NALC Files National Grievance Over Reassignment Of Postal Clerks To Carrier Craft

The following are excerpts from  two APWU Regional Coordinators addressing  the issue of USPS excessing:

It is no secret that low mail volume has led to massive excessing. The APWU has responded by fighting relentlessly to protect our members’ rights.

The battle is complicated enough without the addition of other parties. Recently, however, the installation of Flat Sequence Sorter (FSS) machines has affected members of our sister union, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC).

Unfortunately, the NALC recently filed a Step 4 Dispute, which asserts that no Clerk Craft employee should be excessed into a Letter Carrier position unless all APWU positions have been filled — in every installation from Maine to Guam. Needless to say, the APWU disagrees.

In March, a Clerk Craft employee was excessed 150 miles from his facility into another installation where the only open positions were residual vacancies in the Letter Carrier Craft. After the excessed clerk settled in as a carrier, the local NALC filed a grievance.

After a period of time, a Clerk Craft residual position became available in the installation. The local NALC and the Postal Service agreed that the excessed clerk, who had been working as a carrier, would be moved into the clerk vacancy by the end of the year.

This, of course, is a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The NALC and the USPS do not have the right to arbitrarily reassign an employee from one craft to another. The clerk position was not available in the installation when the employee was excessed, and even if it were, according to the CBA, the employee had the right to choose his position. This USPS-NALC agreement also raises a question: What would happen to the employee’s seniority after the switch?

This problem is being addressed at both the local and Area levels. The APWU also is challenging the authority of the USPS to make arbitrary decisions dealing with issues covered by our CBA without the intervention of the APWU.

Bill Sullivan, former APWU Southern Region Coordinator
Gut-Wrenching Tales of Excessing

In a recent facility closure, management — in a mad rush to excess employees — relocated some employees as far as 500 miles away from their home office.

One of the employees was a single parent who owned a primary home and a vacant rental property and ended up being excessed 350 miles away. She moved into a small apartment in the new location, but could not afford to continue to pay two mortgages and the apartment rental. She was forced to put both houses up for sale, but could not sell them fast enough. The bank ended up foreclosing on both properties, essentially destroying the woman’s credit.

Several married couples ended up being excessed to distant locations because of differences in seniority: The senior spouse could have remained local, while the junior spouse would have been excessed hundreds of miles away. To keep the family together, the senior employees chose undesirable jobs in undesirable locations so they could be assigned to the same workplace as their husband or wife.

One single parent with primary custody of her children who was excessed to a different state ended up in a custody battle with her estranged husband. The husband insisted that she could not take the children out of the state.

There also were a number of employees who, due to personal circumstances, just could not follow their job to a new location and were forced to quit.

Mike Gallagher
APWU Eastern Region Coordinator

10 thoughts on “NALC Files National Grievance Over Reassignment Of Postal Clerks To Carrier Craft

  1. Just be thankful, we still have a damn JOB! If it was up to Management they would get rid of ALL OF US, and REPLACE US, with CASUALS!!!!!!

  2. Blame the republicans??? The democrats have had control of the presidency and both houses of congress with super majorities for 2 years and they sat on their collective hands when it came to doing anything to save the USPS, or your jobs. How can you blame the republicans???, Which party is it that has been in charge of congress for 4 years and the presidency for the last 2. I think you should consider what the democrats and your union leadership has failed to do.

  3. Throw mail delivery in the private sector and watch the chaos. It doesn’t work and it won’t work with mail delivery either. You have to look beynod your own narrow view of the postal service. This is a HUGE operation with many different aspects. It’s still a bargain to have something delivered across the country for 44 cents in a few days. Give Obama a chance, the Repubicans had 8 years and those years are what really screwed things up as they went downhill. Just imagine Sarah Palin in charge? Truly scary.

  4. Hmmm. Sacrifice the country to save the Postal Service. Interesting. Just how would that work? Tell me so, Juan.

  5. All of you are missing the bigger picture. Most of yous guys would ratther loose your job, before you support the current president of the United States. You can’t deny it. Yous people just made sure that the Republicans regained control of the house, and they’ve already told us what they think of the USPS. They’re gonna do all they can to privatize the company. The way I figure those who voted, not for the republicans, but against President Obama, will get what you asked for. And when you are unemployed, I’ll be the first to say “I TOLD YOU SO”

  6. Jimbo, I never said anything about working all night and then all day. Just because you don’t like the idea doesn’t mean it will never happen. So what if there are no MH’s in most PO’s? There are in plants and that is what I am talking about mainly. You can’t train people that don’t exist. No kidding.

  7. With the new contract negotiations when its all said their won’t be enough dues to sustain all the union overhead. The result will be 1 union with all PO employees doing multiple jobs. The days of 1900 archaic work rules are over and if the Unions can’t get it together so the PO makes a profit then outsource it

  8. Don you are an idiot. In Plants all across america clerks and mail handlers work tour 3 or tour 1. Why would they be trained for a carrier job? Want them to go to work at midnight and then continue all fricken day long as a carrier if someone calls in sick? Gee people. Also Don there are no mailhandlers in MOST offices in America. Think before you type, dipshit.

  9. This why there should only be one craft for the entire USPS. It’s so stupid that a clerk can not cross a line to do virtualy the same job as a mailhandler and mailhandlers to do clerk work. Either clerk or mailhandler people should be able to train for a carrier position. It’s all the PO and the job is to get the mail delivered and the games should stop.

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