by Muriel Ponder, Steward
I wish to correct a sentence in my last article in the Union News Express.
The original sentence read:
If Tools and Parts does not have adequate supplies on hand, it is NOT our fault. If a machine is down due to no parts on hand IT IS THEIR FAULT!
It should read, for clarity:
If Tools and Parts does not have adequate supplies on hand, it is NOT our fault. If a machine is down due to no parts on hand IT IS MANAGMENT'S FAULT!
by Monica Lipscomb, Asst. Director Clerk Craft
Well, well, well, it doesn't take long for the newbie manager to taste his newfound power,. For the past few weeks in my travels to the station I represent, I've heard our clerks complain about the "new way" management is handling customer service.
Here are some examples of new business ideas:
There was a different station at the window for every type of transaction, express mail? Please stand at station one. Buying stamps? Please stand at station two. EVERY line had a different function. This was the brainchild of management. How was this supposed to be better? It just made everyone wonder, what the heck?
At another station they got the NEW scales that have to be manually zeroed out all day long. The new cash drawers have no storage capabilities for the money orders; the space is too small. There is no place to keep the big bills or any extra change. Rest assured these items were not purchased by anyone who ever actually worked a window.
A station got dinged on their mystery shopper because the lobby was not clean. The station has not had a custodian in months! They would have scored a 100% on the part of the clerks had it not been for the lack of a custodian.
A clerk was sent home because she was wearing jeans on the window. Not just to change clothes, stay home, basically emergency placed.
There also was an order from up high, that CLERKS with two absences in the past 90 days needed to be due processed, investigated with a steward, a great use of time.
This was unbelievable! I haven't been this pissed off in a long time! I was in the position to have to apologize to a clerk whose absences were due to her Dad's death!! Those two absences from three months ago were brought up to her. Let me tell you something, she had thousands of hours of sick leave in the bank and hundreds of hours of annual Now she is going to retire. YOU LOSE MANAGEMENT. It is sad, the leaders of the USPS in Denver are not leading by example, they are trying to lead by intimidation. Time and time again it has been shown that this style of management is not effective.
Somehow when management's world is torn apart by a death in their family, they can be absent for months. When management gets sick, it is much more serious then when we get sick. When they can't find a babysitter, they can bring their kids to work. Management can dress like slobs wear flip flops, but you can't wear nice jeans on the window.
So I've come to the conclusion that management must be different humans. Their losses are greater than ours; their pain is more intense; their circumstances more dire. Generally speaking, the expectations that they have for us, far exceeds the expectations they have for each other. We got you!
by Robert Helmig, Director MVS Craft
Bid annual will be starting soon. Start thinking About when you would like to use annual to get away from this soul sucking place. The leave year starts January 6, 2018 and runs till January 4, 2019. One dispatch clerk and 11 drivers will be allowed off on any given week, with exception to the week Christmas falls on, which only three drivers are allowed annual and one clerk. Per our local agreement, the blackout period is November 24th through December 21st. If you have any questions, please see your steward.
As of the writing of this article, we are on hold for the run bids. Management has given the union a bid packet with five runs that have six hours a day, with one schedule day off. This is in violation of our contract and I won’t go into too many details, but we have multiple grievances and a labor board charge in the works. We continue to welcome discussions with management and hope we can resolve this one issue, so we may move forward on this important contractual right you drivers and dispatch clerks enjoy each year.
I want to wish the following recent retiree’s good luck: Julie Peters, Eric Pingle, George Hesting, Mark Vargas, Randy Cue, Chuck Kenny, Randy Moore and Paul Strauss. You will all be missed and I hope you have a happy and full retirement.
As the holidays are just around the corner, I want to thank your stewards who work very hard and make me look good. I hope you have a happy and joyous holiday season.
Push Comes to Shove
by Joe Quintana, Coordinator
On October 12, 2017, an incident occurred at the Westminster Post Office in which a supervisor physically shoved a clerk. Apparently the supervisor approached this clerk, who has 30 years of service, and in an aggressive manner demanded he stop what he was doing and report to the box section. Our clerk acknowledged her instruction, replying that he would do so as soon as he finished the task he was doing. The supervisor snapped and in a rage, reached across the clerk, deliberately trying to snatch the scanner from his hand!
As he stood and tried to walk away from her, she pushed him on his chest as she screamed at him to "....go to the conference room", apparently to issue discipline to him.
At no time did our clerk raise his voice, resort to using profanity, nor deny her one ounce of respect or dignity. Also for the record, what he was doing would have taken no more than one or two minutes to finish. While Denver District was quick to this point to conduct an investigation, it is unknown, as of this article, what, if anything, will happen to this supervisor, who incidentally has a history of being confrontational with a lot of employees at Westminster. As the Denver APWU was made aware of this incident a few days later we are contractually obligated to "stand down" in situations such as this, while management conducts their investigation.
