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What's New at DMAL-APWU 229
Union News Express 2014-01

From the President’s Desk

by John A. Ancona, President

Well it’s no surprise the New Year started out with changes. Management at the GMF changed everyone in Automation on Tour 3 and Tour 1 by one hour to help get the mail dispatched by 5:30 AM.  I understand that any changes that take place needs time to develop; but I don’t believe management should have moved your hours during the holiday season.  This has created unnecessary overtime before tour and after tour.  Their goal is to help get the mail carriers out on the streets earlier, but this can only be accomplished by staffing the stations properly, not changing the hours at the GMF.  Mail has been dispatched at 6:30 AM for years at the GMF.  It didn’t become an issue until the staffing changed at the stations.

Your union has been working hard to stop the reversions at the city stations.  It’s an ongoing battle but one that Administrative Aide Lawanda Davis has been fighting and doing quite well on this issue.  Your union will continue to fight all reversions until staffing at all facilities are where they need to be.  I’ve said it in past articles, don’t be mad at your union when changes occur, we do not change bid assignments, management does.

If This Doesn’t Shake You….

Senate Panel Approves

‘Disastrous’ Postal Bill
Unions Promise Fierce Opposition

APWU Web News Article #023-14, Feb. 6, 2014

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs approved an amended version of a postal bill (S. 1486) that faces vehement opposition from the four postal unions. The committee with oversight responsibility for the Postal Service passed the measure by a vote of 9-1 on Feb. 6.

“This was a bad bill that was made worse by the ‘substitute’ version that was introduced last week,” said APWU Legislative and Political Director John Marcotte. “Today the committee amended the bill around the edges but gave no relief to workers and no long-term assurances to the American people about their mail service.”

The bill, which was introduced by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), would:

  • Threaten 100,000 full- and part-time postal jobs;
  • Lead to pension cuts;

  • Weaken workers’ position in upcoming contract negotiations;

  • Require the USPS to pre-fund workers’ compensation by $17 billion, further strangling USPS finances;

  • Permit the USPS to close and consolidate mail processing facilities after two years;

  • Allow the Postal Service to further reduce service and delivery standards;

  • Eliminate Saturday delivery after 2017;

  • Eliminate door-to-door mail delivery for new businesses and households, and

  • Expose injured workers to impoverishment once they reach retirement age.

Voting in favor of the bill were: Sen. Carper, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sen. Coburn, Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) voted in favor of the bill by proxy, but proxy votes were not recorded.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) was the lone recorded no vote. Others who voted no by proxy were: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sen. Rand Paul(R-KY). Proxy votes were not recorded.

  • Allow firearms in postal parking lots, provided there is no conflict with state and local regulations;

  • Permit the Postal Regulatory Commission to overturn plant closures, and

  • Postpone plant closures and changes to service standards until one year after the Comptroller General issues a report on USPS compliance with service standards.

“This disastrous bill would severely damage service to the people; weaken the USPS and make it ripe for privatization, and destroy good jobs throughout the country,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “The APWU urges senators to vote against the bill if and when it is brought to the Senate floor for consideration.”

Stations Are My Passion

by Connie Archuleta, Bear Valley Station Steward

I have been the Station Steward at Bear Valley for almost 17 years now, and I have worked there for over 20 years.  I have seen management, especially after NTFT and PSE’s became part of our contract, trying to make station jobs universal. This allows them to revert positions by hours, not job duties, and not to have to adhere to seniority rights, and put people wherever they choose.  Under Article 37 of our National Agreement, all job postings must have a Principle Assignment Area (PAA’s). If an employee has a stamp credit, they need to be working the window a certain amount of time, or the Sale Service Associate (SSA) should not be put on that job posting.  This is the sanctity of our jobs, preserving full-time career jobs and also protecting our seniority is the union’s job.  Now with the PSE’s, it is important that we keep track of these jobs.  Management deciding what they need is their job. They seem to forget that this must be done within the confines of the contact. 

When a job at a station goes up for bid, you, as an employee, should know what the majority of your day will be spent doing; if you will work the window, is it for relief or for most of the day, will it be for scheme or distribution, what distribution?  Flats, letters, or parcels?  Who is responsible for the carrier bars, box sections, 1412, BRM and other miscellaneous duties?  Management loves to just put distribution on a job posting, or have three or four different places you will work.  There is only one PAA and you have a right to use your seniority to bid a job and to have enough information on that posting to make an informed decision about where you will be working.  As we get older, doing parcel distribution becomes harder, and we want to bid to other duties such as box section or window, which is less physical work and later hours.

When a station job comes up for reversion, it is because management no longer needs that job.  If there is not a specific description of the PAA, then the union will not know what exactly is being reverted, and then other employees at the station may be given good job duties without the job being reposted city-wide for all of us to bid on, and to use our seniority to get it.  Junior employees do not replace a senior employee from their PAA, and ‘other duties as assigned by supervisor’ is not a free-for-all where they can move you around on a daily basis. It means that you may have to work somewhere else other than your PAA, but by seniority.

