Landmark Arbitration Decision Upholding Craft Assignments and Job Posting Rights
12/12/2016 - Arbitrator Stephen Goldberg issued a decision on Dec. 8, 2016, holding that the Postal Service violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it failed to assign Sales Retention Team (SRT) center work to the Clerk Craft and post the positions for bid.
In October 2012, the USPS set up the SRTs to reach out to small and midsized customers who they believed were likely to leave the Postal Service. The employees working at these sites followed customized scripts to persuade customers to stay. The Postal Service assigned employees from all crafts on the workers compensation rolls to work at the sites without first posting the jobs for bid to Clerk Craft employees as required.
The APWU successfully argued that the work performed by the employees at the SRTs is part of the Clerk Craft. It is very similar to the positions at established call centers, where employees interact over the phone with customers who call the Postal Service for assistance. Goldberg agreed, pointing out “[the SRT workers] do essentially the same work – talking on the telephone to customers and inputting data on computers.”
Arbitrator Goldberg ruled the newly created positions should have been posted for bid per Article 37.3.A.1, which provides that “All newly established Clerk Craft duty assignments shall be posted to craft employees eligible to bid within 28 days.”
As remedies for the violations in the case, Goldberg ordered the Postal Service to:
- Cease and desist from the violations of the National Agreement found in this case,
- Assign SRT work to Clerk Craft employees, and
- Post SRT work assignments for bid without delay.
Arbitrator Goldberg declined to order a monetary award at this time, stating he is “unwilling to determine an appropriate financial remedy for this violation without first providing the parties with the opportunity to discuss and perhaps resolve that question.” After 60 days, either the USPS or the APWU may ask the Arbitrator to decide the issue of a monetary remedy.
“Under our Collective Bargaining Agreement these jobs always should have been performed by Clerk Craft employees and now they will be,” said President Mark Dimondstein. “This is an outstanding award that secures current and future work for the Clerk Craft.”
“Much thanks go to witnesses Linda Moss at the Coppell, Texas facility and Lorinda Miller at the Troy, Michigan facility who testified to the work performed at the Sales Retention Centers,” said Clerk Craft Director Clint Burelson. “Great work was also done by Assistant Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks who filed the national dispute and worked tirelessly as the case officer.”