PostCom Responds To APWU Article On Mailers

The EdNote below is in response to this article from APWU President William Burrus.

[EdNote: Well, the last I checked, it wasn’t mailers who were sitting idle in holding rooms refusing to do work because contract agreements said they didn’t have to. Talk about ‘immeasurable’ damage. And, the last I checked, those who pushed for PAEA ultimately included the USPS and postal employee groups. It wasn’t PostCom who was sitting at the White House on the day of PAEA’s presidential signing. At the time of PAEA’s enactment, the chairman of PostCom, Vincent Giuliano, was strenuously objecting to the health pre-funding provision. Oh yes, I also remember it was the Postal Service’s mantra that it could live (as it claimed it always had done) within the bounds of inflation. The APWU President’s sense of historical revisionism is without equal. ]”

28 thoughts on “PostCom Responds To APWU Article On Mailers

  1. Patty, I think the problem with management hiding behind Article 3 is not motivated for the sole purpose of simply snubbing their noses at the Union. It’s my understanding that the Postal Service has composed their budget / financial system in a manner that encourages Plant Managers, Postmasters, etcetera, to use the grievance system in a manner to stay within their respected and mandated budgets. Apparently all grievance settlements are paid for out of a National grievance fund that has been set up by Postal Headquarters. I recall seeing a few of years ago that the monies set aside in this fund for paying grievance’s for calendar year 2007 totaled somewhere just over half a BILLION dollars. Since all grievances settement monies come from this National fund, these settlements do not count against the individual offices operating budget.
    Apparently, there is no concern or scrutiny in how much $$$ is spent grievances.
    In Solidarity,

  2. Zack and John I think you both agree that it is about time that management quit hiding behind Article 3 which they say allows thems to mis-manage. It needs to stop and we need to hold them accoutable when they pull that crap during our grievance meetings. No one has a right to mis-manage! I know a little off the subject but I am so tired of it! thanks guys!

  3. John, I can certainly sympathize with everyone’s daily frustrations while working at the P.O. However, we must always remember that we are all on the same team, no matter what Craft we are in. We must not allow management, and others who would stand to benefit, to drive a wedge between us with their lies and rhetoric.
    I’m also wise to those employee’s who are nothing more than a leach on the system. However, I always ask myself, why is it that they are that way? Maybe something or someone at the Postal Service has caused them to purposely leave their work ethic at home. One thing I can say for certain, management at my office are experts at killing morale and loyalty. Maybe that’s the true cause?
    Sure, American’s are spoiled, but that doesn’t excuse the myrmidon running my office. Having served in the U.S. Air Force abroad, and having seen and experienced first hand the hardships of those living in a third world economy, I truly feel that our country is full of a bunch of spoiled brats that don’t know how hard life can really be. That includes MANGEMENT jerk-offs. Nevertheless, management holds the sole responsible for the morale / work ethic of the Postal workforce. If it’s down, management has rightfully earned the blame.
    Management is after all a position of trust; which they’ve consistently and continuously violated. An essential attitude / characteristic needed to to be a true leader is the ability to be both objective and to restrain ones own self desires. When management earns the trust back, maybe then I’ll extend some respect to them. But for now, F%#K MANAGEMENT! They need to grow up and stop acting like a bunch children who can’t play together nicely.
    In solidarity,

  4. Thank you Zack. I get a little overheated when I see posts that seem to lay 100% of blame for the mess we are in on management.They are of course most to blame, especially the farther up the food chain you get. But where I work many of the workers are just as exasperated at the attitude of a small number of our workers….they are the ones that impact us day to day and give management at the local level an excuse to cut jobs, which they have done.

  5. FYI John,
    Just so happens I’m the Chief Steward on Tour 1, and have been a Steward for since 1998. Shop Steward Rule #1: Don’t arrive at conclusions based on assumptions alone! It can be quite embarassing. LOL

  6. John no problem. At times I find myslef thinking why am I the only one waiting on all the customers! Of course it isn’t true. We are just so seriously short staffed at the stations/window. Thanks again.

  7. Patty, I applaud your service as a steward and officer. I really had no problem with most of what you said except for your agreement with Zack regarding my being an example of “Dunning-Kruger Effect” Where I work most suffering this Effect are in EAS positions.I was a perhaps a little hard on Clerks in general, but I stand by what I said about the ones in my facility.

  8. John, I am not here to argue with you. I have been a steward for 25 years and an officer as well. I am the Legislative Director. I am also a Window and Passport Clerk. I now only want to address the issues that were written in the statement by> I am not here to degrade or devalue the hardworking postal workers, which includes you.
    Lets be clear, the Postal Service is to be run as a service to the public. It is the Peoples Postal Service, not PMG Potters, not the corporate mailers and but the publics. It should remain that way A SERVICE.

