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Clerk Craft Information
Jun 03, 2020

POStPlan PMR/PSE 818 Violation

Remedy Payments Scheduled for June 12, 2020


Lamont Brooks

June 1, 2020 



(This article first appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

The first-round payments for the POStPlan PMR/PSE Usage Remedy have been scheduled to be paid on Pay Period 12-2020 (paycheck dated June 12, 2020). The remedy amounts as identified by the APWU will be included on current employee paychecks. Those individuals who are no longer working for the Postal Service will have a check mailed to the last office of record. The remedy will be identified on the paystub as adjustment/reason code 40/36.

To determine if you are eligible for payment, click here.

The eligible employees were either PSEs or PTF clerks (over 9000) in the level 4 and 6 RMPO offices and/or all career clerks in level-18 offices (over 100) from PP 02- FY2015 - PP 15-FY2017.

The Clerk Craft reached a $49.9 million dollar settlement with the USPS on POStPlan staffing violations. The monetary settlement follows a ruling by Arbitrator Stephen Goldberg that the Postal Service violated Arbitrator Goldberg’s previous Sept. 4, 2014 award and a subsequent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dated Sept. 22, 2014.

The dispute was initiated after the Postal Service admittedly failed to honor their agreement that after December 22, 2014, the ‘POStPlan’ Remotely-Managed Post Offices (RMPOs) open 4 or 6 hours a day would be staffed with bargaining unit clerks, and Level 18 offices would be staffed with career employees. Long after the agreement, Postmaster Reliefs (PMRs) were still working in 4-hour or 6-hour RMPOs across the country and Level 18 offices reported still using PSEs instead of career employees.

New Contract – New Q&As – MOU Filling Clerk Craft Residuals
APWU & USPS Questions and Answers Explaining The Mutual Understanding Of The 2018-2021 Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) Re: Filling Clerk Craft Residual Vacancies

With the continuation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Filling Clerk Craft Residuals in the 2018 - 2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the Clerk Craft released a joint Q&A, to provide a more detailed clarification of the steps and procedures for PSE conversions and career transfers into Clerk Craft residual vacancies.

This joint document provides clarification on several issues that have remained concerns for APWU Clerk Craft employees – career and noncareer. Some of the issues addressed are:

Employee eligibility

The number of times needed to apply for a specific post office

How the ratios are applied in blocks of four or six, depending on office size

No make-up transfer opportunities within the block of four or six ratios

PTF retreat rights

Filling PTF vacancies

Dual deferment periods for SSDAs

Controlling language: Filling Residual Vacancies – Clerk Craft MOU vs Article 37.5.D

PSE conversions with the 2.5 years in 125 or more work year offices per the Goldberg award, with conversions effective 5/9/20

1:4 and 1:6 ratios being reset with June 1, 2020 posting in regular eReassign

First action review with the 1:6 ratio offices

Seniority date based on a PTF/PSE canvass for PTF vacancies

A limitation on the number of canvasses an employee can accept


I want to commend and personally thank Assistant Director Lynn Pallas-Barber for all her efforts in the implementation of this MOU and to our newly elected Assistant Director Sam Lisenbe for his valuable assistance and input. I would be remiss if I did not thank our NBAs for their input and guidance over the years on issues related to this MOU. I want to thank former Clerk Craft Director Clint Burelson, who relentlessly pushed for clear ratio language. Last, but not least, I want to thank APWU President Mark Dimondstein and Director of Industrial Relations Vance Zimmerman.

Jan 29, 2020

Conversation with the Clerk Membership: Accountability

Lamont Brooks

January 23, 2020

We all must hold each other accountable, and that includes you, the members on the floor. You are the foundation and the lifeline of the APWU. It is important that every member represents the Postal Service in a manner that will sustain the agency and the union. We must strive to be the best worker we can be and to provide the best customer service we can provide. We have an obligation to do our part as well as an obligation to hold the Postal Service accountable for giving us the tools, resources, and proper staffing to do our job to provide outstanding service to our customers. A part of that process is for the Postal service to abide by the negotiated USPS/APWU Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

DBCS Staffing MOU

The parties agreed to the normal staffing of two Mail Processing Clerks on the DBCS at all times. The exceptions described in the JCIM Q&As must not be considered an alternative to the scheduling of two Mail Processing Clerks on the DBCS. During the exception periods described in the JCIM Q&As, the parties further agree the second Mail Processing Clerk may perform allied duties as assigned in the OCR-BCS-DBCS area.

This settlement agreement addresses minimum staffing, and is not intended to impact those offices where there have been agreements and past practices involving more than two clerks per machine (due to unique rotations or other local factors).

