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January 5, 2010

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Postal employees in small offices whose hours have been reduced while managerial hours have been increased are being asked to complete and return a union-sponsored questionnaire [PD on the subject. Work-hours for part-time flexible clerks at many small offices have been slashed, APWU President William Burrus noted in a column in the January/February issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.

The National Agreement limits management’s right to shift work from clerks to other employees, Burrus wrote, but management continues to violate arbitrators’ rulings on the issue. “While the APWU-USPS contact recognizes the right of supervisors and postmasters to perform bargaining-unit work in small offices, arbitrators have repeatedly concluded that supervisory work cannot increase at the expense of work for clerks,” he said.

“Some employees have had hours reduced to two hours per week; others have been forced to travel to distant offices; many have surrendered — and terminated their employment. In most instances, these reductions should not have taken place,” Burrus wrote.

The Postal Service persists in violating prohibitions on increasing the workload of postmasters, postmaster-reliefs, and other supervisors at the same time that clerk hours are being reduced, the union president said. The union and management have agreed that Rural Letter Carriers cannot perform clerk work (including when they are on light duty), but management often violates this ban as well.

The union has initiated a series of national-level grievances seeking to have the work returned and to make affected employees ‘whole,’ Burrus wrote.

Employees who worked at small offices between 1993 and the present are asked to complete the survey, which appears in the January/February issue of the magazine, along with a Business Reply Envelope. Completed forms should be mailed to:

APWU Survey
1300 L Street NW
Washington DC 20005

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