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Union News Express 2017-03
Updated On: Apr 13, 2017

From the President

by Mark Kirby, President

Here is an update on all the changes that management is trying to implement. “IT’S NOT WORKING”

Management does not care about the disruption of your lives or working conditions that they have created through this so-called plan of theirs.  I can tell you that we have been in numerous meetings, some up to 4 hours long, to identify errors in their realignment of the GMF. When we have identified errors and they agree to fix these errors, but as soon as we are out of their offices it seems as though they forget everything we talked about and agreed upon, and no action is taken or the information is never passed down to the appropriate people who are responsible for implementing the changes.

Some of you have received several different letters and you don’t know what to do.  Should I bid?  Do I remain in my section?  I was told I was not being affected yet my bid is posted on the DPM?  I am losing my bid position yet they are back filling with clerks from different sections and using overtime to fill in for my bid job that management says they don’t need me in!  These are just a few of the problems that we have taken to management, they just don’t seem to care! They just point fingers in others direction as to say, it’s not my plan, I don’t know, I’m just doing what I’ve been told. Upper management just does not care!

Once again, I cannot emphasize the importance of filling out statement forms, 1767’s, and getting those to your union steward. You know if your contractual rights are being violated. You know if you are being harassed at work.  You know they are trying to eliminate more jobs, even though we are one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S.A.  It is so sad to see management dismantle the UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE for the greedy billionaires to take over and make billions more for themselves while we are left scrambling to make a decent living.

2016 Grievance Activity Tops the Charts

by Bobby Rollins, Executive Vice-President

2016 seemed like a busier than normal year from my perspective, but I was astonished when the year ended and I was able to do an overview of the grievance activity for 2016. The Denver Metro filed 1073 grievances for all three crafts during the year 2016. We have not seen an influx in grievance activity like this for 15 years, since 2001 when we topped 1413 grievances for that year. Of the 1073 grievances filed in 2016, 818 were contractual violations.

The sad part of it all is that we are at 152 grievances one and one half months in to 2017, and at that pace we will top 1200 grievances for this year.  I would like to point out that if it wasn’t for our Stewards being pro-active in identifying contractual violations before they occur and correcting them with management prior to a violation occurring, the numbers would be a lot higher.

It is apparent to this officer that management has lost all regard for our Collective Bargaining Agreement in Denver.  I suspect that grievance activity in 2017 will increase from the norm as a result of management's rushed bid package proposal for the GMF.  So many errors were identified by the Denver Metro, yet so few were corrected by management prior to posting the bids. If you feel aggrieved by a particular action management has taken on you specifically, please talk to your Union Steward so he/she can investigate the issue and grieve it, if a violation does exist.

I would like to emphasize the importance of every member contacting their Steward and grieving any and all disciplinary actions initiated by management. I recall at least seven members in 2016 that were issued some level of discipline by management and yet never contacted their union steward to grieve it.  The Letters of Warning (LOW), 7-Day suspensions, etc…..these types of disciplinary actions don’t magically go away when ignored.  Any official letter of discipline issued to an employee will, by virtue of our contract, remain in your OPF for two years unless grieved and settled for a shorter retention time.  I can’t emphasize the importance of contacting your Steward immediately in the event you receive discipline.

Anger Management Classes are Required

by Dave Suwalski, Director Maintenance Craft

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostile_work_environment

In the United States labor law, a hostile work environment exists when one's behavior within a workplace creates an environment that is difficult or uncomfortable for another person to work in.

Recently, I had an ordeal with a Supervisor who thought it was necessary to scream at me in the maintenance hallway. Keeping my head, I walked away from a potentially dangerous situation.  The sad thing is, I greeted this individual with a good morning. We all know that if it was me screaming down that hall, I would have been emergency placed.  I just want to let you know that you have rights as an employee when this kind of thing happens.

Here is what you do:

  • First you remain calm. (look around to see if there are witnesses who can give you statements)

  • Then you fill out a 1767 Safety Form for hostile work environment.

  • Then you write me a statement and send it to Fax Number 303-365-0096.

  • I will then fill out a Step two grievance under Article 14 Safety and Health.

    Section 1 Responsibility:

    It is the responsibility of management to provide safe working conditions in all present and future installations and to develop a safe working force. This is the first paragraph in the CBA under Article 14.

    We all have to work together.  We know how stressful the Post Office can be, but that does not mean we should start disrespecting each other.  We all have a job to do, so let’s try and work together and respect each other.  As a Postal employee and a human being I know I will not tolerate this kind of behavior, nor should you.  I believe anger management classes or communication classes are needed.  Stay well and stress free my Union Brothers and Sisters.

MVS Update

by Robert Helmig, Director MVS Craft

I have a grievance for Out-Of-Schedule pay for all full-time TTO’s, because we did not bid in October and the new runs did not take effect until February 4th.  This grievance was recently denied at Step 2 and would have paid Out-Of-Schedule from November 1, 2016 to February 4, 2017. At a meeting that included management at different levels and the union, this was discussed and management agreed to pay Out-Of-Schedule at that time.  Now they are back tracking.  This just shows you what kind of management we are up against.

I was informed on February 13th that we had a manager show up on the previous Sunday wearing flip flops and was on our south dock. The double standards in this place are unbelievable.  If you or I showed up looking like we were going to a cook out, we’d get Emergency Placed and discipline would follow. But this guy, NOTHING!  If you were to witness something like this, write up a 1767 and get a copy to me ASAP.

