RE: SCHEMELESS SORTATION
Click Here [pdf] for information on DSS, Delivery Sortation System aka Delivery Schemeless Sortation. It uses the same machine as PASS, the Passive Adaptive Scanning System, which scans the package barcode as “Arrived in Unit.”
Click Here [pdf] for the safety certificate received from Assistant Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks.
APWU Web News Article #048-14, March 10, 2014
Lynn Pallas-Barber Appointed Assistant Clerk Craft Director
The APWU Clerk Division Council approved the appointment of Lynn Pallas-Barber to the position of Assistant Clerk Craft Director “B” at a meeting on March 7. Pallas-Barber fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Lyle Krueth in January.
Pallas-Barber was recommended by Clerk Craft Director Clint Burelson. “Lynn is level headed, has good union values, and is not afraid to speak her mind,” he said. “Her past experience in handling excessing issues for the Central Region, arbitration experience, institutional memory, and geographic perspective will all serve to complement and add value to the current Clerk Craft officers and the union as a whole.”
Pallas-Barber is serving as Clerk Craft National Business Agent “C” in the Chicago Region, as position she has held since 2004. She is a member of the 498-499 Area Local in Michigan, and has attended every National Convention since 1990.
APWU Web News Article #047-14, March 10, 2014
USPS Withdraws Challenge, PSE Hours Count Toward Desirable Duty Assignments
Converted Unencumbered Regulars to be Assigned to Residual Vacancies
The Postal Service has withdrawn a challenge to provisions in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that require management to post newly created duty assignments using all available work hours — including hours worked by Postal Support Employees, Clerk Craft officers report.
“I am happy to announce this dispute has been resolved,” said Assistant Clerk Director Lamont Brooks. “All available work hours, including those worked by PSEs, can be used to create desirable duty assignments.”
The Postal Service initiated a Step 4 Interpretive Review on Oct. 24, 2013, asserting that management was not required to cobble together hours worked by PSEs when creating new assignments.
As a result of the dispute, all grievances involving the use of PSE hours to create desirable duty assignments have been held in abeyance, pending settlement of the case. Those cases should now be heard in accordance with Article 15 of the contract.
The Feb. 25 settlement [PDF] says, “After further discussion the parties agree there is no interpretive issue of general application in this grievance and as such the Postal Service withdraws this case from Step 4. Article 37.3.A.1 obligates the Postal Service to make every effort to create desirable duty assignments from all available work hours for career employees to bid; however, this does not require the conversion of PSEs to career.”
Conversion of Unencumbered
The union and management settled another important national-level grievance on Feb. 25, stipulating that newly converted unencumbered regulars will be assigned to residual vacancies, in accordance with Article 37.4 of the contract.
The dispute arose when management converted part-time regular and part-time flexible employees to full time on Aug. 27, 2011, and placed them in work assignments of less than 40 hours per week.
The APWU asserted that the employees should have been assigned to available residual vacancies, positions that remained open at the completion of the voluntary bidding process. The settlement endorsed the union’s position.
RE: Great Expectations!
As Usual, this was never discussed with the Union.
In fact as soon as I found out about it I informed the Plant Manager that this was not acceptable. We aren't keying for bids!
In a time when management in that plant still keeps running one person per machine on tour 1, I am not going to allow phony work standards on another tour!
Not no but HELL NO!
RE: Great expectations
Reminds me of the great American key-off of the LSM days only to pit each crew against one another to increase production so in the end they had higher goals and numbers and the results were less crews and jobs.
USPS News Link - Great expectations
February 28, 2014
The Orlando, FL, P&DC recently set its sights on reaching a major goal — processing more than 800,000 pieces of mail each day.
The crews worked on four machines, and a chart was placed on the wall to track their daily progress. The goal was to process more than 200,000 pieces per machine or 800,000 pieces during 8-hour tours.
With friendly competition motivating each team, the P&DC surpassed its goal, processing a total 1 million pieces in 8 hours Dec. 4. And to show the achievement was no fluke, employees repeated the feat 8 days later.
RE: Nolan Excessing Arbitration Award
The significance of the Nolan excessing arbitration award is that NTFTs are usually the junior clerks! Where will they go? It also blocks NTFTs being excessed to the Mail Handler craft. They have the same definition of full-time in their contract.
The NALC won a huge victory for their people. People considering voluntarily bidding NTFT positions should be forewarned of the risks.
APWU Web News Article #038-14, Feb. 28, 2014
Arbitrator Rules on NTFT Excessing
Arbitrator Dennis R. Nolan has ruled that APWU members holding Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) assignments may not be excessed into full-time positions in the Letter Carrier Craft if they don’t meet the definition of full-time employees specified in the Postal Service’s contract with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC).
In a decision [pdf] issued Feb. 16, Nolan ruled that an employee holding a 30-hour per week duty assignment in the Clerk Craft is not considered a full-time employee within the meaning of the NALC Collective Bargaining Agreement and therefore may not be excessed into a full-time Letter Carrier position withheld for excess full-time employees. Arbitrator Nolan concluded that the contract of the “gaining” union in excessing situations controls the determination of how the position may be filled.
Arbitrator Nolan also concluded that all employees occupying NTFT duty assignments are full-time employees under the APWU National Agreement. This means that any employee in a NTFT duty assignment who is identified as impacted for excessing by virtue of his or her seniority standing may only be excessed into a full-time career position.
The APWU intervened in the NALC arbitration case to protect the interests of APWU members and the integrity of APWU Collective Bargaining Agreement. Arbitrator Nolan did that by affirming that, “The APWU is indisputably correct that its agreements, and arbitral authority under them, treat NTFT clerks as full-time employees entitled to all the protections of that classification.” Furthermore, he wrote, “An employer cannot reasonably promise contradictory things to different unions… If the Postal Service does negotiate conflicting agreements, either intentionally or (more likely) by accident and oversight, it is stuck with the result.”
The National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) also intervened in the case, noting that the NPMHU National Agreement has the same definition of “full-time” as the NALC National Agreement.
APWU President Mark Dimondstein and Director of Industrial Relations Tony McKinnon are in discussions with our sister unions and the Postal Service on the implementation and effect of this award on involuntary reassignments.
If there is a PSE in an office 6 miles away not being utilized in a PSE capacity on one certain day of the week, can the PSE be assigned to work in another office so that a Career Clerk can obtain a more desirable work schedule?
Also, can a PSE fill in for a PMR?
Via APWU Western Regional Coordinator Omar Gonzalez:
Attached please review a recent NALC arbitration award regarding the USPS practice of excessing clerks into carrier assignments. As of yet the full ramifications of this decision on APWU bargaining units has not been expressed by our HQ DIR but I wanted to get the word out to our Region.
NTFT Excessing Arbitration Award: Case No. Q06N-4Q-C 12114440 [pdf]
February 16, 2014
Related: NTFT clerks excessed into letter carrier craft - March 2012 NALC Postal Record article [pdf]
Also See: US OPM FOIA response letter - November 30, 2012 [pdf]
Looking for information regarding critical dispatch. Specifically, is there a time frame or window for this or is the minute the mail enters the plant until the last truck leaves considered critical dispatch. Seems like their should be a time frame for this for mandating non-volunteers.
APWU Web News Article #030-14, Feb. 18, 2014
Article 1.6.B ‘Global Settlement’
Finally! USPS Provides Documentation
Ten months after the APWU won an arbitration case protesting violations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the USPS has provided the APWU with documentation — thousands and thousands of pages of documentation — necessary to determine the remedy, announced Director of Industrial Relations Tony McKinnon Sr. ...
"When the 90-day period ended on Jan. 19, 2014, the USPS supplied the documentation.
Now the APWU must meet with the Postal Service to ascertain how management developed the figures the USPS provided, review the documentation, verify its accuracy, and calculate appropriate monetary remedies.
McKinnon has appointed Chris Ulmer, executive assistant to the Industrial Relations director, as the point person for this project. We will provide updates as additional information becomes available."
Can Management set aside all the jobs in (044 OPN) manual section for Clerks who have been injured on the job (DBCS'S)?
Some of them have permanent injuries.
USPS REDESIGNS POINT OF SALE (POS) RECEIPT BASED CUSTOMER SURVEY - NAPUS.org
On February 7, 2014, the Postal Service notified NAPUS of the redesign of the Point of Sale (POS) receipt based customer survey. The redesign is one of several initiatives to improve the customer experience. Research has shown that customer surveys have become the retail industry standard for obtaining customer feedback.
The redesigned POS Survey has five core questions and one open ended question. The customer is asks to rate five questions that are designed to measure customer satisfaction, sales associate knowledge, and wait time in line. The final open ended question asks the customer “What should this Post Office do to improve your satisfaction with the service you received?”
To promote this initiative the Sales and Service Associate (SSA) will be required to ask customers to complete an on-line survey and will be required to circle the URL at the bottom of the POS Receipt at the end of all customer transactions. By drawing the customer’s attention to the survey website, we can increase the response rate and gain feedback actionable feedback to improve the customer experience.
The survey will not be used as an evaluation of the SSA, nor will it be used to administer any corrective action. Additionally, there is no information that will be entered into the survey that links the customer response to SSA. The survey responses entered by the customer are rolled up into National, Area and District reports to provide data on overall customer satisfaction.
71. Can management change the hours, off days, duties and/or position title of a vacant duty assignment?
Response: Yes, provided the change is made either within twenty-eight (28) days of the vacancy or when the assignment is posted with the affected change(s), whichever occurs first.
2012 USPS-APWU Joint Contract Interpretation Manual - Section 3.A.2 [pdf]
Can management change the hours, off days or duties on an assignment that has been vacant for over 28 days once the assignment is posted for bid?
Anyone else experiencing major screw-ups on their paychecks? This a local management issue or is this a broad problem due to the TACS consolidations?
USPS OIG Audit Report Number DR-AR-14-002 [pdf]
January 22, 2014
Self-service kiosks (SSKs) are in about 2,300 post offices nationwide. The majority of the kiosks are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SSKs enable customers to buy stamps and postal products and to process about 80 percent of those transactions normally handled by retail window clerks.
The U.S. Postal Service evaluates the effectiveness of an SSK by measuring the customer adoption percentage, which is the percentage of applicable transactions performed at an SSK instead of by a retail clerk.
Our objective was to assess the SSK initiative in customer service operations.
WHAT THE OIG FOUND:
Customers were not using SSKs as anticipated. As of June 30, 2013, the SSK performance rate was 26.11 percent, 8.9 percentage points below the fiscal year (FY) 2013 nationwide customer adoption percentage target of 35 percent. This occurred due to several factors, including inconsistent signage, positioning of some SSKs in partially obscured locations, and lobby assistants who were not always trained and used effectively to promote SSK usage. The Postal Service could eliminate over 249,877 customer service retail window workhours and save about $12 million annually if it improved SSK promotion and customer assistance on the use of SSKs.
The Postal Service also incurred unnecessary SSK supply costs in FY 2012. A software issue prevented kiosk sensors from correctly identifying when all label paper used to print on-demand stamps had been used. Management began corrective action in February 2013 to address the sensor issue; therefore, we are not making a recommendation on this issue.
In related matters, we provided management with kiosk-related industry strategies and implementation practices for its consideration.
WHAT THE OIG RECOMMENDED:
We recommended the vice president, Delivery and Post Office Operations, and the vice president, Channel Access, establish a national initiative to train additional lobby assistants, and assess SSK signage and placement. We also recommended deploying lobby assistants to promote and educate customers on SSK usage and eliminate 249,877 workhours to achieve cost savings of about $24 million over 2 years. Finally, we recommended evaluating industry best practices using SSKs and identifying any barriers to implementation.
Five of the 15 offices the OIG visited are using managers and supervisors for Lobby Assistants! Seven others are using none at all. Instead of sending injured workers and other employees home for “no work available,” why don’t they use them as Lobby Assistants?
USPS News Link - Think outside the building
mPOS test successful in Santa Ana District
January 24, 2014
Santa Ana District is one of seven districts testing the mobile point of sale system (mPOS) at select locations, with significant results.
Based on the success of assisting customers before reaching the retail counter at the Irvine, CA, Post Office, Pacific Area VP Dean Granholm suggested employees could assist customers before they entered the building. Irvine, CA, Officer-in-Charge Bob Swanson took on the challenge and expanded the test into the facility’s parking lot.
“Being greeted before they even walk in the front door is a pleasant surprise for our customers and really enhances the retail customer experience,” said Swanson.
The mPOS system consists of three wireless units ― the mPOS device, which is an iPod Touch equipped with a USPS app for specialized functionality; a receipt printer, which can be worn on a belt; and a postage label printer.
The device allows lobby assistants to quickly conduct simple transactions on the spot for customers who are using credit cards or non-PIN debit cards, such as selling select Forever stamps, Priority Mail flat-rate postage and retail products. Customers can also sign for mail when required on the mPOS device. Additionally, the device can scan prepaid packages for acceptance and provide customers a choice of an email or printed receipt.
USPS News Link - Timekeeper
New TACS facility streamlines services, cuts costs
January 21, 2014
Time and Attendance Collection System (TACS) functions have recently been merged into a TACS Help Desk, located at the Eagan, MN, Accounting Service Center.
"In October 2013, the project team began consolidating timekeeping processes at the Eagan location. These functions had previously been handled by hundreds of clerks in districts around the country. “We’re about two-thirds of the way towards bringing support into Eagan from all of the districts in the country,” said Parris."
"When the consolidation process is completed at the end of January, the TACS Help Desk staff of 100 clerks will be able to perform the work that was previously done in the field."
Related: APWU, USPS Reach Agreement on TACS Jobs - February 7, 2013 - APWU.org
PSEs Not in Clerk Complement for Lead Clerks - APWU.org
(01/16/14) In a decision [pdf] issued Jan. 10, Arbitrator Shyam Das ruled that Clerk Craft PSEs should not be included in the Clerk Craft complement for the purpose of determining whether Lead Clerk positions must be created in a facility.
The Postal Service initiated this dispute, arguing that the phrase “clerk craft complement” is limited to the “career craft complement” and that the ratios outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement do not specifically mention PSEs.
The APWU argued that the plain language of the contract does not limit the complement to career clerks. The union also demonstrated that the Postal Service commonly issues various “complement reports” that include PSEs.
The APWU contended that the Postal Service bore the burden of proof in this case because it initiated the dispute. Arbitrator Das disagreed, stating, “It is difficult to see any meaningful way in which the initiating party has a greater burden in this respect.”
In his ruling, Arbitrator Das reasoned that the bargaining history showed that the meaning of the term “clerk craft component” was never discussed and that if the intent was for the PSEs to be included in applying the Lead Clerk ratio in the Clerk Craft Jobs MOU, it would have been specifically designated.
Although Arbitrator Das said the union’s argument “has some appeal,” he added, “While a close question, on balance I conclude that the Postal Service’s position on the interpretive issue in this case is more persuasive than that of the Union.”
I need help because, for the last three years, every time I've asked my boss how soon management will post the NTFT position(s) for bid they have been telling me the same answer - that they do not know because of the merge of two postal cities together. Thank You!
Not sure on a time frame but I do know of one former PSE who had about two years total in service and is now a Postmaster in a Level 13 office.
Has anyone had any luck getting mgmt. to create/post the delivery/sales service/distribution position?
Are PSE's eligible to apply for EAS career positions within the USPS after an elapsed period of time in service? At all? Thanks
Has anyone had success in enforcing the 204b issue and what have you found is the best remedy?
My plant is on the list for closure but there are 6 clerk positions that have been vacated for over 28 days due to Clerks transferring to other Facilities. Management's position is that the Plant is under Art. 12 and therefore the jobs will not be posted for bid. Since the jobs have not been reverted, would not this be a violation of Art. 37.3.A.1?
APWU Web News Article #001-14, Jan. 3, 2014
Assistant Clerk Director Krueth Retires
APWU Assistant Clerk Craft Director Lyle Krueth retired on Jan. 3, ending a career that spanned more than three decades.
Before becoming assistant director in 2010, he served as a Central Region National Business Agent (beginning in 1995), Minnesota state president (1994), Minneapolis Area Local president (1989) and a variety of other local positions.
“Lyle is a living APWU encyclopedia,” said Clerk Craft Director Clint Burelson. “He imparted information in a calm, rational, clear and concise manner. Lyle enjoyed discussing the different angles of a situation.”
Krueth began his career in 1980 in Minneapolis, where he worked as a Postage Due Clerk. Six months later, when he called in sick for the first time, his supervisor told him that all part-time flexibles had to provide medical documentation. Krueth brought in a doctor’s note, but co-workers urged him to file a grievance. He did.
Nine months later, when he inquired about the status of his grievance, he couldn’t get a straight answer. One person said it was denied and closed at Step 2; another said it was still pending at Step 2. He went to the union office, where he learned no grievance had been filed. He complained to Local President Frosty Newman, who asked him to become a steward.
“I didn’t plan to become a union steward when I went to office that day,” Krueth recalled, “but I figured I couldn’t do any worse.”
Newman also gave him a job organizing and filing the local’s arbitration awards. “To file them, I had to read them,” Krueth recalls. He credits that experience with giving him an initial understanding of the contract.
Prior to his postal career, in 1970, Krueth was drafted into the army and served two years, including 14 months in Vietnam. He attended the University of Minnesota Law School on the G.I. bill and passed the bar, but never practiced law. He applied the lessons he learned in law school to benefit the members of the APWU.
In parting, Krueth said, “I’d encourage anyone who’s ever thought about getting involved to do so, because ultimately it is rewarding,” he said. “It’s been a learning experience since the very beginning. I don’t regret it one bit.”
President Mark Dimondstein praised Krueth’s contribution to the union and said, “Thanks, Brother Lyle, for your years of service to the APWU. We wish you a long, healthy and productive retirement.”
Assistant Director Lamont Brooks said, “I would like to thank my friend and colleague for his many years of service to the APWU membership. While he may be retired I will from time to time tap into his source of knowledge. He was truly a hard working and dedicated union officer who refused to celebrate his retirement with any sort of recognition or fanfare.”
What will become of the vacant position? There is no mention of filling/abolishing it in the apwu.org news article. - RZ
APWU Constitution - ARTICLE 7 General Officers SEC. 1. (a)
"Subject to the President’s authority under Article 21, he or she shall fill all vacancies from any cause whatsoever, subject to approval by a majority of the members of the National Executive Board, or shall combine the duties of a vacant position when they can be absorbed by other officers, subject to the approval of two-thirds (2/3) of the National Executive Council. If a vacant position is not abolished at the next National Convention by the delegates, the position will be placed on the ballot for the next election following the convention. The President shall be empowered to appoint the necessary staff at national headquarters and throughout the organization to carry on the necessary programs of the Union such as industrial engineers, economists, financial technicians, industrial relations technicians, public relations personnel and national organizers;"
APWU Constitution - ARTICLE 21 Succession of Officers and Vacancies
(a) The President shall fill all vacancies of general officers, administrative and departmental officers, Director of Support Services and Director of Clerk Division, subject to a majority approval of the National Executive Board.
(b) In the Motor Vehicle Service (MVS) Division, Maintenance Division and Clerk Division, the respective Directors shall fill all vacancies or combine duties of a vacant position, when they can be absorbed by other officers, subject to the approval of a majority of members of the individual Division Councils. If a vacant position is not abolished at the next convention by the delegates, the position will be placed on the ballot for the next election following that convention.
One other little cite to be used in enforcing breaks in addition to your references is OSHA's General Duty Clause.
32) Do I get rest breaks? If so, how long are they?
All employees are entitled to reasonable rest breaks. If there is no standard practice in your office, a 10-minute rest break after two hours work is generally considered reasonable. If there is not a standard time for rest breaks in your office and you are refused a rest break, contact your union steward.
(APWU Members-At-Large FAQs - added by RZ)
Requirements for "nature breaks" and weather-related "comfort breaks" for US Postal Service employee
(OSHA 2006, May 12 - added by RZ)
As far as I can recall the only Handbook and Manual that USPS ever codified employee breaks in was the manual that applied to the Multi-Position, Letter Sorting Machines (MPLSMs). Specifically, 15-minutes duration every two hours, plus or minus 15-minutes (1-hour - 45 minutes to 2-hours - 15-minutes) of operation. Whether or not manuals governing the CFS and REC site operations had similar language I cannot attest to with authority, but they likely may have due to the type of keying repetition and similarity of LSM work.
That being said, having worked in three P&DFs during my career, all three extended at one time or other 15-minute breaks to the manual clerks (and all craft employees), as well as to the LSM clerks, with the exception of the casual employees who were not generally covered by either the CBA or the respective LMOUs.
