The following was cut and pasted from an email I sent to a Union sister who wanted some info as to how we have been affected by Phase II and what they can expect. It got me thinking about how I wished like hell I would’ve been in touch with someone with that kind of insight to share. So, here was my response. This is the POV of me… how I see it as I process what I have witnessed and been told. I am not perfect and may get things wrong from time to time. If you see something inaccurate here, please comment and correct me. If you have some more info to add that I left out, pretty please comment and share. We NEED to network and make our people aware of what is happening and how it affects us.
Note: in retrospect, some thoughts shared that mention the Stop Staples Campaign unintentionally were worded in such a way as to give the impression that I do not think it is important. That is not the case and I just wanted to explain that in advance before you get to that part. Thanks.
I am a clerk. I was the Tour 1 General Expeditor before I lost my bid when management reposted my job in order to get a disabled vet out of a higher competitive level assignment which complicates excessing for them. In the process, they actually did what qualifies as a RIF, given my AD category vet pref status. This is currently being appealed with the MSPB.
First and fore most… If anyone doubts that your facility is closing, erase that doubt and plan for it NOW. It will happen. This does not end with Phase II or even Phase XXI. The end game is privatization, that is what this is all about. This will not stop until the network of operations is a complete failure and the justification for a USPS monopoly on FCM is gone (meaning we can no longer provide universal service). You ARE ALONE in this. I am not trying to paint a bleak picture, I am trying to tell you what we learned painfully and too late. National is no help and that pains me to have to say. The focus is the Stop Staples Campaign, as I guess that national sees that as the trade off for the royal screwing impacted FTR employees with 5, 10, 15, 20+ years have taken by the Post-Plan pecking order MOU that they signed off on. Let me explain. The MOU did not include ANY provisions for impacted employees. Those 20+ year folks will be sitting in [your impacted facility’s name here] watching PSE’s with less than 2 years in service go to daytime 6-hour jobs at your area post offices. Yes, they are above you on that pecking order.
You guys have to mobilize yesterday if you want a snowball’s chance of keeping your plant open. The following is what I posted today on www.21cpw.com:
Anyone from the Paducah facility here on www.21cpw.com? I would like to know, more importantly, your district Congressional leaders NEED to know if you witnessed the sort of shenanigans that were documented in Cape Girardeau and still continue. For more info on said shenanigans:
Collectively, we must not let the media focus be on our jobs and how this affects us. These are important details but if that is the narrative, we lose, plain and simple. In this economy, well paid unionized government workers are painted in a bad light. The focus that we have to hold the media attention on is how this degrades a valuable, trusted public service that exists for ALL Americans, not just the bulk mailing industry.
I am not saying that we are giving the impression that jobs should be the focus, I am saying that the media often makes that the focus, sometimes in a well-meaning way but often not.
The last two paragraphs are key!!! When dealing with the media, you MUST keep the focus on what consolidation means for all of us as USPS customers. The USPS spokesperson will try to make the focus be your jobs. If they succeed, you lose in the court of public opinion. And yes, the USPS spokesperson WILL LIE.
Management will give you ZERO information. You will be visited numerous times by District Management and District HR and they will tell you that they also have no new info for you. This is BS. They know EXACTLY what is going to happen to you. They will move out any decent managers you may have and replace them with glaze-eyed yes men/women who for the most part could give less than one rat’s ass cheek about you, your job how long you have worked there, or your family.
The ONLY information that we received was during District Management’s last visit when we had our NBA present. He was the ONLY one who gave out any info. If you hope to get any info from management, forget it. Again, you are on your own in this.
They are keeping 22 employees on the clerk side, not sure about management. The rest of us will go on stand by time unless they find work for us to do. Word is that the Maint Manager purchased like 40 gal of paint to keep folks busy but I don’t think they are going to want to work clerks across crafts and pay the higher level building Maint pay, as well as the OT pay that Maint craft would be due for the contractual violation. They said that some of us will be occasionally sent to area offices to work as needed. Standby time, as we have been told, will not be in the breakroom. It will be in our old breakroom/current MTE storage room that has no windows. I am assuming that the MTE will be removed and tables and chairs will be brought in. No TV, radio, cell phones will allowed. Our Plant Destroyer, God bless her heart, will allow us to read a book.
Eventually, we will all be likely placed in carrier jobs. EXTREMELY Important note: if anyone feels they may have a medical issue that would prevent them from doing the job, I will be sending Keith a copy of a form that needs to be submitted by the employee once a reassignment letter is issued and BEFORE reporting to carrier craft… same form applies if a reasonable accommodation.
All of your veterans need to look into their eOPF records and if they are a service-connected veteran of 30% or more, they need to make sure that their records show that they are. This is not just important for them but also for all of you. Disabled vets can be a stumbling block in the excessing process. If there is one that cannot be excessed for whatever reason, under Article 12 (as it reads now) they can not skip that person and continue excessing up the seniority list. This also comes into play when you have an employee for physical reasons who cannot be excessed into say a carrier job. By the contract, the next senior employee cannot be excessed until that employee has be successfully placed in a job.
4 important notes:
1. Failing to qualify for a job (for purposes of a window clerk test or whatever) does not mean that you do not get excessed. You can actually be let go. Our business agent explained this.
2. If you voluntarily go to one of the carrier jobs they will most definitely offer you, you lose your seniority. (Exception is #3)
3. Whether voluntarily or involuntarily excessed outside of your craft but within the same installation, you will be retreated back to craft (involuntarily even) within your facility and you will have your craft seniority restored as though you never left. This applies if excessed to carrier craft within your facility (they moved carriers into our plant last year). I do not how this works if you are excessed to the mail handler craft (we do not have them here); and I am not sure that you can contractually be involuntarily excessed into a lower level position.
4. Superseniority for Union Stewards- Yes, it does exist. Yes, some of your stewards will have it. Yes, it is contractual. Yes, management hopes that this issue will tear your local apart. Only you can make that happen or prevent it. Accept it, know how it affects your final staffing and move on to more important issues.
I know that this is a lot of info to process. It is important that you guys get all the info you can now. EVERYONE needs to be informed and involved, as you guys are ALONE in this process.
To your naysayers, I never thought it would actually happen myself. It will happen to you guys. By some miracle that it doesn’t, my money says that it was because you got yourselves together, unified, determined and pissed off. Educate yourselves, your customers and your local businesses. If you have the funding, buy GPS tracking devices and mail them from within you area to another address in your area. This data will be important when your mail delays begin. Take that data to your local media and invite them to perform their own tests. We did not do this, now I wish we had.
Here is one choice of product:
DURAGADGET Exclusive Personal GPS Tracker & Real-Time Outdoor Locator with SOS, Live Updates with Google Maps Route Software For Tracking Your Luggage / Packages On Long Distance Journeys https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RVNR1GA/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_jGYhvb0V6A1WH
A lot of info. I hope it helps you guys. I recommend you get your people on www.21cpw.com and start getting information and answers. It is never to early to start preparing yourselves; unfortunately being too late is a huge danger. Open channels of communication with your craft NBA’s. Attend meetings. Be unified and report violations of mail standards.
Here is a great place to start:
Bless you all.