Mike Morris, Director
National Level Issues and Disputes
Denial of Retreat Rights (APWU #HQTG20110464) [PDF]: (08/17/11) This grievance protests the denial of retreat rights to excessed employees for posted Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) assignments, in violation of the contract. Article 37.3.B.1 [PDF] says, “Employees shall have the right to bid for vacancies within the former installation and the written request for retreat rights shall serve as a bid for vacancies in the level from which the employee was reassigned and for all residual vacancies in other levels for which the employee has expressed a desire to retreat.”
Nothing in the recently-negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement abridges this right for excessed employees who have submitted a written notice of their desire to exercise their retreat rights, yet the Postal Service issued instructions to the field advising local managers to deny excessed employees the right to retreat to posted NTFT positions in their former installations.
Unencumbered/Unassigned Regulars (APWU#HQTC20110463) [PDF]: (08/17/11) This Step 4 dispute protests management plans to designate Part-Time Flexibles and Part-Time Regulars as unencumbered or unassigned with non-traditional schedules when they are converted to regular on Aug. 27. A provision of the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement [PDF] requires the Postal Service to convert to full time all PTFs in Level 21-and-above offices and PTRs in the Clerk Craft and MVS Craft on Aug. 27.
The Memorandum of Understanding on Non-Traditional Full-Time Assignments [PDF] contained in 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement outlines the rules for the creation and posting NTFT duty assignments when operationally necessary. It does not provide for unencumbered or unassigned NTFT schedules.
Consecutive Days Off (APWU#HQTG20110466) [PDF]: (08/17/11) This grievance protests the establishment of Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) assignments with fewer than two consecutive days off in Mail Processing and in Motor Vehicle assignments in offices of 200-man-years-or-more.
The Postal Service issued instructions to the field advising managers that NTFT assignments in these sections could be posted without consecutive non-scheduled days, in violation of Article 8.2.D of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Non-Traditional Full-Time Assignments in Function 5 and Function 7 (APWU#HQTG20110467) [PDF]: (08/17/11) This Step 4 dispute protests Postal Service instructions to the field authorizing the creation of Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) assignments in Finance (Function 5) and in Bulk Mail (Function 7). The Memorandum of Understanding on Non-Traditional Full-Time Assignments [PDF] contained in 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement outlines specific rules for the creation and use of NTFT duty assignments In Mail Processing (Function 1) and in Customer Service (Function 4). It contains no provisions for NTFT assignments in any other Clerk Craft functional areas.
Level 4 Post Office Clerks in Level 15 and 16 Post Offices (HQTC20110349 [PDF]): (07/12/11) This dispute protests management’s unilateral decision to create a Level 4 Post Office Clerk PSE (Postal Support Employee) job description for use in Level 15 and Level 16 post offices. The dispute further challenges the use of PSEs to work the window in any post office with fewer than three career retail clerks whose duties include working the window. The dispute also challenges the USPS contention that PSEs hired in Level 15 and Level 16 Post Offices will perform “new work” and that therefore the PSEs hired for these positions are not subject to District PSE caps.
New PSE Position Descriptions (HQTG20110350 [PDF]): (07/12/11) This dispute involves the issuance of management instructions regarding the use of new, rather than existing, Standard Position Descriptions when hiring PSEs.
Global Settlement re: Violations of Article 1.6B. (APWU#HQTG20110446/ USPS#Q11C4QC11311239 [PDF]): (07/12/11) This dispute involves the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding regarding the Global Settlement of violations of Article 1.6.B. The resolution of Grievance USPS#Q11C4QC11311239 limited the amount of bargaining unit work postmasters and supervisors are allowed to perform. Management has issued instructions to the field telling postmasters to track only the time they spend actually working the window, in clear violation of the terms of the MOU. Furthermore, management has unilaterally exempted offices undergoing delivery unit optimization (DUO) from the requirement that any office that is downgraded in level must remain at the bargaining unit work limitations in place at the beginning of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Furthermore, the APWU disputes management instructions that no bargaining unit work limitation exists for Level 20-and-above post offices.
