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Maintenance Division

Travel Delay Settlement

(09/21/12) Maintenance Craft officers have settled a grievance on the pay for employees who are delayed while traveling, Maintenance Division Director Steve Raymer has announced. In accordance with Article 36.2.C of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, “All travel for job-related training will be considered compensable work hours.” The dispute in Case #Q00C-4Q-C 04025449 arose due to a disagreement on how to handle travel pay when an unexpected delay requires an overnight stay at a hotel. This typically occurs when employees are selected for training at NCED in Norman OK. [read more]


Union Partially Resolves Software Dispute

(09/20/12) The APWU and USPS settled a dispute on computer software installation on Sept. 13, 2012, agreeing that on-site computer software installation for postal equipment will be performed by Level 10 and Level 11 Electronic Technicians, Maintenance Craft Director Steve Raymer has announced. “This is the clearest language we have achieved on on-site software installation,” he said. [read more]


APWU, USPS
Settle Dispute, Protect Maintenance Work

(06/08/12) The APWU and USPS have reached an agreement that will preserve Maintenance Craft duties for employees in the craft, Maintenance Director Steve Raymer has announced. The June 8 agreement stipulates that opening of the DBCS-EC machine stacker panel doors to clear jams, etc. should remain the duty of the Maintenance Craft. [read more]


Maintenance Agreement
Protects Staffing

(05/25/12) The APWU and the USPS reached a settlement on May 25 that will protect staffing, Maintenance Craft Director Steve Raymer has announced. The agreement prohibits the Postal Service from deducting square footage of floor space, including under mail processing equipment, in developing a Building Inventory. Management began deducting the square footage as a ploy to reduce staffing. [read more]


Agreement Upgrades Level 6
Maintenance Support Clerks,
Updates Staffing

(05/09/12) The APWU and USPS have reached an agreement that upgrades Level 6 Maintenance Support Clerk (MSC) positions one level and updates the staffing criterion for the position, Maintenance Director Steve Raymer has announced. [read more]


Settlement Clarifies 204B Language

(05/08/12) The APWU has reached a Step 4 settlement with the Postal Service that clarifies language in the 2006 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) regarding the eligibility of Maintenance Craft employees who were detailed to non-bargaining unit positions to obtain preferred duty assignments, Maintenance Director Steve Raymer has announced. To be eligible for different duty assignments in their current occupational groups, employees on 204B details must return to the craft for an entire continuous pay period prior to the date of posting of job award notices. [read more]


APWU, USPS Settle
Dispute on Covering
Custodial Absences

(05/01/12) The APWU and Postal Service have settled a grievance regarding the proper procedure for covering absences of custodians, Maintenance Craft Director Steve Raymer has announced. The April 25 agreement stipulates that in offices with multiple custodians, the staff that is present can work additional hours, using additional part-time flexible hours or overtime for full-time regulars. [read more]


Maintenance Craft PSE
National Dispute Resolved

(03/30/12) The APWU and the Postal Service settled a Step 4 grievance [PDF] on March 30 regarding the use of Postal Support Employees (PSEs) in the Maintenance Craft. The settlement [PDF] stipulates that PSEs will only be used in custodial positions.


Software Installation Settlements

(03/01/12) The Maintenance Division recently settled a dispute regarding this installation of application software for mail processing equipment by contract workers (Case #Q06T-4Q-C-10122776). The dispute arose when the Postal Service published SMO-003-09 and SMO-005-09, which instructed a vendor to install software on Video Coding Computers at sites with Flat Sequencing machines. According to the SMOs, "The vendor will be performing the initial installation of the FRES 14.2 upgrade, which will include the additional FRES cabinet with two new ORA computers for the FRES database functions and two new dVCCs. [read more]


MMO Agreement Reached

(04/26/11) The union’s Maintenance Division officers and USPS representatives recently resolved several disputes involving the Preventive Maintenance Guidelines found in Maintenance Management Orders (MMO).

The agreement applies to MMOs that have been superseded or declared obsolete, and identifies examples of duties that are to be assigned to MM-7, MPE-9, or ET-10 occupational groups. [read more]


Union, Management Settle Dispute
Over Installation of Software

(10/01/10) The APWU and the USPS settled a Step 4 dispute on Sept. 22, 2010, agreeing that the installation of computer software on CSBCS (Carrier Sequence Bar Code Sorter) machines would be performed by Electronic Technicians. The grievance arose on Jan. 16, 2008, when the Postal Service published a Software Modification Order, which implied that Senior Mail Processors could complete the installation of the software in question. [read more]


‘NCED No-Show’ Fee Dispute Resolved

(12/22/08) In response to an APWU protest, the Postal Service has instructed field-level managers to bill USPS scheduling offices – rather than employees – for any costs associated with an employee’s failure to attend scheduled training sessions at the National Center of Employee Development. [read more]


Custodial Employees to Share in Long-Awaited Remedy
Union Wins $48 Million Settlement
In MS-47 Handbook Grievance

MS-47 Award Is
A Big Step Forward

Award In 5-7-9 Case
Sets Principles for
Skilled, Semi-Skilled Work

(01/30/08) The APWU and the Postal Service finalized a $48 million payout Jan. 29 to “remedy” the USPS violation of staffing procedures for custodial employees. The settlement will be in the form of lump-sum payments of $2,700 to more than 17,000 employees occupying custodial positions. Payment will be made by April 18, 2008.

The settlement [PDF] is the culmination of a Nov. 16, 2006, arbitration victory in which Shyam Das ordered the USPS to rescind Handbook MS-47, Housekeeping Postal Facilities, issued in 2001, and to reinstate the 1983 version. The 2001 handbook had revised custodial staffing procedures.

Arbitrator Das remanded discussion of the remedy for the violation to the parties, and the $48 million settlement is the result.

“The 2006 award was the third in a series of national-level awards since 2002 that have helped us to better protect the custodial workforce,” said Maintenance Division Director Steve Raymer. “But we were frustrated in our efforts to secure an appropriate remedy for our members for the improper staffing policies that management instituted via the defunct 2001 handbook. Finally, after more than a year of intense negotiations, we have achieved our goal.”

In October 2001, the APWU filed a national-level grievance protesting the revised MS-47, which eliminated the use of staffing standards based on cleaning frequencies and implemented a staffing policy based upon budget considerations. Previously used staffing documents were replaced with budget worksheets.

“We were extremely gratified by the original arbitration award, which was critical to the job security of custodial employees,” said APWU President William Burrus. “And I commend Maintenance Craft Director Steve Raymer for aggressively pursuing this substantial remedy.” [Explanation of MS-47 Handbook Grievance Q98C-4Q-C-02013900]


Arbitration Award in 5-7-9 Case
Sets Principles for Skilled, Semi-Skilled Work

(10/04/05) After multiple hearings and a lengthy briefing period, Arbitrator Shyam Das has issued an arbitration award that establishes principles for differentiating between semi-skilled and skilled maintenance work. Although the union's grievance was sustained in part, denied in part, and remanded in part, union officers generally believe the award will benefit Maintenance Craft employees.

The award in what is known as the "5-7-9 case" is the result of the Maintenance Division’s Article 19 challenge to three Maintenance Management Orders regarding preventive maintenance that the USPS published in 2000. [read the Maintenance Division officers' analysis of the case - PDF]

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