Help Your Fellow Postal Workers
As Hurricane Harvey devastates the Houston Texas area, and now heads towards
Louisiana, we all need to dig deep in our wallets and donate. It is estimated
that 80% of all homeowners in the Texas Flood Areas do not carry Flood
insurance. That means that these fellow Americans that have lost everything,
will not get any compensation whatsoever. Even though it is technically a
Hurricane, it’s the Flood waters that are destroying everything, and unless you
have Flood insurance you are out of luck. Imagine the pain and suffering these
poor people are feeling, and now add destitution to the equation. I cannot
imagine the hard road ahead for everyone affected by this. We all need to help
out in any way we can.
I have donated to P.E.R.F. (Postal Employees Relief Fund), so has my wife.
Please dig deep into your wallets and give generously. Our fellow postal workers
need our help. You can donate on the P.E.R.F. site @http://www.postalrelief.com/donate.html
Please act now, Thank You.
Clerk Craft Director
Donate to PERF - Postal Employees' Relief Fund
Note: The Postal Employees’ Relief Fund is a 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization.
Contributions are tax-deductible.
You can also print out the application and apply for assistance online.
Anyone that does not have internet access can also send a Check or Money Order
Postal Employees' Relief Fund
PO Box 7630
Woodbridge VA 22195-7630
Full Time/Ptf Transfer Time
I just wanted to let everyone that has been upset over the conversion of Pse’s
over transfers to know the time is now to act. When the new contract began, the
transfer to conversion ratio starts over. That means that career transfers are
given first before conversions. Everyone that has been trying to transfer needs
to make sure that they are current in eReassign. This is the chance that many
people have been waiting for, so go online and make sure you are current in the
offices you’d like to transfer to, and put in for the new choices you have made.
Hopefully a lot of you with whom I have talked to over the last few years will
get that opportunity you’ve been hoping for. I wish you all good luck.
Next Year/New Contract
It’s hard to believe that the New Contract will expire next year on September
20, 2018. We all need to start thinking of what we’d all like in the next
Contract. Here are some of my thoughts:
- No Pse’s-Convert them all to Full Time.
- No 2 Tier wages-Put everyone back to 1 pay Schedule.
- Better raises for all levels and crafts.
- More sick leave-Increase it by 25% or more.
- More Annual leave for employees that have worked for the USPS over 25
years-Add 4 more days to make it 6 Weeks Annual leave a year. The years could
also be negotiated for after 30 years. The employees who have put up with all
the changes and nonsense through the years should be rewarded for their loyalty.
- All Clerks upgraded 1 Level.
- Automatic penalties for Management signing off on the Contract, then refusing
to follow it. Or as they like to say “I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree”.
- A marathon grievance shake out for all outstanding grievances.
- Lower Health care premiums-My share doubled this year, or USPS pays for all
- Pay for performance bonuses for employees, instead of management getting
money for our hard work.
- Union Leave counting for FMLA purposes so as not to penalize stewards and
officers for performing Union work.
- Mandatory Union/Contract training for all new Management, so they will know
how to treat employees and learn what the Contract is and how it works.
I have more, but you get the idea. We, the employees are the ones that keep the
USPS going. We should be properly compensated. Let’s hope our national officers
are watching and listening to our concerns. The time is now to express your
concerns and want lists to national. Don’t wait, write them down and send them
in now. Together we can change the future. Don’t stand and watch it pass you by,
get involved today.
Please read this article:
Inside Alabama’s Auto Jobs Boom: Cheap Wages, Little Training, Crushed Limbs;
The South’s manufacturing renaissance comes with a heavy price by Peter Waldman.
Please read it. It is a very good article. Thanks.
Until next time - The fight continues!
Clerk Craft Director
Arbitration Award Announced!
We Have a New Union Contract!
APWU Web News Article
07/08/2016 - The big news is in – 200,000 postal workers represented by the APWU
new union contract!
On July 8th, Arbitrator Stephen Goldberg issued his arbitration award that sets
the wages, hours and conditions of employment in our new union contract. This
award concluded a two-year struggle for “Good Service, Good Jobs, Good Contract”
that included contract negotiations, mediation, arbitration hearings – and
solidarity actions on work floors and in communities around the country.
“We have gained many positive results in these difficult times,” APWU President
and lead negotiator Mark Dimondstein said. “We, as a union, should be proud of
the results. We made some real progress on most of our major goals. We gained an
all-career workforce in our Maintenance and Motor Vehicle Crafts. We secured
real general wage increases. We preserved our COLA and no lay-off protections.
We strengthened conversion opportunities for PSEs and improved PSE wages and
benefits. We strengthened job security by limiting subcontracting, particularly
in relation to MVS. We achieved a temporary moratorium on new plant closings
and consolidations. We laid the basis for better protecting retail services and
for expanding postal services. While we were unable to stop management’s demand
that employees pay a greater share of health insurance premiums, we successfully
fought back the main concessionary demands of postal management-- for increased
percentages of non-career employees, a new tier of lower- paid career employees,
the elimination of COLA and the weakening of our no layoff protection.”
Below is a summary of the main highlights of the new award (for a full copy click here.) All provisions of the
previous contract that remain unchanged carry forward into our new contract
including seniority and bidding rights, the grievance procedure, protection
against unjust discipline, annual and sick leave, holiday and overtime pay and
all the other important union benefits we have won over many decades of
Length of the Agreement
May 21, 2015 - September 20, 2018 (40 months)
Career Employee General Wage Increases
There will be across-the-board pay increases of 3.8% for career employees over
the life of the Agreement:
- 1.2% effective November 14, 2015 (Retroactive)
- 1.3% effective November 26, 2016
- 1.3% effective November 25, 2017
Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA)
The COLA for career employees is maintained under the current formula. Cost of
living adjustments will be
made in March and September of each year of the Contract.
PSE Wage Increases
PSEs (who do not receive COLA raises) will receive wage increases as follows:
- 2.2% effective November 14, 2015 (Retroactive)
- 2.3% effective November 26, 2016
- 2.3% effective November 25, 2017
In addition to these general wage increases, PSE wages will be increased by
fifty cents per hour over the life of the Contract as follows:
- $0.09 per hour effective November 14 2015 (Retroactive)
- $0.20 per hour effective May 13, 2017
- $0.21 per hour effective May 26, 2018
No Lay-Off Protections for Career Employees
The no lay-off protections of Article 6, for employees with more than six years
of service, remain in full force. In addition, no lay-off protection is extended
to all career employees who are on the rolls as of July 8, 2016. This protection
covers the 32,000 postal workers recently converted to career who have not yet
achieved the six year threshold of no lay-off protection.
Job Security Provisions
- There will be no new subcontracting of PVS driving work during the life of
- For a minimum of the first year of the contract, the postal service will not
expand contract stations, village post offices and approved shipper programs.
(The fight over Staples is not affected by this moratorium.)
- There will be no further plant closings and consolidations until at least
- All Maintenance Craft PSEs will be converted “in place” to career within 60
days of the Award. Thereafter the PSE category of employee will be eliminated in
the Maintenance Craft.
