2020: Summary of COVID-19 MOUs

Idowu Balogun

January 11, 2021

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(This article first appeared in the January/February 2021 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

The following Memorandum of Understanding between the United States Postal Service and the APWU were agreed upon jointly this year.

March 12, 2020: Travel for Training at the National Center for Employee Development

No employee will be forced to travel for training during this period, even if the AVP has approved such travel. Notice will be given at the national level when the temporary travel restrictions are lifted. The parties at the national level are in discussion regarding the impact of temporary restricted travel on pending qualifications.

April 6, 2020: Emergency Considerations for Fiscal Year 2020 MS-47, TL-5 Line H Liabilities

Custodians should be utilized to the maximum extent possible, including overtime, in order to ensure all necessary cleaning is completed.

Due to custodians needing to complete regular custodial team cleaning (CTC) routes and the cleaning requirements in MMO-031-20, Influenza and Coronavirus Cleaning Contingency custodial employees working his/her duty assignment between March 3, 2020, and May 17, 2020, will be given full Line H credit for the hours worked each day.

While a facility, or portion of a facility, is closed due to COVID-19 and a custodial route is subsequently suspended, the workhours associated with the suspended route will be deducted from the Line H liability.

Any custodial routes that are suspended due to COVID-19 will be suspended through the Custodial Work loading (CW) Software and unsuspended once the facility opens.

April 22, 2020: Temporary COVID-19 Cleaning

In order to accommodate installations staffed by Maintenance Craft custodians where supplemental cleaning resources are needed due to COVID-19 related absenteeism, or where postal custodians decline to do COVID-19 related required cleaning, the parties agree to the following provisions: available postal career custodians – either Full-Time Regular, or Part-Time Regular – within the facility shall be utilized up to the maximum hours allowed by Article 8. Postal custodians may volunteer to be utilized outside the facility after completing their regularly assigned duties.

Due to COVID-19 related absences, the Postal Service may utilize temporary contract cleaning services where postal custodial staffing within the facility is not sufficient to provide the necessary cleaning as required by MMO-031-20, Influenza and Coronavirus Cleaning Contingency, and/or MS-47, Housekeeping Postal Facilities, up to the identified frequencies.

When there is a confirmed positive COVID-19 case, and the postal custodians assigned to that facility decline to do the necessary cleaning out of personal concern, the Postal Service may utilize contract cleaners to ensure that the facility has been properly cleaned… This temporary contract cleaning will not impact postal custodial staffing or reduce work hours.

May 15, 2020: COVID-19 Travel Restriction and Pending Qualification

Due to the Postal Service’s COVID-19 travel restrictions and the temporary closing of the National Center for Employee Development (NCED) in response to the pandemic, the time between March 18 and 90 days following the re-opening of NCED, will not count towards the Article 38.5.C.3 one year period for Maintenance Craft employees to be in a promotion detail assignment pending the satisfactory completion of the necessary training. As of the signing of this agreement, NCED is scheduled to start offering classes within 30 days of June 15, 2020. Update: NCED opened on July 27, 2020, and the agreement sunset on October 27, 2020.

July 20, 2020: Additional Cleaning Services in Postal Service Owned Buildings with GSA Tenants

The parties agree that the Postal Service will continue to provide cleaning services in accordance with Handbook MS-47, Housekeeping Postal Facilities, and Maintenance Management Order (MMO)-031-20, Influenza and Coronavirus Cleaning Contingency, in those Postal Service owned buildings with postal custodians and General Services Administration (GSA) tenants… Any additional cleaning services above what is supported by the Postal Service standards cited in this agreement, will be the responsibility of the tenant which may be contracted to a third party. (This agreement expired December 31, 2020.)

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