APWU Didn’t Just Think Outside Of Box To Reach Tentative Agreement

we broke down the sides of the box to reach an agreement that benefits both parties.

The Tentative Agreement and the Clerk Craft:

Safeguarding Jobs,Creating New Opportunities

Many provisions of the APWU’s tentative agreement with the postal Service directly affect the Clerk Craft. Highlights of the entire agreement can be found on pages 6-9, but several Clerk Craft items deserve additional attention.

Automation and declining mail volume have had a dramatic impact on the craft, and we continue to lose jobs. Therefore, throughout negotiations, our top priority was to safeguard existing jobs and create new positions.

More Jobs

The Tentative Agreement returns to the APWU bargaining unit a minimum of 1,100 Call Center jobs that had been contracted out. The Call Centers will become part of the nearest installation, which will allow APWU members to bid on these positions. The number of positions could increase if the USPS can bring in Call Center work from other government agencies. Thirty percent of the Call Center jobs may be reserved for APWU-represented rehabilitation employees by seniority.

APWU President Cliff Guffey and the rest of the negotiating team also were determined to return to the Clerk Craft duties that have been gradually transferred to EAS employees. A minimum of 800 duty assignments will be created in the craft to perform administrative and technical work that is currently performed by EAS personnel.

Lead Clerk, PS-7, positions will be established in mail processing plants and customer service. A ratio of those employees was negotiated for both areas. The future of these positions is to return to craft employees work that has been performed by 204Bs. Therefore, the number of 204Bs will be reduced. They will be eliminated from offices with supervisors except to fill absences of 14 days or more and vacancies of 14 days or more, not to exceed 90 days. Employees serving as 204Bs also will be required to return to the bargaining unit for a pay period in order to bid and to avoid having their duty assignments reposted.

New Assignments and Bidding Opportunities

The union negotiated new rules that authorize management to post “nontraditional” duty assignments. The following are examples of non-traditional duty assignments that may be coming soon to a post office near you:

* Three 12-hour days

* Four 12-hour days, with eight hours built-in overtime

* Four 10-hours days

* Four 11-hour days

* Three 11-hour days and a seven-hour Day

* Five seven-hour days

* Five six-hour days

We also negotiated restrictions on these positions.

Percentages were set to prevent management from over-using these types of assignments. In addition, national APWU officers will review the staffing levels of all offices to address any abuses by local management.

* No current full-time employees can be involuntarily assigned to a duty assignment of less than 40 hours per week or more than 44 hours per week. There will be no mandatory overtime in functional areas where non-traditional duty assignments are created. Furthermore, if the duty assignment is for less than eight hours a day, the employee will be paid out-of- schedule pay for hours worked outside of his or her schedule.

* If the number of hours of work on these assignments is changed, the assignment must be re-posted.

All Part-Time Regular (PTR) assignments will be converted to fulltime assignments. In many areas where employees chose to become PTRs in lieu of being excessed, the decision was catastrophic because the employees’ schedules were reduced to just four hours per week. Under the Tentative Agreement, the minimum number of hours worked by full-time regulars will be 30 per week.

In small offices, Postmaster Reliefs will be eliminated. In addition, dual-appointment Rural Carrier Associates (RCAs) will be wiped out, and Postal Operations Administrators (POAs) will be a thing of the past. This should bring more hours and more work for our members. The Tentative Agreement also restricts the amount of bargaining unit work that postmasters can perform in small offices, and PTFs have been eliminated in Level 21 offices and above.

Employees will be allowed unlimited bidding on jobs that do not require off-site training or a deferment period.

Other Gains

Regardless of our efforts to limit excessing, we cannot protect workers from all reassignments to other installations. We tried to lessen the impact of excessing by agreeing that affected clerks may elect to transfer within 100 miles or fill residual vacancies without the loss of seniority. Allowing this voluntary action will help to reduce the number of forced relocations.

For years, the Clerk Craft has attempted to eliminate “bid blocking.” Under the new provisions, if a senior bidder withdraws or fails to fill a vacancy, the opportunity will be passed to the next senior bidder. This process continues until the position is filled.