Don’t get caught up in fool’s gold. The Postal Service would rather pay extra money to settle these violations in the short term, with the intention to justify the later abolishment of duty assignments and the eventual excessing of clerk employees with their ill-conceived and flawed F-1 Scheduler.

As members, you can do your part to protect your interests by insisting on the minimum staffing of two employees on a machine, by filing grievances when they fail to properly staff the machines. These monetary settlements will not sustain you and your job security. The APWU national union and NBAs will do our part to fight for proper machine staffing and your job protection.

Supervisors Performing Clerk Bargaining Unit Work

Everyone has a part in protecting bargaining unit work. We can’t allow supervisors to perform work that is rightfully yours. Most of the work that is being performed on the Advanced Computing Environment (ACE) computers is not managerial or supervisory work. Letter carriers deliver and collect mail. Under the many Clerk Work MOUs and Jobs MOUs dating back to the 2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement, this work should have been returned to the clerk craft or reassigned to the clerk craft.

It is this work that will allow you to gain sufficient weekly hours to be converted from a PTF clerk to a full-time clerk. A PTF clerk in a small office is only guaranteed two (2) hours of work per pay period. A full-time clerk in a NTFT duty assignment is guaranteed thirty (30) hours per week and sixty (60) hours per pay period. Postmasters in Level-18 offices are violating the 15-hour weekly limitation by underreporting hours and clerks are not notifying their union. This is falsification. Please reach out to your local union by providing them with statements and documentation to determine whether your local can file grievances to protect your work and job.

The Clerk Division will be sending out quarterly updates to the APWU local/state unions starting in 2020.

Jan 14, 2020

Negotiation/Arbitration with the USPS

November 19, 2019

(This article first appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) â€‹

Most postal workers would be surprised to learn that during negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the top management officials did not meet with the union to discuss and resolve issues to secure a new CBA. However, management did come to interest arbitration to tell the Arbitrators what they “need” from a new CBA.

Testimony of COO Dave Williams

Chief Operating Officer (COO) David Williams, head of postal operations and second in command to the Postmaster General, bashed postal workers from every craft and utilized vague old corporate code words to indicate postal workers should be paid less and management should have more power to do whatever they want. Williams used the word 'flexibility' and its variations approximately 56 times during his testimony. He utilized companion corporate words 'agile' 11 times and 'nimble' seven times. Williams openly talked about replacing workers with automation and technology, including utilizing a fake “avatar” instead of a real person at post offices.

The USPS used a worsening financial condition to argue for lower wages and greater management control. Although management touched on it slightly, the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) changes, pushed by privatizers and the large mailers, implemented an unreasonably aggressive prefunding of retiree health care and the crippling cap on postage increases that put the USPS in this financial situation. The PAEA also stated the USPS should not offer logical expanded services like postal banking, which has provided much revenue for postal services in other countries and would help Americans keep more income as opposed to turning it over to corporations that charge outrageous sums for basic financial services.

The Revolving Door

COO Williams’ testimony sparked a reminder of the revolving door between the large mailers and the top managers of the USPS. Williams mentioned that the Postal Service was investing in automated guided vehicles to replace what are commonly referred to as “tuggers.” Williams did not mention that the USPS contracted with the Seegrid Corporation for those tuggers, and that former PMG Patrick Donahoe was on their Board. Also, former top postal managers occupy the top positions in influential large mailer business associations that pushed the PAEA and continue to push for reducing employee numbers and wages.

Williams’s performance as COO and his testimony at the interest arbitration session demonstrate to the large mailers that he is worthy of their consideration to the vacant PMG position and/or could follow similar top management officials into lucrative positions working/consulting for the large mailers.


Despite the deck seemingly stacked against us, there are plenty of reasons for hope. Poll after poll shows that the American people overwhelmingly think highly of and support the Postal Service. Millions of workers would like the opportunity for living wage postal jobs in their community. We have in our history the Great Postal Strike of 1970, along with the Sears and Staples boycott victories. I am hopeful because it really should be an easy fix.

Imagine you are observing an island with 100 people where one person lives in luxury, owns all the land and controls all the resources. He might have 19 people that he pays a bit better than the rest to try to control the 80 employees/ peasants. How long should it take for those 80 people to change the system over to a fair system?

How does the vast majority of people allow a few people to dominate them? What is needed to be done to change things for the better?

Answer these questions, and the people on the island can create a truly democratic system. Answer these questions, and postal workers can create a better Postal Service that serves our communities while providing good, meaningful work and wages and benefits that result in a better life for postal workers and their families.

