September 24, 2021
On December 8, 2017, Arbitrator Shyam Das found that the Postal Service was in violation of the parties’ Article 1.6.B Global Settlement Remedy Agreement (GSRA) in Level 18 offices when it created the Postmaster End of Day (PMEOD) button in the Retail System Software (RSS). The PMEOD button allowed postmasters to enter and exit RSS without completely closing out of the window. The button allowed postmasters to give false accounts of the amount of bargaining unit work they performed, which is limited to 15 hours each week in Level 18 offices.
In his December 8, 2017 award, Arbitrator Das remanded the remedy to the parties; however, after three years, the Postal Service had failed to provide the Union with an acceptable analysis of the amount of back pay entitlement and the parties returned to the arbitrator for a decision on a proper remedy.
After the initial hearing dates in August 2020 were postponed, the remedy hearings were held on December 3-4, 2020. Das issued his decision dated September 16, 2021, awarding $20.5 million to be distributed: “(1) to affected bargaining unit employees as determined by the union; or if that option is declined by the union, (2) to clerks who worked in offices where the PMEOD function was enabled based on the relative number of days they worked during the period that function was enabled” (Page 2 of his award).
“I congratulate Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks, the Clerk Craft Officers involved and APWU attorneys and staff for the job well done,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “This is another step forward in the ongoing and important fight in defending the work of our members.”
APWU Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks stated: “This is just one more step in the battle to return work rightfully belonging to the Clerk Craft. While the Postal Service continues to put up obstacles, your union will not be deterred. We will continue to fight. This award should bring about a little vindication for the clerks in Level 18 post offices.”
Brooks continued, “The Clerk Division at the national level filed the dispute after the Postal Service unilaterally changed the RSS logon start time on the PS Form 1412, in an effort to reduce their financial liability. Rest assured, the battle is not over. Stay tuned. We will not stop until all the work that is rightfully ours is given to us. On behalf of the Clerk Division, which includes Assistant Directors Lynn Pallas-Barber and Sam Lisenbe, we would be remiss if we did not thank Memphis Region Clerk Division NBA Pamela Smith, who secured 1412 data during the Thanksgiving holiday for me to present as rebuttal evidence at the arbitration hearing and Michael Barrett of the Buffalo Area Local, who compiled the numerous excel spreadsheets in support of the data.”
Clerk Craft officers will meet and discuss the two options offered by Arbitrator Das in his award regarding the remedy to determine the best possible manner in which to compensate those clerks affected by this violation.
Source: American Postal Workers Union