Our Week in Norman, Oklahoma
(This article first appeared in the March-April 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
By Maintenance Craft Directors
During the week of Nov. 27 - Dec. 4, 2017 your Maintenance Craft headquarters ofﬁcers traveled to Norman, OK for meetings with the Postal Service and students attending training at the National Center for Employee Development (NCED).
Maintenance Craft Director Raymer, Assistant Director (A) Balogun and Assistant Director (B) Martinez met with management representatives at the Maintenance Technical Support Center (MTSC) and at the NCED. We also conducted a site visit to the Oklahoma City P&DC to observe and examine the Advanced Letter Processing System (ALPS). The system being tried out at OKC is different from the one at the Richmond, VA P&DC, which APWU representatives had previously visited.
We met with NCED management leadership twice. After the ﬁrst meeting, we conducted an evening session with maintenance students. There was good news to provide, as the food trays were coming back by the end of the following week (evidence shown in image). The balancing act to carry your plates, glasses, etc. in one trip is over.
We also discussed several other items with NCED management. The situation of the weekend meal availability seems mitigated with the 40% postal discount applying to the lounge food service. Students are to receive full per diem for the weekend when the cafeteria (called “3 Squares”) is closed.
A rather unfortunate situation had developed during our visit involving the required purchase by students of different footwear to attend class. The allegation being made by NCED instructors that the shoes the students had did not meet the USPS requirements for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This mistaken assertion was quickly rectiﬁed.
We also discussed the capability of the training center to adapt to changes in current and future USPS equipment. We emphasized the importance of quality training, particularly with the 2009 change in testing and selection brought on by the Revamped Maintenance Selection System (RMSS).
We did meet with MTSC management to discuss several items, including the ET-11s new LMOU, as well as the proposed update to eMARS. There was a separate meeting held over the construction of the preventative maintenance guidelines that are issued as Maintenance Management Orders (MMOs).
Assistant Director Martinez, who principally reviews these items when provided to the APWU, noticed some issues arising. This meeting, all agreed, was helpful to express the intentions and requirements over the assignment of work and our understanding of the development of the estimated times. These are critical documents in the stafﬁng for our work on postal equipment, and accuracy and speciﬁcity of job tasks are extremely important.
We also met with USPS headquarters management on the remanded portions of the MS-1 that was part of Arbitrator Goldberg’s award. While there was a free exchange at these meetings, no agreement was reached. Please refer to the APWU website for the MS-1 award at issue.
The opportunity to make a site visit, conduct several labor-management meetings, and meet on a national arbitration remand made the trip very worthwhile. Still, the best part to us was the opportunity to meet with the members attending NCED. We previously conducted these sessions on a more regular basis and have every intention of returning to our more regular visits to Norman, OK.
Please remember to say “Hi” to your friendly ﬂoor steward.