APWU: Motor Vehicle Service PSE Salary Exception Agreement Reached

03/23/2017On March 10, the Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Postal Service that remedies the situation where Motor Vehicle Service Postal Support Employees (PSE) who had been granted a salary exception were converted to career status within the same craft but to a lower level and received a starting salary rate in accordance with the June 6, 2014 MOU “Re: Resolution of Postal Support Employee (PSE) Salary Exception Issues,”  and its April 3, 2015 addendum. Continue reading

Deadline Nears for PSEs to Sign Up for Health Benefits

From the American Postal Workers Union:

06/20/2016Postal Support Employees (PSEs) represented by the APWU have until June 30, 2016, to enroll in health insurance through the USPS Health Benefits (USPSHB) Plan. Coverage will be effective on July 9, 2016.

Under the terms of an agreement between the APWU and management, the Postal Service will contribute at least $125 per pay period toward the cost of the insurance. “This agreement improves conditions for PSEs who need insurance during their first year of employment,” Dimondstein said. Prior to the agreement, which was announced in April, PSEs were eligible for health insurance under the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan only after they completed a 360-day appointment.

APWU President Mark Dimondstein is urging PSEs to explore the health insurance option, and he is asking local and state officers to help make sure PSEs know about it.

“This benefit applies to all PSEs, regardless of the number of hours they work,” Dimondstein pointed out. This is significant because the Affordable Care Act requires employers to cover only those workers who work a minimum of 30 hours per week.

After the first 360-day appointment, PSEs can switch to the APWU Consumer Driven Health Plan, where the Postal Service pays 75 percent of total premium costs for self-only, self-plus-one and self-and-family coverage.

To find out more, visit http://liteblue.usps.gov/benefits or call 1-877-477-3273 and select option 1; TTY 866-260-7507. To enroll by mail, complete the PostalEASE worksheet available on LiteBlue and mail it to: HRSSC Compensation/Benefits, PO Box 970400, Greensboro NC 27497-0400.

APWU Negotiates New Health Benefit for PSEs

Postal Support Employees (PSEs) will soon be able to sign up for health insurance during their first year of employment, President Mark Dimondstein has announced. Currently, PSEs can enroll only after they complete their first 360-day appointment.

Beginning with a Special Enrollment Period from May 16, 2016, to June 30, 2016, PSEs will be eligible to join the USPS Health Benefits (USPSHB) Plan. Coverage will be effective on July 9, 2016.

The Postal Service will contribute at least $125 per pay period toward the cost of the insurance.

“This benefit is a step forward, especially for those who need self-only coverage,” Dimondstein said. “This stop-gap measure will improve conditions for PSEs who need insurance for their first year.”

“This benefit applies to all PSEs, regardless of the number of hours they work,” Dimondstein pointed out. This is significant because the Affordable Care Act requires employers to cover only those workers who work a minimum of 30 hours per week.

After the first 360-day appointment, PSEs can switch to the APWU Consumer Driven Health Plan, where the Postal Service pays 75 percent of total premium costs for self-only, self-plus-one and self-and-family coverage.

To find out more, visit https://liteblue.usps.gov/benefits or call 1-877-477-3273 and select option 1; TTY 866-260-7507. To enroll by mail, complete the PostalEASE worksheet available on LiteBlue and mail it to: HRSSC Compensation/Benefits, PO Box 970400, Greensboro NC 27497-0400.

APWU, USPS Resolve Dispute Over PSE Transfers in MVS Craft

03/17/2016The APWU and USPS have signed an agreement that prohibits the transfer of Postal Support Employees (PSEs) between installations or districts in the Motor Vehicle Craft, MVS Director Michael Foster has announced.

“We discovered that the USPS was allowing PSEs to transfer in various parts of the country without negotiating with the union,” Foster explained. “This had the potential to cause many repercussions in the field, such as manipulating the salary structure of PSEs in an installation and impeding the transfer of career employees. We will continue to strive toward our goal of having all PSEs converted to career status instead of transferring from site to site,” he said.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on March 16.

Source: APWU, USPS Resolve Dispute Over PSE Transfers in MVS Craft

APWU: PSE Conversions Top 25,000

12/10/2015The APWU reached a major milestone in November: More than 25,000 Postal Support Employees (PSEs) – including some from every craft – have been converted to career over the last two years.

“This is a life-changing event for the workers who were converted and their families,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “It means more stability and greater financial security. It’s an outstanding example of the union at work.

“It’s also a great example of what we can accomplish when we work together,” he said. “Local and state leaders, National Business Agents, Regional Coordinators and Craft Directors and Assistant Directors all persevered to win these conversions.

“Of course, the PSEs themselves – and the former PSEs – played an important role,” Dimondstein added.

“Many spoke out about the need for conversions and got active in the union to make sure they happened.”

The involvement of a new generation of workers in union affairs is a great benefit to the APWU, and will be for years to come.

