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New Transfer Rules for Excessed Employees

Greg Bell, Director
Industrial Relations

(This article appeared in the Mar/Apr 2008 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

The APWU receives numerous inquiries from members around the country about transfers, particularly from employees who are being impacted by excessing. The following pertains to the recently negotiated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding “Transfer Opportunities to Minimize Excessing” that appears in the 2006-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

APWU members have long had the right to request transfers from one postal installation to another. The “Transfer Memo” (found on Page 315 of the National Agreement) was first negotiated in 1984, and still provides the rules for requesting and approving transfers other than in excessing situations. However, during 2006 negotiations, the APWU was successful in negotiating into the contract, the MOU, “Transfer Opportunities to Minimize Excessing” (Page 381 of the 2006-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement.)

Inside the MOU

The memo provides that all APWU-represented employees in an installation and craft experiencing excessing from the craft or installation may voluntarily submit a request for transfer through eReassign , the Postal Service’s online reassignment-opportunities and transfer-request system.

Affected employees are given priority consideration to transfer from an impacted craft and installation. As in the past, such employees must meet the minimum qualifications for the position they are seeking. But certain limitations that apply to transfers under the longstanding “Transfers Memo”do not apply to employees covered by “Transfer Opportunities to Minimize Excessing Memo.”

Ratios (the number of positions to be filled through transfers as opposed to hiring) outlined in the “Transfer Memo” are not applicable to affected employees requesting transfer as a result of impending excessing. In addition, affected employees’ work, attendance, and safety records are not to be considered by management when employees are applying for transfers as a result of impending excessing.

Under the “Transfer Memo” for reassignments within the same district or to an adjacent one, an employee had to have at least 18 months of service in their present installation prior to requesting reassignment to another installation. For other transfer reassignments, an employee had to have at least one year of service in their present installation. However, employees affected by excessing under the “Transfer Opportunities to Minimize Excessing Memo” are not required to have 18 or 12months of service requirement in their present installation prior to requesting transfers. In addition, craft lock-in periods will not apply to employees who qualify for priority consideration; and, neither the gaining nor losing installation can place a hold on an employee.

Other Situations

Installations with hard-to-fill vacancies post them on eReassign as reassignment opportunities. It is the responsibility of the affected employee to check for these postings, and we recommend making a habit of going online to do so. Employees can request reassignment to these specific positions, or to offices that do not have such positions listed on eReassign .

Selections by installations accepting transfer requests are made on a seniority basis, using craft-installation seniority from the losing installation. In the event of a seniority tie, the tie-breaker method is to first consider total career postal time, and then to look at the entered-on-duty dates.

An employee’s seniority in the gaining installation is established by the respective gaining-craft article in the Collective Bargaining Agreement based on the employee being a voluntary transfer rather than an excessed employee. Accordingly, when changing from one craft to another, or transferring from one installation to another, they will begin a new period of seniority.

Employees accepting transfers under the priority-consideration provisions of the “Transfer Opportunities to Minimize Excessing” memo will have their names removed from the eReassign pending-request list at all locations. Employees requesting transfer can change their mind and decline a transfer opportunity, but this means their name will be removed from the priority eReassign pending request list at the declined location. Such employees immediately become available for involuntary Article 12 reassignments.

Across Craft Lines

Employees may transfer across APWU craft lines. Transfers to a different craft are processed in accordance with applicable provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and postal regulations. When requesting a transfer across craft lines, affected employees must meet the minimum qualifications for the position being sought.

Same-craft transfers will be approved before cross-craft transfers. There is no priority consideration for transfers to non-APWU craft positions.

Simultaneous (duplicate) requests for transfer by the same employee to the same craft and installation using eReassign are not permitted.

Vacancies in impacted crafts or occupational groups under Article 12 withholding are not eligible for transfer requests.

Employees may receive a printed confirmation of eReassign transfer requests.

Any disputes arising from the application of the Transfer Opportunities to Minimize Excessing MOU will be processed at the Area level. Disputes that cannot be resolved there will be forwarded to the Headquarters level.

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