How to Get a Custodial Staffing Review

January 16, 2019

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(This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Maintenance Division Director Idowu Balogun

A staffing review is an important tool for protecting Maintenance Craft jobs, and we encourage locals to request reviews if there is a valid reason to believe that your office is understaffed under TL 3 or TL 5. Staffing packages in the Maintenance Division can be broken into two general categories: custodial staffing and mechanized staffing.

Custodial staffing is determined by following the step-by-step process outlined in the MS-47 Handbook, Housekeeping Postal Facilities. Management is required to abide by the handbook and to maintain the results of a proper staffing package. Three basic forms are involved:

• PS Form 4869, Building Inventory
• PS Form 4839, Frequency of Cleaning
• PS Form 4852, Work Hour Analysis

Mechanized staffing determines the number of noncustodial positions (for example, Electronic Technician, Maintenance Mechanic, Building Equipment Mechanic and Maintenance Control Clerk) in an installation, using a program called e-WHEP, the electronic Work Hour Estimator Program. The e-WHEP was designed for use in the mail processing plant and NDC environments, but it also includes sections for building equipment, administrative, and field maintenance staffing.

Paperless Review Requests

To have your staffing package reviewed by a national staffing advocate – remotely or by a field visit – you must do the following:
1. Request a complete copy of the most current staffing package in an electronic format (PDF) from your local manager or Postmaster. Your request should indicate whether you are interested in custodial staffing, mechanized staffing, or both.
2. Once you receive the information from management, you must review Form 4869, Building Inventory, for accuracy, and complete a list of discrepancies. (See below.)
3. Your local president must submit an “e-Request to Review” letter by sending an e-mail to Please be sure to specify what you are requesting and who the local point of contact (POC) will be. Please include phone numbers and an e-mail address.
4. Attach a copy of the staffing package, as a PDF, and the list of discrepancies to your request.
5. If you have a previous staffing package, attach that as a PDF as well for comparison purposes.

TL 3 or TL 5 Staffing: Determining Discrepancies

A complete list of discrepancies is essential to conducting an accurate and effective staffing review. The list is generated by verifying the accuracy of PS Form 4869, which itemizes inventory. Follow the guidelines below:
• If an item is missing, you must add it to your list.
• If a frequency of cleaning differs from what is listed on Form 4839, you must note it on your list.
• If the square footage of a location has been reduced, you must note it on your list.
• If the building has been expanded, you must note it on your list.
• If custodians are performing non-custodial duties in addition to their custodial work, identify the tasks, and indicate the number of minutes per day and the number of days per year the tasks are being performed. Examples include delivering Express Mail, raising or lowering flags, recycling duties, etc. It is not enough to simply identify the tasks. Including all the information listed above is crucial.

Using the Custodian Staffing TL 3 or TL 5 Program

The MS-47 Staffing Program developed by Maintenance Craft officers is designed to enable staffing advocates and/or local union officials to verify the custodian staffing packages given to them by local management in three simple steps. For questions, concerns or suggestions, contact Jimmie Waldon at 202-842-4213 or send an email to

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