Das 110 HCRs Noncompliance Award Issued

Michael O. Foster

July 9, 2021

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

In our continuing commitment to require postal management’s compliance with the August 2016 arbitration decision rendered by national arbitrator Shyam Das in case Q06-4Q-C 11182451, the parties recently received a decision from Arbitrator Das dated June 4, 2021 where he ruled that the USPS had not complied with his August 2016 decision.

The APWU invoked the arbitrator’s retained jurisdiction in November, complaining that the USPS had not insourced the 110 HCRs into PVS assignments within 6 months (February 2017) of the Award as ordered. Although the parties had entered into two MOUs to effectuate the award, and despite the APWU’s cooperation in attempting to insource this work, the Postal Service still failed to comply.

Based on the evidence presented at the November noncompliance hearing, Arbitrator Das found that:

  • 74 of the 110 HCR routes had been converted to PVS by the end of 2018.
  • Only six additional routes were converted in 2019.
  • By November 20, 2020, 90 of the 110 routes had been converted.

During the November hearing, the APWU asked for a monetary remedy and an order requiring the Postal Service to keep all 110 PVS routes as PVS until four years after all 110 routes had been converted from HCR to PVS.

In response to the union’s request for an award to effectuate his 2016 ruling, Arbitrator Das agreed with the APWU that we are entitled to an appropriate additional remedy.

He rejected the Postal Service’s contention that the union acted unreasonably when it rejected some Postal Service initiative attempts that could have adversely affected our members of the bargaining unit.

Das ruled that “...the PVS bargaining unit as a whole has been harmed by the Postal Service’s failure to convert the work at issue as provided for in the 2016 HCR Award and subsequent May 2017 MOU. The evidence may not establish that the Postal Service has acted in bad faith, but it also has not maximized its efforts to comply over a lengthy period of years.”

As a remedy for the Postal Service’s failing to comply with the award, Arbitrator Das ordered the Postal Service to provide the bargaining unit a monetary remedy “based on the number of additional hours that would have been worked on unconverted routes if they had been timely converted during the periods from January 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020, and prospectively, from July 1, 2021 until the conversions are completed.”

He ordered that “[t]he Union will be responsible for ensuring that the amount so paid is expended for the benefit of PVS employees in the bargaining unit.”

He also ordered the Postal Service to:

  • Complete conversion of the 110 routes (as soon as reasonably practical);
  • Provide the union, within 45 days, a timetable for the complete conversion of the 110 routes; and
  • Comply with the commitments made in the parties’ May 2017 and May 2018 MOUs regarding compliance with the 2016 Award.

Hyundai Trailer Safety Update

In the last issue of The American Postal Worker, we reported that authorized MVS representatives participated in the Virtual First Article Testing of the Hyundai trailers to be added into the USPS fleet. During the testing of these trailers, the APWU raised the issue of the holes in the floor used for locking equipment such as the Over the Road (OTR’s) and Wire Cages while transporting had not been included.

The USPS response to this issue was that they did not feel that this feature was necessary and the leased trailers in the past had not been equipped with this safety feature.

Knowing the importance of this safety feature, the MVS Division remained steadfast and continued to impress that this safety feature was needed and only enhanced the drivers’ ability to properly secure the load, and to effectively and efficiently move the mail safely. Postal management recently reversed their decision and agreed to install the floor stack pockets into the bed to the trailers.

“It pays to belong.”

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