USPS Planning to Reduce AFCS, DBCS, AFSM100, and FSS in its Mail Processing Facilities

Lamont Brooks

September 16, 2020

Share this article

(This article first appeared in the September/October 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

Please be advised that pursuant to Article 15, Sections 2 and 4, of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the APWU is initiating a Step 4 Dispute, No. HQTC20200290.

The issues and facts involved in this dispute are as follows: On June 17, President Mark Dimondstein received a general interest notification letter from USPS Contract Administration Manager Rickey Dean, stating, as a result in the reduction of letter and flat mail volume, the Postal Service is planning to reduce the number of Advanced Facer Canceler Systems (AFCS), Delivery Bar Code Sorters (DBCS), Automated Flat Sorting Machine 100s (AFSM100), and Flat Sequencing Systems (FSS) in its mail processing facilities. The subject reduction is anticipated to take place over the next several months. There is a planned reduction of six hundred and seventy-one (671) pieces of equipment throughout the country.

These reductions are in violation of the following: • Article 5, Prohibition of Unilateral Action • Article 4, Technological and Mechanization Changes, Section 1. Advance Notice • Article 12, In the event there would have been/was an Article 12 impact, as a result of the reduction of 671 pieces of equipment, Article 12.5.B.3 states, “The Union shall be notified in advance (as much as six (6) months whenever possible), such notification to be at the regional level, except under A.4 above, which shall be at the local level.”

The APWU asserts the Postal Service knew this should have been an Article 12 National Notification, and the Postal Service deliberately left out that there would be an Article 12 impact to the bargaining unit because they failed to provide APWU with advanced notice at all levels of the organization.

Additionally, the Minimizing Excessing MOU states, “The Postal Service will review its operations 1) to create new and/or more efficient assignments within the installation that might lessen the excessing need and 2) to look for scheduling opportunities to offer assignments which are consistent with local operation needs and reduce/eliminate the need to excess.”

Furthermore, the Article 12.5.B.2 MOU states, “The parties agree that Article 12.5.B.2 shall be amended to include the need to identify duty assignments within the appropriate radius currently held by PSE employees which shall be made available for the reassignment of excess career employees”.

Notably, in the June 17, 2013 Goldberg 12.5.B.2 National Award, the parties must identify the duty assignments after the creation of the duty assignments under Article 37.3.A.1 and the Minimizing Excessing MOU.

The Das Article 37.3.A.1 Duty Assignments National Arbitration Award decision dated July 24, 2020, reaffirms that the Postal Service is contractually obligated to post for bid additional new duty assignments using all available work hours (including PSE hours).

• Article 30.B of the Collective Bargaining Agreement defines sections within the installation.

• In the event of any excessing as a result of this notice, the APWU cites all of the applicable excessing provisions, MOUs, etc. and related Craft Article(s).

Accordingly, the APWU has initiated National Dispute No. HQTC20200290, and are requesting that the Postal Service cease and desist violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement and rescind all notifications nationally, regionally and locally to the union that relates to the automation equipment (machine) reduction/removal/ elimination, and any resulting actions.

The USPS must bargain with the APWU in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and make the union and affected employees whole, to include, but not limited to, all lost wages and benefits.

Stay in touch with your union

Subscribe to receive important information from your union.