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Mar 23, 2019
Denver Metro Area Local APWU 15677 E. 17th Ave. Aurora, CO 80011
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Apr 24, 2019
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May 10, 2019
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May 18, 2019
Maintenance Craft Information
Jun 07, 2018

MS-1 Settlement Reached

(This article first appeared in the May-June 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)

By Maintenance Craft Directors 

On Feb. 27, 2018, the USPS and the Maintenance Division reached a resolution regarding the MS-1 Handbook revisions that were remanded to the parties by Arbitrator Goldberg in case Q10T-4Q-C 14171644. The MS-1 Handbook is titled Operation and Maintenance of Real Property and it “prescribes the policies, procedures, and practices governing the operation and maintenance of USPS buildings and leased space.”

There are also other Maintenance Management Orders (MMOs) that can apply and the USPS intended to issue newer versions in place of some of the language from the MS-1. The principle purpose to Maintenance Craft employees was the procedures for the staffing of the “Building-side” occupational groups. These were primarily Building Equipment Mechanics (BEM), Level 9. Some of the identified work could also be attributed to Maintenance Mechanic, Level 7 (MM-7) employees. The method of staffing these positions and the duty assignments is similar to other staffing requirements in Maintenance, such as for custodial, mail processing or field maintenance.

First, an inventory of equipment and work tasks must occur. Then, using the MS-1, frequencies and work performance standards are applied. The result is an amount of work time needed to meet maintenance requirements, provide for safety and health of occupants, and protect the USPS investment in the property. The APWU’s views very seriously take umbrage with management’s budget driven approach, which results in the degrading of our work locations and detrimental impacts on employees and customers when building equipment is not maintained and cared for properly. We waged a years-long battle with the Postal Service on this issue and the February 2018 resolution provides completion on this round.

While the Arbitrator did make some definitive rulings in his Sept. 13, 2017 award, he also decreed that, “The issues of whether the revisions to the MS-1 dealing with (a) preventative maintenance time allowances and frequencies, and (b) space adjustments and miscellaneous work time allowances violated Article 19 are remanded to the parties.”

We had several meetings with the Postal Service on this remand and went through each and every line item in the various staffing forms utilized in the MS-1 – a tedious yet important task. The input from the BEM group of unionists we utilized leading up to, as well as their expert testimony at, the hearing was of great assistance.

In the end, we addressed the remanded items and the implementation of the new process. The February agreement provides that the staffing allowances and frequencies are agreed upon and will be incorporated into an updated MS-1 and applicable MMOs.

Critically, the settlement provides, “The APWU will be provided the final draft(s) for review and concurrence prior to publication.” Not only is this an important protection against any last second deviations, which would lead to another round of dispute processing, but it also ensures that the new procedures and staffing are NOT yet released.

We also went beyond the explicit remand in securing a one-year moratorium, stating that, “There will be a 1 (one) year transition period during which staffing adjustments which impact employees will not take place.” Not to be redundant but a provision also provides, “… any excessing of employees will not occur until at least 1 (one) year from the date of signing of this settlement” (emphasis added).

The final item addressed is the handling of pending grievances in the field. Grievances can be resolved or go forward, depending on the local factcircumstances.

A copy of this settlement is available on the Maintenance Craft page of the APWU website, apwu.org/departments-divisions/maintenance.

Please be sure to communicate with your local Maintenance representatives, as well as your National Business Agents. Looking forward to seeing many of you in Pittsburgh, PA at the National Convention.

Importantly, don’t forget to say “Hi” to your steward.


Feb 06, 2018

Maintenance Announces New Webinar Training:

Challenging TL-5 Staffing with Newly Developed TL-5 Program!

On Feb. 27, Maintenance Division Director Steven Raymer, Assistant Director (A) Idowu Balogun and Assistant Director (B) Terry B. Martinez will be presenting a webinar training on Challenging TL-5 Staffing with Newly Developed TL-5 Program. The training will be from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. EST. More details and registration can be found here. 


Feb 06, 2018

Arbitrator Goldberg Makes Ruling on MSC Staffing

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
11-2018

02/02/2018 - On January 31, Arbitrator Stephen Goldberg issued his opinion in case Q10T-4Q-C 13332310.

AWARD: The Postal Service did not violate MMO-057-12 on the May 9, 2012 Settlement Agreement by failing to count maintenance supervisors within the number of positions supported for determining Maintenance Support Clerk staffing.

The APWU presented the issue as:

Does the Postal Service violate the May 9, 2012 settlement agreement and MMO 057-12 by failing to count maintenance supervisors within the “number of positions supported” for determining Maintenance Support Clerk (MSC) staffing?

The award stunned the Maintenance Division Officers as the Arbitrator used inconsistent language to justify his opinion. In an admitted attempt at being tactful, Maintenance Director Raymer stated the Maintenance Officers were “extremely disappointed.”

