Maintenance Defines Custodial Staffing in POStPlan Clusters

(This article first appeared on the Web News Article #: 67-2017)

On June 30, Arbitrator Stephen Goldberg issued a national award for Case No. Q10T-4Q-C 15206030 concerning custodial staffing in POStPlan office clusters (a group of postal facilities consisting of at least one Remotely Managed Post Office [RMPO] directly reporting to the postmaster located at the Administrative Post Office [APO]).

Arbitrator Goldberg’s award certified that a POStPlan office cluster, is an installation as defined in Article 38.2.B and the custodial staffing formula outlined in the Maintenance Craft “Subcontracting Cleaning Services” Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) applies. This means the USPS cannot continue to freely subcontract out bargaining unit work in these small offices.

“This MOU requires applying a formula which adds together the gross interior and exterior square feet of all facilities within an installation to determine if the Postal Service can subcontract custodial work,” Maintenance Director Steve Raymer explained. “Locals and state organizations representing POStPlan ‘clusters’ should determine whether the MOU is being complied with. If the result of applying the formula is 1 or greater, then management is prohibited from contracting out the Maintenance Craft’s work.”

Article 38.2.B of the CBA defines an installation as, “a main post office, airport mail center or facility, terminal, bulk mail center, processing and distribution center or facility, Maintenance Support and Repair Facility or any similar organizational unit under the direction of one postal official, together with all stations, branches and other subordinate units.”

“As the Union points out, the POStPlan office structure is almost identical to the main post office – station/branch structure described in Article 38.2.B,” confirmed Arbitrator Goldberg. “Simply switch the names from APO to main post office and from RMPO to station or branch, and the management and operational structure of the POStPlan and non-POStPlan offices are exactly the same.”

If you have questions or concerns, contact your Maintenance National Business Agent for help.


Favorable Decision from Administrative Law Judge of the NLRB

APWU Leadership Northeast Region;

Please see attached documents below the post. This is a very favorable NLRB decision.

On May 19, 2017, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Andrew S. Gollin of the National Labor Relations Board found multiple Postal Service policies that restrict the ability of its employees to record, photograph; use copyrighted or trademark materials, or speak to the media to be in violation of employees’ legal right to work together for better wages, hours, and working conditions.

The ALJ determined that the following regulations were overly broad and violated the National Labor Relations Act:

1. Employee and Labor Relations Manual Section 667.2, which restricts the use of recording devices on postal property without the permission of management;

2. Administrative Support Handbook 805 Section 5-5(s), which prohibits the use of cameras, cell phones with cameras, and other personal imaging devices in all Postal Service areas without management permission;

3. Administrative Support Manual Section 663.4, which requires that any employee who wishes to use Postal Service trademarks or copyrighted materials must seek permission

The ALJ determined that the first two provisions overly restricted an employee’s right to use photography and recording devices to document unsafe conditions and demonstrate unfair treatment by management.

The third regulation was viewed as potentially restricting postal unions from using USPS trademarks and copyrighted materials as part of picketing or other collective activities. .

The ALJ ordered the Postal Service to rescind all of the provisions at issue.

The APWU, NALC, and NPMHU put on a united front and participated in the hearing in support of the Board’s contentions that these provisions violated the law. APWU Director of Industrial Relations Vance Zimmerman participated as a witness at the hearings. He delivered testimony as to why Postal Workers may need to use photography or recording devices to protect themselves, their coworkers, and why the Postal Service’s restrictions were unjustified.

The ALJ’s decision now must be approved by the National Labor Relations Board. The Postal Service may appeal the ALJ’s decision and ask the Board to overturn it in part or completely. Until the Board has issued a final decision, the handbook and manual provisions at issue should be treated as still in effect.

John H. Dirzius

Coordinator, Northeast Region
American Postal Workers Union