- All Motor Vehicle Service Craft PSEs will be converted to career - either
full-time or PTF - within 60 days of the Award. Thereafter, the PSE category of
employee will be eliminated in the MVS Craft. However, in the future PSEs could
be authorized as part of a package to bring back currently subcontracted MVS
- PTF employees are reintroduced into the MVS craft, not to exceed 20% of the
MVS career workforce.
- Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) duty assignments are eliminated in Function
1 (mail processing) and Function 3 (MVS) and will be reposted as traditional
full-time duty assignments. NTFTs cannot be introduced into the Maintenance
Craft. Current four day a week/ ten-hour a day duty assignments may remain in
place if the local parties agree. Local parties may mutually agree upon more
such assignments under the Modified Work Week Memo.
- Non-Traditional Full-Time employees in Function 4 (Retail) are now capped at
8%, excluding NTFT assignments in POStPlan offices. (Previously there was no
cap.) The rules concerning schedules and postings in the NTFT memo remain.
However, the restriction on assigning mandatory overtime to non-OTDL employees
is narrowed from installation wide to the facility.
Preference Eligible Veteran hiring will be greatly enhanced with the creation of
the all- career workforce in the Maintenance and MVS Crafts where Veterans will
now be hired directly into career positions.
Career Employee Health Benefits
The Health Plans and benefits for career employees remain in effect. Over the
next three years, the employees’ portion of the health premium will increase 1%
a year. For the APWU Consumer Driven Health plan, the Postal Service will
continue to pay 95% of the premium.
PSE Health Benefits and Holiday Leave Pay
- PSEs will now receive six paid holidays. (PSEs had no holiday leave.) The
holidays are the six major holidays of New Years, Memorial Day, Independence
Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
- The number of hours paid for the holiday will vary by size of office: 200
Man year offices – 8 hours. POStPlan offices – 4 hours. All other offices – 6
- PSEs who work on a holiday will have the same option as career employees to
have their annual leave balance credited in lieu of holiday leave pay.
- The 75% contribution of the USPS to the premiums of the APWU Consumer Driven
Health Plan, available after one year of service, remains in effect. In
addition, PSEs will now have access to a USPS sponsored health plan upon
employment with the USPS contributing $125.00/pay period.
Limits on Excessing
During the life of the CBA, no employees can be excessed beyond a 50 mile radius.
Clarification on expanded bereavement leave coverage to “in-laws.”
Enhanced and Expanded Services
Parties established a joint Service Enhancement and Innovation Task Force
authorized to discuss research, and consult experts with a goal of agreeing to
programs including pilots to implement agreed upon services and practices. At
least one pilot program must be implemented within 12 months.
Uniform and Work Clothes for Eligible Career Employees
Allowances for uniform and work clothing programs will be increased
- Effective May 2016, increase of 5%
- Effective May 21, 2017, increase of 2.5%
- Effective May 21, 2018, increase of 2.5%
Eligible PSE Employees
PSEs employed in retail for the first time will receive an annual uniform allowance
for three shirts, subject to the normal eligibility requirements.
- Incorporates successful MOU “Re: Filling of Residual Vacancies” into the
- New pecking order for full-time vacancies allows for a possible PTF transfer
and conversion of PSEs within a 50-mile radius.
- New pecking order for PTF vacancies provides for conversion of PSEs within
the installation, the transfer of PTFs within 50 miles and conversion of PSEs
within a 50-mile radius.
- PTFs can express a preference to work outside their installation.
- One-time conversions of all Clerk Craft PSEs in 200 work year installations
with over 2.5 years of service as of July 8, The conversions will be completed
as soon as practical but no later than 60 days from July 8, 2016. One year from
the award, the parties are ordered to discuss the possibility of another
- New language in Article 37.5.D that streamlines process for PSE conversion
- eReassign Task Force established to explore improvements to the posting and
- Employees can now exercise retreat rights without regard to level.
- All Maintenance Craft PSEs converted to career and the PSE category eliminated.
- Maintenance Jobs MOU eliminated except for provisions related to pending disputes over “Unit Clarification”.
- Significant improvements to excessing provisions in Article 38.3.K.
- New provisions for ET-11 issues including a nationwide PAR for ET-11s and negotiations for LMOUs with MTSC.
- Retained the Subcontracting Cleaning Services MOU with entire installation in the 18K sq. ft. formula.
- Retained the 50-mile rule on excessing.
- New pecking order putting APWU bargaining unit employees ahead of non-APWU employees for in-service register selections.
Motor Vehicle Craft
- All MVS Craft PSEs converted to career and the PSE category eliminated except when part of package to bring in contracted work.
- Numbered paragraphs 1, 3, and 4 of the 2010 Motor Vehicle Craft Jobs MOU terminated Paragraph 2 remains and includes the evaluation of 8,000 HCR routes for possible return to PVS.
- No new subcontracting of PVS driving work during the life of the contract.
- Because of the loss of flexibility with conversion of all PSEs, elimination of NTFT assignments and restriction on sub-contracting, the Award provides for the return of PTFs with a 20% cap.
- Clarification of policy regarding Vehicle Maintenance Agreements (VMAs) in offices with vehicle maintenances.
- All Full-Time Regular Motor Vehicle Craft employees – not just operators – will use their seniority for vacation scheduling.
- Bids for Examination Specialist (SP-2-188) and Vehicle Operations – Maintenance Assistant (SP-2-195) are open to all full-time regular MVS employees.
Have a great summer everyone!
Until next time - The fight continues!
Clerk Craft Director
Zero (no tolerance)
Lately there has been
a lot of discipline issued. All of a sudden there seems to
be a new kind of Zero Tolerance. Every time a craft employee makes any type of
mistake, no matter how minor, management seems to think it’s the end of the
world and issues the employee discipline.
I don’t remember seeing anything at orientation or having a service talk in the
last 25 years mentioning this. Management has never posted anything, or had us
all read and sign something. No mention of it in the monthly newspaper from the
USPS. So can anyone tell me when this happened?
How is it possible that we have to be perfect, but it’s O.K. for management to
make mistakes and nothing happens to them? Even the EXFC scores and the
Overnight and Priority scores don’t have to be perfect. In the scheme you only
need a 95 to pass. The machines can even make mistakes, but by God, you make a
mistake, and it’ll be on your record for years. Management needs to lighten up,
this new Zero tolerance has gotten out of hand. Regardless of what management
thinks, we are only human. We will make mistakes.
It always makes me grimace when I am In a Pre-D with management and an employee,
and they read the line “This might lead to possible discipline, and or removal
from the postal service”. They should change that line to “This will lead to
discipline”. That is more like the truth. I have only seen 1 time in hundreds
that a Pre-D has not led to discipline. Remember, if anytime you feel a
conversation with your supervisor could lead to discipline-ask for your steward.
Or as I like to say “when in doubt, ask for a steward”.
I only know that all of a sudden management is over reacting to everything. This
needs to stop. Management needs to be working with the employees, not against
them. That brings me to my next article. (See below).
