Union Wins Huge Case for Clerks in Small Offices
(03/27/13) The union won a major arbitration victory on March 29, when Arbitrator Shyam Das issued a long-awaited decision that will affect Clerk Craft jobs in small post offices. The ruling settles a long-simmering dispute about the amount of bargaining unit work postmasters and supervisors may perform in Level 18-and-below offices. “This decision will mean more hours for the clerks who work in small offices and more Clerk Craft jobs,” said APWU President Cliff Guffey. [read more] | Enforcing the Award
Union Fights Abuse of PSEs in Small Offices
Management Forces PSEs to ‘Voluntarily’ Take Pay Cut
(03/20/13) “The Postal Service is abusing Postal Support Employees in small offices and systematically violating contractual restrictions governing PSEs, Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk has declared. “And we intend to do something about it. “Locals and state organizations must take note of these violations and file grievances based on the specific circumstances in their area,” he said. [read more]
PTF Hub Clerk Volunteers
Will Receive Pay for Travel, Mileage
(03/19/13) The APWU and USPS agreed on March 13, 2013, that Part-Time Flexible (PTF) Hub Clerks who volunteer to work in offices other that their home office are entitled to travel pay and/or mileage expenses. The agreement is in accordance with Section 438.133 of the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) and Chapter 7.d of F-15 Handbook, Travel and Relocation. [read more]
APWU, USPS Sign Agreement
For Offices Without a Local Union Structure
(10/15/2012) The APWU signed an updated agreement Oct. 12, 2012, for Members-at-Large who work in small post offices that are not represented by a local union. The Agreement, the Local Memorandum of Understanding for Offices Without a Local Union Structure, outlines the rules for these small offices on topics that are typically the subject of negotiations at the local level between USPS managers and union officers.
“The memorandum is important,” said APWU President Cliff Guffey. “It continues to provide the protection of a local contract to thousands of union members in small offices who would not otherwise be covered by a local agreement.” The agreement covers approximately 15,000 workers. [read more]
Enforcing the Contract in Small Offices
(07/12/11) The USPS has begun implementing several policies in small post offices that violate the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Although many of the disputes may eventually be decided at the national level, Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk is advising locals that it is important that to challenge violations properly at the local level. [read more]
Workers in Small Offices
We Want to Hear From You
(01/05/10) Postal employees in small offices whose hours have been reduced while managerial hours have been increased are being asked to complete and return a union-sponsored questionnaire on the subject. Work-hours for part-time flexible clerks at many small offices have been slashed, APWU President William Burrus noted in a column in the January/February issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.
The National Agreement limits management’s right to shift work from clerks to other employees, Burrus wrote, but management continues to violate arbitrators’ rulings on the issue. “While the APWU-USPS contact recognizes the right of supervisors and postmasters to perform bargaining-unit work in small offices, arbitrators have repeatedly concluded that supervisory work cannot increase at the expense of work for clerks,” he said. [read more]
Representing Members in Small Offices
Size Not a Factor – Nor Is Location
(01/01/10) This issue of The American Postal Worker will be of special interest to a special segment of our bargaining unit — those who work in small offices. Unfortunately, many employees in the thousands of offices where there are no local unions feel isolated from their union brothers and sisters.
Their isolation is the natural result of the fact that the union is
structured through affiliates located within defined geographic areas.
The USPS has a presence in virtually every community and operates
a vast structure that is not duplicated anywhere else. As a result,
the challenge of combining postal employees into local entities is
almost insurmountable. Scattered across 39,000 facilities are 250,000
employees — and
we represent them all.
Union, USPS Sign Agreement
For Offices Without a Local Union Structure
(01/28/08) The APWU signed a landmark agreement Jan. 25, for Members-at-Large who work in small post offices and are not represented by a local union.
The agreement, the Local Memorandum of Understanding for Offices Without a Local Union Structure [PDF], outlines the rules for these small offices on topics that are typically the subject of negotiations at the local level between USPS managers and union officers.
“The Memorandum is a first,” said APWU President William Burrus. “It will provide the protection of a local contract to thousands of union members in small offices who have not previously been covered by a local agreement.” The agreement covers approximately 15,000 workers.
The Memorandum (LMOU) is the result of negotiations for the 2006-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement. During national contract talks, the APWU won a commitment from the Postal Service to negotiate such an agreement. Discussions about specific contract language culminated in the LMOU.
“Assistant Clerk Craft Director Mike Morris was instrumental in bringing this project to a successful conclusion,” Burrus said, “and I have asked him to oversee the union’s effort to communicate more effectively with our Members-at-Large.
“A committee of national, state, and local officers also made important contributions to our efforts to negotiate the LMOU,” he said. The committee, chaired by Western Region Coordinator Omar Gonzalez, included Pat Williams, Clerk Craft assistant director; John Dirzius, president of the Greater Connecticut Area Local; Larry Sorrells, president of the North Carolina Council, and John Jackson, former president of the Pennsylvania Postal Workers Union.
The primary subject addressed by the Memorandum is the use of leave, Morris noted. “That has always been a sore spot in small offices,” he said. “Postmasters often select the best vacation slots for themselves, preventing APWU members from taking vacations on July 4th or Labor Day. The LMOU will put an end to that practice.”
The LMOU is effective on Feb. 24, 2008, which is 30 days from the day it was signed. Because the leave provisions include deadlines that precede the effective date, an Implementation Agreement also has been executed, which postpones the deadlines from Feb. 1 to March 1; from Feb. 15 to March 15; and from March 1 to April 1, for calendar-year 2008 only. “The Implementation Agreement enabled us to set a reasonable time frame for future years, while applying the principles this year,” Morris said.
The Memorandum also requires the postmaster to notify the APWU Regional Coordinator whenever it is necessary to change, abolish, or revert a duty assignment. “Jobs have been disappearing from small post offices at an alarming rate without any notification to the union,” Morris said. “This provision will help the union protect jobs.”
Enforcement of the provisions of the LMOU will be the responsibility of APWU state presidents or National Business Agents with jurisdiction over the area, Burrus said.
The APWU also created a new section of its Web site designed for Members-at-Large. It provides information about who Members-at-Large (MALs) should contact if they have a grievance or a question about their rights, and contains an extensive list of Frequently Asked Questions.
“Members-at-Large face special challenges,” Burrus said. “Without a union structure, they have found it difficult to stand up for their rights. And until now, MALs have lacked some of the most basic protections other members have enjoyed as a result of local agreements.
“We hope this important first step will help Members-at-Large feel more like a part of the APWU family, and help them win justice in the workplace.”