From time-to-time, however, an enterprising new Postmaster, Plant Manager or Director of Mail Processing would come along and attempt to invoke the "ambiguous" language in the current CBA at that time or interpretive current LMOU language or absent language from other Handbooks and Manuals so as to reinstate 10-minute breaks to employees otherwise NOT LSM clerks. This, of course, would compel local union officials to once again battle to use both inherent LMOU language along with established "past practice" to regain that which had been in force for many years. Normally it did not take long to get the 15-minute breaks back for everyone, and as a matter of equitability 15-minute breaks were also afforded to TEs and casuals as well. Sometimes the Mail Handlers had to struggle a little harder, however.
It boggles my mind that in 2013 that this issue still escapes the minds of many, particularly as to enforcement. ELM Sections 432.32 and 432.33, coupled with the applicable articles and sub-sections of the CBA, including Articles 19 & 30, clearly define how Maximum Hours Allowed, Mealtimes, and Breaks are to be administered.
Maximum Hours Allowed, along with the craft articles, determine how bid assignments are to be structured, ergo how mealtimes are to be incorporated within a duty assignment (length and duration). How long an employee may be required to work before being permitted a "meal or rest period" is clearly stated by ELM 432.33. That applies to ALL employees incidentally. And breaks have been codified by Article 19 (LSM), various LMOUs and various local past practices nigh on to eons, and now further reinforced by new language in the current CBA and JCIM.
All of these references (current and historical) are and should be in your arsenal to ensure that employees receive their proper meal and "rest" periods. This issue ain't nothing new. This is Old School and simple Steward 101.
I don't think it is much of a stretch to make the argument that in an 8 hour day, a PSE, PTF, or FTR already should have 2 breaks and a lunch.
Granted, the only language we had that specifically addressed rest breaks in the past were in REC sites, CFS and LSMs. Obviously the best was the LSM language negotiated by my friend Kenny Wilson. And in those installations, at least the ones I know of, all clerks then had 2 breaks and a lunch per 8 hours, simply because is was disparate to give one group of employees 2 15 minute breaks while others only got 2 10 minute breaks. When the LSMs were scrapped, management never came back to shorten the breaks back to 10.
I can see the logic you use to define breaks for clerks in general, however, the CBA is specifically referring to NTFT's in this interpretation. Is there something special that NTFT's perform that would require special treatment regarding breaks over a normal clerk? Or is it because Management's tendencies are to abuse the NTFT more often than a FTR, therefore requiring an additional rest period?
Regarding breaks in the clerk craft......
Part of the Damned new National Agreement, in that Damned NTFT Duty Assignment MOU on page 313 of the CBA, states, "12. NTFT Duty assignments of more than 9 hours in a service day shall include a third break excluding lunch."
Simply interpreted, in an 8 hour day then, a clerk gets 2 breaks plus lunch. In a 9 hour day, you get 3 breaks plus lunch.
A lot of great stuff in that new Contract, if only people would read the Damned thing!
APWU Files Challenge - APWU.org
The union filed a Step 4 dispute in November, challenging management’s decision to establish Sales Retention Team jobs without assigning the positions to the Clerk Craft and without posting the jobs for bid. Management’s actions violate Article 1.5 and 37.3.A.1 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the dispute notes. The USPS first notified the APWU of a “pilot test” of the sales team concept in St. Petersburg FL on Oct. 19, 2012; on June 27, 2013, management informed the APWU that the program would be expanded to six additional sites. Since then, the program has been extended to 12 locations. “It is clear that this program is no longer a ‘pilot’ in any sense of the word,” the Step 4 dispute says. Furthermore, the Collective Bargaining Agreement makes no exception to contractual requirements for such programs, the dispute points out.
When management says the Clerk craft in an office earns 9.5 employees is that only Career employees or is it Career + PSE and does the round up rule apply here?
Charles - Good luck finding anything on breaks. If I recall the LSM was the only piece of equipment that had a regular break requirement and schedule.
The only mention of breaks I can think of, in the national agreement, is in the NTFT MOU where it states that an employee working over nine hours is entitled to a third break. (no mention of duration)
I need to know where in any handbooks or manuals can I find about break times and duration.
At my facility (T-1), we have containers of outside parcels comes in from a P&DC and Mail Handlers are sorting the parcels to all the other area offices for dispatch. Should this work belong to the Clerk craft?
10 Fargo PSEs Converted to Career! - FargoAPWU.org
December 13, 2013
"Friday the 13th was a very lucky day for 10 PSE Clerks, as management agreed to converted the top ten in Fargo to Full-Time career status, effective 12/14/13.
Earlier in the day the APWU sent an e-mail to Dakotas District, requesting several conversions to career status. By late afternoon Plant Manager Paul Rowe announced that the USPS agreed to convert the top ten, effective the next day.
The new full-time regular career clerks will be given regular hours and days off as unassigned or unencumbered employees.
It is anticipated that the conversions are in preparation for Fargo anticipated APBS machine, projected to arrive in early 2014. More career positions and additional PSE Clerks will be needed to handle the extra work load.
Congratulations to our newest full-time career employees!"
We have been verbally informed that the Postmaster Secretary position has been eliminated, nationwide, in offices Level 24 and below. Has anyone else experienced or heard this?
APWU Members Veronica Nunez and Jeff Trease posted about the SPBS/APBS chair issue on October 7, 2011 (scroll down to view their 2011 posts). Maybe emailing them can yield you the information you need.
At my P7DC, we are using the full chair with the back and arm rest. It has been a past practice issue on the APBS/SPBS for us to have this since they put the machine in our facility. If you are having difficulties getting the entire chair setup, I would file a safety grievance and possible get OSHA involved in the whole thing. Your clerks should have a right to having correct ergonomic materials and equipment to perform their jobs safely and to try and avoid any possible injuries. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you with this.
I am having troubles at my facility with regards to chairs used on the SPBS/APBS machine. They are only letting us use the rest bar that is used mainly, or only in the mail casing area. Most facilities are using chairs with back, arm, and height adjustment, kind of like any computer office chair. I need pictures of what chairs any of you are using on your machines please and how you got to use them on the machine. We are desperate! Please respond with pictures and explanations. I can use all the help I can get as our plant manager and supervisor are both against us using anything other than the rest bar.
Oakland APWU Wins Over $1M For 24 Former USPS CFS Clerks In Historic Arbitration Award - PostalReporter.com
November 29, 2013
According to Fredric Jacobs, Oakland, CA Local #78 President–The holiday season will be a lot merrier for 24 former Oakland, CA Computer Forwarding System (CFS) postal clerks, thanks to an arbitrator’s decision. The ruling has given them portions of an award totaling $1,039,572.91 – arguably one of the largest payouts to individuals in APWU history. Some of the people received over $50,000.00 payout. The arbitration decision settles a crossing crafts grievance filed in 2002.
The case originated with the practice of having injured letter carriers work in the CFS unit. The Oakland Local argued that the letter carriers should have been assigned elsewhere. The Oakland Local also argued that the letter carriers presence in CFS unit denied overtime to clerks on the overtime desired list (ODL). ....
See: Arbitration Award: F06C-1F-C-C9437257 [pdf]
USPS News Link - Keep it confidential
Employees must safeguard customer information
November 26, 2013
Employees should follow these practices when scanning or copying customer data for passport or PO Box applications:
•If you’re using a copier, make only the required number of copies needed. Shred copies made in error.
•If you’re recycling paper for a scratch pad, make sure there’s no PII information on the “used” side of the paper. Shred scratch paper with PII.
•If you can, keep all PII documents within the customer’s sight when you’re making copies. Return original documents to the customer.
I'm looking for language which prohibits a PSE from being assigned as a "Trainer" within our installation. Management is using PSE's (who have only been hired for less than 90 days) who the union cites as "untrained" working on automated equipment to train brand new PSE's.
APWU Web News Article #128-13, Nov. 19, 2013
Clerk Division Creates Agenda At All-Craft Conference
Clerks at the All-Craft Conference in Las Vegas approved three of seven resolutions [PDF] to guide APWU leaders when the union enters contract negotiations with the Postal Service. The union’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires May 20, 2015.
On Nov. 6, clerks approved resolutions instructing union leaders to:
◾ Negotiate a mechanism to convert Postal Support Employees (PSEs) to career status after contractual rights for career employees have been met;
◾ Negotiate language to ensure that employees in Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) assignments whose holiday or designated holiday exceeds 8 hours will be paid hour-per-hour in accordance with their scheduled day, and
◾ Make it a priority to enforce language in the contract and Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) to return to the craft work that is being performed by USPS management, such as timekeeping and other duties.
Four other resolutions concerning non-scheduled days for employees in NTFT assignments, limitations on the length of time residual vacancies may be withheld, and the RI-399 jurisdictional dispute process were also considered but were defeated or deferred pending further consideration.
Resolutions approved at the All-Craft Conference are subject to amendment and approval by the delegates to the APWU Biennial National Convention, the union’s highest governing body, in July 2014. Additional resolutions will be presented and voted on as well.
Training Materials for Window Clerks:
Advancing the Retail Experience Course #10021913 - April 2013 [pdf]
Performing Lobby Assistance Course #10021598 - April 2013 [pdf]
How Do Postal Workers Decipher Really Sloppy Handwriting? - MentalFloss.com
November 12, 2013
"According to The New York Times, more than 700 postal clerks are based in Salt Lake City to decipher America’s most cryptic envelopes. And they mean business. The plant operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Each clerk processes about 20 letters per minute (that’s 1200 an hour!). If a clerk wastes over 30 seconds unearthing the address, the letter may get routed to another worker who can do it faster."
Our plant has Clerks working in excess of the 12 hour day and 60 hour week in Automation. Mgmt is not utilizing other employees in other sections with skills needed. My understanding of the contract is that they have to use other OTDL employees and require non-OTDL and not exceed the 12 hour or 60 hour limit. Anyone else have this scenario at their plant? By the way, our plant is scheduled to close in 2014. Thank-you.
This will be useful to window clerks as management in some parts of the country (California) are placing clerks in Emergency Placement Article 16.7 for Unsafe Acts for not asking the HAZMAT questions. It is saved it as a complete document as the Postal Bulletin had it in two separate sections. Also, on the first page there is information on the handling of spoiled money orders by window clerks.
(via Tom Molanick, APWU Eastern Region/Cap Metro Safety and Health Representative)
USPS Postal Bulletin 22375 (10-31-13) [pdf]
Handbook F-101 Revision: Spoiled and Voided Money Orders
Effective October 31, 2013, the Postal Service™ is revising Handbook F-101, Field Accounting Procedures, to address changes in the process for handling spoiled and voided money orders.
Publication 52 Revision: Updates to Mailing Standards for Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Materials
Effective October 31, 2013, the Postal Service™ is revising Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, in various sections to align the publication with Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) 601, and to revise and update other miscellaneous references.
APWU Web News Article 123-2013, Nov. 1, 2013
Union Wins Call Center Pay Case
Clerks to Be Upgraded Two Levels
In a decision issued Oct. 28 [PDF], Arbitrator Stephen B. Goldberg ruled that the USPS must upgrade all Customer Care Agents two levels and must make them whole for all pay and benefits they lost as a result of the improper ranking of their positions.
“This is a tremendous victory for the APWU and for all the Customer Care Agents,” said APWU President Cliff Guffey.
More than 1,100 employees hired at three Customer Care Centers pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Clerk Craft Jobs will be upgraded from Level 4, 5 and 6 to Level 6, 7 and 8. ”This was a 100% victory,” said Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk. ....
"Arbitrator Goldberg directed the Postal Service to place all Customer Care Agents in the higher grades and make them whole for lost pay and benefits resulting from their improper position ranking."
PSE Clerk in a Level 20 office let go during her break in service due to "lack of work."
A week later, a PTF from another office is brought in to perform the work/hours that the PSE historically was scheduled. OR a PTF from same office is working (overtime)to cover those same hours.
Do either scenarios qualify as a lack of work? Seems to me at least, the PTF from another office would be a violation, even though they had worked that PTF in the PSE's office previously. The point being, there isn't a lack of work - they simply shifted it to other employees.
Also, what obligation do PSE at AO's have to move outside the installation they are domiciled? Is refusal to work at another installation grounds for removal? Does the Hub-Clerk agreement apply to PSE's?
The PSE in question was offered (threatened) hours at a plant 50+ miles away, but did not accept that position. Seems they are trying to use any offer of a position anywhere in the District as an out.
I would appreciate anybody with thoughts on these scenarios, post here or email me a response. Thanks!
Postal Clerks Could Get Back Pay for Window Hours - FedWeek.com
October 28, 2013
An arbitrator has decided certain postal workers represented by the American Postal Workers Union are entitled to back pay for time postmasters or supervisors performed craft duties beyond what's outlined in the union's collective bargaining agreement with USPS.
"This decision will result in back pay for union members who were denied work opportunities as a result of contract violations," said APWU director of industrial relations Mike Morris. "I hope postal managers take note of the cost of their failure to honor the contract."
According to APWU, last March the arbitrator ruled in favor of the union's claim that "time postmasters or supervisors spend staffing the window must be counted towards the limit and, in the absence of a clerk, all time a window is open must be counted, regardless of what other duties the postmaster or supervisor may perform during that period."
USPS and the union couldn't agree on a monetary settlement, so they went back to the arbitrator, who has instructed USPS to provide records within 90 days to help establish that violations of the limits occurred in order to inform a monetary settlement.
APWU Web News Article 119-2013, Oct. 17, 2013
Union Wins ‘Global Settlement’ Remedy Case
Clerks in Small Offices to Receive Back Pay
If Supervisors Worked in Excess of Limits in Contract
In a decision issued Oct. 16 [pdf], Arbitrator Shyam Das ruled that APWU members are entitled to retroactive pay for time postmasters or supervisors performed craft duties in excess of limits outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“This decision is an important victory for the APWU,” said Director of Industrial Relations Mike Morris. “We have fought long and hard to protect jobs and increase work hours for clerks, especially in small offices. This decision will result in back pay for union members who were denied work opportunities as a result of contract violations. I hope postal managers take note of the cost of their failure to honor the contract,” he added.
APWU President Cliff Guffey praised the ruling. “This is one more example of the union working for you,” he said.
The dispute arose when the APWU sought a monetary remedy for contract violations that occurred between May 23, 2011, when the contract was signed, and March 29, 2013, when Arbitrator Das sustained a related grievance. In the March decision, Das agreed with the union’s interpretation of the so-called “Global Settlement,” which is part of the 2010-2015 contract. He agreed that all time postmasters or supervisors spend staffing the window must be counted towards the limit and, in the absence of a clerk, all time a window is open must be counted, regardless of what other duties the postmaster or supervisor may perform during that period.
Following the March award, the APWU and management discussed the appropriate remedy for the violations that had already occurred, but were unable to reach agreement. They returned to Arbitrator Das to settle the matter.
At the hearing, the USPS argued against a retroactive monetary award, claiming that no actual contract violations had been established and asserting that any remedy should be applied only to violations that occurred after the March ruling.
Once again, Arbitrator Das rejected management’s position, noting that during the period in question “the union and the employees it represents did not get the benefit of its bargain with the Postal Service.”
The union also asked the arbitrator to instruct management to provide the APWU with documentation necessary to establish that violations of the limits occurred. Das granted the union’s request and ordered the USPS to provide the records within 90 days of his award.
The Global Settlement stipulates that postmasters may perform up to 15 hours per week in Level 18 post offices and up to 25 Hours in Level 15 and Level 16 offices.
I am a NTFT employee, 36 hours for 5 days a week, bidded in the Manual Letters Unit. In this unit there are 2 NTFT employees (36 hours) and 2 FTR employees bidded into that unit. There are also 5 limited duty employees who are permanently assigned to Manual Letters, working 5 hours a day for 5 days a week. DOL pays for the remaining 3 hours. Management is abolishing the 2 NTFT bids, which will make me a UAR.
1) Can they abolish my bid while they have limited duty employees permanently working in the unit?
2) What are the stipulations when abolishing a NTFT bid?
3) When I become an UAR, can they assign a 40 hour job even though I am a NTFT employee?
4) My NTFT assignment suits my schedule so what grievances do I file and under what Article?
Thank you in advance.
I thought the Clerks might enjoy this:
Have You Hugged Your Postal Clerk Today? - HuffingtonPost.com
October 14, 2013
Want to change the world? Start with the person in front of you.
I tangled with a clerk at the post office recently. Though I guess "tangled" is a bit strong, since I never even told the guy how little I appreciated him creeping on our mail. I just quit laughing at jokes that weren't funny. My big act of rebellion.
I knew enough about this gentleman to bet he considers me the problem. In a move I'm embarrassed I didn't make 10 years ago, I told another clerk how much I appreciate him.
I waited until no one else was around. No other customers in the lobby, no other clerks at the counter. And I said something like, "I'm sorry I didn't tell you this a long time ago but I just want you to know how much I appreciate the job you do here. You're really nice no matter how impatient a customer is, and you're friendly without being obnoxious. You read people. If they seem like they want to talk, you chat them up. If they're more businesslike, you help them get on their way quickly." I paused as his smile got wider. "When I'm in line I always hope I get you."
Can you imagine how happy this man is to see me now? ....
Quad Cities Among Areas Seeking Temporary USPS Jobs - KWQC.com
October 11, 2013
The following is a release from the United States Postal Service concerning temporary jobs in the area:
DES MOINES, IA — Iowa's two largest mail-sorting centers again are gearing up for the busy holiday mailing season by offering temporary employment at the Network Distribution Center (NDC), located at 4000 109th St. in Urbandale, and the Des Moines Processing & Distribution Center (P&DC), located at 1165 2nd Ave.
Approximately 255 temporary holiday positions are available in the Des Moines area, with 30 positions available in Cedar Rapids, 18 positions in Waterloo, and 18 positions in the Quad Cities. The temporary positions of Postal Support Clerk and Casual Mailhandler are for the period of November 16 through January 10, 2014. The hourly wage is $11.50 - $14.89 with varying shifts and days off. ....
Every Time a Postman Rings ... - NYTimes.com
‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered,’ a Film on the Hallmark Channel
October 11, 2013
"The film, Saturday night on the Hallmark Channel, is about a group of quirky Postal Service workers in a dead-letter office who do the detective work necessary to deliver mislabeled, mangled and otherwise hard-to-process pieces of mail. When those letters find their mark, the results are life-changing, a sort of divine intervention with a stamp."
USPS News Link - Showing you the money
Redesigned $100 bills now in circulation
October 11, 2013
Redesigned $100 bills began circulating Oct. 8. Banks and other financial institutions that order $100 notes from the Federal Reserve will receive the new versions.
Older bills will remain in circulation.
New security features in the bills are designed to deter counterfeiters and help businesses and consumers tell whether a note is genuine. It will be easier to authenticate the bills, and harder to replicate them.The new security features include a blue, 3-D security ribbon with images of bells and 100s, and a color-changing bell in an inkwell.
Click here and here [pdf] to learn more about the new $100 note.
USPS News Link - So long, CSBCS
USPS expects to save $70 million yearly with removal
October 10, 2013
The Postal Service’s last Carrier Sequence Barcode Sorter (CSBCS), located in Opelika, AL, has been retired.
CSBCS deployment began in 1995, when the first of 3,750 machines — also known as “C’s” — was installed. Each machine processed 35,000 pieces of letter mail per hour.
Most C’s were placed in associate offices for sortation of letter mail. They helped sort the carrier’s mail into walk sequence each delivery day, with an initial carrier route primary sortation beginning the process. The machines had a smaller footprint than the Delivery Barcode Sorters (DBCS) used at larger processing facilities. They required three passes to do the same amount of work as a DBCS.
Declining mail volumes led to the centralization of CSBCS machines in mail processing plants, and their utility diminished as sorting technology advanced. “Processing mail on a DBCS rather than on a CSBCS reduces operational and maintenance hours and increases efficiency,” said Delivery and Post Office Operations VP Ed Phelan. Phelan said employees’ efforts to help make the removal a success were appreciated. “On behalf of the Postal Service, I’d like to thank everyone involved for their hard work in eliminating all the CSBCS machines in the field by the end of FY 2013.”
Retirement of the machines is expected to save USPS approximate $70 million each year. ....
Congratulations and Best Wishes to the following APWU Clerk Division Officers-Elect:
National Clerk Division Director
- Clint Burelson
National Business Agent, Southern Region, Dallas Region
- Sam Lisenbe (C)
National Business Agents, Central Region, Chicago Region
- Linda Turney (A)
- Mike O’Hearn (B)
National Business Agent, Central Region, Cincinnati Region
- Randall “Randy” Downard (B)
National Business Agent, Northeast Region, New York Region
- Elizabeth “Liz” Swigert (B)
National Business Agent, Western Region, San Francisco Region
- Shirley J. Taylor (B)
National Business Agent, Caribbean Area
- Daniel Soto
The newly-elected officers and uncontested officers begin three-year terms on Nov. 12. A swearing-in ceremony will be held Nov. 7.