  9. Did I step on your little clerks toes? Sorry, but you just proved my point. By the way 32 years as a Mailhandler and 0 as an EAS. I was a NPMHU Steward for 8 years fighting management and won my fair share of Individual and Class Actions.Have any other of you bloviating about the unjust practices of USPS ever accepted the respnsibility of being a Steward and trying to go toe to toe with management to stop them? I ill bet the answer is no. Zack you prove the Dunning-Kruger Effect by referring to the hypothesis in the book
    and then have nothing else to say.Also you also apparently do not read very well.Not i either post do I say a majority or even a large minority of workers have gone in tank.I just said number was does not take too many to bring an entire unit or facility down… all complainers have you all stayed on sidelines or have you stepped up to plate and become Union Officials to help those workers you seem to think are so great?

  10. Thanks Zack Well said.
    Back to the topic at hand! USPS, Unions and ect. were not the decsion makers on the prefunding of health care to it’s retirees. The Postal Service is currently required to fund 100 percent of its retiree health and pension obligations — more than the standard 80 percent pension funding levels found in the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the federal government’s own funding level of 41 percent. This was someting from the OPM, Office of Personal and Management.

    Added to the mix, thhe Postal Service has been overcharged $75 billion for its pension obligations. When the Post Office Department became the Postal Service in 1971, employees who belonged to the federal pension fund started contributing to the Postal Service.

    In essence, the federal fund collected full contributions, but paid only partial benefits.

    Fixing the last issue alone would fully fund the pension and health care retiree plans. The Postal Service’s $7 billion annual payments to build the health care fund even larger would no longer be needed and earned interest could pay annual premiums. Health care benefits for Postal Service retirees would not be affected. They would continue to receive the same benefits as before.

    This issue involving the fund’s overcharge is even more serious because the Postal Service pension fund is not made up of tax dollars.

  11. John is the perfect example of the “Dunning-Kruger Effect”, put forward by David Dunning & Justin Kruger. In short, their study found that incompetent people tend to overestimate their own worth and abilitites. Basically, their own stupidity protects them from realizing their own stupidity. At more, they do not learn from feedback suggesting a need to improve. John should go into management if he hasn’t already. He fits the mold!

  12. John the ” Mailhandler” !. I really don’t care what you think. It is however unfortunate that you badmouth your other union brothers and sisters. We actually get along with each other here. Our battle is with management and certain legislative issues. You really need to be sensible about this. I have been a clerk for 31 years and almost half as a window clerk. We work hard and long hours on the window. I believe that most postal workers have a good work ethic and your critisim is unfounded as a whole.
    I wish you had a better outlook on your fellow worker. I know that some people believe they carry load and do all the work and everyone is lazy except them, that must be you. Just remember when you attack a group of people as a whole and say they are LAZY, YOU are bound to hear about it. So buck up! I am surprised that your office can continue to operate without when you go home at the end of your shift. LOL !

  13. John, you sound like a management “Rat”! Sounds like you never been a Clerk, so don’t comment on something you know nothing about. Just because you’ve been with the Postal Service 32 years doesn’t make you an expert on the P.O. I been a Clerk for 20 years in Automation operating a DBCS. Why don’t you try operating a DBCS w/ 300 or more stackers by yourself, and get the mail to the carriers on time. Yeah, BY-YOURSELF! It ain’t no cake walk, I can assure you that! If you’ve read the NIOSH report that came out in 1993, you’d know that those machines will turn a person into a cripple eventually, and thats occurs when you have a co-worker to help you operate a machine. Jerk-Off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Patty I have not fallen into any trap. I have been with service for 32 years, probably longer than any one commenting on this site. The quality of our workforce has declined precipituosly in last 2 decades even as salaries rose.I know the Carriers bust their rear ends…oh yeah thats NALC.But the rest of the workforce most notably a large number of clerks and mailhandlers have been going in tank for some time. This has been my experience at my facility.You can call me stupid and uninformed and a mole but the truth is if you were Mailhandlers you would not have this problem. I have unloaded thousands of trailers in my career and every day I come to work my supervisor just tells me what to do and I do it. Therin perhaps lies the problem…….. we have employees at our facility that hurt production when they are there than when they are not. They are just in the way.

