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Union News Express 2017-04
Posted On: May 31, 2017

Why Can’t I get my Mail During the Day?

by Ron Malunat, Administrative Aide

How would you like to have a business and not get your mail until after you close?  How about a kid expecting a birthday present from Grandma?  How about an elderly or disabled person wanting to get their mail before dark because they don’t want to walk to their cluster box at night?  How about if you just want your mail during the day like most people?

I’m going to make this short and sweet and to the point.  Despite numerous changes for the Western Area Vice President, GMF Plant Manager, Lead MDO’s, District Manager and changes to employees Scheduled Days Off and Begin Tours, it’s worse than ever.  Mail is late most of the time.  Carriers stand around and are out after dark.  Our employee's moral and customer service is as bad as I have ever seen it?  I just want to say one more thing. If the mail is not getting out on time, why in the hell would you reduce the workforce at the plant?  Stupid is as stupid does.

Grievances at Stations

Let me tell you an easy way to make a statement on understaffing and get free money at the same time.  File grievances on supervisors or carriers doing craft work.  Some stations have literally made thousands of dollars for free because management can’t get the mail up with this understaffing.  Another way to get free money and force management to use full time regulars is as follows.  No PSE can work over eight hours in a day before available OTDL volunteers are maxed out first.

Kindness

by Monica Lipscomb, Assistant Clerk Craft Director

It’s been roughly a year since I’ve been representing stations.  Most of the issues out there are the same as everywhere else, with the exception of one thing, closeness.  The people at the stations form a kind of kinship that is unique to them alone.  When one person has an illness and calls in everyone must pull together and cover the void.  What happens when you don’t care for your coworkers? You’ve been at odds for months and can barely tolerate each other, or management favors one person over the other. This seems to be a common theme at the stations. The workday is painful and drags on.  What I propose is that we all try to practice the art of kindness. Yeah, yeah, yeah it’s easier said than done.  It is difficult to do and perhaps the most difficult thing that I will ever suggest to you.  We must start somewhere.  Chances are that your coworkers aren’t going anywhere, and depending on your bid, neither are you.  Ever try bidding away from a supervisor you didn’t like?  Usually fate brings you back together again eventually.  The outside world around us is fraught with crazy.  Things are far beyond our control; politics for example, it dominates the headlines, North Korea, Russia, global warming and the economy.  Going to work is almost a relief some days; it puts you in the present.  You get to be in control of yourself and how you react is solely up to you.  Most of the time I can put on that brave face, and smile and laugh throughout the day.  Lately it has taken a whole lot of effort and I don’t succeed as much as I’d like, but it is always worth the effort.  At the stations that succeed, I notice that the employees are supportive of each other, they have good manners, and sometimes they have to apologize to one another to start over, but they try really hard to get along.  At the stations requiring more help, I notice that when people are not getting along, the entire station suffers.  People pick sides, and those feelings are felt by all.

“One should never mistake kindness for weakness, for it is the moments that we apply kindness that our strength is revealed.”  We got you.

Mail Is Late From The Plant - Just Delay It!

by Lorri Valdez, Steward at Capitol Hill Station

For those of you who came to the Union meeting on Saturday, you heard some complaints from station people about delayed mail at stations.  The complaints were everything from mail getting to the stations late to First Class Mail being delayed until the next day.  Both of these have happened at my station.  First I want to say the Union has no control over this incompetence and bad customer service.

Having said that, I want to say I have been with the USPS for 30 years.  I have never seen this kind of horrible customer service.  All of these changes of managers are making it worse.  The incompetence by the higher ups is embarrassing.  My supervisors say that they have been told by these higher ups to deliver the mail the next day.  Absurd!!  If your station is doing this, you can contact the Office of the Inspector General website and start a complaint.  The website is USPSOIG.gov and click on "hot line" and then on the right it will say file on-line complaint or whistleblower.  Let's expose these incompetents.

MVS Update

by Robert Helmig, Director MVS Craft

Management in PVS continues to ignore meetings on Step 1 grievances and filling information requests.  I have initiated labor charges for failing to honor information  requests and lately, the NLRB has been holding the person who refuses to honor those requests personally responsible.  Time will tell how this will play out, but it still befuddles me how a supervisor can do this and not have any accountability applied to them.  Maybe a few dollars taken from their pay will get their attention.

Start writing up your air conditioning for your trucks now, if they are not working.  Per our contract, if the air conditioning is not working, that is a downable offense.  There was letter put out to the field about how the VMF is to repair them. I am in discussion over what immediately means with the VMF (I know, but hey what can I do), but let’s not wait till it’s 100 degrees to start writing them up.

