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What's New at DMAL-APWU 229
Express 2015-05

Message From the President by John Ancona, President

Changes on the FSM's.  We met with management on November 09, 2015 to continue discussions on the FSM 100’s.  Management has committed to change the hours. The start time for Tour 3 on a  4/10 schedule, will be 1900 thru 0530; Tour 2 hours will be 0530 .  through 1400.  Management has agreed to post five bids starting at 1400 through 2050. These bids will be retreat bids, even though management reposted all of the Tour 3 jobs.  They have agreed to post the 1400 hour report time as retreat bids, since the time reflects what employees had before reposting these bids on Tour 3. We are posting the names that our records show have retreat rights. If your name is not on the list, please call Lawanda Davis at 303-365-1524 ext. 24 to see if you have retreat rights.  The employees are:  Jimmy Trinh, Billy V. Nguyen, Jeong Ja Yoon, Nien T. Nguyen, Michael Goodrich, Quang K. Mach, Yae J. Gordon, Sandra J. Calato, Tony Van Nguyen and Michael Supinger.  During this meeting management informed the union that all PSE’s will be moved off Tour 2 and sent to Tour 3 and Tour 1. 

Happy Veteran's Day by Bobby Rollins, Executive Vice-President

On behalf of the Denver Metro Area Local, I would like to wish a Happy Veteran's Day to all the Veteran's in our local.  Thank you for your service!

This Is the Way I See It by Monica Lipscomb, Steward

Today I would like to say that I'm far from perfect and I sometimes struggle with being a steward.  Even after all these years, thinking I've just about witnessed everything, I was sure that I would react accordingly in most situationsI like to think that I'm good under pressure, and in the past I've been fine.  But, and it is a BIG but, I believe I froze up.  I owe someone an apology and I vow to Tour 3 that I will do better.

Last month I witnessed a SDO grab an employee to "escort" her off the workroom floor.  Tension was high.  That day we heard that an MDO was killed due to domestic violence in her own home.  It was all that everyone was talking about, and collectively it was all we thought about.  There are no excuses, and if I ever witness that again, the police will be called.   Realistically the police should have received several calls that day, one call from everyone that was there.

We all need to watch out for each other, write statements if we see strange behavior, and yes, call 911 when anyone lays hands on you.

Ergonomic Guidelines & Safety Procedures by Tina Valenzuela

Don’t forget to use Ergonomic Guidelines and Safety Procedures to send you home healthy and happy during our busy holiday mail volume and winter weather.  Know your three main risk factors:  Repetitive motions, awkward posture and forceful motions, along with environment (lighting, cold/heat), personal and contact stress.  Know your area JSA’s, SOP’s and basic work methods.

Automation:  By now you should have gone through the new Methodology Training.  It includes the following: rotation, do not stack more than two trays high, offset pie carts by ½ - 1 tray width, sweep bins when ½ to ¾ full, do not flip trays, and much more.

AFSM/FSS: Follow your specific job duties. Use caution when clearing jams, guard your back and use anti-fatigue matting.

Expeditors:  Do you have a tool kit?  It includes safety grips for pad checks, a reflective vest, scissors, flashlight and a head/hand light to help you stay safe while performing your job.

Window Clerks: Anti-fatigue mat, use proper lifting with packages, insists on your breaks.

Manual Clerks:  Stop and stretch your neck and back, use proper lifting techniques, use good lighting and work within your optimal reach envelope.

Express/MVS/STATS: Inspect your vehicles, use caution entering and exiting your vehicle, set your mirrors and practice defensive driving.

Keep hydrated and get your rest!  If you have questions please call me at 303-853-6013 or drop me a line

More to come on the SPSS...

OIG- The Big Brother In Our Work Place by Lawanda Davis, Administrative Aide

By now all employee's should be well aware that the OIG is able to see every corner of the USPS.  They have cameras on all surrounding streets and highways. I believe they have extended their surveillance since the Oklahoma bombings to protect the mail and their employees.  They have cameras everywhere, so I would like to remind you that stealing, possession of firearms, bringing alcohol  and/or Marijuana is illegal on USPS property and it is a removable offense!  If you remember back to when you were sworn in, you swore not to steal, possess weapons on USPS property, go to the media about USPS business, take pictures inside any USPS facility,  possess alcohol or illegal drugs on federal property.  Colorado has legalized the use of marijuana in the privacy of your own home but you still can't do it in open parks or businesses.  It is still illegal to have it on federal property.  The legalization of marijuana is a State law and it does not override Federal laws.  It has been brought to our attention that some of you are using Vapor pipes on the premises.  You better stop immediately because the OIG has already caught you on tape! 

