Happy New Year?
by Bobby Rollins, President
First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone for their gallant efforts this Holiday Season. I know it was difficult for those of you who had your schedules changed by management to balance your work and home life during the peak season, but your efforts and perseverance did not go unnoticed.
With peak season a step behind us here is a preview of what is in store for the New Year:
On October 31st, 2019 National APWU Regional Coordinator Omar Gonzalez received notification from the USPS that they were going to excess the 35 junior Clerks in Denver outside of the Denver Installation to work within a 50-mile radius due to lack of work in the Denver Installation. Really? Who came to that assumption and what reports and data are they looking at?
Then it happened, peak season kicked in and we ventured into the most chaotic peak season I have experienced in 33 years with the Postal Service! We are “so over staffed in Denver” yet we had EAS employees doing bargaining unit work every day and Maintenance employees doing Clerk work every day and a majority of our Clerks were working a schedule and/or section that wasn’t their bid schedule or section and getting paid out-of-schedule pay for most or all of their shift. We have also filed over 300 grievances in the past two years for Automation Clerks working a DBCS alone but we’re 35 Clerks overstaffed in the Denver Installation? Wow!
I was told when I complained to Maintenance Management about the maintenance employees having to do Clerk work that the Denver Metro APWU is the only union they have dealt with in their 25-year career that doesn’t care about the customers during the holidays! It was stated that other locals they worked at did whatever it took to get the mail out during peak season and turned their heads from the contract. What a statement to make! One which I seriously doubt the accuracy of. I’m really sorry that the Denver Metro APWU didn’t turn a blind eye to the contract during the month of December but please show me where it says “anything goes during peak season” and we shouldn’t file grievances or complain to management about their blatant disregard for the contract!
The excessing of 35 Clerks outside of the installation in Denver will require management to separate, to the extent possible, PSE’s working in the affected craft. We have not been given any indication yet from management as to what impact this action will have on PSE’s in the Denver Installation, but we will keep you posted as more information is received from management.
The effective date for the excessing is June 6th, 2020 and the Denver Metro will be tracking the number of Clerks who come off the rolls between the date of Regional notification (10/31/19) and the target date for the excessing event. For every career employee who comes off the rolls for any reason during this time frame we will be deducting them from the 35 to be excessed.
We will also be identifying all Limited Duty employees assigned Clerk work in the installation who are not Clerks. There are numerous Carriers for example doing Clerk work in our Denver Stations and that will be addressed before the excessing of any Clerks.
This is one of many battles we will be facing in 2020 and we will keep you posted as more information is received and the fight to minimize this action as it unfolds.
Happy New Year to all, and once again, thank you for your great service to our customers this Holiday Season!
by Laviena Vargas, Director of Clerk Craft
Happy Holiday’s to all the APWU members in the Denver Region!
This Peak Season of 2019 stayed true to the madness that has plagued our Clerks all year long. The short staffing in every section on every tour in every station has resulted in Clerks working mandated overtime and a lot of Clerks having to work outside of their bid principal assignment area. Multiple grievances have been filed and are still being filed on the violations by management. Please continue to write statements for your union steward as it is very important that the union documents the violations through the grievance procedure. It is equally important that all Clerks are clocked into the correct operation to show where each clerk is being made to work. This information is valuable when the union may have to fight for the retention of Clerk jobs and Clerk work!
Management has given the Denver Metro Area Local verbal notification that they are planning on doing a “re-alignment” at the GMF on all three tours. The main point given was that the start times need to be changed to reflect the workload and the changes with the machines running the mail at the GMF. Management could only tell the officers that the changes would occur after peak season in the new year. APWU President Rollins requested that a written proposal be given to the Denver Metro Area Local as soon as possible for review. This proposal has not been received as of this date. Once the proposal is provided to the APWU we will immediately review and verify that any changes are in compliance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The new HDUS machine is another major change at the GMF. The new machine is up and running mail/packages. The HDUS is currently being staffed by predominately mail handlers and one clerk. Just this week management notified the Denver Metro APWU, “It has been determined that the primary craft to perform work associated with this piece of equipment is the Mail Handler Craft. The exception is the keying station. The keying function will be assigned to the Clerk Craft.” Unfortunately, management has never proceeded to address the jurisdiction of the HDUS work determination through the RI 399- Local Dispute Resolution Committee (LDRC) process as they are required to do! The Denver Metro APWU has filed a LDRC Dispute on management’s determination. No bids have been posted yet for the HDUS but management claims the bids will be posted in February. It is the APWU’s contention that this HDUS work is Clerk work and should continue to be done by clerks!
