by Mark Kirby, President
Now that the 2017 holiday peak season is over, what can we expect? If the last couple of years have been any indication of what’s to come, then you can probably expect more Excessing, abolishing and reversion of career jobs from all crafts. Expect that your hours will be changed several times until management figures out how to properly get the mail to our customers, or how to properly maintain the automated equipment that’s falling apart. If you work these machines, you know what I’m talking about.
Management is giving our work to subcontractors, other bargaining unit crafts or simply just doing the work themselves. This was so blatantly apparent during the last couple of months. We grieve all these actions and win most of them, but what does management end up doing? They are paying the bargaining unit employees extra money for their lack of not knowing what they are doing, and/or revert more jobs in almost every section in mail processing and stations, which are already understaffed throughout the Denver Metro area.
Expect more harassment and abusive treatment from management. I can’t believe the double standards when it comes to dignity and respect. Management believes that they can verbally assault you, physically touch you or just flat out harass and lie to you and I and nothing ever seems to happen to them. Yet if a bargaining unit employee sneezes wrong, they get emergency placed! Please write statements when any of this happens to you and provide them to your union so we can go after these rouge supervisors. I have been in contact with the national APWU and there is a plan that they are working on to correct this abusive behavior.
Management changed the hours of Automation Clerks back in November and promised me several times that the employees would receive out of schedule premium, and to this day I don’t believe anyone has been properly paid for management changing your hours. Please provide a statement to your union steward so we can document that management is not bargaining in good faith. Clerks are working by themselves in automation when two people are required and then they ask why is this machine not running mail? The clerk working alone will get an additional 50 percent premium if they write a statement and provide it to the union for us to grieve.
Maintenance work is being contracted out while we have qualified personnel to perform the work and what ends up happening? Again, postal management ends up paying double, paying the contractor and then paying our Maintenance Craft employees an extra 50 percent more because we grieve the fact that the work should have been done in house.
These are just a few examples of the struggles that management does not want to deal with but I guarantee you your union is up for the battle!!
by Monica Lipscomb, Asst. Director Clerk Craft
It's been a month and I am happy to report, we survived another Christmas! Even though the USPS knows it's coming, it always feels like the first time. Nothing should surprise me, but this season left me shocked and amazed.
A few things stood out: There was a Christmas Hub; it was a secret location. There were NO sign-up sheets to volunteer to work at the hub. Management DID take the materials from the GMF Spyder to the hub, racks were gone and so too were a lot of our PSE's from both the HTPS and the Spyder. Who knows how the place was run?
This was the first Christmas that we did NOT have the MPA processing parcels and you definitely felt the difference. There was no space in the plant. The GMF ran out of floor space when the SPSS and HTPS were installed. The amount of packages was staggering! Despite the vast increase to the population to our Colorado and the popularity of online shopping, the expected increase of parcels was a complete surprise to management.
The way that was handled was to panic and scream "ALL HANDS ON DECK", which had the administration building emptied out. All levels of management were called to the workroom floor; they were given blue tee-shirts with the motto, "POSTAL PRIDE" printed on them. I saw the District Manager stacking pallets and the Lead MDO pulling a pallet jack; another flustered manager mumbling "Where is the CTS?". It was a sight that I had never witnessed before and never thought I would ever see. Everyone was talking about it. It had a chilling effect on all of us. Demoralizing to all crafts, SMH (shaking my head).
The stations experienced management throwing parcels and spreading mail in the wee hours of the morning, leaving when finished and returning again for the station opening and the carriers hitting the street. Station management came to the plant daily to pick up their Express mail. They parked amongst the big rigs by the docks. Turning the paddock area into a parking lot.
For me, management's shining moment was to mandate EVERYONE in the plant for Christmas day, Monday the 25th. If this day was your holiday, you were mandated. Tuesday was a normal delivery day after all...REALLY? thank you for your hard work; forget your XMAS!!! The weirdness is that delivery standards don't exist anymore. To my knowledge the service has not cared about standards for a few years. So you mail something in Denver to Ft. Collins, it should be there in one day, but, there is no standard, it gets there in three to four days. No worries.
Honestly, if the available mail was processed on Saturday and Sunday and sat on the docks ready to go to the stations, it would have been fine. What am I missing? How can we think so differently? Oh and one more thing; if you run out of TAPE, go to the store and get some!!!! Our people had to use masking tape on the cages of the mail they worked. Masking tape does not stick. The placards flew off the cages during transport; all the work reduced to garbage because we didn't have tape.
We shouldn't be surprised anymore, but we are. Keep those statements coming; we are continuing to win grievances.
Shoving Incident at Westminster "Follow-Up"
by Joe Quintana, Coordinator
As most of you are aware, there was an incident in mid October 2017 in which a clerk was physically "shoved" by a supervisor, Marla Bennett, who admitted to doing so.
The investigation by the Postal Service was done approximately two weeks later; now it's the end of December and NOTHING has been done to this incompetent, vile, malicious supervisor Marla Bennett. I have repeatedly requested proof of any discipline issued to this supervisor, and have been given every excuse imaginable, from the just as incompetent OIC Robin Terneus. She too has no business being in her position since she apparently has no problem with this supervisor who constantly berates the respective craft employees at Westminster, sometimes in view of customers.
Since a vast majority of MO have occurred with employees of color, one can only question whether this imbecile is, in fact, racist In fact, this was a question asked of me by the person sent by the USPS to investigate this incident.
We all know that had a craft employee shoved a supervisor, he/she would have been immediately emergency placed and still waiting to get back to work.
