(This was originally in the SJ Area Local Newsletter of April 2019. Written by: Frank Bollinger)
I was able to listen in recently to a teleconference District was having with the offices. They go over each and every person that has what they might consider questionable attendance. A lot of it seems like District is pushing local management to discipline. We know this happens, but to hear it is different. Some things to keep in mind:
1) If you have a condition that would fall under FMLA then try to obtain it by having your doctor fill out the appropriate forms. If you need them, the APWU at National had attorneys read the law and create a form that is somewhat shorter than the more intrusive WH-380
2) Fill out your own 3971’s upon your return to work from any unscheduled absences. I am not saying that all management does it, but we have had supervisors try and have members sign 3971 that they printed and sometimes it would be for AWOL. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FILL OUT THEIR 3971.
3) If management attempts to PDI you tell them you want your Union Rep there for it and do not answer any questions until one of us is there.
4) If management never makes you turn in signed 3971’s and then one day walks up to you with a stack of them that “need to be signed!” Again, you can fill your own out, but on top of that please put the date on the 3971 that you were approached by management to sign them, do not back date them.
It is sad that we have to write about this and see members go through this. USPS gives you sick leave as a benefit but then tries to punish you if you use that benefit. There is an online messaging board mostly for APWU members that has a section with these actions by management labeled correctly as “Postal Attendance Terrorism.”
Giving Management Statements:
Someone has to explain to me why at times it is like pulling teeth to get statements on management violating your contractual rights yet, if management asks an employee to write a statement in which they want an employee to incriminate another there is no hesitation in writing a statement.
Listen, I am not here to tell you that you can or cannot write statements, but seriously try to figure out what a Union truly is at some point. Can we ever stick together again and show Unity? We don’t have to be best friends with our co-workers, but we should all have the same two main goals:
- A) to make money to take care of ourselves and our families and
- B) to keep the wolves (management) at bay when they try interfere with that.
We don’t throw out sacrificial lambs in hopes that will quell the wolves’ bloodlust, we stand united and make the wolves retreat.
Unity is Strength, Strength is Power, Power is Security…
Never let management make you feel like you have to ever write a statement for them. You, as a postal employee, are required to cooperate with their investigation. You are not required to give a written statement nor are you required to sign any papers where someone wrote down what you said and they want you to certify it by signing it. If you feel uneasy about your rights, ask the supervisor, PM or Inspector to allow you to contact your Union rep before proceeding any further.