APWU Wins "Casuals In Lieu" Of Arbitration For Rogers Arkansas Clerks

Article 7 – Hiring Casuals in Lieu of Career Bargaining Unit Employees

This is a summary of Regional Arbitrator Glenda M. August’s decision in case G06C-4G-C-08248741 regarding the Postal Service’s decision to hire a casual employee to replace an enlisted military employee. In this case a career postal employee enlisted in the Military. Management hired a casual employee to fill the career employee’s position after he announced he would be in the Army for a period of not less than four years.

The Union alleged that Article 7.1.B.1 was violated when a casual employee was hired in lieu of a career employee. According to the Union Article 7.1.B provided that casual employees could be hired for term limit of 360 calendar days, however four years was excessive. The Area guidelines could not be used to replace the mandate of Article 7; the Union further argued the trigger guidelines were implemented to be used as support when hiring short term workforce. According to the Union to hire a casual for a period of five years in the absence e of a career employee was not a proper use of supplement workforce. In support of its argument the Union cited the Das award (Q98C-4I-C-00100499) and the Downes Memorandum.

The arbitrator issued a cease and desist order and ordered the Postal Service to hire a career employee. In addition the arbitrator ordered the Postal Service to pay the clerk craft employees for those hours worked by the casual at the overtime rate.

The arbitrator properly noted in her award:

Management had a mandate t utilize casual employees for heavy loads of work or short terms as supplemental workforce. Where it was reasonable t believe that the employee would be away from his Postal employment at a minimum of five years, Management had no justification to assert that the hiring of a casual was within the guidelines of the National Agreement. Although Article 7 allowed Management to hire a casual for 360 days, the hiring of five to seven casuals to cover the military absence was not the intent of the authors of the National Agreement.

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