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Trenton Metro Area Local

American Postal Workers Union


President Bill Lewis




Bill's Resource Page

Phone Numbers, Forms & Links


New Federal Employee Health Benefits Rates


Arbitrator rules in favor of the local union in the 370 Trucks subcontracting grievance from the Trenton VMF.

He awards $ 336,938.00 to the Trenton VMF bargaining unit.  Read award



Employees Assistance 


TTY 1-877-492-7341


President's Page  

Vice President's Page 

Executive Secretary

Human Relations 

Clerk Craft

Clerk's Bidding Phone #

Local's Information Page

Address Change

Postal Mag

Postal Reporter

Lewis Letters

Postal Employee Network





Local's Attorney

Mark Belland, Esq.


Local's Accountant

Mark Lavinsky, CPA


From The Past

Lab Rat Corner 

Trenton P&DC  

New Building   POAC  

Updates from the past



2009 NJ State APWU

April 6 - April 8, 2009

Bally's Resorts

Atlantic City, NJ 



Maintenance Issues

Clerk Issues

Motor Vehicle Issues


Annual Leave

Sick Leave Issues

FMLA Issues

Deems Desirable


 CSRS and FERS Handbook for Personnel and Payroll Offices




Clerk Posting CL11688Results (10-05-08)

Second round completed Third round will be posted October 15, 2008


Clerk Bidding Page

Information on remaining a live bidder, bidding phone number.




The Two Tour Initiative 

E-Mail to Field


Subject: RPG Two Tour Initiative
Importance: High

Plant Managers,
On this week's MOS telecon, it was stated that the two tour initiative to "close the GAP" must be given top priority.

The entire nation is expected to move to a 2 tour operation, while still protecting service.

Given the continued workload decline and recent RPG scenarios, the NYMA agrees with moving towards a 2 tour operation because of the economies of scale that it would provide. The first step in this process is moving to a 2 8-hour tour automation operation (AFSM and APPS/SPBS operations to follow). For the month of October, the weekly RPG telecons will be focused on your efforts to make this move. Every plant needs to be progressing on this initiative along the following timeline:

October 3rd - Validate all of the volumes used in your 2 tour automation RPG model (AVG heavy weekday); ensure that you have contingency machines for your operation so that service is protected; ensure that your PM schedule for all machines can be supported by your maintenance staff,

October 10th - Present your overall staffing impact to clerk craft and EAS (net reduction in employees),

October 17th - Present your new bid package for clerk, maintenance, and EAS,

October 24th - Present your overall implementation plan, including timeline and transition plan.

We are working towards an early January 2009 implementation date. Each week we will be providing suggestions and tools on how to effectively develop your plan.


Trenton's Plan to comply with the two tour initiative.

This initiative is on a fast track and will be implemented very soon.


Make Trenton a two-tour plant, it will help with BPI.  

The two tour plan goes live in January 2009.

This is Non Negotiable and  will be a reality. 

Managers were informed to expect issues from employees, there will be discontent among the employees,  but they may respect us if we tell them. 

There will be an substantial impact to EAS employees at all levels.

Flat mail will be done on two tours.  

Manual section will be changed to one tour with possible hours of 20:00 & 22:30 pm. 

The Tour 2 nixie clerk has received an abolishment letter.

All FSM 1000 clerks have received their abolishment letters.

The Local Union has been notified that 4 registry clerk duty assignments will be abolished, no letters have been issued as of yet.

Management also notified the union of 30 manual jobs being abolished, additionally we were notified that all tour 2 manual positions will be abolished.

These major changes in operation will cause major reposting of positions within sections and installation.

These changes will additionally result in changes in Transportation and Maintenance operations which will in return cause duty assignments to be changed and reposted


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the USPS


The local union expect major excessing within the sections and possible excessing outside the installation.



"While I understand that management may be within their contractual rights to change jobs and operations, however I can't and I know you can't just sit by while our seniority is attacked!"  

John Dirzius, Chairman of the APWU National President Caucus 

  Read and post comments on this initiative

21st Century Postal Worker

Belt tightening reaches USPS



Representatives of the NPMHU have met with officials at postal headquarters on these issues, and they assure us that there are no blanket orders to eliminate tours, or to take any drastic action if it does not make business sense.  Layoffs, moreover, would be absolutely a last resort.


