FMCSA - DOT Disputes Resolved

Michael O. Foster

January 23, 2020

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

The APWU and Postal Service’s history regarding the Service’s decision to follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations dates back to 1995.

Despite policy stating that DOT physicals would be scheduled by postal management, occur on the clock at a Medical Unit or Contract Medical Facility, and be paid for by the USPS, issues surfaced from the field concerning payment and scheduling of the different tests required to certify PVS driver eligibility to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

Additional problems surfaced when USPS area doctors and local transportation managers started implementing unilateral changes to the FMCSA regulations for CDL employees.

Consequently, the APWU filed several Step 4 National Disputes.

On Oct. 23, 2019, the parties entered into a Step 4 Settlement Agreement with respect to the Postal Service’s administration of the DOT and FMCSA policy regarding annual physicals for employees holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL) as a requirement of their position.

The following are notable excerpts from the Settlement: The Postal Service will follow Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations regarding the administration of CDLs. Postal employees whose position requires a CDL must maintain their medical certification in accordance with DOT and the FMCSA…

When required, medical exams related to an employee’s CDL will be scheduled with a DOT/FMCSA certified examiner at no cost to the employee. Any additional medical testing and/or exams, required to determine an employee’s suitability in connection with a DOT/FMCSA medical exam, will be paid for by the Postal Service until an initial determination is made. If the employee is found medically unfit, the employee will be responsible for the cost of any treatment and/or medical test or appointments he/she obtains, including medical information used to dispute the determination. If the employee is found medically fit by the certified examiner there is no further review necessary.

An employee may appeal an adverse result of a certifying examination as outlined in the Joint Contract Interpretation Manual (JCIM), Article 39.

The FMCSA does not require the medical examiner to provide a copy of the medical examination report to the employer, therefore employees will not be required to sign a release for medical records…

An employee’s Social Security Number will not be required during employees DOT/FMCSA medical exam process.

Schedule Examiner Vehicle Runs (SEVR) is Bargaining Unit Work

In Case No. Q10V-4Q-C 15292655 Arbitrator Das upheld that there is no dispute between the parties over the fact that SEVR work is bargaining unit work, which the Employer may not assign to non-bargaining unit personnel. Accordingly, it violates the National Agreement for the USPS to permit supervisors in the field to shift SEVR work to non-bargaining unit personnel.

During pre-arbitration discussions, the APWU and the USPS entered into a Step 4 Settlement Agreement. The following are notable excerpts:

In the national arbitration case Q-10V-4Q-C 15292655, the Postal Service confirmed that, “…Schedule Examiner work is bargaining unit work, and that supervisors (and EAS employees) cannot perform bargaining unit work unless one of the exceptions provided for in Article 1.6 applies.”…

Accordingly, the parties agree that the Schedule Examiner Vehicle Runs position is a best qualified position within the Motor Vehicle Craft bargaining unit whose primary duties and responsibilities are listed in the Positions Description and Qualification Standards. It is appropriate to post these duty assignments for bid when they become vacant when there is sufficient work hours to justify a full-time assignment. In the event that local management determines that there are insufficient work hours to justify a full-time duty assignment, these duties must still be performed by bargaining unit employees of the MVS Craft.

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