Department & Division News

Labor Distribution Codes

(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.

Accurate recording is important, as it is how the USPS determines the costs of your labor. By proper tracking, the employer determines fund allocation to their various functional areas. Eventually, your time is combined with everyone else’s, and is looked at when the USPS establishes postage rates, makes decisions on equipment, opens or closes facilities, decides on staffing levels (where allowed), etc.

This is in no way an in-depth look at fiscal accounting procedures, just a brief overview to illustrate that being on your proper operation number counts.

The Maintenance Craft makes use of LDC tracking within our functional area (Function 3b). They are: LDC 35 (Maintenance Supervisors), LDC 36 (Postal Operating Equipment – MPE-side to us), LDC 37 (Building Systems Equipment – BE or Building-side), LDC 38 (Building Services – aka – Custodial) and LDC 39 (Maintenance Admin for short – the MSCs). There is also LDC 93, which is Maintenance training time, but we are focusing here on the ones beginning with the number 3.

Everyone is likely aware of the importance of LDC 38. The parties have an agreement on custodial staffing and work performance with a monetary penalty. LDC 38 hours are to be performed on work that is specifically identified within your custodial staffing package in general, and Line H in particular. The agreement on Line H signifies the commitment of the employer and represents your job security. Please help yourself by simply ensuring you are working on the right operation number.

The USPS is very concerned with “standardization” and now believe they must correct a situation regarding LDCs, so as such, some of our Area Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) and Area Maintenance Specialists (AMSs) have been moved into LDC 36 from their former LDC 37.

Some AMTs and AMSs have always been assigned to LDC 36, but the USPS did not wish to have the same category of employee doing the same work under different LDCs.

We heard about the change from our members, as the USPS did not communicate it. The Maintenance Division made an inquiry to the USPS regarding the purpose and intent of this change. The pertinent part of the response, received August 22, 2017, is worth noting:

“It is the belief of Maintenance Operations leadership that the proper Labor Distribution Code (LDC) for bargaining unit employees assigned to Field Maintenance Operations (FMO) is LDC 36. This is based on the job descriptions of the Area Maintenance Technician, PS-09, and the Area Maintenance Specialist, PS-08. Currently both LDC 36 and LDC 37 are in use for those positions. The intention is to have the employees accounted for under the correct LDC. There is no anticipated impact to the occupational group, work hours, or staffing determinations … The LDC is an accounting tool and as such the consolidation of FMO employees into the correct, single, LDC is not expected to impact the bargaining unit.”

This doesn’t mean that all the work performed by AMTs/AMSs is properly under LDC 36, just that this will be their base. There will be work performed that should be classified under the Building-side LDC 37, such as electrical, HVAC, etc.

Please remember to say “Hi” to your steward!

We trust all who attended the All-Craft Conferences found it successful. We are back and are entering this holiday season, gearing up for another round of negotiations. The scope and importance of the task is not lost on any of the involved APWU Officers and staff. Our strength is in our unity of purpose!