APWU Warns Members: Beware of Risks in USPS Campaign for Voluntary Transfers to Letter Carrier

From the APWU:

The APWU is warning union members of risks associated with a management campaign to encourage career Clerk, Maintenance and Motor Vehicle Craft employees to volunteer for reassignments to the Letter Carrier Craft.

“Transferring to another craft is an important decision. I encourage union members to think long and hard before they make such a major change. And I urge employees to be aware of the risks as well as the benefits when management promotes the transfers as a great opportunity.”

— Cliff Guffey, President

In a letter dated Jan. 3, management notified the union that it will mail a letter to all career employees in the three APWU-represented crafts (and employees in the Mail Handler Craft) touting the benefits of voluntary reassignments to the Letter Carrier Craft.

But there are disadvantages to the voluntary reassignments — which management is not divulging to employees.


When employees transfer voluntarily to another craft, they begin a new period of seniority.

Limits on Excessing:

The APWU negotiated strict limits on excessing during bargaining over the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement. As a result, employees in crafts represented by the APWU cannot be excessed beyond 50 miles.

Our brothers and sisters in the National Association of Letter Carriers are currently bargaining with the Postal Service over the terms of their contract, but, as of now, the USPS is not bound by these limits for employees in the Letter Carrier Craft.

Protection Against Layoffs:

The 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the APWU and the USPS includes a Memorandum of Understanding that grants protection against layoffs to all regular workforce employees that were on the rolls as of Nov. 20, 2010. Our brothers and sisters in the Letter Carrier Craft do not currently enjoy this coverage; their protection against layoffs applies to Letter Carrier Craft employees who have accrued six years of “continuous service.”

The APWU asserts that once employees obtain protection against layoffs, they retain it. However, the USPS disagrees with the union’s position and contends that once employees transfer from a craft represented by the APWU to a craft represented by another union, they lose the protection against layoffs granted by the Memorandum of Understanding.

According to the Postal Service’s reasoning, employees with less than six years of continuous service who transfer to the Letter Carrier Craft could be subject to layoffs. The APWU has a pending national-level dispute challenging management’s interpretation. However, until the dispute is resolved, employees who voluntarily transfer (or are involuntarily reassigned by management) may be in jeopardy.

The loss of seniority and the potential for excessing and layoffs are not abstractions, the union points out. The Postal Service is planning workforce changes with the goal of eliminating tens of thousands of Letter Carrier positions.

“Transferring to another craft is an important decision,” said APWU President Cliff Guffey. “I encourage union members to think long and hard before they make such a major change. And I urge employees to be aware of the risks as well as the benefits when management promotes the transfers as a great opportunity.”

APWU Craft transfer risks

via APWU Warns Members: Beware of Risks in USPS Campaign for Voluntary Transfers to Letter Carrier.

  • larry

    maybe the APWU sjhould have thought about NTFR positions. The po is abolishing almost all cerlk bids and reposting them as NTFR bids.
    The union did not see this coming. What a joke.
    Now they tell us not to take carrier jobs.
    the union should tell you not to take carrier jobs because then most clerks would Quit if they had to do what a letter carrier does.
    being a carrier is so much harder than what we do, you would be nuts to take the job. But the union should think before it advises us on what to do. Maybe they should have thought about how the Po would abolish bids and then repost these crappy NTFR positions

  • Hmmm

    The USPS will arrange to excess as many employees as possible to the exact 50 mile limit. If they have to pay you anyway they may as well make it as miserable as possible. And nothing says that like a 100 mile commute round trip daily. Some won’t be able to last under that strain either so it appears to be a rock and hard place set up.

  • larry

    the 50 mile excessing limit the union speaks of is a LIE. IF their is no job within 50 miles then the USPS and the union will sit down and come up with an answer.
    You would be a fool if you thought that the union would not go along with 100 miles if there were no jobs within 50.

    The same way the usps is abolishing bids for regular clerks and setting up these ntft bids where you can work 12 hours in a day without ot and then work 4 hours the next day.. This union is not too swift, I mean look at this crappy contract they told the members to support

  • David

    We are experiencing strange days, indeed! When I hired in at the Postal Service seventeen years ago as a letter carrier, I never envisioned then how disposable we would become. It’s disconcerting to clock in everyday realizing that my employer really doesn’t want me around anymore! Even the Supervisors I work under are under no illusions that their jobs are secure. Are we going the way of the railroad and the telegraph — quaint relics of a bygone era?

  • Scout

    Thanks for the warning APWU, now how about going to bat for the clerks that are being abused every day.Fight for our jobs that they are abolishing left and right.If you had done your job for your clerks they would not be thinking about becoming a carrier but the clerk job is becoming pure slavery and the APWU is doing nothing but talk talk talk, we need action.Come on fight for the jobs we are losing, us due paying clerks are sick of the union not keeping the promise of fighting for more clerk jobs,stop coming up with stupid names for crap clerk jobs,the window clerks are no friend to the APWU.We want more then one window clerk up at our windows, we want jobs filled when people retire.Listen to us or the APWU will lose more money as clerks start to pull out of a union that does nothing for them. WAKE UP APWU!

  • unforgiven

    One problem w/the loss of seniority, that’s the fault of the unions, not the USPS. So anybody who tries to better himself, geographically, career wise, or health wise is screwed by the seniority rules negotiated and insisted upon by the unions. A good employee with 20 years in service can hold a craft job w/less than 2 years seniority, thanks to the unions. Yet if that same employee transfers to a DOD government job, he’d get his entire 20 years of seniority. If the unions really gave a damn about the employees, that’d put an end to the current seniority rules and do what’s truly right, universal seniority based your original hire date. But how would they pander to the locals if they did that?

  • M. Jamison

    At some point all the various employee associations including the unions and the management associations better figure out that their future is better if they are unified. At this point each group is trying to make the best deal possible for the people they represent. While that’s understandable, it also works to HQ’s advantage as they divide and conquer and pit the various groups against each other.
    The lack of an organized front by employees is allowing senior management to cut the post office to shreds. The goal should be saving good postal jobs – period.

  • dumbugga

    What a bunch of cry babies!