Function 4 – Customer Service, encompasses: Retail (selling stamps and other postal products) and distribution at Stations, Branches, Associate Offices, Administrative Post Offices (APOs), and Remotely Managed Post Offices (RMPOs).

POStPlan Explained

The 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006 created a manufactured financial crisis mainly through unreasonable prefunding of retiree health care and postage price caps that pushed the Postal Service to reduce service to the general public.

One of the ways that the Postal Service reduced service was by reducing the hours that post offices in rural areas were open. The Postal Service initially floated the idea of closing over 3,700 post offices, but eventually decided to reduce the hours of over 11,000 post offices as part of a Post Office Structure Plan or POStPlan.

In 2011, the USPS made changes to their internal regulations to allow post offices to be run by an employee other than a postmaster and for the post office to be remotely managed. The Postal Service initially proposed staffing these remotely managed offices (RMPOs) with lower paid postmasters.

The APWU filed a grievance that was eventually heard by Arbitrator Steven Goldberg. Arbitrator Goldberg ruled on September 5, 2014 that the Level 6 and Level 4 RMPOs were to be staffed with bargaining unit employees and PSEs could not be in the Level 18 offices.

Part of the grievance was remanded to the parties that resulted in the September 22, 2014 MOU. Further settlements between the parties clarified and protected the original agreements. The Level 4 RMPOs are mostly staffed with PSEs working about 25 hours a week, although there are a few PTFs in about 400 of the offices. The Level 6 RMPOs are mainly staffed with career employees holding less than 40 hours a week NTFT assignments, although a few are staffed by career employees working 40 hours a week.

Click here to find more information on POStPlan in the contract database.