Watch Your Mail, Tell Your Legislator:
Vote No on H.R. 2309
11/16/2011 - A bill that would destroy the Postal Service as we know it was approved by a key congressional committee on Oct. 13, and could come up for a vote in the full House at any time. It is urgent that APWU members ask their legislators to vote no on H.R. 2309.
To help APWU members send the message to Congress, the union will be mailing a brochure to every union member’s home in the coming days. President Cliff Guffey is asking union members to sign the postcard included in the brochure and mail it to their legislators.
H.R. 2309 is the postal bill introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) that would require the USPS to make $3 billion worth of cuts in post offices and mail processing facilities within two years.
The legislation also would prohibit postal unions and management from negotiating restrictions on layoffs, and it would empower an appointed “solvency authority” to unilaterally cut wages and benefits.
“This bill would severely damage the Postal Service and harm service. In addition, it would take a devastating toll on postal workers,” Guffey said.
“It is absolutely essential that we make our voices heard,” he said. Every APWU member is urged to take immediate action to stop H.R. 2309 — or any similar bill from becoming law.
Are Those Posted Duty Assignments ‘Desirable?'
The Collective Bargaining Agreement obligates the Postal Service to make “every effort” to create desirable duty assignments from “all available work hours for career employees” when management posts full-time Clerk Craft assignments for bid, Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk is reminding union members.
“‘Every effort’ means just that,” he noted. “A local manager cannot be excused from the requirement to post desirable schedules simply because his boss or someone at the District level insists that all Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) duty assignments must be established with 35 hours per week or less,” he said.
“All available work hours” also means just what it says, Strunk notes: All work hours – including overtime, hours worked by Postal Support Employees (PSEs), hours worked by part-time flexibles from other offices, and cross-craft hours — must be considered when management creates new NTFT assignments. The contractual language clearly requires management to consider “all available work hours,” not “earned hours,” which are generated by management computer models.
But what are “desirable duty assignments?” It is easy to surmise that an assignment with five 8-hour days and weekends off is more desirable than five 6-hour days with split days off. But are four 10-hour days more desirable than five 8-hour days?
Ultimately, the question of desirability will be answered by members of the Clerk Craft. Each time employees choose to bid — whether by computer, telephone, or through the manual bid box — they are telling management and the union what they consider “desirable duty assignments.”