined that postal
employees should be included in this benefit. We know that your organization
will join Postmaster General Potter in supporting this initiative.
If you have any questions
concerning the implementation of this initiative, please contact Alan
Moore at (202) 268-7795.
Doug A. Tulino
Labor Relations Policies and Programs
Talk from APWU Vice President
Veterans Preference and MSPB
The Merit System Protection Board
has been ruling more often in favor of the Postal Service and against
The problem is in part because the
board lately is controlled by appointments made by the current administration.
A quick review of this
administration's appointments top President's Commission
on the U'S. Postal Service shows that our nation's executive branch
believes that management should be worshipped as the all-knowing power,
and that workers should be subservient.
We have moved our battles for
veterans' rights to the Court of Appeals and hope this administration's
appointees don't dominate that forum as well. Although we have sought
the support of major veterans' groups, few have joined our cause thus
far. I'm not ready to throw away my membership in these organizations,
yet I am wondering just what it is they stand for
source: The American Postal Worker September/October pg.
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Questions About Veterans' Preference
The following are
Frequently Asked Questions about Preference Eligibles as provide by
Q: Can a preference
eligible employee be excessed from a section or installation to an
assignment at the same wage level?
Q: Can a preference eligible employee be excessed from a section
or installation to a lower-level assignment?
Q: What does the contract stipulate when excessing reaches a preference
eligible employee and the employee's seniority will allow only a lower-level
A: The contractual requirement is that the
excessing must stop. Involuntarily moving the veteran to a lower level
would require a Reduction in Force (RIF), but any employee in the
regular work force who was hired before Nov. 20, 2000, is protected
against involuntary layoff or force reductions during the term of
the National Agreement.
Q: Can the preference eligible employee be skipped?
A: No. Skipping the veteran would violate
Article 12 and the craft seniority articles, and could not be done
unless in accordance with a special memorandum of understanding (MOU).
The excessing would have to stop.
Q: After excessing or a reduction of employees is announced, what
happens if a preference eligible employee volunteers to be reduced?
A: Unless the preference eligible employee
first was provided with an opportunity for a specific same-level job,
the voluntary action would violate the RIF rules.
Q: Can a preference eligible employee be excessed to unassigned
A: Yes, but only within the same installation.
Q: As an unassigned worker, can the preference eligible employee
perform lower-level work?
A: On occasion, yes. On a daily basis (temporarily),
yes. There has been a Merit System Protection Board decision that
permits putting an employee in a lower-level assignment on a temporary
basis. We are now seeking a board decision on the definition of "temporary."
We do not believe that this definition will include a situation in
which a preference eligible employee remains unassigned for years,
with no attempt to assign the employee to a same-level assignment.
SOURCE: The American Postal Worker magazine: Vol. 32, No. 6, Nov.
/ Dec. 2002
Back to Top
posted July 15, 2002
Some military veterans
who went on to civilian careers in government are getting a nasty
surprise when they turn 62. Their pensions are being cut. The Catch-62,
as veterans call it, affects people who served in the military after
1956 and then were hired as civilian employees under the Civil Service
Retirement System (CSRS) before Oct. 1, 1982, and who also are eligible
for Social Security benefits.
Veterans under CSRS who want their military service to count toward
their civilian retirement benefits must make a deposit to the Civil
Service Retirement fund amounting to 7 percent of their military earnings.
They have to hand over the money before they retire. Veterans hired
under the Federal Employees Retirement System must make a deposit
worth 3 percent of their military earnings. Veterans make interest-free
deposits during the first three years of employment as civilians.
After the first three years of employment are over, they must pay
the deposits plus interest.
Those hired after Oct. 1, 1982 must make
the deposit or receive no credit for their military service in their
civilian pensions. But veterans hired before that date--and have enough
earnings under Social Security to qualify for Social Security benefits--have
a different choice with two options. Under the first option, they
can make the required deposit and get full credit for their military
service in their civilian pensions throughout retirement. Under the
second option, they can waive the deposit in writing and get full
credit for their military service until they reach age 62 and become
eligible for Social Security benefits. Then the military portion of
their retirement credit is taken away, and their pensions are cut.