Most, if not all of you, that were involved in the pay anomaly (36 of you) should be seeing some sort of movement.  It will take some time for the letters (step increases) to match the dollar amount and the back pay, but for some of you after over five years, we are starting to see movement and that tells me this will soon be corrected.  If you have any questions on what is going on, give me a call or get with your steward.

If you are instructed to leave mail at a station, THS, United or wherever, please write a statement as such and get it to your steward or myself.  We need to stay on top of this very severe problem.

If you have questions, need to file a grievance, or whatever, get with your steward or contact me at 303-365-1524 ext. 15.

Driving A Vehicle for Postal Work

by David Suwalski, Maintenance Craft Director

How many times has Management asked you to drive your own vehicle from station to station?  Did you know that you are not required to drive your own vehicle while on company time from station to station?  The Post Office is required to provide or drive a vehicle for you.  I know a lot of people do and record their mileage to be paid by the Post Office.  The Post Office must pay your mileage from station to station.  One of the realities of this is that if you wreck your vehicle, do you think the Post Office is going to have your vehicle fixed on their dime?  Guess again? The answer is no.

According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement Pertaining to Privately Owned Vehicles: 

Memorandum of Understanding between the  United States Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO Re: Use of Privately Owned Vehicles

The parties agree that the following represents the policy of the U.S. Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union concerning the furnishing of privately owned vehicles (POV) by employees of the crafts represented by the APWU: No craft employee represented by the APWU may be coerced into furnishing a vehicle or carrying passengers without the employee’s consent. The use of a personal vehicle is the decision of the employee and it is not the intent of the parties to discourage such use of personal vehicles when transportation is needed from one postal facility to another or in the completion of the employee’s assignment. When an employee begins his/her work day at one postal unit and is provided transportation to another unit to complete his/her tour of duty, that employee will be provided transportation back to the unit where his/her tour began if transportation is needed. If the employee ends tour at the new location the return trip will not be on the clock but transportation will be provided promptly by management upon request. Date July 21, 1987 *

I personally would not drive my own vehicle.  We have a fleet of Postal vehicles for business related work.  Why would you want to chance messing your vehicle up or paying for gas?

If you choose to drive a company vehicle there are a few things that you must go through:

1.   Management must make sure your license is valid      

     and that your driving record is clean

2.   Four hour video on driving (DVD)

3.   Briefing with a D.S.I.

That is for all Postal Vehicles.  Whether you drive your vehicle or a Postal vehicle, the key thing is to be safe.  Know the rules and policies of the Postal Vehicle Programs.  Please feel free to contact your union.  We do have a MVS Craft Director that can steer you in the right direction.

Ready To Retire

by Kijana Myers, Director Human Relations

Hello once again!  For those who may have forgotten me, it's Kijana Myers, your Human Relations Director.  It's been a rough beginning of the year, but all that is behind me now so I can focus back on the duties at hand.  Before I go too far, I want to apologize to the members that needed assistance from me and I wasn't available, my apologies.

You may have seen fliers around but if you haven't, starting in March of this year, I am conducting a Retirement Seminar on a monthly basis.  This month the Seminar will be on Wednesday, May 24th, beginning at 8:30 AM and concluding at 5:00 PM.  I cover a wide variety of topics from when to retire to Medicare and everything in between.  It's not just for people ready to retire, but everyone no matter where you are in your career.  It's never too early to start planning for it.  If you plan on attending, I ask that you please call the hall and RSVP.  This way we will have enough material and refreshments for everyone.

Switching gears for OWCP and On-The-Job Injuries:  I am getting some calls on situations that are past the point of no return.  Members, I'm here for you!  Please, if you're not sure don't wait until after the 45 days of COP to get with me.  If I know early enough, we can correct and minimize the delay with OWCP. 

Signing off for now, your Director Human Relations Kijana Myers.  In the end be kind to one another; a smile goes a long way!

DID YOU KNOW?

by Lawanda Davis, Administrative Aide

LMOU Article 14 - OVERTIME - CLERK CRAFT only

Did you know that the LMOU states in Article 14 section I:  After the "Overtime Desired List" is posted, no employee will be permitted to add his or her name to the list except as specified in the following provisions below.  Employees may be permitted to take their names off the list, but having done so, must remain off the list for the remainder of the current quarter.  The employee must notify his or her supervisor in WRITING of their desire to be removed from the OTDL.  The effective date of the removal will be 24 hours after the supervisor is given written notice.

Did you know that the LMOU states in Article 14 section J:  An employee converting to regular, or an employee bidding into, or permanently assigned to, a new section shall be allowed 5 working days from the effective date of assignment to place his or her name on the list, regardless of whether the employee was on the current OTDL in his or her former unit.

The Union suggests that you put ALL requests in writing AND keep a copy of it.

/rb

opeiu #30

afl-cio


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