07/08/2016 - (This article first appeared in the July-August issue of The American Postal Worker Magazine)
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
01/01/2016 - (This article first appeared in the January-February 2016 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)
The APWU won an important grievance involving maintenance Craft staffing at Bulk Mail Centers on Oct. 19, when Arbitrator Ira Jaffe issued a stinging rebuke to the Postal Service.
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.