New breed of supervisors
The new supervisors coming onto the workroom floor are getting a lot of training
from the USPS. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be working. I swear there must
be a class called “My way or the Highway-101”. The young supervisors that I have
encountered lately are very good at paperwork, and issuing discipline. But that
is where their training seems to end. I can’t believe the words that come out of
these supervisors mouth. Here are a few examples:
- LMOU, I don’t care about what that says.
- I can do that; I’ll just get something from Labor.
- I don’t care if that employee is not in his job, he’s not messing up that
- I only put that nasty comment in there to get his attention. (In a L.O.W.
issued to an employee).
- Contract, I don’t agree. (With what’s written in plain English).
- I’m glad you’re out here. I will be seeing you a lot more often for more of
There are so many more, but that would turn this article into an encyclopedia.
It seems that new and nasty seem to be the qualifications of the new breed of
postal supervisor, and unfortunately this holds true all over the district. I am
not management bashing when I say this. There are some very good Supervisors,
Postmasters and Upper management. There are also some good new supervisors, but
they are getting harder and harder to find. Why do they have to be so
adversarial all the time? Why won’t they listen to reason? I don’t know.
The USPS needs to add new classes to their list for the new supervisors. Hell,
some of the old ones could probably use them too. Here are a few titles of the
classes I think they need to add:
- How to management your employees with dignity and respect.
- Encouraging teamwork, diversity and ethics in the workplace.
- Effectively running the workroom floor (without issuing “direct Orders” or
saying “because I said so”.)
- Managing the unit while following the Contract.
- Admitting that you’re wrong (Without saying: I guess we’ll just have to
agree to disagree).
- Working with the Union to make the USPS a better place to work.
I could go on, but you probably get the gist of what I am trying to say.
The Union could make the Postal Service a lot better place to work if Upper
management would let us. I think it needs to start with proper training for the
new supervisors. They need the Union to get involved to make sure these people
get some insight into what they are getting into. Kind of like a Union
Orientation. I know the perfect person to teach this class, Executive V.P. Steve
Wood. He would love to teach that class.
Something has to change. This type of behavior is becoming the norm, and it’s
only going to get worse unless we do something. Here are a few ideas:
- Maybe the USPS should only hire supervisors from the outside.
- People with college degrees.
- People that have had the proper training to lead employees.
- People that would lead by example, not by a nasty stare or by
- People that would take the time to learn the contract, and LMOU, besides all
the rules and paperwork.
- People that would take the time to not only learn about their employees, but
learn to lead them. Give them not only the tools they need to do their jobs, but
also the help they need when they need it.
What the new breed of supervisors don’t seem to understand is, they need to
learn to manage not babysit (as they like to call it).
Also, we are all in this together. It’s not them against us.
We have come too far, over 240 years to let this all go by the wayside. We as an
organization need to improve and go forward into the 21st century. Not go
sliding back to the 19th.
So let’s all get together to make this the kind of workplace we would all Love
to come to everyday.
I know, in a perfect world. I can only Dream.
Postal Pulse Update
The scores have come out on the 2nd round of the postal pulse. It was just as
dismal as the first round. Only 47% of the 595,000 employees sent in their
surveys. The number seems high, and this is why. There was a box at the top for
employees to check “I do not wish to participate in the USPS Employee Survey at
this time.” This opt-out box does not seem to be typical for the Gallup Q12
survey. The USPS probably put it in and then counted the returned surveys with
this option checked to boost their participation numbers.
Also as expected the USPS scored in the bottom 5-10% for all companies on how
the employees feel. The employees know what's expected of them, but they don't
get enough recognition or encouragement from their supervisors, they feel that
their opinions don't count for much, and they don't get much feedback about
The USPS scored a grand mean of 3.16 on the survey. The Postal News looked
online for any surveys on Gallup’s poll that mentioned a grand mean, and the
Postal Service’s grand mean of 3.16 was the second lowest of all the scores they
could find, and it was significantly lower than the overall average for the
other 55 organizations which was 3.96.
The Postal Pulse was not only a major waste of time, but it was also a major
waste of money at a cost of 1.8 Million dollars.
They could have saved all that money had they contacted any officer in the APWU.
I could have told them the results before they even sent them out. Unlike the
USPS, the Union and its members already know that management doesn’t care about
us or what we think. They only care about awards and bonuses.
The VOE had a higher participation rate of 51% and it was free. It had the same
results, but the USPS couldn’t receive an award for that one. Well guess what
USPS, you won’t be receiving an award for this one either.
If you want an award, I guess you’ll have to start caring about the employees
instead of your numbers.
Give them some respect and stop treating them as a replaceable. Show them you
care about the great work they do, the work that makes the USPS the best Postal
Service in the world. Then just maybe you will get that award.
Until next time-The fight continues!
Some of the information used for this article was obtained from
Clerk Craft Director
Boycott Postal Pulse
I can’t emphasize that
enough. Do not under any circumstances fill the survey
out and mail it in. Instead give the unopened envelope to your steward, or mail
the unopened envelope directly to the hall. Then you can win $75.00 from the
local when we do a drawing at one of the local’s monthly Union meetings.
You ask how will I know which letter I receive from the Post Office is the
survey. It will say The Postal Pulse right on the front.
It used to be called “The Voice of the Employee”, and we all know how management
listens to their employees.
The APWU is boycotting any survey the USPS sends out, because they have used the
information against us in negotiations.
The Postal Service explains that it switched from the VOE to the Gallup Q12
because it is "far superior to the VOE survey as an instrument for measuring
employee engagement. The USPS is paying Gallup $1.8 Million dollars to
administer the survey and tally the results. Gallup gives out a Great Workplace
Award “to recognize organizations worldwide for their extraordinary ability to
create an engaged workplace,” and one of the criteria is a minimum response rate
of 80 percent.
The only reason the USPS is doing the survey, in my opinion, is to get the
This is round 2 of the survey, with round 1 only getting a 51% response rate. We
need to make sure that the percentage for round 2 is even lower.
Help Us, Help You by not taking your Postal Pulse.
Until next time – The fight continues!
Some of the information used for this article was obtained from
Clerk Craft Director
R.S.S. = Really Slow Service
New Retail Systems Software (RSS) being deployed nationally. The USPS
reports that “More than 17,700 sites will receive the new Retail Systems
Software (RSS), which replaces Point of Sale (POS) One software. RSS offers
improved data recovery, easier access to top transaction functions and reduced
“This system allows the Postal Service to be flexible and adaptable to the
consumers’ evolving needs while helping to reducing cost,” said Retail and
Customer Service Operations VP Kelly Sigmon.
Now, onto the reality of the situation. It’s a nightmare. I should have seen the
writing on the wall when taking the training. I had the training 3 months before
it was installed. We got pushed back several times. I actually forgot most of
the training by the time we got it. The computer training was: hurry up and wait, I spent 40% of the 2 hour
training class, waiting for the program to download. Then there is supposed to
be a 1 hour training the day of. The supervisor had trouble getting into the
tutorial simulation and I only got around 20 minutes.
Here are the problems as I see them so far:
It’s slow. So slow, the customers are leaving.