USPS Financial Difficulties And the Possibility of Layoffs
(10/03/08) In an Update for union members, APWU President William Burrus says that although the threat of postal layoffs is real, the USPS’ first-ever layoffs would affect very few APWU-represented employees. [full story]


USPS’ Bleak Financial Picture and the Elections
(09/30/08) The Postal Service’s looming financial crisis — including a significant reduction in mail volume and a $2.3 billion deficit — makes the 2008 election critical for postal employees, APWU President William Burrus said in an update for union members. [full story]


At the Postal Service, Talk of Layoffs

Here's another sad sign of our economic times: Never before has the U.S. Postal Service laid off workers. Now, it's a real possibility.

"For the first time in history, that is being considered," said Gerald McKiernan, a USPS spokesman.


APWU Activists Work to ‘Defend Our BMCs’
(10/09/08) The APWU “Defend Our BMCs Committee,” which was established to combat USPS attempts to privatize work at the nation’s 21 Bulk Mail Centers, has made its first inroads into the legislative arena, meeting with aides to both of New Jersey’s U.S. senators in early October. [full story]

Excessing Provisions from the 2007 JCIM



When it is proposed to reassign within an installation employees excess to the needs

of a section, union notification shall be at the local level (as much as six months in

advance when possible), pursuant to Article 12.5.B.4. The identification of

assignments comprising a section is determined through the local implementation

procedure (See Article 30.B.18). If no sections are established by local negotiations,

the entire installation shall comprise the section.



Before involuntarily reassigning full-time employees from a section, the following

must be completed:

Identify the full-time duty assignments to be abolished; and

Identify the junior full-time employees to be reassigned; and

Identify the number of duty assignments occupied by the junior full-time employees

that will remain following their reassignment. These duty assignments are to be

posted for sectional bidding.

In the clerk craft, identify the number of duty assignments remaining within

the section occupied by clerks junior to the senior clerk whose duty assignment

was abolished or reposted and post for bid to currently qualified clerks within

the section.

Return any limited or light duty employees from other crafts who are temporarily

assigned to the affected section to their respective crafts.

Before excessing from a section, all full-time employees not holding a duty

assignment must be assigned outside the section.

When making involuntary reassignments from a section, start with the junior full-time

employee in the same craft or occupational group and in the same salary level

regardless of whether the junior employees’ duty assignment was abolished.

Junior full-time employees excessed from a section retain their seniority and are

reassigned as unassigned full-time employees in the same craft or occupational group

and in the same salary level. Duty assignments vacated by the reassigned junior

employees are posted for bid to employees remaining in the section. If no bids are

received, the unassigned employees remaining in the section is assigned to the


Junior full-time employees who are reassigned outside the section as

unassigned/unencumbered full-time employees must be assigned to a full-time

schedule with either fixed or rotating non-scheduled days off, as determined by the

Local Memorandum of Understanding.

Unassigned/unencumbered full-time employees may bid on vacancies for which they

are otherwise eligible to bid. Unassigned/unencumbered full-time employees who are

unsuccessful in bidding may be assigned to residual vacancies.

Unassigned/unencumbered full-time employees temporarily assigned to a work area

cannot use their seniority to the detriment of employees holding regular bid

assignments in the work area.

Initial vacancies occurring within a section, in the same salary level from which

excessed employees have active retreat rights, are posted for bid within the section for

employees of the same salary level as the excessed employees. The resulting residual

vacancies, if any, are then offered to employees in the same salary level who have

retreat rights to the section.

If vacancies remain after offering retreat rights to eligible employees, the vacancies

are then posted for bid installation wide.





Official Election Notice



Petitions may be obtained from the Executive Secretary, Bev Fletcher, Tour II Trenton Annex, or requested by contacting the Union Office.  Petitions may also be requested online by contacting

 Petitions must be obtained no later than October 10, 2008.  Completed petitions must be received by the Executive Secretary no later than Midnight, October 31, 2008 in compliance with Article IX, Section 2 of the Constitution.

Trenton Metro Area Local

PO BOX 8011

Trenton, New Jersey 08650

Office Phone: 609-631-7745 


Petitions will be accepted for the following positions:

General President

Executive Vice President

Director, Industrial Relations

Executive Secretary


Director, Clerk Craft

Director, Maintenance Craft

Director, Motor Vehicle Craft

Director, Human Relations


Trustee, 3 Positions



 Per Article 9 Section 3, the President has appointed the following individuals with approval of the Executive Board to serve on the election committee.

Stan Marut (Judge of Election)

Stanley Jablonski 

Walt Loginow

Cindy Martin

Alice Ondersin

Official Election Notice



Dispute Over Notification to Locals of Subcontracting Appealed to Arbitration

(10/01/08) The APWU has appealed to national-level arbitration a dispute over the Postal Service's obligation pursuant to Article 32, Section 1.C., of the National Agreement, to furnish the Union at the local level notification of subcontracting of bargaining unit work within their respective installations. It is the APWU's position that Article 32, Section 1.C., requires notification to the local union of subcontracting of bargaining unit work at local installations.

