April 7, 2023
On March 16, 2023, Arbitrator Shyam Das issued a Supplemental Award addressing the scope of his 2016 decision in the 110 HCR routes case, Case No. Q06C-4Q-C 11182451.
In his 2016 decision, Arbitrator Das found that the Postal Service had “engaged in wholesale and repeated violations” of Article 32.2’s notice requirements. As a remedy, Arbitrator Das ordered the Postal Service to convert 110 HCR routes that were in dispute in that case (out of 212 violations originally presented) back to PVS service for a four-year period. After the Postal Service failed to timely complete these conversions, Arbitrator Das ordered an additional monetary remedy for the Postal Service’s noncompliance in June 2021.
Arbitrator Das’s most recent ruling in this case concerns the scope of his 2016 decision. In his March 2023 ruling, Arbitrator Das reaffirmed that the Postal Service had committed a “widespread abrogation of its notice obligation at the National level” and that this widespread abrogation informed the remedy he ordered in his 2016 decision. Although he only had “jurisdiction to decide and remedy … the Step 4 dispute presented to [him] which related to 212 specified violations of Article 32.2.B” when he issued his 2016 decision, Arbitrator Das indicated that he did not strictly confine his consideration of the Postal Service’s abrogation of Article 32.2 to the specific violations before him. According to Arbitrator Das, he ordered the Postal Service to convert the 110 disputed HCR routes “in response to uncontested evidence that the Postal Service essentially had defaulted on a continuing basis in complying with its acknowledged mandatory obligations under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the APWU.” As Arbitrator Das wrote in 2016, this was “intended to remedy the harm to the Union and the bargaining unit arising from these violations and to impress upon the Postal Service its obligation to fully comply with the procedures it agreed to with the Union.”
The APWU remains committed to ensuring that the Postal Service takes its Article 32.2 obligations seriously. We are continuing to assess Arbitrator Das’s decisions in this case to determine how they will impact Article 32.2 enforcement efforts going forward.