(This article was first reported in the April 2018, Local Newsletter)
Written by: Mike Wright, Director of Associate Offices of APWU, SJAL #0526
I had the opportunity to attend SSA training, again, since my live record expired a few years back. The positive is that clerks are teaching the class so you’re getting knowledge that is fresh and from employee(s) that perform these tasks daily.
Unfortunately, the course answers some questions as to why the newer PSEs are not as active in the Union. Every chapter in the 41-chapter book was covered, save one, the last chapter appropriately named, The Union Model. The chapter contains how to report poor financial practices, how to properly count your cash, how to grieve a Letter of Demand, etc. I did ask during the class why this chapter wasn’t being covered, and I was shut down quickly (like I was a couple times during the week) with “it’s (the material) not testable”. New SSAs were instructed to “get your Postmaster” if you need help with a Lobby Sweep. If you’ve read my articles or attended our meeting, you’re aware this is a 1.6 violation. We did make sure the PSEs were made aware of putting in for eTravel during the class, again getting me shut down quickly. Some people took bets, but I managed not to get kicked out during the week and pass the course for a third time.
First, I’m happy to announce we were successful at Step 2 with our Improper Reversion grievance in Mt Laurel and we still have two sitting in arbitration. Unfortunately, I’m dealing with reversions in Medford and my own office of Woodbury. In Medford, local management wanted to change the hours of the vacant bid and we advised them how to do it. The result… they went against our recommendation and reverted the job anyway. With Woodbury, my office has been using 4 to 5 SDO as clerks weekly for at least three years and they want to revert a 30-hour position. Let that sink in… 4 to 5 SDOs (all different days) is 32 to 40 hours at the overtime rate and they want to eliminate a 30-hour (at straight time) position. The one thing these offices have in common along with Mt. Laurel, the instructions to revert aren’t coming from within the facility.
At a prior District Labor Management meeting another Local President asked why we need Postmaster positions and it makes sense. Between not being able to make decisions on positions they need and asking permission to use an employee on their non-scheduled day, amongst other staffing issues, the question doesn’t seem that far-fetched. Hopefully when a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached they’ll at least address the issues of Postmasters, rather than Lead Clerks running Level 18 offices. If they’re sincere at the national level about the money we’re allegedly hemorrhaging, they’ll eliminate the Level 18 Postmaster positions and save about 20K per office annually.
We’re getting reports that some facilities are using cameras to “babysit” employees. There’s a passage in the Administrative Support Manual (ASM) 273 where it clearly states the cameras are not used to view work areas and evaluate employees.
Summer is coming and so are we to make sure the AO lawn care is done by AO employees, make sure the lawn service is not being contracted out.
We were informed that the PSE “not to exceed” 7 consecutive work days policy is still in effect at the February Labor Management meeting. This is not a contractual right, just a policy started by a previous District Manager.
As always, make sure we’re on the right functions, don’t take short-cuts, work safe, and check your paycheck to make sure your hours you’re being paid for match what you worked. If you’re not on the info line email me at email@example.com , where we put out information at the very minimum weekly basis.