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Postal Pay

There are multiple pay structures within the Postal Service. Each bargaining unit has its own pay schedule as well as administrative rules for personnel action processing. There is also a separate pay schedule, as well as administrative rules, for non-bargaining employees including postmasters, supervisors and managers. Executives and officers have their own pay schedule and rules which include a general pay cap of the Executive Level I rate and a cap on total compensation, including bonuses, of the Vice President’s salary; that limit can be exceeded for small numbers of executives whose skills are deemed critical. Also, there are a variety of on-call, temporary and leave replacement employees (considered non-career employees) who have multiple ranges of hourly pay rates, depending on their occupation.

Typical occupations, or “crafts,” include city carriers, rural carriers, mail handlers, clerks, maintenance employees, custodians, computer programmers and payroll specialists. The pay schedule that covers postmasters, supervisors and staff managers is called the Executive and Administrative Schedule (EAS), which has 26 pay grades. Attorneys have a pay schedule with a single pay grade. The pay schedule for executives and officers has two pay grades.

Employees are paid every two weeks, generally 26 times each year. A pay period cycle begins on a Saturday and covers a two-week period ending on a Friday (in contrast to the cycle for most other federal employees that runs from a Sunday through the second following Saturday).   

Pay for bargaining unit employees typically is raised several times a year, depending on the bargaining unit and contract language. For all other employees, raises typically are paid once a year, the first full pay period in January. 

Current salary schedules are on USPS’s intranet site, https://liteblue.usps.gov, and on postal employee organization sites (see Chapter 13, Section 3).

Computing Postal Pay  

Full-Time Employees—Annual salary is divided by 26. The pay for anything less than a full biweekly pay period (80 hours), or specifically the hourly rate, is computed by dividing the annual salary by 2,080 hours. 

Part-Time, Regular Schedule Employees—The equivalent annual salary rate for most of these employees can be computed by multiplying the hourly rate by 2,080.   

Part-Time, Flexible Schedule Employees—The equivalent annual salary rate for these employees is computed by multiplying the hourly rate by 2,000, the number of working hours in 52 weeks less holidays. 

Gross pay is subject to payroll taxes, as well as withholding for federal and state income taxes. The Postal Service offers several pre-tax benefits programs including flexible spending accounts for health and dependent care expenses as well as a commuter benefits program and payment of health insurance and vision-dental insurance premiums with pre-tax payroll withholding. Other deductions such as Thrift Savings Plan investments further affect net pay. See Chapter 1, Section 10.

Overtime and Premium Pay 

The U.S. Postal Service complies with the Fair Labor Standards Act, and provides overtime compensation at a rate of time-and-a-half for employees in eligible job titles. Certain employees are also paid additional compensation due to night work, work performed on Sunday or December 25 (Christmas Day). Employees receive 10 paid holidays each year for a total of 80 paid hours. Premiums to basic compensation are paid to most employees according to the applicable labor contracts.

Pay Increases 

Bargaining unit employees whose compensation is covered by a labor contract receive pay increases due to length of service (called “step increases”), cost of living adjustments (which adjust wages for inflation), and across-the-board “general” increases.  

Non-bargaining employees receive increases in compensation under the pay for performance (PFP) system. PFP increases are received annually and reflect the employee’s individual contribution and the organization’s success. 

Pay Upon Promotion

An employee promoted within the bargaining unit receives a pay increase determined by the appropriate bargaining unit agreement. A bargaining unit employee promoted to an EAS position normally receives at least a 5 percent increase in pay. A non-bargaining employee promoted within the EAS schedule normally receives an increase of 3 to 10 percent of pay.

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