We should be filing maximization grievances when there are 30 hours of work per week under Article 7.3.b and NTFT MOU.
As far as retail windows closing for lunch, we should be grieving for all available hours, including Article 7 crossing crafts, Article 1.6 supervisors performing bargaining unit work (citing Article 1.5, Jobs Audit MOU, Clerk Craft Jobs MOU and the Clerical Work MOU.
There is work to do even when the retail window is closed. In Level-18 offices, if clerk hours are reduced as a result of the lunch closings, file 1.6.b grievances. Postal Service management has not returned all the bargaining unit work back to the craft. This is applicable even in the higher level offices. We must fight these battles head on. File daily grievances, if necessary, interviewing all the necessary employees and supervisors.
We should have our employees contact their congressional folks and appeal
ing to our local civic leaders and congressional representatives about how these cuts will affect customer service and delay mail, eventually driving customers to other providers, with no guarantees of service, pricing or the security and sanctity of their mail.
We should be handing out leaflets to our customers explaining that we, as servants of the people’s post office want to provide great customer service, and want to be open to the public during all business hours.
We should be informing customers who receive Informed Delivery, mail should be delivered that day, and not delivered the next day as a result of mail being delayed at the direction of Postal Service management.
We should be requesting delayed mail reports and the Facility Database Report on a daily basis to ensure that delayed mail is being properly reported and that reports are not being falsified.
We should advise our clerks to not falsify reports at the request of their supervisor. They should contact their steward.
We should be informing our customers, congressional representatives, mayors, and local community leaders that service will be hindered by the closing of post offices during lunch hours.
With the elimination of machines, mail will be delayed, which will negatively affect service standards.
We should be filing grievances when the Postal Service literally locks the entire building during lunch hours. Once an employee reports to work they should be allowed to take their lunch in the facility.
We should be alerting our customers, local leaders, and congressional representatives about how this could potentially impact the ability to vote by mail and the Postal Service’s ability to meet the goal of processing and delivering ballots, especially now that the Postal Service has made the decision to remove at least 671 pieces of letter and flat mail processing equipment throughout the country. All of this taking place months before a national election, during a pandemic period.
In short, we need customer, community and congressional support.
We can’t solve everything in the grievance procedure. Some things have to be taken to the streets.
In the event the COVID-19 MOUs are extended, under the current circumstances of the elimination of automation machines, the closing of retail post offices for lunch, the elimination of penalty overtime or whatever else is coming down the pike, it is critical that you apply the COVID-19 MOU language as WRITTEN.
They are bargaining in bad faith if they sign an F-1/F-4 Clerk Staffing MOU, knowing they don’t intend to honor the maximization of career employees section of the MOU, which would include penalty overtime.
We must grieve any of these violations to include crossing crafts.
If the Postal Service wants cooperation from the Clerk Division, they must postpone the removal of automation equipment and the closing of retail windows for lunch until at least the conclusion of the COVID-19 agreements.
While the Clerk Division would prefer to sit down at the table with the Postal Service to mutually discuss the matters, we are prepared and ready for the fight. All of these postal actions have been done without any discussions with the APWU, who represents clerk the bargaining unit employees.
Rest assured that we will be challenging these negative and unilateral changes at the national level. We will be reaching out our congressional leaders, as well as asking for postal service customer support. This is the time we will need the mailing industries as well as the grand alliance.
We will be working with APWU President Mark Dimondstein (APWU spokesman and following his leadership, the APWU National Executive Board and APWU Political/Legislature Director Judy Beard.
As always, continue to work with your respective NBAs, who we will be providing updated craft specific guidance.
We must fight this as a team, from the work room floor to the top of our organization, to survive the attempted changes that are surely coming.
Rest assured, this will not be an easy battle and everyone has a part to play.
We fully understand the budgetary issues facing the Postal Service, but those are solvable issues with Congressional assistance and should not be corrected at the expense of postal clerks, by violating contractual rights gained through union negotiations.
The bright side of all of this is that now employees will surely see how important it is to have a union and to be a part of a struggle. Things they took for granted will be tested.
On another note, we have to message our employees that under the liberal leave agreement they must provide the employer with COVID-19 reasons when requesting leave. Without stating those accepted reasons as cited in the MOU, many clerks are being disciplined.
Hopefully the parties can negotiate a call-in prompt, so that when the employee calls in to report an absence, it will ask if the request for leave is COVID-19 related.
On behalf of the Clerk Division, which includes Assistant Directors, Sam Lisenbe and Lynn Pallas-Baber and the entire Clerk Division NBAs, we stand ready and able assist you at the local level.
We want to thank you for all your hard work during these difficult times and be not weary, we have your back and you are not alone. I love and strive on challenges. You are in good hands. Don’t panic! I am only trying to get your full and undivided attention. We will prevail only as a team. No one person can do this alone. Rest assured, this is only the beginning. This is why elections are so important.
Please disseminate to the field.
In union solidarity, the struggle continues.
Director of Clerk Division