I recently received a call from some NAPS members complaining about their pay. One member shared they have been an EAS-17 employee for six years and makes only $62,000 a year. However, the grade’s maximum is over $85,000. They wanted to know how that could be even remotely fair when craft employees make more.
They also expressed how disheartening it is to come to work daily knowing your compensation is not reflective of your daily workload. Ultimately, they wanted to know how they go about appealing this injustice.
I certainly can empathize with these employees because I have been having this same conversation for years. I have heard this frustration not just from my own members, but from NAPS members across the country. Unfortunately, I only could explain the source of the issue and what it might take to change it.
I explained to these members that we still are working under a Pay-for-Performance program drafted for 2011 to 2015. Even though the program has long expired, the Postal Service continues to use it with only modest modifications mostly designed to avoid giving a few members cash payouts when they reach the top of their pay grades.
The USPS increased the top of the scale by a percentage that avoids the modest pay increases an average EAS employee would get in a single year. This only would impact a few NAPS members because very few are at the top of their pay grades. The agency also increased the lower end of the pay scale, thereby impacting even fewer EAS employees. Because our pay grade minimums and maximums are so wide, very few EAS employees are on the very bottom of their grades.
I further explained that, as EAS employees, if your pay was not at or near the top of the pay scale in 2010, then you highly likely are not near the top now. In the past 10 years, the pay of EAS employees has taken a dramatic decline relative to the years before 2010.