APWU: Maintenance Craft Settles Dispute on Custodial Staffing; Will Convert More Than 3,150 PSEs

apwulogoJuly 10, 2014The APWU and USPS signed a major settlement July 9 that resolves a long-standing dispute over custodial staffing and results in the conversion to career of all current Maintenance Craft Postal Support Employees, Maintenance Craft Director Steve Raymer has announced.

The agreement stipulates that the MS-47 Handbook – Transmittal Letter 5, which governs custodial work and staffing, will be implemented as written. It includes the following provisions:

  • Management must maintain custodial staffing levels determined by the procedures outlined in the MS-47 Handbook;
  • The USPS is prohibited from disciplining custodians who exceed estimated times outlined in the handbook;
  • Managers must include all duties custodians perform in staffing packages they prepare locally;
  • Performance standards will be revised based on the work-and-time standards outlined in ISSA 50;
  • There will be an automatic penalty if management fails to ensure all required custodial work is performed;
  • There will be no excessing of employees based on the change to the MS-47 Transmittal Letter 5 (except for cross-section excessing within the Maintenance Craft and within the installation).

The settlement will also result in the conversion of approximately 3,157 Postal Support Employees (PSEs). Conversion to career status must take place “as soon as reasonably possible, but no later than within 30 days after the signing of this agreement.”  The settlement stipulates that:

  • The USPS will convert “in-place” all current Maintenance Craft PSEs to career status, either as full-time regulars or part-time regulars. “In-place” means the PSEs will be assigned to the duty assignments they are currently covering.
  • PSEs will not serve a probationary period if they have completed two terms as a PSE or if they are employed at one of 10 identified sites currently operating under Transmittal Letter 5 (TL-5) or going under TL-5.
  • Going forward, the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and Memorandums of Understanding covering PSEs will be applied.

“The MS-47 Handbook is probably the most litigated handbook in the history of the APWU,” Raymer said, noting that management has tried on numerous occasions to modify it, only to have the changes successfully challenged by the APWU in arbitration.

““This MS-47-TL 5 will result in a reduction in staffing at many locations,” Raymer said. “The impact will vary, with larger reductions at the largest facilities and smaller reduction or none at all at smaller facilities. But the settlement includes important protections for current custodians and will help protect Maintenance Craft work for the future. In addition, the lengthy period of implementation will certainly help soften the effects of any cuts. There are targets for implementation for this fiscal year, next fiscal year and beyond. Furthermore, no excessing can occur to any custodians based upon the service implementing the TL-5 at any location,” he said.

“It also will immediately improve the lives of more than 3,150 PSEs, who will now be able to enjoy the stability of career jobs,” Raymer added.

  • Jess

    It appears that the Maintenance craft is doing their homework, it sure would help if the clerk craft higher-ups could take some lessons and get the clerk craft some benefits. We have been waiting for years on the 1.6 and its not settled, cutting clerk hours everywhere. The post plan is strictly against the contract,but management is going ahead with it and all our people say is we’re grieving it. It also will drag out until the new contract next year and then it will be a moot issue. Seems the clerk craft needs some coaching from the maintenance dept…….just saying

  • Fedup

    Why does management have to follow the MS47 staffing, but a custodian doesn’t have to meet the standards outlined in it. Such BS. These negotiators should supervise some of these quality employees. The standards themselves are so low to begin with.

  • Mail Clerk

    Great! last thing we need is more lazy FTR custodians making $20+ an hour doing nothing for 7 hours a day



  • ShadeHunter

    U must be a slow clerk or a non-working carrier both sucking off the system. Those that always can not locate the 100+ trash cans & cry when they can find a half tray, or hangout at the local fast food joint. When was the last time You gave the post office & honest days work on the job. I see a lot of talking & crying from the clerks & carriers about how hard they work. Having spent 20+ years in the military & 10+ years at the non-working p.o. you people are the laziest, crying, non-working people in America. If only the public knew half the story they would stop giving that gift at Christmas. Those that live in that glass house better drop the stone & do a little work. It is people like you who will cause the post office to fail, they cry the hardest & say how could they do this to hard working postal employees. You people are sicking & sorry. Don’t forget to follow the rule when you leave your vehicle & try to get the mail in the correct hamper & mail box. The best thing clerk & carrier should do is to stop running their sewer & try to look like they are working & know how to do they so hard job!

  • Nemso

    You are obviously not an employee of the USPS. Those clerks and carriers with a work ethic work their butts off their entire careers because management pushes them while they allow the lazy ones to get away with murder. I am getting close to retirement and have had my routes added to relentlessly over the years. The job has been stressful from Day 1 and I can’t wait to retire! Don’t lump us all into one basket!