Motor Vehicle Services Division delegates discussed several urgent topics at their pre-convention conference Aug. 21 and 22.
At the top of the agenda was discussion of the pilot program that established flexible work rules and flexible schedules as part of the union’s efforts to ward off subcontracting. “The Motor Vehicle Division is under attack,” said MVS Director Bob Pritchard, but the pilot program prevented 22 sites from being contracted out.
Early discussions with management about implementation of the program were “contentious, to say the least,” Pritchard remarked; however, once management realized that union input was essential to making the pilot work, progress was made.
MVS employees find some of the changes brought about by the program upsetting, he noted, especially the possibility that work days will extend beyond nine hours, but “in the big picture, the program has been very beneficial.”
Subcontracting will be a topic of discussion when contract negotiations get underway next month, and will affect both drivers and mechanics, Pritchard said. The union’s goal will be to keep work in-house.
“The Postal Service is refusing to hire,” he noted. “We have always maintained that we give them a better product for less.”
MVS delegates also discussed the importance of filing grievances to demand that management count Highway Contract Route drivers as casuals. If they are counted as casuals, the complement would exceed the number permitted under the terms of Collective Bargaining Agreement in most installations and would strengthen the union’s effort to limit subcontracting.
A presentation by Assistant Director Michael O. Foster demonstrated the size of the challenge: A review of the MVS officers’ reports to national conventions shows that subcontracting has been a major subject at every MVS conference since 1972.