(This article was first reported in the November 2017, Local Newsletter)
Written by: Frank Bollinger Business Agent of APWU, SJAL #0526
In my previous article I wrote of the OIG possibly overstepping their bounds/crossing the line. Since that article a couple of things have happened. First, I interviewed the Special Agent (SA) involved in the case. As it usually happens, he had General Counsel partake in the interview. As I stated before, according to the prosecutor in the case, the agent had called and demanded that language precluding our member from working for the USPS in the future be added to an agreement at the criminal level. During my interview I asked the SA about this and he immediately denied it. I then mentioned about an email that existed stating that the SA had called and demanded said language. At this point the SA waivered some and gave a drawn out statement that really seemed more intended on evading than answering.
After the interview we were able to obtain the actual certified court motion, in which the prosecutor clearly stated, as an officer of the court, that it was the SA’s idea to add the language. A letter was written to the prosecutor informing him that it seemed that our rights as the federally recognized exclusive bargaining representative would be violated by this language. Also excerpts from the interview with the SA were contained within said letter. Showing that the SA’s account clearly contradicted what the prosecutor put in certified court papers. I received a call from the 1st Assistant Prosecutor stating they were removing the language. Upon follow up with our member, the language was in fact removed.
A one-time lucky thing? Who knows… This is why if you are in any trouble at work you must have a Union Rep there at every phase that we are entitled to be at, because you never know who will be looking to violate your rights….
**Let it be noted that we, as a Union, do not get involved in any criminal aspect related to your cases and allegations that go with them. That is best handled by a real attorney who practices law in the courts.** In this instance even though it may appear we became involved in the criminal part of the case, the only item we looked out for, and rightfully so, was OUR UNDENIABLE RIGHT AS THE EXCLUSIVE BARGAINING AGENT in regards to the proposed language wrongfully demanded by the SA.
The next step in this matter will be to alert the SA’s superiors because as noted in the previous article I wrote, the OIG’s position is to simply turn over their completed investigation to management (and if required, to the prosecutor) and to let those individuals then make the decision on what course of action to take regarding the accused.
HUB Clerk opt out…
There is an option out there where a PTF clerk can turn in a letter so stating that they do not want to be sent to other offices. It is not a “pick-and-choose” office type of choice. If you opt out you cannot just do so for certain offices, it is all or nothing. Also according to the agreement, if management exhausts all other options to fill a need at an office then they can still force individuals who opted out of going to actually go. You can rescind this letter if you decide you want to be available again to obtain hours at other offices.
The problem I have noticed surfacing at some offices is that the PM’s, OIC’s or supervisors are telling their PTF’s that they are not covered under that agreement. WRONG… I reached out to one of our NBA’s to confirm our position and they did. That position (being any office) that is set to loan out a PTF clerk is covered under said agreement.
Below is the MOU in question page 349 of the 2015-18 CBA. Take note of the opening sentence that describes what PTF’s are covered)
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE AND THE AMERICAN POSTAL WORKERS UNION, AFL-CIO
Re: Assignment of PTF Hub Clerks
This provision covers part-time flexible (PTF) clerk craft employees who may be required to work in installations other than their home office (installation). PTFs shall be scheduled for work outside their home office (installation) in accordance with the following:
- Within thirty days of the effective date of the 2015 National Agreement, PTFs shall notify their 350 postmaster in writing their preference not to work in offices in other installations. PTFs unavailable for the entire thirty day period due to leave shall provide their written preference within thirty days of returning to work.
- Newly converted or assigned PTFs shall, within two weeks of the effective date of the conversion or assignment, notify their postmaster in writing their preference not to work in offices in other installations.
- If a PTF wants to change his or her preference to not work in offices in other installations the employee must provide a two week notice to his or her postmaster in writing.
- If a PTF wants to rescind his or her preference to not work in offices in other installations, he or she must provide written notification of his or her rescission. The change will be effective no later than seven days from the date of notice.
- Preference changes will be allowed no more than three times in a calendar year. Upon request, a copy of each written preference change will be provided to the appropriate union official.
6. The pecking order for assignment will be: a. PTFs who have not indicated a preference to only work within their installation, b. Available and qualified Postal Support Employees, c. PTFs that have preferenced not to work in offices in other installations.