by Mark Kirby, President
Hello Union Members. Many of you have noticed some of the bid jobs that have been canceled or reverted in the last several DPM’s. This is because management is posting bid jobs improperly. Some examples of the errors on the bid jobs that are being posted incorrectly are:
Automation bid jobs that have Tour 2 hours listed, yet in other parts of the same posted bid job, Tour 3 Automation is listed as the section.
The Manual Flats Tour 2 bid job posted, but has Automation Tour 2 operations unit listed.
The CFS Lead Clerk bid job that has a qualification of one year of CFS experience, that qualification does not even exist in our contract.
The Spyder bid job that was posted with a section of SPSS section, the Spyder section is a section by itself just like the SPSS is a section by itself.
The HR Clerk bid job that was posted with no job slot comments, no section, just hours and days off.
How can anyone make an informed decision on what they are bidding on if the posting for the job is incorrect? Your union has spent countless hours trying to work with management to get these bids posted correctly and a lot of times they are working in good faith to correct these jobs hence why you see a lot of bid cancellations. Now there are jobs on the last DPM award notice that are being awarded even though management knows they are posted improperly. The union went to the Human Resource/Labor Relation Manager for assistance to get these jobs that were going to be awarded in error cancelled, and she agreed that something needed to be done prior to the awards being posted. The HR Manager tried to get the District Manager involved and all he said was “get with the Plant Manager”. She then tried to get the Plant Manager involved and like always he was too busy to meet with us and he told the HRE Manager to have the union get with the In-Plant Support Manager. The In-Plant Support Manager is the one who said that the bids are OK, and that the Clerks know what we mean when they have two different tours on one bid, qualifications that don’t exist, preventing Clerks to bid on a job knowing they do not have any qualifications listed or two different sections on one bid. To the Clerks that were awarded improper bid jobs, these bid jobs are being grieved to have these jobs reposted correctly for all Clerks to bid. The problem is that the Clerks that were awarded bids improperly will have the bids they vacated being posted for bid on the next DPM, which just creates havoc down the line. There are no games being played by your union, we just want the bids posted correctly so you, our members know what you’re getting into if you decide to make a life change and bid into a job you feel will work for you in the future.
Contractual Corner - Bereavement Leave
by Bobby Rollins, Executive Vice President
In recent months I have received numerous phone calls from members with questions relating to Bereavement Leave. How much time can I take off? Who is considered a “Family Member”? What type of leave can I use?
The 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement contains the following language in an MOU that explains the USPS and APWU’s rules and regulations for Bereavement Leave:
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE
AMERICAN POSTAL WORKERS UNION, AFL-CIO
Re: Bereavement Leave
APWU represented employees may use a total of up to three workdays of annual leave, sick leave or leave without pay, to make arrangements necessitated by the death of a family member or attend the funeral of a family member. Authorization of leave beyond three workdays is subject to the conditions and requirements of Article 10 of the National Agreement, Subsection 510 of the Employee and Labor Relations Manual and the applicable local memorandum of understanding provisions. A “Family member” is defined as a:
(a) Son or daughter- a biological or adopted child, stepchild, daughter-in-law or son-in-law;
(c) Parent or
(d) Sibling- brother, sister, brother-in-law or sister in-law; or
The in-laws referenced in this MOU applies to children, including adopted children, stepchildren, and spouses thereof, spouse and parents thereof; and brothers and sisters and spouses thereof.
Use of Sick Leave. For employees opting to use available sick leave, the leave will be charged to sick leave for dependent care, if eligible.
Documentation. Documentation evidencing the death of the employee’s family member is required only when the supervisor deems documentation desirable for the protection of the interest of the Postal Service.
by Robert Helmig, Director of Motor Vehicle Craft
As I prepare for my first arbitration in over 5 years, reading books and old cases that I have done, one thing that hits me that is so important is documentation. I can’t stress the importance of a statement, a doctor’s note, a verification code for calling in, and so on. Just because you say it happened, or I say it happened, doesn’t mean squat. I must prove it to the arbitrator. Testimony carries a lot of weight, but if that testimony is backed by a doctor’s note, or a confirmation number when you called in or whatever, even better. So, the next time your representative asks for a statement, write it up and give it to them.
I am aware of a pay problem for about 15 or so of the TTO’s and I have a few calls out to try and figure out what happened so I know how to get it fixed. As soon as I know that, I will let you all know.
We are stuck on the bids. Management is accusing the union of stalling. Here are the facts so you can decide for yourself. In August 2017 I sent an email to management requesting the once a year bids to be conducted and completed by October 2017. The Aurora’s and Arvada’s must be included in the bid package per the Step 2 Settlement. When management presented the bids to the union, we did not have 105 bids and the Aurora’s and Arvada’s were 6-hour bids with one day off. The union was adamant that this was an invalid bid package. We must have 105 bids plus the Aurora’s and Arvada’s must be 8 hours with two scheduled days off. MVS does not have NTFT (Non-Traditional Full Time Duty Assignment, 32-40 hour) bids. After many meetings, here we are, March 21, 2018 and not even close to a valid bid package. For the life of me I do not understand why we are even having this problem. Grievances have been filed.
I have made Jim Perry a Steward on Tour 3 for PVS at the GMF. Help me in thanking him for stepping up and volunteering. As always, if you have any questions please get with your steward.
