APWU Clerk Division Officers met with the Postal Service regarding “implementation of technological or mechanization changes” that affect jobs. The parties discussed several ongoing and new developments.
As many of you are already aware, the Flat Sequencing Sorter is the latest Postal Service automation program. Designed to facilitate delivery-point sequencing (DPS) of flat mail, it will have a significant impact on the craft and the number of jobs for career employees. FSS deployment is scheduled for later this year.
But like everything else, this program has been impacted by the decline in mail volume. As a result, the number of zones (ZIP codes) expected to be included in Phase 1 has been increased by about 50 percent. The nearly 15 percent decline in volume will also affect the deployment of Phase I FSS machines.
We are awaiting more information on this program and the specific changes to the schedules for implementation.
DBCS (Phase 7)
A pilot test has begun on the next-generation Delivery Bar Code Sorter. The Postal Service projects that this machine has the operational capacity to sort more than 50,000 pieces per hour, twice what the current DBCS can do.
Although the deployment is scheduled for late this year or early next year, mail volume and the economic situation may impact DBCS placement as well.
The Enterprise Learning Management System (LMS) will consolidate several of the electronic systems that deliver and track USPS training programs. The resultant single technology will automate and standardize the administration of these systems.
LMS deployment is scheduled to begin in June, and we anticipate that this will have a significant impact on the current number of Training Technician positions. We will pass along information that is specific to the impacted areas as it becomes available.
Tour 2 Impact on Mail Processing
The APWU is pursuing several disputes over the Postal Service’s nationwide program to eliminate or drastically reduce Tour 2 assignments and employees. One Step 4 dispute (HQTG200820) focuses on management’s violation of Article 17.5.B.4, which requires joint discussions on new initiatives during the development stage, and obligates the USPS to bargain in good faith.
In addition to filing local grievances regarding excessing and prior notification under Article 12, as well as abolishments, reversions, and repostings under Article 37,we should also be diligent in ensuring that no violations of Article 7.2, which covers cross-craft assignments, are taking place. For instance, Mail Handlers clearly should not be performing Clerk Craft work. And supervisors are prohibited from performing our work under Article 1.6.