See: APWU News Bulletin 18-2013, Oct. 8, 2013
A letter went out on September 13, 2013
FROM: Delivery and Post Office Operations Vice President Phelan
TO: USPS Mgmt/LR and APWU Clerk Division Director Strunk
RE: Retail Customer Experience Evaluations (formerly "Mystery Shopper" program)
"RCE scores being used inappropriately as the basis for discipline, Letters of Warnings and now Emergency Placements are not the intent of the program. The RCE is intended to help drive correct behavior and assist in making clear to our SSA's why retail performance is so important to the Postal Service. This message will be totally lost if discipline is the response to unacceptable scores."
See: September 13, 2013 RCE Letter [pdf]
(Director Strunk, It's been a few weeks. Shouldn't you make this information available to the Clerks? - RZ)
Connie, the former steward remains in the installation. The excessing event was last year, not this year. There is no provision for excessing a former steward when the excessing event is over.
I have a question regarding "super seniority." My office had excessing last year. Two stewards stayed, one on Tour 1 and one on Tour 2. Both were very junior on the seniority list and would have been excessed if they were not stewards. The steward on Tour 1 bid a window job on Tour 2 and is no longer a steward. Should she still remain in the office? No one in the Union has an answer for me.
Just a note on the Military and diplomatic mail process. The airlines have finally gotten up to speed on the examination of the mails going overseas and will REJECT any item whose x-ray shows an item not allowed example a bottle or container bigger then 3 oz. That goes for all classes of air mail overseas. So lets remind our customers of that so our Military will not be delayed their packages for the holidays. I know this is true I pick them up and reroute them back to the sender who does not get a refund.
We are in the process of suffering though what seems to be the final phases of LMP (or "limp" as we call it here in Providence). Currently, they are painting walls slated to be knocked down within the next month or two. The egresses around the AFSMs are now too narrow to get equipment though. The centrally-located mailbox is jammed into a corner in the furthest section of the building. We now have taped squares on the floor that serve as idiot cards on the off chance that we forget where mail is supposed to go. The Registry cage was chopped in half, so the clerks now get to play Tetris when the drivers arrive with their Reds. They have reduced the number of trash cans by about half, so either trash winds up on the floor, or it takes longer for an employee to find the closest can. All of the file cabinets have been removed from the workroom floor, so my Expediter supplies are currently in a u-cart taking up space in the Union Office. They are now in the process of removing the tool boxes from the workroom floor, so the Maintenance Employees get to carry only the tools that they need for the day in a bag, like a man-purse. All in all, like you said, this has appeared to do nothing to improve mail flow or process the mail any quicker. Two questions - what, if anything, did anyone gain from all of this (other than some higher-up fat cat's bonus)? And now that the Team has left, has any of it gone back to normal? Thanks!
USPS News Link - Military Mail Matters
Customer accuracy and attention to detail is essential
September 27, 2013
To ensure customers receive the best possible service — especially during the upcoming holiday season — employees should be on the lookout for military mail destined overseas to Army/Air Force Post Offices, Fleet Post Offices and Diplomatic Post Offices.
Make sure that customers complete and affix a customs declaration — PS Form 2976, Customs Declaration CN 22 - Sender's Declaration or 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note CP 72 — appropriate for the size and weight of the mailpiece.
Check that customers accurately complete each part of the form. A customer's signature certifies that all entries are correct and that the mailpiece contains no undeclared dangerous, prohibited or restricted contents according to USPS, U.S. Customs and destination country regulations.
U.S. Customs and the Postal Inspection Service want employees to make sure customs declarations are affixed and complete. Mail without appropriate documentation may be unnecessarily delayed, returned to sender or, in some cases, seized.
Details are available in the pull-out information under section B of Overseas Military/Diplomatic Mail in Postal Bulletin 22347 (10-4-12). Click here to access customs forms online. Forms also should be available at Post Offices.
LEAN MAIL PROCESSING IN SOUTH JERSEY
I work in South Jersey, and a year ago, gave the "Blue Team" of engineers a 25 page book, complete with color coded index tabs giving them information on each area of the building. All of the input that I accumulated from various employees throughout the building was ignored. The only thing they did to improve the parcels area was to install mirrors above the APPS machine that assist the culling person on the belt. They have spent $3 Million in the building, and very little to truly show for it. The signs that they are bragging about include signs that say "APPS Break Room", "Cafeteria", and "Maintenance Area". Really? That is not helping the mail flow. The other signs that are "color coded for area" say things like "APPS 81-1" and are in brown, the HSTS is blue, automation is purple. Who cares? the colors mean nothing. Not only have we never needed to know that the APPS machine was called "81", but they never bothered to explain that the "-1" part meant "side 1". Who cares? They then spent probably $100,000 on big screen televisions throughout the building.
EVERY belt on the HSTS now has a flat screen tv--- all 60 bins. Plus about 5 flat screens that are even larger. You know what these screens says? It says what town is coming down the bin belt. It is useless and totally unnecessary. The larger screens show which feeder is going faster than another... again... who cares? Throughout the building, the larger flat screens have been put up to show "numbers and dispatch times" that none of us care about or need to know. Just MORE wasted money. They painted pretty lines on the floor, and made pretty signs. wow.
Did they change the registry area? absolutely. Not working in that area, I cannot state how that is working. But... in the APPS area, they have made things harder with regard to processing the mail by removing a pallet hopper, and replacing it with a "universal dumper" which takes 5 times longer to dump pallets.
They took NO steps whatsoever to improve the actual mail stream from P&DC to P&DC. For example, if something is not APPS machinable, it goes to the Clerk Manual Pouch Racks. However, the sacks they fill are not labeled as "non-machinable" so it gets mixed with machinable mail then goes to the next P&DC which causes the next worker to sort the non-machinable back out... and INCREASES the possibility of mis-sent mail. When they talk about decreasing the amount of mail the pouch racks receive, they only counted the mail coming off the machine... they did not count the amount of mail that the APPS culling belt workers took off as non-machinable then sent to the clerks-- you know, that non-machinable mail that then gets mixed with the machinable.
We suggested to change the software both for the window clerks and for the "clip n ship" type of postage. We suggested that the city must match the zip, and give an alert that they do not match if mis-keyed or entered with an incorrect zip. So often a mis-keyed or wrong zip code causes mail to circulate, sometimes for MONTHS! The APPS machine reads the PVI, so if someone enters "80051" instead of "08051", the item is headed for Denver CO, instead of Mantua NJ. Until a worker crosses out the PVI on this mail piece, it will circulate around the county-- regardless of the fact that the address of the package itself is correct. Another problem is that a mis-key can cause the delivery confirmation barcode to include the wrong zip. We cannot cross out the delivery confirmation because the customer paid extra for it. So we then sent it to the Clerk Manual Pouch Rack, that does not label the sacks as "non-machinable" so when the next P&DC receives the item and does not catch the wrong zip code, it goes on the next APPS machine and gets sorted wrong again. When we suggested the software change, we were told by the "Blue Team" and I quote, "That is more keystrokes. I do not think it is a good idea."
Another suggestion we made was to change the Express Mail packaging to a fluorescent pink or green-- the same colors used for delivery or signature confirmation labels. Seeing these bright colors will allow the AOs as well as the workers in the P&DC many opportunities for the item to be removed from the mail stream. Instead, the Express Mail packaging was changed... but still looks so similar to the priority that it is still mixed in with the mail. One suggestion we made: Program the APPS machine to send any Express Mail that comes through the APPS to be sent to the Clerk Manual Pouch Rack bins, so that the Express Mail can be handled immediately and removed from the main mail stream. Another reason that this software change is a good idea is because customers now use the "clip n ship" to print Express Mail labels and can place them on ANY package, then drop it in a mail box. These types of items are very difficult to sort from the mail stream. So why not let the APPS sort them out? Apparently doing that is too much keying for the programmers of the APPS as well. In 2010, the post office paid a team to investigate how much money was being refunded due to Express Mail arriving late. The report was redacted, yet stated clearly the amount refunded for late arrival is in the millions. So why not take measures to limit some of this money refunded? Apparently it is too many keystokes.
The reduction of floor space taken up by empty equipment is a joke also. Years ago we used to have three mail handler bid jobs that handled and sorted all empty equipment. Those jobs were abolished, and then the equipment was everywhere. Instead of creating bid jobs to again do this, they brought in a team of engineers, wasted money on signs (which would have cost so much less if they used a different material---and some of these signs are already ripped or falling down), and then flew in plant managers from across the country to tour our plant and see all of their "improvements". The painted lines are pretty, but the roof is still leaking on the electrical outlets and the million dollar machines. The amount of money they spent on engineers, flying people in from across the country and painting the building, and putting up flat screen televisions could have easily paid for three mail handlers for the next decade. Also, they have spent more money on overtime to sort the empty equipment than they would have with the bid jobs.
Speaking of the painted lines on the floor, the Kaban boxes that "time" the mail is a joke too. Boxes were painted on the floor for us to know that mail needed to go into the APPS loaders. Really? I never knew that mail had to go into the loaders. The funny thing is that if we actually placed the equipment that is full of mail in the location they painted the boxes, we would not be able to remove the empty equipment from the loader to place the full equipment in it. They painted the box too close. There are other boxes that are supposed to be "one full hour of mail" to be loaded onto the APPS. When the box is half full, we are supposed to notify the supervisor or drivers we need more mail. The problem? Not every mail container is going to be full. If you get six containers that are half full, it could take ten minutes, not one hour. It is a joke. They could easily have said, "when you get down to 10 containers of mail, call your supervisor" or something like that. But, then they could not paint pretty boxes on the floor that no one looks at but management. They would not have signs and lines to point to when the Post Master General came for his visit.
There are now people from Washington in our building. Again, I am submitting some of my suggestions with pictures to prove my point. Pictures of why some of the things they implemented do not work, pictures of the mail we receive that is from California to Nevada yet wound up in NJ. I will update as to what happens with this.
USPS News Link - Improving DBCS runtime
Tips to increase efficiency, shorten delivery time
September 16, 2013
Improving Delivery Bar Code Sorter (DBCS) performance also improves the Postal Service’s ability to dispatch mail to delivery stations on time. That means more mail will arrive in mailboxes on time and more efficiently.
Dulles, VA, Maintenance Operations Supervisor John Michaelides has devised operator procedures and tips to improve DBCS runtime efficiency.
Starting a DBCS. After a sort program has been loaded, the machine should not be started until the main screen is available.
Processing under way.
•Bin 1 — When mailpieces go to bin 1 (no read), stop processing mail and immediately call maintenance. On the monitor, the last 100 barwill be partially or all purple. Too many mailpieces going to bin 1 will increase the Non-read At Risk indicator.
•Bin 2 — If mailpieces are going to bin two (out of sort plan), stop processing and remove the inappropriate mail from the feed table belt. As in bin 1, the last 100 barwill partially or all purple. Too many mailpieces in bin 2 will increase the Out of Sort DPS At Risk indicator.
•Bin 5 — Operators should be aware of bin 5 alerts and indicators and know the proper actions to take. A steady ping indicates that at least five percent of mail is not sorting properly.
Operators should stop processing and determine whether the mail faced properly (if not, face it properly and resume feeding) or whether it has a barcode. Remove non-barcoded mail and notify a supervisor. Too many mailpieces going to bin 5 will increase the No Codes At Risk indicator.
If the ping alarm sounds even though the last 100 bar remains green, the machine can’t see barcodes and is sorting mail using an ID tag. Alert maintenance if this issue persists, or if the last 100 barchanges color.
A steady ping with a last 100 bar partially or fully black indicates a mechanical error. Maintenance should be called immediately. Maintenance always should be contacted for questions about machine performance.
Michaelides believes his tips have improved efficiency at the Dulles plant but assumes only part of the credit. “Success is a team effort,” he says.
Seniority for Breaking Ties
When it is necessary to resolve a tie in seniority between two or more Clerk Craft employees, the criteria to use is in
Article 37.2.D.4, Seniority Tie Breaker [pdf].
When using Social Security numbers, also see
JCIM page 208, question 45 [pdf].
With the "conversion" of PSEs to regulars, we have several PSEs questioning the Installation seniority list. They were all hired the same day. How is PSE installation determined?
USPS OIG Audit Report Number DR-AR-13-006 [pdf]
Use of Postal Support Employees in Customer Service Operations
August 16, 2013
This USPS OIG report has an interesting admission on page 4: “[S]maller independent post offices, such as those with three or fewer career employees, would not, by the terms of the National Agreement, qualify to use a PSE for window service.” That was the APWU position in national grievance # HQTC20110349 [pdf].
Footnote 15 claims that in FY 2012, career employees earned an average of $42.63 while PSEs earned just $17.23 per hour.
From: Lamont Brooks
Sent: Thursday, August 15, 2013 3:43 PM
To: Clerk Division NBA; Regional Coordinators
Cc: Clerk Department
Subject: Lean Mail Processing
The attached power point was provided by the USPS at meeting requested by the APWU on the subject matter.
Please share with your local/state officers.
The struggle continues.
Assistant Director, Clerk Craft
American Postal Workers Union
1300 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
August 14, 2013 Lean Mail Processing - APWU [pdf]
July 19, 2013 USPS Letter to APWU [pdf]
Our prior contract had language referring to a 90 day bid restriction in Art 37.3.F.4.b. I cannot find that language in our current contract, even though the current JCIM refers to a 90 day restriction in Q 206.
The JCIM bid restriction table does not list a 90 day restriction for failing scheme training.
So, it appears that if a person fails scheme training in a SSDA job, he is restricted from bidding on a similar position for 180 days, which seems a bit excessive.
If the job is a MPC position, and the person fails the scheme requirement, is there now no bid restriction whatsoever? Can anyone refer me to the section in the CBA or JCIM for an answer?
APWU News Bulletin 14-2013, Aug. 16, 2013
First 399 Clerk Craft PSEs to be Converted to Career Status
In response to demands from the APWU, the Postal Service agreed on Aug. 14 to convert 399 Clerk Craft Postal Support Employees (PSEs) to career status. The conversions will be the first in mail processing.
The conversions will occur primarily in districts where the number of PSEs exceeds the 20 percent district-wide cap outlined in the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement, and will take place within 60 days of the signing of the agreement. For a list of locations, click here [pdf].
See: August 14, 2013 Settlement Agreement:
Postal Support Employee (PSE) District /ISC Cap Violations [pdf]
(Q10C-4Q-C 13126898 / HQTG20130201)
JCIM 2012: Page 71-72, Article 10 Page 7-8 [pdf]
ANNUAL LEAVE ACCRUAL –
FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES IN NTFT DUTY ASSIGNMENTS
Employees in NTFT assignments with a regular schedule of 40 or more hours per week will receive an advance of annual leave equal to the maximum for their leave category. The employee will not receive additional annual leave credit for work hours in excess of 40 hours per week and excess hours will not be tracked as potential leave credit hours.
Employees in NTFT assignments with a weekly schedule of less than 40 hours per week will receive a pro-rated advance of annual leave in the same manner as a PTR per ELM Exhibit 512.312. For paid hours (hours worked and paid leave, not including donated leave) in excess of their scheduled amount, the employee will receive additional annual leave credit up to the maximum credit allowable for their leave category within the pay period. Excess hours that do not produce additional leave credit within the pay period will be tracked as potential leave credit hours and may produce additional leave credit in a future pay period as long as the total leave earned to date does not exceed the maximum allowed for a full-time employee.
When an employee in a NTFT duty assignment bids or is reassigned to/from traditional full-time assignments or to a NTFT assignment with a different scheduled work hour total per week, they will have their advanced annual leave amount adjusted to reflect the advanced leave policy for their position of record.
When during the leave year, an employee’s absence, including that of an employee in a NTFT duty assignment, in a non-pay status totals the equivalent of one pay period of regular service, credit for leave is reduced by the amount of leave earned by the employee in a pay period.
This may also be of interest to employees who have, or are considering bidding on, the APWU negotiated NTFT position assignments with work schedules of less than 40 hours per week:
"The OPM has determined that such designated service, to the extent that it involves tours of duty of less than 40 hours per week or 80 hours per two-week pay period, will be treated as part time regular service for retirement purposes."
See:US OPM FOIA response letter - November 30, 2012 [pdf]
(A proration factor has been used for all part-time hours worked after a mid 1986 change in the OPM law relative to calculating FERS/CSRS annuities. Divide the total actual hours worked by the total full-time hours to obtain the FERS proration factor. - RZ)
See: OPM Computation for Part-Time Employees - Page 4 [pdf]
Hi everyone. My question is if a 40 hour Clerk bids a 36 hour NTFT job, does their annual leave per year decrease? and how?
RE: TACS Shared Services Help Desk Vacancy Posting [pdf]
August 2, 2013
What is the probability this will be posted in ALL offices with APWU employees?
It is not on the APWU website or LiteBlue.
"***It is very important these postings are made available to all Career Clerk and APWU employees.
Please make sure these Vacancy announcements are posted in ALL offices throughout the entire country.
Failure to do so, could result in grievances.***"
APWU employees in offices impacted by excessing are EXCLUDED from this nationwide posting.
Did USPS skip paragraph 4.D of the TACS Shared Services MOU?
Here is some of the information conveyed in the "All Things PSE" webinar presented by APWU.
It's made available here courtesy of Ted Edwards, President, Sacramento Area Local 0066:
2013 - I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT PSEs… [pdf]
2012 - PSE Article 15/16 Interpretive Review [pdf]
2012 - PSE Window Caps [pdf]
I just stated what the national officers who gave the webinar stated. My VP and the Clerk NBA all were there and heard the same thing. The new language changed things. I have filed thousands of ODL grievances in the last 23 plus years of being a Clerk steward and, prior to the new language, would have filed immediately. I had to tell one of my stewards that day not to file on a full tour vs PSE as national stated, during the q&a afterwards, no language exists at this time to support our contentions. I suggest to all to participate in the next "All Things PSE" webinar or come to the All Crafts Conference class they are giving on "All Things PSE."
Article 8.5 states: When needed, overtime work for regular full-time employees shall be scheduled among qualified employees doing similar work in the work location where the employees regularly work in accordance with the following: C.1.a. When during the quarter the need for overtime arises, employees with the necessary skills having listed their names will be selected in order of seniority on a rotating basis.
PSE's cannot sign the OTDL. Full-time regular employees have rights under Article 8 as stated.
How can a PSE have priority to overtime when the OTDL is dormant? Wake up!!!!
With regards to PSE's and the OTDL, I attended the "All Things PSE" webinar early this year. The only language that was negotiated was "before going over 8 in a day" and we can not file on the full tour issue as the contract language is not there. The national officers giving the training stated that they would not be negotiating anything new regarding the PSE's until the next contract.
Brothers and Sisters,
Our office has recently started scheduling PSEs to work six 8 hour days in function 1. When Friday rolls around, I have 5 T3 PSEs in OT while my T1 OTDL sits at home. We are ending up with PSEs with more OT than employees on the OTDL. This doesn't seem right to me, what am I missing?
Good morning Brothers and Sisters!
It's been a while! I am glad that this site is still up and running. It has proven viable and relevant to me in the past.
Question: Where can I find the prohibitions for use of the round dater/date stamp for SSA's? They are currently being told not to hand stamp any customers mail and the customers who want hand stamps (for expensive invitations) are being given the date stamp to do the cancelling themselves. I need to know where to find the prohibition, if there is any. I want to protect them from possible trouble. I was one of five Clerks that were fingerprinted by Postal Inspectors when a Letter Carrier got arrested for improper use in a chop shop/towing case. I hope to avoid the possibility of any improper use issues.
In Union Solidarity.
To see the USPS OIG’s “optimal” future mail processing network for FY 2020, go to:
A STRATEGY FOR A FUTURE MAIL PROCESSING AND TRANSPORTATION NETWORK [pdf]
This network consolidation plan depends upon the complete elimination of the overnight commitment for First-Class Mail, which is scheduled for February 1, 2014. With an extra day of mail processing time, look for many Tour 1 Clerk mail processing duty assignments to move to other tours.
Union Wins Major Case for Clerks in Small Offices - APWU.org
Management’s Bad Faith Stymies Settlement
(This article first appeared in the July/August 2013 edition of The American Postal Worker.)
The union won a major arbitration victory on March 29, when Arbitrator Shyam Das issued a long-awaited decision that will benefit clerks working in small post offices. The ruling settles a dispute about the amount of bargaining unit work postmasters and supervisors may perform in Level 18-and-below offices.