Relief and pool assignment employees can now cover vacancies, provided notice of the employee’s schedule change is given by the Wednesday preceding the service week that the position is set to start. Relief employees can also be used to cover vacancies in other installations. This provision is primarily designed in the event the work is returned to the Clerk Craft in smaller installations.

The Tentative Agreement also creates a new type of position, the “Delivery/ Sales Services and Distribution Associate.” Employees in these assignments could be used in small offices to work the window, sort mail, and deliver to non-prescribed routes. We have been working to create this position for a long time in order to prevent non-bargaining unit employees from doing these duties, which our members are capable of.

We also agreed to discuss with the Postal Service changes to Article 37 that would require all future excessing in the Clerk Craft to be done by seniority, regardless of level. When the old excessing rules were written, we didn’t contemplate the changes we currently face, so this is an effort to “right a wrong.”

While these are some of the main provisions that will impact Clerk Craft employees, there are other important issues included in the agreement. All members are encouraged to study the Tentative Agreement, which can be found at www.apwu.org.

As Clerk Craft director, I want to thank all of the Assistant Directors — Pat Williams, Lyle Krueth, and Lamont Brooks — for their hard work. I want to also thank our many National Business Agents who contributed to the process. I’m proud of the efforts of Clerk Craft officers and of the union’s full negotiating team.

During negotiations, the APWU didn’t just think outside of the box — we broke down the sides of the box to reach an agreement that benefits both parties.

Rob Strunk
Clerk Division Director

40 thoughts on “APWU Didn’t Just Think Outside Of Box To Reach Tentative Agreement

  1. Here you go X-Lax. Ps form 1186 is the form you need, not Ps 1188. The union would love for you to send form 1188, then they could continue to take your dues because you sent the wrong form. Call Shared Services [ you manager can get the number]. You request your dues deduction anniversary date. this date goes on form 1186. Do not confuse this date request with your postal anniversary date. Pay heed to the 20-10 day window. Form must be sent certified and received in HQ no earlier than 20 days prior to dues deduction anniversary date, and no later than 10 days prior to dues deduction anniversary date. Triple check everything, because you are dealing with APWU. Copy everything. Good luck, man. There is a way to vote more than once.

  2. I intend to vote twice on this total sell-out the union calls a contract. I don’t believe for a second that even if 99% of the membership votes no, that it will fail. The party thats pushing this diaster is the same ones that is counting the ballots. That’s like obama counting next years election returns! I will vote no May 10th while I am still a member. I will vote with my feet on my anniversary date when I walk out of the union when I cancel my membership.

  3. Do you think Management is going to CREATE these new jobs…They will convert you to job to these new NTFT position….I want to have my Monday and Sunday off as usual…with my 24 years service…if contract passes, they will convert you job or my job REGARDLESS of your or my seniority. This is UNFAIR treatment.!!! They can pick anybody they want in order to FUCK UP your or my family life.

  4. Also, I heard that Management can convert job to ANY clerk regardless of their seniority…This is UNFAIR to employees who are target by management. What if you are a very good hard working people but you are hated by some manager in person. It means you are FUCKED if contract is approved because he or she will convert you job to NTFT positon with UNUSUAL hours and day off. They will repost NTFT position with either split day off and UNUSUAL hours ( 12 hrs one day, 4 hrs another day, 10 hrs next…)…What a hell you are going to do…Your whole and family life are FUCKED…I vote NO for this…

  5. The following are examples of non-traditional duty assignments:

    6 Ten hours days with Twenty hours built in overtime
    7 Four hour days and one Six hour day
    8 Five hour days

  6. This is why I’m not a Union member! APWU has NEVER done anything for the Clerk Craft!!! We’re getting screwed by the Union, the PO, and Congress! I feel sorry for all the newbies!

