PS Form 50 Personnel Actions
(This article first appeared in the May-June 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)
By Support Services Director Steve Brooks
I am writing this as an attempt to inform APWU officers and employees at all levels across the country of problems that continue to exist. These problems can cost employees thousands of dollars. I am talking about the untimely processing of PS Form 50s.
PS Form 50s are personnel actions generated due to some type of change in employee status. PS Form 50 actions are generated by the Human Resources Share Service Center (HRSSC) in Greensboro, NC and are initiated by local HR personnel, supervisors and managers. When a change to employee status is necessary, it is the responsibility of the local USPS representative to complete the appropriate online form and submit it to HRSSC for processing.
It is critical that this notification take place in a timely manner. If HRSSC is notified after the official, effective date of change or incorrect information is submitted, a PS Form 50 may not be generated in a timely manner.
When an employee is converting from a Part-Time Flexible (PTF) or Postal Support Employee (PSE) to a full-time career employee, it is imperative that the PS Form 50 is processed the same pay period in which the conversion is effective. Every time a PS Form 50 is generated in a pay period after the effective date, it has the potential to cause an employee to be paid incorrectly.
These actions have generated a large volume of work for the bargaining unit payroll technicians and specialists at Eagan Accounting Services. The employees in Eagan receive a copy of each PS Form 50 that is processed by HRSSC on a daily basis. During a typical pay period, between 25,000 and 30,000 PS Form 50s are processed. It is the Accounting Services bargaining unit employees’ responsibility to review each PS Form 50 and determine whether or not some type of payroll adjustment is necessary.
Management representatives across the country do not seem to care whether or not their employees are paid correctly. This is evident in the fact that they take no action when asked to review an employee’s hours after a late conversion to career action takes place. Many newly converted PSEs are unfamiliar with the fact that when they become a career employee, they are guaranteed a bid schedule. They are entitled to holidays, overtime, out of schedule and so many other rights that they were not afforded as a PSE. They are entitled to these benefits as of the effective date of that conversion, not as of the date that the PS Form 50 was generated.
As an example, when a late conversion to career PS Form 50 is processed, and an employee at Eagan receives a copy for review and processing, they follow a process to attempt to make the change. They must review the employee designation code, salary, hours paid, leave earning status and credit hours for accuracy. The technicians and specialists know that due to this late action the employee, at minimum, must have their pay adjusted according to the change to full-time.
Unfortunately, too often, Eagan does not receive the required information from postal management. What this means is the Accounting Service worker assigned is unable to make the appropriate adjustments to hours that the employee may be entitled to.
So, I write this to inform employees converted to career positions, to review their pay and approach management with the hours and pay they should have been entitled to. Union officials at the local level should work with every employee converted to full-time to ensure they are paid the appropriate premiums. Management often takes the easy way out and does not advise Eagan to make any adjustments to hours, so employees lose out on pay.