It takes 2-4 times as many buttons to do the same functions as POS ONE.
Choose letter, then it asks you again “is it a letter” and requires you to
read a paragraph ending with the maximum dimensions of a letter.
I think it’s the USPS’s software, that’s why it’s cheaper and reduces cost. They
don’t have to pay whoever owns the POS ONS software. Also there is less
training. That is B***S***! New management gets tons of training. Newly minted
204b’s get 6 weeks training, and they also get to go to several other classes
throughout their first year. The clerks now get less and less. So I guess it
takes longer to learn how to mismanage? This new program is too complicated, and
needs to be reduced to a manageable level. Also the speed needs to be about 5X
times faster. The horrible results so far are typical of USPS involvement. It’s
slow, with lots of glitches, and discourages customers from coming in to the
retail unit at your local post office.
I almost think R.S.S. = Retail Service (at) Staples, because if they don’t fix
it fast, many of our customers will go online or to Staples. Or is that what
they really want? Only time will tell.
I would first like to offer my condolences to MVS Director Joe Wrobel and his
family, on the recent passing of his son.
I would also like to offer my condolences to Executive Vice President Steve Wood
and his wife Lori’s family, on the loss of her sister.
They are both in my prayers, as well as all of you in this very difficult time.
President Woods asks that you send any cards or condolences to the hall, and
they will be forwarded to them.
Until next time-The fight continues!
Clerk Craft Director
Office Depot/USPS B.S.
I guess when you make a
deal with the devil, you can make a lot of money. It was
announced today that Staples is buying Office Depot for 6.3 Billion. I guess
they are raking in the dough through their deal with the USPS, and can buyout
the competition. The USPS wants our customers to go to Staples so bad that they
are constantly issuing coupons for discounts on mailing packages if the
customers go to Staples. Does the USPS do that for their window operations? H***
NO! I’ve even heard that USPS locations near a Staples with a Postal operation
within it are closing early with signs on the door saying go to Staples. I was
going to Office Depot due to our boycott of Staples, but I guess I will have to
find an alternative source for my office needs.
What really makes me sick is their website which states “Enjoy the same secure,
reliable service and low prices you get from the Post Office”.
As Executive Vice President Steve Woods would say “Really”?
How dare they say that, it’s an insult to you and me. They use un-trained,
minimum wage employees, who did not take an oath to safeguard the mail.
I hope that the boycott helped with the last PMG’s departure. I can’t believe
the lost revenue that this deal is costing us. If the customers stop coming into
the retail units, think of all the lost revenue in greeting cards, packaging
products, gift cards, and most important of all-The USPS retail experience. The
USPS retail experience is our SSA’s knowledge, commitment to excellence, oath to
safeguard the mail, and finding the best solutions to our customers mailing
needs. You think a minimum wage Staple employee cares? I’ve seen Postal Stores
and have witnessed the employees that man them. They skip the Hazmat Questions,
tell customers to go to our competitors, and sell down (Parcel/Standard Post),
instead of our premium products such as Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express.
They are even telling customers to send their packages Media mail because it is
cheaper, even though their articles do not qualify for that rate. They are so
desperate to kill jobs, that they chase our customers away. First it was with
ridiculously low internet prices. Then they cut staffing so low, that management
is creating a hostile work environment. Everyone is so stressed out by the
increased and unfair workloads thrown upon us, I’d be really surprised if a lot
of our fellow Union brothers and Sisters don’t start having stress related
The USPS turns 240 years old this year. I know, we don’t look over 200-LOL.
Sorry. I was listening to the radio on the way in to the hall, and heard a
commercial about the D.A.V. (Disabled American Veterans). It said that the
veterans made a commitment to defend our nation, and that we owe them a
commitment to support them, and help them out for their service to our country.
The USPS was supposed to be one of those commitments to our veterans. The USPS
is one of, if not the largest agency that hires Veterans. As far as I am
concerned, if the USPS is privatized or destroyed, it will be seen by me and a
lot of other people as a declaration that America doesn’t care about their
veterans, and that the sacrifices that they and their families have made were in
vain. You think whoever ends up picking up the pieces of the USPS will pay a
decent wage, or care about filling a large portion of their workforce with
veterans-NO. These politicians should be ashamed of themselves with their petty
jealousies of a large Union/Veteran workforce that operates without tax dollars,
and is the public’s favorite Federal institution. Everyone needs to tell these
politicians that they should be ashamed of themselves and that they should
immediately pass legislation that not only fixes the long term financial
situation of the USPS, but also restores service standards and hires more
employees to properly staff our offices. It would be America’s loss if the USPS
were dismantled. We must all stand up and fight before it’s too late.
Until next time-The fight continues!
Clerk Craft Director
Don’t Think Fast Food $15,
Think $15 for Everybody
As my wife and I were talking about this important issue the other day, I
realized that everyone was thinking about this issue incorrectly. I am not
saying that I am this wise visage of a person, but I do see this issue in a
different and I think more positive light. A lot of people do not believe that
someone working at a fast food restaurant should be making $15.00 an hour. That
the job is not a skilled job, and that it is only a temporary job until a better
one presents itself. That used to be true, but it’s still a very wrong idea.
Everyone is focusing on fast food workers making $15.00 an hour. No one is
thinking about new Police Officers in the city of Detroit making a whopping
$14.00 an hour to start. If they did, it would further fuel the fire.
I quickly pointed out to my wife that if fast food workers made $15.00 an hour,
then so would everyone else. Then the Police officers of Detroit could start at
maybe $23.00 an hour, and so on. It would be a domino effect. Then everyone
else’s pay would go up exponentially.
The point of the argument is not: Do fast food workers deserve a $15.00 an hour
The real point of the argument is: Do workers in the United States of America,
the greatest nation in the world, deserve a living wage?
No one is talking about that. Everyone is bashing fast food workers, calling
them greedy. You know who is calling them greedy: The Rich, and the Republicans.
This may sound hard to believe but a Republican Senator from Oklahoma, Tom
Colburn stated on MSNBC that not only should we not raise minimum wage, but he
went on to argue that the Federal Minimum wage should be abolished. By the way,
he wasn’t the only Republican to voice this opinion.
If these Senators got their way, this would mean when you applied for a job
after this was done, they could offer you $3.00 an hour to start. How would you
or anyone else make it on that? You couldn’t. They would also get away with it,
because we would let them. You don’t believe me, then let me prove it to you.
During the last 3-5 years the economy was tough and jobs were scarce. People had
a hard time finding work. Everyone, but me, was saying “I am just happy to have
a job”. That’s all big business needed to hear to cut wages and eliminate
benefits. They had everyone hooked, line and sinker. I bet if you looked back at
the last 3-5 years, the pay scale dropped significantly. If we let them off the
hook, we could set this nation back 100 years, and eliminate all the progress
that was achieved through the blood of our fellow Union Brothers and Sisters
throughout the years. I was not just happy to have a job, the USPS should have
been happy to have me. A dedicated and hardworking employee. I was not going to
let them off the hook. I’ve held their feet to the fire and demanded that they
take care of us. To rid us of that Giant burden of prepayment and restore us to
What most rich people don’t realize is that if you grind us down and pay us
nothing, then who is going to buy your products and services. If more and more
companies have more machines and fewer people, then how will the future
generation of workers survive?
