APWU Wins $56 Million Remedy for Postmasters Performing Craft Work

From the American Postal Workers Union:

apwulogo12/08/2014The APWU reached a $56 million settlement with the USPS on Dec. 5 to resolve a long-standing dispute over postmasters and supervisors in small offices performing bargaining unit work.

The agreement includes provisions that are intended to prevent future violations of the limits on the number of hours managerial personnel may spend performing craft duties. Most notably, it includes a mechanism for reporting and monitoring the amount of hours involved.

The agreement also makes it easier to enforce the contract. Clerks no longer have to fear reprisals for filing a grievance, as the contract can now be enforced without a union officer having to set foot in an office.

Recording Postmaster Hours

All hours that postmasters and supervisors in affected offices spend working alone will be considered time they spent staffing the window.

When they work on the window in conjunction with a clerk, they will be charged for all time spent, from the moment they log into POS or similar window technology until they perform their end-of-day report in POS or similar technology. (This requires completion of a PS Form 1412.)

Postmasters and supervisors will be charged with non-window bargaining unit time for hours spent using TACS clerk operation numbers, the Mail Arrival Profile (MAP) report and the Facility Database Report.

Reports to be Posted Online

“The USPS will develop a modified, automated PS Form 1260 to be used by all postmasters/supervisors, covered by this agreement, to record the performance of bargaining unit work on a daily basis,” the settlement says. The operation numbers and time worked will be included on the new form.

The bargaining unit work information will be shared with the national APWU, which will post the reports online, similar to the way PSE Compliance Reports are currently posted.

Local and state union representatives will be able to monitor violations by reviewing this information.

Automatic Payment for Violations

When an employee or union representative notices that a postmaster or supervisor has exceeded the limit on bargaining unit work in a service week, the union representative will contact the installation head to arrange the payment to the appropriate clerk.

The USPS will pay the appropriate clerk as determined by the union, without the need to file a grievance.

Employees will receive lump-sum payments through the use of TACS AdjustPay.

When Grievances Are Necessary

In the event employees are not paid or other disputes arise (including discrepancies over the number of hours reported), the 14-day time limit for filing a grievance will start from the union’s receipt of the report at the national level. The APWU will annotate the date of receipt on the reports.

Ongoing, Repetitive Violations

In areas where the USPS continues to violate work-hour limitations, the union will have the right to report the ongoing problems “directly to the respective USPS Area Manager, Labor Relations, or if unresolved, directly to the USPS Manager, Field Labor Relations.”

The ability to address ongoing problems quickly to designated management officials is important; in addition, it is noteworthy that the current USPS Manager of Field Labor Relations signed the agreement and has expressed a commitment to work to end the long-standing problems associated with bargaining unit work violations.

In some instances, ongoing violations may demonstrate the need to hire a career employee.

$56 Million to Clerk Craft Employees

The USPS will make payments totaling $56 million to Clerk Craft employees identified by the union as a remedy for past violations.

Implementation of this provision of the settlement is expected to take 90 to 120 days. Numerous documents must be requested, provided and review to identify the employees who lost hours due to postmasters and supervisors performing bargaining unit work.

Members should stay abreast of development through their local representatives.

Unresolved Issues

Many of the grievances that involved violations of Article1.6.B of the Collective Bargaining Agreement also addressed other issues, such as excessing, reversions, etc., that were intentionally left unresolved by this agreement.

These issues require discussion of the unique fact circumstances for each grievance filed. The parties have agreed to discuss and attempt to resolve these issues at the regional level within 60 days of the signing of the agreement.

If the issues are not resolved, then parties may proceed to arbitration.

The dispute arose as a result of management’s failure to adhere to the “Global Settlement” of violations of Article 1.6.B of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Global Settlement was negotiated during bargaining for the 2010-2015 contract. Despite several arbitration wins by the union, management refused to implement the agreed-upon language.


“Many people were instrumental in reaching this important settlement, starting with the individuals who filed grievances at the local level and the stewards who documented the cases,” said Clerk Craft Director Clint Burelson.

“State and local presidents supported them, effectively appealed grievances and stood strong through the appeal process. National Business Agents worked with local and state organizations to refine and improve the grievances.  Previous national officers worked on this issue and moved the ball forward.

“Industrial Relations Director Tony McKinnon assisted in addressing the issue with the USPS in the early stages. Assistant Clerk Craft Director Lynn Pallas-Barber reviewed documents, discussed the case and helped finalize the language.

“Finally, as the lead case officer, Assistant Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks helped negotiate the best possible settlement based on a review of the grievances and input from NBAs, local officers and stewards, and arbitral precedent. At all times he kept the long-term good of APWU members at the forefront of his consideration.

“This settlement is the result of decades of hard work of many people who helped to serve the best interests of the union.  Much appreciation is owed to each and every one.”

“Our approach to settling disputes with the Postal Service is to be prepared for war, but pray for peace” McKinnon said. “That is what we did in this case.”

APWU President Mark Dimondstein praised the settlement. “Congratulations to the Clerk Craft officers for this outstanding settlement,” he said. “It concludes years of hard work. In addition to remedying past contract violations, it will fix the problem for the future.”

Via Union Wins $56 Million Remedy for Postmasters Performing Craft Work | APWU.

  • Tony

    This was, is and always will be a joke! Upper management does not supply adequate staffing for offices where Postmasters are required to perform Bargaining Unit Work and now want to punish those who work more than allotted, but God forbid the work doesn’t get done! The APWU is part of the problem too! Because they do not want PM’S to work over their time, but want their people to have Annual leave whenever it is requested. The clerks aren’t interested in how many hours the PM performs BUW when they need a day off though! Here is how you fix the damn problem… No Managers perform any BUW period! This would put the onus on the over paid superiors to do their damn jobs and staff offices appropriately and not the Hocus Pocus Guessology they use now!

