APWU Initiating Step 4 National Dispute Regarding DeJoy Retail Office Closures

September 16, 2020

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(This article first appeared in the September/October 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

Recently, management at retail post offices throughout the country unilaterally posted signage on the entrances of their facilities stating their offices would be closing for lunch periods and/or retail hours would be reduced. Weeks later a number of retail facilities posted signage stating their offices would be closed in their entirety.

In response, the APWU Clerk Craft initiated National Dispute No. HQTC20200330. To this date there has been no official notification provided or discussions with the APWU on these changes. This is bad faith bargaining.

The closures also conflict with the Postal Operations Manual, 126.42 Change in Retail Hours, that states the following:

If the needs of the community have changed, the postmaster should use recent Window Operations Survey (WOS) reports as well as customer feedback to determine if a change in service hours should be considered. If the postmaster determines a change in service hours are warranted, he/she must obtain approval.

Permanent changes in the hours of operation must be approved by the district manager, Customer Service and Sales.

Once approved, the area retail office must notify Headquarters Retail Operations of the change in hours of operation at a minimum of 30 days in advance of the change. Do the notification, via e-mail, using the “Notification of Proposed Change in Office Hours” located at http://blue.usps.gov/wps/portal/officehours.

Additionally, the Minimizing Excessing MOU states, “Employees will have the opportunity to voluntarily transfer pursuant to the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding Re: Transfer Opportunities to Minimize Excessing. For purposes of this identified opportunity, the restrictions in item 7 of that MOU is lifted so that withheld vacancies are available.”

The same MOU further states, “the Postal Service will review its operations 1) to create new and/or more efficient assignments within the installation that might lessen the excessing need and 2) to look for scheduling opportunities to offer assignments which are consistent with local operation needs and reduce / eliminate the need to excess.”

The Article 12.5.B.2 MOU states, “the parties agree that Article 12.5.B.2 shall be amended to include the need to identify duty assignments within the appropriate radius currently held by PSE employees which shall be made available for the reassignment of excess career employees.”

The closures are also in violation of past awards, including:

  • The July 13, 2013 Goldberg 12.5.B.2 National Award, which states the parties must identify the duty assignments after the creation of the duty assignments under Article 37.3.A.1 and the Minimizing Excessing MOU;
  • The Das Article 37.3.A.1 Duty Assignments national arbitration decision dated July 24, 2020, that contractually obligates the USPS to post for bid additional new duty assignments using all available work hours (including PSE hours).

“We are giving the Postal Service the opportunity to correct the violations, in an effort to avoid any disruptions to APWU-represented employees, prevent negative customer service issues, and to alleviate any monetary remedies that may be suffered by the Postal Service,” said Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks.

“Further, the APWU is requesting that the Postal Service cease and desist violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement,” Brooks continued. “USPS management must rescind all proposed retail lunch window closings, reduced window hours and retail office closing notices, and any resulting action. The Postal Service must return to the status quo, and make the union and affected employees whole, to include, but not limited to all lost wages and benefits.”

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