APWU: Arbitrator Denies Union’s Challenge To USPS Two-Tour Initiative

Arbitrator Issues Decision in Dispute Over Two-Tour Initiative

Arbitrator Das denied the union’s grievance challenging the Postal Service’s two-tour initiative. Das accepted the Postal Service’s argument that “Article 3 of the National Agreement grants the Postal Service the authority to unilaterally adopt and implement the … initiatives at issue, without further bargaining with the Union.” He cited language in Article 3 that states the Postal Service “‘shall have the exclusive right’ to ‘assign … employees,’ to ‘maintain the efficiency of the operations entrusted to it’ and to ‘determine the methods, means, and personnel by which such operations are to be conducted.’” Das also cited a 1977 national award in which Arbitrator Garrett stated that the Postal Service isn’t obligated “to engage in ‘collective bargaining’ as to whether or how it should exercise its authority under Article III of the National Agreement.” In addition, he referred to a 1973 national award in which Arbitrator Gamser stated that the right to change tour complements “appear[s] [to be] specifically reserved to Management under Article III of the Agreement as well as dictated in enabling legislation, Section 1001 of the Postal Reorganization Act.” (USPS #Q06C-4Q-C 09051867; 7/27/2010)

Click here for a summary and copy of the decision

8 thoughts on “APWU: Arbitrator Denies Union’s Challenge To USPS Two-Tour Initiative

  1. anyman123, to say that the Union knew that grievance wasn’t going to win is ridiculous, I can agree that they may have suspected it was a crap shoot. But an issue as large needed to be addressed at the National level, just as the casual in lieu of grievance. I would also suspect that National in that case had doubts. But I don’t hear the clerks complaining on the millions of dollars being awarded around the country. And yes management has the right to mis-manage, but to say management has done a good job preventing the loss of jobs I think not. I would agree that the union has kept management on their toes in this matter. There is a ton of revenue out there, and regardless of the USPS being mandating to maintaining a break even budget, monies are being thrown away needlessly. Its the mailers that run the USPS now days. 1st class postage for a letter should be reduced and reduction in the bulk mailing discount needs to be reduced. Potter is no different when it comes to the mailers, than the Bush administration sleeping with the CEO’s. if there were no union the USPS would already be privatized. Getting back on point, National needed to file this grievance, the members expected them to do it. My point here is yes we may be upset at losing grievance, but we need to stay focused for what in store for us next. The mailers are gathering forces to come after our wages and benefits. We need to tackle that issue now instead of moping around about the T2 Compression. It is hard enough fighting management while on our heels. We, not only the members but all postal employees need to be aggressive, active with their House and Senate representatives. Management, will lie and hide information from the union, this makes our job all the more difficult. The same happened on this grievance with National. They were awarded a NRLB charge for the USPS not providing the union with information requested. This may be small to some of you, but to get a sustained charge under the tear the pages out of the National Labor Relations Act Bush regime, is a major victory.

  2. And smelling the rose’s means the we realize there is something on the horizon called the internet. And even thou it is only in the beginning stages of what it will be, it is taking a huge bite out of 1st class mail and this will continue until our model will not support our organization. As much as we don’t want to see people put out of work what makes people think that the post office can accomplish this when the private sector can’t? Honestly for all the bad names that management has been call they have done better than the private sector at making sure that mass people have not lost their jobs. Maybe they are more lucky than smart but whatever the case it is what it is…lol


  3. Hey Andy, it is not a mute point whether or not this grievance should have been filed. It cost for these types of grievance by both management and the union and it is in the thousands for a case that the union probably wasn’t going to win and they knew it. When management does this we call it wasteful and stupid. In the past the union hasn’t always won because they were right, sometimes it was not to escalate the grievance to step 3 because of the cost or because of something we call past practice meaning it wasn’t right but management allowed it. I worked in the plant for 14 years. I saw a lot of waste and senior people that were grandfathered into jobs where they couldn’t be told to do anything else. Most retired and almost all jobs now are posted as jobX/all duties. No matter who does it, waste is waste and money is money..

