Arbitrator Rules on NTFT Excessing

Arbitrator Dennis R. Nolan has ruled that APWU members holding Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) assignments may not be excessed into full-time positions in the Letter Carrier Craft if they don’t meet the definition of full-time employees specified in the Postal Service’s contract with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC).

In a decision [PDF] issued Feb. 16, Nolan ruled that an employee holding a 30-hour per week duty assignment in the Clerk Craft is not considered a full-time employee within the meaning of the NALC Collective Bargaining Agreement and therefore may not be excessed into a full-time Letter Carrier position withheld for excess full-time employees. Arbitrator Nolan concluded that the contract of the “gaining” union in excessing situations controls the determination of how the position may be filled.

Arbitrator Nolan also concluded that all employees occupying NTFT duty assignments are full-time employees under the APWU National Agreement. This means that any employee in a NTFT duty assignment who is identified as impacted for excessing by virtue of his or her seniority standing may only be excessed into a full-time career position.

The APWU intervened in the NALC arbitration case to protect the interests of APWU members and the integrity of APWU Collective Bargaining Agreement. Arbitrator Nolan did that by affirming that, “The APWU is indisputably correct that its agreements, and arbitral authority under them, treat NTFT clerks as full-time employees entitled to all the protections of that classification.” Furthermore, he wrote, “An employer cannot reasonably promise contradictory things to different unions… If the Postal Service does negotiate conflicting agreements, either intentionally or (more likely) by accident and oversight, it is stuck with the result.”

The National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) also intervened in the case, noting that the NPMHU National Agreement has the same definition of “full-time” as the NALC National Agreement.

APWU President Mark Dimondstein and Director of Industrial Relations Tony McKinnon are in discussions with our sister unions and the Postal Service on the implementation and effect of this award on involuntary reassignments.