The model here should be Henry Ford, who realized that all his autoworkers in
Michigan weren’t only cheap labor to be exploited, they were consumers too. Ford
figured that if he raised their wages, to a then exorbitant $5 a day, they’d be
able to afford his Model Ts.
What a great idea. My suggestion to you is, let’s do it all over again. We’ve
got to try something. These idiotic ideas of less pay, more machines and less
people is what is destroying America. If you continue to destroy the Middle
Class, then there will be no America. We would then fall back to the Middle Ages
of Kings and serfs. The 99% would be at the mercy of the 1%. Do we as a people,
and as a country as a whole want this? I hope the answer is a great big NO.
When is everyone going to wake up and realize that when you have a strong and
healthy Middle Class, the country is thriving. It’s time to stop the backslide
and start demanding more, and it starts with the fast food $15. I think that
this is a no brainer, and I hope that we get 100% of all Americans to come
around to this way of thinking, and that will help this country get back on
track to the greatness it once was, and still could be.
Until next time-The fight continues!
Solidarity - You Sure?
I was looking at the July-August issue of
Solidarity Magazine from the U.A.W.
It’s a well written and thought provoking magazine. Then I came upon an article
called “Saving trees and members dollars”. It was telling the U.A.W. members
that at the 36th U.A.W. Constitutional Convention, they decided that “Due to the
advances in technology, the mandatory mailing of a printed version of the
Solidarity magazine is unnecessary”. They took this action to help save the
union hundreds of thousands of dollars. If the members still want to get the
magazine by mail, they would have to go online and opt-in.
My dad was an auto worker. He worked for over 30 years for FORD. My dad was a
proud Union member. During his time at FORD motor, the U.A.W. went on strike
several times to get a decent contract from FORD motor. I wish we could.
Unfortunately I think he would not be happy by the decision made at the 36th
Constitutional Convention. How can one of the greatest, if not the greatest
Union in the country vote to hurt another one. I know it was not intentional,
but it still has dire consequences. As an officer of the 480-481 Area Local, I
know and understand that we, as officers, have a fiduciary responsibility and
must try and save the local money whenever possible. But, not at the expense of
We all try to buy American products. It’s getting harder and harder these days
because of all the cheap imported products from overseas. I recently bought 6
coffee cups for $10.00 each, just because they were now made in America in a new
factory in Ohio. I am willing to pay more for American goods and services. We
must all support each other. I am not the moral compass for the A.P.W.U., or any
Union, or even the country. All I am asking is that in our time of need, don’t
forget about the U.S. Postal Service.
It seems that when everyone looks to cut costs and save money, we are one of, if
not the first thing, that everyone looks to reduce or eliminate. The U.S.P.S. is
over 200 years old. We are always at the top of the favorite U.S. Government
agency list. We provide a necessary service for the entire U.S. Of A. All
without receiving any Tax Dollars. Thanks to the Union, this organization is run
Tax Free. Now, at the time when we are at our greatest danger of going under, or
privatized, everyone is jumping ship.
I ask, no make that challenge, every Union in the entire U.S.A., please do not
use us as a cost cutting option. Find something else to cut costs. Use us
because we are a fellow Union organization. Use us because if you don’t, we
won’t survive. How would the U.A.W. feel, that if at our next Convention, we
voted to save money, and only buy Hondas because they are cheaper? Or vote to
stop buying cars, and only buy bicycles because it’s greener?
As for saving trees, trees are a renewable resource and can be replaced. In
these trying times of the one percent running amok, good paying Union jobs
As Union members, every decision we make must be for the overall good of not
only our Union, but every Union. I ask the U.A.W. to reconsider using the USPS,
and help a fellow Union out.
Until next time-The fight continues!
or Seamless Reduction?
The USPS is implementing seamless acceptance with commercial mail acceptance
transformation (CMAT). The purpose of CMAT is to automate Bulk Mail Entry Units,
and reduce work hours and employees.
Seamless acceptance, according the USPS: “will maximize opportunities to
leverage automated processes to reduce errors, improve efficiencies and improve
revenue assurance capabilities”. It will also: “Automate mail preparation,
acceptance and verification to strengthen the business to customer channel,
reduce costs, improve revenue assurance (SOX compliance) and improve the
It will be available for the following classes and categories:
Essentially, the seamless acceptance vision is to fully automate verification of
commercial mailings performed during postal processing of the mail. Their goal
is to streamline all aspects of the acceptance, verification, payment and
The main goal from what I see is fewer Clerk jobs. This even affects the SSA’s
at the Window. They want the customer to pay online, do all their paperwork
online, and then come in and verify their own mail on the Merlin machine. This
means no BMEU Clerks and less work for the SSA’s on the Window (because the
customer will pay online instead of coming up to the Window with a check). I
also don’t believe the less errors comment. Have we all seen the DPS these days?
Or how accurately the scanners or the PASS cart perform?
Since the USPS is going to realize dramatic cost savings (eliminate a lot of
jobs and save a lot of money), they are very rapidly driving and forcing
companies to adapt to the system A.S.A.P. in 2014. They will even make mailers
that are unable to accurately prepare and electronically document their mail pay
additional postage costs up to 30 days after the mailing takes place. So, not
only will the employees suffer, but the customers may also have to bear the
brunt of the USPS’s greed.
How many $$$$$$$ is enough for the USPS to stop dismantling the Post Office and
ruining customer service? What will it take to stop the madness and get us back
on the right track?
We don’t need more machines and the headaches that come with them. What we need
are more Clerks. If the USPS just stopped giving Pitney Bowes, and the other
companies like them, huge discounts for putting barcodes on the mail, and hired
more Clerks to do the job, we would all win. The National APWU has done a study
and proven that, if the USPS took back the work, gave it back to the Clerks, and
stopped the discounts to the big mailing companies, they would make more money.
It’s a proven fact that we could do the work cheaper and the USPS would realize
the savings. Then we would have more employees, the USPS would make more money
and possibly (dare I mention it), hire more employees for the Plants and A/O’s.
It would be a win/win situation. Unfortunately, the USPS and their cronies don’t
see it that way. Sometimes I think they would love to have all supervisors and
zero employees. Then again, who would they harass and fire?
Until next time, the fight continues!
Point of Sale (POS) Survey Initiative
Recently the USPS started printing a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) on the
bottom of the customer receipts.
A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is the global address of documents and other
resources on the World Wide Web.
The questions will cover:
They also want the SSA’s to circle the URL at the bottom of the receipt and
encourage the customers to participate.
They claim that the survey results will only be used to help build customer
loyalty, to increase revenue and to grow our business. Can anyone figure out and
explain to me how they can achieve this with an online survey? I can’t.
If you look at a little section on the stand up talk sheet that they passed
around for no one to read (it was just taped on the wall by the window). You
will see this “By drawing the customers attention to the survey website, we can
increase the RESPONSE rate and gain ACTIONABLE feedback to help the organization
improve. I highlighted the 2 words that really tell the story.