"On April 3, 2013, the first work day after receiving the award, rather than instructing Level 18-and-below postmasters to comply with the award, the USPS Vice President for Delivery and Post Office Operations sent instructions to the field stating, “Corporate direction for implementation will be provided by Headquarters’ Labor Relations. Until such time, there will be no subsequent changes resulting from this award.” [Emphasis added.]
After repeated demands by the APWU, more than two months after receipt of the arbitrator’s decision, management finally took initial steps to comply with the arbitrator’s ruling. On June 6, the USPS vice president directed managers that the work-hour limitations on postmasters in Level 15, 16, and 18 post offices “must immediately be observed” if an office has the ability to utilize part-time flexible (PTF) employees or Postal Support Employees (PSEs), including by borrowing them from other facilities.
But this is just the first step. Several issues remain unresolved regarding implementation of the award.
We intend to make sure that management fully complies with the ruling. We will take all actions at our disposal, including legal action if necessary, to ensure our contract is honored and the arbitration award is enforced. We have submitted legal briefs to the arbitrator regarding the remedy for the contract violations that occurred before Arbitrator Das issued the award and we are awaiting his decision."
Clerk or Kiosk or Both? - USPS OIG Blog/Poll
July 1, 2013
Postal customers often choose to stand in line at the counter of their local Post Office, even as an open self-service kiosk sits nearby. In some cases, customers might prefer to interact with a window clerk, perhaps to make sure they purchase the right service or because they want to buy a specialty service not available from the automated kiosk.
But some customers might be unaware that they can get many of the same services at a kiosk that they get from the window. For example, they can buy postage; weigh and send packages; use the ZIP Code lookup feature; and obtain fairly large quantities of First-Class Mail stamps (up to 100 self-adhesive packets). With about 2,500 kiosks in 2,300 retail locations and many of them accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, kiosks are convenient and fairly simple to use.
Consumers have grown so accustomed to using self-service kiosks, including automated teller machines and airline ticketing kiosks, that many people barely remember a time before them. In grocery stores across the country, customers are now choosing to scan and bag their own groceries at self-service checkouts, even though it saves them no money to do it themselves. Yet, consumer backlash against completely automated customer service is growing, especially in some industries such as banking. For example, TD Bank now promotes itself as a bank with “humanity,” using the catch phrase “bank human again.” It seems customers want choice: automation when it’s convenient and human interaction when it is needed.
Does the Postal Service have the right balance of automated options and the human touch? Should it consider expanding the use of self-service kiosks to retail locations that will be operating at reduced hours (less than 8 hours per day)? What could the Postal Service do to increase public awareness and use of self-service kiosks units? Or do you think the public prefers working directly with a person at the window?
BIDDING DURING AN EXCESSING EVENT
Maryla, no one can stop you from bidding a job, even if it is futile. Human Resources and your local APWU president did the right thing to warn you. Wouldn't you be pissed if they hadn't? Here are the page numbers of the Joint Contract Interpretation Manual (JCIM) 2012 [pdf] references you requested:
61. Are full-time employees who have received a sixty (60) day notification of their proposed excessing from the craft and/or installation eligible to bid during the interim period on vacant duty assignments for which they would have otherwise been eligible to bid?
Response: Yes. [Page 212]
When excessing occurs in a craft, either within the installation or to another installation, the sole criteria for selecting the employees to be excessed is seniority. [Page 105]
DEFINITION OF AN INSTALLATION
An installation is the composite of the work areas and/or facilities in which any craft employee may use seniority to bid or apply (bid cluster). [Page 107]
I’m a junior employee being excessed from the Huntsville, AL general mail facility. I recently bid on a job at the Mastin Lake station which is in Huntsville. I received a notification stating that I will be awarded the job pending qualification. I was told by Human Resources and the APWU president that even if I pass the qualifications I will be excessed from that job or any other job in the Huntsville Bid Cluster by a senior employee being excessed from the GMF. I would like to know if this is true and can I find it in writing. And if it IS true why would they allow me to bid on a job that I won’t be able to keep? Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Candidates Nominated for APWU Election of National Officers - apwu.org
Congratulations to the following Uncontested National Officers:
Assistant Director (B)
Lyle Krueth (I), Minneapolis Area Local (MN)
Assistant Director (C)
Lamont Brooks (I), The Northern Virginia Area Local (VA)
National Business Agents, Clerk Division, Central Region
Chicago Region, (C)
Lynn Pallas-Barber (I), 498-499 Area Local (MI)
Cincinnati Region, (C)
Michael Schmid (I), Columbus Area Local (OH)
Minneapolis Region, (A)
William Mellen (I), Saint Paul Area Local (MN)
Minneapolis Region, (B)
Martin J. Mater (I), Madison Wisconsin Area Local
St. Louis Region, (A)
Robert D. Kessler (I), Greater Kansas City Metro Area Local (MO)
St. Louis Region, (B)
Dennis Taff (I), Western Arkansas Area Local
Wichita Region, (B)
Christine “Chris” Pruitt (I), Wichita Area Local (KS)
National Business Agents, Clerk Division, Eastern Region
Philadelphia Region, (A)
Robert Romanowski (I), New Jersey Shore Area Local
Philadelphia Region, (B)
John Louis Jackson Jr. (I), Philadelphia BMC Local (PA)
Philadelphia Region, (C)
Jeff Kehlert (I), Trenton Metro Area Local (NJ)
Washington DC Region, (A)
Rachel A. Walthall (I), Baltimore Francis “Stu” Filbey Area Local (MD)
Washington DC Region, (B)
Pamela Richardson (I), Lynchburg Area Local (VA)
Washington DC Region, (C)
Nancy E. Olumekor (I), Nation’s Capital Southern MD Area Local (DC)
National Business Agents, Clerk Division, Northeast Region
New England Region, (A)
Frank Rigiero (I), Central Massachusetts Area Local
New England Region, (B)
Stephen J. Lukosus (I), Boston Metro Area Local (MA)
New England Region, (C)
Tom O’Brien (I), South Shore Area Local (MA)
New York Region, (A)
Peter “Pete” Coradi (I), Brooklyn Local (NY)
New York Region, (C)
Bernie Timmerman (I), Central New York Area Local
National Business Agents, Clerk Division, Southern Region
Atlanta Region, (A)
Robert M. Bloomer Jr. (I), Clearwater Local (FL)
Atlanta Region, (B)
Patricia A. Davis-Weeks (I), Tampa Area Local (FL)
Atlanta Region, (C)
Michael Sullivan (I), Suncoast Area Local (FL)
Dallas Region, (A)
Jack Crawford (I), Houston Area Local (TX)
Dallas Region, (B)
Larry Crawford (I), Dallas Area Local (TX)
Memphis Region, (A)
Billy Woods (I), Birmingham Area Local (AL)
Memphis Region, (B)
Jerry McIlvain (I), Chattanooga Area Local (TN)
National Business Agents, Clerk Division, Western Region
Denver Region, (A)
Marilyn “Mo” Merow (I), Tucson Area Local (AZ)
Denver Region, (B)
Stella JoAnn Gerhart (I), Phoenix Metro Area Local (AZ)
Northwest Region, (A)
Martin “Marty” Barron (I), Greater Seattle Area Local (WA)
Northwest Region, (B)
Brian Dunn (I), Portland Area Local (OR)
San Francisco Region, (A)
Gilbert C. Ybarra (I), California Area Local
San Francisco Region, (C)
James E. Scoggins (I), Greater Los Angeles Area Local (CA)
San Francisco Region, (D)
Chuck Locke (I), Sacramento Area Local (CA)
Postal Headquarters Acts to Enforce Arbitration Award on Permissible Bargaining Unit Work Limits for Postmasters
June 10, 2013
1. If an office has the ability to utilize a Part Time Flexible/Postal Support Employee (PTF/PSE,) the management bargaining unit work hour limitation must immediately be observed by the Postmaster and the employee(s) should be staffed to accommodate work hour compliance.
2. If an office has the ability to borrow a PTF/PSE from another facility, the management bargaining unit work hour limitation must immediately be observed by the Postmaster and the employee(s) should be staffed to accommodate work hour compliance.
APWU Web News Article 074-2013, June 11, 2013
MDAT Computer Program To Win Good Jobs Goes Online
A new APWU computer program that will help win good jobs has gone live! The program, known as the Max Duty Assignment Tool (MDAT), will help local unions fight for jobs with better schedules, address excessing issues and retreat rights, and identify part-time flexible hours that justify full-time jobs, Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk has announced.
To win the fight for full-time career jobs with good hours and days off, the union must be able to demonstrate that enough work exists during desirable hours to justify posting jobs. The union accomplishes this by considering all the hours worked in an installation, office, tour or section to see if undesirable hours and part-time hours can be combined to create more desirable assignments. Over the years that task has been tedious — and sometimes impossible.
The MDAT is available only to local presidents, who can who will find a link to the program on the left hand side of their My Local and Personal Info page after logging in to the Members Only page of the Web site. A tutorial is included that gives step-by-step instructions on how to use the program.
For more information, click here.
RE: "Management Takes Initial Steps To Comply with ‘Global Settlement’ Award"
APWU Clerk Division Director Rob Strunk signed off on a 6 month PSE fill in period for vacant Call Center positions. In Michigan at the Troy Call Center we just received 60 PSE's for only 35 vacant positions. We have filed a grievance that management hired too many, and have asked for compensation. Management has since started releasing PSE's on a week by week basis as the jobs are filled. If you do get any, make sure that the number of PSE's hired match the number of vacant jobs. You know management will try to sneak in extra.
APWU Web News Article 072-2013, June 7, 2013
Management Takes Initial Steps To Comply with ‘Global Settlement’ Award
After stonewalling for more than two months, the Postal Service has taken initial steps to enforce an arbitration ruling that was a major victory for the APWU. The arbitration award, which was issued on March 29 by Arbitrator Shyam Das, settled a dispute about the amount of bargaining unit work postmasters and supervisors may perform in Level 18-and-below offices. The award will greatly benefit clerks in small offices by increasing the number of hours they work
“This is a beginning, finally,” said Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk. “It is disappointing that it took the USPS this long to partially comply with a final and binding arbitration award.” Several issues remain unresolved regarding implementation of the award, he noted. “We intend to make sure that management fully complies with the arbitrator’s ruling.”
A dispute regarding the remedy for contract violations that occurred before Arbitrator Das issued the award has been returned to him and is awaiting his decision.
We recently had two clerks sent to window training at a main office. The arrangements were rushed, they were both told to to put all the expenses on their own credit cards and they would be reimbursed afterward. As luck would have it, at the same time there was a big event going on at the city they did their training in and almost everywhere they tried to book rooms were filled. They finally found a couple rooms at an expensive hotel chain. They were barely given any information, when being sent. What the USPS would cover for each night at a hotel was not told to them, only that their. expenses would be covered.
Now management is telling them that the USPS will only cover a percentage of the rooms and they'll have to pay for the rest themselves.
I'm going to have to file to get them their money back. I'm also going to have to get management to cover the interest on their credit cards for their expenses. My question is what terminology do I use, what supporting articles in the CBA or JCIM should be used to support the grievance? Also, what should I be requesting for information from management?
I'm very new to this job and have never handled a similar case to this before.
I am having no luck getting my postmaster in my office to comply with the 1.6B Das award. The award was issued on March 29, 2013. I have had a grievance filed over 1.6 B since October of 2011. The grievance remains unresolved and my postmaster has refused to comply the whole time. I have filed several article 15 grievances locally. My postmaster denies these simply stating unable to settle at step 1. I have been told there is a district wide grievance on non compliance on this. Kentuckiana District is the district where the district wide grievance is.
I was wondering if any of the AOs in your area are having trouble with this issue. Please let me know if you are or aren't having issues, and anything I could do to see more prompt results.
Maximization and Desirable Duty Assignment Tool (M-DAT) Webinar
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM EDT
Sponsored by the National Research & Education Department
Presented by: The National Clerk Division
This webinar introduces user friendly software designed to analyze clock rings to document the maximization of PTF clerks to full time regular clerks. The software provides instructions on how to identify and provide documentation for desirable duty assignments, improper excessing, denied retreat rights, and improper reversions and abolishments, and identifies duty assignments to post for unencumbered (unassigned) employees.
Special Note: Any APWU member can register for this webinar. However, software access is restricted to local/state presidents. Space is limited. Therefore, participants will be registered on a first come/first serve basis. If you are not pre-registered, you will not be able to join the webinar.
Information about how to join in on the webinar will be emailed to you.
Registration will close on Monday, June 10, 2013 at 12:00 noon Eastern Daylight Time!
I am currently attempting to convince mgmt to create some 10 Hr/4 day NTFT positions on Tour 3 at the Plant. For some reason, the plant manager is very much against it, but won't state specific reasons.
I suspect the reasons are that they don't want to give the 3rd break, and they also are afraid people in the jobs will call in to extend their weekends even more.
I heard that the Las Vegas Plant posted dozens of them last year. Is there anyone out there from the LV Plant, or any other plant who has 10/4 clerk jobs in mail processing? If so, are the jobs working out well, or have there been problems? Any info, pro or con, would be greatly appreciated.
Congratulations on your promotion to Clerk Craft Director. Almost everything you need to know is on the APWU.org website. I’d start reading in the Industrial Relations Department and Clerk Division. Look at the links on the left-hand side. Study particularly the JCIM and ELM. Learn where the stuff is, so you can find it quickly later. It will take years to absorb.
The key links are below:
APWU - Industrial Relations
APWU - Clerk Division
APWU - Joint Contract Interpretation Manual (JCIM)
USPS - Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) 34
Greetings Brothers and Sisters. I took office this week as Clerk Craft Director. Previously I'd been a Steward for only a year, after twenty years in the PO. I am looking for other CCDs to connect with, for advise and sharing of information, documents and arbitration that might come in helpful. My office email: Clerkapwu142@qwestoffice.net ~thank you for your consideration.
I am being excessed due to the needs of the section from T3 to T1. I am considered unassigned effective 05/11/2013 while bidding takes place. We currently have 3 L7 jobs on T3, Bulk Mail Tech, Bulk Mail Clerk Pool & Relief, & Lead Mail Processing Clerk. My job (Bulk Mail Clerk) & the Lead Clerk job are being reposted due to changes in start time and/or principle assignment area. There are no changes to the Bulk Mail Tech's job. The Bulk Mail Tech's job isn't being reposted and she isn't being excessed.
I am being told that because the excessing is by tour and because there are no changes to the Bulk Mail Tech job, the Bulk Mail Tech job doesn't need to be reposted.
Since I am the senior L7 employee should the Bulk Mail Tech job be reposted?
Are the L7 jobs closed to L6?
Postal Bulletin 22363 - May 16, 2013
Fiscal Year 2013 Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Training
The FY 2013 Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) mandatory training course is now available online through the Learning Management System (LMS). All postal employees who sell U.S. Postal Service® financial instruments (postal money orders, Sure Money, and gift cards) and those who supervise them must complete course number 10021874 BSA: Getting It Right.
This course is approved as one of the FY 2013 mandatory strategic training initiatives. The field budget allocation includes work hours for this course because it falls in the legal or compliance training category. Training must be completed by September 30, 2013.
A PSE is paid FLSA overtime only for actual work in excess of 40 hours. "Actual work" does not include annual leave, sick leave, etc.
See: ELM 444
From USPSTV - April 29, 2013:
It was my understanding APWU and USPS negotiated that only career postal employees can be used in the Customer Care Centers. However, there have been recent job postings to fill these positions with PSEs.
In the newly established position of Lead Clerk, no job description of Lead Clerk SPBS has been published (to my knowledge). Art. 37.1.K.3 states "A full-time regular employee is considered to cease performing the duties which require a skill when the employee no longer holds a bid requiring the skill." My question is, If the Lead Clerk SPBS takes and passes the training to key on the SPBS, but remember it's not required as part of the Lead Clerk SPBS duties and responsibilities, can that Lead Clerk SPBS be legally used in and off-day/overtime situation to key on the SPBS?
Regarding the PSE Customer Care Positions:
These positions are the call center jobs that were so celebrated as a big win for the APWU. This matter should be appealed as stare decisis.
These jobs should be staffed by career employees who have a working knowledge of USPS products, policies and procedures.
What a sham!
Postal Bulletin 22361
New Plan for Single Drawer Accountability
April 18, 2013
Earlier this year, the Postal Service™ announced a new strategy called Post Plan, which keeps the nation’s smallest Post Offices™ open for business by realigning retail window hours based on customer use. The process to implement this plan is a multi-phased approach, which began in the fall of 2012 and continues over the next two years. This initiative identifies two groups of offices, Remotely Managed Post Offices (RMPOs) consisting of 2-hour, 4-hour, and 6-hour offices reporting to an Administrative Post Office (APO) and Part-time Post Offices (PTPOs), 6-hour offices that report directly to the District.
To support the Post Plan initiative and strategy, Finance has developed new financial policies and guidelines specially designed for 2-hour and 4-hour RMPOs which are Non-POS. These new policies streamline existing financial processes in order to add efficiencies that align with changing operational requirements and demands. In addition, we are establishing a new financial monitoring approach that assists APOs with their oversight responsibilities by leveraging the Accounting Service Centers (ASCs).
The USPS® Post Plan requires 2-hour and 4-hour RMPOs, which are Non-POS to convert to a new concept called Single Drawer Accountability (SDA).
SDA is a single accountability comprised of stamp stock, cash, postage meter, and money orders (no unit reserve stock or individual accountabilities). Postmaster Relief and designees will operate under a shared accountability concept, which includes traditional Post Office retail services such as selling stamps, maintaining a postage meter, selling money orders, and providing limited customer refunds. Cash/stamp accountability limits for the SDA office will be set by the managing APO. In those instances where postage sales exceed the office accountability, the APO Postmaster may request an exception to the accountability limits through the District Finance Manager. The APO will perform annual counts randomly determined by the ASC. The ASC will play an extensive role in monitoring the SDA offices and working closely with the APOs regarding financial issues in these offices.
WEBINAR: Everything you need to know about PSEs in the Clerk Craft!
Monday, April 29, 2013 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT
Sponsored by the National Research & Education Department
Presented by: The National Clerk Division
This webinar will address the most frequently asked questions about PSEs in the Clerk Craft; Explaining PSEs Caps; Breaks in Service and the impact on PSEs Seniority and Health Care Eligibility; Conversion to Career; PSEs Discipline, and PSEs Transfer
Special Note: Only one phone line will be allotted for each local/state. Therefore, we are requesting that only the local/state president or his/her designee participate in the webinar.
Upon verification of approval from your local/state President, information about how to join in on the webinar will be emailed to you.
Space is limited. Therefore, we will register only one representative per local/state. If you are not pre-registered, you will not be able to join the webinar.
Registration will close Sunday, April 28, 2013 at midnight.
Los Angeles District is hiring PSE's.
The following "Customer Care" jobs were posted on April 9, 2013:
PSE Customer Care Agent - Tier 1 [pdf]
PSE Customer Care Agent - Tier 2 [pdf]
I believe this is the first time this job category has been posted, anywhere, for PSE's. I personally think it would be better if career employees were handling Customer Care issues, especially at Tier 2.
What are the time limitations when you are qualified on a scheme and need to go to Window Line School?
Also, what are the time limits for getting a Clerk Window Line School after being awarded a job?
APWU Web News Article 038-2013, April 1, 2013
Enforcing the Award
The 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement and a ruling of Arbitrator Shyam Das impose strict limits on the amount of bargaining unit work postmasters and supervisors may perform.
“If the USPS is violating the limits — and they are violating them almost everywhere — grievances should be filed now if they have not already been filed,” said Mike Morris, director of Industrial Relations. “Where grievances were filed, they should be settled in accordance with Arbitrator Das’ ruling,” he said.
In Level 20-and-Above Offices:
Postmasters and supervisors should perform no bargaining unit work except for the limited circumstances outlined in Article 1.6.A of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
In Level 18 Offices:
Postmasters and supervisors may perform no more than 15 hours of bargaining unit work per week.
In Level 15 and Level 16 Offices:
Postmasters and supervisors may perform no more than 25 hours of bargaining unit work per week.
Union Wins Huge Arbitration For Clerks in Small Offices
The union won a major arbitration victory on March 29, when Arbitrator Shyam Das issued a long-awaited decision that will affect Clerk Craft jobs in small post offices. The ruling settles a long-simmering dispute about the amount of bargaining unit work postmasters and supervisors may perform in Level 18-and-below offices.
“This decision will mean more hours for the clerks who work in small offices and more Clerk Craft jobs,” said APWU President Cliff Guffey.