  15. Wow Great responses. You all pretty much covered it with the exception of the moron who said Clerks are lazy. Unfortunately that person has fallen into the trap which management and companies like this like to lay. Get the Unions to fight amonst themselves.
    Yes we do complain of having to sit in a room on stand by time while the window line in the lobby is getting longer and longer. That is bad management.
    Any union in their right mind would enforce work rules. I just don’t understand that idiot who appears to be a mailhandler. I think he is a mole!
    Anyway To the author of this article. You really don’t know what you are talking about. Burrus, the NALC and NMHPU Presidents were all against the pre funding. The prefunding was enacted through the PAEA. It had nothing to do with the Unions.

  16. APWU sucks. The only thing Burris is interested in is raising dues to maintain his life style and tell his stewards to ask people to file grievances, no matter the cause, just file. Go BURASS.

  17. You don’t know what you are talking about. Workers complain about having to sit in a room when the casuals are performing work and there is plenty of work on the floor. The next day they will be mandatoried to work overtime. Workers want to file a grievance on being put on stand-by time but there is no argument to make there. The APWU was against PAEA. The last time you checked my ___.

  18. You do not need to be in a room to refuse to do your job. At my facility many do it right on work room floor every day.And not because of Work rules,they are LAZY. APWU members (clerks) have always been the biggest whiners. That is why the USPS has been getting rid of as many as possible through automation.At my facility there has been a 25-50% drop in clerks while MH are at near highest level ever despite loss of volume. Nationwide our membership(NPMHU) has remined stable while APWU has dropped dramatically.The APWU leadership is obstructionist and runs its mouth about helping clerks keep jobs and force USPS to follow “Work Rules”while they continue to lose jobs at every level through automation and attrition becauseof the entitled attitude that runs downhill to its members on work room floors.

  19. You go guys! rip him a new one. lol I love the ferocity of postal employees on the defense. There is NO truth of his version of the stand by time, it is ALL mandatory, not optional. Most employees HATE it! This was not the intent of the APWU. It was to be used as a LAST resort in the absence of NO work IF for a short duration AFTER all efforts to offer liberal leave time to other employees was utilized. Not a weekly schedule!!!

  20. i remember mr burris letter and i was truly offended by the statement we are overpaid. obviously they don’t know what we do. if there was no union in place, agreements if people only made 10.00 an hour and have put up with ignorant postal management who have made it and don’t have to do what they enjoy ordering others to do the post office would have a massive turn over monthly and they really would be insolvent let the complainers tell us what it’s like to lift hundreds of pounds of mail daily for many cities (as in the dcbs) pitching mail onto belts as in the spbs machines or filling belts with priority mail these companies only do some of this on a weekly basis and have all week we have to do it everynight with hundreds of cities, zips, companies, addresses. so if they think people will just do it so that they have a job pay them any less without benefits and i bet you will see people are not slaves and how the turn over would be every month training new people because i can get 10.00 working at starbucks why would i work like a hebrew slave at the post office and then have the mailer believe in management style “treat em bad and make em like it”.

  21. You repeat “The last I checked”, blah, blah, blah! Obviously you had your head up your ass the last time you checked! Since you don’t work for the P.O., what the F#@& do you know about what goes on inside these walls? The last I checked you had to be a postal employee, with an I.D. badge to get in the door. Go buy yourself a shoe horn so you can get your head out your ass and see whats really going on jerk-off!

  22. The postal workers cannot refuse to work. Stop saying lies!!! Obviously this is yellow journalism or a misinformed opinion on the workplace. You have crossed the line inwhich you, the editor, have not done any research. The APWU was against the 2006 PAEA from the beginning.

  23. While Vincent Guliano of PostCom may or may not have been against the retirement prefunding at the time of the enactment of the PAEA, Bill Burrus and the APWU were always against the prefunding and in fact the APWU was always against the PAEA. While some employee groups/unions may have drunk the PAEA kool-aid the APWU did not. The APWU was the lone voice against PAEA from day 1.

  24. go piss up a tree asshole you know little about the p.o. oh yea just like postal management if you do not like it go and use some other form of delivery oh no body willdeliver it as cheap as we do what a shame dick head.

  25. Yes. Get your facts straight. These employees are not refusing to work.. They are not being allowed to work. This is a management tactic designed to inflame the public. Years of mismanagement has brought the Postal Service to this pass, NOT employees who refuse to work.

  26. Postal employees do not refuse to do work. That is called a strike. By law we can not strike. We do not even suggest slowing down at work. That would be organizing a strike. Get your facts straight. These rooms are a fabrication of management trying to say they need less employees while the ranks of Management have increased. These facilities with these rooms, also use overtime to get they mail out. But do not use the employees in the room. While they have temporary employees doing the work. Temps (casual employees) have no guarantee of work.

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