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What's New at DMAL-APWU 229
Express 2016-01

Message From the President

by John Ancona, President

I had a meeting with Carrie Martinez on the new machine that is coming to Denver.  Right now this machine is a prototype.  Denver will be the first to test the machine.  Management will have stand-ups with employees to explain the construction phase of this machine.  The Block House and the Registry Cage will be coming down and this area will be roped off for a long time.  If you don’t have to be in that area, I suggest you stay away from there.  It will be dangerous for some time. The machine is called HTPS.  Construction should start sometime in April, but management is not sure how long this could take.  By the time management inputs all the programs and signs off on this new machine, it could be some time in March 2017.

No discussions have taken place as far as bid assignments.  We don’t even know if this machine will work.  Management told us they are considering using P.S.E’s until the machine is running to full capacity. We also discussed maybe having volunteers who might be interested to work the new machine.  Nothing has been agreed upon at this point.  I know this information is vague but I wanted to let you know what we know. As we find out more we will share that information with you.  I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

GMF Changes For 2016

by Bobby Rollins, Executive Vice-President

In a meeting with Management and the Denver Metro APWU we were given the following information which is in preparation for the installation of the HTPS (High Through-put Parcel Sorter): 

  • 010 Cancellers will be moved,two machines at a time starting in January, to just west of the West Wing Wall towards the Southern part of the plant.

  • Management will start preparing the old Labor Relations Office back by the Supervisors Work Room for the Registry Unit to be moved into. This will begin sometime Mid-January.

  • The Blockhouse will be dismantled by Mid-February.

  • In April the HTPS (High Through-Put Parcel Sorter) will be installed in the GMF.The Post Office will have the machine for one year to experiment with it, prior to purchasing the machine. During this time it will be staffed by PSE’s or volunteers from the FTR’s.There will be 1600 and/or 1700 start times in this operation.

    There will be no Bid Jobs posted until the machine is accepted and purchased by the USPS.

Welcome 2016

by Chris Arellano, Director Clerk Craft

I hope you all had a great holiday.  Now that the holidays are over, it's back to business as usual.  Bargaining unit work continues in customer service due to lack of staffing.  Residuals vacancies are still on the rise.  Clerks are not bidding many station jobs, which cause the positions to go on E-Reassign.  We have many CFS, GMF and MPA residuals also.  It takes approximately six months before we see a PSE get converted into the residuals and become a full-time career employee. 

The only other way these residuals get filled is when someone applies through E-reassign.  We actually have E-reassigns coming into LSSA level 7 jobs in the city; including some Saturday and Sunday scheduled days off.  This is rare, as many stations have split days off.

From APWU National Web Page,

“Why Don’t We Have a Contract Yet?” Selecting Arbitrators: Our fight for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement has moved to a new phase.  APWU President Mark Dimondstein reports,  “We are taking the preliminary steps necessary to proceed to arbitration,” he said. The first step is to select a three-member arbitration panel, which will be comprised of a union-appointed advocate, a management-appointed advocate and a neutral arbitrator agreed upon by both parties. The neutral arbitrator is the person who will ultimately decide the terms of the contract, so this is a vitally important part of the process.  The APWU and the USPS have exchanged five names each from which we expect to select a neutral arbitrator.  As soon as the neutral arbitrator is chosen, both parties will begin scheduling hearing dates, which the APWU anticipates will begin by late January or early February.

Be patient, as arbitration takes a long time. Protect your jobs, get involved today! Your union needs good members to help fight for our cause to continue to make a livable wage with good benefits.  I have been blessed to be part of our great APWU for 36 years now.  I only hope you can experience 36 years too.  On another note, GO BRONCOS!!

Safety, Ergonomics And You

by Lawanda Davis, Administrative Aide

In the past year, I'm sure you have noticed that your facility is nasty from dust and trash.  There is a ridiculous amount of dust on your light fixtures.  Break rooms and rest rooms are not being cleaned regularly. Your docks are congested and full of empty equipment.   Light bulbs are out or the lighting is so poor that you can't see what you are trying to read.  For these issues, you must fill out a 1767 and provide it to your Supervisor or Postmaster.  We ask that you also make a copy of the 1767 and provide it to your steward so that we are aware of your issues.  If you fill out a 1767 during your Tour, management should give you a written response by the end of your Tour.  If the safety hazard is not brought to management's attention until the end of your Tour, management should get back to you on your next scheduled work day on how they plan to correct the issue.  If management ignores you or tells you that it is not an issue and you still feel like the situation is an issue, contact your steward and call OSHA or file a complaint online.  You can do so anonymously, but you need to make sure your steward knows who you are so that we can keep you informed of the status of your complaint.

If you are constantly being placed into a hostile environment with bullying Supervisors, managers or co-workers, that is also reported on a 1767. For you old timers, you will remember that the USPS used to have a committee that was designed to deal with these situations and the committee was called Violence in the Workplace.  Violence in the Workplace has been disbanded and there has been no other outlet to deal with these issues except for the 1767.  This 1767 is not given to the manager involved with the Hostile environment or is causing the Hostile environment, but a higher authority.  Also make a copy of the 1767 and provide it to your steward. Your steward will initiate a grievance on your behalf. If you feel like you are in immediate danger and there is no manager available, you always can also contact the local Police department for help. 

There is only one way to address these issues with management.  The union can file a grievance and be your liaison between you and management/OSHA. We can't make management do better without the help of our members.  We depend on you to be our eyes and ears on what's going on in your facility.  Please keep in mind that your Union is only as strong as the people we represent.  One of your unions strongest power is the grievance procedure but we must document EVERY issue because the Arbitrators that usually end up with these cases have never worked in the USPS and they don't know your Bone-Headed Manager, Supervisor or Postmaster.

