APWU Fights USPS Abuse of PSEs in Small Offices; Management Forces PSEs to ‘Voluntarily’ Take a Pay Cut

APWU Web News Article 033-2013, March 20 , 2013

apwulogo“The Postal Service is abusing Postal Support Employees in small offices and systematically violating contractual restrictions governing PSEs, Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk has declared.   “And we intend to do something about it.

“Locals and state organizations must take note of these violations and file grievances based on the specific circumstances in their area,” he said.

A PSE Compliance Report dated March 8, 2013 [PDF], demonstrates that management has assigned 1,373 Level 4 PSEs to 1,323 Level 18-and-above offices, even though the position description [PDF] stipulates that PSEs may be assigned to Level 15 and 16 Post Offices only.”

“We have received reports that district managers have threatened to terminate Level 6 PSEs if they do not ‘voluntarily’ reduce to Level 4 PSEs, so they won’t show up in PSE Compliance Reports,” Strunk said. “This is shameful.

“These unscrupulous deceptions cheat the PSEs of $2.26 for every hour they work,” Strunk said.

“They also mean that the PSEs are not being counted against the number of PSEs that are allowed to work in a given district.”

The parties agree that only Level 6 PSE Window Clerks or Mail Processing Clerks may work in post offices where career clerks are employed.  Nonetheless, the March 8 Complement Report [PDF] shows more than 100 post offices where Level 4 PSE Post Office Clerks are employed alongside career clerks, Strunk pointed out. (The PSEs in question have a Designated Activity Code of D/A 81-8.)

PSEs in Level 18-and-above offices who are being paid at the Level 4 rate should contact their steward or state representative to file a grievance if they haven’t already done so. Local and state officers who have questions about how to process these grievances should contact their Clerk Craft National Business Agent.

The 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement also prohibits the use of Postmaster Reliefs (PMRs) in Level 15, 16 and 18 post offices, but the Complement Report shows that as of March 8, 2013, the USPS admits that 3,478 PMRs are working in these offices [PDF]. “PMRs are prohibited from working in these offices,” Strunk reminds local and state officers.  “Every hour that they work deprives clerks of work opportunities,” he said.

“Locals and state organization should file grievances if PMRs are working in Level 15, 16 and 18 offices, if they haven’t already done so,” he said.

  • Chris

    I was a PMR for 7 years and a PTF Clerk for 17yrs and going on a Nifty for 2years. I am working in a level 21 office. Previously to the new contract I was working between 40-50 hrs a week. Since the conversion to Nifty I am only allowed to work 34hrs a week, 6 days per week. We have 6 PSE’s who have been averaging 40 hrs a week for the last year and a half. We have regulars who work 8 hours OT every week. We have 3 custodian vacancies. These are currently being filled by PSE’s. How fair is this after 19 dedicated years to the Postal Service. Feels like a slap in the face to me. Stuck between a rock and a hard place. Very stressful time!

    • Hooch

      Try converting to city carrier if you think your stressed. You get forced overtime everyday!

      • Mr.Mailman

        Clerks keep in mind who are in NTFT bids which are not full time cannot become carriers,which contractually has only full time bids for FTR’s. The NALC grieved that and won.

    • Disgruntled Clerk

      The blame for your situation goes to those idiots whose names you see above,Cliff Guffey and Rob Strunk who created the PSE and NTFT bids and those ignorant members who voted for the Guffey’s Big Giveaway in ’11.The 2010-2015 APWU National Agreement,the gift to management that keeps on giving.

  • Karen Harper

    I’m one of those PSEs working at both a level 18 & 20 office getting paid as a level 4 clerk. I filed the first grievance last October and again a few weeks ago. While I am glad the union is outraged by this, I wish they would force the issue and do something. PSEs hired a month ago are making more than I am. I am tired of it. I work 6 days a week.

  • Kimberly Outen

    I have recently been converted from a PMR to a PSE (this pay period) and have been working in several level 18 offices since November of 2014.