The postal service is currently considering several changes that will impact Clerk Craft employees and customers.
The USPS intends to test a new Retail Network prototype at the L’Enfant Plaza office in Washington, DC. The pilot will include a complete renovation of the unit, with plans to add split counters to make interaction between retail clerks and customers easier; swivel computer screens to enable Sales and Service Associates (SSAs) to work on either side of the split counter; and customer-accessible screens in the lobby to facilitate self check-out,much like the do-it-yourself registers in grocery stores and other retail venues.
Management also is considering the use of handheld signature tablet devices, to facilitate customers’ signing for accountable and express mail. The proposed changes at the Washington, DC test site are different than those that are currently being tested in Schaumberg, IL. The Schaumberg test focuses more on non-postal services, such as such as offering copying services and renting conference rooms.
Standardizing LSSA Duties
Another change being considered by the Postal Service is an attempt to standardize Lead Sales and Service Associate (LSSA) duties in order to more closely mirror the position description. Currently, the role of LSSAs varies from city to city, and in some areas management is underutilizing this important position.
The official “functional purpose” of the LSSA is to “work alone or provide technical direction to one or more clerks assigned to sales activities,” and to “review the work [of the clerks] for accuracy.” This basic description is vague in specific job activity, which leaves room for different interpretations, and functions that vary by location. Some of the more important duties of LSSAs are to:
- Give technical guidance to other retail employees;
- Forecast and maintain stamp inventory;
- Prepare and consolidate bank deposits;
- Prepare and maintain accounting records;
- Examine and ensure the integrity of security containers related to fixed credit;
- Report lack of conformity with security regulations;
- Conduct or witness transfer of fixed credit between employees;
- Assist in physical accounting of stock;
- Maintain adequate supplies of materials required for the operation of the unit;
- Accept and verify redeemed stamps, and prepare and submit stock for destruction;
- Monitor the workload of the retail unit to assist in appropriate staffing and scheduling, such as lunches, breaks, etc;
- Provide leadership necessary for SSAs to perform their daily functions;
- Instruct and advise individual employees in correct financial and retail sales procedures, and,
Perform additional SSA duties.
The union and management have a mutual interest in ensuring that this higher-level position is utilized in a uniform manner at all retail units. In order to achieve this goal, the USPS is considering the distribution of an “LSSA Workload Survey” that is currently being reviewed by the union. According to the USPS, the purpose of the survey is to collect data that will assist in standardizing the duties of LSSAs and gain information on interaction between LSSAs and other retail clerks, as well as with customers.
In the current retail environment, it is more important than ever that the union takes a pro-active approach to protecting bargaining unit work.