The Denver Metro APWU has multiple class action grievances that have been filed at the plant and at the stations. This to include the snow grievance from November 26th, 2019 as well as grievances for management and carriers doing clerk work at the Denver stations. Much thanks to the stewards who filed the class action grievances along with every clerk steward who is filing the grievances every day!
As Denver Metro APWU President Rollins spoke on the excessing of the 35 junior Full-time Regular Clerks, the officers are preparing and coordinating with the Western Regional Coordinator Omar Gonzalez on the Article 12 grievances and any other grievances that may result from the excessing event.
As we head into a new year, the Denver Metro APWU is extremely busy gearing up and preparing for all the changes that will affect the Clerk Craft in the months coming up. It is important that every clerk know that the Postal Service can only provide the daily service to the thousands of customers because of the clerks who process the mail every day! Thank You Clerks!
Out With the Old, In With the New
by Donta Green, Director of Motor Vehicle Craft
Good Day All! I would like to take the time to say, thank you all for a job well done during the Holiday Season. The VMF and GMF got to bid this year, and with that I would like to say Congratulations to you all on your new job bids, which the VMF has already started and MVS will start on January 04, 2020. I am currently working on grievances and will be meeting with HR, Labor, Management, and Concentra for the DOT physicals. I’m also working to get the pay anomaly fixed. A couple of NDC hostlers have been bringing over mail on all 3 tours which I am addressing, I am also working on the Christmas Hub as well. Robert Helmig and I are working on the Arbitration for out of schedule for not bidding for 3 years. This arbitration should be taking place January 14, 2020.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your hard work and service, and if there’s anything the Union can do for you please don’t hesitate to ask.
The USPS Has a Responsibility
by Isador Ramirez, Director of Maintenance Craft
They have a responsibility to abide and uphold the Collective Bargaining Agreement and their own policies even when it comes to policing their own!
Postal Service Policy on Workplace Harassment
The Postal Service’s workplace must be one in which all employees are treated with dignity and respect by supervisors, subordinates, and coworkers. Supervisors and managers will take prompt action to prevent, address, and remedy workplace conduct that is contrary to this practice.
Harassment is unwelcome verbal or physical conduct which is so severe that it interferes with or changes the conditions of one’s employment by creating a hostile, intimidating, or abusive working environment. Examples may include, but are not limited to, making offensive or derogatory comments, or engaging in physically threatening, intimidating, or humiliating behavior. These activities are prohibited by Postal Service policy and may be in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws. Violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. Disciplinary action may result even if the conduct does not constitute harassment under the law. Do they ever discipline their own? More often they promote and/or move the non-bargaining employee to another location which only moves the problem.
All managers and supervisors are responsible for preventing harassment and inappropriate behavior that could lead to illegal harassment and must respond promptly when they learn of any such conduct. Any manager or supervisor who receives a complaint must see that a prompt and thorough investigation is conducted. Investigations of all forms of harassment must be done in accordance with the “Initial Management Inquiry Process (IMIP)”. Materials are available in Publication 552, Manager’s Guide to Understanding, Investigating, and Preventing Harassment. When harassment or inappropriate conduct is found, managers must take prompt and effective corrective action.
You as Employees Have a Right to the Following
Report harassing behavior to those in authority who are responsible for stopping the harassment, and who will make a record of it. (Hopefully they will do something about it, and not try to sweep it under the rug.) The EL-801 clearly states what responsibilities supervisors have regarding safety. It states that employees have the right to report unsafe and unhealthy working conditions on a PS-Form 1767. Harassment and hostile work environments are unhealthy and should be reported on a PS-Form 1767.
ELM 824.61 Purpose of PS Form 1767, Report of Hazard, Unsafe Condition or Practice
PS Form 1767 is designed to encourage employee participation in the Postal Service safety and health program and to provide prompt action when employees report a hazard. This form provides a channel of communication between employees and management that promotes a prompt analysis and response with corrective action to reports of alleged hazards, unsafe conditions, or unsafe practices.
You also have the right to pursue a complaint through the EEO process. If you choose to do so, you must contact the EEO Centralized Intake Center within 45 days of the act(s) giving rise to the claim.
Always write a statement with the Who, Why, What, When, and Where! This is beneficial for you, and for others. Please provide copies to your Local Union. Chances are that if it’s happening to you, it’s more than likely happening to others as well. The more occurrences with written statements better justifies the proof of what is taking place, and helps build a stronger case.
Additional helpful information and resources can be found at the APWU website https://apwu.org/fighting-workplace-harassment