- RESPONSE=numbers=$$$$=Bonuses for management
Management only uses numbers when it comes time for their bonuses. They never
care about service or customers. Only their pay for performance or whatever they
call their many bonuses these days. If they really cared about customer service,
they would properly staff the A/O’s and Plants.
I fear the word ACTIONABLE only for the reason that I know management will
attempt, let me repeat, attempt to use the survey to issue discipline. I say
attempt because the APWU and your local officers and stewards will have none of
this. I have had supervisor’s attempt to issue discipline for the mystery shop
in the past, and fail miserably. I will be calling the national to find out
their take on this issue I can only guess that management will issue discipline
to SSA’s based on the customers complaint, and try to tell us that it is not
related to the Mystery shop.
Also I can only imagine at what management will try to do with this information.
If it’s anything like the V.O.E. (Voice of the Employee) Survey, they will take,
and twist the information and try to use it against us at contract talks next
Until next time-The fight continues!
Please Do Not P.A.S.S. The Work
It has come to our attention that management, in some offices, is inputting non
scan-able packages address’s into the passive adaptive scanning system. That is
a violation of the C.B.A. P.A.S.S. work is designated as clerk work. Therefore
only clerks should be performing the work. This is a violation of Article 1.6
A. Supervisors are prohibited from performing bargaining unit work at post
offices with 100 or more bargaining unit employees, except:
Absent any of these conditions, management is violating the contract. The proper
remedy is to pay the grievant/grievants proper compensation for the lost work
opportunity at the appropriate rate of overtime pay.
Remember management will always have some excuse or another when violating the
contract and performing bargaining unit work. I have found over the years that
99.99% of the time, management has no viable excuse to perform our work, and
therefore should cease and desist, and pay the grievance.
Sunday Delivery = Clerk Work
The U.S.P.S. has recently announced that they will start delivering packages on
Sunday. The first test sites will be in L.A., San Diego, New York, New Jersey,
Connecticut and Cincinnati. The U.S.P.S. will start with one company to start,
I’ve heard it is Amazon, then as the infrastructure grows for the Sunday
Delivery, more companies will hop on board. It will be heading our way soon , if
not already open in some areas.
This New Work is Clerk Work, and this is why:
The C.B.A. dated November 21, 2010 thru May 20, 2015 gave us a new position
called a-Delivery/Sales services & Distribution Associate. This new job can
The U.S.P.S. obviously knew that this work was coming back in 2010, otherwise
they would not have agreed to award us this new position. Therefore I believe
that they had already made up their mind on who should get the work.
If you look at the work that is to be done, most of it will be done by Clerks.
It would only make sense to award this new work to the Clerk craft and save time
and money. (Because we all know we can do the work faster, cheaper and better.)
The A.P.W.U. will vigorously fight for this new work, and your officers at the
480-481 Area Local will be at the forefront of this fight.
Settlement in Hartland
On Tuesday February 28, 2014, President Woods called me at my office and asked
me to go out and check out the situation at the Hartland Post Office. The new
PTF Clerk Greg called, and said that they were doing construction on the
counters at the window, with the window open, and there were heavy chemical
smells that were making not only the clerks ill, but also the customers. I
immediately drove out there and went into the building. As soon as I walked in I
started to get a headache. There was a strong chemical smell, also wood dust
from the construction. The contractors had the left side of a 2 window operation
torn up, with tools, dust, chemical smells and equipment all over the place. The
customers had to play dodge ball to get around and up to the window. The
customers were complaining of the smell and one stated “How can you stand the
smell in here. I’ve only been here a few minutes and I’ve already got a
headache”. The clerk answered that he couldn’t, and that he was feeling ill. I
looked around and spotted open cans of an adhesive that were causing the
terrible smell, and I was shocked at what I found. The chemical stated in large
print. “Use only in properly ventilated areas only”. That consumption is deadly,
and that the fumes are flammable and long term exposure can attack your central
nervous system, and oh, by the way, it can kill you.
I immediately called President Woods and told him that we needed to shut down
the office and send the employees home. We both contacted the P.O.O.M. and
advised him what was going on. The Postmaster decided to not have the
construction take place on Sunday when no one would be around, but to do it on a
Tuesday. The Postmaster then left after a short time for the rest of the day for
a doctor’s appointment. The Postmaster would not open the windows, because of
the heat loss. The P.O.O.M. sent another Postmaster form another office to check
out the situation. In the meantime I opened some windows. When the other
Postmaster arrived, he opened the door and put a fan he found in the door. I
asked him about sending the ill employees home, and that they should be paid
Admin pay for the rest of the day, and he said “No”. I again called the P.O.O.M.
and President Woods and after some convincing the office was shut, and the sick
clerks were sent home and paid for the rest of the day on Administrative Pay. I
have to give some kudos to the P.O.O.M. for dealing with this hazardous
situation in a fast and professional way. The P.O.O.M. , after accessing the
situation, acted on the best behalf of his employees and the public by shutting
down the office, and safe guarding everyone. Thanks Sid. A few days later I
immediately filed a Step 1 grievance, and was denied at Step 1 by the
Postmaster. I immediately appealed it to Step 2, and I am happy to say that the
2 clerks will be splitting $1000.00 ($500.00 each), plus a M.S.D.S. (Material
Safety Data Sheet), will be placed in their respective e-OPF’s so that in case
anything happens down the road, there will be documentation in their files to
let anyone know what they were exposed to, and any possible side effects. I was
there for almost 2 hours, and when I left my head was spinning, and I had a
headache. I can just imagine how the employees who were there most of the day
felt. I also asked that the Postmaster be removed, but they didn’t do that. I am
still working on that. President Woods is demanding a revue of the contractor
that was used, and wants to make sure that this total breech of safety never
happens again in this local. If you ever experience anything like this, or have
any other potential safety hazard arise. Tell management immediately. If they do
not do anything, or there is no supervisor available-call the local immediately.
Until Next Time-The Fight Continues!
Update On Free Tracking
After my investigation last month, I talked to
President Woods and he agreed
with me that this was a problem. So as soon as I wrote my article, I emailed it
to President Woods and he sent it to the National APWU and Retail. I went to
Premier Post Office training on September 26, 2013, and during a break I talked
to the man from retail who was giving the training. I am happy to announce that
Management not only listened, but are working on a solution that will hopefully
be in place sometime in November. They plan on still putting a barcode on
non-purchased items, but they will do one of the following:
Take the number off the receipt, so the customer won’t have it.
Make it only track able in-house, so only the USPS can track it.
Or they may do both.
It sounded to me like they might do both. I am glad that the USPS listened, and
soon our fellow SSA’s (Sales and Service Associate’s) will be under
a little less stress at the window.
I am always looking for ways to improve the quality of work for our fellow Union
Brothers and Sisters, as are my fellow officers. So remember if you are
experiencing any problems on the job, contact your steward immediately. If one
is not available or your office doesn’t have one, please feel free to call
the local and talk to President Woods or any of the officers about your
problems. We are here to help.
