APWU Reaches Monetary Settlement with USPS on POStPlan Staffing Violations

Web News Article #:
19-2018
02/23/2018 – On February 9, the Clerk Craft reached a $49.9 million dollar settlement with the USPS on POStPlan staffing violations. The monetary settlement follows a ruling by Arbitrator Stephen Goldberg that the Postal Service violated Arbitrator Goldberg’s previous award of September 5, 2014 and a subsequent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dated September 22, 2014.

The dispute was initiated after the Postal Service admittedly failed to honor their agreement that after December 22, 2014, the ‘POStPlan’ Remotely-Managed Post Offices (RMPOs) open 4 or 6 hours a day would be staffed with bargaining unit clerks, and Level 18 offices would be staffed with career employees. Long after the agreement, Postmaster Reliefs (PMRs) were still working in 4 or 6 hour RMPOs across the country and Level 18 offices reported still using PSEs instead of career employees.

“Our goal is for management to abide by their contractual obligations in the first place. When they don’t, it is best if management addresses the problem as quickly as possible, in this case to properly staff the POStplan offices,” remarked President Dimondstein. “Unfortunately, neither happened, and I congratulate the Clerk Craft in insuring that these management violations have consequences as a deterrent to future violations.”

The money from the settlement will be distributed among Clerk Craft employees to be identified by the National APWU. The Postal Service is required to cooperate and provide information necessary for the union to identify employees eligible for payment. Updates on the implementation of the settlement agreement will be provided to local/state organizations and the membership through the APWU website.

“It is important we have arbitrators willing to rule that monetary payments and other strong remedies are necessary to address willful and/or repeated violations of the contract,” said Clerk Division Director Clint Burleson, “It is even more important that the membership work together to develop the leverage to win grievances at the local level and ideally prevent violations from occurring in the first place.

“Many thanks goes to Assistant Clerk Craft Director Lynn Pallas Barber,” Burleson continued, “who served as the case officer for the grievance, provided testimony at the hearing, and developed the leverage to secure the $49.9 million in remedy. Thanks also go to Assistant Craft Director Lamont Brooks for his assistance in negotiating the final settlement.”
Attachments
POStPlan Staffing Violation: Remedy – June 7, 2017 (403.04 KB)

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Postal Vehicle Service Scanning Duty Settlement Reached APWU

09/28/2017 – On August 31, the APWU Motor Vehicle Service Craft Division and the USPS came to a settlement for case numbers Q10V-4Q-C 16466169/HQTV20160275, Q10V-4Q-C 15300453/HQTV20150846 and Q10V-4Q-C 16466163/A19V20160276.

The issue concerns the deployment of scanners to Postal Vehicle Service (PVS) drivers, as part of the Surface Visibility (SV) program. The issue initially arose in 2006, when the USPS first introduced the SV program that included scanning. Since then, there have been numerous conversations and disputes concerning the assigning of scanning duties between the parties.

Highlights of the settlement are:

PVS drivers will receive adequate training in order to operate the scanners.
The scans will accurately reflect the data the employees are supposed to scan and the employees will not be instructed to make improper scans.
The scanners are not an accountable item and the employee will only be held accountable for the scanners according to the language in Article 28.
Scan data will not be the sole basis for adjustments to routes or disciplinary action. Scan data may be used in conjunction with other data to support or refute discipline.
“The issue of scanning has been a much talked about subject in the MVS Craft for several years,” said MVS Director Michael O. Foster. “The intent of this settlement is to provide the PVS operators with rules and protection for scanning.”

This settlement, and accompanying letters, only pertain to Postal Vehicle Service (PVS) drivers in the MVS Craft.

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IT/AS Support Services Members Ratify Contract

09/12/2017 – Following an overwhelming 429-129 ratification vote on Aug. 23, the new Information Technology and Accounting Services Centers (IT/AS) Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the United States Postal Service was signed by APWU President Mark Dimondstein and USPS Vice President of Labor Relations Douglas Tulino.

“I salute the members who stood strong through the negotiations,” said President Dimondstein. “This successful contract negotiated by Support Services Division Director Steve Brooks and National Business Agent Judy McCann is a solid foundation to build on in the future.”

The contract covers approximately 1,140 IT/AS employees with service centers in Eagan, MN, St. Louis, MO, San Mateo, CA, and Wilkes-Barre, PA. Over 60% of the membership participated in the ratification vote.

“We conducted onsite visits to each of the four IT/AS facilities and presented the terms of the agreement to the members,” said Support Services Division Director Steve Brooks. “The process was successful and members were able to get answers to questions about the contract’s terms and the negotiation process. How this contract puts us in a good position for future negotiations was also explained.”

Contract Details
The CBA is retroactive to Jan. 21, 2017 and expires Jan. 20, 2019. It provides for the following pay increases:

1.3% general increase effective Jan. 20, 2017 (retroactive), and
1.3% general increase effective Jan. 19, 2018.
$333 COLA increase effective April 29, 2017 (retroactive).
Future COLAs based on the Sept. 2017 CPI-W Index, March 2018 Index, and Sept. 2018 Index.
The Employer/Employee shares of health insurance premiums will be the same as all other postal union agreements – shifting 2% of the total premium to employees.

Other provisions provide additional growth of employment and some upward movement in grades and steps:

With the filling of vacancies, and with the 50 positions promised in the previous contract and 20 new positions in this contract, the number of programmers will increase to 431 from the current 361.  The agreement also calls for regular tracking reports to assure quick movement to the agreed upon staffing.
A Step Q is added to the top of Levels 14, 15, and 16, eventually increasing pay for more than 524 employees, with an immediate raise for about 240 people. This change provides for consistency with the pay step structure through Level 23.
Four new Level 18 positions will be added to Accounting Services.
The contract continues progress in providing for career ladders by adding a new one and amending another:

A new career ladder for the Quality Assurance area and,
An amended career ladder for Accounting Specialists in Payroll.
In addition, the Voluntary 10/4 work schedule option was modified, making it easier to get on the program.

The parties will also create a task force to review the programming application testing procedures on both the IT and Accounting areas. A different task force will review the accounting levels and duties and possible career ladder opportunities.

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