Arbitrator Das upheld the union’s position, ruling that an agreement between the union and management sets absolute limits on the number of hours postmasters may perform bargaining unit work (BUW) in small offices. A “Global Settlement” that was included in the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement, says postmasters may perform up to 15 hours of bargaining unit work in Level 18 post offices and up to 25 hours in Level 15 and Level 16 offices.
More: APWU Web News Article 037-2013, March 30, 2013
USPS News Link - SOX reminder
Keep your office compliant
March 28, 2013
Mail acceptance employees — an integral part of the Sarbanes Oxley Act’s compliance program (SOX) — should refer to the SOX Key Control Guide for the proper procedure and required documentation for Business Mail Entry Unit/Detached Mail Units (BMEU/DMUs).
The guide explains the testing protocol and procedures at DMUs, including:
• Postage statement check-in
• Verification procedures
• Finalize/clear: Observe loading and secure vehicles
• Acceptance: Postage statement completion
The following updated list also details the BMEU controls regularly tested at Postal Service facilities, including:
• Postage statement check-in
• Verification procedures
• Finalize/Clear: Verify each container has clearance document
• Reconciliation: Perform end-of-day reconciliation
• Acceptance: Postage statement completion
New USPS OIG Audit:
Mystery Shoppers: Measuring the Retail Customer Experience
March 25, 2013
“Mystery shoppers” sounds like a new reality television series, but it is actually one of the tools the U.S. Postal Service uses to gauge customer service. Mystery shoppers are customers unknown to the retail staff and who fill out evaluations on their shopping experience, which helps determine how well retail units are performing.
The Postal Service’s Retail Customer Experience (RCE) program uses mystery shoppers to objectively collect data on retail customer experiences. This information is used to drive behaviors for improving customer service, increasing retail revenues, and correcting unfavorable conditions. What kinds of things are these mystery shoppers evaluating?
• How long did they wait in line? Was it over 5 minutes? This makes up 40 percent of the RCE score.
• Were forms and supplies available? Were promotional messages neatly displayed? This makes up 25 percent of the score.
• Was the Postal Service employee attentive and did he or she interact pleasantly with the mystery shopper? Was the retail area neat, clean, and well maintained? This “image” part of the survey makes up 20 percent of the score.
• Did the Postal Service employee ask the mystery shopper if the package being shipped contained hazardous materials? This represents 15 percent of the score.
Although not factored into the overall score, mystery shoppers also record their experience in these categories:
• Product offering – To what extent were mystery shoppers offered certain products and services?
• Product explanations – To what extent were benefits and features of products and services explained?
• Overall experience – Mystery shoppers provide their view on the overall experience, including whether their expectations were met and their likelihood to return.
We are conducting an audit on the mystery shopper program and would like to hear your perspective.
(Click Here for information from APWU on the Mystery Shopper program)
Don't know if this helps but the Position Descriptions for SALES,SVCS/DISTRIBUTION ASSOC (Duties and Responsibilities - 1 to 14) are virtually identical for both PSE [pdf] and Career [pdf] employees. Based on that, I would think the same rules apply to both categories as far as required training and probationary periods.
Also see: APWU Web News Article #151-12, Dec. 13, 2012 - APWU, USPS Revamp Window Training
I need an assist in regards to PSE's and window training and scheme. Isn't OJT required after the employee passes the window test? Can anyone lead me to info in regards to PSE's and training for schemes as well. If they do NOT pass their test within their probationary period can they be terminated as was the case with career employees?
APWU Web News Article 035-2013, March 21, 2013
Union, Management Reach Agreement
On Non-Traditional Jobs in Finance, Bulk Mail Units
The APWU recently reached an agreement with the Postal Service regarding Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) duty assignments in finance functional areas (Function 5) and bulk mail units (Function 7).
The March 12, 2013, settlement [PDF] stipulates that the number of NTFT duty assignments in Function 5 or Function 7 will be limited to the number of Clerk Craft part-time regulars (PTRs) and part-time flexibles (PTFs) working in those functional areas immediately prior to the date when they were converted to converted to full time, Aug. 27, 2011.
In accordance with the agreement, the NTFT assignments will have at least two consecutive days off. Six-day work weeks will not be permitted unless management can demonstrate that the specific PTRs and/or PTFs were regularly scheduled for six-day work weeks prior to conversion.
Full-time flexible Clerk Craft NTFT duty assignments may be created and utilized in Function 7 in installations where PTFs were working in that functional area prior to Aug. 27, 2011, and are limited to that number.
Exceptions to the restrictions outlined above will only be permitted by mutual agreement at the local level.
A list [PDF] identifying all PTRs and PTFs working in Function 5 and Function 7 immediately prior to their Aug. 27, 2011, conversion is attached to the MOU.
In accordance with Article 37.3.A.1 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, "Every effort will be made to create desirable duty assignments from all available work hours for career employees to bid."
Union Fights USPS Abuse of PSEs in Small Offices
Management Forces PSEs to ‘Voluntarily’ Take a Pay Cut
“The Postal Service is abusing Postal Support Employees in small offices and systematically violating contractual restrictions governing PSEs, Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk has declared. “And we intend to do something about it. Locals and state organizations must take note of these violations and file grievances based on the specific circumstances in their area,” he said.
More: APWU Web News Article 033-2013, March 20, 2013
APWU Web News Article 032-2013, March 19, 2013
PTF Hub Clerk Volunteers Will Receive Pay for Travel, Mileage
The APWU and USPS agreed on March 13, 2013, that Part-Time Flexible (PTF) Hub Clerks who volunteer to work in offices other that their home office are entitled to travel pay and/or mileage expenses. The agreement [PDF] is in accordance with Section 438.133 of the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) and Chapter 7.d of F-15 Handbook, Travel and Relocation.
The USPS had taken the position that management was only required pay travel and/or mileage expenses to PTF Hub Clerks who were required to travel and not to those who volunteer in order to increase their work hours. In practice, in some areas of the country postal managers had been paying the travel expenses of PTF Hub Clerk volunteers and in other areas they had not.
To resolve the dispute in a favorable manner once and for all, the APWU agreed to implement the settlement on a prospective basis: PTF Hub Clerk volunteers will be paid travel pay and/or mileage as appropriate. Locals should close grievances filed prior to March 13, 2013, and ensure that PTF Hub Clerk volunteers are paid appropriately going forward.
National League of Postmasters:
"A letter [pdf] was also sent out on the staffing of PTPO and RMPOs. In 2-hour and 4-hour Remotely Managed Post Offices there will be a Primary PMR scheduled 5 days per week, with a Secondary PMR assigned to cover the non-scheduled days and other absences. However, if mutually agreed to by the PMR and the APO Postmaster (or District), the PMR may work 6 days per week. A 6-hour office will have a career Part-Time Postmaster - PTPM. The jobs will be posted 5 days a week but again if mutually agreed to by the PTPM and the APO Postmaster (or District) they can work 6 days a week. Replacement for non-scheduled days and other absences in these offices is a Postal Support Employee - PSE."
More Than One Thousand 6-Hour Postmaster Vacancies Posted from March 5-20, 2013
First Round Consideration Limited to All EAS Career Postmasters
More than 1,000 career 6-Hour Postmaster vacancies have been posted, with first consideration being given to all career EAS postmasters, including A-E (EPM 51-55) postmasters.
The initial posting period for these offices will be from March 5-20, 2013. Afterwards, remaining vacancies will be posted to all career EAS employees District-wide or Area-wide (noncompetitive requests from career EAS employees can also be considered.) The next phase of postings will include District-wide career bargaining unit employees and PMRs after the previous eligibility for posting these vacancies has been exhausted. Jobs will be awarded by May 4, 2013.
A list of the 6-Hour Postmaster vacancy postings can be found by clicking on the attached:
POStPlan Six-hour Postings [xls]
March 7, 2013
Related: Postal Service Turns to Six-Hour Shifts to Reduce Costs - GovExec.com
No. The OT used would be begin tour overtime. If you had a list person for begin tour and they were not used they would have a valid grievance.
SSAs...coming your way soon.
9 ways to a perfect transaction plus...stop clocks...yep, you set them for 5 minutes everytime you get a customer, to assist you in not exceeding the 5 minutes per customer limit. Oh, and then we have the tape, red tape, yellow tape and green tape placed along the service line. When the customer line passes the red tape, you should call for help.
I mean, we wouldn't want the supervisor to have to be saddled with the responsibility of staffing, do we?...LOL
Do these guys ever give up? Can the idiots just let us do our jobs? Give me a break.
Thanks for the help everyone!
Look at the ELM 432.32 to find the rule you are looking for I believe.
Our CBA allows it for FTRs on the OTDL only. See page 51 of the 2012 JCIM.
I have Philadelphia's CILO agreement somewhere? and when I find it I'll post it here.
Click Here [pdf] for the Pittsburgh CILO agreement.
I can find nothing in the contract that limits the daily work hours of a PSE. It seems as long as mgmt is staffing correctly (a whole other issue - usage caps, compliance, etc) they can work as many hours as the FLSA allows.
I have had reports from the field that some PSE's are working six 12 hour days (pd for 72/hrs/wk).
You could find it JCIM 2012, page 48 - Article 8.4.G - OVERTIME WORK - PSE EMPLOYEES & might need:
Award on USPS Use of Casuals in Lieu of Career Employees [pdf]
An award by Arbitrator Shyam Das sustaining the APWU’s grievance over the Postal Service’s improper use of casuals in lieu of career employees. (AIRS #36175 - USPS #Q98C-4Q-C 00100499: 8/29/01). The arbitrator ruled that the Postal Service may only employ (hire) casual employees to be utilized as a limited term supplemental work force and not in lieu of (instead of, in place of, or in substitution of) career employees.
In our local, we already had few step 1s & won step 2 against their violations.
PS: If anyone has arbitration-awards (Philly or Pittsburgh) about 'the Casuals in Lieu of Career Employees,' please send or attach here. Thanks in advance!
I am trying to find out the rules for PSE work hour limits.
When the category of employee was initially created we were told they were like PTFs in that they could only work 11 and 1/2 hours. Management routinely works them 12 hours with a half hour lunch (12 1/2 hours total time in the plant).
Any help in refreshing my memory is greatly appreciated.
USPS News Link - Web time in line
A high-tech way to monitor WTIL
February 25, 2013
Lobby cameras have been helping some Post Offices decrease wait time in line for 10 years. Using webcams to monitor line length is a strategy to improve retail customer experience (RCE) scores.
In Atlanta District, two employees continuously monitor how long customers have been in line using webcams placed in station lobbies.
Maybe instead of two employees continuously monitoring the lines, they could open up 2 more windows or assist the customers or the other window clerks. Also, the specific use of webcams seems to violate ASM 273.13 - RZ
My start time is 4:00am and management didn't bring me in on my off day (I am on the OT list for off day). Instead, management had a clerk who starts at 7:00am come in at 5:00am (who is not on the OT list) to help with distribution.
Do I have a grievance since they worked a non-ot list clerk 2 hours overtime instead of bringing in me on my off day for 8 hours?
Please let me know what you think??
Hoping someone can help me. I am currently in a Bulk mail position at a DMU. Just got the job 2 weeks ago and had to pass numerous tests to be eligible. The clerk who is senior to me took the first test (typing) and didn't pass. The postmaster was told the job goes to the next person which is how I got the job. I got a call from my union steward on Feb. 21 telling me she had won her grievance at Step 2 and she will be awarded the job. It was won because the posting didn't state clearly a typing test is required. It only said must pass all requirements. Hoping to keep my job, and not have to go back to my old position.
USPS Assigns Too Many PSEs to Retail
The USPS has assigned too many Postal Support Employees (PSEs) to work the window, according to reports we have received from the Postal Service.
APWU national and local officers must work together to step up enforcement of restrictions on their use.
Article 7.1.B.4 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement limits the number of PSEs working in retail/customer service (Function 4) to:
• 10 percent of the career retail clerks in Level 22-and-above installations whose duties include working the window and
• 20 percent of the career retail clerks in Level 21-and-below installations whose duties include working the window.
The CBA also stipulates that the “rounding up” rule of .5 and above applies.
Locals must review the PSE reports when they are posted on the APWU website and investigate and file grievances when the Postal Service is in violation of the contract. For sample grievance forms, visit the APWU Industrial Relations pages. For installations that are not part of a local, state organizations are encouraged to review the data and file grievances where appropriate.
Clerk Cases Scheduled For Arbitration
Mike Morris, the Director of Industrial Relations, has issued a tentative arbitration schedule for the first six months of 2013. The Clerk Craft cases are:
APWU, USPS Reach Agreement on TACS Jobs
The APWU and USPS have reached an agreement [PDF] regarding management’s plan to transfer work currently being performed by more than 330 TACS Clerks in locations across the country to a single location in Eagan, MN. In August, the USPS notified the union of plans to reassign the Time and Attendance Collection System work to members of the ITASC (Information Technology Accounting Service Center) bargaining unit at the Midwest facility.
The Feb. 1 agreement allows TACS Clerks to transfer — with their seniority intact — to the new Level 13 positions. It also guarantees that there will be a minimum of 100 duty assignments in Levels 13, 15 and 18 on the ITASC pay scale. TACS Clerks also will be eligible to compete for Level 15 and Level 18 positions, and other Clerks Craft employees who wish to transfer will have priority over other employees for the position, provided they are minimally qualified.
More: APWU Web News Article 015-2013, Feb. 7, 2013
I am trying to prove a Postmaster is working the window more than she claim. Does anyone know what specific WOS report I would request to prove this?
Anyone out there having issues with management utilizing UAR's and PSE's on the APBS? I say they should be trained, management states they don't have to because there's no need for keying. I say they should post bid positions, they say why, when they can utilize whoever they want to. ugh
Is anyone seeing PSE's being put into Bulk Mail positions? Any idea what D/A code they may be using?
RE: OVERTIME WORK ON A HOLIDAY – PSE EMPLOYEES
Full-time holiday volunteers are considered to have volunteered to work eight hours. The assignment of full-time employees to work over eight hours on a holiday is handled consistent with the overtime provisions of Article 8. [JCIM page 92]
PSEs will be scheduled for work on a holiday or designated holiday after all full-time volunteers are scheduled to work on their holiday or designated holiday. PSEs will be scheduled to the extent possible, prior to any full-time volunteers or non-volunteers being scheduled to work a non-scheduled day or any full-time non-volunteers being required to work their holiday or designated holiday. If the parties have locally negotiated a pecking order that would schedule full-time volunteers on a non-scheduled day, the LMOU will apply. [JCIM page 92]
When an opportunity exists for overtime for qualified and available full-time employees, doing similar work in the work location where the employees regularly work, prior to utilizing a PSE in excess of eight (8) work hours in a service day, such qualified and available full-time employees on the appropriate Overtime Desired List will be selected to perform such work in order of their seniority on a rotating basis. [JCIM page 48]
11. Is management required to assign overtime to overtime desired list employees before utilizing a Postal Support Employee (PSE) in excess of eight work hours in a service day?
Response: Qualified and available full-time employees on the appropriate overtime desired list will be selected to perform such work. [JCIM page 56]
Need an on point cite. I have not had to deal with the new overtime provision of regulars having priority overtime over the casuals so maybe there's something I don't know, but here's the picture, it's holiday period, casuals on 8 hours ot, at end of 8 hours, they continue to work and list sent home, should make no difference if it's holiday period, right? Case # for a cite on that point for my local president would be appreciated. Thanks.
My bid is 4.00 am - 12.30 pm with sunday/wed off days. I just got a bid at 7.00 am - 4.00 pm. with sun/fri off days - my old station is holding me 21 days, so my question is do I get out of schedule pay for 3 hours a day? And what about my off day, should it be wed or fri during the 21 day hold?
I need Help, Please. I am in a unique situation, I believe. Small SCF (69 AOs, branch) w/only 2 incoming DBCS machines, along with processing all manual letters, flats, small parcels, news, priority, and pp done on site. Lost outgoing 3 years ago. Originally scheduled to lose mail in August 2012 - did not happen 'til 11/17/12. Same day, they DUO'd the branch into the main office. Excessed 10 clerks-9 from main office and 1 window clerk from branch. Amp study says we are to be "HUB" office now-meaning we STILL do everything we did before but, now we have no machines. We still unload all trucks, manually work ords, news, priority, parcels, etc, with DBCS mail to arrive by 6 am - which it never does. Also, 8 more clerks are taking early out leaving us understaffed by 2 according to AMP.
New PM posting L7 lead clerk at branch and NTFT position in direct violations of Art. 37. Says she does not have to post PA for NTFT nor specify on bid that it is to be split between stations on a daily basis! Let alone daily travel involved, etc. Other than obvious Art. 37 violations, I feel we may have some labor charges? Most other positions will be similarly posted. Not getting any cooperation from local's president, as he is the "steward" remaining due to his "super seniority." PM is stating all bids will have no PA, will have city scheme AND window - so everyone can go anywhere she wants at any time! Tried explaining to her @ having the right of expectation to know what work you will be bidding and why there ARE job descriptions, etc.
I am beating my head against a wall here and would appreciate ANY and all feedback by the great minds out here. Is Art. 37 enough? This PM has NO knowledge of any contracts nor of processing any mail. Comes from a po-dunk office the size of our branch. I need to fire back with all guns ablazing, with or without our local presidents blessing!! Thanks in advance to anyone for taking time to answer. P.S. - PM's stated goal is to make ALL FTR (inc. NTFT) just as the old PTFs in these smaller SCFs that are losing their machines, with NO regard to the CBAs!
The 9-12-12 sign off does not contain any language that would exempt them. If they were to be exempted the sign off would have another clause like clause 5.
Are employees in Best Qualified Positions in separate category (exempt) as far as excessing outside the installation? Does the latest MOU stating that excessing is done by seniority override that language? Any assistance is greatly appreciated.
Thanks everyone for clearing up how the PSE overtime is calculated. This has answered a lot of PSE questions that we have in our office.
Thanks Randy/Greg - The way it was explained to me when we encountered this issue was that it had to do with FLSA calculations but Morris's article explains it better. Thank you for clarifying!
This article from APWU Industrial Relations Director Mike Morris explains why PSE overtime does not equal one and a half times the hourly rate:
PSE Pay, Sunday Premium
Nicole and Kevin,
This is from the DOL web site on ovetime rules in part. If your PSE's are not being paid at the proper overtime rate then this will support the CBA Art 8.
U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
(Revised July 2008)
Fact Sheet #23: Overtime Pay Requirements of the FLSA
This fact sheet provides general information concerning the application of the overtime pay provisions of the FLSA.
An employer who requires or permits an employee to work overtime is generally required to pay the employee premium pay for such overtime work.
Unless specifically exempted, employees covered by the Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay. There is no limit in the Act on the number of hours employees aged 16 and older may work in any workweek. The Act does not require overtime pay for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of rest, as such.
Section 4.G. Overtime Work PSEs
PSEs shall be paid overtime for work performed in excess of forty (40) work hours in any one service week. Overtime pay for PSEs is to be paid at the rate of one and one-half (1½) times the basic hourly straight-time rate.
With regard to PSE overtime, the reason the overtime is paid at a different rate from that of a career employee is due to the fact that PSEs are entitled to overtime under FLSA and not "postal overtime." As a result, the overtime rate for PSEs is not one and a half times their basic hourly rate. The language pertaining to PSE overtime can be found in Article 8.5.
The PSE staff in our office is receiving 14.89 per hour but when in overtime status they are only receiving 21.47 per hour - a loss of 86 cents per hour. Can anyone help and explain why this is? Thank you.
USPS News Link - Mailing perfume
HAZMAT question modified to include perfume
January 15, 2013
Because of its alcohol content, perfume is considered a hazardous material for shipping purposes. That’s why USPS has modified the Retail Customer Experience HAZMAT question to help employees understand whether a customer’s package contains perfume.
Retail associates must not accept packages containing perfume to be mailed internationally or to an APO/FPO or DPO location, regardless of its quantity or mail class.
When sent domestically, perfume also cannot be mailed using Express Mail, Priority Mail or First-Class Mail. But a package may be sent if it meets the following conditions:
• The package is sent using Parcel Post (to be renamed Standard Post effective Jan. 27, 2013).
• The perfume container doesn’t exceed 16 fluid ounces.
• The customer confirms the perfume is sufficiently cushioned to prevent damage.
• The container is strong enough to prevent damage during normal handling.
• The package is marked “Surface Only” or “Surface Mail Only.”
Customers can ship only one bottle of perfume in a single mailpiece. Gift sets containing more than one bottle of perfume, regardless of ounces per bottle, are non-mailable. The perfume bottles must be separated and mailed as individual mailpieces.
