Maintenance Division Officers
Director Myke Reid Retires,
Gary Kloepfer Takes Legislative Reins
Rep-at-Large, Clerk NBA Position Remain Vacant
(05/13/13) Myke Reid retired effective May 13, ending an illustrious career as the APWU’s Legislative and Political director. “Postal reform remains an unfinished agenda item,” Reid said. “I will continue to do whatever I can to help the APWU achieve postal reform that makes sense.” The union’s National Executive Board unanimously approved a recommendation by President Cliff Guffey to appoint Maintenance Craft Assistant Director “A” Gary Kloepfer to replace Reid. “Gary has been a very effective advocate for the Maintenance Craft,” said APWU President Cliff Guffey. “I am pleased that he has accepted this important assignment.” [read more]
Arbitration on Travel,
Subcontracting & More
Maintenance Division Director
(This article first appeared in the May/June 2013 edition of The American Postal Worker.)
The Maintenance Division has been involved in several important arbitration cases in recent months.
On Feb. 22, we completed hearings on one of our oldest national disputes, the Rock Creek case, which addresses whether students sent to training at NCED must be paid for the time spent traveling between the housing facility and the off-site Rock Creek training facility.
The Postal Service instructs students at NCED on the use the transportation supplied by the Postal Service, which runs on a fixed schedule. The union asserts that this type of travel from location to location is compensable. The USPS contends that the housing facility takes the place of your home, and therefore the travel is the same as a commute to and from work.
Despite the Postal Service’s attempt at creativity, the plain fact is that when you are training at NCED, you are at a temporary duty station, not home. Does the USPS plan to send a bus to your home to bring you to work? Wait, that would then be compensable travel!
Briefs have been submitted and we are awaiting the decision by Arbitrator Shyam Das. (Case #Q00T-4Q-C 05147379)
On May 21 and 22 we will continue hearings before Arbitrator Das to address the proper remedy from his earlier award in the Associate Office Infrastructure (AOI) case.
In his February 2010 ruling on a Maintenance Craft grievance (Case #Q94C-4Q-C 97031616), Arbitrator Das directed the USPS to assign craft employees to maintain computers at approximately 8,000 of the nation’s largest associate offices. He also instructed the union and management to discuss the possibility of assigning additional computer maintenance work at AOs to the Maintenance Craft.
Arbitrator Das directed the union and management to discuss an appropriate retroactive remedy, and retained jurisdiction over the matter in the event the parties were unable to reach agreement, in accordance with the union’s request.
The work of installing and maintaining the Postal Service networks is clearly bargaining unit work that belongs to the Maintenance Craft. We will always work to protect craft work and to ensure that all bargaining unit work is awarded to the craft.
In February we also completed hearings on management’s obligation to notify locals when a decision to subcontract is made at the field level, as required by Article 32.1.C of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. (Case #Q06C-4Q-C 08228294)
The USPS insists that subcontracting decisions made at the local level are not covered by Article 32.1.C — and therefore, local notification is not required.
But the APWU knows that the term “field level” refers to any decision that is not made at the national level. The area office, district office, processing and distribution center, post office, field maintenance office, etc. all comprise the “field level.”
Article 32.1.B requires management to notify the union at the national level when subcontracting decisions are made at the national level. The language of Article 32.1.C is intended to ensure that the proper local union officials are notified. Use of the term “field level” makes it applicable to whatever non-national organizational unit made the decision.
Our Common Effort
Whether the effort is from officers at headquarters or National Business Agents and local officers, the struggle to protect our livelihoods by protecting our work is never ending. The most important part of this effort, though, comes from each individual member.
Making sure the proper occupational group is assigned to a task is important. If there is a question, members should bring the issue to the attention of their steward.
If an ET sees an MM-7 working on a malfunctioning AFCS-200, the ET should file an Article 7.2 grievance. Similarly, when MM-7s are told to perform higher-level work, they should see their steward and ensure they are going to be paid higher level, as required by Article 25. The steward should make sure the complete remedy is applied.
As it says on page 39 of the Joint Contract Interpretation Manual, when a violation of Article 7.2 is established, the employee(s) who should have performed the work are entitled to pay at the appropriate rate. This includes regular overtime or penalty overtime. To be clear, crossing occupational groups is the same as crossing crafts. Employees are entitled to be paid at the proper level for the work they perform and the employees who should have performed the work are entitled to be paid for the missed work opportunity.
Protecting work ensures proper pay levels and staffing are maintained for each occupational group. It allows us choice in our working hours and off days and helps eliminate favoritism.
Working together gives us the best chance to protect and improve on our working lives. We all need each other to succeed.
Maintenance Prepares for All-Craft Conference
Plans are underway for the 2013 All-Craft Conference, which will be held at the Bally’s Hotel in Las Vegas. The Maintenance Division portion of the event will run Monday, Nov. 4, through Wednesday, Nov. 6.
On Monday we will have a Maintenance Division General Session where reports will be made and issues discussed. On Tuesday morning, there will be Regional Breakouts lead by National Business Agents. On Tuesday afternoon, we will have two training sessions. On Wednesday we will offer two training sessions. The courses will include Basic Maintenance Steward Training, Winning Subcontracting Cases and — back by popular demand — Maintenance Custodial Staffing.
PSE Issues and Maintenance Excessing will be covered during the General Session so the largest number of people can attend.
Please make your plans and register early to ensure sufficient space and materials are available. We look forward to seeing you and hope many of you will be able to stay on through Thursday, Nov. 7, to attend the installation of APWU national officers.