Fight Against Subcontracting Takes Center Stage at APWU Motor Vehicle Services Pre-Convention

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.

more: Delegates Take to the Streets: Save Saturday Service!

One thought on “Fight Against Subcontracting Takes Center Stage at APWU Motor Vehicle Services Pre-Convention

  1. I have been a Mechanic or Bodyman in the in the VMF for over 24 years and a union member for most of that time frame. All we ever read about in the union magazine or local news letters and the web is about contracting PVS. What about what is happening to mechanic and body repairman possitions being reverted and/or the subcontracting of the work at a larger expense to the USPS with by far an inferrior quality and it seems no one is fighting as hard for those possitions at the national level. All the work is done at the local level but the ball always seems to get dropped at the national level. I know most, if not all of the national officers are from PVS and maybe thats where the problem lies, not a good enough understanding of the Vehicle Maintenance Craft. For a long time the MVS craft was not given equal statis for partisipation when it came to its craft conventions, especially at the local level or equal time at the national level, however it has gotten better over the years. I believe this is due to our smaller numbers. It it about time the vehicle maintenance craft received equal attention for our mounting issues. It seems like the VMF’s are the dumping grounds for management that no one else wants and their first instinct is to subcontract our work at a much higher cost to the USPS with inferrior quallity and when arbitration does come arround on these issues we seem to get either un unprepared advocate,or a less then motivated NBA and since they are usually drivers or dispatchers, they have little to no understanding or knowledge of our craft let alone its growing issues. We may be a small piece of the pie but our jobs, or the lack of them have a significant impact on the USPS financially as well as from a safety standpoint. The officers and stewards at the local level do a good job preparing these cases and staying on top of these issues but thats where it seems to stop. A lot of help at the national level would be greatly appriciated.

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