(This was originally in the SJ Area Local Newsletter of April 2019. Written by: Tony Rodriguez)
PSE jobs were the new entry level positions for Postal careers when I first started here six (6) years ago. The vast majority all job postings on the Postal Service website are for PSE jobs, and most career positions are filled by promoting PSE employees.
PSE job description reads:
PSEs hold temporary appointments for periods not-to-exceed 360 days. Subsequent appointments after a 5-day break in-service may be offered but are not guaranteed and should not be expected because the use of PSEs is discretionary and subject to business needs
PSEs can be scheduled any hours and the position is intended to be very flexible, including weekends and holidays as needed. PSEs must be available to work when needed.
This is a non-career position, which may lead to a career position depending on organizational needs.
PSE Sales, Service, and Distribution Associates must also…
- Work assigned tour and days of work.
- Follow Postal Service policies and procedures for personal conduct at work, including adhering to rules and regulations.
- Provide service to the public.
- Maintain a neat and professional appearance in such interactions, including wearing a uniform and name tag when required
The above is in the job description when you applied for the PSE position.
There is a high percentage of the PSE workforce that is becoming agitated by how management:
- moves people around,
- work them long hours,
- not giving enough hours,
- changes the start time,
- or never letting them know when they will get done.
The Employer shall have the exclusive right, subject to the provisions of this Agreement and consistent with applicable laws and regulations:
- To direct employees of the Employer in the performance of official duties;
- To hire, promote, transfer, assign, and retain employees in positions within the Postal Service and to suspend, demote, discharge, or take other disciplinary action against such employees;
- To maintain the efficiency of the operations entrusted to it;
- To determine the methods, means, and personnel by which such operations are to be conducted;
- To prescribe a uniform dress to be worn by designated employees; and
- To take whatever actions may be necessary to carry out its mission in emergency situations, i.e., an unforeseen circumstance or a combination of circumstances which calls for immediate action in a situation which is not expected to be of a recurring nature.
(The preceding Article, Article 3, shall apply to PSEs)
PSEs, if you are not familiar with the above Article, then you need to start reading the contract. PSEs… you are not helping yourself by complaining. The Job Description told you what to expect from this position. It didn’t guarantee a set schedule. It says: “…the position is intended to be very flexible, including weekends and holidays as needed.” Article 3 clearly reads: “The Employer shall have the exclusive right…” to all of the listed items A-F. Bottom Line – Management has the right to run their operation as they see fit, as needed. PSEs, you are being reminded to be flexible.
Understand the benefits you have that did not exist when I was hired as a PSE 6 years ago:
- right now, your starting hourly pay is $3 higher than mine was,
- you have health benefits as soon as you start; I had to wait for my first break-in-service before I was eligible,
- you have holiday work pay or the option for additional annual hours for working on your working holidays; I didn’t have that when I started,
- you have the ability to earn OT rate (after 8 hours) and penalty rate (after 10 hours); that was not in place when I started,
So, I question… Name a job, that you can get hired into, starting with the above listed benefits, working like you. If you don’t have an answer for that, I advise you to: come to work, be patient, be flexible. You got a paycheck every 2 weeks just for doing that. That’s the easiest paycheck to get!