Mary Ellen Wilson, a retirement specialist
at the Office of Personnel Management, said most veterans understand
the rule and pay the deposit, ensuring full credit throughout retirement.
But many veterans told Government Executive they either weren’t
informed of the rule or got bad information from their personnel offices.
When they turned 62, they were shocked to learn from OPM that their
pensions were about to be reduced.
Tammy Flanagan, a retirement expert with
the National Institute of Transition Planning, warned that many veterans
may have “ticking time bombs” waiting to go off at their 62nd birthdays.
One veteran who retired with 20 years of military service and 18 years
of service under CSRS found his pension cut by $1,000 a month when
he turned 62. He said he didn’t know about Catch-62. Another veteran
said that when he sat down with a retirement counselor in 1997, the
counselor didn’t explain the deposit requirement for his five years
of military service. In 2002 when he turned 62, his monthly pension
benefit dropped $565. “I must hold myself responsible for not being
more informed about the laws governing my retirement, but why aren't
the commands held responsible for training and counseling personnel
about their retirement systems?” he asked.
Veterans who learn about
Catch-62 can make the deposit before they leave the government, albeit
with interest. If they learn about it afterward, they can appeal to
the Office of Personnel Management. OPM can decide to let a veteran
make a late deposit if an administrative error is evident. If OPM
doesn’t believe the veteran, he or she can appeal to the Merit Systems
Protection Board, and ultimately to the courts.
Sometimes appeals work. Sometimes they
don’t. In one case before the board, a retired veteran whose personnel
office had given him an obsolete form that didn’t mention the Catch-62
rule won the right to submit his deposit and save his pension. In
another case, a veteran whose retirement counselor told him the deposit
would cost thousands of dollars, when actually it would have cost
about $300, won his appeal before the merit board. In other cases,
it seemed that people who made a bad decision had second thoughts
when they saw the effect on their pensions.
The retirement application form that
OPM has used since 1993 clearly describes the Catch-62 rule, Wilson
said. Posters hung in agencies’ halls and instructions at retirement
seminars describe the Catch-62 rule as well, she said.
“This is a problem that's going to go
away in time because we won't have that many people working in government
who first came on before 1982,” Wilson said. “It's time-limited …
which doesn't alleviate the impact for someone who made a poor financial
Post-1982 Hires Beware
Veterans hired into civilian service
after 1982 shouldn’t rest easy just because the Catch-62 rule doesn’t
apply to them. Just ask Stephen Wisniewski, a veteran who works at
the Defense Logistics Agency in Battle Creek, Mich., and who will
retire under the Federal Employees Retirement System.
Wisniewski said he made a $200 deposit
through payroll deductions in the late 1980s. But Defense Finance
and Accounting Service (DFAS) officials can’t find his payroll records.
So they won’t give him credit for making the deposit.
In an e-mail last year to Wisniewski,
a DFAS worker explained that it was taking her a long time to look
for his record because “I am trying to sift through 10 years of records
to locate one piece of paper.” Then she added information that should
give pause to anyone whose records are housed at DFAS: “Not to mention
that for the most part, they aren’t in alphabetical order.… Sorry
that it is taking so long, but in 1988, we didn’t even exist, which
means that the work, if it is here, was transferred to us by disgruntled
employees losing their jobs.”
DFAS was created in 1991through the consolidation
of many of the finance and accounting operations of the armed forces
and Defense agencies. DFAS searched its records in Pensacola, Fla.,
Charleston, S.C., and Columbus, Ohio, unable to track down Wisniewski’s
Wisniewski said other veterans he knows
have discovered that DFAS lost their records. Retirement expert Flanagan
said examples like Wisniewski’s show the importance of keeping a copy
of all of your personnel documents. “I always remind my classes to
maintain their own ‘personal’ personnel folders,” she said. “You never
know when some documentation that is needed to prove credit for service
or a payment might turn up mysteriously missing.”
source: By Brian Friel
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