In a recent NALC Bulletin, President Young stated that he encourages cooperation with USPS because “the current financial crisis requires cooperation, where appropriate.” Even so, he declared, “[n]o one, at any level, has any authority to amend or violate the national contract, period.” PMG Potter agrees: “It is up to each one of us to make sure that the changes we bring to the organization are changes for the better,” Potter recently wrote. “Respecting and protecting the provisions of the collective-bargaining agreements will help us to do that.” PMG Potter Memo To Managers (PDF)
Let Let me make the following clear to one and all, including Postal Service management at headquarters and in the field, and all letter carriers, at every level in the union and in every post office: No one, at any level, has any authority to amend or violate the national contract, period.
I continue to receive calls from branch officers who inform me that local managers have approached them and attempted to secure agreements to violate the national contract. These same managers have the audacity to suggest that I am cooperating with the Postal Service and that they should, too!
The plain fact is that I encourage cooperation with the Postal Service because I realize the current financial crisis requires cooperation, where appropriate.
If any manager approaches you with a suggestion for creative ooperation, advise them to send their ideas to USPS headquarters, which will then make the determination whether to present such ideas to us. Some of the ideas floating around now are not grounded in common sense. For example, the idea of prohibiting all carriers from working their nonscheduled day off, and then requiring non-ODL carriers to work overtime is a clear violation of the contract – one we will stop through the grievance procedure, and one that will cost the USPS dearly in the end. We must be mindful of the critical difference between contract amendment/contract violation on the one hand, and creative, positive cooperation on the other.
William H. Young