May 23, 2019

Clerk Craft Updates

(This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Clerk Division Director Clint Burelson 

National Grievances

As a result of the Clerk Craft’s win in the Sales Retention Team dispute, the USPS recently sent checks to eligible employees as part of the $36 million remedy for the USPS violations when they failed to post new duty assignments in the sites with Sales Retention Teams. The Clerk Craft’s win of $49.9 million in the Postmaster Relief (PMR) dispute should be coming out to eligible employees later this year. Part of the delay in paying employees is getting accurate information from the Postal Service.

Part-Time Flexible (PTF) and Postal Support Employee (PSE) Conversions

Given USPS’s current lack of excessing plans, which could change in the near future, now is the time to convert PTFs to regular and PSEs to career. It is difficult to convert once excessing and the withholding of jobs occurs.

Notably, the USPS asked us at the national level to convert PSEs to unassigned/unencumbered without any residual vacancies for much of last year. Despite some concerns, we support converting PSEs as fast as possible. Over 1,000 PSEs have been converted to career in this way.

Trump Task Force

The Clerk Craft, and all of the APWU, is under attack in the Trump Task Force report released on Dec. 4, 2018. The Trump Administration paid the Mitre Corporation $1.6 million for the report, which relies upon, and largely supports, the interest of the large mailers. One of their first steps is to “redefine” the universal service obligation (USO) in order to reduce service. Somewhat surprisingly, the report acknowledges the role of the large mailers in allowing slower delivery:

The Task Force’s outreach with major mailers revealed that geographic coverage, predictability on timing of delivery, and six-day delivery are more important than the speed of delivery. Mailers can, in many cases, adjust drop-off dates to accommodate slower or faster delivery.

Here are the broad recommendations of the Trump Task Force in two sentences:

The Task Force believes that the USPS must operate in a more cost-efficient manner by exercising discretion to lower service standards and to increase the use of third parties through additional work sharing and the use of third party processing and logistics providers. In addition, as postal employees are part of the U.S. federal civil service, their wages and benefits should be aligned to comparable U.S. federal employee groups, including aligning their ability to collectively bargain for wages and benefits with other federal employees.

The Task Force recommends reducing service to the public, increasing discounts/contracting out/privatization, and dismantling the power of postal worker organizations. The Postal Service has already been doing this, but there is a provision in the report that takes the recommended privatization a step further:

The Task Force recommends that the USPS explore franchising the mailbox as a means of generating revenue. This could be done by retaining the mailbox monopoly and allowing regulated access, for a fee, to certified private companies. These “franchisees” would be granted access to the mailbox for the delivery of mail and small parcels.

This would open the mailbox for anyone to deliver for a fee. If implemented, this would be a gift to FedEx, UPS, and Amazon. Mailbox franchising, like the postage discounts to large mailers, would be another way to privatize operations without transferring ownership to another entity.

Final Words

It is not surprising that the richest .01 percent of the population want to use their power to benefit themselves. What is surprising is that the 99.9 percent of us allow the .01 percent to control the USPS and our society. Show that you are not going to take it anymore by showing up for union meetings, becoming an active union member, an active citizen, and otherwise fight today for a better tomorrow.

Mar 04, 2019


RI-399 Monetary Settlement Distribution


03/02/2019 - As previously reported, in 2018 the APWU, the National Postal Mail Handlers’ Union (NPMHU), and the USPS reached a tripartite agreement updating the RI-399 work jurisdiction process. As part of the agreement on the update to the RI-399 process, all pending RI-399 grievances filed prior to September 1, 2017, were administratively closed with some limited exceptions.

The Postal Service agreed that they would pay $14.5 million to each union in consideration of the withdrawal of national level disputes. The settlement agreement calls for the unions to each make their own determination on how this money would be distributed.

After consultation, much discussion, and agreement with the Clerk Craft Director, the APWU has decided that the money will be distributed in equal amounts to clerk craft employees who fall into the following two categories:

  1. All career clerk craft employees who were on the rolls as of September 1, 2017, in postal installations that employ both clerk craft employees and mail handlers; and
  2. All PSE clerk craft employees who were on the rolls on September 1, 2017, in postal installations that employ both clerk craft employees and mail handlers and who are still on the rolls as of March 1, 2019.

The exact amount of money is yet to be determined as the APWU is still determining exactly who are entitled to payment. We currently estimate this number to be around 85,000 career and non-career clerks (including any eligible career employees who retired after September 1, 2017). The number of eligible clerks is nearly double the number of mail handlers who will receive payment. President Mark Dimondstein and Clerk Craft Director Clint Burelson released a memorandum to national, state, and local officers.

Updates will be provided as the process progresses.

Page Last Updated: Jun 03, 2020 (07:49:52)
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