Frequently Asked Questions

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The APWU represents clerk, maintenance, and motor vehicle craft employees at 21 Bulk Mail Centers in metropolitan areas around the country. Listed below are the responses to questions that are often asked by APWU members who work at these facilities.

1. What are the Postal Service’s latest plans for the BMCs?

In the spring of 2009, the Postal Service began to restructure and rename the BMC network. The newly named Network Distribution Center network is based on a three-tier system. The initial phase began in the Eastern Region, with the Philadelphia NDC, Springfield NDC and New Jersey NDC.

In March 2009, the Postal Service notified the APWU that it had abandoned plans announced in 2008 to outsource the work performed at the Bulk Mail Centers.

2. What is the tier structure of the NDC network?

  • Tier 1 NDC facilities will be responsible for local and destination standard mail, periodicals and package services. They also will perform STC containerization and dispatch operations for outgoing and incoming mail.
  • Tier 2 facilities will be responsible for all Tier 1 activities, plus distribution of outgoing standard mail, periodicals, and package services to the network.
  • Tier 3 facilities will perform all the Tier 1 and 2 functions and also will act as a consolidation point for less-than-truckload volumes from Tier 2 sites.

3. Does the Postal Service Plan to deploy FSS machines?

Flat Sequencing Sorters will be placed in some BMCs. A tentative deployment schedule provided by the Postal Service dated Jan 7, 2008, shows the following:

  • The New jersey BMC is scheduled to receive four FSS machines, May 2009 — October 2009;
  • The Springfield BMC is scheduled to receive three FSS Machines, January — August 20010, and
  • The Atlanta BMC is scheduled to receive four FSS machines, June — August 2010.

4. Should I bid out of the BMC based on the potential effect of the planned NDC network?

Employees are advised are advised not to react to speculation about staffing as a result of the Postal Service’s plans for the BMCs.

5. What is happening to Primary sections at BMCs?

Parcel volume has been declining dramatically, due to the weak economy and competition. Most BMCs are gradually eliminating the use of Primary sections and moving employees to Secondary areas. However, there has been no appreciable change in the staffing of APWU-represented employees as a result.

6. How is Maintenance Craft Staffing determined for BMCs?

The staffing levels for non-custodial Maintenance Craft positions at BMCs are determined by a software program known as BMC Gold, which is different from the Work Hour Estimated Program (WHEP) that is used at plants.

7. How is custodial staffing for BMCs determined? Is it similar to the MS-47 at the plants?

Staffing for all custodial positions — i ncluding those at BMCs — must be based on the 1983 version of the MS-47 Handbook.

8. How does the APWU address the special concerns of BMC Employees?

BMC locals are the primary resource for addressing the problems faced by BMC employees. In addition, in accordance with the APWU Constitution, locals that represent BMCs meet each year to discuss their special concerns. In convention years, they also meet on the Friday preceding the convention. The conferences are open to all APWU members who work at BMCs. If a conference is held in your area, you are welcome to attend.

9. If the BMCs are renamed, will that weaken the standing of BMC employees within the APWU?

No. USPS decisions to rename or re-organize facilities do not affect the internal functioning of APWU. The USPS has renamed processing plants many times with no affect on APWU; the Postal Service has reorganized its regions and areas with no impact on its union counterparts.

If the BMCs are re-named, the conferences will continue, and the APWU structure that was designed to address the special needs of BMC employees will remain intact.

If you have a question about the BMCs or if you wish to file a grievance, contact your steward, craft director, or local union president. Inquiries of a general nature also can be directed to Idowu Balogun, who serves as National BMC Coordinator. Send a question via e-mail to Your inquiry will be forwarded to the appropriate officer and a response will be sent to you.

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