APWU Geared Up to Fight Back Against USPS Reductions in Service and Jobs

(This article first appeared on the Web News Article #: 61-2017)

Throughout the country, the Postal Service has launched an all-out assault on our jobs and is blatantly violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in their staffing of post offices.  The USPS is reducing service to the community and disrupting the lives of postal workers by reducing duty assignments (reversions and abolishments) and issuing excessing notices potentially affecting hundreds of post offices and thousands of employees.

Postal Service is Blatantly Violating the Contract
The APWU and the USPS agreed in Article 37.3.A.1 of the CBA that, “Every effort will be made to create desirable duty assignments from all available work hours for career employees to bid.” This includes hours worked by PSEs. This provision was part of an overall agreement for more APWU jobs.

However, the Postal Service is now ignoring that part of the agreement and instead of utilizing “all available work hours” to create duty assignments, the USPS is now attempting to utilize what they call “earned hours” and “earned duty assignments” to determine the number of duty assignments. “Earned duty assignments” is what the USPS would prefer the number of duty assignments to be and has no basis in the contract.

“We are gearing up for a large fight,” said President Dimondstein. “I know that if we stick together and stay united, then – just like the Stop Staples and contract struggles – we will be victorious.”

USPS Actions are an Attack on Service
The Postal Service is reducing duty assignments and issuing excessing notices despite the fact that Postal Service is already understaffed.

As postal workers and postal customers know from experience, in most offices, the Postal Service is seriously understaffed and causing poor service to the community. Some installation heads are acting with integrity and resisting the unreasonable reductions in duty assignments and service, but many are going along despite the harm to postal workers and the community.

APWU members and supporters protest service and job cuts in Baltimore, MD.

APWU is Fighting Back
The APWU has been implementing a plan to fight back that includes meetings with management at every level, informational pickets to inform the community, and utilization of the grievance procedure.

“I salute the National Clerk Craft Officers for taking the lead on this, with assistance from the Regional Coordinators and the National Business Agents,” said President Dimondstein.

Meetings at the national level, including meetings with Postmaster General Megan Brennan, have emphasized the blatant reduction of duty assignments across the country when the duty assignments are clearly needed and also the unprecedented nature of the amount of excessing notices at one time.

Locals are already getting into the fight in the streets. The Baltimore Francis ‘Stu’ Filbey Area Local held an informational picket at the Main Post Office in Baltimore on June 10 that was attended by postal workers and community members. Other Locals are also preparing for similar actions.  Locals wishing to conduct informational pickets should contact the Clerk Craft Division to receive assistance.

The APWU has been conducting Max Duty Assignment Tool (MDAT) training across the country on how to demonstrate new duty assignments whenever management tries to eliminate duty assignments or excess employees. We have designated National Business Agents (NBAs) in each area that are working under the direction of the National Clerk Craft Officers to work with Local and State organizations to develop strong grievances, coordinate our actions, and put our best foot forward in addressing these issues.

A Call to Action
As postal workers we must fight together against the Postal Services ongoing willingness to blatantly violate the contractual agreements they made with us. It is important that postal workers attend their local union meetings where we can learn from each other and work on strategies to slow or stop management’s plans to reduce service to the community and disrupt the workforce. If we come together in an organized manner, we can win a better Postal Service and a better workplace.

For More Information
If you would like to receive information directly from the APWU by text or email, please sign-up at http://www.apwu.org/stay-connected. Check back on apwu.org for more details about this ongoing fight.

Clerk Issues

(This information originated from our South Jersey Area Local Director of Associate Offices, Mike Wright)

I highlighted two items that are very important. It seems every office has the same issue, staffing. The previous District Manager, Webster, allegedly instructed the pre-arb people not to settle any  reversion or abolishment grievances. With the new DM who starts this week also from the Harrisburg area, I don’t expect much to change. Their strategy is to tie these grievances up for years to help them reach the 16,000 jobs in the clerk craft they want to eliminate.

