High Importance to the Clerk Division Local Leadership

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 appealing 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.

Be safe!

 

In union solidarity, the struggle continues.

Lamont Brooks
Director of Clerk Division

Latest Information & Updates

From the Desk of Robert Armentani
President, South Jersey Area Local – APWU

It has come to my attention that a Service Talk was given by management regarding the current financial status of the USPS and all the changes that need to be made so that we can remain financially solvent. I was also informed that this talk came with no explanations on how we are being impacted.

On Tuesday 7/14/2020 myself and Executive Vice President Ed Lafferty were asked to attend a meeting with the SJ P&DC Plant Manager regarding the removal of machines from the building and the impact it would have on staffing.

Here is a breakdown of the notes that I took during the meeting.

We have been informed that the SJ Plant will be losing 9 machines: 7 DBCS, 1 AFCS and 1 Flat Sorter. All will be out of service by 7/24/2020. The remaining DBCS machines will be expanded to 302 stackers. We asked about having two sweepers. This will be discussed further when the changes are set to be made.

There will be no more DPS 1st pass on Saturday nights and DPS will start earlier on Sundays.

Staffing for each tour will be changing and there will be re-bidding.

We were told that T-1 will be more like T-2 and T-2 will be more like T-1. There is possible sectional excessing.

The following will be needed on each tour. (Before the expansion to 302)

– T1 – 17 machines Sun to Fri and 5 on Sat (34 employees Sun to Fri and 10 on Sat)

– T2 – 9 machines every day (18 employees)

– T3 – 17 machines Sun to Fri and 4 on Sat (34 employees Sun to Fri and 8 on Sat)

Asked if PSEs will be moving to different tours and was told PSEs will not be moved to T2.

No reduction in PSEs at this time but will probably come later.

The approved Function 1 model is for 189 employees and we currently have 200 on rolls. Therefore, we are currently 11 employees over their approved plan.

Plan is not to excess from the facility but likely possible. We will be kept informed of any decision.

We requested that if there is a need to reduce FTR employees that it be done by attrition rather than excessing. We were told that this will be reviewed and may be possible.

Maintenance – Just with taking out the machines it will reduce workforce by 11 jobs

– Positions will be ETs, MPEs and MMs (not sure how many of each yet)

– Asked about open jobs to offset. Said there may be one on T-1

MVS – No affect on MVS at this point.

You can download this same letter from this link: President Letter for P&DC Bellmawr Plant 2020

Latest Updates and Information

NALC Food Drive Postponement
Our Sisters and Brothers at the NALC have had to postpone the annual food drive.  It will be rescheduled and we encourage you all to support it when it is rescheduled.

Please Disseminate.

Vance Zimmerman
Industrial Relations Director
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Change.org: DON’T Sign the Petition
Change.org  has a petition to sign for hazard pay. Our recommendation is NOT to sign this petition. The language could be construed as an act of bargaining unit rights of the Union as it deals with wages. I’ve also attached the Stand Up Talk given on social media from February 25, 2020, which signing the petition could be seen as a violation of this policy and we again recommend NOT signing this due to possible ramifications.

Michael J Wright
Director of Associate Offices
APWU SJAL #0526
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Maintenance Update_4.1.2020
COVID-19 SUT 19_ALL EMPLOYEES_Employee Privacy_4.1.2020
COVID-19-Employee-RTW-Positive-Test-Updated_4.1.2020
COVID-19-Supervisor-and-Management-Guidance-Updated_4.1.2020
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Brothers and Sisters,

Please see the attached notification and the email below in which the Postal Service provided answers to my questions regarding the updates to CODES and the changes to the F-55 and F-85 Handbooks.

Sam Lisenbe
Assistant Director, Clerk Craft

Notification No#3 FY 2020 (3.11.2020)_4.5.2020

    1. <1.> Regarding the Computerized On-Site Data Entry System (CODES) – Is there any dispute that data entry is a clerk craft function?

Data Collection Technician positions are clerk craft positions and are trained data collectors who perform data entry into the CODES software. 

    1. <2.> The 3-6-20 notification letter identifies the procedures for these programs as “data collection”. Who (which craft) will perform the data collection duties involving CCCS, RCCS, and SIRVI?

See above – clerk craft.

    1. <3.> Regarding the In-Office Cost System (IOCS) – At what point, once mail and mail containers are received, is it anticipated/expected that barcode scanning should be performed for IOCS? Is this scanning considered the same as or similar to Arrival-at-Unit scanning? In addition, is the clerk craft assigned to perform the scanning for IOCS?

No, the scans for IOCS have nothing to do with Arrival-At-Unit scans, which are focused on tracking the flow of mail. Instead, IOCS takes a “snapshot in time” of what the sampled employee is doing. After randomly selecting an employee and randomly selecting a moment in time of that employee’s workday, the IOCS data collector (clerk craft) gets scans of the one mailpiece that the employee is handling at that moment. They’ll also scan any barcodes on mail-holding containers (e.g. trays, APCs, pallets) that the employee is handling at that moment.

    1. <4.> Are these changes to the CODES software and data collection policies and procedures expected to affect data collection staffing?

No.
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Going the distance

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COVID-19 MOU Work Exceptions
While I understand I am not signatory to the COVID-19 exceptions, I am making this suggestion/recommendation to the locals as the Clerk Division Director, in the best interest of our employees, while considering these are very trying times, requiring tough decisions.

The MOUs require the postal service to maximize the employees in many cases as part of the pecking  order.

If I were implementing these agreements at the local level, I would use my judgment on when and how I would be filing grievances.

Any employee that wants to maximize their work opportunities I would afford them those rights per the Agreements.

If an employee did not want to maximize the opportunities due to their own personal safety  reasons, I would secure it in writing from the employee and I would not file a grievance when the postal service failed to maximize the work opportunities per the MOUs pecking order as a result of the clerk employee choosing not to work.

These are very personal decisions. While we do not like opening the door for other crafts or Postmasters to perform bargaining unit work, it is a balancing act of not forcing our folks to work under safety conditions they choose not to work and providing service.

In a perfect world we would hope the overtime desired list and volunteers would suffice.

This pandemic only proves how imperfect our world is.

Be safe and work safe while considering your family and you,

This is not to take away a right already secured during the COVID-19.

We also don’t want this to turn into an open season with the Postal Service thinking they  can blatantly violate the national agreement after the pandemic.

Lamont Brooks
Director
Clerk Division

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Brothers and sisters, here is a valuable document the NALC and the USPS signed off on which stops CCAs from working in other offices and limits carriers to their home offices to prevent the spread of COVID.

NALC MOU_4.5.2020

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Brothers and Sisters,

See the attached notification regarding the change in Customs Declaration Forms. Effective March 13, the Postal Service began using PS Form 2976-R when transferring information from customers to SSAs for data entry.

Please forward to your local and state leaders.

In Solidarity,

Sam Lisenbe
Assistant Clerk Craft Director

Handwritten Customs Declearation Forms PS 2976_4.5.2020

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Other Stand-Up Talks, MOUs and Information
COVID-19 SUT 25_Guidelines for PVS drivers_4.5.2020
COVID-19 SUT 28_Interacting with VMF personnel_4.5.2020
COVID-19 SUT 29_COVID-19 Supplies_4.5.2020
COVID-19 FAQ-2020-04-01_4.5.2020
BME Tech & MRC Qualification Signed_4.5.2020
FFCRA Web Article_4.5.2020

Here’s how APWU has responded for YOU – the members –
APWU COVID-19 Response_4.5.2020

STAY INFORMED!!