MVS Issues Resolved and Initiated

Michael O. Foster

July 18, 2023

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(This article first appeared in the July/August 2023 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

Clearinghouse Consent Form

There have been recent inquiries about signing the consent form and the language of the form, for limited queries of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

The APWU filed a dispute case number Q18V-4Q-C 20375622/HQTV20200376 in August 2020. The settlement, dated Nov. 23, 2020, lists the procedure and language that should be included on the form. The consent form and authorization are valid for two years from the date it is signed. That means that, if you are in a safetysensitive position that requires a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), you must sign a new consent form every two years to drive a CDL vehicle.

The Postal Service must have a signed consent form to conduct one annual limited query of the Clearinghouse to determine whether drug or alcohol violation information exists in each of the two years, as required by law.

The Step 4 settlement, which has the consent form verbatim language, is on the APWU website under the Motor Vehicle Service (MVS) section.

Driving Safety Instructor Step 4 Filed

The APWU initiated a National Dispute, case number HQTV20230251, claiming that the Postal Service violated the National Agreement by subcontracting bargaining unit work to Sage Driving Schools and others, and failing to provide Driving Safety Instructors (DSIs) the training and materials required to certify employees to obtain appropriate state CDLs since Feb. 7, 2022. The USPS has arbitrarily shifted the focus of the DSIs to carriers and has abandoned plans and goals for Postal Vehicle Service (PVS).

The Joint Contract Interpretation Manual and Memorandum of Understanding: Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Training for Automotive Mechanics and Technicians requires that training will be provided by a CDL certified DSI or Ad Hoc DSI. The USPS will allow employees for these positions to utilize USPS equipment to take the CDL Road Test.

Postal Support Employee (PSE) Compliment

We have agreed to settle National Disputes that were filed when the Postal Service exceeded the PSE compliment cap of 10 percent in the MVS craft in 2012. The PSE district cap was exceeded by 43 PSEs in May 2012 and 132 in October 2012.

The conversion-to-career-status-date of 43 former PSEs will change to May 2012, and to October 2012 for 132 former PSEs. The number of conversions will be the number that each district was over the cap for each month, and their standing-on-the-rolls. The conversionto- career-date change will adjust the employees’ PS Form 50 history. The application of this remedy will be implemented at the National level, and the affected employees will be made whole.

Medical Release for Drug & Alcohol Testing

We have received reports from the field that random drug and alcohol testing facilities were requiring employees, who hold a CDL as a requirement of their position, to sign a medical release to obtain their personal health records. If the employee refused to sign the release, they were not allowed to take the DOT drug & alcohol test, which is considered a refusal (positive) test.

The union filed a National Dispute in February 2023, and the parties agreed to resolve the case based on the following understanding: Current DOT regulations do not require an employee to sign a medical release for drug or alcohol testing. The DOT rule 49CFR Part 40 Section 40.27 states: May an employer require an employee to sign a consent or release in connection with the DOT drug and alcohol testing program?

NO, as an employer, you must not require an employee to sign a consent, release, waiver of liability, or indemnification agreement with respect to any part of the drug or alcohol testing process covered by this part.

Copies of these Step 4 settlements can be found on the APWU website.

Have a happy and safe summer.. ■


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