PostalReporter reader: The NALC is celebrating this class action arbitration award on the misuse of DOIS. Below are excerpts from the decision (let us know of any mistakes in converting case from PDF):
For the U.S. Postal Service: Robert McCoy, Labor Relations Specialist
For the Union: Sandra Emerson, Arbitration Advocate
The grievances are sustained, The Postal Service improperly utilized the Delivery Operations Information System (DOIS) figures to set the carriers’ leave and return times in violation of the M-39 Handbook. In addition, the improper DOIS figures created a hostile work environment for the carriers.
1) Whether the Postal Service violated the National Agreement, including the applicable Handbooks and Manuals, by using DOIS recordings to set carriers’ daily office and, street time each morning? 1f so, what is the appropriate remedy?
2) Whether a hostile work environment was created by the Postal Service’s use of DOIS to set carriers’ daily office office and street time? If so, what is the appropriate remedy?
On February 4, 2009, Supervisor Reece Davis (Supervisor Davis) posted a laminated placard at each carrier case. The placard had spaces to write in the number of letter pieces, flat pieces, and the expected leave and return times for the individual carrier. On February 17, 2009, Supervisor Davis was questioned about why the placards were posted at the carriers” cases.
Supervisor Davis responded that the placards were only there to comply with the POOM who may come by the facility and would want to see the placards displayed. Nothing further was discussed with the carriers at that time. On February 24, 2009, before the carriers’ begin tour, a Supervisor Davis began walking around to each carriers case and recording on the posted placard the: piece count amount of letters and flats taken from the Delivery Operations Information System (DOIS numbers). The DOIS numbers were generated from the Workload Status Report. The D0IS numbers were also recorded before all the mail was available for the carriers to case for their routes. In addition to recording the DOIS numbers, the supervisor began informing the carriers of their leave and return times based on the DOIS number.
After receiving the DOIS numbers and their leave and return times, the carriers would then inform the supervisor if they needed any help to complete their route in the allotted eight hour time period. If additional time was needed a Carrier Auxiliary Control Form 3996 (3996) was filled out and the supervisor would either approve or disapprove the request. On March 10, 2009, a grievance was filled regarding the new manner in which Postal management utilized the DOIS numbers and determined the carriers’ leave and return times. The grievances went unresolved through the lower grievance levels and were appealed to arbitration to be heard by this duly appointed arbitrator.
The only agreed upon method for changing office or street standards is outlined in the M-39 Handbook. The Postal Service’s insistence on trying to hold carriers to the DOIS projected office leave and street/return times violates the criteria set forth in the M·39 Handbook. See JX·2 at 26. M .. 39 Handbook 242.311 states that, ”Under normal conditions, the office time allowance for each letter route shall be fixed at the lesser of the carrier’s average time used to perform the office work during the count period, or the average standard allowable office time. In addition, M-39 Handbook~ 242.321 provides “For evaluation and adjustment purposes, the base for determining the street time shall be either: a The average street time for the 7 weeks random timecard analysis and the week following the week of count and inspection: or b. The average street time used during the week of count and inspection.” The Postal Service failed to follow those provisions and that has led to a hostile work environment for carriers.
In particular, carriers have complained about how stressful the environment is since Supervisor Davis has utilized the DOIS numbers to determine the leave and return times. The carriers felt badgered, bullied and harassed. PM Hansen has also threatened the carriers with possible termination if they don’t meet the D01S numbers. See JX-2 at 103. In all, the improper use of DOIS as the sole factor for determining carrier’s leave and return time and the manner in which Postal management interacts with the carriers regarding their DOIS violates the National Agreement. The Postal Service should be required to cease and desist from using DOIS and from creating a hostile work environment for the carriers.
Eisenmenger, However, by concluding that the Postal Service did violate the National Agreement, the improper use of the DOIS numbers led to the resistance and animosity &ultimately created a hostile work environment for the carriers. In essence, but for the Postal Service’s improper utilization of the DOIS numbers a hostile work environment would not have been created.
For the foregoing reasons, the grievances are sustained. The Postal Service is to cease and desist from primarily utilizing the DOIS numbers to set carriers leave and return times. Going forward, the Postal Service shall follow the provisions of the M-39 Handbook to determine the leave and return times. In addition, the Postal Service must cease and desist from creating a hostile work en;lr1ronment by not following the M-39 Handbook to determine leave and return times.
November 23, 2009
PETER J. CLARKE