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chapter 1
compliance with statutory policies

In addition to regularly scheduled consultations the parties continued to collaborate on the newly developed pay-for-performance (PFP) system. The parties held numerous discussions aimed at ensuring the proper administration of the PFP process, particularly the end-of-year 2004 evaluations as well as planning for the successful administration of the PFP process for 2005. Other significant matters discussed included implementation of the Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) offer for Postmasters, EAS-11 through EAS-18, changes to the compensation policy applicable to Postmaster Relief/Leave Replacements and Officers in Charge, and the Supervisory Differential Adjustment. Each management association will continue to take an active role in the development of new programs and policies at the Headquarters and field level as members of work teams and national task forces recommend necessary improvements to make the Postal Service successful.

c. Equal Employment Opportunity

Through the efforts of the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and the REDRESS (Resolve Employment Disputes, Reach Equitable Solutions Swiftly) program, requests for EEO counseling decreased by 11 percent and formal EEO complaints decreased by 6 percent for 2004.

REDRESS, a nationally recognized model program, utilizes outside mediators, and is offered in addition to traditional EEO counseling.

In 2004 the participation rates in the REDRESS program during the pre-complaint counseling process rose to more than 87 percent nationally, an increase over the 82 percent reached in 2003. When mediation is used, disputes are resolved at more than twice the rate of the traditional counseling process. During 2004 almost 72 percent of the almost 12,000 complaints mediated through the REDRESS program were successfully closed.

In January 2004 EEO investigations were centralized at a new National EEO Investigative Services Office (NEEOISO) in Tampa, FL. NEEOISO uses a staff of professional EEO analysts to monitor investigations done by private independent contractors. NEEOISO's goals are to produce high quality and timely EEO investigations in accordance with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations.

The use of private contract investigators helps maintain the required neutrality of the investigative process. Since January 2004 NEEOISO has closed more than 3,600 investigations.

d. Complement Management

The Postal Service utilizes a national complement planning, tracking, and management system with national standardized procedures and work processes. By standardizing complement management, performance cluster level management can determine appropriate complement plans by installation and function.

The Business Management Guide (BMG), in which complement plans are budget-based, has been rewritten to reflect changes in the latest computer systems environment. The Web Complement Information System (webCOINS), in which the BMG plans are converted to authorized staffing levels, has been enhanced to include Headquarters' staffing. Also, there are plans to link webCOINS with operational field review results to provide more accurate authorized staffing levels.

Area and cluster complement committees continue to expand their use of webCOINS to monitor and adjust complement to meet their plans. The Field Complement Plan has been developed and will house consolidated area and national complement forecasts. This will allow operations to track the effectiveness of current and projected complement plans.

In 2004 all complement coordinators were trained on Standardized Complement Committee Processes and this training will be rolled out to all Complement Committee members nationwide. Operations Complement Management, a Labor Relations unit, continues to enhance and develop new planning and tracking tools to support this standardization effort. These tools aid in management decision-making by local and area complement committees.

As an organization, the Postal Service must be aware of workforce dynamics, like attrition, and understand how to manage such complement changes. Complement management is being leveraged to drive costs down and address the changing business landscape.

C. Service to Small or Rural Communities

When the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 was enacted, the specific intent of Congress was to ensure effective postal services to residents of both urban and rural communities.