DOT Drug Testing

by Carey Henricks, Director Motor Vehicle Services

It has been brought to the Union's attention that management is continuing to send MVS employees to do DOT drug tests, to facilities that do not know the Dot requirements.  Apparently management does not know the requirements either. If you are sent to a facility to do a direct observation collection and there is no employee of the same gender sex, contact your supervisor and inform them of the failure to abide by DOT requirements.  Management has been informed of this blunder numerous times and they need to rectify this problem.  If there was a female sent to do the same thing and a male was watching, it would be a whole different situation.

Sec. 9 - DIRECT OBSERVATION COLLECTIONS

THE OBSERVER MUST BE THE SAME GENDER AS THE EMPLOYEE; THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS REQUIREMENT.

Pay Anomoly For PVS Drivers

There is still a disparity in pay among the drivers in PVS.  I have sent all the information to the national level to get some assistance from them.  As of now, I have not heard anything about the pay anomaly that is affecting numerous drivers.  This ongoing issue is a result of labor, in the Denver area, refusing to do pay adjustments at the Step 2 level here. This grievance has been remanded to Step 2 twice for labor to make payment, and both times they have refused to make the adjustments that was agreed to at Step 3. Let your Union representative know if you receive any type of pay adjustment, so that we can make sure that they have paid you properly.

Grievances For MVS

There are numerous grievances at the Step 3 level that have been there for a long time.  From what I am being told, it is because management will not agree to arbitration dates and/or schedule them for arbitration. I believe this is because they are afraid of losing them in the arbitration process, and don’t want to make payment on them.

Non-Members

A lot of you don’t realize that there have been several Union activists that have lost their life fighting for the rights of the middle class in this country. YOU who don’t pay your dues are disrespecting the memory of these individuals that have fought so hard to keep the corporations from paying you minimum wage with no benefits. If YOU think that YOU can go work somewhere else and have what YOU have here, I challenge YOU to go out and find it on your own.  YOU will not find it without the backing of a Union.  I have said it before, quit riding the backs of dues paying members and support the Union that has fought to get YOU the pay and benefits that YOU take for granted.

4/10 Modified Work Week Program

FSM 100 Section has become a modified 4/10 work week program, beginning Saturday, July 25, 2015.  Highlights of a 4/10 work week are:

  • Four ten hour work days with three scheduled days off each week

  • Eight holidays with each consisting of ten hours holiday leave pay

  • Washington's and Columbus Day holidays are regular work days

  • Ten hours administrative leave pay when a full work day is authorized

  • Penalty pay for overtime work before or after tour

  • Penalty pay for overtime work after eight hours on a scheduled day off

  • Ten hour annual/sick leave usage for each leave day

    If you have military, jury or court leave, you will be required to revert to a 5/8 schedule for that period in which the leave falls.  Court leave will be charged the same (i.e., up to 10 hours per day), however, the local parties have the option to determine if the employee’s schedule may be changed back to 8/5 for those weeks during which court service is performed.

Military leave will be charged at 10 hours per day but may not exceed 120 hours per year. The local parties have the option to determine if the employee’s schedule may be changed back to 8/5 for those weeks in which the employee will be on military leave for five or more days.

Option 1: During the weeks in which a holiday or designated holiday falls, the employees revert back to an 8/5 schedule. Holiday leave and holiday worked premium policies remain the same as for the current 8/5 schedule.  Option 1 will be followed until December 31, 2015.  It will be cancelled from the Agreement on December 31, 2015.

Option 2:  Washington’s Birthday and Columbus Day are considered regular workdays and are not treated as holidays for purposes of scheduling or compensating employees in 10/4. In effect, these two holidays are spread out among the remaining 8 holidays. 

Option 2 will take effect on January 1, 2016 and remain in effect until either side opts out of the agreement.

Cancellation of either local party’s involvement in a modified work week program will be automatic upon 30 days written notice. Cancellation by either party will not be subject to the grievance/arbitration procedure or appealable in any other forum.

Ten hours of holiday leave will be charged and holiday worked premium will be limited to 10 hours on each of the 8 holidays. 

If a participant, in this option, enters or leaves the 10/4 work week during the calendar year he/she will use Annual Leave or LWOP, to the extent necessary, on the remaining holidays to ensure that the total holiday leave for the calendar year does not exceed 80 hours.

Payroll and budget systems only recognize holidays within certain weeks within certain pay periods. As such, it is necessary to establish designated holidays somewhat differently from current policy. When a holiday falls on an employee’s non-scheduled day, the employee’s first scheduled workday preceding the holiday becomes the employee’s designated holiday. An 8/5 employee who has Monday as a nonscheduled day would have either the preceding Saturday or Sunday as their designated holiday because one of those two days would have to be a regularly scheduled workday. Under 10/4, an employee may have Saturday, Sunday and Monday as their non-scheduled days, which would mean establishing the previous Friday as their designated holiday. This may fall outside of the week of the pay period in which the holiday has been provided for in the payroll and budget systems.

Accordingly, designated holidays for 10/4 employees with these scheduled days off (SDOs) should be established as follows:

SDOs

ACTUAL HOLIDAY

DESIGNATED HOLIDAY

1, 2, 3

Saturday

Friday (prior)

Sunday

Tuesday

Monday

Tuesday

The following schedule is to keep the employee’s designated holiday as close to the actual holiday as possible:

SDOs

ACTUAL HOLIDAY

DESIGNATED HOLIDAY

2, 3, 4

Sunday

Saturday

Monday

Saturday

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opeiu #30

afl-cio

Tuesday

Wednesday

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