Clerks to Management:
Stop the Giveaways!
A few months ago, the USPS started a new barcoding
system up at the window.
Earlier this year the USPS started to have the SSA’s (Sales and Service
Associates) put a barcode on every package, regardless of whether or not the
customer purchased it. The barcode came out of the P.V.I. (postage validation
imprint) machine. The postage would come out first, and the barcode would come
out second. The number was printed on the customers receipt. The USPS told us
that the non-purchased barcode was only available in system, and the customer
could not track it.
Fast forward to today, the USPS changed Delivery Confirmation to Tracking, and
we now have label 400, a separate sticker barcode the size of a priority mail
sticker. We put it on every package, again, whether or not the customer pays for
it. I began my investigation by tracking several packages that did not pay for
the service as a test, and was shocked to find out that the customer could still
track the package online. Since starting my investigation about a month ago, I
have received several complaints from SSA’s around our Local (including my
office). They are getting yelled at by the customers, accusing the SSA’s
of “ripping them off”, by charging them the 90 cents for the
tracking number, when they can get it for free. The USPS now gives free tracking
on Priority Express Mail, Priority Mail and now Parcel Post. The last one
doesn’t make any sense. They now want us to charge the customer 90 cents
for First Class Parcels and Media Mail. The customers are starting to figure out
that the tracking is free, and are mad at us for trying to charge them for it.
Enough is enough. It’s bad enough that the USPS gives big discounts for
online shipping customers and bulk mailers, but the worst one is the ComBas
pricing discount that is so huge, I think we actually lose money on them. The
USPS keeps giving away more and more and expects the SSA’s to make it up
at the window. Well guess what USPS, you are giving away discounts so fast,
that we can no longer make it up.
The USPS has got to change this policy of free tracking for the customers. They
need to do one of the following:
Stop putting a barcode on the packages of customers that do not purchase the
Go back to a bar code from the P.V.I. machine for non-purchased packages. Make
it only trackable in system.
Also, start charging the 90 cents for Parcel Post.
If they do this, we can recoup millions of dollars of lost revenue annually, and
our SSA’s will stop being harassed by our customers for “trying to
rip them off.”
Until next time: The fight continues!
PSE’s and the 12 Hour Rule
I noticed while I was looking through the charts
for one of several Maximization grievances that I am filing, that in several
offices management had been working PSE employees over 12 hours in a service
day. The ELM states:
432.32 Maximum Hours Allowed
Except as designated in labor agreements for bargaining unit employees or in
emergency situations as determined by the postmaster general (or designee),
employees may not be required to work more than 12 hours in 1 service day. In
addition, the total hours of daily service, including scheduled work hours,
overtime, and mealtime, may not be extended over a period longer than 12
consecutive hours. Postmasters and exempt employees are excluded from these
I found 3 employees that were forced to work split shifts up to
almost 16 hours, and filed a grievance for these employees and got them paid.
Their awards totaled $446.00. I wasn’t even looking for this, so I was
surprised, and so were the 3 employees. They didn’t know their rights, and
hadn’t even asked to file a grievance. So to get a cash settlement they
weren’t expecting shows that we care for our new Union Brother’s and
Sister’s. These 3 PSE’s are hardworking members of this local, and I
was glad to give them the justice they deserved. This is just how we, as
officers, work at the local. If we see a grievance, we file one. We are always
on the alert for your rights. I am proud to be able to represent you, the
member. As I go around from the A.O’s, to the Call Center and the
MetroPlex, I see the amazing work you provide for our customers. You work
harder, faster, longer and more efficient, than any time in the history of the
U.S.P.S. The amazing part is, with less people. You carry a burden and pride
that management cannot even understand. That customer service is job #1, and we
do it regardless of how much upper management gets in our way. I am proud of the
work we all do to make the U.S.P.S., the best Postal Service in the world. Keep
up the great work.
Thank-You To A World War 2 Vet
On a trip to the casino in Ohio on Saturday August 3, 2013, my wife and I
stopped in for breakfast at Bob Evans. On the radio just before I got out of the
car was a story about World War 2 and V - J Day. For anyone who doesn’t
know what that is, it stands for “Victory over Japan day”. When we went in to
the restaurant it was crowded, so we went and sat at the counter. I sat next to
an elderly gentleman whose hat was on the counter, and when I went to sit down,
he grabbed it and said “take a seat buddy”. I noticed that his hat said ‘World
War 2 Veteran”. I starting to talk to him, and asked where he’d served. He
told me he served in Europe. I then told him that I would like to pay for his
breakfast, to honor him for serving our country. The kind gentlemen was a little
embarrassed, and told me I didn’t have to, but I insisted. I introduced
myself to him, and told him I worked for the American Postal Workers Union, and
that our local supported veterans. I told him it would be my honor and pleasure
to buy him breakfast as a way of saying thank you for his service to our
country. After he thought about it for a few seconds, he said O.K. His name is
Len, and he was drafted right out of high school at the ripe old age of
nineteen. He served from Omaha Beach (D-Day for those who don’t know the
reference) all the way through Europe, until the end in Europe in 1945. I also
found out that tomorrow on Sunday August 4, 2013 it was Len’s birthday. He
is going to be 89 years young. At first I was nervous and didn’t want to
intrude on this vets breakfast, but I thought about a story I read on the
internet the day before. Authorities identified the remains of Sgt. Dominick
Licari, a World War II airman, whose remains will be flown home to Albany New
York nearly 70 years after his plane and two others failed to return to their
base in the South Pacific. An honor guard will meet him at the airport to carry
his coffin, and people will line the road with flags to celebrate and honor his
service. It’s great that we honor and celebrate those who made the
ultimate sacrifice, those who fought and died for their country. But what about
those who fight and live? I personally think it took way too long to build the
World War 2 memorial, it opened in May 2004. Too many of the World War 2
veterans had passed before it opened. It is estimated that almost 1000 World War
2 vets die a day, and at this rate it won’t be long before they are all
gone. They call their generation ‘The Greatest Generation”. "The Greatest
Generation" is a term coined by journalist Tom Brokaw to describe the generation
 who grew up in the United States during the deprivation of the Great
Depression, and then went on to fight in World War II, as well as those whose
productivity within the war's home front made a decisive material contribution
to the war effort, for which the generation is also termed the G.I. Generation.
These people fought and died all over the globe. They freed the world. If it
wasn’t for them, we might not be around. We owe them everything.
After a few minutes of conversation I let him eat his breakfast, and I finished
mine. I called the waitress over and told her to give me his bill with ours. I
paid and before I left I went back to Len, and told him once more “Thanks for
your service to our country, and Happy Birthday”, and then I left. As I walked
out the door I felt good and thought “Buying him breakfast was the least I could
do, for someone who had helped save the world”.
At first I didn’t want to write about this, but after discussing this with
my wife I changed my mind. I didn’t want to write about this because I
didn’t want people to think I was writing this to get a pat on the back.
That was the furthest thing from my mind. I am writing about this because we all
need to not only thank a vet, but buy them a Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Beer or
whatever, before it’s too late.
