APWU-USPS Modified Work-Week Talks Stalls

Burrus Update

Discussions have been underway at the national level for several months regarding the implementation of the Modified Work Week known as “10-4,” where employees are scheduled to work 10 hours per day, four days per week.

Over recent weeks these discussions have failed to make significant progress and therefore I am unable to project that a final agreement will be reached. Despite the lack of progress, we will continue to explore possibilities for reaching a settlement with management on this matter.

The subject of intense discussion at the national level is the possibility of requiring employees to work a modified work week as a condition of their bid assignment. The original pilot agreed to by the parties in 1994 limited 10-4 schedules to employees who volunteered for them and had the option to discontinue their participation at their discretion. Headquarters management has proposed that the new program include a requirement that all employees within a designated section be required to work the modified work week as a condition of their bid assignment.

I am aware that as discussions continue at the national level, a number of locals also are exploring Modified Work Weeks. If, in the course of these discussions, management proposes posting 10-4 schedules as a condition of bid assignments, it is advised that final agreement be delayed until the national discussions have been completed.

The union’s concern is clear: As postal management plans to reduce mail processing to a two-tour operation, the union has no interest in facilitating the effort.

While many employees would favor the opportunity to have three non-scheduled days in the course of a service week, their entitlement does not supersede the right of an employee to work the contractually required eight-hour, five-day schedule.

It is advised that APWU locals refrain from making any commitment on a Modified Work Week program that would compromise the national position.

I will keep the membership informed as discussions continue.

William Burrus