For more information, please refer to the DMM, Pub.52 or a BMEU manager.
Postal Headquarters Announces Temporary Suspension of DUO Implementation
January 14, 2013
Today, the NAPUS national office received a memorandum from Postal headquarters announcing the immediate temporary suspension of Delivery Unit Optimization (DUO) implementation. The memorandum was dated January 11, 2013, although it was not forwarded to NAPUS until today, January 14th. The temporary suspension of the DUO implementation process went into effect immediately, including offices that were scheduled to be impacted on January 12, 2013. NAPUS President Bob Rapoza will attend a meeting with Postal officials on Wednesday, September 16, 2012 to discuss the temporary suspension and what changes are planned for the program.
A copy of the USPS memorandum is attached below.
DUO Temp Suspension [pdf]
A full time reg clerk has Sat & Sun as non scheduled days. This clerk has now done a change of schedule AND now has Sun and Tue as her non scheduled days. Does the FTR get to work her bid hours on Sat?
Does anyone know if we are getting closer to a decision from the Article 1.6b global settlement arbitration?
Has anyone out there had this kind of bidding problem?
Person phone bids.
Bids on 5 traditional jobs.
Ends up being awarded a NTFT job they did not bid on.
In this case, the Clerk is going to be forced into a 35 hour NTFT job they say they did not bid on. Having never phone bid, I do not know what kind of paper trail anyone has if they bid this way.
Shared Services says the person did indeed bid the position.
(And I guess we just have to take their word for it?)
Does anyone have any experience dealing with this type of bidding problem?
I put in for annual months ago for Dec. 24th and was denied. I work in a station doing distribution from 4am to noon. On that day, Dec. 24, management let off on annual the T-7 since the window was closing at noon. Her hours are 9.45am - 6.45pm. Can they give her annual before me, since I had requested it before her? If its a grievance, what is the remedy??
USPS Postal Bulletin - December 27, 2012
Forever Stamp Stock Revaluation Instructions
Effective January 27, 2013, the Postal Service’s™ new First-Class Mail® single-piece 1-ounce price is 46-cents. All Post Offices™, postal retail units, Automated Postal Centers (APCs), and contract postal units (CPUs) must increase the value of each Forever® Stamp booklet on hand in their inventories prior to opening for business on January 27, 2013. All Forever Stamp booklets on hand are revaluated to the new First-Class Mail single-piece 1-ounce price of 46-cents each stamp.
New Selling Price for Forever Stamp Booklets
Forever Stamp booklets are recorded in inventory at the old price; therefore, the booklets must be revalued. To increase the value, stock custodians and retail associates must count the number of Forever Stamp booklets in their inventories and multiply by the corresponding increase amount to compute the value of the increase in accountability
Nice connection. Thank you Randy.
The posted job description for PSE - Mail Processing Clerk in Oakland, California [pdf] lists only the requirement of a written exam:
"Applicants must qualify on-line assessment and Battery 473 Exam within 7 days after the closing date of posting."
Under Functional Purpose it further states:
"Performs a variety of clerk duties required to process mail using automated mail processing equipment or manual methods
of sortation and distribution.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
1. Makes one or more sortations of outgoing and/or incoming mail using the appropriate sort program or manual distribution
In fact, it is virtually the same position description for a full time regular Mail Processing Clerk. So based on that, I would think whatever training regular clerks are required to pass would also be the same for the PSE Mail Processing Clerks working on the same equipment doing the same operation.
Thanks Ted. Is it specified anywhere? I found it in the CBA, appendix C: 10/20/11 Q&A, #7 where it poses the question "May a PSE work in both Function 4 and Function 1? The ANSWER: Yes. A PSE may be utilized anywhere the PSE is qualified to work....
Have you seen it anywhere else?
PSE's can work anywhere as long as they are trained. Here in Sacramento, we have keying and automated SPBS bids. Keying requires training and automated just on the job training. Hope this helps.
I have a PSE question. Can PSE employees work on SPBS machines? And if they can, don't they have to pass the same training that career employees were required to pass? What if management is stating that they do not have to code, just scan? Is this allowed?
APWU Web News Article #151-12, Dec. 13, 2012
APWU, USPS Revamp Window Training
The APWU has made significant progress recently on revamping window training — a long-term union goal, Clerk Craft officers are reporting.
Last summer, after years of struggle, the USPS finally allowed the APWU to be involved in training — and even paid for the travel expenses of clerks who participated, they note.
The APWU team, which was selected by the union, included active and knowledgeable Sales and Service Associates and Lead Sales and Service Associates from around the country, who presented new ideas and concepts to improve training for retail clerks. This is an ongoing project. “We are committed to keeping the ‘boots on the ground’ concept alive as we to deal with the changing post office,” said Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk.
The APWU clerks participated in the pilot training programs in Philadelphia, Denver, Santa Clarita, CA, and Potomac, MD.
Under the new training concept, employees will receive nine hours of training by e-Learning, followed by 24 hours of classroom training. After the completion of the classroom training, they will have an opportunity to take a two-hour written test. After successful completion of the written test, participants will receive 40 hours of on-the-job (OJT) training.
EMCAL has been holding 2 Steward Seminars a year Spring and Fall since I have been DIR in 2000. It was on the GMM notice that is mailed to the plant and the 100 AO's we represent. I also reported on it at November's General Membership Meeting. Congratulations on your election and I look forward to meeting you.
My apologies for the delay in responding to those who have provided me with information on my previous post and to those who have taken the time to e-mail me with information and ongoing help. I greatly appreciate it.
Bob, thank you for the T-Giving Holiday wishes. I hope you and yours had a happy and fulfilling one also. And thank you for the information and direction.
Coleen, thanks go you to you also for the information and offer. I will contact you.
Bill Mellon....since I am the new Clerk Craft Director elect for 2013, is there any particular reason why I wasn't notified about Steward Training?
Thanks to all the stewards and members who attended the Fall Steward Seminar last Saturday. As usual, President A.J. Jones and VP Charlie K. gave an in depth presentation on the many issues we are now facing. It was very well attended and it is a pleasure to assist on providing our stewards and members the latest information and tools needed to confront their issues in these most challenging times.
Don't blame postal clerks for problems with service
Letter to the Editor by John Kishel, President, Wilkes-Barre Area Local 175
November 30, 2012
"I write this letter today because I am fearful a customer is going to go too far overboard when told we cannot mend their letter or package. We have instances daily where customers berate the clerk because the clerk is told to tell the customer that we sell tape, and that the customer must buy a whole roll, even though they may only need a one-inch piece. When you're standing in line 15 to 20 minutes over the postal service mandated five-minute wait time in line, it is because management chose to reduce staffing. The window clerks who serve you have no choice in the matter so please try and understand that when you are losing patience because of these rules.
What can you do? Write your political leaders and demand the customer service you are entitled to. Voice your concerns to the USPS by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS and demand that Harrisburg District Manager Dale Walker fix this now."
Click Here for more from CitizensVoice.com
Sulli, from what you have posted this is not a CA-1 but a CA-2 issue. By your own words you have told management more than once about your shoulder. If you filed a CA-1 it would most likely be controverted without pay and you could be placed in a situation where you would have to pay them back. If you want to send me an email I can walk you through the process of filing a CA-2.
First congratulations on your work and your ego.
If you are now a MPC then, based on your post, the day to day seniority clause is being ignored. It is time quickly to file an Article 13 with documentation. Get with the proper doctor, explain the USPS lack of ability to understand common medicalese, and get the proper forms filled out for FMLA and OWCP.
I was just elected Clerk Craft Director in the EMCAL 2233 (Effective Jan 2013). My question is this...I have 31.7 years of service and in August, resulting in the job re-alignments, I was awarded a Manual job, as my principle duty assignment. I bid off the DB's after 17 years due to a worsening shoulder problem.
Now this shoulder problem is not to the point where it is debilitating, just uncomfortable and painful. I still give 150% every day I'm there. Many in the plant will not work with me because I'm too productive. Since bidding manual and In Plant Support creating a staffing problem on T-1, two of us are being pulled off our principle duty job in manual, while there is still mail in our section and junior manual personal untouched, by the T-1 supervisors, to work the the DB's doing their two pass, until our shift ends. I have repeatedly told the supervisors about the issue with my shoulder and how, at times, I have to ice it when I get home, yet they continue to disrespect me and treat me with utter disregard for safety and health, negligence and malice for their own personal needs. Obviously reasoning with them is out of the question.
Is there somewhere I can go to find copies of grievance awards on this exact subject matter to prevent this practice from continuing? Do I continue to follow their "or as assigned" order until my shoulder gives out completely and end up filing a CA-1? Our union execs have nothing to say about this other than "well, the 'or as assigned' clause lets them do this."
I appreciate the knowledge and integrity of the many who post and share on this forum. Thank you for any information and direction you can provide.
From: Lyle Krueth
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2012 12:39 PM
To: Clerk Division NBA
Cc: Clerk Department; Regional Coordinators
Subject: APWU PSE COMPLIANCE Reports FY13_PP22
Please review the attached PSE compliance report. It should be posted on the APWU web site soon.
In particular please review the Window PSE Tab carefully. You can modify this report to limit it to the PSEs in your Region by utilizing the tabs on Line 5. It you clock on the little tab to right of “DISTRICT NAME” you can limit the report to only the Districts you represent. The report is currently set to only show those offices which are exceed the Window PSE Cap. If you wish to see all offices in the District click on the Line 5 to the right of “Over/Under” and set it to “show all.”
Please request your locals and state organizations to follow up on this and file grievances where necessary. Management is “self-reporting” these violations to us. We cannot afford to continue to ignore these contract violations like this.
Assistant Director “B”
See: PSE Compliance Reports - FY13 PP22 [xls]
Looking for an Instructional manual for the DBCS. Common sense states that clerks should be given sufficient time to setup the machines but clerks in our office are having to play the childish game of cranking up the machines as soon as they arrive in their work area. Management uses the age old "I'm giving you a direct order" threat. Any information locating this would be greatly appreciated.
I found the following in the Administrative Support Manual (ASM) [pdf]:
422.262 Acceptance Employees
The following guidelines apply:
a. Postmasters/managers select and designate employees to provide passport acceptance services. They determine the number of designated employees needed to: (1) provide sufficient staffing during advertised hours; and (2) prevent excessive customer waiting time during peak periods.
b. Employees other than Sales and Service Associates may be designated to accept passport applications.
c. Supervisory personnel should be designated only for emergency situations.
Is there any wording in the contract or in any postal manuals on a Clerk being a passport agent?
A Clerk is being forced to do the training and then of course process the passports. It was my understanding that it was voluntary.
Any help on this matter is appreciated.
USPS News Link - October 31, 2012
USPS set to expand use of lobby assistants and self-service kiosks
USPS is expanding its use of “lobby assistants” at select Post Offices to help customers take advantage of new self-service opportunities and to help improve the customer experience.
The expanded role for lobby assistants coincides with the deployment of a new generation of self-service kiosks. In November, USPS will begin equipping each of 15 Post Offices with two new kiosks.
AMS jobs finally returned to the Clerk craft!
These postings come down today at the San Francisco P&DC:
Address Management System Technician P7-07 Job Ref# 283502 [pdf]
(1 position to be filled)
Address Management System Technician P7-07 Job Ref# 283505/283506 [pdf]
(2 positions to be filled)
Address Management System Technician P7-07 Job Ref# 283520 [pdf]
(1 position to be filled)
Section 4-11.2.1 of the F-1 handbook [pdf] states that the supervisor/manager is responsible for all audits being done timely including the retail floor stock.
Chapter 13 of the F-101 handbook [pdf] spells out the procedures of counting the retail floor stock as well.
It is my understanding, when performing the retail floor stock audit, that a clerk must count the retail floor stock with a member of management. In my office no clerk can remember performing the audit with management within the last 8 to 12 months. Have things changed??? If not, where can I find it in writing where a clerk and member of management must perform the audit together? The last time I did the audit, only a clerk could print out the audit sheets and a clerk had to sign off on the audit.
PSE opportunities in Chicago area:
In APWU training I have attended on understanding and implementation of the 2010 CBA, the official APWU position put forth was PSEs are covered under Article 16, entirely.
...in accordance with the provisions of Article 16
I believe APWU takes that to mean that under Article 16, you follow the provisions, period. Otherwise, it would have been worded differently. And perhaps our negotiators should have insisted on clearer language. Of course, the USPS sees it differently.
Hopefully someone else will post who has recently experienced and dealt with this issue.
Randy, You hit the nail on the head. That's the major problem in this case. Pg 290 simply gives a PSE the right to file a grievance under Art 15. Mgmt must give advance written notice is the only provision under Art 16 they must follow.
Also, in our case, the PSE was dismissed after 1 USL as mgmt thought the probationary period hadn't expired. We prevailed in EEO. So PSE hired 11/11, dismissed 2/12, returned 3/12, and dismissed 9/12 after given 30 days advance notice 8/12. This employee had previously been a casual in our facility for about 2 yrs prior to hiring as PSE.
Again, mgmt's case hinges on the fact PSE's are non-career and don't have Art 16 coverage. "Disciplinary steps do not have to be followed as long as "just cause" is met." BTW other PSE's have been discplined for attendance using the steps. So this is a test case.
I can't find anything that addresses the problem with a PSE who works over 360 days without a service break. Our Clerk Craft Director believes he has seen something that says if the PSE exceeds 360 days without the break, that PSE must be converted to Full-time status. I don't see anything in the National Agreement. Does anyone know if there are any Federal rules or statutes addressing this type of issue, such as the FLSA? We just had a PSE hit his 360th day, and management apparently doesn't know it.
Management's boss signed off on the contract. Refer them to the CBA PSE MOU, page 290:
"PSEs may be disciplined or removed within the term of their appointment for just cause and any such discipline or removal will be subject to the grievance arbitration procedure, provided that within the immediately preceding six months, the employee has completed ninety (90) work days, or has been employed for 120 calendar days, whichever comes first.
In the case of removal for cause within the term of an appointment, a PSE shall be entitled to advance written notice of the charges against him/her in accordance with the provisions of Article 16 of the National Agreement."
Have a case that is going to arb on 11/8 that may be of interest. The case involves the dismisal of a PSE clerk who was removed for attendance issues. Mgmt claims since she missed 4 USL in a 2 week period the employee has failed to maintain proper attendance. The employee was given 30 days notice as required for this type of dismisal. PSE's do not have Art 16 rights and not entitled to progressive discipline according to mgmt. Our argument stems around "just cause" which mgmt must abide by. Anyone have a similar case? This may be the tip of the iceberg.
From: Lamont Brooks
Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 3:40 PM
To: Clerk Division NBA; Regional Coordinators
Cc: Mike Morris; Cliff Guffey, President; Greg Bell; Clerk Department
Subject: Lead Clerks-New roles being created for TACS
Per the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement, the parties created the new Lead Clerk duty assignments.
The USPS/APWU May 4, 2012 Lead Clerk Q and A states Lead Clerks would have access to TACS records (clock rings) and could make adjustments with the approval of a supervisor.
As a result of those negotiations, this e-mail with attachment explains the processing of allowing Lead Clerks access to TACS.
USPS Headquarters Labor Relations are in agreement with the attached document.
On behalf of Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk and the Clerk Craft department, we thank you for your patience in completing this process.
Have your local/state officers forward any issues or inquiries on the implementation process to Lamont Brooks only after they have shared this e-mail and attachment with their installation head.
Please share this e-mail and attachment with your local/state officers:
TACS Application Email - October 15, 2012 [pdf]
TACS Application PowerPoint - October 10, 2012 [pdf]
Casual Clerks being hired in Roanoke, VA.
What's up with that?
USPS News Link - October 17, 2012
Safer air shipments
Employees must meet Oct. 31 training deadline
Employees whose jobs include acceptance, handling or incident management of dangerous goods must take new detailed training courses on these duties by Oct. 31. The training will help USPS comply with a Federal Aviation Administration certification process required by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Three different training courses are available. Job duties will determine which course employees have to take.
USPS News Link - October 11, 2012
As Election Day — Tuesday, Nov. 6 — approaches, USPS is reminding employees that Election Mail ballots, regardless of type, must never be held or detained for any reason.
Absentee ballots with short-paid or with no postage are never detained or held for postage payments. Collection of revenue is made later through the local election office.
Certain categories of U.S. citizens are not required to use postage for mailing ballots, including:
•Members of the Armed Forces in active service and their spouses and dependents.
•Members of U.S. Merchant Marine and their spouses and dependents.
•U.S. citizens living outside the territorial limits of the U.S. and their spouses and dependents.
Clerk Craft Challenges Plan To Transfer Time & Attendance Work
(10/12/12) The APWU is challenging a Postal Service decision to transfer duties of Time and Attendance Control System (TACS) clerks to another bargaining unit.
The USPS notified the APWU of the plan to transfer the work currently being performed at District and plants to a Help Desk function located at the Eagan Information Technology/Accounting Service Center facility in Eagan, MN in October 2013.
The Postal Service asserts that the change will result in savings of $16 million per year, but cannot explain how or where this savings will be achieved, Clerk Craft officers said.
More: APWU Web News Article 123-2012, Oct. 10, 2012
I am looking for any updated Window Training material anyone may have available. The most recent information I can locate is from 2000.
If you have the current Window Training guide can you email it to me at email@example.com?
Thanks for your help!
POSTAL SERVICE SIDES WITH CLERKS ON ONE OF THE AFCS-200 ASSIGNMENTS
October 1, 2012
In a letter faxed to the NPMHU office on Friday evening, September 28, 2012, the Postal Service has outlined its intent to assign one “operator position” on the new AFCS-200 to the clerical craft. The primary craft for the induction activities on the AFCS-200 will remain with the mail handler craft.
"We are analyzing this decision to determine the impact on the Mail Handler Craft", said National President John Hegarty. "We obviously disagree with this decision, and will challenge it through the appropriate channels."
Click Here for more from NPMHU.org
OIG Audit #12RG034MS000
Mystery Shopper Effectiveness
The Postal Service’s Mystery Shopper program is used to evaluate the experiences of its customers at its larger retail locations. The program uses independently contracted “customers” who visit Post Offices and document their experiences by answering a standardized questionnaire for the following categories: (1) Waiting Time in Line; (2) Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT); (3) Sales Skills and Product Offerings and Product Knowledge and Product Explanations; (4) Promotion and Merchandising; and (5) Image.
What actions could be taken to improve the effectiveness of this program? How can the data collected from Mystery Shopper be used to increase retail revenue?
APWU Web News Article 158-2010, Dec. 30, 2010
"USPS Announces Changes To ‘Mystery Shopper Program"
Re: Best Qualified Clerk Craft Positions and supervisory evaluations.
I know that supervisory evaluations have been eliminated from the Maintenance Selection system.
Why would a best qualified Clerk Craft Position require a supervisory evaluation? The position in question is Complaints and Inquiry Clerk.
I noticed that supervisory evaluations (BQnet) are not listed as a requirement for this position, like say, for example in the Accounting Tech position.
I need some info on this pronto!!! Thanks.
Thanks! That is what I needed.
ASM 273.17 - Closed Circuit Television System Security
The administrative and security uses of CCTV systems are limited to the following:
a. CCTV systems are installed to view parking lots, building exteriors, employee and visitor entrances, other access controlled entrances, emergency egress only, Post Office box areas, public access areas, and designated high-value locations, such as registry areas.
b. CCTV systems are not installed to view work areas to evaluate the performance of employees.
c. CCTV systems do not utilize “dummy” or nonfunctioning CCTV cameras.
d. Security in the postal retail store.
Management is installing webcams so the MDO and SDO’s can monitor the employees from their desk.
I was always told that only Postal Inspectors can monitor employee’s activities. Is this true or just a myth? If it is true where can I find documentation to support a request to have the installation stopped or the webcams removed?
APWU Web News Article 116-2015, Sept. 28, 2012
APWU Clerk Craft Wins Jurisdiction On New AFCS 200 Operator Position
In a letter [pdf] dated Sept. 28, 2012, the Postal Service wrote, “After reviewing the input from the APWU and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union … the Postal Service has determined that on the AFCS 200, the duties performed by the operator are similar to the duties performed by a Mail Processing Clerk. Accordingly, the primary craft for the operator position on the AFCS 200 is the Clerk Craft. The primary craft for the induction activities on the AFCS 200 will continue to be the Mail Handler Craft.”
APWU Web News Article 117-2015, Sept. 28, 2012
APWU Wins Address Management Jobs
The APWU and the USPS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) [pdf] on Sept. 25 that outlines procedures for filling 318 newly-created Level 7 Address Management System Technicians positions. The new jobs replace the positions that are currently occupied by managerial personnel.
