Custodial Staffing

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

Moving Forward

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.

APWU Web News Article 67-2017

Maintenance Defines Custodial Staffing in POStPlan Clusters

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.

APWU Web News Article 49-2017

Maintenance Craft Agreement with USPS Resolving Line H Dispute

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.

USPS Testing New Machine to Automate Craft Work

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.

The New Contract and Maintenance

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

APWU Web News Article 166-2016

Mid-Year Refresher: Updates, Reminders

07/08/2016 - (This article first appeared in the July-August issue of The American Postal Worker Magazine)

APWU officers and members have been very busy for the past year-and-a-half working for a fair contract, but we have continued pursuing other activities, including some long-festering disputes with management. Below is a recap of pending issues.


The End of the Fiscal Year and Custodial Hours

09/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the September-October 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

We are quite likely still heading for Interest Arbitration for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. And while that is the top priority for APWU officers, day-to-day and month-to-month battles continue.

Issues we thought were resolved often find their way back to the front burner, typically because a manager in the field disagreed with how the union and management settled a problem and came up with way to undermine it.

These stuck-in-the past types typically possess a great deal of anti-union animus. In other words, they just don’t like us. Their attitude is, if they can cause trouble, so much the better.