The union’s case included the fact that MSCs do support maintenance supervisors:

Mr. Raymer’s testimony was corroborated by three different Processing and Distribution Centers MSCs – Alzena Johnson (Lafayette, LA), Jennifer Johnson-Heiss (Madison, WI), and Jaime Kleeberger (St. Pail, MN) – each of whom testified to the extensive support MSCs provide to maintenance supervisors. See page 6 of the award for details.

Despite the excellent testimony of the actual MSCs, the Arbitrator ignored that this was a significant portion of the duty assignment and entitled to be credited in properly determining the workload.

In the award, the Arbitrator credits the USPS testimony that they intended to exclude maintenance supervisors from the determination of the number of employees supported.

The fact is that the Postal Service did not exclude the supervisors in the final document, and even initially informed the APWU in their Article 19 noticeto the APWU that a new staffing calculation had been developed to correctly align the current workload to the number of authorized positions. These details may be found on page 9 of the award. 

This puts the matter back to square one. If the Postal Service did or did not want something included it was incumbent on the Postal Service to raise the matter, otherwise the normal and usual methods of contract interpretation should apply.

The Arbitrator - on pages 11 & 12 of the award - noted that in Article 1.2 the parties do specifically make an exclusion of supervisors when using the term “employees.” From this it is obvious that without such exclusion, the term “employees” does indeed include supervisors!

Inexplicably, the Arbitrator said otherwise.

Attachments
 PDF (344.63 KB)

Feb 06, 2018

Change is Continuous

(This article first appeared in the January-February 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Maintenance Craft Directors 

On Oct. 17, we attended a national Tech & Mech joint committee meeting with the USPS. APWU Maintenance, Clerk and MVS Officers, as well as representatives from the Mail Handlers were present. The USPS attendees included program managers over many of the new or changed equipment systems and, of course, labor relations.

The majority of this Tech & Mech agenda was presented by Assistant Director Terry B. Martinez during his report to the Maintenance Division General Session at the recent All-Craft Conference in Las Vegas. The Postal Service gave us the current status of their initiatives:

  • Automated Parcel & Bundle Sorter Infeed (APBS) – This included both the semi-automatic singulator and development of pallet box alternatives.
  • Automated Delivery Unit Sorter (ADUS) – as the name implies, this is another attempt to put sortation equipment in stations. Testing has been in the FDR station since 2015 and management wants to try it in four different locations. Installation and training should have already occurred (absent any sliding in the deployment) at Chelsea, MA; Paschal, PA; JCTM in DC; and Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
  • Advanced Letter Processing System (ALPS) – The Postal Service’s replacement for the Delivery Bar Code Sorter (DBCS). Testing is ongoing at Richmond, VA and Oklahoma City, OK.
  • Expanded Package Processing System (EPPS) – An update to Automated Package Processing System (APPS) being tested in Portland, OR. Local Maintenance is trained on this machine.
  • High Throughput Package Sorter (HTPS) – Testing in Denver, CO and Queens, NY. It is intended to leverage other parcel sorting designs and subsystems.
  • Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV) – A self-driven powered industrial vehicle being tested at Penwood Place P&DC (Warrendale, PA) and Queens P&DC, NY. This concept can be an impact to both tuggers and pallet moving equipment.
  • Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) – a new delivery vehicle.
  • High Density Staging System (HSFF) – This is an upgrade to the Flats Sequencing System (FSS) machines that replaces existing four feeders with two high speed feeders. Currently utilized at Dulles P&DC (installed 2013); Philadelphia P&DC (2014); and Royal Palm P&DC (2015). Maintenance personnel are trained on this modification.
  • SPSS Keying System (SPSS) – a keying station to be installed by Maintenance on console 1 at sites with a small package sorting system. It is intended to provide SPSS sites the ability to finalize No-Read mail at the SPSS.

If we are notified at the headquarters level of the Postal Service’s decision to contract this work out, we will challenge it and file a dispute.

As always, do not take as gospel any management assertion that there is a national contract between the USPS and a vendor to justify the contracting out of our work. Always proceed to file a local grievance with the facts for your specific circumstance. The Maintenance Division provides local officers and our National Business Agents with regular updates of subcontracting challenged under Article 32 at the headquarters level.

As always, please say “Hi” and “Happy New Year” to your friendly floor steward.


June 26, 2018 marks the official opening session for negotiations on our next Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Maintenance Division Officers are, once again, geared up for our struggle to improve the working lives of our membership. We are certainly up to whatever the Postal Service will throw at us.

As members of the APWU, your thoughts and input are always welcome. Please bear in mind that not every concern or idea ends up as an actual proposed change to the CBA. Sometimes, it is a matter of enforcing the existing language. In that regard, your input on what you believe we should strive to maintain is important.




Page Last Updated: Jun 07, 2018 (07:34:57)
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