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Maintenance Craft Information
Feb 22, 2022

2021 National Maintenance Agreements

Idowu Balogun

January 6, 2022 

(This article first appeared in the January/February 2022 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

The following summary identifies all of the maintenance agreements successfully achieved during the 2021 national contract negotiations, with text from the tentative agreement.

Per Diem for Maintenance Employees at Off- Site Training

USPS and APWU agree that it is in their mutual interest to increase maintenance craft participation in off-site training at NCED.

The parties agree to pilot a per diem meal allowance for Maintenance Craft employees attending such training.

Within 90 days of the effective date of the 2021 CBA, parties will meet to discuss current postal policies and obligations regarding meal service at NCED.

Starting date of pilot will be no later than 6 months from conclusion of the aforementioned discussions unless mutually agreed upon by the parties to extend the start date.

Pilot will continue for a period of at least 3 years, commencing on the date that employees subject to this Memorandum of Understanding are first provided the full per diem.

Inservice Examination – Annual Frequency

Annually (from March 1 - 31), career employees may submit a written request to test for maintenance craft eligibility ratings for all occupational groups (excluding NST ET-11).

Once an employee receives eligibility ratings, the employee may then request placement, or reinstatement, on lnservice registers. If no In-Service Register exists, the employee’s eligibility ratings become part of their eOPF.

Management shall notify the employee of the results no later than 60 days after testing, provided that the applications have been properly completed. Annually on April 1, (beginning in 2023), employee names from the preceding year’s In-Service Registers shall be purged, with the following exception: employees on In-Service Registers must submit a written request to the MSS Coordinator during the month of March to remain on the registers.

Annual Off-Site Training Cap

38.6.A.4. Employees selected for off-site training will be given as much advance notice as is reasonably possible.

Additionally, two (2) weeks notice will be given. Employees will not be involuntarily selected for off-site training courses more than three (3) times within a twelve (12) month period.

TL-3 to TL-5 Conversion Suspension During 2021 CBA

The parties agree to suspend any further custodial staffing conversions from MS-47, TL-3 to TL- 5 for the duration of the 2021 CBA.

MS-47 Handbook to reflect Juneteenth as an official holiday, reducing 1,760-hour man-year to 1,752.

NST ET-11 Pay Raise

Hourly rate of pay between ET-10 and ET-11 is insufficient and is contributing to lack of promotions to NST ET-11 occupational group.

Relief Assignments: Amend Article 38.7.C. as follows:

Newly created and reposted relief assignments shall be by occupational group and tour. Positions posted prior to ratification of the 2021 national agreement are not subject to this section. Relief positions shall be no greater than 10% (or 1 minimum) of the occupational group and tour.

The following occupational groups shall be consolidated or upgraded:

• Elevator Operator and Laborer Materials Handling Level 4 will be reclassified as Labor Custodian Level 4.
• Fireman Laborer Level 5 will be reclassified as Building Maintenance Custodian Level 5.
• Materials Handling Equipment Operator Level 5 will be reclassified as MM Level 7
• AMS and Letter Box Mechanic Level 8 will be reclassified as AMT Level 9.
• Machinist, Maintenance Electrician, Carpenter, Painter, Plumber and Welder Level 8 will be reclassified as BEM Level 9.

Members should see Jobs Consolidation MOU for more details.

We thank NBA Dave Sarnacki for his contributions to negotiations.


Oct 06, 2021

Maintenance: 50 Years Later

Idowu Balogun

August 27, 2021 

(This article first appeared in the September-October issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

In 1971, five independent and separate unions representing several thousand postal workers merged to become the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO as we know it today. The five unions were the United Federation of Postal Clerks (UFPC), National Postal Union (NPU), Motor Vehicle Service Employees (NFPOMVE), Special Delivery Messengers (NASDM), and the National Association Union of Post Office and General Service Maintenance Employees (NAPO & GSME).

The July 1971 joint statement on mergers into APWU stated: Your Officers now pledge to do everything possible to carry out your mandate. Every effort will be made to achieve unity in spirit and in action. We now are one union and we must think and act as one. We intend to live by majority rule as defined by the APWU constitution because only if all respond affirmatively to the will of the majority can democratic procedures prevail.

NAPOGSME President Monroe Crable became the first National Maintenance President, now known as APWU National Director of the Maintenance Division; with Bill Kaczor and Richard Wevodau as his Assistants.

Richard Wevodou became the next National Maintenance Director, followed by Director Thomas Freeman.

James (Jim) Lingberg, from Dallas, TX, became Maintenance National Director in the early 1990s. Brother Lingberg previously served as Bulk Mail Center (BMC) Coordinator prior to becoming the National Craft Director. Among other notable victories, in 1993 Brother Lingberg was instrumental in job consolidation and seniority becoming the determining factor in promotions, outstanding union achievements. Notable resident officers that served with him were Edgar Williams, Randy Sutton, Jake Jackson, Malcolm Smith, Bobby Donelson and Gary Kloepfer.

Steve Raymer, from Madison, WI, became Maintenance Director in 2001. He was responsible for multi-milliondollar MS-47 settlements before Arbitrator Das. Under his leadership, Maintenance agreed on the creation of the MS-47 TL-5 that brought in millions of dollars on Line H settlements year after year, as well as the establishment of an all-career workforce in the Maintenance Division. Notable Maintenance resident officers that served with him were Gary Kloepfer, Jake Jackson, Gregory See and Idowu Balogun.

Idowu Balogun, from Los Angeles, CA, became the National Maintenance Director in 2018, after the untimely passing of Steve Raymer. The other current Maintenance Resident Officers are Jimmie Waldon, Assistant Director A, and Terry B. Martinez, Assistant Director B. Together, they were responsible for the POStPlan enforcement, Individual Open Season instead of every three-year open season, Building Equipment Mechanic MS 1 settlement, ET 11 2021 Local Memorandum of Understanding and several COVID- 19 MOUs. We are also currently being represented by nine National Maintenance Business Agents and three All Crafts Business Agents, working throughout the country.

National Negotiations Are Underway

The 2018 National Collective Bargaining Agreement with the USPS will expire September 20. Negotiations opened on June 22, three months prior to the expiration of our current Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The Maintenance Negotiation Craft Table participants are: National Maintenance Director Idowu Balogun, National Assistant Director A Jimmie Waldon, National Assistant Director B Terry B. Martinez, NBA Northeast Region Dave Sarnacki, and NBA Eastern Region Jason Treier.

Your Maintenance Team met the with Postal Service immediately after the Opening Day of Contract Negotiations. To say the least, we were fired up and ready to go. We are currently scheduled for a weekly meeting via Zoom and once a month negotiations in person in Washington, DC, until the final weeks of negotiations in September, when we will start meeting daily in person at a lock down location.

The Maintenance resolutions from past conventions are the backdrops of our proposals. Our goal is to continue the growth of the Maintenance Division, increase your standard of living, protect your jobs and ensure our future as a craft.

It is an honor of a lifetime to be your voice and your advocate in the 2021 Craft Negotiations. We are looking forward to delivering to you a negotiated contract. As this issue was being finalized for press, Assistant Director Waldon announced his planned retirement (See page 27). His replacement will be announced in the next issue of The American Postal Worker.




Page Last Updated: Feb 22, 2022 (07:25:08)
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