PSEs in Higher-Level Maintenance Craft Positions (HQTT20110345 [PDF]): (07/12/11) This dispute protests management plans to hire PSEs using new Standard Position Descriptions in higher-level positions, other than custodial positions, in the Maintenance Craft.
(12/20/10) Director of Industrial Relations Mike Morris has clarified the types of local- and regional-level grievances regarding the National Reassessment Process (NRP) that should be held in abeyance pending the outcome of Step 4 disputes at the national level. In a Dec. 16, 2010, memo to APWU regional coordinators and national business agents, Morris outlined three issues related to the NRP that are pending arbitration. Cases that address these issues should await the outcome of the national-level grievance.
(05/04/10) The APWU has initiated a national dispute over the Postal Service's failure and refusal to meet and bargain in good faith the the Union about safety and ergonomic issues associated with the Delivery Bar Code Sorter (DCBS). As previously reported, the APWU filed an unfair labor practice charge in December 2008 over the Postal Service's refusal to bargain over safety and ergonomic issues. A portion of that charge concerning information requests was settled, but the NLRB deferred the complaint on the issue of bargaining to the grievance procedure. This national dispute will be given priority scheduling under the terms of the NLRB deferral and placed at the head of the arbitration docket pursuant to Article 14.2
(04/21/10) The APWU has initiated a national dispute over whether the Postal Service's failure to reach agreement on the means to provide access to APWU representatives for electronic inspection and review of documents, files and other records necessary for processing of grievances and/or determining whether a grievance exists, and/or for collective bargaining or the enforcement, administration or interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement constitutes a violation of the MOU and contract.
(04/07/10) The union recently appealed to national arbitration an issue concerning the employer's obligation to meet with the union at the regional level no less than 90 days prior to involuntarily reassigning bargaining unit employees outside their craft or installation. The dispute arose when the APWU learned that management at the regional level was taking the position that the Postal Service would no longer provide the Union a 90 day notice when excessing occurs outside the craft or installation. In addition, it was reported that this decision was made at the headquarters level.
(04/07/10) The union recently intiated a national dispute over management's failure to adhere to an agreement between the parties that when employees are excessed outside their craft or installation, such employees will be provided notice of a minimum of 60 days. In addition, this notice must include relevant information informing the employee of when and where they will be reassigned. Basic information informing such employees that they will be reassigned to an undetermined location do not meet requirements of the notice.
(03/26/10) The APWU initiated a dispute over whether there is a disagreement between the parties regarding Article 12.5.C.5.a(4) or similar provisions of the National Agreement, and applicable provisions of handbooks and manuals, concerning reassignment of APWU bargaining-unit employees to City Letter Carrier vacant assignments.
(09/10/09) The Union has appealed to arbitration a dispute over whether the Postal Service violates the collective bargaining agreement when it reassigns non-bargaining-unit employees to bargaining-unit positions in an installation or craft where (1) there is a planned reduction of bargaining-unit employees, (2) bargaining-unit positions are being withheld or captured to accommodate impacted bargaining-unit employees, and (3) where bargaining-unit employees have retreat rights or other contractual rights to bargaining-unit positions pursuant to Article 12 and related provisions of the national agreement.
(08/31/09) The Union has appealed to arbitration a dispute over whether employees on Administrative Leave are entitled to Sunday Premium pay for any eligible hours they would have worked if not for being placed on administrative leave. According to the ELM, administrative leave is defined as "absence from duty authorized by appropriate postal officials ... without loss of pay." It is the union's position that this is no different than earning night differential when on administrative leave, a position that the union won in national-level case J90M-1J-C 95057374 by Arbitrator Philip Parkinson.
(08/11/09) The APWU has appealed to arbitration a dispute over the Postal Service's unilateral consolidation of six USPS Districts. By letter dated May 12, 2009, the union was informed that six district offices had been consolidated and that effective July 4, 2009, the casual reports used by the Union to monitor compliance with Article 7.1.B.5 will reflect the new structure as specified in the letter. On July 1, 2009, the union challenged the authority of the Postal Service to make this unilateral change as contrary to the 2006-2010 National Agreement, which applies the casual limitations to the Districts as defined on the effective date of the agreement. It is the union's position that this is a mid-term modification of the collective bargaining agreement, prohibited by Article 5, that allows the Postal Service to evade the casual caps and thereby employ more casuals than it otherwise might have under the pre-existing district structure.