We are getting all Aurora and Arvada back in April. This is an Agreement from Western Area management and the National APWU.  We may be understaffed because local management doesn’t know how to hire, and it would not surprise me if local management did something to delay or even screw up the implementation of this work.  We are getting back the Aurora’s and Arvada’s.  I also have a grievance filed at Step 2 on this, and will seek a remedy going back to 2011, when I first filed on subcontracting them out.

Rising Above the Chaos United!

by Laviena Vargas, Director Clerk Craft

United:  [ yoo-nahu-tid] verb……1. To become joined together or combined so as to form a single entity. 2. When people are united about one cause and agree to act together.

Are You serious?” “Wow!” “What on Earth?” “Are We in the Twilight Zone?” “Who is in charge of this Mess?” “Does management have the slightest clue what it is they are TRYING to do?” I’m sure many of the clerks here at the GMF have said, yelled, screamed or simply asked any of the above questions in regards to the "new alignment” at the GMF.  Please be assured that The APWU UNION has also asked these annoying questions over and over and over and over AGAIN! From management’s very first single word uttered about such a massive change at the GMF, the UNION has been dead set against any such changes.

Hundreds of clerks on all 3 tours are being affected in some way by this chaotic mess! And that is exactly what this realignment is, A HUGE MESS!  Many clerks have to re-bid being it in-section or on the DPM.  The hard part about hundreds of clerks bidding is that the bids are not even correct in a lot of the instances.  How is it possible for any clerk to feel assured or to feel secure or to feel respected concerning our bid jobs when we are not being given correct information to bid on?  The Union has been and continues to work extremely hard in enforcing the contract language pertaining to the bidding process and the other issues associated with the realignment.

As of today there are more questions than answers;  thank you management. However, the union is diligently identifying the mistakes, the corrections to be made and most importantly the grievance issues coming out of this rushed and un-organized realignment! The GMF stewards have already begun to file grievances and there are many more to come.  Management still has yet to identify any changes, if any, to the Registry and Express Units.  The union has requested stand-up talks with these clerks to advise if they should bid on the Feb. 9th DPM.  To no avail, management has done nothing on these sections, as of today.  This realignment was to be the golden, sparkly answer to all the negative issues with the GMF’s handling, processing and dispatching of the mail.  I have to say that the union totally disagrees with that little concept.  I love gold and sparkles, truly I do, but this realignment is anything but that! It’s ugly, annoying, wrong, unprepared, misleading and doesn’t make any sense in any way shape or form.

Every clerk has the right to be upset, frustrated, confused and angry.  The union does not dispute that.   However, I would like to remind all clerks that we must not allow management to break us down or to stress us out. Of course these actions by management are very stressful because they affect our livelihoods.  As a union we must stand together and show management that the clerks at the GMF are not just job ID #'s.  We clerks are mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, partners who have lives and families that depend on us and our postal jobs. So when you mess with our jobs, you are technically messing with our families!

We also belong to the union family.  The union is fightng to make sure every clerk and every bid is being affected according to the National Collective Bargaining Agreement. The stewards and officers are gathering all information that is needed to file the massive amount of grievances, as a result of this mess.  Please take the time to write a statement and make your union steward on your tour aware of any discrepancies concerning the changes.

I personally would like to acknowledge every APWU union steward at the GMF for their perseverance, their patience and the ability and efforts to answer or try to answer the endless questions they are faced with every day. 

Tour 1 - Lawanda Davis & Charles Quintana

Tour 2 - Robert Boyle, Tim Samuels & Dan Engdahl Tour 3 - Monica Lipscomb - Asst. Director Clerk Craft, Jackie Fleming, Toshay Wilkerson & Cornella Morris. Add Administrative Aide Ron Malunat to the list as well for taking the numerous calls coming into the Union Hall.  Your hard work and determination is recognized and your dedication is valued.

As Your Clerk Craft Director I would like to take this time to say “thank you” to every clerk who is enduring this horrific disaster.  We deserve better than this, much better!  We must stay united as a single entity and have faith that the National Contract and grievance procedure will prevail in all matters concerning this realignment.  

We must rise above the chaos united!

Ahhhh Bidding...

by Monica Lipscomb, Asst. Director Clerk Craft

I thought that bidding for the reposted jobs would not be so cumbersome.  WOW was I wrong!  This process took some people two or more hours to bid.  I, myself, spent one hour and ten minutes at the computer.  Just when I thought I was done, I hit submit and all the bids had to be check marked again!  If you skipped a number or duplicated a number, you had to re-bid.  There was no way to check on the job slot information.  It was a tedious process; fingers crossed you hit submit bids!  You just held your breath and hoped that everything went through.

I believe that we should have been given two hours on the clock to take care of this arduous business.  Management made us bid.  The complement is not going to change that much.  We may have been too happy with our SDO's.  Maybe those people who walk through the plant, who never ran a machine, saw someone happily running mail.

Management thought this was a good idea.  That is how you know it was a bad idea!  During this process I witnessed true grace from some members, who still were grateful to have a job regardless of the changes, while others behaved awfully.  Chalk it all up to human nature and our reluctance to change.  We will survive.  We will get to say good-bye to the latest batch of managers, just like we always have.  The ever revolving door of management keeps turning. In the meantime, drop off a statement to your tour stewards and let us know how long it took you to bid.

/rb

opeiu #30

afl-cio


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