Click here for the Appeal to Arbitration and the parties' 15-Day Statements of the Issues and Facts



Dispute Over Time Spent Undergoing Medical Evaluation Appealed to Arbitration

(10/01/08) The APWU has appealed to national-level arbitration a dispute over compensation to employees for all time spent undergoing medical evaluation or examinations at the employer's request, including travel expenses. The APWU's position is that all time spent by an employee to undergo medical evaluations or examinations requested by the Employer "constitutes hours worked," regardless of whether the time spent is during normal work hours, outside normal work hours, or on non-scheduled work-days.

Click here for the Appeal to Arbitration and the parties' 15-Day Statements of the Issues and Facts





VER Steps At-a-Glance


Early-Retirement Info Wrong, Burrus Tells USPS

(09/10/08) APWU President William Burrus has notified the Postal Service of significant errors in information the USPS provided to employees eligible for Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) and has requested management’s “immediate attention to these matters” so that employees do not suffer irrevocable harm as a result. [full story]


Buyouts not an option 

Even though the agency needs to cut staff, Vegliante said paying employees to retire early isn’t an option. The agency anticipates a $2 billion deficit for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

“There’s absolutely not going to be an incentive,” he said. “Economically it doesn’t make any sense at this point. It would cost us too much money, and right now we’re not in the position.”

VER Offering for:
February 28, 2009 Effective Retirement Date

Motor Vehicle; Maintenance (excluding Electronic Technicians); Rural Carriers; City Carriers

VER Offering for:

December 31, 2008 Effective Retirement Date

Clerk; Mail Handler; Supervisor, Distribution Operations; Supervisor, Customer Services


Burrus to Maintenance, Motor Vehicle Employees: Don't Go!


“My reasoning is simple,” he said. “Every APWU-represented employee who leaves early will save the USPS hundreds of thousands of dollars, yet the Postal Service is refusing to offer cash incentives.”

“Each employee who opts for the early-out will suffer a life-long reduced annuity,” Burrus said. “And with the economy spiraling downward, the opportunity to find another job after retirement has diminished. Eligible employees should be offered a cash incentive to cushion the shock.”



Important Dates to Remember


Local Union Meeting, November 8, 2008 @ 7 PM

V. F. W. POST 491

Oak Lane 




Upcoming APWU Holidays


Columbus Day  is October 13, 2008

The holiday period is October 11, 12 & 13, 2008


Veterans day is November 11, 2008

The holiday period is November 9, 10 &11, 2008



2008 Pay Days


October  17 and 31

November 14 and 28, 2008

December 12 and 26, 2008





AFSM 100 Update - Read the full story

On July 20, 2008, a Federal Court issued an order that the AFSM 100 was to be staffed with 5 clerks.  Up to this point the USPS has attempted to read/modify the previous order in many different ways.  Since the July 20th order was issued, the local APWU has attempted to work out the transfer of duties from mailhandler to clerk on the machines.  Needless to say, we have met great resistance from all involved and at all levels. 

The Honorable Joel Pisano, USDJ stated, "The essence of implementing the terms of the settlement agreement is that the positions available on the AFSM-100 are to be assigned to clerks up to a threshold of five positions per machine."  "These are the terms that the USPS must implement."
Read the 7/22/08 Opinion





USPS releases details of voluntary early retirement offer

The Postal Service has released details of the voluntary early retirement (VER) offer recently authorized by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for USPS employees in clerk, mail handler, supervisor of distribution operations and supervisor of customer services positions. This offer is open to employees in those positions who meet the OPM conditions, and who are at least 50 years of age with 20 years of creditable federal service or any age with 25 years of creditable federal service — see the FAQ for more details.

On Aug. 18, an annuity estimate will be mailed to all VER-eligible employees from Eagan, MN. In addition, on Aug. 22 a VER offer packet will be sent to all eligible employees containing a cover letter, an application and a list of questions and answers. Interested employees will have from Aug. 25 to Sept. 30 to submit their application. It’s important to note that Sept. 30 is the date when an employee's voluntary choice to retire becomes irrevocable.

By mid-November, the Human Resources Shared Services Center (HRSSC) will notify employees as to the status of their VER application. At that time, retirement counseling will become available. Employees receiving approval will have an effective retirement date of Dec. 31.

