Union Appeals APPS Installation Subcontracting to Arbitration

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On Nov. 3, 2009, the APWU appealed to arbitration a national-level interpretive dispute protesting management’s decision to subcontract the installation of APPS (Automated Package Processing System) machines. The union asserts that the Postal Service failed to provide notice of the decision to the APWU as required by Article 32 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and failed to allow the union to provide input prior to making the decision. The USPS also failed to demonstrate that it gave “good faith consideration” to factors listed in Article 32 prior to making the decision.

The USPS claimed that a July 31, 2002, letter to APWU President William Burrus constituted compliance with the provisions of Article 32. However, the letter contained only a notification of a “First Article Test” in August of 2003, with deployment projected for February 2004 through September 2005. The Postal Service said that although an analysis of the number of impacted employees by craft was unavailable, it anticipated that 1,600 full-time employees could be impacted. The letter did notify the APWU that any part of the APPS installation would be performed by contract employees.

The national union first became aware of the violation when a grievance from the Minneapolis BMC was referred to the union’s national office.

APWU 15-Day Statement of Issues and Facts 

USPS 15-Day Statement of Issues and Facts

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