MVS Challenges Zero Base Review

Michael O. Foster

March 1, 2021

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

The APWU initiated a National Dispute on January 29, 2021, challenging the Postal Service’s National Zero Base review program and Transportation Logistics Training Program that unilaterally implemented a national policy of systematically assigning bargaining unit work to non-bargaining unit personnel in violation of Article 1.6.A.

The parties have clearly agreed that the duties of creating PVS schedules is bargaining unit work.

Arbitrator Das held in case number Q10V-4Q-C 15292655, “that there is no dispute between the parties over the fact that Schedule Examiner Vehicle Runs (SEVR) work is bargaining unit work which the employer may not assign to non-bargaining unit personnel.”

In the case brief, the Postal Service stated: “The Postal Service does not dispute that Schedule Examiner work is bargaining unit work, and that supervisors (and EAS employees) cannot perform bargaining unit work unless one of the exceptions provided for in Article 1.6 applies.”

Transportation Managers are required to complete Zero Base reviews nationwide at Processing and Distribution Centers (P&DCs). The reconfiguration of PVS routes that are part of Zero Base reviews is bargaining unit work that must be performed by bargaining unit personnel. This work is now being done by non-bargaining unit employees in violation of Article 1.6.A of the National Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Postal management has implemented a Transportation Logistics Training Program (VITAL) and Zero Base training for non-bargaining unit personnel. This training includes instruction on how non-bargaining unit personnel are to perform bargaining unit Schedule Examiner work. Presently, SEVRs are not provided this training.

The parties have also signed a SEVR MOU dated October 28, 2019, which states:

The parties agree that the SEVR position is an applicable best qualified position within the Motor Vehicle [Service] Craft bargaining unit whose primary duties and responsibilities are listed in the Position Description and Qualification Standards. It is appropriate to post these duty assignments for bid when they become vacant when there are sufficient work hours to justify a full-time assignment. In the event that local management determines that there are insufficient work hours to justify a full-time duty assignment, these duties must still be performed by bargaining unit employees of the MVS Craft.

Go Anywhere HCR Inquiry

The APWU became aware in December 2020 that the Office of the Inspector General was conducting an audit of the Postal Service’s use of Go Anywhere Highway Contract Route Services. The OIG explained that Go Anywhere contracts “allow HCR suppliers to travel anywhere within the continental U.S. based on the mail transportation needs of the Postal Service.” We understand that these Go Anywhere contracts are currently being utilized in several parts of the country. In response to our question to define Go Anywhere HCR Service, we received a response dated February 12, 2021:

There is no Postal definition for Go Anywhere HCR services. However, Go Anywhere HCR services are contracts which do not include a set origin or destination. These contracts are put in place to provide service on existing Highway Contract Route (HCR) work as operational needs dictate. Some examples which may require the use of a Go Anywhere HCR service are, supplier failure, additional volume, emergency situations, etc. These contracts are not intended to be used to cover existing Postal Vehicle Service (PVS) work.

Article 32.2 of the National Collective Bargaining Agreement, the MVS Jobs MOU and the Contracting or Insourcing of Contracted Service MOU requires certain contractual provisions to be met. We will continue our investigation and apprise the field of our findings.

Trailer FAT

The APWU received a notification in early February to participate in a First Article Test (FAT) for new trailers. The FAT will be held virtually in March. An OIG Audit Report dated December 4, 2020 stated: “As of May 2020, the Postal Service had 2,905 owned trailers and approved a business case to purchase 825 trailers for about $24.5 million.”

We will provide additional information at the conclusion of the FAT.

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