As a reminder, a voluntary early retirement is just that — voluntary. This timeline only applies to employees in clerk, mail handler, supervisor of distribution operations and supervisor of customer services positions who meet the eligibility requirements.

Click here for the list of frequently asked questions if you have access to Blue. Click here for the same information on LiteBlue.

Voluntary Early Retirement Authority




Effective July 1, 2008, Handbook F-15, Travel and Relocation, is revised to reflect new reimbursement rates for travel and relocation.


The New Rate is 58.5 cents per mile for privately own vehicles



Flat  Sequence System 

Deployment / Installation Begins October 2009


Watch Videos of Flats Sequencing System FSS

Source Postal Reporter

Additional FSS Information


Flats Presentations & Communications Resources




Early Info on the FSS

Source APWU


The most recent addition to the Automation stable is a workhorse called the Flat Sorter Sequencer (FSS). This new, large piece of equipment will be deployed for the first time later this year. The schedule calls for 100 FSS machines to be in operation by the end of 2010. There may be even more after that.

Anyone who remembers working on an LSM (Letter Sorting Machine) will recognize similarities with the FSS. The mail is inserted into a slot in a cart; at the bottom of the cart, a slot-door opens that drops the piece into the appropriate bin. The preventative-maintenance route is certain to include checking for open cart doors. For many there will be some deja vu.

The 360-bin FSS is divided into four logical units of 90 bins each. The automatic feed will process as many as 17,000 flats per hour through the FSS. The Postal Service intends for the FSS to walk-sequence flat mail, and to have it run the same as a two-pass DBCS (Delivery Bar Code Sorter).

The FSS machines will be deployed in multiples of two, three, four, or even five machines to an office. Most facilities already have made or are in the process of making floor space available. The latest schedule shows Bulk Mail Centers in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New Jersey to be first in line for FSS deployment.

Increased Number of ETs

As far as the Maintenance Division is concerned, the additional FSS capability will increase the number of ETs in each office. While it will vary from office to office, you can expect up to 15 additional ETs for the first FSS. Additional machines will require more ETs, just not as many.

The effect on the number of MPE employees is not known at this time, but both MPEs and ETs will require six weeks of training at the National Center for Employee Development in Norman, OK. ETs will then spend an additional five weeks of training in Norman.

We will keep you posted on our negotiations with the Postal Service over the fine points of training for the FSS deployment.



A few tidbits you need to know once you have been injured on duty: 


Recommendations for Family Medical Leave Documentation: 

Deems Desirable


Sandy Schleher, Clerk Craft Director

Family Leave Coordinator

 Trenton Metro Area Local  


Due to several recent incidents and inquiries, it’s necessary to remind everyone about the three day waiting period you must endure when suffering a work related injury. 

Injuries that result from work activity occurring over more than one day, occupational injuries, have a three-day waiting period before OWCP wage loss compensation will be paid. The employee must be in a non-pay status for the first three days. No leave may be used, but if the inability to work exceeds fourteen calendar days, compensation will be paid for any wage loss during the three-day waiting period. These rules are unchanged. 

Thanks to President Bush signing the “Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act” into law, as of December 20, 2006, there is now a three day waiting period before continuation of pay (COP) is paid for traumatic injuries. Traumatic injuries occur in a single day or shift. This new rule applies to USPS employees only. 

During the first three-day period of a traumatic injury, you may choose to use annual leave, sick leave or leave without pay. If the disability exceeds fourteen days, or is followed by permanent disability, any leave that was used will be restored, if LWOP was used, the employee will be paid.





Excessing Information (5/13/08) 

Think before you bid to a station and branch job


I have requested the Postal Service to rescind the excessing notices.  USPS management has refused, claiming we are still overstaffed in the stations and branches.


The Postal Service has notified the union that due to a function 4 review there is a need to excess full time regular clerks from the stations and branches. 


Circle Branch plans to excess 5 clerks

Downtown plans to excess 4 clerks

Fort Dix plans to excess 4 clerks

Main Office Window plans to excess 2 clerks

Mercerville plans to excess 1 clerk

Annex plans to excess 6 clerks (this is pending)

Chambersburg plans to excess 1 clerk

Yardville plans to excess 1 clerk







Ventilation Filtration System VFS

By Gary Kloepfer


Automated Postal Centers

Installed in  Trenton P&DC Main Office Window 

Which Re-Hab or District employee will scab our work?

Could this be the first grievance when the building reopens?


Administrative Leave

 The following information is provided to assist locals 

in documenting Administrative Leave grievances.


12/60 Work Limitations and the

Appropriate Remedy for Exceeding the Ceiling



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