Major Mail Processing Equipment Relocations Nationwide
July 18, 2023
Machine Relocation / Removal Teams
On May 9, 2023, the APWU was notified that the Postal Service intends to develop teams of volunteer maintenance craft employees to perform the removals and/or relocations of mail processing equipment, in conjunction with their 10 Year Plan. Maintenance Division resident officers immediately met with the Postal Service to discuss this project and relay our concerns. While we are pleased that this work will remain in-house, and not be subcontracted, other areas of concern remain.
We learned that the Postal Service intends to solicit volunteers from Electronic Technician (ET), Mail Processing Equipment Mechanic (MPE), and Maintenance Mechanic (MM) employees with the goal of getting individuals to participate on the MPE machine removal/ relocation teams. Participation will be strictly voluntary, and selection will be based on geographical location and training. Volunteers will be expected to work 10 hours a day and six days a week, maximum, and overtime will be paid in accordance with Article 8 of the National Agreement.
The volunteers will first be solicited from those facilities scheduled to have a machine removed and/or relocated by the local facility. If additional volunteers are needed, solicitation will be expanded to other facilities. Maintenance craft employees who are trained on the equipment being removed and/or relocated will be considered before those employees who have not been trained. However, employees not trained on the equipment will be considered if additional volunteers are needed. The removal and/ or relocation of machines is set to begin in August 2023 in Atlanta, GA, followed by Charlotte, NC. It is anticipated that additional sites will be identified where the subject machine’s removal/relocation teams will be utilized. However, those sites have not yet been determined.
The machine removal/relocation teams will consist of at least one MTSC EAS, NST, or MTSC contractor team leader. The number of team members will vary based on local circumstances. Employees selected to be part of the MPE machine removal/relocation teams may be required to travel to other sites as needed based on the removal and/or relocation schedule. It is anticipated that each team will work up to three weeks depending on the machines to be removed and/or relocated. Projects lasting longer than three weeks will require rotation of teams every three weeks.
New FMO Ticketing System Pilot
The APWU was also notified that the Postal Service will be conducting a pilot using a new work order Field Maintenance Operation (FMO) Ticketing System in place of Electronic Maintenance Activity Reporting and Scheduling (eMARS) for the purpose of overseeing and assigning field maintenance work. The APWU is engaged in ongoing discussions and meetings regarding this ticketing system pilot program, and our concerns, including some of the unintended consequences that may arise (i.e. potential violations of articles 1.6 and 7).
Management reported that the FMO currently uses the eMARS to enter and track work orders assigned under the FMO and facilities utilize the Electronic Facility Maintenance System (eFMS). However, there is no communication between the two systems that tracks when escalation of a work order is required. Rather, reconciliation of completion and/or declinations for non-emergencies must be manually entered in both systems. This process results in limited visibility for Postal Service management to track the progress of maintenance requests. In an effort to improve the visibility of maintenance requests from submission to completion, the subject test will automate the submission of the PS Form 4805, Maintenance Work Order Request, from a hard copy paper form requiring manual entry to an electronic request (“Help Ticket”) that is entered directly into a web-based platform by the requestor. â–