The USPS has unilaterally changed the Debt Collection language contained in the ELM. This language was proposed in 2018 and the national APWU filed a national dispute. The USPS has gone ahead with these changes and the highlights are:
Notices will be sent to the employee’s address of record and WILL SERVE AS OFFICIAL NOTIFICATION.
1. Installation heads will no longer issue the Letters of Demand or invoices.
2. Employees will be responsible to take action.
3. Grievances for defective Letters of Demand based on missing Installation Head signatures should be denied. This is now an automated process. Installation Heads will not be signing the LODs any longer. ELM Sections 450 and 460 will be updated to reflect this change.
4. Grievances for defective Letters of Demand based on untimely issuance or non-specific language on what the debt is for should also be denied. The automatic notifications are the “official notifications”. Language for the Letters of Demand has been approved by national unions and the USPS Law Department.
5. If no action is taken by the employee, AUTOMATIC PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS OF 15%will begin 60 days after the Letter of Demand is issued.
If you receive a LOD/Invoice at your home you need to see a steward immediately. If you haven’t changed your address with the USPS through Lite Blue the letter you are mailed will go to your address on file and the 60-day timeframe will begin. The local union will file a grievance claiming they are procedurally defective and the national will continue to fight the issue at HQ, but if you do nothing and they start collecting 15% of your pay, you will need to wait until resolution of the issue to get back your money.