    Take care


  4. Management and most here seem stop after the first line of Article 3 this is apparent with Das too. “The Employer shall have the exclusive right” there is more to this paragraph “subject to the provisions of this Agreement and consistent with applicable
    laws and regulations” That takes you to both the Labor Charge (which they will defer to the grievance process, only because we have a contract) and Article 5 “The Employer will not take any actions affecting wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment as defined in Section 8(d) of the National Labor Relations Act which violate the terms of this Agreement or are otherwise
    inconsistent with its obligations under law” NLRA 8(d)(d) Obligation to bargain collectively For the purposes of this section, to bargain collectively is the performance of the mutual obligation of the employer and the representative of the employees to meet at reasonable times and confer in good faith with respect to wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment, or the negotiation of an agreement or any question arising thereunder, and the execution of a written contract incorporating any agreement reached if requested by either party, but such obligation does not compel either party to agree to a proposal or require the making of a concession: Provided, That where there is in effect a collective-bargaining contract covering employees in an industry affecting commerce, the duty to bargain collectively shall also mean that no party to such contract shall terminate or modify such contract, unless the party desiring such termination or modification—

    Das was protecting his job, if he sided with the Union the Postal Service would have terminated him as and arbitrator.

    As far as National, whether or not they should have filed this grievance is mute. For those who are belittling National for filing this, are the same people who would have been belittling them for not. It is a crap shoot most of the time when a grievance sits in front of an arbitrator. You can have the best arguments and documentation on every case, but you won’t win them all. You know why, protection of the arbitrator”s job. This is not the end of the world, now those who criticize need to step up and help the union in this battle your probably the same ones who defy the union direction, same ones who are non members who will reap the rewards and side with management every chance they get, but the first to grumble when the union can’t get something. I support all those stewards who spent hours file their locals grievances on this issue and encourage them not to lose faith. Its decisions like this that makes me fight harder. And a note to the lower half of the EAS food chain, our loss is your loss, one step closer to privatizing. We have greater challenges ahead that do not effect what tour we work, but the future of a job period. Please wake up and smell the roses, as a union official myself I don’t want to be a lone stallion contacting our politicians. Grievances alone will not stop the destructive path the Postal service is heading.

  5. The issue is MANAGEMENTS EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS under Article 3 which was agreed upon by the National Union and USPS headquarters way back when. The language has not been changed since 73 so why would an arbitrator use any other decisions. He based his decision on national awards that said the USPS does not have to ask the union how to run their operation and that reducing a tour complement is their right as the owner of the company. The APWU national knew that they had no chance but in order to give the apperance of putting up a fight they filed the grievance and took it to arbitration. You can bet your bottom dollar that they already knew that those cited awards existed. Because they are elected national officers does not mean that they are any smarter than those of us on the local level.

  6. It is correct, and rightfully so. The USPS as a business has a right to tour compression. Working in a P&DC, it was obviously needed. Although many were displaced and disgruntled, you had to see the logic in this. You are also correct, NBA’s have warned against what goes to national arbitration, it could turn around and ‘bite’ us. Its complicated, trying to preserve the rights of members and collective bargaining in this climate when the USPS has a whole new ball game since the last contract was written, and really aren’t concerned with its provisions as it stands now. What I see is the collective bargaining is over ridden by the postal reorganization act..even though it was written later. Arbitrator Das cited 1973 and 1977 article 3 decisions. That was quite some time ago. You’d think there was something more recent on the books in favor of union???

  7. As if no intelligent person could see that decision coming from an Arbitrator. I wish the Union’s would pursue issues in arbitration that stood a better chance at a favorable outcome, instead of chasing after loser grievances. I’ve bee a steward for 12 years now and counting, and everyday I am surprised at the grievances our NBA’s select to send to Arbitration, and those they choose to advance to Arbitration. For example, when National decided to file a National grievance on the two operators per DBCS machine, all they wound up accomplishing was f@#king up those offices who had already had local agreements on staffing of a DBCS machine. Now we got one operator per machine, and National can’t seem to offer any advise or guidence on how local’s should pursue the matter in the grievance/arbitration procedure.

  8. Arbitrator Das is really stupid person and no knowledge about USPS. USPS Mgt are make huge salaries than postal worker (APWU and MDU). USPS Mgt bribed Arbitrator Das money for blocking any unions for any reasons. SUCK and SUCKERS !!!!Arbitrator Das-SUCKER PERSON!!! Good day DAS!!!

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