“Sisters and Brothers,
I know many of us are being asked questions regarding management actions around the MOU. Thanks for all your concerns and questions.
A quick update on where we are on the MOU Re: Filling of Residual Vacancies dated March 20, 2014:
1) On Monday we will sign off on Question & Answers relative to the issues of the memo, mainly as it concerns the Clerk Craft provisions. This should clarify many questions. Of course we did not resolve everything we wanted, but we are certainly on the right track. I can’t forward the Q & As until signed. Brother Raymer has developed a separate set of Question& Answers regarding the Maintenance MOU re filling of residual vacancies. If they are not out already, they will be shortly. There is no current need for Q & A’s on the MVS provisions of the MOU.
2) Many of the questions came from the field and the most recent President’s Conference. The results are positive and we have favorably addressed issues of new probationary periods for converted PSEs, how PSEs will select from multiple job opportunities, insuring that PSEs cannot change installations during the life of the memo, which will help keep down possible favoritism, the timing of the offer of the one-time PTF transfer and a host of other issues.
3) The most immediate and pressing issue is the question of management proceeding with PSE conversions before we have gone through the steps of the MOU and whether such actions violate the provisions of the MOU. Here is my position:
The APWU will not allow itself to be boxed into a situation where we are either trying to delay PSE conversions that have been promised to PSE employees by management or undo conversions that are taking place. In fact, many of these PSE conversions are now taking place due to our diligent and persistent efforts. However, we will not allow conversion of PSEs to run counter to the MOU on filling of residual vacancies. Thus we have insisted, and management at our level has agreed, that as it relates to the MOU; a) any PSE conversions, prior to going through steps #1-#8 of the pecking order, can only be to unencumbered status, and b) such PSE’s converted to career will not jump to the top of the pecking order that starts with assignments of unencumbered. Residual vacancies will only be filled by PSEs once Steps #7 and #8 are reached in the “pecking order.” We further have commitments from management at our level that employees transferring under steps #1-#7 will have their seniority adjusted at the Union’s request if they then fall behind due to the earlier than expected conversion of PSEs to unencumbered status.
The question has also arisen about converting PSEs to PTFs. Such conversions would more than likely fall outside the MOU, and be additional conversions, since it is not a question of filling residual vacancies which would therefore only be to full-time career positions.
4) We have commitments from management to address any concerns brought to our attention regarding pre-approved leave/time-off granted to PSEs prior to conversion and the need for such requests to be honored particularly where money has been expended. This is not addressed in the Q & As so it will be important to forward those concerns to APWU HQ.
5) The MOU is a work in progress! It will need all of our continued vigilance. We encourage all to monitor the residual vacancies and work to insure they do not disappear on us. We have full expectations that there will be a large number of residual vacancies be posted on the May 1, 2014. Included in the May 1st posting will be the one time opportunity for PTFs to transfer under Step #6 of the pecking order.
6) There are also some concerns that management actions may lead to too many conversions. The way I look at it, management will be backfilling after conversions with the hiring of more PSEs. Management can simply adjust the number of PSEs hired and I do not share those concerns. I would rather see the conversions and with whatever hurdles the MOU will prove to be a big plus for our members!
I’m sure I haven’t thought of everything in this message. More on Monday Sisters and Brothers! Hold the Fort!