APWU Web News Article 118-2015, Sept. 28, 2012
Clerk Craft Settlement Strengthens Seniority When Excessing Occurs
The APWU and USPS have reached an important agreement that will strengthen seniority for Clerk Craft employees when workers are excessed from an installation, Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk has announced. The Sept. 25 agreement [pdf] stipulates that Clerk Craft employees will be excessed from losing installations by juniority, without regard to their pay level.
APWU Web News Article 119-2015, Sept. 28, 2012
APWU, USPS Reach Agreement on NTFT Schedules
The APWU and the Postal Service have reached an agreement that clarifies management’s obligation to create desirable schedules and work hours for Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) assignments and other positions in APWU-represented crafts, President Cliff Guffey has announced.
August 16, 2012
FROM: John F. Hegarty, National President, William J. Flynn Jr., National CAD Mgr
SUBJECT: Lead Clerks
Attached please find a newly-filed National-level grievance, challenging the Postal Service's attempt to allow Lead Clerks to lead, guide, or direct employees in the Mail Handler Craft. Also Attached is prior correspondence on this issue.
See: NPMHU Lead Clerk Grievance [pdf]
APWU Must Enforce Limits on Use of PSEs,
Clerk Officers Declare
APWU national and local officers must work together to step up enforcement of restrictions on the use of Postal Support Employees (PSEs), Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk said in a Sept. 14 memo.
More: APWU Web News Article 106-2012, Sept. 18, 2012
Also, scroll down to my September 15 related post. - RZ
If a clerk is detailed as an OIC in place of a Postmaster are they considered the same as a 204B for the purposes of the 90 day 204B rule?
Thanks in advance for the help.
From: Lyle Krueth
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2012 11:23 AM
To: Clerk Division NBAs; Regional Coordinators
Cc: Clerk Department
Subject: Emailing: PSE Compliance Report Monitoring, PSE Compliance Report 02-12, PSE Compliance Report 18-12
We currently have 314 installations exceeding the Window PSE Caps - actually the number is significantly higher than that. The USPS Report does not include the 81-8 PSE-4s, where PSEs are working the window with no career clerks in the office OR the offices where these clerks are loaned into. I would suggest that you might want to ask for the LTATs report for the most recent several pay periods showing limited to only the 81-8 D/A who have had hours transferred into any other office. In any case where those PSEs have worked in offices which have clerks, they should be added to the PSE numbers in that borrowing office to determine if there is a violation there.
Please forward the attached MEMO from Clerk Division Director Rob Strunk to your local and state organizations. We need to police these violations and we need to do it now. You may want to include the PP18-12 Compliance Report as well. Please note that you can limit the viewable portion of the report to the Districts in your area by clicking on the tab in Row 5 (after you have enabled editing on the yellow bar at the top of the page) and de-selecting "all" and then selecting the appropriate districts. If you want to limit the viewable portion to only the offices exceeding the cap do so by using the Row 5 tab in that column.
We are asking your locals and state organizations to advise you of the status of any grievances filed on these violations. We are asking you to compile that information and submit a report for your area to the Clerk Division. We can and must reduce these violations.
PSE Compliance Report Monitoring [pdf]
PSE Compliance Report 02-12 [xls]
PSE Compliance Report 18-12 [xls]
Assistant Director "B"
You should first look at Item 13 in your LMOU if you have one. The holiday pecking order should be included. If you have no LMOU, CBA Article 11 has a pecking order.
FYI: I've never seen an LMOU pecking order that distinguishes between assigned FTRs and unassigned FTRs. Seniority has always been the rule regarding volunteers. Some LMOUs may have "skills" considerations.
We have 16 "extras" in automation due to excessed CFS employees. They are unassigned regulars assigned to automation. It's understood that they are NOT to bump ASSIGNED regulars in automation, but does that not apply to the holiday volunteer list? Several volunteer ASSIGNED regulars were not included on the holiday work schedule, while several volunteer UNassigned regulars WERE included on the holiday work schedule. Is this not a violation, or is a holiday an exception to the rule that UNassigned regulars are NOT to work before/instead of ASSIGNED regulars assigned within a section. Where can I find the SPECIFIC language or Article to cite in the grievance? Is there a grievance?
Click Here for a series of questions and answers from apwu.org on the Position of Lead Clerk.
The Lead Clerk in the new contract is a vague position in our local. Can management appoint a Lead Clerk? I ask this because one clerk said he was approached by management to be a lead clerk. Another clerk who I had filed on because management was training her to be a 204B was possibly appointed by management to be a Lead Clerk. I say this because no Personnel Order has been issued about this position being filled by a bid.
Suggest you do what most NC do and contact your R/E Director. I am sure he would send it to you.
You should be able to find the information you need on apwu.org's 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement page.
There is also a permanent link posted near the top of this page, The Collective Bargaining Agreement Resource Book [pdf], and it addresses many Clerk issues, including PSE's and NTFT's.
And of course, if you search this page you will find various discussions relative to PSE's and NTFT's.
I was wondering where I could find general information regarding PSE positions. I was thinking there was a question & answer posting somewhere but can't remember. I'd also like the same info in regards to the NTFT positions. Any help is greatly appreciated!
Efficiency of Customer Service Operations
(OIG Report Number EN-AR-12-003)
"Our report determined that the Postal Service has improved its customer service efficiency, but units still perform below the national efficiency performance goals of 88 percent for fiscal years (FYs) 2010 and 2011 and 90 percent for FY 2012. Additionally, managers at customer service units are not fully using available reports as tools to manage operations. These conditions occurred because managers did not match resources against their workload, senior managers did not promote the use of available reports, and not all managers were trained to use the reports."
Click Here to see Audit Report [pdf]
Thanks Bob, I appreciate the prompt reply!
Assuming the clerk is a PTF and assuming the clerk was used in the plant prior to the current contract and assuming the distance is 50 or less at their new domicile the employee can still be utilized under the "Hub Clerk Memo." It is the person and not the installation.
I have a clerk that would like to go back to a Small Office in order to spend more time with his family. The clerk in question would also like to pick up hours at the plant as a "Borrowed employee." I know that the new CBA does not allow for "Borrowed employees" unless they were utilized before hand but would the clerk still be able to be borrowed after the fact?
Thanks for reading and responding.
CHANGES TO OUR RETREAT RIGHTS
Shared Services has made some changes to our retreat rights before the 2012 JCIM is even printed. The employee notification requirement and the cutoff time for employees to express preferences in their former craft or installation has been changed in the new Retreat Rights FAQs in Liteblue.
Under the new policy posted in Liteblue, excessed employees with retreat rights must submit their preferences for job postings in their former craft or installation prior to the CLOSE OF BIDDING. This is required even if the employee(s) haven't been contacted yet or received the job postings.
The 2012 JCIM, page 112, says: "When an opportunity arises for excessed employees to return to a vacancy in their former craft or installation, the Postal Service will CONTACT ALL excessed employees in seniority order PRIOR TO AWARDING BIDS in the former installation and the order of return will be based on the seniority standing among all excessed employees, both across craft lines and outside the installation."
New USPS Corporate Call Center Jobs
August 8, 2012
All Corporate Call Center jobs will be turned over to the APWU bargaining unit by "May 11, 2013, under the Clerk Craft Jobs MOU in the CBA (pages 375-376). They will become part of the bid cluster for the nearest postal installation. These formerly outsourced duty assignments will be filled with a mix of 70% career and 30% rehabilitation employees."
Click Here for more from PostalReporter News Blog
I can not believe that there was no feedback to my question about Chris Alexander who is supposed to be from Memphis. He is our new Plant Manager and I would like any information on him if I can get it.
Arbitrator closes record in postmaster hours dispute
August 3, 2012
Arbitrator Shyam Das has closed the record of an arbitration hearing regarding the number of hours postmasters in small offices may work.
A Memorandum of Understanding in the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement places strict limits on the number of hours postmasters may work in Level 15, 16, 18 and 20 post offices.
Click Here for more from PostalNews.com
I noticed in the latest POStPlan list [xls], six post offices (like Mack CO 81525) have four PMRs! Over a thousand post offices have a postmaster and two or more PMRs. One post office in Larsen Bay AK 99624 has five PMRs! Is anyone in the APWU policing this?
Related: Revised POStPlan list with APOs - SaveThePostOffice.com - July 21, 2012
I have two questions that I keep getting different answers about.
First one is about senior in leiu of. Only level 6 jobs are impacted in our office. Can a level 7 opt to take a level 6 in leiu of a junior person? The language I see says that it is strictly by craft and they can.
Second, we have an area POOM domiciled in our office. His secretary is a level 7 best qualified that is filled by a clerk from our offie. In the event that the POOM is moved, can they make the secretary go with him? I don't think they can but was told by a union official that the secretary would have to move with him.
Thanks for your help.
While I am not totally sold on your grievance with the little info, that would be the correct remedy.
I am a pool clerk and I am not on the OT list. Management worked me OT before my tour each day this week. Can I grieve this force because I am not on the OT list and what would be my remedy? I feel since I'm a pool clerk they could have changed my hours to replace the clerk on vacation (his schedule) and other clerks on OT list could have worked OT to close the window.
Would 50% of hourly rate be a remedy???
Postal Bulletin 22341 - July 12, 2012
Handbook F-101 Clarification: Cash Retained Credit Counts
This is a clarification to Handbook F-101, Part 13-8.3, Cash Retained Credit Counts (POS Units Only). Cash retained credits with funds must be counted randomly at least once each postal quarter.
If it fits, sack it!
LSS project aims to cut $2 million in unnecessary handling charges
"...an LSS team is experimenting with improvement strategies that will be instituted during the next several weeks at all facilities that process outgoing Priority Mail. These facilities will receive an implementation package prepared by the LSS team."
More: USPS News Link - July 9, 2012
I have an employee that has been on Light Duty for a period of two Years, (Non work related injury). It has come to the attention of the Union that the employee just submitted documentation stating that the injury is now permenant. Based on the restrictions, the employee can not fulfill the duties of the bid assignment. Does the Union have any recourse to recover the bid and have it reposted?? Also, the Supervisor told us they are going to DRAC (District
Rehabilitation Accommodation Committee) her. He also went to the employee and told them it was the Union's fault that they are going to have to DRAC her, when in fact Management has NOT followed through on ever having her fill out paperwork asking for a temp light duty assignment, permanent assignment or a rehab job. He lied to the employee to take the blame off himself, and attempted to make the Union look like the bad guy.... Any Recourse can we take against him??
Any help would be appreciated.
I don't know if this applies to annual audits of WebBATS but I found this at apwu.org:
"...Postmasters also should not be doing Webbats (P.O. Box record-keeping on the web), bulk mail acceptance, or other ancillary duties. Contact your union steward if you have questions about this."
See: APWU Clerk Division - Frequently Asked Questions by Members-at-Large
Randy - I am the webbats clerk in my office. The district or poom in my district has assigned the annual audit to be done by eas employees only. This is the 3rd year in a row the audit has been assigned to only eas employees. Before that, I did the audit. All 3 years that the audit has been assigned to an eas employee, the eas employee has faked the audit just to get it done. They do not know how to or care to learn how to do the audit correctly. Every year I did the audit I found correctible errors. Do you know if there is something in writing that assigns this work to craft employees only. If so I will file a grievence to perform the work. JP
Below is a link to APWU President Guffey's letter to USPS Labor Relations Vice President Tulino concerning the POStPlan to staff many of the reduced-hour rural retail operations with Postmaster Reliefs (PMRs).
Guffey Letter To Tulino - May 24, 2012 [pdf]
Here is some good information related to Lead Postings.
In addition, be aware of the 204 B restriction on pages 169-171 of the contract.
Pages 169-171 of the contract (CBA)
8. Clerks temporarily detailed to a nonbargaining-unit position (204b) may not bid, express Article 37.5 preferences, exercise Article 12 retreat rights, or apply for vacant Clerk Craft duty assignments while so detailed. However, nothing contained herein shall be construed to preclude such temporarily detailed employees from voluntarily terminating a 204b detail and returning to their craft position.
Upon return to the craft position, such employees may exercise their right to bid or apply for vacant Clerk Craft duty assignments.
The duty assignment of a clerk detailed to a nonbargaining-unit position, including a nonbargaining-unit training program, in excess of ninety (90) days shall be declared vacant and shall be posted for bid in accordance with this Article. Upon return to the craft the employee will become an unassigned clerk with a fixed schedule.
A clerk temporarily detailed to a nonbargaining-unit position will not be returned to the craft solely to circumvent the provisions of Section 3.A.8. An employee detailed to a non-bargaining unit position must return to the craft for a minimum of one continuous pay period to prevent circumvention of the intent of this provision. For bidding purposes, this circumvention provision must be met prior to the date of posting the award notice of senior or successful bidder or applicant. For reposting purposes, this circumvention provision must begin prior to the end of the ninety (90) days. This is not an item subject to local implementation.
Form 1723, Notice of Assignment, shall be used in detailing clerks to temporary nonbargaining-unit positions (204b). The Employer will provide the Union at the local level with a copy of Form(s) 1723 showing the beginning and ending of all such details.
Employees detailed to nonbargaining-unit positions are not entitled to out-of-schedule premium.
The below email from Lamont Brooks is being provided to you by your National Business Agents.
Gilbert C. Ybarra
NBA “A” Clerk Division
Shirley J. Taylor
NBA “B” Clerk Division
NBA “C” Clerk Division
NBA “D” Clerk Division
Lead clerk positions are senior qualified positions.
The USPS cannot require KSAs and/or a 991 for the purpose of bidding.
In accordance with 728 of the EL-312, if at the closing of the bid, they determine that the senior bidder is not qualified based on the OPF, training records, etc., they can request additional documentation from the senior bidder to proof that they are qualified. They only have to meet the minimum qualification to be considered qualified, it is not rated like a best qualified position.
After this process, if the USPS determines the senior bidder is not qualified then they can request KSA/991 from the five senior bidders starting with the second senior bidder until such time they reach the minimum qualified senior bidder.
If a bidder has already qualified on a similar job requiring the same KSAs then they do not have to submit KSAs.
Examples where a senior bidder would not be qualified could be physical limitations, medical, prior arbitration decision or settlements that prohibits the employee from working the assignment, etc.
It would be very rare to find these examples or exclusions that would disqualify the senior bidder.
This EL-312 language has always existed for senior qualified positions.
This is not new language.
This is another attempt by the USPS to put their cronies or former 204Bs into the position.
Locals should file grievances unless there is a legitimate reason to disqualify the senior bidder.
In closing it is improper to require KSA on a posting for a senior qualified position.
The exact language can be found in the EL-312, Section 72. I did not quote the exact language in this e-mail, so please take the time to read.
There are 81 cases in APWU Search, of which I have read all of them, so I am versed with the arguments.
Two national awards by Mittenthal and Collins address the core arguments and several step fours that I will send out to you all over the weekend.
Please share this e-mail with local/state officers.
The struggle continues!
Chuck Locke, NBA
1350 Old Bayshore Hwy. Suite 370
Burlingame, CA. 94010
(650) 391-3286 Cell Phone
(650) 685-7404 Office Phone
(650) 685- 7435 Office Fax
USPS News Link Story - June 18, 2012
Resolving WebBATS deficiencies
Collecting PO Box revenue is a priority
"Employees must be given time to perform the annual PO Box and Caller/Reserve Service audit and if necessary, initiate an overflow mail check using PS Form 1532, Semiannual Check of Overflow Mail.District WebBATS coordinators also should be provided adequate time to review the audits for accuracy. All payments should be entered into WebBATS the same day as the transaction."
From Bobby Donelson, President
Retiree Chapter, Southwest Coastal Area Local -
CFS news: The USPS is closing the Sacramento CFS unit. The work will be added to the Santa Ana CFS unit.
This information is from a USPS document in which the USPS plans to consolidate CFS units. The USPS plans to reduce from 44 sites to 14 sites.
The gaining sites are to be staffed by October 8, 2012.
USPS Plans call for the CFS Network to cross Area and District lines.
Complete list of proposed gaining and losing sites are below.
Gaining CFS Sites:
Northeast Area: Kingston, Worcester, and San Juan
Capital Metro Area: Merrifield
Southern Area: Dallas and Tampa
Great Lakes Area: Indianapolis and Royal Oaks
Western Area: Minneapolis, Denver, Seattle, and Anchorage
Pacific Area: Santa Ana and Honolulu
Losing CFS Sites:
Northeast Area: Flushing, New York, Syracuse, New Brunswick, Hartford
Capital Metro Area: Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New Brunswick, Raleigh, Columbia, Chattanooga
Southern Area: Forth Worth, Little rock, Memphis, Jackson, Montgomery, Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Lake Mary
Great Lakes Area: Louisville, South Suburban, Saint Louis, Columbus, and Rochester
Western Area: Milwaukee, Wichita, Salt Lake, and Phoenix
Pacific Area: Sacramento
See: CFS Operations Consolidation [pdf]
First, I would file a grievance on non compliance asking for the position to be posted and filled. I would request OSP for the ultimate successful bidder from the date of the agreement to final adjudication.
Then, if it does good or not, I would call the NLRB and charge "Bargaining in bad faith." Then I would file a violation claiming the person who settled the original grievance did not have the authority to settle as per Article 15. Between all that you should get some reaction.
Question. I am working on a step 1. Management settled a previous case with our local pres. They agreed to post a new lead clerk position by a certain date. Then did not do it. I'm looking for language of bargaining in bad faith. So far Art. 15.4.A is as close as I can come. Anyone handled this before? Any help would be appreciated greatly.
APWU: COULD NEW NTFT JOBS BE SCHEDULED SIX DAYS A WEEK?
Answer: Clerk Craft NTFT assignments could be created as six-day assignments where necessary to create a desirable duty assignment for employees to bid (for example, at a small Post Office that is open six days per week). This type of schedule would not be permitted in a mail processing operation or in any installation that has 200 man-years or more of employment.
The local union would have the opportunity to work with local management to assure that full-time assignments are maximized while at the same time protecting the desirability of the assignments which are posted. No current Full-Time Regular employee can ever be involuntarily assigned to a posted duty assignment of six work days.
OSHA Finds DBCS Ergonomic Risk Hazards at Kalamazoo
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) uncovered risk factors for feeder and sweeper tasks associated with Delivery Bar Code Sorters during an inspection at the Kalamazoo, Michigan Processing and Distribution Center on Feb. 2, the union has learned.
The ergonomic risk factors were not violations of OSHA’s standards, according to a letter [PDF] from OSHA’ Lansing Area Office, but they were “considered significant enough to be brought to the employer’s attention with the intent of encouraging efforts by the employer to reduce exposure or to eliminate them completely.”
Based on the review, OSHA has resent a copy of the Ergonomic Evaluation of the DBCS to the manager at the Kalamazoo P&DC. OSHA’s report identifies the ergonomic risk factors for Feeder and Sweeper tasks on DBCS operations. To prevent musculoskeletal disorders, OSHA strongly suggested that the Kalamazoo P&DC work with USPS to eliminate the ergonomic risk factors identified in the Feeder and Sweeper tasks.
The APWU has submitted OSHA’s findings to the National Joint Labor Management Safety and Health Committee and we will pursue ways to reduce employee exposure to unsafe ergonomic work tasks on the DBCS machines.
See: APWU Web News Article 74-2012, June 15, 2012
When you look at the new Carrier-Clerk job info it was only a matter of time. It will also be heavily used if 5 day delivery ever comes to pass.
Nothing in this message should be taken as me saying there was no violation. Fact circumstances would determine that.
How many areas are experiencing mgmt sending CLERKS to the street to carry mail, not special delivery duties, but actually carrying routes? This is happening in the Kansas City, KS area with no response from NATIONAL (that I am aware of). Love to get rid of TE's and casuals just to bring back the PSE's at a 20% rate. We are having employees with over 30 years in being told to carry mail. Just a thought!!!! And I am NOT digging the APWU, but these actions by the USPS need a response from NATIONAL because it is bigger than LOCAL level.
Thanks Melvin, unfortunately one of the selling points for this contract was the 204b issue. I've got 35 years and don't really care one way or the other. Here in Vegas we still have 204b's, both clerk and non clerk craft employees. Management just moved the clerks to lord over other crafts and have every intent on keeping up the mail handlers. I'm in a plant so I would bet money the carriers are still up in the stations. I have attended a few conventions. I realize it has been requested in the past but a simpler fix would have been no clerk 204b could hold a bid, and like union office positions, restriced from bidding for six months to a year once they step down. There were 50 people in line to file a grievance over the mail handler 204b. They were not satisfied with, "sorry National says they are not under our contract therefore they stay," even though those of us that have been around a while told them that from the beginning. I was ready to file on the lead clerks not being posted but the bids went up this week, sort of. It is hard to keep the members interested when every time we turn around we are saying "sorry, no can do" because this is an exception, and there appear to be many for the most interesting parts of this contract. It is just another bump in the road and maybe in the long run a boost to those that have time left to get involved. Time will tell. I just believe tha Union stands for equality no matter what people decided to do even if I think they are crazy. So lets hear some creative remedies for those wonderful clerk 204bs that just don't want to go back to craft and work. Sad fact is most of us don't want to work with them to begin with.
