Editorial: The USPS Number Crunchers Strike Again!

The following is an article written by Stephen Lysaght, APWU President, East Bay Area Local #47 located in Walnut Creek, CA. The issues raised in his article is happening in many USPS districts across the country–and not just in the Bay-Valley District.

After years of excessing Clerks outside their installations and thereby gutting the workforce in nearly all our offices, we hoped that management could not possibly be planning to excess any more employees outside their installations. Clerk staffing has already been reduced to its lowest levels ever, with many of our offices having no employees for vacation coverage, no clerks to clear Carriers of their accountables or do dispatch in the afternoon, and no Clerks to assist customers at will-call doors.

Our hopes were dashed recently when we received a copy of another excessing notice issued to Regional Coordinator Omar Gonzalez dated Sept. 10. The Area intends to involuntarily reassign the following numbers of full-time Clerks within a 900 mile radius to residual vacancies in the Clerk, Carrier, Mail Handler, or Custodial crafts.

Lafayette -1
Newark- 1

Although the reassignments normally should not take place for at least 6 months, the Area also indicated that they may be begin sooner due to “the loss of workload Nationally and the financials of the Postal Service.”

Grievances have already been initiated in all 5 offices to challenge the excessing. One of the primary arguments is that the underlying staffing and scheduling reviews conducted by District number crunchers constitute improper time and work standards. These reviews are based on Customer Service Variance-a euphemism for predetermined formulas for how much time is allowed to perform all Clerk craft work. We believe that it is inherently unfair, inequitable, and unreasonable to impose any such time and work standards on all employees in an office, regardless of their age, experience, or other extenuating circumstances.

Although management invariably argues that using Customer Service Variance to determine staffing levels does not represent time and work standards, the Union disagrees. While individual employees may not be disciplined for failing to distribute a certain amount of mail pieces per hour, or for taking longer to conduct a window transaction than Customer Service Variance “allows”, involuntariy reassigning them up to 900 miles away does in fact constitute a form of “punishment” for being a junior Clerk in an “impacted” office. We anticipate an arbitrator will eventually agree with the Union’s position on one of these grievances soon.

The final number of Clerks excessed from the SFNDC (formerly BMC) was 64, rather than 63 as reported in the last issue of the Unionizer. Of that number, 5 elected to change to PTR
rather than be reassigned as far away as Santa Clarita in southern California. The good news is that priority mail will soon be processed at the NDC, which will lead to the activation of retreat rights for some of these employees. Management has also advised the Union that it will likely go back to a 3 tour operation. Updated information will be shared with our members as it is received.

12 thoughts on “Editorial: The USPS Number Crunchers Strike Again!

  1. LOL, if you’re not a mailman, why are you here ? LOLOLOL, Zack doesn’t need any help showing what a dumbass he is; just ask him to speak and it happens automatically !

    p.s. Union mgmt. is just as corrupt and sleazy as postal mgmt.

  2. Real clever “Mailman”! Easily amused I see. No wonder you just a mailman. Your comments speak volumes of your IQ level. Go back to your vidoe games.


    Translation of Zack’s comment:

    “Damn, got shown to be the dumbass I really am. AGAIN !”

    LOLOLOL, oh man, like taking candy from a baby.

  4. To Mailman: Such a profound statement! Who’s the moron? Come again?
    You sound like management. You speak, but really have nothing to say!
    I’m sure the line “we still have a job to go to everyday” is the same BS line the Jamaicans were told when they showed-up for work at the established “Free Zones”. Forget the fact that the workers were treated like garbage. The good news is, you have a job! Such simple mentality promotes and fosters such workplace atrocities. I’ll stop here. You probably have yet to grasp anything I’ve just said!

  5. “At a time where many americans are jobless we still have a job to go to everyday”

    Congrats moron; you use the same line that mgmt. does everyday.

    No wonder you’re a blind union sheep.

  6. STFU: File a grievance and “cite past practice”. I wish it were that simple! Although I may sound a bit cynical, and disenchanted with the Union, oddly enough I’ve been a steward for over a decade. The Union is as political as management, and anything else for that matter. Your premise that a simple grievance citing past practice will solve the DBCS under staffing issues is unrealistic and wishful thinking. If every grievance were guaranteed to win on such a foundation, we would still have PSDS Technicians, Tour 2, etcetera. You will better understand this when an Arbitrator strips the APWU’s CBA sometime in the not so distant future. Furthermore, our local has filed numerous grievances on the matter in futility. Despite numerous L/M agreements, Step 2’s, 3’s, and possibly Pre-Arbs, the McArthy settlement agreement has successfully been used against us. Had National not stepped-in and pursued the issue, those prior settlement agreements would still be recognized. National should stick to what they’ve always done best: Wages & Benefits; and leave the locals to take care of the rest!
    In Solidarity!

  7. Get a grip. I am a proud union member and every time I look at my paycheck and benefits I am Thankful for all the union has done for me and my fellow workers. Either step up or shut up. At a time where many americans are jobless we still have a job to go to everyday. Happy Thanksgiving.

  8. i hope their are greivances every time a supv does craft work.. some newer craft employeess seem hesitant to tell the union official whats going on.. better smartrn up.. protect their jobs as much as they can… anyone hear obama on 60 min… he says… “compainies have gotten used to doing more with less”.. .they wont hire.. their profits are up.. with less paid out in labor.. fuck these guys.. they are trying to fuck you..

  9. What ever you do don’t let an nba like cordi do your staffing, he’ll mess up up like the lady from manhatta who was improperly excessed to shelter island.

  10. Zack, you are an idiot. If you want to work with 2 people per DB, your Local should file a grievance and cite past practice. It will be sustained or settled quickly enough. STFU.

  11. Get used to it! They won’t stop til we all get out the P.O. Omar Gonzales aint gonna save us either, nor is the National Union. Why doesn’t the National Union step in and double and tripple check their staffing numbers? They only do it for a select few offices; generally those areas providing the majority of votes during National elections. Yes my friends, they keep track of which geographical areas produce the majority of votes. Those that do usually get the majority of National’s attention, and spending. The APWU National Union aint’ any better than your Congress! Bunch of fat cat polititians.
    Also screwed-up was APWU National’s wisdom to file a National level grievance on the elimination of Tour 2, while continuing to ignore the issue of one (1) DBCS operator per machine. On-the-job injuries are on the rise, but they could careless. Just look at the stupid Step 4 settlement agreement McArthy signed-off on.
    “Offices where there have been previous agreements that DBCS machines must be staffed w/ two employees, can now be permitted to staff w/ one operator under certain (VAGUE) circumstances; while those offices w/ prior agreements to staff w/ three (3) operators, must continue to always staff with 3 operators”
    Where is the freekin sense in that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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