Grievances Due June 5, If Necessary
A key feature of the Global Settlement Remedy Agreement, which was signed on Dec. 5, 2014, were provisions making it easier for union representatives to monitor when postmasters and supervisors perform bargaining unit work in excess of the hours allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The USPS recently provided the APWU with the first set of reports by postmasters and supervisors showing how many hours they worked. The reports, which are available to local and state presidents only, are posted in the Member’s Only section of the APWU website. Local and state presidents were previously notified of the reports and have been working hard to get employees paid.
The first reports date back to Dec. 6, 2014, the day after the settlement was signed. The USPS granted time-limit extensions for addressing the violations until June 5, 2015.
Locals may want to request extensions beyond this time frame, because the process is new and there is a lot of information to review.
The initial reports are large because they cover several weeks of violations, beginning with last December. Future reports will be smaller as they will typically cover violations for a four-week time period.
Given the large initial reports, we have prepared reports that show only the offices where management acknowledges that violations took place. This will make it easier to address self-reported violations quickly.
However, presidents are strongly encouraged to check all the reports because the information provided is self-reported by postmasters and supervisors and may not be accurate. Local and state presidents should request data to check the self-reported information with other material, such as POS reports.
A key area to check is whether postmasters and supervisors attempted to circumvent the agreement regarding counting their time on the window. Allhours that postmasters and supervisors in affected offices spent working alone is considered time spent staffing the window. When postmasters or supervisors work 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. The end-of –day report requires completion of a PS From 1412.
Sample forms are available only to local and state presidents in the Members’ Only section of the APWU website to assist presidents in determining payment to union members and resolving issues related to payments.
Most of these sample forms were quickly put together. Many thanks to Tampa Area NBA Pat Davis Weeks for providing a template for settlement agreements and to Montana State President Gary Phillippe for providing a sample GATS pending proof of payment form. We all benefit by sharing our work. We encourage union officers and members to tweak and improve upon the forms provided so far.
When postmasters or supervisors routinely violate the work-hour limits, it likely demonstrates that creation of Clerk Craft assignment is warranted. If locals are unable to secure an assignment or otherwise resolve such ongoing violations, they should seek assistance from their NBA who will contact the respective USPS Area Manager of Labor Relations to discuss the issue. If the parties are unable to resolve the issue at the area level, then it will be discussed by the parties at the national level.
The Global Settlement Remedy Agreement will save a lot of time handling violations of limits on bargaining unit work. However, there is still much work to do to make sure that a Clerk Craft employee is paid for each violation and that Clerk Craft assignments are created when there are repetitive violations.
Creating additional assignments will also provide better service to our communities and reduce stress to current workers who are short-staffed.