Maintenance Bits and Pieces: Since When Did We Become Maids?
by David Suwalski, Director of Maintenance Craft
The other day I was in the Plant working my bid when I noticed that there was a washer and dryer in the custodial area. I found this to be puzzling because when I was a custodian my job description did not require me to do the laundry of the facility. Maybe this is an attempt by management to save money on the rags maintenance uses. Management has recently cut two more custodian bids saying we are over staffed which we all know we are not. If that was the case, then why are the custodians working six days? Now management adds laundry duty into the equation? Seeing how this is not part of the custodian job, why should the employees do it? If you are asked to do laundry please document the time and date and send me a witness statement so I can grieve it!
Recently, I have had some employees come to me about issues that were advised by other employees on things relating to the contract. Please contact a certified union steward or call me to get the truth on the issue at hand.
We will be having a Union General Membership Meeting on March 24, 2018 at 9:00 AM. Thank you to the Maintenance Members who frequently attend. A special thanks to Muriel Ponder and Judy Pemberton for always attending union meetings. Where are the rest of you?
I want to thank everyone that voted for me this last election, I feel we have made great strides in some areas. Even though I only received about a week worth of Craft Director training, I have learned a lot through my efforts and from the help of the current Executive Board Officers and Staff who have schooled me along the way. I plan on running again for Maintenance Craft Director. I really enjoy helping our Postal Employees to solve contractual issues and hear your concerns. Please call me if you have any issues. I just ask that you be patient because the process is long, yet the end can be bitter sweet. Thank you to all the Maintenance Employees for all that you do.
by Monica Lipscomb, Assistant Director of Clerk Craft
Have you heard? The Harris Park Post Office in Westminster was closed down on March 8, 2018 for safety concerns and an unexpected situation. On February 28, 2018, the union was notified that the roof at this station had been leaking, which in turn made the floor tiles buckle and crumble, leaving the original flooring to become exposed. The floor tile contains asbestos. The water that was dripping from the ceiling tiles also contains asbestos. The standing water inside this building created a foul stench and created a suspicion of black mold. The station had moved the carrier craft to the Westminster Main years ago, but there were still P.O. boxes, a passport window and clerks. This unexpected situation didn’t happen overnight. Years of neglect by a greedy slumlord, the lack of action by management, combined with the lack of oversight by the USPS leasing office resulted in a potentially life-threatening situation to our members.
Exposure to asbestos and black mold is not a joke. How many individuals were exposed to these risks at this station alone? Our clerks, truck drivers, custodians, maintenance personnel and collection carriers; Amazon, UPS and Fed Ex drivers delivering to that post office? What about the customers? We blindly trust that we will be working and shopping in a safe environment when we step into a post office. Unforeseen dangers exist everywhere and cannot be helped, but this event was certainly not unforeseen. Everyone saw this and did nothing.
One person finally couldn’t stand these conditions one more day and reported the station to OSHA. This person is the person of the hour! It may have been a customer gagging at the smell, a union official, a craft employee or even a person in management. It was no doubt someone who was fed up and frustrated at all the inattention and bureaucracy that exists. When OSHA gets a credible inquiry, they force management to act. No one has the luxury to look away and ignore, they must investigate.
To Management: According to the EL-801, supervisors or managers having primary responsibility for the well-being of employees must fully accept this principle. All levels of management are responsible and accountable for the safety and health of the employees. Know the proper procedure for reporting maintenance or facility issues, it varies by building. Who is responsible for repairs?
To the Leasing Office: Before renewing leases, drive to the property and look for yourselves. Take the route of the customer. Is the parking lot in good condition? Are there pot holes? Leaking gutters? Is the lobby pristine? Talk to craft employees! Are the bathrooms in good order? Is lighting adequate? Is the lease written for the landlord to fix problems or do our own maintenance people repair problems? (This is a major hurdle, where landlords sometimes have months to respond to unsafe conditions.)
To the Safety Office: Engage our co-workers with their concerns. Enforce having safety talks. Make yourselves available to all of us. Inspect our buildings that have known dangers, like asbestos at least annually. Train others to keep a watchful eye on the areas of concern and the tools to handle a compromised area. Have asbestos awareness stand-ups in orientation, especially for the custodian craft, and every craft thereafter.
To everyone that looks the other way: Shame on you, whoever you may be.
To the Person of the Hour: Thank you for contacting OSHA, kudos to you! The life you saved may have been your own. Your future self deserves a healthy, happy retirement.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility, but only you have everything to lose. You are the one that has the most at stake.
Is Your Address Correct?
by Rita Burns, Office Manager
Do we have your correct address? Have you been receiving our local publication of the Mountaineer? If not, we may not have a good address for you! Please call Rita or Lindi at 303-365-1524 ext. 11 or 10 and leave your current address. If you haven't recently moved and are not receiving these publications, please contact us so we can make sure we have a correct address and so you can receive this publication!
Local and National Scholarships
by Rita Burns, Office Manager
With the new year upon us, it is time for scholarships! The DMAL sponsors the Moe Biller Scholarship. The Moe Biller Scholarship award will consist of up to five (5) cash awards in the amount of $500. Applications and instructions are available on our website at www.denverapwu.com or by calling the Union office at 303-365-1524 and ask for Rita (ext. 11) or Lindi (ext. 10). The deadline for the DMAL Moe Biller Scholarship is May 31st.
The National APWU sponsors the E. C. Hallbeck Scholarship and the Vocational Scholarship. The deadline for the APWU Scholarships is March 31st. These scholarship applications are available on our website at www.denverapwu.com.
by Rita Burns, Office Manager
Do you need a Notary? As a member of the Denver Metro Area Local of the American Postal Workers Union, this service is available to you free of charge! Lindi Reeder and myself are both Notaries and we are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. If you require our services, please call ahead so we can be ready for you! Thank you!!