01/10/2019 - In a decision issued on Friday, January 4, 2019, Arbitrator Stephen B. Goldberg ruled that the Postal Service did not violate the National Agreement in 2011 when it decided to subcontract roof maintenance and repair work. The Union contended that the Employer had violated Article32.1.A by failing to give due consideration to the five factors it must consider before subcontracting; violated Article 32.1.B by failing to give the Union advance notice, and by failing to comply with the other requirements of 32.1.B; violated the MOU on Contracting or Insourcing of Contracted Services; and violated ASM Section 535.112.
Custodial staffing is governed by the Postal Service’s MS-47 Handbook. A July 9, 2014, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlines how the handbook will be implemented. (It also resulted in the conversion of thousands of Maintenance Craft Postal Support Employees (PSEs) to career).
The Postal Service is required to staff, schedule and assure the performance of custodial duties. This is true whether the office is covered by Transmittal Letter 3 (T/L-3) or T/L-5 of the MS-47.
Item 6 of the MOU says that management must provide the local union with LDC 38 work hours that compare to the work hours shown under Line H of Form 4852.
“Line H represents the total number of hours of custodial work, factoring in training, breaks and wash-ups, to be performed in a year as determined using the criteria and standards in the MS-47. Line H is what is critical,” Arbitrator Shyam Das wrote in Case #194T-4I-C 98116745.
The same ruling also outlined certain narrow exceptions, such as the effect of holidays on the postmaster’s office (which the arbitrator assumed meant the postmaster would be absent). Das wrote, “This could provide management a legitimate basis on which to schedule and/or work fewer cleaning and policing hours than those shown on the PS 4852.” That is why Item 6 of the July 9, 2014, MOU allows for a 10 percent variance from the Line H total.
The provision also outlines a remedy for violations:
If custodial staffing falls short of 90 percent of the LDC 38 work hours shown on Line H, management is required to compensate custodial employees identified by the local union at the overtime rate. If management fails to meet the 90 percent mark again the following fiscal year, the violation must be compensated by the difference between the LDC 38 hours and 100 percent of the Line H amount.
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News: Custodial Staffing
10/03/2018 - (This article first appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
By Maintenance Division Director Idowu Balogun
Filling Maintenance Vacancies — Part II
This is Part II of an article started by our late brother, former Maintenance Division Director Steve Raymer, in the July-August edition of The American Postal Worker. We are sharing how to fill vacant maintenance positions under terms of our contract, known within our craft as the “pecking order.” The previous article covered through Step 4 of the process; we pick up here with Step 5.
05/01/2018 - (This article first appeared in the May-June 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)
Feb. 18, 2018
Dear Editor Mark Dimondstein,
My name is Susan Nichols and I am sending you this [letter and photograph below] on behalf of the group of Laborer/Custodians to whom it refers. We would urge you to print this because 1) it underscores the power and importance of the Union, and 2) in recognition of the enormous effort put forth in this case to win back these jobs. It was a long and labor-intensive process on the part of, particularly, Maintenance Craft Director Erik Bojarski. He, and President Frank Resetarits, truly changed our lives for so much the better. They deserve a recognition – as does the Union.
02/02/2018 - On January 31, Arbitrator Stephen Goldberg issued his opinion in case Q10T-4Q-C 13332310.
Maintenance Announces New Webinar Training:
02/02/2018 - On Feb. 27, Maintenance Division Director Steven Raymer, Assistant Director (A) Idowu Balogun and Assistant Director (B) Terry B. Martinez will be presenting a webinar training on Challenging TL-5 Staffing with Newly Developed TL-5 Program. The training will be from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. EST. More details and registration can be found here.
09/01/2017 - (This article first appeared in the Sept-Oct 2017 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
By Maintenance Craft Directors
The Maintenance Division had a productive first half of 2017.
07/06/2017 - On June 30, Arbitrator Stephen Goldberg issued a national award for Case No. Q10T-4Q-C 15206030 concerning custodial staffing in POStPlan office clusters (a group of postal facilities consisting of at least one Remotely Managed Post Office [RMPO] directly reporting to the postmaster located at the Administrative Post Office [APO]). Arbitrator Goldberg’s award certified that a POStPlan office cluster, is an installation as defined in Article 38.2.B and the custodial staffing formula outlined in the Maintenance Craft "Subcontracting Cleaning Services" Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) applies. This means the USPS cannot continue to freely subcontract out bargaining unit work in these small offices.
05/19/2017 - The Postal Service and the Maintenance Division of the APWU signed an agreement resolving a national level dispute regarding custodial hours on line H of Form 4852 (case number Q15T-4Q-C 17274095). The issue in the case is “the determination of compliance with item 6 of the July 9, 2014 TL-5 MOU.”
The Postal Service filed this dispute to challenge the results in the field on the July 9, 2014 MS-47, T/L-5 agreement – in particular, item 6. The agreement continued a requirement for the Postal Service to properly staff the custodial workforce in facilities and to ensure that the custodians were performing the work that justified their staffing. When the work was not properly scheduled, a once-a-year review would take place. If the Postal Service was not properly assigning the custodians to their work, a payment at the overtime rate may be due.
03/01/2017 - (This article first appeared in the March-April 2017 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)
By Maintenance Craft Directors
The new year certainly started with a bang! while we are, of course, very proud of the efforts of the Maintenance members involved, all the members of all American Postal Workers Union (APWU) bargaining units are deserving of praise and congratulations for a hard won success on the Staples issue. Everyone, regardless of craft, came together to press for what was right.
09/01/2016 - (This article first appeared in the September-October 2016 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)
In case you missed it, we have a new Collective Bargaining Agreement! The Maintenance Craft was successful in our primary goal of eliminating the non-career category from our ranks. This was an historic achievement, which took a lot of effort, planning and unity of purpose to accomplish. It would be fair