The majority of the conversions were the result of the Memorandum of Understanding on Filling of Residual Vacancies, which the APWU and the Postal Service signed in March 2014. A July 2014 Maintenance Craft settlement on custodial staffing, a September 2014 arbitration win on staffing “POStPlan” offices, and the “global settlement” that enforced limits on postmasters performing clerk craft work in small offices, were also essential to the PSE conversions.

Source: PSE Conversions Top 25,000! | APWU

Tennessee PSE gets probation for “borrowing” money from cash drawer

US-Department-Of-Justi_fmtMelanie Morrow, a Postal Support Employee at the Huntland, Tennessee post office, has admitted that she “kited” money orders from the office, selling the orders to customers, but keeping the procedds, which she said she intended to pay back. In return for her guilty plea, Morrow will be sentenced to two years probation, and restitution of the $1,543.73 she “borrowed”. Continue reading

Massachusetts PSE pleads guilty to mail theft

BOSTON – A former Hanover, Massachusetts postal employee pleaded guilty to mail theft charges today in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Amber Lopresti, 28, who resides inTaunton, pleaded guilty to embezzling the U.S. mail and stealing the contents of the U.S. mail while she was an employee of the United States Postal Service in Hanover.  U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr., scheduled sentencing for Sept. 24, 2015.

On Oct. 8, 2014, while working as a Post Office employee, Lopresti was observed on camera rifling through the mail, removing unopened letters and greeting cards, and placing them in her waistband.  When her shift was over, she left the post office and removed the letters from her waistband once she was in her vehicle.  She was stopped by police a short time later and the unopened letters and money were observed on her lap.  Lopresti admitted to law enforcement officers that she took money from one of the stolen letters.  She further admitted that in June 2014 she began stealing letters and contents from the letters from the Hanover Post Office, and had taken approximately $2,000 in cash, cards and scratch tickets.

The charging statutes provide a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.   Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Rafael Medina, Special Agent In Charge of the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Area Field Office; and Hanover Police Chief Walter Sweeney, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Sullivan Jacobus of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.

APWU: PSEs Should Beware of 'Voice of Employee' Surveys

apwulogo

APWU Web News Article #060-14, April 3, 2014

Postal Support Employees should beware of management’s latest ploy, union leaders are warning: Beginning in April, the Postal Service plans to ask non-career employees to take Voice of the Employee (VOE) surveys.

Management is after a lot more than meets the eye, according to APWU Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy. “What management won’t tell you is that historically the USPS has used the Voice of the Employee data against workers at the negotiating table,” she said. The surveys have been a point of contention between the USPS and APWU since 1998, when management first cited survey data during bargaining; the APWU National Executive Board responded by adopting a resolution opposing “the use of surveys, focus groups, polls, audits, as a means of interviewing employees and union officials to evaluate job-related and internal issues.” Continue reading

APWU: Maintenance Memo Outlines Steps for PSE Conversion to Career

APWU Web News Article #055-14, March 29, 2014

apwulogoA March 28 agreement with the USPS [PDF] outlines the procedure for the conversion of Maintenance Craft Postal Support Employees to career, Maintenance Craft Director Steve Raymer has announced. The Memorandum of Understanding is a follow-up to an agreement signed by President Mark Dimondstein on March 20 that outlines the procedure for filling residual vacancies in the Clerk, Motor Vehicle and Maintenance Crafts, which will lead to the conversion of PSEs.

“The opportunity to secure a career position is of critical importance to PSEs, who are always at risk of being released due to lack of work,” Raymer said. “I am pleased to report that we have reached an agreement that will give Maintenance Craft PSEs the opportunities and upward mobility they deserve.”

First 399 Clerk Craft PSEs to be Converted to Career Status

APWU News Bulletin 14-2013, Aug. 16, 2013 | PDF

apwulogoIn response to demands from the APWU, the Postal Service agreed on Aug. 14 to convert 399 Clerk Craft Postal Support Employees (PSEs) to career status. The conversions will be the first in mail processing.

The conversions will occur primarily in districts where the number of PSEs exceeds the 20 percent district-wide cap outlined in the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement, and will take place within 60 days of the signing of the agreement. For a list of locations, click here. [PDF]

“This is an important breakthrough in our fight to enforce the contract and ensure that PSEs have a genuine path to career employment,” said President Cliff Guffey. “After months of meetings, discussions, arguments and grievances, we have made progress.

“But this is just a first step,” Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk said. “Discussions will continue on several outstanding PSE issues, which we believe will result in many additional conversions.”

The settlement agreement [PDF] also stipulates that the union and management will explore ways to prevent the hiring of PSEs in excess of contractual limits.

In the meantime, Strunk notes that numerous installations are in violation of the installation-wide limits on the number of PSEs involved in retail and customer service operations.

Those violations must be monitored and addressed at the local level, he pointed out. “Locals should be diligent in reviewing PSE Compliance Reports and filing grievances where necessary,” Strunk said.

More than 575 Motor Vehicle Service Craft PSEs have already become career employees.

Discussions are continuing on the conversion of PSEs in the Maintenance Craft and on additional conversions in the Motor Vehicle Service Craft.