New Online Program for Postal Employees makes it next to impossible to take training tests on the clock.
[The APWU] Clerk Division officers recently reported on problems union members are facing since management established OASys, the Online Employee Scheduling and Assessment System. Many aspects of this program, which requires employees to schedule typing tests and other exams online, violate our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
Members have reported that although they are required to schedule tests online, management often refuses to allow them to use USPS computers for this purpose. In addition, the scheduling process is often lengthy, and many test sites are not suitable for testing. In some locations employees are being scheduled for testing beyond the commuting area, and in some areas only senior bidders receive notification to schedule tests. (Article 37 of the contract requires the five senior bidders to take the typing test before the results of bidding are announced.)
In addition, since the system was implemented, there has been a significant decline in the number of Training Technician Clerks.
APWU reported in its May/June edition of The American Postal Worker:
The Online Employee Scheduling and Assessment System (OASys) is causing numerous problems, especially with scheduling and testing. OASys, which is used for scheduling and for assessing employee skills, such as typing, has not been adapted to comply with our Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Problems with OASys
Employees are being required to schedule their own typing tests, yet management refuses to allow them to use USPS computers for this purpose. Employees who do not have access to a home computer are effectively barred from scheduling the test.
The registration and scheduling process itself is lengthy: It can take between 30 minutes and one hour to register, depending on employees’ computer skills.
In some areas, only the senior bidder receives notification to schedule a test, pursuant to the results of the posting notice. Article 37 requires the five senior bidders to take
the typing test before the results of the bidding are announced. Failure to do so can change who is awarded other duty assignments resulting from the posting.
In some locations, employees are also being scheduled for testing at venues far from their workplace. Some testing locations are outside employees’ commuting areas, meaning
they must travel 80 or more miles to take the test. noFurthermore, many locations are not conducive to testing, due to such problems as faulty keyboards, cramped space,
noise, and dirty surroundings.
The contract requires the USPS to allow employees to take the typing test on a “no-loss, no-gain” basis, meaning they will not lose pay or earn extra money during testing.For example, if an employee’s test is set at a time within his or her regular workday, the employee would take the test while on the clock. OASys has made this next to impossible to achieve.
Management has also failed to stick with a uniform policy regarding mileage and travel compensation. Instead, each district has been implementing its own rules on the matter.
The EL-312 Handbook requires all examiners to possess certain qualifications and training before they conduct examinations. It also says examiners must be certified by the National Test Administration Center (NTAC). We reminded the Postal Service of this regulation, and asked whether contracted examiners have been notified in writing of this requirement. If so, we requested a copy of the documentation.
The APWU contends that everyone — including subcontracted trainers — must be in compliance with the regulations of the EL-312 handbook. If examiners are not certified, local grievances should request that all bargaining unit Training Technicians be returned to their assignments; they also should request compensation for Training Techs for all time worked by untrained and non-NTAC-certified trainers.
The APWU has initiated a national-level dispute on this issue. Locals should continue to file grievances in situations where clerks are required to take typing or other tests that
violate our National Agreement.