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• You can be scheduled to work as little as 4 hours per pay period. Management is just that chickens*it.

• You will be restricted from bidding on full-time jobs until all excessed clerks have had the opportunity to retreat back.

• You will not be able to sign the OTDL.

• You are not entitled to out-of-schedule premium pay.

•You may be ineligible for holiday leave pay if you are regularly scheduled to work less than 5 days in a service week (unless the holiday falls on your scheduled workday).

•Your retirement computations may be affected. So before you leap into the work of Part-Time Regulars, consider all aspects of this career move. Look, listen, and determine before you decide.


Realignment Worries

The fast paced, multi-phased crazy excessing imposed by management is causing many impacted employees to either overreact or not act at all. Both of these paths have pitfalls.


Overreacting to the notice includes jumping on and making selections from the list of available jobs without thought to relocation, seniority and status. Recognize you may be competing with other Offices also excessing. Do you select from this list or make a career decision to wait and see if closer, future residual vacancies become available?


Not reacting includes failing to make a selection from the list. This exposes you to possible placement by a decision from management, which will select for you.


What to do? First of all get some counseling from your Local. I say counseling because the decision is yours to make. Second, check if more junior employees in the same level as you are being allowed to stay. If so, file a grievance but don’t make it personal. Third, if there are casuals and they are to remain, file a grievance. The Stewards should know what to look for and how to appeal. If you feel discrimination has taken place, file an EEO complaint. It is important that you submit a request to retreat in writing. Secure proof that you have submitted it (e.g., certified mail, date stamp,

fax transmission report). Whatever you sign, sign under protest. Most, if not all of your selection process is involuntary, so you want to make sure management does not try to claim – I would not put it past them – that you volunteered for something you did not. lf you are forced into the Carrier craft, apply yourself to pass the driving tests, but should you fail you may want to go to eReassignment and try to secure a transfer.


This could help you secure another assignment before management takes action to terminate you. Also, make sure you keep up with all vacancies in your former installation. Do not rely on management to do the right thing.


Understand that in any other company or agency you would be facing the issuance of a “Pink Slip” for layoff instead of a notice of involuntary reassignment, but, that being said, read the contract. Check home page and the Regional Coordinator page for the latest info.


3. File an Appeal with the MSPB (Merit Systems Protection Board). You do not have to be a veteran to file an MSPB over the denial of work (restoration) after partial recovery from a compensable injury. Go to mspb gov and download the appeal form and get more information. Send 2 copies of the form to the MSPB Regional Office along with a copy of the NRP letter that sends you home. Follow the instructions on the Appeal Form. What you are appealing is something like, “Reverse Agency decision, return me to restoration duties, reasonable accommodations and restore leave, full back pay and to be made whole”. Ask for a hearing. The Judge will issue you an Order to Show Cause which means you have to show MSPB has jurisdiction. You can do this by sending the Judge a copy of OWCP Acceptance Letter for your injury, a copy of the most recent job offer, a copy of PS 3971 with the Remarks box properly annotated, a copy of the NRP Sent Home letter, and any other documents the Judge asks for.

To get the ball rolling you do not need a lawyer or rep - just follow the Judge’s instructions. You should eventually secure competent representation as the rules of evidence and procedure are strict, but many postal workers have represented themselves in “Pro Per” and prevailed. It can be done.


4. Request Light Duty and File a Grievance. Ask for light duty which kicks in a whole new search for light duty work. File a grievance over non-accommodation, denial of light duty, and being sent home under NRP. Apply violations of – Article 2 Non Discrimination Clause requires compliance with the Rehabilitation Act; Article 3 Managements’ Rights are not absolute, compliance with the contract, regulations, and laws is required; Article 13 Assignment of Ill or Injured requires management to make every effort to find work for an employee who requests light duty. Other articles may apply which the Steward will investigate and apply. You will have to show there is light duty work available you are qualified to perform including the date, time, location, and type of work. Article 13 is a strong contract protection only if you use it. Your steward knows what else to do. Yes, it can be done.