We have also had employees caught stealing from the mail and they have been charged with a federal felony and fired!  The OIG is constantly guarding the mail and if you're stealing, you will be caught.  Any of these offenses will get you fired.  In case you didn't know, when you are charged with a federal crime, you will serve your time in a federal prison and there is no such thing as "Good Time".  If they give you 20 years, you will serve 20 years and not a second less!  If you are approached by the OIG, ask what your charges are and then request a steward.  Many times, by the time we find out you are in trouble, you have already said something that would incriminate yourself.  If you are charged with a felony you will probably need a lawyer because the steward can only represent you inside the USPS facility and it has to be something that is in our contract.  However, the Steward can recommend if a lawyer is going to be needed.  If you are in doubt or uncomfortable with the interview ask to speak privately with your steward.

Maintenance Mechanic L-7 Positions by Ben Pesina, Director Maintenance Craft

Denver maintenance management is planning on filling numerous Maintenance Mechanic L-7 positions. If you decide to apply for the job, I strongly suggest that you contact your union to find out what the ramifications will be if you are promoted and while you are in the position, you fail to qualify.  Once you’re in the position, you will be given up to one year to qualify. This will require a decent background in electricity and mechanics and possibly HVAC. Make sure you contact your steward prior to accepting a maintenance craft position.

Safety Awareness Campaign by Art Tavera, Safety MOU

Last year there were 36,000 postal employees who got sickened or injured on the job.  10 brothers and sisters suffered fatalities.  Most of these incidents were most likely due to the unsafe environment that employees were, and presently are, being subjected to work under by management. THE STAND UP FOR JOB SAFETY CAMPAIGN was launched at the national level to bring about employee awareness and expose management's lack of accountability for their failure to respond to employees documented requests to abate unsafe, hazardous practices and conditions.

We all have experienced multiple situations in which we submitted a PS 1767 hazard condition abatement form and management never responded, much less resolved or abated the hazard. Therefore, I am requesting the assistance of all employees in all facilities (GMF, MPA. THS, Stations, AO's) to please read the fact sheets that are being disseminated in  the Union Offices, or on your union bulletin boards, and 1)  understand your contractual and legal rights pertinent to your safe working environment and 2) educate yourself and  or ask your stewards as to what you can and should do procedurally to properly document and report unsafe conditions or practices.

Most employees know what a USPS Report of Hazard/Unsafe Condition or Practice form (PS-1767) is and how to fill it out, but after we submit them to management, somehow they tend to vanish.  The supervisors very seldom, if ever, return them to the employee by the end of their tour as required, and the forms are almost never forwarded to the Safety Office, so they can be recorded into their database.

If we are to change management's culture of safety negligence, laziness and convenient, situational amnesia tic ignorance, I am requesting that when employees fill out a PS 1767, make a copy before giving the original to management.  Please bring a copy by your Union Office, fax it to the union hall at 303-365-0096 or to the union room fax at 303-853-6283, in care of DMAL/APWU SAFETY MOU Art Tavera.  This way I can keep track of when the document was submitted, monitor or follow up on the hazard or unsafe conditions and  ensure management's accountability relative to conforming with all of the contractual and legal safety rights and standards they are obligated to provide to all  employees. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

There are no problems we cannot solve together,

and very few we can solve by ourselves”. (LB)

Customer Service...Not!!! by Ron Malunat, Coordinator/Steward

If you are like most members, you are asking what the heck is going on in Customer Service at the Denver stations and Associate offices?  We are experiencing understaffing, long lines, no incidental leave, good workers with high seniority bidding out, good day jobs not being bid or go to low seniority employees, no relief floaters, carriers delivering mail late and after businesses close, constant complaints from good customers at the window.  This is just the beginning and all of these things are really happening.

"The Good, the Bad & the Ugly" - I am a Denver station representative and have worked in Customer Service since about 1990.  During this time I have seen the "Good, Bad & Ugly".  After conferring with other union representatives across the state, station people (including management) and witnessing the butchery of Customer Service; I say, without any reservations, we are witnessing the Bad and Ugly.  It's not only ugly, it's Damn Ugly!  Customer Service is gone and we all, including most supervisors, know it.

