Union Requests Documentation Of Supervisors Performing Bargaining Unit Work in Small Offices

November 5, 2008

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APWU President William Burrus has asked the Postal Service to provide documentation that will help the union track the amount of craft work performed by supervisors in small offices.

In a letter dated Oct. 31, the union president asked the USPS to identify:

  • All Level 15, 16, 17, and 18 offices by name and finance number;
  • The number of career Clerk Craft employees by category for each Accounting Period in Fiscal Years 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008; 
  • The number of non-bargaining unit employees by category in each office for the same period;
  • The total number of Clerk Craft bargaining unit work hours performed by non-bargaining unit employees.

“The information is necessary to determine whether the Postal Service has violated the contract at these offices,” Burrus said, noting that Article 1.6.A and 1.6.B of the Collective Bargaining Agreement restrict the circumstances under which management personnel can perform craft work.

Article 1.6.A. prohibits supervisors from performing craft work — except in an emergency; for training purposes; to assure proper operation of equipment, or to protect the safety of employees and postal property. Article 1.6.B., which applies to offices of less than 100 bargaining unit employees, allows an additional exception as well: when the duties are included in the supervisor’s job description.

Rulings by Arbitrator Sylvester Garrett and Arbitrator Shyam Das have determined that historical practice sets the baseline for the amount of work that can be performed by postmasters and supervisors in small offices.

“The information we have requested will help us determine whether management is shifting work from craft employees to supervisory employees,” Burrus said. “In this time of financial difficulty for the Postal Service, we are determined to protect APWU members’ jobs.”

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