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Department & Division News

Clerk Craft Settles 4 National Disputes with USPS

The Clerk Craft recently settled four (4) Step 4 National Disputes with the Postal Service that (1.) address the assignment of injured on duty employees in USPS “pilot” or experimental programs, (2.) Lead Clerk duties and leading other employees, same level and higher, (3.) 204B details to non-supervisory positions, and (4.) Lead Clerk and TACs training and duties.

Lamont Brooks, Clerk Craft Assistant Director, was the assigned officer for the disputes and handled the negotiations that led to the favorable settlements. 

Injured on Duty Employees and USPS “Pilot Programs”

Re: Q15C-4Q-C17352667/HQTC20170058

In a dispute initiated by the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the issue was, “whether it is a violation of the National Agreement to assign injured on duty employees to perform work associated with a pilot program, experimental program, or other similar programs.”

The parties agreed that, “Injured on duty employees will be assigned Clerk work in accordance with Article 37 and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Re: Temporary Assignment, Reassignment or Reemployment in APWU Represented Crafts of Employees Injured on the Job, dated September 10, 2012, and the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM), Section 546, Reassignment or Reemployment of Employees Injured on Duty.”

The parties further agreed, “Should any programs result in a newly created or revised position, such work shall be assigned in accordance with Article 1.5 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, consistent with the Goldberg national arbitration award Q10C-4Q-C 14011344.”  The Goldberg national award had to do with the Sales Retention Team issue where the USPS improperly utilized injured workers to perform duties that he determined should have been posted as duty assignments for bid to Clerk Craft employees.

For the remedy in this particular dispute, the parties agreed, “any case held pending this national dispute will be resolved in accordance with this agreement and local fact circumstances. The parties agree that this settlement satisfies those local grievances directly related to the national dispute; however, the local parties may address any remaining contractual issues in accordance with the grievance/arbitration procedure at the local level.”

Lead Clerk Duty Assignments under Clerk Craft Jobs MOU

Re: Q1OC-4Q-C15340465/HQTG20160017

In a case initiated by the APWU, the issue was, “whether the language in Section 2 of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Re: Clerk Craft Jobs, requires that Mail Processing Lead Clerk duty assignments be posted one level higher than the majority of employees in the group.”  This issue was especially a concern at Bulk Mail Centers (BMCs), NDCs, ISCs and other locations where the Postal Service refused to create a new higher level standard position description and qualification standard.

The parties agreed, “In accordance with Section 2, Mail Processing/Customer Service, of the MOU, Re: Clerk Craft Jobs, employees occupying Lead Clerk duty assignments will not direct those employees at the same or higher level in the group to which they are assigned.”

The parties further agreed, “Those employees that have filed a timely grievance currently being held pending the outcome of this dispute shall receive a payment of one level higher for any hours cited in the grievance that were spent directing employees at the same or higher level in the group to which they were assigned.”

And, “The local parties are responsible for application of this settlement to pending grievances, including any monetary remedy. The parties further agree that this settlement satisfies those local grievances directly related to the national dispute; however, the local parties may address any remaining contractual issues in accordance with the grievance/arbitration procedure at the local level.”

204B Details to Non-Supervisory Positions under Clerk Craft Jobs MOU

Re: Q10C-4Q-C15001061/ HQTC20160102

In a case initiated by the USPS, the issue was, “whether the restriction on 204B usage as stated in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Re: Clerk Craft Jobs, Section 2.D, is applicable to bargaining unit employees detailed to non-bargaining, non-supervisory positions.”

The parties agreed that “the restriction regarding 204B usage as stated in the MOU, Re: Clerk Craft Jobs, Section 2.D, does not apply to bargaining unit employees detailed to non-bargaining, non-supervisory positions, as the detailed positions do not supervise bargaining unit employees.” 

The parties also agreed that Article 37.3.A.8 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement is still applicable.  This provision puts limitations on bidding and provides circumstances that would result in the loss of a bid assignment while employees are in a 204b detail or a detail to any non-supervisory EAS position.

The parties further agreed, “any case held pending this national dispute will be resolved in accordance with this agreement and local fact circumstances. The parties agree that this settlement satisfies those local grievances directly related to the national dispute; however, the local parties may address any remaining contractual issues in accordance with the grievance/arbitration procedure at the local level.”

Lead Clerk Duty Assignments and TACS Training and Duties

Re: Q15C-4Q-C18000314/ Q15C-4Q-C18273555

In this dispute initiated by the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), there were three issues considered.  In case Q15C-4Q-C18000314 the issue was, “whether employees occupying Lead Clerk duty assignments and who perform timekeeping duties must be given access to the Enterprise Resource Management System (eRMS).”

