PARS Software Grievance Resolved

February 13, 2009

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On Feb. 6, the union reached a favorable resolution of a dispute over the Postal Service's decision to assign the installation of hardware and software for the Postal Automation Redirection System (PARS) to employees of Siemens, the company that developed the equipment.

The grievance arose in April 2007, when the APWU learned (via Software Modification Order 22-07) that PARS installation work — which had long been performed by Electronic Technicians — would be subcontracted to Siemens. The union asserted this was a clear violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and on Aug. 20, 2007, initiated a Step 4 dispute.

The settlement stipulates that “no interpretive issue exists” and that timely local grievances would be resolved in accordance with the terms of the settlement outlined below.

By concluding that no interpretive dispute exists, the USPS essentially has agreed that the installation of software and file maintenance for mail-processing equipment, including PARS, is bargaining unit work within the duties and responsibilities of ETs.

In accordance with the settlement, local grievances filed prior to Aug. 20, 2007, (within 14 days of a subcontractor’s installation) at sites where no PARS-trained ETs assisted in the upgrade, should be resolved. At such sites, one PARS-trained ET will be compensated at the straight-time rate for the amount of time it would have taken to perform the upgrade, as determined by the individual office.

The union notes that that “PARS-trained” ET’s have been performing the type of software of modifications described in SMO-022-07 for a significant period of time. (Numerous SMOs have established this fact.) If there is any dispute regarding whether a facility has a “PARS-trained” ET, contact your National Business Agent or Maintenance Division officers at the union’s national office immediately.

The terms of this settlement are solely for application to the specific issue in this case, and do not set any precedents for other cases, current or future.

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