A Step 4 Settlement between the APWU and USPS dated Dec. 11, 2003, and the accompanying Questions and Answers resolve the issue of staffing on OCR, BCS and DBCS machines.
The agreement makes clear that normal staffing for these machines is two Mail Processing Clerks. The Questions & Answers recognize that there may be situations — such as during the start-up or close-out of a run — where the machines may be staffed by only one Mail Processing Clerk.
The Mail Processing Clerk position description indicates that these clerks “load or sweep” automated equipment. This is recognition by the USPS that these clerks do not normally load and sweep, and supports the idea that staffing on this equipment is normally two clerks. Generally, if sweeping is needed during a run, the machine must be staffed by two people.
Numerous local grievances had been filed alleging that staffing on these machine was inadequate. In many offices, management was staffing the machine with only one Mail Processing Clerk.
As a result of the settlement, local disputes regarding staffing are not considered “interpretive” of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Any such disputes should be addressed in the grievance-arbitration procedure by application of this settlement agreement, based on the facts in each office.
Please note the settlement does not apply to CSBCS machines, which are routinely staffed with one Mail Processing Clerk or Senior Mail Processor.