From Postal Support Employee (PSE) Q & A's [pdf]
4. Can current PMR's be converted to PSE's?
ANSWER: PMR's will be eligible to take the appropriate examinations like any other member of the general public and, if reached during the competitive hiring process, are eligible to be hired as PSE's.
I have been trying to find out the rules on whether an ACTIVE PMR can be hired and utilized as PSE. I have looked in the CBA and the previously posted Q&As on the National Website but I cannot find anything. Any help is appreciated.
The national office did not decide this 204b thing on its own. For the past several national conventions there was always a resolution to eliminate 204b's because the members did not think it was fair for 204b's to accrue seniority in the craft while spending most of their time outside the craft, or sitting down just to bid and pushing right back up again. Being a 204b is not the only way to move up the ranks in the USPS and imho, I don't care if it is a carrier, mail handler, driver or clerk, supervision is supervision. Would it make a difference if the person trying to fire you is a clerk instead of a mail handler? Keep in mind this is basically a union board, I don't think your complaint about no 204b opportunities will garner much support. I know it won't from me.
Just received discipline for not scanning a parcel attempted. Four of us were doing parcels at the time. Is it a clerks job to scan attempted when not in po box section? I have been told no. Boss says we do. Any help will be appreciated.
It appears that any craft BUT the CLERK CRAFT is immune from the 204b 14/90 day rule according to our business agents. We had our meeting and our president was told "sorry, nothing we can do." So when will they need a lead clerk? When will clerks get to be 204b's? NEVER. We will have non craft stupervisor 204b's for the rest of our careers.
If you go straight into the carrier craft without any break in service you would be the same as any other carrier in a like position with 14 years.
Can anyone tell me what my ptf pay rate would be if I transferred to PTF Carrier? I am currently a level 6 Step O with fourteen years in service. Would I be a PTF Step O? If not, what would I be? Thanks for any help.
APWU Web News Article 60-2012, June 5, 2012
Union Resolves Uniform Issue For Non-Traditional Assignments
The APWU resolved a nagging problem on May 24, when the USPS issued instructions to managers in the field [PDF] notifying them that they must re-establish uniform allowances for eligible Clerk Craft and Motor Vehicle Craft employees who hold Non-Traditional Full-Time assignments (NTFT).
The problem arose when the USPS accounting system deleted employees from uniform allowance program after they were promoted to full-time on Aug. 27, 2011, and placed in NTFT assignments.
To reactivate employees’ uniform allowance, their supervisors or postmasters must complete a Uniform Program Worksheet [PDF]. The union encourages representatives at the local level to make sure the proper paperwork has been initiated. Unspent prior-year allowances for the converted NTFT also will be issued.
RE: AUTOMATED RETREAT RIGHTS ON LITEBLUE IN eJOB BIDDING
Q. How are excessed employees notified of positions that they are eligible to retreat to?
A. If the employee was excessed from a manual bid site, the Installation Head of the losing bid cluster will send the postings to the Installation Head of the gaining bid cluster to give to the employee to ensure that the excessed employee has knowledge of eligible positions. If the employee was excessed from an automated bid site, the employee should check eJob Bidding in the Employee Apps - Quick Links on LiteBlue (https://liteblue.usps.gov) each Monday for eligible postings in their former bid cluster.
*** Good luck from a manual bid site. This is guaranteed to fail. Losing installations should send a copy directly to the employee also.
RE: RETREAT RIGHTS FAQS UPDATED 5-31-2012 [pdf]
Good morning Bob,
I have a statement from the clerk, remedy, and a few articles I will cite. Due to this being an odd case for me, I don't know what article to cite when mgmt does not allow a clerk to work when he has recovered and is available to work. Thank you for your help!
Have clerk give statement as to her calls and whom she spoke to. Make sure her statement makes it clear she mentioned the call was to come back to work. File for replacement of leave or pay for any LWOP time.
Good morning all, I'm a newly appointed Shop steward and need some help. A clerk was on sick leave for more that 21 days, brought in proper medical documentation and was cleared to return to work by the medical unit. The supv. responsible for giving the ok for him to report back to work was on vacation for 4 weeks. Clerk was not allowed to work until the supv. came back. The clerk called in everyday until the supv. answered and he asked her why wasn't he allowed to come back to work and she replied no one else is trained to do her job. Can the clerk be compensated for the 4 weeks he was not allowed to work due to the supv. being on vacation? Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Are 204-B's from other crafts (carrier) filling a clerk supervisor vacancy bound by the same 14/90 restrictions?
Automated Retreat Rights on eJob Bidding
In support of our Delivering Results, Innovation, Value, and Efficiency (DRIVE) initiatives, USPS® has developed another online application designed to reduce the existing field Human Resources (HR) workload and improve self-service options for our employees. On June 1, the Automated Retreat Rights Application will be ready for national implementation — just in time for the consolidation efforts of mail processing operations, which may increase instances of employees being involuntarily assigned.
More: Postal Bulletin 22338 - May 31, 2012
Steve: I think the USPS assigned jurisdiction of the AFCS-200 to the Mail Handlers and the APWU filed a national dispute. I have not heard anything else on the matter.
Just curious, has anyone done an RI-399 for the Clerks on the AFCS-200 and if so what were the results?
Questions & Answers
The APWU’s Position on Lead Clerks
May 24, 2012
The APWU has posted a new series of Questions & Answers outlining the union's positions on issues relating to Lead Clerk positions.
APWU’s Position on Lead Clerks [pdf]
Saved/lost grade question: PS 6 Clerk outside installation excessed into mailhandler craft PS 5 in another installation. Refused retreat rights. Still being paid as PS 6 clerk. Loss of saved grade is 2 yrs from date of retreat right refusal, correct? However, she holds a PS 5 mailhandler bid which is higher pay then PS 6 clerk. Why does she not receive higher pay? She is under MH contract but did not receive MH pay adjustment for inflation. Should she have? She called HRSS and was told that once a clerk, always a clerk. WTF is that about? Is she covered under APWU contract for any pay adjustments while under saved grade? It doesn't seem right since she is working under a MH contract but does not receive any of their pay benefits. Others in same situation have been told that saved grade is forever even if retreat rights were refused. HRSS seems to be saying her pay is frozen. Doesn't make sense.
RE: RETREAT RIGHTS FAQS (revised 5-24-2012) [pdf]
Q. If an APWU represented employee, excessed into a different craft within the installation, has to be returned to the first available residual vacancy, what happens if the first vacancy is to a NTFT duty assignment with less than 40 hours/week or more than 44 hours?
A. The employee will be returned to their APWU represented craft. However, if the employee declines to accept the NTFT duty assignment, they will become unencumbered or unassigned with a “traditional” schedule.
Q. If an employee is excessed into a different craft in a new installation, do they have to return to their former craft upon the first available vacancy?
A. No, employees excessed into a different craft outside of the installation have retreat rights and may return, but are not required to return, to their former craft and former installation.
Q. If a clerk is excessed outside the installation to a lower level duty assignment with saved grade pursuant to Article 37.4.C.6.b, and is later offered and declines retreat rights to their former level and craft in the former installation, do they lose the saved grade protection?
A. The clerk would retain saved grade only for the two year period. Thereafter, the clerk must bid or apply to their former level to retain saved grade status.
Q. When a clerk is placed into a lower level duty assignment to accommodate an excessed senior preference eligible clerk, do they have retreat rights to the level?
A. No, if placed in a lower level duty assignment due to the placement of an excessed senior preference eligible clerk, he/she will have retreat rights solely to the former duty assignment on a one-time basis if it gets posted as a vacancy. If he/she refuses the retreat rights, they lose saved grade protection.
In a addition to what Charles Smith and Sam Wood made available (scroll down), I received this updated USPS PowerPoint presentation (in PDF) on Lead Clerk positions. In this latest version, there are additional Questions and Answers addressing pertinent issues.
LEAD CLERKS - MOU Re: Clerk Craft Jobs [pdf]
(USPS Area Labor Relations Telecom - 5-10-2012)
Via Omar M. Gonzalez
Western Region Coordinator
Absolutely, the PSE was guaranteed 2 hours when he first reported at the scheduled location and time, regardless of what was worked later in the day. This is the only PSE Schedule guarantee and I believe it needs to be enforced as strictly as possible to try and keep management from jerking these people around any more than they already are.
Where can I find work rules for PSE's? We had a PSE who was scheduled and directed to report to another office and was told they were not needed and sent home when they reported with out clocking on. They later worked their normal shift at out office seven hours later. Will this PSE be entitled to the two hours guaranteed time?
Here is a USPS Powerpoint Presentation (in PDF) on the Lead Clerk positions in the Florida Suncoast District:
Florida Suncoast District Lead Clerk [pdf]
Via Sam Wood
President - Southwest Florida Area Local
Regarding the criteria for management to have a craft employee in a 204B position starting June 1, 2012, the way I read the language is that even if an individual is from the mailhandeler craft or other crafts, if they are in a 204B postion, they need to be fulfilling the new criteria, such as; 2 week or more vacancy or absence.
Just want to get some opinions here. Been discussing the issue with some at my facility and they are in opinion that management can still place other crafts in 204B positions as often as the like without any restrictions. I totally disagree and it is based on this language from our new contract:
"Not later than June 1, 2012, the Employer will eliminate the usage of 204-B’s except in the absence or vacancy of a supervisor for 14 days or more. The usage of a 204-B in this exception is normally limited to no more than 90 days."
I am not arguing if mail handlers can still be used as 204Bs, management can use as many as they want. My arguement is that management still has to follow the criteria that has been established. If management fails to follow the new criteria, I would think that the APWU could file a grievance and the remedy would be for "more lead clerk" positions to be established.
A presentation from USPS:
LEAD CLERKS MOU Re: Clerk Craft Jobs
2010 – 2015 USPS / APWU National Agreement
PowerPoint - Lead Clerk Presentation [ppt]
PDF - Lead Clerk Presentation [pdf]
Via Charles Smith
I don't believe money is any issue at all. Who cares if anyone gets paid? Screw the selfish "its all about me" 204 b. Let them believe they may be loading a DB on Tour 1 next week.
In case my answer was misunderstood I would never agree to pay the violating 204-B a dime. I would pay the senior clerk that was available to do the work unless OT involved and then I would pay the available OT clerk as per Article 8.
We have had great success in NC getting the Union paid but it was in offices where there were no clerks to pay. This has amounted to well over 100,00 and growing.
Just some of my concerns about Clerk Craft continuing to work as 204B.
If you are seeking resolution to pay any current applicable Clerk Craft employee Level 7 pay or any pay increase due to the the violation of 204B's working after the deadline date - I see the following problem.
During the USPS investigation (Ha, if they do one) Management may ask the Clerk (that the union request higher level pay for) if they wanted to work as a 204B. If that clerk says no or shows no interest in being a 204B, then the arbitrator may see fault in the unions argument that grievance is viable due to the clerk in question felt contractually violated. (Remember - we must, at every step, treat a grievance as if it would go to arbitration)
I believe a better resolution would be that the union (on a local level) made whole by being the local be paid for the hours worked by the 204B as the USPS violated the contract and therefore all members of the Clerk Craft were violated.
Remember that the new contract states something to the fact that no 204B will be employed from the clerk craft. Therefore, no one individual Clerk craft member can be violated, but the local union as a whole is.
Just my two cents.
Pay the appropriate clerk Level 7 for all the 204-B hours if the new rules are violated.
What if the person doing 204-B is a PSE? What would the remedy be then?
There are factors to consider. If a NTFT assignment is ended at 6 hours and the OT opportunity is present they are not on OT for the first two hours.
The OT chances are rotated among those who are on OT if in a TFTR or a NTFT duty assignment.
We have a new NTFT position in our station. Her bid is 6 days a week and 6 hours a day.
Does she have to stay with the 36 hours a week or can she work over her 36 hours if she signs the OT list? Does a FTR get OT before a NTFT or does the OT get rotated among all FTR and NTFT bids?
Where is there language in the contract to this situation?
My suggested remedy for any APWU represented employee that chooses to willfully violate the contract, and service management's needs as a 204b after June 2nd, would be to make them an unassigned regular and pay the senior employee in the section that they supervised level 7 for the day. Maybe if they fear even a remote possibility of forfeiting their job they wouldn't be so quick to carry management's bags. In my opinion, an APWU represented 204b, post June 2nd, is no better than a scab.
"In the Clerk and Motor Vehicle Crafts, where practicable, PSEs will be allowed to opt on a seniority basis for fulltime (traditional and nontraditional) vacant, residual assignments in the installation for which they are qualified and which are not assigned to career employees. Such opting does not create any work hour or assignment guarantees."
Is opting for PSEs optional? Management at the NDC says they can allow or not depending on if management wants to or not.
We may be under Article 12 withholding. I'm not sure. But they talk like it is their choice under any circumstance.
What is a good remedy if management violates the 204-B limits of 14/90? We have 204-B upgrades daily and I doubt management will stop doing so. They think they can just upgrade for 14 days over and over again even if they don't need them for that long of a period. I know we could just file and ask them to stop and we know that would not happen.
A clerk involuntarily excessed from the clerk craft to the maintenance craft, and from one installation to another installation, wanted to know about retreat rights.
"Art.37.3.B.1.(Art. 12 Exceptions-clerk craft)
In the clerk craft, an employee involuntarily excessed from the craft or installation(Art. 12.5.C.5) shall be entitled at the time of such reassignment to file a written request to return to the first vacancy in the craft and installation from which reassigned."
Is it too late for the employee to file a written request now? The employee wasn't aware of the retreat rights when they were excessed, around November of 2011. If the employee can not file the written request now, what other options do they have? Any suggestions on another way to achieve the retreat rights? Also, this employee is a custodian on tour 3, and wants to request a residual custodial vacancy on tour 2. Can they do this, and if so, will it affect their retreat rights? Thanks for any info/comments on this. Letia
204-B's Q & A's [pdf]
20. No later than June 1, 2012, 204-B usage in the Clerk Craft is restricted to "the absence or vacancy of a supervisor for 14 days or more." Is this intended to be 14 calendar days or 14 work days and must they be consecutive days?
ANSWER: It is intended to be a period of 14 or more consecutive calendar days (two weeks or more).
21. Must the same 204-B be utilized for the entire two week period?
ANSWER: No. The 14 day period refers to the absence or vacancy of the supervisor.
22. Beginning June 1, 2012, 204-B's may only be utilized during the absence or vacancy of a supervisor for 14 days or more and this use is limited to no more than 90 days. Could a different 204-B be utilized for a second 90 day period once the first 204-B (or several 204-B's) completed the initial 90 day assignment?
ANSWER: No. The vacancy or absence is normally limited to one 90 day period. Exceptions would only be appropriate in very limited situations (e.g., supervisor on 4 months maternity leave; supervisor on 6 months military leave; or similar situations).
Nothing can stop improper management and failure to follow contract except Article 15, NLRB or court.
I heard that 204B's are going to be phased out in May. Is this true, or will they continue to be used as supervisors? Are there any ways management can get around this by saying the needs of the post office outweigh the contract, or if a regular supervisor leaves, a 204B can continue because of the vacancy left by the departing supervisor? Thanks
APWU, USPS Agree
On New Lead Clerk Jobs
The APWU and USPS agreed to job descriptions for new Lead Clerk positions on May 4, and agreed to the process for posting and bidding the new positions. The new positions were negotiated as part of the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
More: APWU Web News Article 51-2012, May 4, 2012
Article 7 states in part; the number of PSEs derived from the retail/customer service (function four) percentage may be used in function one and when doing so will not count against the 20% mail processing (function one) District cap. My question is, can the PSEs be utilized in the CFS unit where they are scheduled (customer service) and in mail processing during the same 8 hour day?
Since a NTFT is considered a full time employee the only protection would be 8.4.G. Be careful not to confuse OT and OSP time.
As to your question "Can they?" I assume you mean within the terms of the contract. If you had Sat-Sun and now you have Sun-MON there would not be a violation of 8.2.C. Get creative and use Article 37 and claim you were bumped out of your job by giving your work to a junior employee. On Line Item 13 ask for OSP from the date of the change until final adjudication.
As to wondering why management does not use common sense I gave up on answering that many years ago.
Our office does not have a pse but they are using some from two different offices. This keeps them from using NTFT that are on the ODL. Can they do this?
I am a Lead Sale Level 7. They are reposting my job to change my days off. The Posting they put up on April 14 says Vacancy. I do not understand. It is not vacant. And doing so, PFT and PSE can have every other Saturday off. So then they have to pay the PTF on Monday higher level pay for mailings and close out. Am I missing something here? Can they do this?
I don't have personal experience with the reassignment of PTFs, but this may help.
Check out CBA Art 12.8. Reassignment — Part-Time Flexible Employees in Excess of Quota
Might check the JCIM too.
The last sentence is new language.
CBA Article 37 Section 3. Posting, Bidding, and Application
A. Newly established and vacant Clerk Craft duty assignments shall be posted as follows:
1. All newly established Clerk Craft duty assignments shall be posted to craft employees eligible to bid within 28 days. All vacant duty assignments, except those positions excluded by the provisions of Article 1, Section 2, shall be posted within 28 days unless such vacant duty assignments are reverted. Every effort will be made to create desirable duty assignments from all available work hours for career employees to bid.
Does anyone have experience with what happens when management wants to EXCESS a PART-TIME FLEXIBLE CLERK? In my District, they have chosen to give myself and two other PTF's the "OFFICIAL" RIF 60 Day Notice Letters. We have NOT received any information on where other possible job locations would be. The 21 Day ReAssign opportunites do not list any postings that would allow us to bid. It seems all the rules on excessing were made to protect and govern the transfers of excessed Full-Time Clerks. Does anyone know of Rules or Guides that Govern the transfer of Excessed PTF's? We would appreciate the help or knowledge of anyone that has already been through this process.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Re: Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) Duty Assignments in Retail Operations, Level 20 and Below Offices
The parties agree that for Retail Operations in Level 20 and below offices, Non-Traditional Full-Time duty assignments may be created when the union can demonstrate the need for such non traditional duty assignments and it is economically and operationally advantageous to do so.
Re: Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) Duty Assignments
The parties agree to the following rules concerning Non- Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) duty assignments:
- 4. Part-Time Flexible (PTF) employees may work in Function 4 offices level 20 and below. Offices, level 20 and below, remain subject to the Article 7.3.B obligations to maximize the number of full-time employees and minimize the number of part-time flexible employees who have no fixed work schedules.
- 10. In Function 4, in offices with no employees working in NTFT duty assignments, at least 25% of employees will have consecutive days off. However, if there are employees working in NTFT duty assignments, and a NTFT schedule has 3 or more scheduled days off, at least 2 must be consecutive.
I guess the question is, How can a non-traditional full-time position consist of a six day schedule with one day off a week? Can anyone answer?
The Beatles HD - I Me Mine (Remastered) [youtube.com]
Can NTFT in Funtion 1 (not MVS) hours/days off be changed the Wednesday prior?
The MOU for NTFT clerks also states that overtime is available to NTFTs after working 8 hours. How are NTFTs supposed to reach those 8 hours if they are only scheduled 6 or even 3 hour days? The answer has to be OSP.
You may find it in the June 28, 2011 Q&As, #34.
I know of no language for the NTFTs similar to the language for PTFs. Tell your NBA to use a little more specificity.
Help... I have 2 NTFSs working 30hrs. The PO hired 2 PSEs six weeks ago. Already on two occasions one PSE has worked over 30hrs. My NBA says I can file a grievance under Art. 37 and Art. 8 but I find no language to support it. Any comments would be appreciated.
I need some help. I have printed out the discussion by Guffy and usps that says NTFT can only work OOS in an emergency. In my office one of our NTFTs is working more OOS than the regular OTDL working OT. This past week NTFT was SCHEDULED for more than 13 hrs OOS. I filed a grievance about last quarter. This NTFT is our shop steward and said she will fight to keep her OOS. She does not think it is fair she only has 30 hr week. She picked her position because a 40 hr week NTFT was available. Where in the CBA or any document is it stated they can not work the OOS unless emergency? She has a 6 day work week and no 8 hr days. Thank you. Ken