USPS Withdraws Challenge, PSE Hours Count Toward Desirable Duty Assignments; Converted Unencumbered Regulars to be Assigned to Residual Vacancies
APWU Web News Article #047-14, March 10, 2014
The Postal Service has withdrawn a challenge to provisions in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that require management to post newly created duty assignments using all available work hours — including hours worked by Postal Support Employees, Clerk Craft officers report.
“I am happy to announce this dispute has been resolved,” said Assistant Clerk Director Lamont Brooks. “All available work hours, including those worked by PSEs, can be used to create desirable duty assignments.”
The Postal Service initiated a Step 4 Interpretive Review on Oct. 24, 2013, asserting that management was not required to cobble together hours worked by PSEs when creating new assignments.
As a result of the dispute, all grievances involving the use of PSE hours to create desirable duty assignments have been held in abeyance, pending settlement of the case. Those cases should now be heard in accordance with Article 15 of the contract.
The Feb. 25 settlement [PDF] says, “After further discussion the parties agree there is no interpretive issue of general application in this grievance and as such the Postal Service withdraws this case from Step 4. Article 37.3.A.1 obligates the Postal Service to make every effort to create desirable duty assignments from all available work hours for career employees to bid; however, this does not require the conversion of PSEs to career.”
Conversion of Unencumbered
The union and management settled another important national-level grievance on Feb. 25, stipulating that newly converted unencumbered regulars will be assigned to residual vacancies, in accordance with Article 37.4 of the contract.
The dispute arose when management converted part-time regular and part-time flexible employees to full time on Aug. 27, 2011, and placed them in work assignments of less than 40 hours per week.
The APWU asserted that the employees should have been assigned to available residual vacancies, positions that remained open at the completion of the voluntary bidding process. The settlement endorsed the union’s position.