June 11, 2021
In August 2016, National Arbitrator Shyam Das issued an arbitration decision sustaining APWU’s case Q06-4Q-C 11182451. In November, the APWU invoked the arbitrator’s retained jurisdiction, complaining that the USPS had not insourced the 110 HCRs into PVS assignments within 6 months (February 2017) as the Award as ordered.
On June 4, 2021, he ruled that the USPS had indeed not complied with his August 2016 decision.
Although the parties had entered into two MOUs to effectuate the award, and despite the APWU’s cooperation in attempting to insource this work, the Postal Service still failed to comply with the Award. Based on the evidence presented at the November noncompliance hearing, Arbitrator Das found that:
- 74 of the 110 HCR routes had been converted to PVS by the end of 2018.
- Only six additional routes were converted in 2019;
- By November 20, 2021, ninety (90) of the 110 routes had been converted.
During the November hearing, the APWU asked for a monetary remedy and an order requiring the Postal Service to keep all 110 PVS routes as PVS until four years after all 110 routes had been converted from HCR to PVS. Arbitrator Das agreed with the APWU and rejected the Postal Service’s contention that the union acted unreasonably when it rejected some Postal Service initiative attempts that could have adversely affected our members of the bargaining unit.
Das ruled that “…the PVS bargaining unit as a whole has been harmed by the Postal Service’s failure to convert the work at issue as provided for in the 2016 HCR Award and subsequent May 2017 MOU. The evidence may not establish that the Postal Service has acted in bad faith, but it also has not maximized its efforts to comply over a lengthy period of years.”
As a remedy for the Postal Service’s failing to comply with the award, Arbitrator Das ordered the Postal Service to provide the bargaining unit a monetary remedy “based on the number of additional hours that would have been worked on unconverted routes if they had been timely converted during the periods from January 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020, and prospectively, from July 1, 2021 until the conversions are completed.”
He ordered that “[t]he Union will be responsible for ensuring that the amount so paid is expended for the benefit of PVS employees in the bargaining unit.”
He also ordered the Postal Service to:
- complete conversion of the 110 routes (as soon as reasonably practical);
- provide the union, within 45 days, a timetable for the complete conversion of the 110 routes; and
- comply with the commitments made in the parties’ May 2017 and May 2018 MOUs regarding compliance with the 2016 Award.
“The Das 110 Award has been a significant award for the Motor Vehicle Division, and the Craft officers have been committed with compliance,” said Director Foster. “We will continue to enforce this award and extol the virtues of the MVS Craft.”
Source: American Postal Workers Union