Das Award upholds USPS position on Article 37 language


“This interpretive dispute was referred to the national level by the Postal Service. The dispute involves the meaning of the sentence: “Every effort will be made to create desirable duty assignments from all available work hours for career employees to bid.” This sentence was added to Article 37, Section 3.A.1 of the National Agreement in the 2010-2015 National Agreement.”

“In the final analysis, the issue here essentially has to be decided on the basis of the language in Article 37.3.A.1. When read in context, this language supports the Postal Service position that it requires the Postal Service, when it decides to post a duty assignment for bid or is obligated by some other contractual provision to do so, to make every effort to create a duty assignment from all available work hours for career employees to bid that is “desirable.” It also is clear from the Brennan memorandum and accompanying Q&As that Article 37.3.A.1 may require the Postal Service to modify and repost an existing duty assignment. The language does not, as the Union contends, broadly require that the Postal Service create (and maximize) career duty assignments from available PSE and other work hours and post them for bid on the basis that such assignments in themselves always are desirable.”[8]


The Postal Service position is upheld as set forth in the above Findings.

Shyam Das, Arbitrator
[8] I express no opinion on whether this provision in a particular case might require the Postal Service to create an additional duty assignment for bid — not just modify an existing duty assignment — in a situation where the evidence demonstrates that such an assignment could be created from PSE and other work hours that is more desirable (hours/schedule) than one or more existing duty assignments. The parties did not focus on or sufficiently address that question in this proceeding.

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