APWU Must Enforce Limits on Use of PSEs

APWU national and local officers must work together to step up enforcement of restrictions on the use of Postal Support Employees (PSEs), Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk said in a Sept. 14 memo.

Article 7.1.B.4 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement limits the number of PSEs in “Function 4” who work the window to:

  • 10 percent of the career retail clerks in Level 22-and-above installations whose duties include working the window, and;
  • 20 percent of the career retail clerks in Level 21-and-below installations whose duties include working the window

More than 300 offices violated limits on the use of PSEs according to an Aug. 24, 2012, PSE Compliance Report provided by the Postal Service, Strunk wrote. Article 7.7 requires the USPS to provide the APWU with a report every four weeks with the information the union needs to monitor compliance by craft, function, installation and district. The reports are posted on the APWU Web site.

Violations of district-level caps on the number of PSEs will be monitored at the national level, Clerk Craft officers say; however, “Grievances regarding violations of the Installation Window PSE Caps must be investigated, initiated, discussed (and hopefully resolved) at the local level.”

Many locals have done an outstanding job of monitoring compliance, Clerk Craft officers said; those that haven’t begun should get started right away.

In the memo, Strunk asks locals to advise their NBAs of the grievances that have been filed on PSE compliance, including the current status of the grievances and/or results. The NBAs will compile the data and submit reports to Clerk Division officers on a regular basis.

Even Higher?

The number of offices in violation may be even higher than USPS reports suggest, Strunk said, because the reports exclude PSEs who are working the window in Level 15 and Level 16 offices where there are no career clerks. These PSE Clerks are also frequently loaned to nearby offices, where they also should be counted but often are excluded from management records. Furthermore, Strunk added, the number of career clerks who work the window is frequently over-reported.

Strunk noted that a series of Questions and Answers agreed to by the union and management on Oct. 20, 2011, includes a proviso that prohibits management from adding window duties to assignments solely to circumvent restrictions on the use of PSEs.

“We must work together to enforce this provision of our Collective Bargaining Agreement,” Strunk said.