APWU Responds to USPS Notice on Retail Operations

June 9, 2009

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In response to a USPS notice that “the Postal Service is considering consolidating operations in our larger stations and branches,” APWU President William Burrus has reminded management that a Memorandum of Understanding included in the 2006-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement requires that “all existing retail operations will remain within the installation of which they are a part.”

“I note that of the many factors that will be considered in your final decisions, you omit the parties’ negotiated agreements,” Burrus wrote to the USPS manager of contract administration on June 8. The May 15 letter from the Postal Service says the USPS will review the activities of all stations and branches in Level 24-and-above post offices for possible discontinuance. [Editor's Note: An updated list was provided to the APWU on June 23, 2009.]

“Many factors including impact on employees, service standards, cost savings, customer access, environmental impact, real estate values, and long-term needs of the service would be taken into account during the reviews,” the notice said.

The Postal Service cited dramatic decreases in mail volume and the USPS’ extremely challenging financial circumstances as the cause of the study. “Like mail volume, window transactions at our retail units have substantially declined,” the letter noted.

The effort to consolidate operations at stations and branches “could include possible termination of leases and/or movement of operations from Postal Service-owned facilities.

“As a consequence, employees working in those retail/delivery facilities may be reassigned to other retail/delivery units, and/or other facilities, or other duties in accordance with the relevant provisions of the applicable collective bargaining agreements,” the notice said. “Until the process is initiated and the reviews are completed, we will not know which leases or owned facilities, if any, will be terminated or sold, or the impact on employees.”

“The Postal Service welcomes your input into this critical matter,” the notice concluded.

Burrus designated Clerk Craft Director Jim McCarthy to lead discussions with postal officials on the subject. He will be accompanied by Maintenance Craft Director Steve Raymer and Motor Vehicle Services Craft Director Bob Pritchard.

The Memorandum of Understanding on Retail Operations provides that, “The parties agree that all existing retail operations will remain within the installation of which they are a part and all future retail operations established within the jurisdiction of an installation shall become a part of that installation.”


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