  • Debra Hurlburt

    How does that effect the clerks that retired in 2013? If this has been ongoing since 2010…. Would love to hear from you….

    Thank You

  • shameonupmorgs

    The organizations made the bed… sleep well.

  • shameonupmorgs

    Was once there. Pathetic support. Expendables.

  • RouteAbolished

    Imagine being on the battlefield and the general is sitting in the tent and is not allowed to shoot at the enemy because he has fired his allotted ammunition. So teamwork, common sense and the mission are disregarded. It is the unions that should be abolished.

  • Mailman030

    It’s about time that the APWU started fighting back when management takes their work away. For the people bashing the union for this win, just remember, USPS management signed all of the contracts and then chose to violate them. Had they stood behind their word, this grievance would have never been filed and no money paid out.

  • Mark

    Hit that one right on the head….if they wanted to do clerk work they should have not taken a Mgt. position!

  • Mark

    Managers are there to MANAGE, do paper work answer the phone, deal with angry customers and to make sure WE get paid correctly.

  • Mark

    I’m sure you will get a nice check if you were effected. When the “Casual in lue of regulars” settlement came back. The ones who retired still recieved a check for the time they were affected.

  • Mark

    The main problem is Mgt. understaffs on purpose, makes the work hours look good and also might be a excellent stepping stone (while stepping on the heads of the people who are doing the work).

  • rtsutf

    Tony is speaking in a broader sense, local PMs have no say in their staffing level at small offices.

  • Kozy

    Good news and I am now retired. What really upsets me is a limited
    Duty rural carrier with restrictions for eight years……doing clerk work
    And getting O.T. Now she is provided an O.I.C. position while other
    postmasters and clerks and mail handlers in the Saginaw area lost
    Their jobs. She is still working. She was working 55 hours a week while
    Clerks were not working and forced to move to Pontiac. How many
    Limited duty carriers are still working as clerks or OIC. Thousands.
    Look at the over time she was getting. Now how can she work all
    That OT on restrictions. I on the other hand was not allowed OT.
    APWU please look into this. I am so happy the clerks finally won.
    I had to work triple split shifts and when off the clock I would
    Observe 204B clerks that sent me home sorting mail and laughing.
    Just go after another win and get rid of carriers doing clerk work.

  • jeremiah

    Oh My God! You are so right! There is nothing worse than the sight and sound of 204B clerks sorting mail and laughing!! Then they send you home! But you don’t want to go home, do you? There’s nothing for you at home any more, there hasn’t been for years. So you wander the streets in the cold cold snow, but you can still hear the sound of 204B clerks laughing as they sort mail in the warm cozy post office.

    Let them laugh. Your day will come, and with it an end to the laughter and the sorting of mail.

    Oh yes, that day will come…

  • retired too

    This not about war, this is a civilian issue. To use the military necessity of following orders is a poor analogy. In a war situation an incompetent tent sitting general would get you killed, in this situation it resulted in monetary compensation. This is a contract dispute and the parties agreed on a remedy.

  • rtsutf

    Vacation, sick days and health benefits are the same for all career federal employees. The only thing the unions negotiated is the USPS picks up more of the tab on health than other feds.

  • Zeus

    The Postal Service offers a generous leave program to career employees that includes annual (vacation) leave and sick leave. For the first 5 years of service, full-time employees earn 10 days of annual leave per year, increasing to 15 days per year after 5 years of service, and to 20 days per year after 15 years of service. In addition, full- time employees earn
    3 hours per pay period as insurance against loss of income due to
    illness or accident.

    Leave accrual for new career employees was changed a while back. The maximum annual leave is 20 days per year (vs. 26) and 78 hours of sick leave (vs. 104). This does not take into account years with 27 pay periods, such as 2015.

  • Mail Driver

    You will have to wait till ’16 to find out what the 2015-2020 agreement looks like after the arbitration process drags on after this piece of crap CBA expires next May.

  • Mailman

    The unions other than the APWU (NALC,NPMHU,NRLCA) did not negotiate the higher tab for health care,it was imposed in their contracts by the arbitrators.

  • NALC Rep

    The APWU members have only themselves to blame for supporting Donahoe’s puppet,Cliff Guffey as union president and ratifying the worst CBA in organized labor history.

  • Moose

    The fallout out from PostPlan continues. How long will it be before the dumbasses who decided they would save millions of dollars by eliminating service in our small towns are going to realize that instead of saving money, the money just went from Postmasters in lower levels to PSEs/clerks/supervisors/higher level Postmaster positions. And those non-savings came at a high cost of customer alientation? They don’t even read their own labor agreements before they send the cart out while the horse is still tied in the barn. In addition there will be more money coming for clerks. PAY ATTENTION APWU EMPLOYEES: They have instructed Postmasters they will NOT have a backup in RMPO post offices. So they will not have anyone to cover in the event of sickness/ vacation/ etc. Now a Postmaster will be doing craft work when they either cover the RMPO vacancy themselves or do craft work in their own office when they send their only clerk to the RMPO. And the new PSE will get a break in service every year. Who will cover the clerk hours then? And in some cases the idiots have chosen to give the yearly five day of the roll break two weeks before Christmas. Will the insanity ever end?

  • rtsutf

    AMEN!!! Well said! The PostPlan was undoubtedly the worst idea in postal history! NAPUS and the League failed their membership miserably! The cost of the PostPlan has exceeded the cost of business of pre-PostPlan, our own district level employee’s in charge of its implementation have expressed disgust at its results during WebEx conferences. But I’m sure someone in HQ got a big fat bonus and promotion for the idea!

  • Mailman030

    That limitation was only for EAS employees, not craft.

  • Zeus

    True, but they are only protected through the current contract.