Contract Manual Helps Resolve Grievances

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Training in the Joint Contract Interpretation Manual, which was signed by the union and management last year, is well under way. The manual, known as the JCIM, was developed as result of the 1998 contract negotiations as a means to improve the grievance/arbitration procedure.

While there will always be contractual matters that require discussion, the JCIM itemizes many of the issues that the parties have reached agreement on.

During training on JCIM application, APWU National Business Agents and USPS Area and District level managers serve jointly as instructors. The APWU’s five regional coordinators are responsible for ensuring that each district receives joint training, which is intended to guide local union and management officials on how best to apply the JCIM.

The manual has many uses, but its two chief objectives are to improve the labor/management relationship at the initial steps of the grievance procedure, and to resolve issues before they become disputes.

Grievance Backlog

In connection with the JCIM rollout, the parties in each of the areas represented by the Southern Region (Eastern, Southeast, and Southwest) have agreed to conduct mass grievance reviews. These reviews will be done simultaneously with the joint training in an effort to try to resolve all the pending grievances that are addressed by the JCIM.

NBAs out in the field as instructors are to be commended for their work as JCIM instructors.


Pursuant to Article 12 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, two districts in the Southern Region continue to withhold vacancies for distances up to 300 miles. The union, however, has been working to roll back the withholding distance to 100 miles. The 300-mile radius severely restricts many locals in their efforts to maintain adequate staffing levels at facilities and to achieve conversions.

The current discussions look promising. A notice will be sent to each of the affected areas when progress is made.

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