12/12/2016 - Arbitrator Stephen Goldberg issued a decision on Dec. 8, 2016, holding that the Postal Service violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it failed to assign Sales Retention Team (SRT) center work to the Clerk Craft and post the positions for bid... The APWU successfully argued that the work performed by the employees at the SRTs is part of the Clerk Craft. It is very similar to the positions at established call centers, where employees interact over the phone with customers who call the Postal Service for assistance. Goldberg agreed, pointing out “[the SRT workers] do essentially the same work – talking on the telephone to customers and inputting data on computers.”
In a decision issued March 29, 2013, Arbitrator Das sustained the APWU’s position on how postmaster and supervisor time should be counted for purposes of caps set up to limit the number of hours they can perform bargaining unit work in small post offices. He found in part that a key provision in 2011’s Global Settlement between the Postal Service and union should be interpreted as written and therefore requires that all time a supervisor or postmaster spends staffing the window during the day will be counted towards permissible bargaining unit work limits for postmasters and supervisors in Level 15, 16, and 18 offices. Das remanded issues of remedy to the parties for discussion and resolution.
In a supplemental remedy award issued October 16, 2013, Arbitrator Das sustained the APWU’s position that a monetary remedy would be appropriate for the time period between the Global Settlement (3/9/2011) and the date of the national award on the merits (3/29/2013) based on the findings in that award. He ruled that “there is nothing inherently speculative in determining from available data whether the limits set forth in the Global Settlement were violated in a particular office in a particular week, and if so, what the extent (work hours) of the violation was.” Das ordered that within 90 days, unless management shows it cannot reasonably accomplish such actions within that time frame, the Postal Service is to make available to the union information to which it has access showing time spent by postmasters “staffing the window” as defined in the merits award.
News: Awards and Settlements
Hundreds of SPSS Clerk Craft Jobs Preserved
12/09/2016 - The APWU prevailed in an arbitration that keeps hundreds of Clerk Craft jobs in the union’s bargaining unit. The decision clarifies what ability the Postal Service has to change craft work assignments for new machinery. When the new Small Parcel Sorting System (SPSS) machines were installed, the Postal Service first assigned all of the work to the Mail Handler Craft. After a closer and better review, the USPS reassigned some of the functions, including facing and separating packages as well as sweeping in rotation, to the Clerk Craft... With this procedural issue resolved, clerks will continue to be assigned work on the SPSS machines for now, as well as on new SSPS machines that are in the process of being deployed.
09/01/2016 - The APWU and USPS signed two important Step 4 settlements recently, Industrial Relations Director Tony D. McKinnon Sr. has announced.
11/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the November/December 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)
The APWU and USPS agreed to extend the 50-mile limit on excessing in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dated Sept. 28, signed by APWU President Mark Dimondstein and the USPS Vice President for Labor Relations. The original MOU, Minimizing Excessing, which was slated to expire with the 2010 contract, is extended until May 20, 2018, or for the term of the next Collective Bargaining Agreement, whichever is later.
Two Related MOUs and Maintenance-Specific Step 4 Settlement Facilitate Extension
09/29/2015 - The APWU and the USPS have agreed upon two Memoranda of Understanding: “Minimizing Excessing” and “Peak Season Exception Periods,” in addition to a Maintenance-specific Step 4 Settlement, that are all interconnected and result in the extension of the 50-mile memo on Sept. 28, 2015, APWU President Mark Dimondstein announced.
07/21/2015 - The APWU and the Postal Service signed an agreement on July 15, 2015, that will compensate Postal Support Employees (PSEs) for the time they spent and costs they incurred to obtain fingerprints for background investigations that were required for their conversion to career status, Industrial Relations Director Tony D. McKinnon has announced.
In accordance with the settlement, the Postal Service is responsible for any “direct costs” of fingerprinting, including mileage.
06/02/2015 - In a precedent-setting agreement approved by the National Labor Relations Board, the APWU and its sister postal unions won the right to bargain with the Postal Service over a massive data security breach that took place in 2014.
The historic May 19 settlement marks a win for unions in a new area of labor-management contention: Management’s responsibilities to protect employees’ personal information in the digital age. The recent rash of data security breaches at government agencies and large private-sector companies makes the victory significant for workers far beyond those employed by the USPS.
Grievances Due June 5, If Necessary
06/01/2015 - A key feature of the Global Settlement Remedy Agreement, which was signed on Dec. 5, 2014, were provisions making it easier for union representatives to monitor when postmasters and supervisors perform bargaining unit work in excess of the hours allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The USPS recently provided the APWU with the first set of reports by postmasters and supervisors showing how many hours they worked. The reports, which are available to local and state presidents only, are posted in the Member’s Only section of the APWU website. Local and state presidents were previously notified of the reports and have been working hard to get employees paid.
03/24/2015 - APWU Clerk Craft Director Clint Burelson has updated union members on progress toward disbursing a $56 million settlement that was signed Dec. 5, 2014, to resolve disputes over postmasters and supervisors in small offices performing bargaining unit work.
As part of the settlement, the Postal Service was required to provide reports showing the amount of bargaining unit work performed by postmasters and supervisors in Level 15, 16 and 18 offices.
01/12/2015 - An addendum to the Sept. 22, 2013, POStPLAN Memorandum of Understanding will place a number of career jobs into Level 4 post offices, which otherwise would have been staffed exclusively with Postal Support Employees (PSEs). The offices in question are open four hours per day.