(05/08/09) The Union has initiated a national dispute over the issuance of a new Publication 156, "Postal Employees Guide to Contract Postal Units", that replaces the Handbook AS-707-F, "Contracting for Contract Postal Units." The provisions of Handbook AS-707-F are utilized by the Union in regard to the enforcement, administration and/or interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement, and have been the subject of disputes at both the field and national level. It is the APWU's position that the Postal Service has unilaterally made revisions, replaced or renamed the Handbook AS-707-F, in an attempt to circumvent its obligations under the collective bargaining agreement.
(03/20/09) The APWU has filed a national-level dispute over the Postal Service's failure to create bargaining unit positions at the Human Resources Shared Services Center (HRSSC) in Greensboro, NC. The union contends, among other things, that this is work that was performed by APWU bargaining unit personnel in other facilities that are engaged in customer services and mail processing as defined in Article 1.3 prior to the migration of that work to Greensboro.
(03/18/09) The APWU has initiated one dispute, and appealed another to national arbitration, over whether a contract postal unit (CPU) may exist in a facility when the Postal Service has use of the property by consignment or other special agreement, for example, on military bases, in national parks and in government buildings, or the Postal Service pays the contractor's rent. It is the APWU's position that such a facility must be staffed by bargaining unit employees.
(03/18/2009) The APWU has appealed to national-level arbitration a dispute over whether the Postal Service is obligated under Article 7.3.B to maximize the number of full-time regular duty assignments by combining all regularly scheduled work hours of non-full-time employees, including part-time regulars, transitional employees and casual employees.
(03/03/09) The APWU has appealed to national-level arbitration a dispute over bargaining unit employees' entitlement to severance pay when they accept voluntary early retirement (VER) benefits.
(02/17/09) The union's national-level dispute over the Postal Service's unilateral implementation of a nation-wide two-tour initiative, which is intended to eliminate or greatly reduce existing day shift Tour 2 assignments, has been appealed to national-level arbitration.
(12/19/08) The APWU has filed two national-level disputes protesting the Postal Service’s nationwide program to eliminate or drastically reduce Tour 2 assignments and employees. The disputes, both filed Dec. 16, recap many of the allegations made by the union in an Unfair Labor Practice Charge [PDF] filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Nov. 25.
(10/28/08) The APWU has appealed to national-level arbitration an Article 19 Notification concerning USPS proposed changes to ELM subchapters 512, 513 and 515. The proposed revisions to subchapters 512 and 513 involve completion of PS Form 3971 through the Interactive Voice Response system (IVR) and the Enterprise Resource Management System (eRMD). Proposed changes to Chapter 515 involve the forwarding of documentation related to a request for FMLA tot he FMLA Coordinator. The APWU's position is that Article 10, Section 2.A. of the CBA prohibits changes to ELM Chapter 510 that affect wages, hours or working conditions for the life of the Agreement.
(10/01/08) The APWU has appealed to national-level arbitration a dispute over the Postal Service's obligation pursuant to Article 32, Section 1.C., of the National Agreement, to furnish the Union at the local level notification of subcontracting of bargaining unit work within their respective installations. It is the APWU's position that Article 32, Section 1.C., requires notification to the local union of subcontracting of bargaining unit work at local installations.
(10/01/08) The APWU has appealed to national-level arbitration a dispute over compensation to employees for all time spent undergoing medical evaluation or examinations at the employer's request, including travel expenses. The APWU's position is that all time spent by an employee to undergo medical evaluations or examinations requested by the Employer "constitutes hours worked," regardless of whether the time spent is during normal work hours, outside normal work hours, or on non-scheduled work-days.
(10/01/08) The APWU has appealed to national-level arbitration a dispute over the Postal Service's untimely issuance of Step 2 denial letters. The issue in this dispute is whether, in the absence of a mutually agreed to time-limit extension, the Postal Service may issue a Step 2 decision beyond the time limits prescribed in Article 15, Section 2, Step 2(f) of the National Agreement between the APWU and the Postal Service.