The issues in case #Q15C-4Q-C18273555 were 1) whether the February 4, 2016, Step 4 settlement agreement regarding Q10C-4Q-C15194931/HQTC20150814, required that Lead Clerks who are not assigned timekeeping duties be provided the same Time and Attendance Collection (TACS) training as those Lead Clerks who perform such duties; and 2) whether all non-supervisory/non-managerial TACS duties have been assigned to the Clerk Craft.

The Postal Service had been refusing to properly train Lead Clerks and assign them to perform TACS duties, which is bargaining unit work.

The parties resolved the three issues with the following understanding:

  1. “ERMS is identified as a Management tool, accessible to management, used to monitor and manage employee attendance. In accordance with the Clerical Work MOU, the Clerk Craft Jobs MOU and the Q1OC-4Q-C 15194931/ HQTC20150814 national settlement dated February 4, 2016, employees assigned the Lead Clerk Clock Office Role in TACS are not prohibited from entering supervisor approved leave into TAGS. The Lead Clerk Clock Office Role was created in TACS in accordance with the 2010 Agreement which established the Lead Clerk positions and returned this type of administrative/technical work to the bargaining unit.
  2. In accordance with the February 4, 2016, Step 4 settlement agreement, all Lead Clerks must receive required training. The required training for Lead Clerks assigned the Lead Clerk Clock Office Role in TACS is:

Course #31267-01 Time and Attendance Collection System- Supervisor Training

  1. In facilities that qualify for more than one (1) Lead Clerk duty assignment, not all Lead Clerks must be assigned TACS duties, however, management must provide the required Lead Clerk Clock Office Role training to additional Lead Clerks in order to provide appropriate coverage for each tour (F1 Mail Processing), days off and leave. This will ensure that the TACS duties associated with the Lead Clerk Clock Office Role are performed by Clerk Craft bargaining unit employees.
  2. If, in the future, the Postal Service makes changes to the Lead Clerk Clock Office Role training, to remove modules that are exclusive to supervisors and unnecessary for Lead Clerks, or to make updates to the Lead Clerk Clock Office Role, Labor Relations at the national level will provide notification to the Union in accordance with Article 19 of the collective bargaining agreement.
  3. If the Postal Service migrates non-managerial/non-supervisory timekeeping duties into applications other than TACS, the associated work will either continue to be available in TACS for performance by the Clerk Craft or access to the application(s) will be given to Clerk Craft employees for the performance of such work.
  4. Effective with the signing of this agreement, TACS duties may be included by local management in the Lead Clerk duty assignment postings for those duty assignments properly designated to perform the Lead Clerk Clock Office Role in TACS.
  5. In facilities with Lead Clerks in duty assignments previously posted and awarded, who are currently performing TACS duties or that TACS duties were annotated on the bid posting, they will be grandfathered into this Agreement. If not previously provided, they will receive the required training, course #31267-01.
  6. In facilities with Lead Clerks in duty assignments previously posted and awarded, and there are no Lead Clerks currently performing the TACS duties, the senior Lead Clerk in the facility will receive the required training, course #31267 -01, and be assigned to perform the TACS duties. The parties at the local level may mutually agree to an alternative Lead Clerk in the facility to be trained/assigned in lieu of the senior Lead Clerk.
  7. In facilities where there are multiple Lead Clerks, those Lead Clerks who have not been assigned timekeeping duties, are not required to receive the above referenced training. However, it is recommended they receive LMS Course #10025624, Lead Clerk Overview Training.

The parties further agree that any local grievances held in abeyance that remain unresolved by this agreement are subject to the grievance/arbitration procedure at the local/regional level.”

In addition to reinforcing that the USPS must train Lead Clerks and assign them to perform TACS duties, the addition of including TACS duties on Lead Clerk duty assignments when there is more than one Lead Clerk duty assignment in an installation will allow employees to make an informed decision when bidding on Lead Clerk duty assignments.   

More information regarding the settlements will be sent to National Business Agents and local and state presidents.  Clerk Craft Director Clint Burelson stated, “Much appreciation goes to Assistant Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks for his efforts in filing the disputes and resolving several issues of concern to the Clerk Craft.   Much gratitude also goes to the stewards, officers, and NBAs who pursued these issues at their level and ultimately gave the Clerk Craft the leverage we needed to resolve these disputes at the national level.  It is the seemingly small actions by our APWU activists in many installations across the country that together provides the power to improve the lives of all postal workers and the future of the Postal Service.”

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