Let’s tell it like it is concerning RI-399, as follows:
1) Thousands of both Clerk and Mail Handler cases having been sitting at the local and regional level for over 30 years. As a matter of fact, the RI-399 process became known as the “Black Hole”. A place were jurisdictional disputes from both Unions were referred into, never to be heard from again. As a matter of fact, many of the cases were filed by APWU and Mail Handler reps. that have already retired and many of the issues are moot.
2) Neither Union has had any success in winning a National RI-399 case since the inception of the 1992 Dispute Resolution Process. The arbitration decision from every national case that was heard by an arbitrator was simply to accept the USPS jurisdictional determination.
3) Functional RI-399 inventories were almost non-existent in most locals. The facility jurisdictional inventories were created to memorialize work assignments in each facility, so that they could be used in documenting cross craft grievances’ and could be passed down from administration to administration. But do to the failure of the 1992 RI-399 Memo, DRP, it never really happened.
4) While the Clerk and Mail Handler unions were battling each other, management was shipping the mail out the back door. Especially now, after the Task force and OMB report concerning eliminating collective bargaining and privatizing the USPS, we no longer have the luxury of battling each other and must remain united.
5) While a status quo agreement simply leaves the jurisdiction in place that we have been already been working under for years, It seems like the newly negotiated updated RI-399, may be more efficient, especially after the 1.5 Million Dollar (paid for by the USPS) RI-399 training. The training should help the locals complete the inventory and be more knowledgeable when filing jurisdictional disputes.
As far as the money, the 14.9 million dollars paid to each union, was simply negotiated in an effort to give a little something back to the craft employees impacted by the failing RI-399 process. Its not like either the APWU or Mail Handlers actually won any of the cases, but rather they agreed to accept the USPS’s jurisdictional determination, that was already in place for many years, and move on. While the Mail Handlers may receive a couple of dollars more, its only because they have less members to pay than the APWU. In fact, its been reported that the Mail Handlers actually filed and withdrew more regional cases then the Clerks.
I think thanks and kudos should go out to President Dimondstein and Clerk Craft Director Burelson, for finally doing something with this terribly broken process, in hopes that the newly negotiated procedure turns out to be a more efficient and workable process for us to deal with our future jurisdictional disputes.
First Name: Artie
Last Name: DeGennaro
Union/Local: APWU – Queens Area Local 1022
Office held if any: Full Dues Paying Retiree