  7. You do`t have to like the proposed contract any more then a Prostitute enjoys swallowing a mouth full of semen, just do it. If you don`t close your eyes and just get it down, wait till you tackle the “load” that the Binding Arbitration (award) will be like. Its not going to be pretty. Its the times we are now living in. Your Conservative Republican Tea-Bagger Politicians you foolishly keep electing to office just love cramming it up your gee-gee. The future for the middle class blue color laborers are numbered. Hello working poor. Have a “Happy Day”!

  8. Hey joe at the top of the list. You should read a little more. The changes for the most part are in BOLD. The first thing I suggest you read is page 6 of your (if in fact your a member) 2006-2010 CBA. It is exactly as you quote from the new contract. No new power here… No mass firings here… No foolin!!!!!

  9. Where was burrus as we lost 100,000 jobs over the last 5 years, at least Guffey is trying to avoid that!

  10. Folks: I have a great solution for this new contract.

    1: First we must get an injunctive relief/restraining order from the court and put everything on hold of ballots coming back.

    2: Get a court appointed Commission such as “Warren Commission” or 9/11 Commission consisting of a panel of about 10 arbitrators who worked on the contract for years to study the impact of new contract and submit its finding in 100 days including whether or not the new contract violated National Labor Relations Act and any provisions of Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS) within the Department of Labor

    3: Start an immediate recall petition to recall the entire negotiation team with “No confidence Vote” and sent Guffey and his associates into exile. Hold emergency national election where voting must be mandatory so we would have a true democratically elected officials.

    4: By the way, if Guffey and his associates decide our salary of $12 an hour for us and our future brothers and sisters, how about we get some power to decide how much he will make per hour? I will offer him $7.25 an hour. Guffey, take it or leave it.

    Folks: Vote NO. This new contract is going you consume all of us. Don’t you realize USPS is breaking all unions and we are the first casualty? NALC is next. Rural Carrier contract is at impasse. Do you smell the coffee?

  11. This tentative contract only serves to protect the APWU and USPS; NOT US! I see nothing but gains in lost dues revenue for the Union, and savings on our backs for the USPS. I hope the Mail Handlers go to Arbitration and come out smelling like Roses. Then what will Cliff have to say about Arbitration? We will look like fools.

  12. I’m a city carrier watching this T/A debate with morbid interest. I like all the clerks I work with and don’t want to see any of them suffer so I hope you guys vote this thing down.

    If your T/A gets ratified the USPS will waste no time in gutting all the FTR positions it can, creating the cheapest NTFT positions possible and filling them with the lowest wage employees allowable. The USPS will even be stupid enough to do this before the NALC negotiates our contract in November, so we won’t make the same mistake in selling out to the USPS and counting on their generosity but instead being shocked by their ruthlessness.

    The APWU is baring their throat to the USPS vampire and expecting not to get bitten. The NALC will see how this behavior is “rewarded” and will respond accordingly (with garlic and stakes). At least, they’d better!

    Good luck to all you APWU folk. It’s been a long and devastating decade for your craft and you deserve a hell of a lot better than what you’re currently getting. I hope all the fears are unfounded and that this turns things around for you, but I’m not holding my breath.

  13. Lastlyhopeless… No, I do not know more about the current state of the USPS than Guffey. What I do know, though, is if I was in his position I definitely would never sell out my fellow veterans/craft employees just to pad the coffers of the union dues vault.

    Now that’s how you climb back to the issue at hand. Take a seat Lazyhopeless!

  14. You broke up the house! You ran through it like Katrina did here in New Orleans. As an R&P clerk I was already getting my ass kicked. You just made it a lot easier. Mgmt. is going to create more bargaining unit jobs and take work away from EAS for the craft? Come on, they’re already abolishing the few craft jobs that exists in administrative offices so they can create spots for all the EAS that got excessed when the districts were down=sized! Lead Clerks instead of 204bs? That was one line we didn’t need to blur. This TA will be approved by the average worker, I’m sure. But please just keep the bullshit to a minimum or even the average worker might be able to see through it! And as for Guffey, well, as a military man he got used to bowing down to authority. Burrus should have held up his retirement but its too late now!

  15. Is that all you can say Tom Landis?? Is this the type of language you want to expound on?? Please point out specific issues of the tentative contract that you are voting for so other members maybe able to respond politely with dignity and respect!! Thank you.

