SUBNAV

Staffing

How to Get a Custodial Staffing Review

A staffing review is an important tool for protecting Maintenance Craft jobs, and we encourage locals to request reviews if there is a valid reason to believe that your office is understaffed.

Staffing packages in the Maintenance Division can be broken into two general categories: Custodial staffing and mechanized staffing.

Custodial staffing is determined by following the step-by-step process outlined in the MS-47 Handbook, Housekeeping Postal Facilities. Management is required to abide by the handbook and to maintain the results of a proper staffing package. Three basic forms are involved:

Mechanized staffing determines the number of non-custodial positions (for example, ET, Maintenance Mechanic, Building Equipment Mechanic and Maintenance Control Clerk) in an installation, using a program called e-WHEP, the electronic Work Hour Estimator Program. Thee-WHEP was designed principally for use in the mail processing plant environment, but it also includes sections for building equipment, administrative, and field maintenance staffing.

Mechanized Staffing Review Checklist

Custodial Survey

Paperless Review Requests

To have your staffing package reviewed by a national staffing advocate — remotely or by a field visit — you must do the following:

  1. Request a complete copy of the most current staffing package in an electronic format (PDF) from your local manager. Your request should indicate whether you are interested in custodial staffing, mechanized staffing, or both. 
  2. Once you receive the information from management, you must review the Form 4869, Building Inventory, for accuracy, and complete a list of discrepancies. (See below.)
  3. Your local president must submit an “e-Request to Review” letter by sending an e-mail message to MaintStaffing@apwu.org. Please be sure to specify what you are requesting and who the local point of contact (POC) will be. Please include phone numbers and an e-mail address. 
  4. Attach an electronic copy of the staffing package (PDF) and the list of discrepancies to your request. 
  5. If you have a previous staffing package, attach that as well for comparison purposes.

Determining Discrepancies

A complete list of discrepancies is essential to conducting an accurate and effective staffing review. The list is generated by verifying the accuracy of PS Form 4869, which itemizes inventory. Follow the guidelines below.

  • If an item is missing you must add it to your list. 
  • If a frequency of cleaning differs from what is listed on Form 4839, you must note it on your list. 
  • If the square footage of a location has been reduced, you must note it on your list. 
  • If the building has been expanded, you must note it on your list. 
  • If custodians are performing non-custodial duties in addition to their custodial work, identify the tasks, and indicate the number of minutes per day and the number of days per year the tasks are being performed. Examples include delivering Express Mail, raising or lowering flags, recycling duties, etc. It is not enough to simply identify the tasks.

Including all the information listed above is crucial.

If you have any questions, or if you want to inquire about the status of a request, feel free to contact us at MaintStaffing@apwu.org, or call us at 202-842-4213.

Using the Custodian Staffing Program  

MS-47 Staffing Program developed by Maintenance Craft officers is designed to enable staffing advocates and/or local union officials to verify the custodian staffing packages given to them by local management in three simple steps. The program was created in July 2008 and was updated in July 2011. [MS47 Tutorial]

To utilize it, follow the instructions below:

  1. After carefully reviewing all forms, create a "discrepancy list" that includes omitted units, square feet, and frequencies.
  2. Input agency Form 4852 date “as is” onto the Form 4852 comparison.
  3. Use the data entry tab to correct discrepancies and add omitted items.

The Staffing Worksheet Program is designed to help the APWU recapture lost work-year hours. It enables locals to verify information provided by management and to input omitted cleaning items and cleaning frequencies.

USPS Cleaning Standards (Unit performance represents engineering standards that apply to each custodial task.)

We hope it also will reduce the number of hours locals must spend completing Forms 4839 and 4869. The program automatically calculates totals; it also gives locals line-by-line comparisons, showing both the USPS and APWU Staffing Report side-by-side on Form 4852. The worksheet will also stamp the date and time on the finished product when you are ready to print it.

For questions, concerns or suggestions, contact Idowu Balogun at 202-842-4213 or send an email to MaintStaffing@apwu.org

News: Staffing

MS-1 Settlement Reached

05/01/2018 - (This article first appeared in the May-June 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)

By Maintenance Craft Directors 

On Feb. 27, 2018, the USPS and the Maintenance Division reached a resolution regarding the MS-1 Handbook revisions that were remanded to the parties by Arbitrator Goldberg in case Q10T-4Q-C 14171644. The MS-1 Handbook is titled Operation and Maintenance of Real Property and it “prescribes the policies, procedures, and practices governing the operation and maintenance of USPS buildings and leased space.”

APWU Web News Article 21-2018

Agreement Reached on MS 1 Remand!

02/28/2018 - On February 27, 2018, the Postal Service and the APWU Maintenance Division signed an agreement resolving national level disputes in case numbers (Q10T-4Q-C 14171644 and Q10T-4Q-C 16481407).

The outstanding issue revolves around Arbitrator Goldberg’s REMANDED Decision of September 13, 2017:

The issues of whether the revisions to the MS-1 dealing with (a) preventative maintenance time allowances and frequencies, and (b) space adjustments and miscellaneous work time allowances violated Article 19 are remanded to the parties.”

Maintenance Announces New Webinar Training:

Challenging TL-5 Staffing with Newly Developed TL-5 Program!

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. 

Change is Continuous

01/01/2018 - (This article first appeared in the January-February 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Maintenance Craft Directors 

On Oct. 17, we attended a national Tech & Mech joint committee meeting with the USPS. APWU Maintenance, Clerk and MVS Officers, as well as representatives from the Mail Handlers were present. The USPS attendees included program managers over many of the new or changed equipment systems and, of course, labor relations.

Labor Distribution Codes

11/01/2017 - (This article first appeared in the November-December 2017 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Maintenance Craft Directors 

When we punch into work, the USPS time-keeping system tracks our workhours based on the operation we badge onto. All employees are assigned to a particular Labor Distribution Code (LDC) as their “base.” Occasionally, depending on assignment, those work hours need to be recorded under a different LDC – frequently done by badging onto the proper operation number. Sometimes, a manual entry into the time-keeping system is required.

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.

Selection from the In-Service Register

07/01/2017 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2017 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

By Maintenance Craft Directors 

We have noticed an uptick in the use of maintenance craft in-service registers. This makes it a good time to point out the in-service register “pecking order” on page 280 of the 2012 Joint Contract Interpretation Manual (JCIM). It is entitled Order for Filling Maintenance Craft Positions and gives a specific process for how our posted duty assignments are awarded.

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.

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