Prerequisites for Training

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Job training required for promotion has been the subject of discussion between the union and USPS management at the national level for many years. In 1983, Arbitrator Richard Bloch, in case HIT-4F-C-6029, wrote:

The intent of the parties is that the training courses set forth in the qualification standards shall not be considered as mandatory in every case. Instead, while Management may assign such courses in its discretion, the decisions shall be based on the nature of the particular assignment considered together with the capabilities and training of the individual employee. The parties agree that, while on the one hand it is essential to train an individual in every necessary respect, it is also appropriate to avoid training when it is unnecessary.

In 1993 a Memorandum of Understanding was reached that required all job training required for promotion be scheduled and completed within one year from the date of the Notice of Successful Applicant. The MOU read as follows:

The parties agree that any training required of successful applicants pursuant to Article 38.5.C.3 shall be scheduled and satisfactorily completed within a reasonable period of time which, absent unusual circumstances, shall notexceed one (1) year from the date of the announcement of successful applicant.

The principle and intent of each of the above agreements is reflected in the current language of Article 38, Section 5.C.3, as well as the Joint Contract Interpretation Manual (JCIM). The referenced language reads as follows:

An exception to 1 and 2 above shall be when the notice of intent has stated that promotion is contingent upon satisfactory completion of training. In these cases, within 14 days the applicant shall be reassigned as an unassigned regular in his/her current occupational group and level. The employee shall be placed in a detail assignment on the tour and non-scheduled days in the occupational group and level of the duty assignment for which the training is intended. For the duration of the detail assignment, the employee will be treated as if promoted to that position. Upon satisfactory completion of the required training or one (1) year from the date detailed, whichever occurs first, the employee shall bedeclared the successful applicant and promoted with a preferred assignment seniority date determined according to Section 2.G.2. of this Article.

JCIM Language

Training required of successful applicants pursuant to Article 38.5.C.3 shall be scheduled and satisfactorily completed within a reasonable period of time, which, absent unusual circumstances, shall not exceed one year from the date of the announcement of the successful applicant.

There may be instances, for various reasons, where an employee who receives a promotion based on successful completion of training refuses to attend the training within the one year period. On a case by case basis, management must determine if the explanation given for the refusal is valid. If it is determined not to be valid, the employee is declared an unassigned regular in the employee's original occupational code and level, and the position reposted. The employee will be bypassed on the promotion eligibility register for this posting.

If the explanation is valid, the time limit may be extended (on a one-time basis) until the receipt of training results from the National Center for Employees Development for the next scheduled course, provided the extension does not exceed one year.


In summary, the Postal Service has the right to determine the job training courses that are required for promotion. Once it exercises this right, the Postal Service is required to schedule and complete all the identified job training within one (1) year of the posting of the Notice of Intent. The employee is not penalized for the Postal Service's failure to meet this criterion; when this occurs, the employee is promoted. Any additional job training available for the employee must be assigned in accordance with Article 38, Section 6.

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