5. Write to Your Congressional Representative.

Send a letter to Congress to their field office. Tell your Congressperson you need help. Let them know there is work you can do, what it is, and that you want to work and not be on compensation. Tell him/her that the Post Office will claim you filed an EEO or Appeal and that the Post Office cannot comment. Ask them please not to fall for that ploy -that you need their help in getting back to work and thank them. Make sure to let them know you were gainfully employed. Ask to meet with the Field Representative. Visit their office and give them information. Keep letting them know that management will try to deflect Congress by using the appeals and EEOs as a reason for not truly and transparently responding to a Congressional inquiry. Ask for a GAO (Government Accountability Office) investigation or a hearing. Be determined but respectful and thank him/her!


RevertIng to Part Time Regular

The stupid migration plans of the P.O. on repositioning the workforce are causing many workers to seek what they consider protections against involuntary reassignment. One carrot waved by management is the option of reverting to Part-Time Regular. It may sound good but they should be up front and tell you that they are likely to come around and excess Part-Time Regulars in the future. Part-Time Regular status is NOT a guarantee against involuntary reassignment. Here are some other things to consider when reverting to PTR:

Management’s fast paced drive to cut 100 million work hours is creating an unprecedented level of anxiety on today’s postal work floor. Every segment and craft is affected by this mad drive to rob Peter and Paul


The PMG’s dash to capitalize on the bad economy and reposition the workforce is truly not saving the Post Office money when you consider the costs in relocations, realignments, and reassessments. Figures lie and liars figure. What it appears the bosses want is for impacted workers to quit the Post Office, one way or another.


I will highlight three topics that affect postal workers in today’s turbulent Post Office:


“No Occupationally Necessary Tasks Available”

are the buzz words management is using to get rid of the ill and injured. The NRP (National Reassessment Process) has nothing whatsoever to do with the health and welfare of injured workers. NRP was designed in 2002 under the PMG’s’ Transformation Plan, named and piloted in 2004, and rolled out nationwide in 2006. It is designed to get most injured workers off the rolls of the Post Office, get them “vocated” to private companies and cut their compensation/wages. And now an Accelerated NRP has been imposed!


It begins with a demand for updated medical documentation, followed by tracking of work activity, establishment of a NRP File, review of what employees are to be targeted, a cursory superficial search for available work, a determination the work the injured are doing is “not necessary or needed,” and a quick interview resulting in injured workers being walked off the work floor.


It is a sinister attack on those already hurt and in pain. A CA-2a Recurrence Form and a CA-7 Compensation Claim form are issued  along with a PS 3971, followed by a visit from an OWCP Vocational Rehab counselor, training, and separation from the Post Office.


Fighting Back....

When this happens you must rise up and counter-attack using every legal means available. Here are some suggestions:


1. On the PS 3971 in the Remarks column state something like, “Willing To Work Within Restrictions, Request DRAC (District Reasonable Accommodation Committee), Enforced Leave.” This serves as notice to the PO that you are being denied work but are willing to work with restrictions, that you seek reasonable accommodation under the Rehabilitation Act, and that you are being forced to take leave which may be construed as a “constructive suspension.”


2. File an EEOC Complaint if not granted reasonable accommodation by the manager sending you home and/or DRAC. Do not state the complaint is about “NRP”. The. complaint could be based on your race, color, sex, age, or national origin if you are treated differently than someone else who is accommodated, and because of your disability (major life functions-disabilities were expanded to include lifting, bending, etc.). Do Not Go To Redress! Go formal and request a hearing. Getting competent  representation is a good idea, but you can represent yourself. Go to arid download information on the process and follow up. Call the 800 number, but realize the EEO Counselor works for the PO and is not to be trusted. Follow all deadlines and make sure you keep it to the recent discrimination — “Being denied work within restrictions, not accommodated, and forced to take Ieave." You will have to eventually show that there is work you are qualified to do in funded vacancies, you have a disability, and the reason the P.O. is giving for not accommodating you is a pretext for discrimination.

Postal Pain and Panic!

By Omar M. Gonzalez

Western Region Coordinator

This piece is reprinted from
The Iowa Postal Worker
August-September 2009

“It is important to keep in mind that management makes the decision to abolish duty assignments and excess employees. The role of the union is to ensure the provisions of the contract for excessing from a section are adhered to. By making sure the provisions are followed, the union is also protecting the rights of both junior and senior employees.”

Alex Aleman

San Antonio Alamo Area Local President