(08/18/08) The APWU has appealed to national-level arbitration a dispute over the Postal Service's unilateral decision that resulted in the discontinuation of established local methods of providing individual retirement counseling to bargaining unit employees.
(08/18/08) The APWU has appealed to national-level arbitration a dispute over the Postal Service's obligation to separate all casuals, regardless of craft, to the extent that it will minimize the impact of excessing on regular (full-time or part-time) work force employees.
(08/18/08) The APWU has appealed to national-level arbitration a dispute over the Postal Service's security breaches of sensitive postal employee data resulting from missing or stolen postal laptop computers. It is the APWU's position that sensitive employee data (e.g. social security numbers) should not be stored on portable computing devices. In addition, the union is asking, as a remedy, that the Posatl Service provide Identity Theft Insurance to impacted employees.
(08/11/08) The APWU has appealed to arbitration a dispute over the Postal Service's policy of requiring employees to automatically submit new medical certification for an FMLA-covered condition simply because the leave year has ended and a new leave year has begun. It is the APWU's position that this policy violates the Collective Bargaining Agreement, FMLA regulations and the mutually accepted past practice.
(08/11/08) The APWU has appealed to arbitration a dispute concerning whether the provisions of Article 7.1.B.3 of the National Agreement that prohibits casuals from performing assignments that require training and testing includes PMRs (Postmaster reliefs) with dual appointments when used as casuals, and also whether these restrictions are limited to 200-man year installations.
(08/01/08) The APWU has appealed to arbitration a dispute over the Postal Service's refusal to accept medical certification for chronic conditions covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act if not submitted at the time of the absence. It is the APWU's position that employees may submit medical certification notifying the employer of a serious health condition before an absence or leave begins. It is the APWU's position that this fulfills th employees obligation under the FMLA to provide the employer with notice as soon as practicable.
(06/05/08) The APWU has initiated a national-level dispute over the Postal Service's failure to comply with their obligations under Article 32.1.C of the National Agreement to furnish notification to locals of subcontracting of bargaining unit work at the local level. The dispute follows the Postal Service's response to an earlier inquiry regarding management's understanding of their obligations under Article 32.1.C.
(05/05/08) The APWU has appealed to national level arbitration the creation of two new USPS "Observation of Work Practices" forms. It is the union's position that the observation forms are redundant and also conflict with Chapter 8 of the ELM and Section 8-14 of the Handbook EL-801, Supervisors Safety Handbook. Furthermore, it is the union's position that these forms are records covered under the Privacy Act; however, the Postal Service was unable to identify the System of Records under which these forms would be protected.
(03/06/08) The APWU has filed a national-level dispute over the Postal Service's data security breaches involving missing or stolen laptop computers containing personal and confidential information of APWU bargaining unit employees. It is the union's position that the Postal Service has failed to take the necessary corrective action to eliminate these data security breaches by ensuring that sensitive employee information is not stored on portable computing devices. It is also the APWU's position that when a data breach occurs, the Postal Service should provide impacted employees with identity theft insurance.
(02/25/08) The APWU has filed a national-level dispute over the Postal Service's practice of requiring employees to automatically provide new medical certification (recertification) for a serious health condition with the first absence in a new leave year, simply because the old leave year has ended and a new leave year has begun. It is the APWU's position that once an employee has provided the Postal Service with an FMLA medical certification, it is improper for the Postal Service to automatically require recertification simply because a new leave year has begun.
(02/21/08) The APWU has appealed to arbitration a dispute over whether it is a violation of Article 8, Section 5.H, of the National Agreement when the Postal Service does not schedule full-time employees on the Overtime Desired List (OTDL) for overtime work prior to scheduling casual employees for overtime work and, if so, what is the appropriate remedy.
(02/21/08) The APWU has appealed to arbitration a dispute involving the provisions of Article 7, Section 1.B.3 of the National Agreement that prohibit casual employees from performing assignments requiring training and testing. The issue concerns whether the restriction is limited to positions contained in Article 37.3.F.5 and 37.3.F.7 of the National Agreement. The APWU's position is that the language in Article 7.1.B.3 that references Article 37.3.F.5 and 37.3.F.7 is illustrative in nature and not intended to limit the scope of the prohibition against casuals working jobs that require training and testing.
