In those circumstances in which the opportunity to convert is declined, any PTFs or PSEs in the same installation/bid cluster will have the opportunity, by PTF installation seniority or PSE relative standing on the rolls, to elect to be converted to full-time/career. Following that step, the pecking order to fill the career or full-time vacancy is identified in the 3-29-23 MOU.
PTFs and PSEs within 50 miles of the office where the vacancy exists will be given the opportunity to accept the residual vacancy or PTF vacancy. These opportunities will be offered in the canvas posting in regular eReassign for preference of PTFs and PSEs within a 50-mile radius of the residual vacancy/PTF vacancy. The order of selection will be by PTF installation seniority and PSE relative standing on the rolls. If the position remains unfilled after this step, it will be filled by the external career hiring process. Based on the most recent report from the USPS on the Small Office Complement (3-24-23) – 5,175 PSEs are staffing the Level 4 RMPOs. PTFs are currently numbered at 306, although the Postal Service is required to maintain a number of at least 318 PTFs in the Level 4 RMPOs.
A resolution was introduced at the 2018 National APWU Convention that proposed to allow PSEs the opportunity to decline conversion to career, but that resolution was defeated by the delegates. A similar resolution was reintroduced at the 2022 National APWU Convention that originally asked for all PTFs and PSEs to have the right to decline a conversion opportunity. It appeared the resolution was headed for defeat; however, the resolution was amended to include only PTFs and PSEs in Level 4 RMPOs. Level 4 RMPOs are in small rural communities and are several miles from their Administrative Post Offices (APOs), even though they are considered a part of the same installation/bid cluster. POStPlan eventually allowed RMPOs to be as much as 50 miles from their APOs. There was heated debate relating to the resolution before it was passed, as amended, by the delegates. As a result, leaders at the national level were obliged to negotiate with the Postal Service over this issue, which led to the signing of the MOU.
The Clerk Craft officers at the headquarters level struggled with the concept of this resolution because we continue to support the creation of an all-career workforce. In order to protect our position of an all-career workforce, the parties added language in the MOU that requires the filling of the career position even if the end result is an external career hire.