Short staffing, high expectations, and increased work volume have now become the daily norm for all of us, but that is NOT the excuse for this type of behavior by management, which appears to be on the rise in the area.
Regardless, let this article serve notice to management at every level, that this union, your APWU, will not tolerate blatant disrespectful, condescending behavior towards you or any other employee.
If management wants to push, we'll shove back!!
Human Relations Update
by Kijana Myers, Director Human Relations
Hello all! It's that time of season again where accidents are more prevalent. Please be careful in your walkways, driveways, stairs and any place where water can turn to ice and be unnoticed. Dress warm as the mornings are getting colder and evenings are colder also. If you can't tell, it's getting dark quicker. Please make sure your vehicles are winterized, emergency items are working, good batteries are in your flashlights, blankets, along with plenty of water just in case of an emergency. As the saying goes, rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
On another note, if you haven’t seen the flyers, I'm trying to get a basketball league going. The league is for members of all unions and their families. You must be in the union to participate. So if you still got it, let's see what you got! If you have a full squad that’s great, if not don’t worry, we'll team you up. The close for this is the 10th of November. If there are not enough participants, then I will not pursue a basketball league.
As the holidays are upon us, please be safe. Enjoy your families and friends and work safe. There is someone that depends on you! Please be careful this winter season. Enjoy the holidays and let's have a safe and lovely holiday. Be well!
Can I get A Witness?
by Dave Suwalski, Director Maintenance Craft
A few weeks ago I was walking through the plant and noticed several contractors working on removing Postal equipment. Well of course I thought right away that the Maintenance bargaining unit employees were going to write statements so we could grieve it. BOY, was I wrong. Not one witness statement was given to me. The sad thing about this story is that the next few days people kept asking me if I was going to file a grievance on it and who would get paid, but I never received one witness statement. It's amazing. Everyone wants paid but no one wants to get involved. These grievances are currently extended at Step 2, so management can investigate the issue, because a grievance was filed on my behalf. If people would have given me witness statements, this issue would have been agreed upon and been paid out and done. Please write those statements when you see craft work farmed out to the contractors. We are slowly losing our jobs because of contracted work. It’s not that hard to write a statement. These are critical for us to keep our jobs. You can even write your statement on a buck slip if you need to. DOES IT SOUND LIKE I AM PREACHING? Yes, Yes, I am. I do not want contractors taking our jobs away. So once again please help me out by writing witness statements.
Chaos by Design
by Bobby Rollins Executive Vice-President
The ever-changing plans for the Denver GMF are about as predictable as our ever-changing fall and winter weather in Colorado! If the February bid changes weren’t enough for our membership to be put through, it has been anticipated and broadcasted by management that there is yet more to come. This magical question remains: “WHEN ARE THE CHANGES COMING AND TO WHAT EXTENT?”
In all honesty, I do not possess the answer to this question! In fact, management does not appear to possess the answer to this question! I can tell you for a fact that in all meetings with management regarding any future changes, it has been emphasized by the APWU that management take care of all past grievance settlements as a result of the February changes “first and foremost”. There are numerous issues that have been settled through the grievance procedure but not yet implemented. The Denver Metro has moved forward with non-compliance grievances regarding these issues and for management to pile more changes on top of the old stuff is going to make things a lot worse for them, not us! We have out-of-schedule grievance settlements from months ago that management has yet to pay and the $$$ amount on these grievances is increasing drastically by the day!
I would like to point out that we have emphasized the fact that we don’t feel like any future changes are necessary. I specifically quote our Plant Manager Karen Padden who stated to me that “I am happy with the changes we made in February and have seen significant improvement in service since, I don’t agree with Headquarters decision to make additional changes.” I can honestly say that this is the only time I have agreed with Karen on anything.
The Denver Metro has been called to numerous meetings by management in the past couple of months to review their future proposals, but according to management each proposal presented to us at the time was subject to change. The Denver Metro has made it clear that we are not going to waste our resources looking at a different proposal every other day that is subject to change. Management can feel free to contact us when they have a final proposal and we will take the time to look it over and give our input then.
In the meantime, it appears that management has moved forward and temporarily changed people’s report times for a short “test” period on a 1723, and have tried to pass it off as if they had the union’s blessing to do so…….BS! The Denver Metro was not notified by management of these time changes and will most likely have to grieve to get the out-of-schedule pay they promised our members they would receive because of these temporary time changes. If you are one of these impacted employees it would be beneficial for you to keep an eye on your check stub and in the event you're not getting your out-of-schedule pay you need to provide your steward with a statement so a grievance can be filed.