Moving Forward

September 1, 2017

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(This article first appeared in the Sept-Oct 2017 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Maintenance Craft Directors 

The Maintenance Division had a productive first half of 2017.

We completed arbitration on the Article 19 revisions to the MS-1 Handbook (case numbers Q10T-4Q-C14171644 /81407) which affects Building Equipment staffing and work. Hearings were held Nov. 15-16, 2016, Feb. 2 and April 25-26. Post-hearing briefs were exchanged June 26. Maintenance Assistant Director ‘A’ Idowu Balogun was our case officer and we enlisted the assistance of many Building Equipment Mechanics during preparation and presentation. Our sincere thanks to all rank-and-file members who participated, with a special shout out to those who testified as witnesses – Ken Allen, Chicago Local; Russ Siebert, San Diego Area Local; Steve Vaughn, Indianapolis Area Local, and Scott Nowaczck, Upper Piedmont Area Local (South Carolina). We are awaiting the decision of Arbitrator Goldberg as this issue goes to press.

On May 12, the parties signed a Question and Answer document, applying the MOU Re: MS-47 TL-5 Implementation. This significant Q&A reiterates in clear language the obligation of the Postal Service and the right of the union in determining compliance with item 6 of the MS-47 T/L-5 resolution. This is popularly referred to as enforcing Line H, in recognition of the line item on the custodial staffing PS4852.

Our members in custodial duty assignments must communicate with their union representatives about their work. The point of this is worth repeating – this is about your job security and our collective right to the scheduling and performance of our work. This is something to zealously guard and protect.

On June 27, we reached an agreement just before the opening arbitration hearing on the unilateral modification of leave and overtime provisions covering our Level 11 Electronic Technicians. Maintenance Craft Director Steve Raymer signed the agreement resolving case numbers Q15T-4Q-C 17340522 /40479.

This was a groundbreaking resolution of disputes, including the second National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) charge on management actions at the Maintenance Technical Support Center (MTSC). This agreement restored the status quo for these members and made them whole for the malicious treatment they were subjected to. The parties continue to move forward on implementing the contract under the new language of Article 38.7.F, including the new concept of a “virtual” installation.

On June 30, Arbitrator Goldberg issued his decision in case number Q10T-4Q-C 15206030, POStPlan, Custodial Staffing.

The award determined that a POStPlan cluster of an APO and associated Remotely Managed Post Of- fices (RMPOs), is an installation as defined in Article 38.2.B and the custodial staffing formula outlined in the Maintenance Craft “Subcontracting Cleaning Services” Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) applies.

Locals and state organizations representing POStPlan “clusters” should determine whether the above MOU is being complied with. If the result of applying the formula is 1 or greater, then management is prohibited from contracting out our Craft’s work. The accuracy of the complete MS-47 staffing package for each facility is critical to establishing custodial duty assignments. Please contact your Maintenance Division NBA for assistance.

In a somewhat rare circumstance, on July 6-7, we completed the arbitration hearing in case Q00T-4Q-C06175320 in two days. The issue is whether the USPS violates Article 32 when subcontracting the Automated Package Processing System (APPS) installation.

Maintenance Assistant Director ‘B’ Terry B. Martinez was our case officer. The USPS presented a defense that since the APPS was not accepted by the PostalService until it passed certain performance tests, it was still the contractor’s machine.

Our position included the fact that the Postal Service did own the APPS and paid for it prior to installation. The assembly of modular components which comprise an APPS were clearly within the abilities of the skilled Maintenance workforce.

Please remember to say “Hi” to your steward.

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