(02/21/08) The union has initiated a national dispute over whether an employee who is on administrative leave is entitled to Sunday Premium pay for hours he/she would have otherwise worked on Sunday. The APWU's position is that an employee on administrative leave is entitled to be paid for all hours he/she would otherwise have worked during a scheduled tour that includes any part of Sunday.
(02/21/08) The Postal Service's improper creation, handling and utilization of a new electronic PS Form 1769 for reporting accidents is the subject of a recently initiated national dispute. The new electronic form, which is completed by postal supervisors, includes confidential and restricted information such as the employee's social security number and medical diagnosis. The APWU's position is that the recording of an employee's social security number and diagnosis are not necessary for the purpose of reporting an accident, and therefore should be removed from the form. The APWU has also filed an unfair labor practice charge over the Postal Service's failure to provide the union with requested information regarding this form.
(02/21/08) A national-level grievance has been filed concerning the use of non-bargaining unit employees (PMRs) with a dual appointment as a casual being utilized in assignments requiring training and testing in violation of Article 7.1.B.3 of the National Agreement. The APWU's position is that the Article 7.1.B.3 restrictions on casuals performing assignments requiring training and testing apply to all casuals, regardless of the installation size as well as to any non-bargaining unit employees with a dual appointment as a casual.
(06/08/07) The APWU recently initiated a Step 4 dispute over the Postal Service’s proposal to subcontract bargaining unit work (tender and receipt of mail) at 14 Air Mail Centers/Facilities. The union’s dispute asserts in part that the Postal Service failed to meet and afford the APWU the opportunity to provide our views on costs and other factors, as well as to submit proposals to avoid subcontracting and to minimize the impact of any subcontracting, during the development of the initial Comparative Analysis Report.
(06/08/07) The APWU has appealed to arbitration a revision to ELM Section 665 which requires employees on a public registry of sex offenders to report their status to management. The union’s appeal asserts that the proposed language fails the fair, reasonable and equitable test of Article 19, and that the real purpose of the self-reporting requirement is to serve as a means to discipline or remove employees for failing to report their status - even though the off-duty conduct may not itself warrant discipline or removal.
(03/02/07) This dispute concerns the proper interpretation of the MOU on Supplemental Workforce; Conversion of Clerk Craft PTFs from the 2006 National Agreement as it relates to the limitations on casual employee assignments. The APWU's position is that the bracketed phrase in paragraph 13 of the MOU which states "[reference Article 37.3.F.5 positions and Article 37.3.F.7]" is illustrative only and does not limit the scope of the prohibition against casuals working jobs that require training and testing.
(03/02/07) This dispute concerns revisions to Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) Sections 569.1 and 589.1, Retirement Counseling. The APWU's position is that the elimination of previously established individual retirement counseling at the local level violates past practice, the collective bargaining agreement, and the intent of the parties' Step 4 settlement in case Q00C-4Q-C06054413.
(03/01/07) This dispute concerns deficiencies in the Casual Compliance Report provided to the APWU for purposes of monitoring compliance with contractual limitations on the hiring of casuals. The APWU's position is that the restrictions in the 2006 National Agreement refer specifically to the number of casuals in the Clerk Craft in an installation and the number of casuals and employees per District. The APWU is requesting that the Postal Service provide a report that reflects the numbers needed to monitor compliance with the new restrictions.
(02/01/07) This grievance involves the failure of the USPS to use craft seniority when making wholesale rehab/limited duty assignments after reassessing all of the medically restricted assignments in an installation. The successful resolution of this grievance would most likely result in the invalidation of virtually every NRP reassignment. This grievance is our lead case on the NRP issue. Any regional grievance that is held in abeyance because of the existence of a national NRP dispute should refer to this case number as the lead dispute (Q00C4QC07006778).
Dispute Over Information Security Handbook
(10/25/06) The APWU initiated a national dispute over the Postal Service's announcement of revisions to the AS-805 handbook governing Information Security. The revised handbook restricts employees from bringing personal information resources (e.g. laptops, notebooks, PDAs, handheld computers and USB port devices such as flash memory sticks) into postal facilities. The union is concerned that the new restrictions may adversely impact the union's ability to perform its duties.