We, as a union, have begun to make strides in this area when I filed on this issue and won two very important Step 2’s and now we will have to force management to adhere to these Step 2 settlements.  If a job posting at a station is being cancelled and reposted, this is the reason why.  We, as your union, do not want to make a hardship on any of our members, but as a union steward, one thing I’ve learned is, management loves to make the union look bad, and to blame everything on us.  There are many working in this union on this issue to get the stations back to where they once were, as a good place to work, not the nightmarish, short staffed, unorganized places most of them are now.

Attention PSE Clerks

by Chris Arellano, Director Clerk Craft

Did you know you can OPT for bids that show up as No Successful Bidder on the yellow DPM Awards?  See your steward to identify the jobs you can opt to.  Please remember this does not convert you to career, nor guarantee you 40 hours per week, even if you are covering a traditional 40 hour job.  Below is the contract language for Opting.

F. Opting

A PSE may only occupy full-time (traditional or non-traditional) duty assignments in accordance with these rules.  This does not prohibit PSE's from working assignments that do not constitute a duty assignment.

In the Clerk and Motor Vehicle Crafts, where practicable, PSE's will be allowed to opt on a seniority basis for fulltime (traditional and non-traditional) vacant, residual assignments in the installation for which they are qualified and which are not assigned to career employees.  Such opting does not create any work hour or assignment guarantees.

Hours worked by PSE's in opted non-traditional full-time assignments of more than eight hours in a work day or 40 hours in a work week will be an exception, for the portion of their assignment which exceeds eight hours in a day and 40 hours in a week, to the contractual obligations pursuant to Article 8.4.G to utilize the Overtime Desired List.

In the Clerk Craft, existing provisions of Article 37.3.F.5 and 37.3.F.7 apply prior to a PSE opting for the assignment.  In addition, Article 37.3.F.3 and 37.3.F.4 will be modified so as to permit all bidders to train and attempt to qualify before the duty assignment becomes residual and available for assignment of unencumbered  employees, PTF preferencing (unless being withheld), and finally for PSE opting.  However, qualified PSE's may be utilized to backfill vacancies while full-time or part-time 293 employees are in training pending qualification.  In addition, any such assignment will be posted for bid as a vacant duty assignment or reverted pursuant to Article 37.3 on the occasion of the PSE's break in service.

If there is an OPT position for the Denver GMF/MPA, fax Glen Erfman at 303-853-6215; for Denver Customer Service fax Shawn Weston at 303-853-6542 for CFS fax Lorriane Pruett at 303-227-5329.  I would also ask that you fax a second copy to the APWU, attention Chris Arellano at 303-365-0096.    If you are a Sales and Service Associate at a Denver Station, you can opt for a SSA.  Automation and CFS have no qualifications.  The jobs you can opt for are;

All yellow sheet awards that state no successful bidders.  Management is supposed to post all unsuccessful bids into a blue DPM which are Residual Vacancies for Unassigned Regulars and PSE’s to opt into.  Any questions, contact your steward or you may call me at 303-365-1524 ext. 13.

For Employees Covered by the National Agreement

from APWU website

(01/16/14) In December 2013, the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) rose slightly to 682.639. This index point is below the point of the last adjustment: 685.350. Based on the fifth month (December Index point) of the six-month measuring period, the fifth cost-of-living increase under the 2010 National Agreement would be zero. However, the fifth COLA will be based on the January 2014 CPI and will be effective March 8, 2014 (pay period 07-2014). The Index must climb to at least 685.750 before another adjustment would be paid.

The first and third COLAs were effective March 9, 2013 (pay period 07-2013, pay date March 29, 2013) and totaled $207.00 per year, $7.96 per pay, and $0.10 per hour.

The second and fourth COLAs under the 2010 National Agreement were effective Sept. 7, 2013 (pay period 20-2013, pay date Sept. 27, 2013) and totaled $937.00 per year, $36.04 per pay period, and $0.45 per hour.

There will be seven COLA adjustments under the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement based on the Jan. 2012, July 2012, Jan. 2013, July 2013, Jan. 2014, July 2014, and Jan. 2015 releases of the CPI-W. So far, under the 2010 National Agreement, employees have received cost-of-living adjustments totaling $1,144.00.

Put Management’s Bonus in YOUR Pocket

by Deanna Tesone, Recording Secretary

By now we have all heard the horror stories.  Management gets a bonus for you returning your Voice of the Employee Surveys (VOE’s)!  You don’t even have to give them a good review…just by returning the envelope, even if it’s empty, they get a bonus!  The VOE has been a joke since back in the day when they used our answers against us during contract negotiations.  Because a lot of employees noted that they felt they were properly compensated for the work they performed, management used that to say we didn’t need a raise.  What else should we really expect from postal management???  The DMAL is turning the tables on this joke of a program.   Every quarter we will hold a drawing for the members who turn in their VOE’s.  Drop your unopened VOE at the union hall or turn it in to your steward.  You may also attend our first VOE drawing that will be held at the February General Membership Meeting on February 26th.  One winner will be drawn and will receive $100!!!  Turn the tables on management and put their bonus in YOUR pocket!  There will be a drawing every quarter so keep those VOE’s rolling into the union hall for your chance to win!

/rb/jd   opeiu #30   afl-cio

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