The Union has initiated a national dispute over the issuance of a new Publication 156, “Postal Employees Guide to Contract Postal Units”, that replaces the Handbook AS-707-F, “Contracting for Contract Postal Units.” The provisions of Handbook AS-707-F are utilized by the Union in regard to the enforcement, administration and/or interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement, and have been the subject of disputes at both the field and national level. It is the APWU’s position that the Postal Service has unilaterally made revisions, replaced or renamed the Handbook AS-707-F, in an attempt to circumvent its obligations under the collective bargaining agreement.
According to the dispute:
..a review of the information forwarded to the Union indicates that the Postal Service has failed to furnish the Union with each proposed change, a narrative explanation of its purpose and impact on employees, and any documentation concerning the proposed change from the manager(s) who requested the change addressing its purpose and effect. The Postal Service takes the position that the planned revisions to Publication 156, Postal Employees Guide to Contract Postal Units do not directly relate to wages, hours, or working conditions.
It is the APWU position that the planned revisions of Publication 156, and the replacement of Handbook AS 707-F with Publication 156 are in conflict with, and violate,previous national level settlements and the collective bargaining agreement. In addition, there are two pending national disputes (one initiated by the Postal Service and one initiated by the APWU) over whether or not a Contract Postal Unit can be placed in a leased facility. The unilateral discontinuance of Handbook AS-707F and the issuance of planned revisions of Publication 156 directly relate to, and impact, the issues in dispute in the above referenced cases.
The APWU also contends that the planned revisions to Publication 156 directly relate to wages, hours or working conditions within the meaning of Article 19 of the National Agreement.