Still in the Struggle

November 1, 2017

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(This article first appeared in the November-December 2017 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Central Regional Coordinator Sharyn Stone

Postal management’s massive violation of Article 12 continues to have a significant impacton our jobs. As this article goes to press, we are still having extensive meetings and some impacts remain up in the air. Clearly, management does not have a vision of what they are trying to achieve. Not only are the numbers constantly in flux, but the reasons for some of the impacts keep changing.

One impact provides documentation for a Function 4, and then a revised statement for the same office is issued, basing the impact on the F-1 scheduler. Offices have come off the impacted lists, only to be put back on a couple days later as a revised impact. Some of the impacts received are left off the scheduled meeting list until we no tice and ask about that office. It has been a big mess. To management’s credit – and I give them credit for very little – the impacts for some of the offices are now cancelled, but the remaining number is still in the hundreds.

President Dimondstein is consistently speaking with national-level postal management officials about their actions and how to minimize the nationwide impact. Several telecoms have taken place with the Regional Coordinators, President Dimondstein, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman, and National Clerk Craft Officers.

Because of the APWU’s actions, the move date now is Feb. 3, 2018. This means all of these impacts should have been met by Nov. 3, in order to provide Regional Coordinators with the required meeting, at least 90 days prior to moving employees. Impacted employees must have at least 60-days notice. Considering the large number of offices left to be discussed and the constant changes, that may be cutting it extremely close. As this article goes to press, I have dates scheduled for meetings into late October.

There is another significant obstacle to management’s planned reduction of the work force. After the major Area Mail Processing (AMP) impacts we endured a few years back, there are not nearly enough (not even close) residuals to place impacted employees within the required 50 miles. During every Article 12 meeting, we ask for a list of residual vacancies withheld for the impact. There are never more than a few. Most impacts do not have any yet.

So even when the move date gets here, management must also have residual vacancies within 50 miles to place these impacted employees in. I do not see that happening.

Locals are also tasked with filing grievances – not only on the impacts but also on work hours in offices that are equivalent duty assignments. All of us together will be successful in our efforts to minimize, and in some cases prevent, impacts to our members. 

Joint Contract Interpretation Manual (JCIM) Training

Our new JCIM is out and national headquarters started nationwide “Train the Trainer” training. This training was jointly prepared and presented by APWU National Officers and the USPS. The training is given to district/area management employees and APWU NBAs. After receiving the training, these officers/managers will in turn together provide training to local union officials and local management officials.

After receiving the national training, the same training will be provided in all of the USPS offices on a local or district level. The guidelines to be used for providing the combined training locally were provided at the national training sessions.

The JCIM is a major tool which should be used to resolve issues at the lowest possible level and provide all our members with effective representation. The goal is that both parties apply the JCIM language.

My fellow coordinators Omar Gonzalez, John Dirzius, Mike Gallagher, Kennith Beasley and I participated in the national-level training and will be available to assist NBAs with local trainings.

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