Here is some background information from the
National A.P.W.U. website:
Arbitrator Das Sustains APWU Grievance on Denial of Retreat Rights. In an award
issued June 29, 2012, Arbitrator Shyam Das sustained the APWU’s grievance
the denial of excessed employees’ retreat rights. The issue in the this
(Case#Q11C-4Q-C11322494) was the USPS’ refusal to permit excessed
retreat into NTFT duty assignments posted for bid subsequent to the conversion
of part-time regulars (PTRs) and part-time flexibles (PTFs) in August 2011.
Arbitrator Das rejected all of the Employer’s arguments, finding that
is no contractual provision that supports the Postal Service’s action in
precluding employees from exercising [their] retreat right until initial local
placement of converted part-time employees was completed.” Noting that the
Postal Service failed to raise, let alone obtain the Union’s agreement to,
a restriction on the right of excessed employees to exercise their acknowledged
retreat rights during negotiations, Arbitrator Das determined that the Postal
Service’s unilateral determination to disallow the exercise of retreat
under these circumstances violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The
issue of remedy was remanded to the parties and the arbitrator retained
jurisdiction to resolve any remedial disputes. This
grievance was filed in 2011, and held in abeyance until the outcome of the
binding arbitration national case. So back on July 2, 2012 I began negotiating
with management in Plymouth. After almost 1 year of continuous negotiations, I
am proud to announce that 2 employees, who were improperly denied their retreat
rights, will receive $7500.00 each. Also 1 employee will be offered immediate
retreat rights back to Plymouth.
2 Out Of 3 In South Lyon
On January 31, 2013 almost 25,000 employees took the V.E.R. (voluntary early
retirement). In South Lyon at this time were 3 PTF’s. Management did not
replace the fulltime custodian that retired. I had to convince the postmaster
that he had to, with the help from President Woods. Since then 1 PTF has been
converted and allowed to take that fulltime position, and another PTF, through a
grievance settlement, has been converted to fulltime in another office that is
closer to where she lives. I am going to track the hours for the 3rd PTF, in
hopes to make it 3 in a row.
For the past few months we have been using and testing a new charting program
from the national. It works great. President Woods and all the officers have
been requesting all PTF, PSE & overtime hours in almost every office.
Woods has been putting them into the new program and making great charts. This
new system takes minutes, as compared to the old method of using paper and
markers that took days on end. I am using the charts to file maximization
grievances in several of the offices I cover, and over the next few months I
will be filing in as many of my offices as possible. Our goal, at the local, is
to increase staffing in as many of our offices as we can, with as many fulltime
positions as the charts show. Then after we settle these grievances and create
some jobs, we will wait another 6 months and we will request the hours again,
and create new charts. If the charts show we still need more positions, we will
file again. Our goal is to get all the offices we represent, as close to proper
staffing as we can get. Not the understaffing management wants. Stay tuned.
PTF Conversion's On The Rise/PSE Hiring On The Horizon?
Our goal since the withholding was lifted is to see as many PTF’s, in the
offices we represent, be converted to fulltime by any means possible. All the
officers have been telling the PTF’s to go on eReassign and transfer into
fulltime jobs in other installations. President Woods has also faxed information
about this to every office in our local. In the last few months we have seen
numerous PTF’s transfer and get promoted to fulltime. In the last few
had 1 PTF in each of 2 offices, Union Lake & Hartland, transfer to the Call
Center. After we get all the transfers out of the way, we will start tracking
PTF & PSE hours and filing grievances to create positions for PTF’s to be
converted into. After all the PTF’s are converted then we can start to see
management will start to hire some of the PSE’s.It is our desire to see
conversion of the PSE’s and we hope that by converting the PTF's we can
need for them to do the obvious?
They know they are over the PSE cap, and by converting them to career, they will
get under that cap. Hopefully this and the maximization grievances we are filing
will get the associate offices the much needed help they deserve.
Japanese postal worker dies at 116
You heard it right, Jiroemon Kimura, was born in 1897. He was a retired postal
worker in Japan. He was certified by the Guinness as being not only the oldest
person in recorded history, but also the last known man to live across three
Premier Post Office Program;
New Product Names
The USPS, in their ultimate wisdom, is coming out with a 3 tier program to
supposedly improve the customer experience, maximize revenue & improve cost
efficiency. Gold, Silver & Bronze. Basically from what I see is that they want
the understaffed offices to jump through hoops so someone, somewhere can get a
bonus. They also let the offices self-certify, so, obviously, there won’t
cheating. They want each office to commit to perform all sorts of cleaning, have
a Lobby Assistant; make sure the p.o.box section has the mail up on time, stock
the lobby, all with no staff. The USPS complains that they always want to
improve the customer experience and retain revenue. I for one can tell them how
to do that. Stop giving away huge discounts for putting a barcode on letters, or
by customers printing their own label, and bring back the work to the clerks who
would not only do it faster and better, but cheaper. That would save the USPS a
lot of money. If you want to enhance the retail customer experience-then
properly staff the window.
Also in July the USPS is renaming the Priority and Express brands, the following
is the new names:
Priority mail 1 day
Priority Mail 2 day
Priority Mail 3 day
Priority Express Mail - 1 day guaranteed
What I don’t understand is why? We will now tell the customer that their
will be a 1, 2 or 3 day, but guess what, it’s not guaranteed. Also they
Express to Priority Express. The customers are now going to get so confused;
it’s going to take months or longer for the average customer to figure
out. All I know is that someone/somewhere kept a high paying job to create this
fiasco. Good luck to all the window clerks who are going to have to help sort
Customer Call Center
Hopefully, by the time you read this, we will have some good news about the
National Arbitration on the higher level grievance that was filed for the Call
center. The USPS posted the jobs at the Call Center with 3 levels. They ignored
the contract and made them Levels 4, 5, & 6. The APWU contends that they should
be levels 6, 7 & 8. I hope that we get the news sooner than later, and that all
the hardworking clerks at the Call Centers nationwide get a well-deserved raise.
Plus some back pay with interest.
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer, and as always - Until next time - The
Backfill OR B.S.
As of January 31st the V.E.R. took
place, and over 20,000 fellow A.P.W.U.
employees took the buyout. On February 1, 2013 management is allowed to backfill
all vacant jobs that they are going to fill, at a later date within the 90 days,
with P.S.E.’s. It has come to my attention at several of my offices that
management is bringing in a 90 day PSE, even when they are planning to revert
the position. I pointed it out to management that they are in violation of the
agreement. They couldn’t understand why. If you revert a position, how can
backfill, a non-position, with a 90 day PSE? You have to have a position to
fill, to backfill. So management is in clear violation of the agreement between
the APWU and the USPS.
I am urging every steward across our local, even across
the country, to file a grievance on this issue immediately. As a remedy I am
asking that the O.T.D.L. (overtime desired list) be compensated for every hour
worked by the 90 day PSE, at the overtime rate of pay (1 ½ X). If there is
one on the OTDL, then pay every employee in the office, split equally. Remember
we only have 14 days to initiate our step 1, so that means we have until
February 15th to file on this issue.
Clerk Craft Director
480-481 Area Local