by Shelly Lucido
Congratulations to Robert Dickens and Nilima Regmi who were converted on March 21, 2015 to career Full-Time Regular clerks, thanks to the Memorandum of Understanding negotiated by the APWU on March 20, 2014. Hopefully in the near future we will see more of our PSE’S converted to FTR career positions. Many have asked how this works so in this issue I have included a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding which currently is extended indefinitely.
The Postal Service, in a letter to APWU National President Mark Dimondstein dated February 20, 2015, informed the APWU of their plans to eliminate scheme qualifications on all Clerk bid duty assignment after March 7, 2015 and to eliminate SONICKS (Specialized Operations Networking Integrated Keyboard Systems) after March 31, 2015. It further stated there will be no impact to employees within the Clerk Craft who currently occupy a duty assignment with a scheme requirement. The APWU’s position is this is a prohibited unilateral action in violation of our Collective Bargaining Agreement and a National Dispute was filed on March 27, 2015. The National Union is currently in talks with the Postal Service regarding the elimination of scheme requirements. I am waiting word from the National Union on how we need to proceed locally.
Breaks, wash up times and lunches
The reality is that management would love nothing less than you not take your breaks, wash up times or your lunch so they do not have to cover those work hours. Historically management and the union has accepted that clerks are provided with a 5 minute wash-up time prior to lunch and at the end of their tour. And, in addition, two 15 minute breaks and at least a 30 minute rest period (lunch within 6 hours) per every 8 hour shift. By the time you read this newsletter I will have provided Postmaster Zamora, again, my position on APWU represented employees taking their lunch within 6 hours of their tour start; a copy of the arbitration is included in this newsletter. Grievances will be filed on any violations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement including this one.
Contract Negotiations began February 19, 2015
The Collectively Bargaining Agreement will expire on May 20, 2015 and if not extended by the parties on May 21, 2015, all the provisions contained in our Collective Bargaining Agreement will expire. What will that mean to you? If you have not up to this point taken the time to read our contract. this would be a good time to start. The provisions that have been negotiated on your behalf are at risk. I have been asked on occasion “What is the Union doing for me?” Right now, at this moment, the APWU is negotiating a contract to provide you with good wages, good benefits and good working conditions. In addition to negotiating a good contract on your behalf – protecting good jobs for current members and those who come after us – the APWU is working to maintain good service to our deserving communities across America. Go to APWU. org and there is a link on the homepage to keep up to date on Contract Negotiations. In addition, there is information on what is needed of you to help protect a Good Contract with Good Jobs and Good Service.
Safety and You
Work safe, be safe and do not allow management to make you work unsafely. I have filed a Class Action Safety Grievance on management not providing proper equipment for clerks who have to work mail out of wire containers. The union has attempted during Joint Safety Meetings to discuss with management the need for Tilters to be provided for those operations that require clerks to work mail out of wire containers causing back injuries and a risk for future back injuries. Since management has shown no concern about the safety of these clerks a grievance has been filed to supply these Tilters. Remember if you cannot perform a function safely ask for help, report it to management, fill out a 1767 but always protect yourself from injury.
Improper Posting of duty assignments, by-passes of overtime, carriers and supervisors doing bargaining unit work, continuous changing of clerks scheduled days off, returning mail without providing 2nd notices, throwing UBBM away with first class mail in it, pay issues etc…..Be assured if you have reported the issue we have investigated the issue and if there is a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement a grievance has been filed. Remember to request a Steward immediately if you believe – or you’re not certain – whether a violation of the Contract has occurred. Just because management states they can do it, does not make it so. Let the union be the judge of whether a contract violation has occurred.
Let’s Stand up and Fight Back Together.
We cannot stand by and allow the Postal Service to further contract out our work, close Plants and Post Offices, allow Congress to attack Postal Workers wages and benefits, cut service to America and do nothing. You must do your part, ask your steward or officer’s or go to APWU.org and find out what you can do.