Maintenance Division Officers
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]
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.
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]
APWU Wins Important
Maintenance Subcontracting Grievance
(02/26/10) The union won a major victory against subcontracting Feb. 10, when Arbitrator Shyam Das directed the USPS to assign Maintenance Craft employees to maintain computers at approximately 8,000 of the nation’s largest associate offices. The arbitrator also instructed management and the union to discuss the possibility of assigning additional computer maintenance work at AOs to the Maintenance Craft. [read more]
PARS Software Grievance Resolved
(02/13/09) On Feb. 6, the union reached a favorable resolution of a dispute over the Postal Service's decision to assign the installation of hardware and software for the Postal Automation Redirection System (PARS) to employees of Siemens, the company that developed the equipment.
The grievance arose in April 2007, when the APWU learned (via Software Modification Order 22-07) that PARS installation work — which had long been performed by Electronic Technicians — would be subcontracted to Siemens. The union asserted this was a clear violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and on Aug. 20, 2007, initiated a Step 4 dispute. [read more]
Union Protests Assignment of ET Duties
(05/13/08) The union has initiated a dispute
at the national level (Case # Q06T-4Q-C-07270988) protesting
the Postal Service’s decision to use contractors and other non-Maintenance
Craft employees to install upgraded computer software on PARS machines.
The duties in question are the responsibility of Electronic Technicians,
the union contends. The national office is asking locals to investigate
conditions at their facilities and supply the national union with documentation
it acquires to support the grievance.
Software Installation on Carrier
Sequence Bar Code Sorter
Union Appeals to Arbitration
(03/14/08) The union appealed a national-level dispute to arbitration March 11, protesting the assignment of non-Maintenance Craft employees to install software on the Carrier Sequence Bar Code Sorter. (Case # Q06T-4Q-C-08083300) The duties in question are properly the responsibility of Electronic Technicians, the union asserted. [read more]
NDSS Updates on Bar Code Sorter
(08/04) For more than a decade, the Maintenance Division has pursued a grievance protesting the performance of NDSS updates on Bar Code Sorter (BCS) machines by non-Maintenance Craft employees - including supervisors - in violation of Article 1.6 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The Postal Service contends that the work falls within the job description of the Directory Analysis Specialist (DAS), an EAS-15 management position. Since the union and management could not reach an agreement on this issue, the APWU appealed the grievance to national arbitration in 1990.
An agreement [PDF] was reached on May 14, 2002, to apply the decision from a pending Clerk Craft case to the Maintenance Craft grievance. The grievances involved the same basic issue ¨ performance of bargaining unit work by supervisory employees.
On April 29, 2003, Arbitrator Snow sustained the union's Clerk Craft grievance, ruling [PDF]:
"Having carefully considered all evidence submitted by the parties concerning this matter, the arbitrator concludes that the 'Address Management System Specialist' position is a part of the APWU bargaining unit and that it is a violation of Article 1.2 of the National Agreement to exclude the position and the disputed work from the bargaining unit."
Upon receipt of the arbitration award, the APWU requested that the USPS apply the decision to the Maintenance Craft case. Instead, however, the Postal Service sought to vacate the Clerk Craft case, claiming the arbitrator exceeded his authority. The Postal Service also filed a "unit clarification" petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in an attempt to further frustrate the application of Arbitrator Snow's decision. Although the NLRB's Region 5 director dismissed [PDF] the USPS petition, the Postal Service appealed the decision to the full NLRB. The full board has not yet ruled, so the issue remains in limbo.
The Maintenance Division officers are continuing to pursue this issue, as well as others that involve the performance of Maintenance Craft work by non-Maintenance Craft personnel.