National Staffing Advocate Training: DC

Idowu Balogun

July 13, 2022

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(This article first appeared in the July/August 2022 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

Washington DC: In an effort to continue providing local and state unions with maintenance craft staffing assistance, the APWU once again held formal national staffing advocate training in Washington, DC for four days. The main focus during training was on MS-1 (Building Side), eWHEP (Mechanized) and Custodial staffing enforcement. All staffing advocates worked hard and successfully completed the training and are available for assignments. Congratulations!

How to Request National Staffing Advocate Assistance

In order to receive assistance from our trained national staffing advocates, local/state presidents must submit a written request to specifying which type of staffing package needs to be reviewed (i.e. custodial, MS-1, eWHEP). Current, approved complete staffing packages must be provided with the written request, as well as a copy of the previous, approved staffing package for comparative purposes. Other documents may be requested depending on the nature of the staffing advocate request.

A custodial staffing review is an important tool for protecting maintenance craft jobs and is determined by following the step-by-step process outlined in the MS-47 Handbook.

The three basic forms contained in custodial staffing packages are the PS Forms 4869 (Building Inventory), 4839 (Frequency of Cleaning) and 4852 (Work Hour Analysis). Local/state unions should also be prepared to identify any additional work the custodians have historically performed and provide all evidence of this additional work to the national staffing advocates.

Mechanized staffing determines the number of noncustodial positions in an installation using a program called eWHEP (electronic Work Hour Estimator Program) and is principally used in mail processing plants, but also contains sections for field maintenance staffing, maintenance support clerk staffing and building equipment staffing (MS-1). Accurate 2-A, 2-B and 2-C inventories are critical to eWHEP staffing enforcement, as well as ensuring the local is receiving a sufficient number of operational tours on the eMARS (electronic Maintenance Activity Reporting System) staffing worksheets for all mail processing equipment within the installation.

If the local or state union president does not possess the current, approved staffing packages, then an information request must be submitted and, if necessary, pursued through the grievance-arbitration procedure.

Without the initial foundation documents acquired at the local or state level, it makes it difficult to provide assistance. Local or state unions will also be responsible for working with the national staffing advocates and providing them with a list of the current, accurate inventory and any inaccuracies that need to be addressed.

More detailed information can be found at the Maintenance page on the APWU web site. For all of your staffing related concerns, contact your local President first, and then your Maintenance National Business Agent, and then you can contact us by calling Maintenance Assistant Director Jason Treier at (202) 842-4213 or email us at

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