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Department & Division News

Motor Vehicle Services:

‘Fighting for our Survival’

“We’re fighting for our lives, fighting for our very survival” said Motor Vehicle Director Michael Foster on Saturday, July 19 in his report at the opening of the MVS Craft Conference. “Contracting out of Postal Vehicle Services (PVS) and Vehicle Maintenance Services (VMF) continue to be on the forefront of the Postal Service’s privatization plan.”

Of particular concern is the Postal Service’s “mode conversion” of PVS operations to Highway Contract Routes (HCRs). Additionally, despite a March 2013 ruling that the USPS cannot overlook higher subcontracting costs when making outsourcing decisions, the APWU received a notice in April 2013 that the USPS intended to consider contracting out 162 PVS sites throughout the country.

The requirements of the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) are intended to bring work back to the MVS Craft, not send it out to HCRs. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Contracting or Insourcing of Contracted Service and the MOU on Consideration of National Outsourcing Initiatives, which are part of the contract, were intended to allow the APWU an opportunity to compete for work internally concurrent with the outsourcing process and early enough to influence any management decision.

By signing off on these MOUs and the MOU on Motor Vehicle Craft Jobs, the Postal Service agreed in negotiations to continue to expand the Motor Vehicle Craft during the term of the contract. 

“The national union has been engaged in a tumultuous fight to turn back the USPS’ decision to subcontract our MVS work,” said Foster. 

After meeting with the Postal Service several times to discuss management’s effort, the APWU initiated a national dispute in March of this year.

The union contended that the Postal Service is in violation of Articles 31, 32 and the parties’ MOUs on Contracting or Insourcing of Contracted Service, on Consideration of National Outsourcing Initiatives, and Motor Vehicle Craft Jobs. In addition, the effort by the Postal Service to evaluate 162 Postal Vehicle Service sites, which is essentially the entire PVS operation nationwide, for possible subcontracting, violates the agreement of the parties to bring PVS work into the Postal Service during the term of the 2010 National Agreement.

“Contrary to what the Postal Service agreed to in contract negotiations, they are intent on contracting out MVS work,” observed conference participant Fred Wolfmeyer, president of the St. Louis Gateway Area Local. “The MVS Craft is under extreme attack.”

Participants also discussed 12 resolutions involving contractual issues.