The APWU has made significant progress recently on revamping window training — a long-term union goal, Clerk Craft officers are reporting.
Last summer, after years of struggle, the USPS finally allowed the APWU to be involved in training — and even paid for the travel expenses of clerks who participated, they note.
The APWU team, which was selected by the union, included active and knowledgeable Sales and Service Associates and Lead Sales and Service Associates from around the country, who presented new ideas and concepts to improve training for retail clerks. This is an ongoing project. “We are committed to keeping the ‘boots on the ground’ concept alive as we to deal with the changing post office,” said Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk.
The APWU clerks participated in the pilot training programs in Philadelphia, Denver, Santa Clarita, CA, and Potomac, MD.
Under the new training concept, employees will receive nine hours of training by e-Learning, followed by 24 hours of classroom training. After the completion of the classroom training, they will have an opportunity to take a two-hour written test. After successful completion of the written test, participants will receive 40 hours of on-the-job (OJT) training.
9 Hours of e-Learning
24 Hours of Classroom Training
2-Hour Written Test
40 Hours of On-the-Job Training
So far, more than 85 percent of trainees who took part in the pilot training passed, far exceeding previous success rates.
The APWU and USPS interviewed new PSE clerks and experienced clerks to get their opinions of the testing and the reviews were extremely positive. “Based on the feedback we received, we are continuing to improve the program,” Strunk said.
The APWU suggested that trainers should reflect our diverse workforce. The parties are committed to achieving this goal, he reported.
Ad-Hoc Sales and Service Associate Training Classroom Instructor positions will be posted for volunteers. This represents a unique job opportunity for retail clerks. Successful applicants must have one year of continuous retail experience and hold a retail duty assignment at the time of consideration. The instructor must spend a minimum of 40 hours in their regular duty assignment every four months. They are paid at the PS-7 rate. Currently both standard training and the pilot training are being offered throughout the country until the APWU and the USPS are ready to offer the new training exclusively.
Special thanks to John Palmer of the Phoenix Metro Area Local and Mike Barrett of the Buffalo Local, and to the many other clerks and local officers that assisted in this endeavor.
Once it has been finalized, training material will be distributed to the field.
Please direct questions about this project to Assistant Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks, who has been assigned responsibility for implementing the program.