The first question I have is, how did this manifestation of self destructive imploding happen?  Simple - Bad upper management filtering down through the ranks.  No one in management wants to call the higher-ups on the nonsense because they are afraid of retribution or not getting their raise or bonus.  It's just easier for supervisors and managers to go along with the crap and harass the workers.  Of course, no one asks the workers for their input, so it just gets worse.

Exposing the B. S. - Okay, we don't have enough room to report all of the mismanagement (Sarcasm yes, but it's the truth), so we'll just start with bids going low and senior people bidding out like rats on a sinking ship.   Then the vacant jobs are not getting bid, if they are even reposted, so someone with low seniority gets a day job.  Unbelievable!!!  Two high seniority union workers at the Sunnyside Station just bid out to Automation at the plant because it's so bad.  Look at the Sullivan Station - massive mismanagement has caused all sorts of high seniority employees to leave and now look at the seniority of those employees who get the bids.  Why would these people bid out?  Because it's a frickin mess and that has been happening at stations for quite awhile.  The number of grievances being filed are higher than anyone can remember. I will write more in other Union News Express issues, until the nonsense stops.  The struggle continues...

All Craft Conference - Oct. 2015 - Las Vegas by Laviena Vargas, Coordinator

A BIG THANK YOU to the membership for voting on and passing a motion to send five delegates to the All Craft Conference.  As a Clerk delegate chosen to attend the conference, I received and experienced three full days of UNIONISM at its BEST! The conference provided educational and important training to our stewards on issues ranging from Excessing and Abolishing , to creating Desirable Duty Assignments.  These classes are a platform to hear and discuss grievances/issues from other locals and are in a sense, a window to what our APWU brothers and sisters are dealing with nationwide.

A lot of the discussions at the conference were in regards to our pending National Contract as it appears to be headed for arbitration.  APWU President Mark Dimondstein addressed the President's Conference with information on some of the issues that are preventing the signing of our contract.  Per Charles Trujillo the President of the Albuquerque Local in New Mexico, one of the issues that we are at odds over is that the Postal Service wants a three tier pay system.  OUR UNION SAYS NO!!  We will continue to fight for fair wages for ALL our members!

The last day of our great conference, Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders addressed the roughly 2,000 APWU members.  Mr. Sanders praised the USPS as "IT provides decent paying union jobs to some 500,000 Americans, and it is the largest employer of veterans."  He also spoke on the importance of the six days  of delivery provided by the USPS.  "IT WAS ELECTRIC" said APWU President Mark Dimondstein on the response to Sanders speech.

All in all, being in the presence of so many STRONG, SMART, DEDICATED and COMMITTED APWU Brothers and Sisters was an experience of a lifetime!  This conference encouraged ME personally to want to utilize every ounce of Union strength that I possess!  "While the overall All Craft Conference was a success, the visible enthusiastic spirit of attendees was uplifting.  The National Executive Board recognized the splendid participation and attendance, including those officers and stewards from the Denver Metro," said our Regional Coordinator Omar Gonzalez.  In Solidarity We Will Fight!

It's Bid Annual Time by Chris Arellano, Director Clerk Craft

The Bid Annual forms are out.  Cheryl McConnell from the Postmaster's Office, Bob Bronder from the plant and myself have completed a corrected copy of the Bid Annual forms.  You should have received a form on November 1, 2015.  If not, ask your supervisor.  You must turn in  your selections by December 1, 2015, to be considered, no exceptions.  I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. 

Stop Delaying America's Mail - Don't stop, we're making headway.  This past month an outright majority called to end delayed mail and return to overnight mail standards, gaining overwhelming bi-partisan votes of  85 to 11 in the Senate.

How quickly time passed.  Summer seems like just yesterday.  Now we are gearing up for the Christmas season.  Get ready, get set, go!  Overtime will most likely increase and so will management performing bargaining unit work.  Please stand up to protect your job!  Don't let management do your work!  That's why management wants to revert every vacancy.  Please write a statement for your steward to file these ongoing and continuous violations.

All Craft Conference - As I reported at the Union Meeting on October 28, 2015, the All Craft Conference was held in Las Vegas, Nevada from Monday, October 12, 2015 through Wednesday, October 14, 2015.  Many informational classes were given on PSE issues. local negotiations, grievance preparation, Article 37 issues, etc.  It is always good to see old unionist friends from all over the country.  I was happy to see Lew Roman, DMAL Retiree Treasurer.  Bernie Sanders addressed our conference and he is so very supportive of Postal Worker Postal banking, raising the minimum wage and helping all struggling working families.  He received a standing ovation.  Bernie seems very sincere and practices what he preaches, unlike most politicians.

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