Greg Bell, Director
(10/7/2009) It has been brought to the union's attention that APWU bargaining unit employees may have been improperly reassigned to city letter carrier positions for which they did not meet the minimum qualifications (driving test), and may have been subsequently disciplined for failing to meet those qualifications. It is the Union's position that an APWU bargaining unit employee must meet the minimum qualifications before being reassigned to a letter carrier position. Below is a link to a letter sent to the Postal Service seeking assistance in resolving this issue, and to determine whether there is a disagreement between the parties regarding Article 12.5.C.5.a(4) and similar provisions of the National Agreement. Where a violation occurs, local grievances should be filed.
(10/6/2009) This case involved a dispute over the Postal Service’s decision awarding allied duties on the SPBS, beyond those associated with the keying rotation for clerks, to the mail handler craft. It was the APWU’s position that all duties involved in mail processing on the machine, within the immediate vicinity (or footprint) of the machine, have historically been assigned to the clerk craft. For example, like the FSM machines – all duties, including allied duties, associated with operating the FSMs are assigned to clerks, and the FSMs are staffed with clerks above the minimum required to effectuate the rotation of keyers. On September 7, 2009, Arbitrator Joseph Sharnoff rejected the APWU’s reasoning and concluded that the determination to assign primary craft jurisdiction to the mail handlers on assignments other than those awarded by the Postal Service to clerks (i.e., distribution of IPPs, newspapers, rolls, letter or flat bundles or slugs and inserting labels, and pulling containers, containerizing and transporting to the extent necessary to implement rotation) was appropriate under the principles and guidelines of RI-399.
(09/22/09) On September 21, 2009, the APWU and the Postal Service reached a pre-arbitration settlement over a dispute concerning management’s responsibility to provide individual retirement counseling for employees. In 2007, the Postal Service centralized its individual retirement counseling process by conducting such counseling primarily by phone utilizing retirement specialists at the Human Resources Shared Services Center (HRSSC). The intent of the change is that postal employees receive consistent information and retirement processing nationwide. The settlement provides that local management must arrange reasonably private space for employees who wish to have individual retirement counseling on the clock. The employee is also entitled to have their spouse and/or advisor present during this process. In addition, employees who cannot begin or complete the process of obtaining counseling from HRSSC without assistance have to be offered assistance by local management. Whether an employee is unable to start or complete the retirement counseling will be determined jointly by local management and the local union on a case-by-case basis.
(09/10/09) The Union has appealed to arbitration a dispute over whether the Postal Service violates the collective bargaining agreement when it reassigns non-bargaining-unit employees to bargaining-unit positions in an installation or craft where (1) there is a planned reduction of bargaining-unit employees, (2) bargaining-unit positions are being withheld or captured to accommodate impacted bargaining-unit employees, and (3) where bargaining-unit employees have retreat rights or other contractual rights to bargaining-unit positions pursuant to Article 12 and related provisions of the national agreement.