The APWU strives to ensure USPS compliance with the Department of Transportation (DOT) rules and regulations as related to our Motor Vehicle Service Division members whose positions require a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). APWU and the USPS have resolved several disputes when the Postal Service was not following DOT CDL testing requirements, which resulted in Step 4 agreements.
A recent dispute was initiated when the APWU became aware that the Postal Service agent Concentra was requiring CDL Employees to sign a medical record release form for random mandatory DOT Drug and Alcohol (D&A) testing. Employees received a prompt that stated: “Your employer requests you register online for faster check-in at your upcoming visit,” followed by “I give Concentra authorization to release to my employer, insurance company, and their representatives... including any medical information, including any psychotherapy notes, psychiatric information, sexually transmitted diseases, alcohol and drug abuse and /or HIV/AIDS status, which is obtained as part of the evaluation and /or treatment for this work-related injury/illness or employment-related examination.”
Employees who refuse to sign a Release of Medical Information form are denied the opportunity to take the D&A test. Failure to take a scheduled D&A test is considered a positive test, which results in a positive test on the D&A Clearinghouse database, and suspended driving privileges.
Since 1995, the USPS has committed to follow DOT and Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) policies and regulations for their CDL employees including participating in the DOT Physical and D&A Testing program.
The issue is addressed in several Step 4 disputes regarding the CDL physical and DOT rules. This is the first dispute regarding the issue of the medical release of information for a D&A test. Prior disputes were with the Postal Service’s administration of DOT physical examinations. One issue addressed was whether postal employees would be compelled to sign forms authorizing the release of personal health records to the Postal Service. Both parties agreed that they would not. The agreement states:
“…The FMCSA does not require the medical examiner to provide a copy of the medical examination report to the employer, therefore employees will not be required to sign a medical release for medical records”...
There is no need for the contract clinic to require a medical release form when taking a Physical or D&A Test.
When the USPS makes the decision to contract out their services, they often lose control of their brand, and the contractor initiates new policies which often violate the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
A copy of the dispute and prior settlements are available at: apwu.org/HQTV20230046
PS Form 4533’s MVS Schedules
On Jan. 19, 2023 the APWU requested confirmation from postal HQ that there is no dispute between the parties that the PS Form 4533 (driver’s schedule) is still the appropriate MVS schedule to be used in PVS operations.
PS 4533, Section 213.1 of the PO 701 Fleet Management Handbook establishes the route of travel, and operating instructions for runs. Form 4533 lists whom to call in the event of a breakdown or accident (Exhibit 222.22).
The lack of PS 4533s causes operators to not have specific information necessary to safely and efficiently perform the schedule as intended.
If there is no dispute that the PS 4533 is still in use, we are requesting management instructions for the procedures to be sent to the field and the union. In various locations, local management is utilizing information in the scanners to substitute for the 4533s. We believe that the 4533s are a resourceful tool and any other aids should augment not replace this form.