(This article was first reported in the September 2017, Local Newsletter)
Written by: Rob Armentani President of APWU, SJAL #0526
Excessing Events Postponed
In June the local Union was notified of management’s intent to excess from several of our offices, including the SJ Plant, effective 9/16/17. On July 26th Eastern Region Coordinator Mike Gallagher informed us that he received notification that all excessing events that were identified for 9/16/17 have been moved to next year, 2/3/18. Mike also stated that the Eastern Area has committed to re-reviewing all the excessing notices that they have sent out over the last few months and update them all with new impact statements. With this in mind I suggested to the District Manager that we send our former AO Director Bill McIntyre out to the AOs to conduct training, like he did several years ago, to insure the clerks are doing everything possible to increase the earned hours in an effort to limit any impact in our offices. This request was approved and I will be working along with Marketing Manager Rosemary Fox to get this started ASAP.
Mike also advised that the Area wants to talk to all Function 1 P&DC and NDC Locals in regard to staffing realignments and re-bidding with a view toward negotiating an expedited bidding method. He advised them that they would have to meet with Local leadership in order to discuss/negotiate such changes in the bidding process.
On Friday 8/11/17 Executive Vice President Ed Lafferty and I met with SJ P&DC management to discuss our interest in this process. I have currently taken the position that we are not interested in this expedited bidding process until they resolve the current issues surrounding the recent abolishments which have violated the seniority rights and have had a negative impact on several of our members. I find it amazing that when management needs something they reach out to us but when decisions have no impact on them, only the employees, there is no communication.
Until management can show the Union that they are truly interested doing what’s best for not just themselves but our membership as well, then we will have no interest in negotiating any changes in the bidding process. They can begin with resolving the improper abolishment issues and the toxic work environment that still exists on T-1.
Despite monetary settlements, the sub-contracting of landscaping work in our Associate Offices continues. The continued violations are occurring in Pennsville and Mt. Laurel. We have been successfully filing grievances in these offices and will continue to address these violations until management stops giving away our work. One of the biggest obstacles we face in dealing with the reporting of subcontracting violations is from our own members. They are allowing this work to be given away in many of our offices and never report it to the Union. It is discouraging to drive past a Post Office and see a sign stuck in the lawn that says “Keller’s Lawn Care”. THIS IS OUR WORK! We all need to step up! It’s not okay to let it be given away!
1.6 and Crossing Craft Violations
Because this is still an ongoing problem, I am reprinting this from the last newsletter
We have had numerous reports of management performing bargaining unit work and/or using rural carriers to do our work. If you see this happening you “MUST” notify your steward and file a grievance. This goes hand in hand with swiping to the proper operation codes to save our jobs. If a supervisor or a carrier is doing our work do you think they are swiping to clerk craft codes? Of course they’re not. It would make it to easy for us to win a grievance. So not only are we being blocked from doing our work, the office isn’t getting earned credit for it either. We need to stand together. It may not be your office today but it could be tomorrow. Let’s not forget what the word Union means.
APWU career employees will be receiving a 13 cents per hour cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) effective September 2. The increase will appear in paychecks dated September 22, 2017 and will total $270.00 per year.
Union Appreciation Night
Temple University Football will be holding a Union Appreciation Night on 9/30/17 when the Temple Owls host the Houston Cougars at Lincoln Financial Field. The South Jersey Area Local will be selling tickets to this event. The tickets are $20 each and will be sold in pairs only. Tickets will also be raffled off at the next General membership meeting with the proceeds going to COPA. The Temple Owls are the defending American Athletic Conference Champs and primed for another championship season. In case you couldn’t tell I am a proud graduate of Temple University!