  • Abolishment, elimination of a held position.
  • Reversion, elimination of a vacant position.
  • Make sure management uses the correct term, Abolish v Reversion, when trying to eliminate a position (37.1.E) , grieve if incorrect terminology is used.
  • Management has 21 days to slot an unencumbered employee into a residual vacancy (37.4.C.1)
  • Contact your Local if there are any changes to a position, management could be setting up for a reversion or abolishment.
  • Grieve all abolishments, were people working productively? , make sure there was no “stand-by” time used.
  • Check employees base code when a job is identified to be abolished.
  • Goldberg Award, cite in every abolishment/reversion grievance.
  • Remedy for abolished/reverted positions, two grievances, the actual abolish/reversion, out of schedule
  • Changing of drop days or times is a repost, not an abolishment
  • File grievances if PSEs are working 30+ hours a week continuously (4-6 month period) under 37.3.A.1 to create desirable duty assignment
  • During interview, lead management into admitting the decision was based on “earned hours” which goes against the contract which cites “actual hours”
  • Meaningful input as cited in 37.3.A.2, meeting, information such as mail volume.
  • “Normal” Remedy at Step 1 for an improper reversion, post job as it was, ask for out of schedule every time.
  • If management sends the notice of reversion late in the proper cycle (28 days) , ask for as much information close the end of the said 28 days to make it difficult for management to properly make a timely decision. Cite Arbitrator King/ H94C-4H-C98002133
  • Use injured employees working in clerk craft as part of all available hours
  • If a Step 2 settlement is made for 1.6 or 7 issues, the “boiler plate” language should be not included or crossed off settlement page.
  • Do not indefinitely hold any abolishment or reversion grievances at Step 2
  • EL-312, 211.3 Evaluating vacancies, installation head must make the decision for reversion.
  • PSE discipline does not carry over when promoted to career, it has to be argued, make the carry over argument since they start a new probation period, cannot carry over leave.
  • USPS goal is to reduce 16,000 jobs in Function 4 and Function 1
  • Cite Article 34 in reversion/abolishment arguments where management relies on “earned” work hours
  • Non-revenue transactions should be given to window clerk at least once every 30 minutes, a good example of these are nixie accountables. Have the window clerks scan with the RSS under “Numbered Mail Pick Up” , then as “Undeliverable”
  • Data and charts from MDAT should be presented at Step 2
  • Emit employees that use a lot of leave from MDAT reports
  • MDAT, green hours are unearned hours
  • Never run FTR by themselves
  • Always have supporting documentation for manually inputted MDAT hours
  • Postmasters in Level 18s should have multiple close outs daily, if there is only one close out hours should be charged from time Postmaster logs in until they close out.


As you all should know, USPS has declared an attack on our jobs. This was first posted on May 21, 2017. It started with reversions. USPS has escalated things with a new notification, as of June 13, 2017 (this past Tuesday), of excessing.

Here’s what our Eastern Region Coordinator, Mike Gallagher had to say:

Sisters and Brothers, as you are already aware the USPS has embarked on a nationwide initiative to reduce duty assignments in an installation to correspond with their earned hours not with their actual hours that they are using.

This is an edict from on high (HQ management) that has required managers at the Area, District and installation level to revert most residual vacancies, give letters of abolishment to employees (whose jobs are not actually abolished), discuss sectional excessing at the local level and begin to bombard the Eastern Region with excessing notices.

These notifications very recently dated have an Area Move Date of September 16, 2017. However as you know our contract requires six month notification whenever possible and it requires that the Regional/Area meetings on these impacts take place 90 day days prior to the area move date. While I have given management every available date to meet with them prior to the 90 day limit, they insist that I make more time available. That is not possible based on the number of hours in a day and the availability of myself or our Article 12 NBAs.

I can assure you that in this latest round of attacks on our bargaining unit, we will insist that management follow every structure of our collective bargaining agreement in discussing and implementing these events, unfortunately, it is clearly apparent that you will be tasked with filing grievances related to their failure to comply with certain elements of our CBA. We will insist on Regional/Area meetings on each event and discuss each contractual requirement in its entirety in these meetings. Anything that is not complied with should be challenged at the local level and if there is a District or Area policy that violates the agreement, I will ensure that the appropriate grievance is filed by my office at that level. I appreciate your understanding and support in this difficult time of Postal insanity.