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USPS Organization Changes FAQs 2011

USPS Organization Changes FAQs 2011

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Published by PostalReporter.com

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Published by: PostalReporter.com on Mar 23, 2011
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Organizational Change FAQ's
Updated March 2011
The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) are based on the Postal Service’s general organizationalchange process. Specific organizational changes may involve different RIF avoidance-minimizationstrategies. Please refer to theOrganizational Changeswebsite  (https://liteblue.usps.gov/humanresources/organizationalchanges/oc_home.shtml?) for information onnational and other major organizational changes, which will include an Organizational Change Timeline andan At-A-Glance showing important events that will occur during the organizational change process. Refer toyour local and/or area office website for information on the organizational change process applicable to yourcompetitive area for a non-national or other non-major organizational change.
FAQ Categories: 
Reduction in Force Process and RIFAvoidance-Minimization Periods -General Inquiries
Federal Employees Health Benefits
Preference Eligible
Non-Preference Eligible
Federal Employees Group Life Insurance
Job Postings
Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
Severance Pay and Relocation
Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Saved Grade and Saved Pay
Retirement and Separation
Commuter Program
Social Security
Unemployment Compensation
Reduction in Force Process and RIF Avoidance-Minimization Periods– General Inquiries
1. What is the reduction in force (RIF) process?
The Postal Service must conduct the RIF process in a competitive area if at least one career employeeand/or certain noncareer employees will be demoted or separated due to a reorganization. A reorganizationcan include, for example, a change in the number, type, and/or level of positions in a continuing competitivearea, the closing of a competitive area, and/or the establishment of a new competitive area.
2. Is the RIF process conducted in the Postal Service in the same manner that it is conducted inother federal agencies?
Preference eligible Postal Service employees have rights similar to the rights that preference eligible federalcompetitive service employees have during the RIF process under the RIF statutes and the Office ofPersonnel Management’s (OPM’s). In addition, the Postal Service’s discretionary RIF policies apply to theRIF process for preference eligible employees.Only the Postal Service’s discretionary RIF policies apply to the RIF process for non-preference eligibleemployees. Non-preference eligible Postal Service employees do not have any of the rights that otherfederal non-preference eligible employees have during the RIF process under the RIF statutes and OPM’sRIF regulations.
3. What are RIF avoidance-minimization periods?
RIF avoidance-minimization periods are components of the Postal Service’s organizational change processthat the Postal Service within its discretion may implement to attempt to avoid the necessity of conductingthe RIF process in a competitive area, or, if the RIF process must be conducted in a competitive area, toattempt to minimize the separations, demotions, and reassignments to different same-level positions thatresult from the RIF process. During RIF avoidance-minimization periods, the strategies the Postal Servicemay use within its discretion include, for example:
offering voluntary early retirement opportunities to specific categories of employees after obtainingauthority from the Office of Personnel Management; and/or
offering employees opportunities to apply for posted jobs.
4. What is the Organizational Change Timeline and the At-A-Glance?
The Organizational Change Timeline and the At-A-glance show the important events that will occur from thetime the announcement of the organizational change in the competitive area is made to the end of theReinstatement List period. If there is no national or other major organizational change pending in anycompetitive area, a generic timeline can be found on theOrganizational Changeswebsite(https://liteblue.usps.gov/humanresources/organizationalchanges/oc_home.shtml?). If there is a specificnational or other major organizational change pending in a competitive area, the related OrganizationalChange Timeline and At-a-Glance will also be posted on the Organizational Changes website at the time ofthat organizational change announcement.
5. Does the RIF process include all employees throughout the Postal Service?
No. Only employees in a competitive area(s) undergoing organizational change may be subject to the RIFprocess. Depending upon the particular circumstances existing in a competitive area undergoingorganizational change, the RIF process may or may not need to be conducted in that competitive area.
6. What is a competitive area?
The Postal Service divides its organizational structure into multiple competitive areas based on the followingfactors:
organizational factors (separate operation, work function, staff, and personnel managementauthority); and
geographical location factors.The most current listing of competitive areas is found in the Postal Bulletin, which is referenced on theOrganizational Changeswebsite(https://liteblue.usps.gov/humanresources/organizationalchanges/oc_home.shtml?).During the RIF process, employees in a competitive area may be assigned to positions only within theircompetitive area.
7. How will I be notified that I will be assigned to a different position or separated due to the RIFprocess?
If you will be separated, demoted, or reassigned to a different position at the same level as your currentposition, you will be notified in a Specific RIF Notice that will be sent to you by certified mail.
8. If I am notified that I am an employee potentially impacted by the organizational change in mycompetitive area, what opportunities do I have to find another Postal Service position?
The RIF avoidance-minimization strategies applicable to your organizational change may include one ormore opportunities for employees to apply for posted jobs. If so, you will be provided information describingthose opportunities, including the Organizational Change Timeline and At-A-Glance posted on theOrganizational Changes website if your competitive area is involved in a national or other majororganizational change. Some examples are listed below. These may or may not be a feature of the RIFavoidance-minimization strategies applicable to any one organizational change:
Job postings within your competitive area only.
Job postings throughout the area undergoing RIF avoidance-minimization, not just the competitivearea.
After voluntary early retirement (VER). VER eligible employees who accept the VER increase thenumber of possible landing spots for potentially impacted, non-VER eligible employees.
Residual postings of vacancies, which may occur under the regular posting process.
9. If I apply for a job posting in my competitive area or in a different competitive area during a RIFavoidance-minimization period, am selected for the position, and then am placed into the position, isit possible for me to lose my new position before the organizational change process concludes?
If the RIF process was conducted in the competitive area where your new position is located before youwere placed into the position, you will not lose your new position before the organizational change processconcludes.If the RIF process was conducted in the competitive area where your new position is located after you wereplaced into the position, it is possible for you to lose your new position if a preference eligible employee hasthe right to be assigned to that position during the RIF process.

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