The joint statement pertaining to Violence In The Workplace was intended to apply to ALL employees of the USPS period! Rest assured, this union will continue to monitor both the OIC at Westminster and her little henchman Marla Bennett and will act again should these incidents continue.
by Robert Helmig, Director MVS Craft
I hope each and every one of you had a great holiday spent with family and friends.
Here are some updates of what I have been working on:
· I have settled the Christmas hub grievance for 2017. Everyone on the OTDL will get paid. I am working on who gets paid what.
· On the grievance for not bidding in October, I had a verbal agreement to settle it, only to have that agreement withdrawn because our transportation manager doesn’t understand how our contract works. So, I will be appealing it to step 3 as soon as I get a denial.
· I had labor board charges filed against Moreno for failure to bargain in good faith and failure to provide information the union requested regarding the Aurora’s and Arvada’s. The labor board has denied my motion and the union is considering either appealing it to the next step with the labor board or filing charges in district court. I am in contact with a labor attorney and all options are being considered. This union will not stop fighting for the Aurora’s and Arvada’s.
· This local agreed to allow management to stop calling drivers at home for overtime. This DID NOT change the pecking order on how overtime is called. It is, has been and always will be by seniority. Management hosed themselves by wanting to get out of this agreement because they still must work drivers by seniority for overtime and if they can’t call you at home, they are going to have to figure out other ways to call overtime, like scheduling overtime in advance. I know that when a driver or dispatcher calls in, that it will be difficult to call the correct person for overtime, but none the less, if that person who should have been scheduled doesn’t work overtime, then it’s a violation and a grievance.
I have been selected to be an arbitration advocate by our national union. I look forward to getting into doing arbitrations and getting our back log of grievances heard. I also have been selected by our national union to serve on the MVS Jobs MOU committee. I am humbled and honored to have been selected and will help our craft locally or nationally in whatever our national officers need me to do.
As always, if you feel you have a grievance or have any questions, please contact your steward or me.
Here is Your Express Mail Said the Custodian
by David Suwalski, Director Maintenance Craft
About a week ago I was working my bid (yes, the Craft Director does work lol) and I had to go to the Golden Post Office to make a bunch of snorkels for collection boxes. (We must build our own snorkels for the collection boxes because management got rid of mail box techs. Even though we are on a National Program to replace bad Mailboxes, management felt it was not needed, go figure). I stopped in to see the custodian to find out which boxes where bad and which ones I could take back to GMF to have replaced. I looked everywhere for the custodian before finally asking a Supervisor where she was. His reply was, “I have her delivering Express Mail”. I was surprised to hear this and then he stated, after realizing who I was, that “anyone can deliver Express Mail”, which he knows he is right about. I then asked him did you pay her higher level? He stated “no, I do not have to. Anyone can deliver Express Mail” WRONG!
Article 25-Higher Level Assignments
Section 2 Higher Level Pay.
An employee who is detailed to higher level work shall be paid at the higher level for the time spent on such job. An employee’s higher-level rate shall be determined as if promoted to the position. An employee temporarily assigned or detailed to a lower level position shall be paid at the employee’s own rate.
After explaining this to the supervisor he continued to argue, at which point I left and called the Postmaster, who was unaware that the custodian was out delivering Express Mail. He assured me that she would get higher level pay. After I left Golden I started to think of how many due processes that I have gone to based on custodians being accused of not following orders and not having the facilities cleaned. After interviewing the custodians, many of them were out delivering Express Mail. This concerned me so, me being me, I decided to inform Kevin Romero, District Manager, that management has custodians delivering Express Mail and not paying them the proper higher level. He stated, “Express Mail should be done on overtime, if custodians are needed to help out”. Custodians need to spend 7.5 hours doing their custodial bid. If the Postal stations where on compliance with the rule they would realize that form PS 4766 route sheet would keep the custodians busy for 7.5 hours of custodial work. I only know one station that uses the correct forms for custodial routes. The rest just make up work for the custodian to do, often leaving the custodian with hours of nothing to do. Management takes advantage of that and sends them out to deliver mail, then complains and writes them up because the station is not clean. Don’t get me wrong I am in favor of helping the Post Office where it is needed, but you will pay me appropriately for the work that is done. I just ask that those people on the OTDL list make sure you are getting the right pay. As for the Supervisor that refused to pay the Custodian higher level, I’ll fax you the grievance! Mr. Romero did agree that this work can be done on overtime as well as lock changes, which I see being done by custodians as well.
If anybody has any question or concerns with this issue, please call me at 303-365-1524 ext. 20.
Local and National Scholarships
by Rita Burns, Office Manager
With the new year upon us, it is time for scholarships! The DMAL sponsors the Moe Biller Scholarship. The Moe Biller Scholarship award will consist of up to five (5) cash awards in the amount of $500. Applications and instructions are available on our website at www.denverapwu.com or by calling the Union office at 303-365-1524 and ask for Rita (ext. 11) or Lindi (ext. 10). The deadline for the DMAL Moe Biller Scholarship is May 31st.
The National APWU sponsors the E. C. Hallbeck Scholarship and the Vocational Scholarship. The deadline for the APWU Scholarships is March 31st. These scholarship applications are available on our website at www.denverapwu.com.
by Rita Burns, Office Manager
Do you need a Notary? As a member of the Denver Metro Area Local of the American Postal Workers Union, this service is available to you free of charge! Lindi Reeder and myself are both Notaries and we are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. If you require our services, please call ahead so we can be ready for you! Thank you and Happy New Year to all DMAL members!!