  16. No one is questioning Mr. Guffey’s service to our country. It is admirable that he did as well as thousands of other Veterans that work at the USPS. This is not the ISSUE so please do not even bring it up!! The ISSUE is the tentative contract!!

  17. Lead, Follow or get the h*** out of the way! The wisdom of our experienced leadership team has been demonstrated. Each craft leader had lattitude and advanced each and every craft. In the face of great adversity, our leadership has accomplished a steadying impact on the current / future bargaining unit and set a path for the future viability of both the APWU and the USPS. APWU leadership should be proud of the great strides made. Especially under very adverse conditions. Over forty year dues paying member and very proud to support our leadership and this CBA.

  18. For those who attack Mr. Guffey as somehow a tool of management…you are ignorant.

    “I am Cliff Guffey, President of the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO – the APWU. On behalf of the APWU, thank you for providing me this opportunity to testify on behalf of our more than 250,000 members.

    Before I address the substance of today’s hearing, I want to take a moment to
    introduce myself to the Committee. I was born in rural Oklahoma. My father served as a Navy Pilot in Korea and retired as a career Navy pilot. I served as a rifleman with the Second Battalion of the 3rd Marines in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969. Service to this country is a proud tradition in my family. My father fought in Korea, and I fought in Vietnam, because we knew that it was important to preserve the American way of life,and American freedoms.

    Like hundreds of thousands of other veterans, when I returned from war I was
    able to find employment with the newly-created United States Postal Service. In the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, Congress had raised postal pay from near-poverty levels to provide a living wage and had given postal workers the right to have collective bargaining. Postal workers, and among them hundreds ofthousands of veterans of foreign wars, were able to join the middle class.

    It is no coincidence that so many of us are veterans. The Postal Service has
    been an important source of middle class jobs for American Veterans. The 2010
    Comprehensive Statement on Postal Operations reported that in 2010 there were
    129,886 veterans in the postal career workforce. These veterans were 22 percent of the postal career workforce. 49,119 of these veterans are disabled veterans and
    13,303 of them, including me, are rated as 30 percent or more disabled.

    There is no doubt that the Veterans’ Preference Act has provided important
    assistance to veterans. The point preferences given to veterans and disabled veterans, and the restrictions that reserve certain jobs for qualified veterans, if any have applied for them, are important and effective means of ensuring that veterans are provided employment opportunities in the Federal Government, including the Postal Service.”

    OK…now go back to your “vote no” rants about how Mr. Guffey sold you out by saving your jobs. And be sure to post your resume, highlighting how it is you know so much more about the current state of the USPS than Mr. Guffey does.

  19. wonderful….all these union givebacks and concessions…while no one in po mismgt, who lost over 50 billion in last 5 years, has not lost one position, or given back or deferred anything.(100,000 apwu clerks gone in last 5 years)(5% raise and bonus money for mismgt this year)

    amazing how you can spin when you have a lot of smoke & mirrors! look these uneducated po mismanager are going to send this place to the say graveyard as Pan Am anyway! just a matter of time. as soon as internet gets compressed files its all over!

  20. SAVE JOBS MY AZZZZ! You really mean restore Union due revenue to previous 2006 levels. the APWU is on an unsustainable financial path with the massive reductions of Clerk craft jobs, VERA’s, etcetera; not to mention new jobs going to Mail Handlers such as APPS and FSS. The Mail Handler craft is almost as large as the clerk craft now. They sold us out for the new Non-Career Assistants, or whatever their calling them now. I call them Union Casual. Who would have ever thought?

  21. union needs to develop and distribute ALL the things that can happen in this contract…. if your job is determined to not be a 40 hr week job… etc… ALL scenarios… no matter how far fetched they think the scenario is..until then..no vote… dont make people decide such an important issue in such a small amt of time. like the people who had such a short time to decide whether to take the last buyout or not.. thatwasnt fair either..

  22. 1. if i am in a 40 a wk job and a function 4 is done and it is determined that my job is not a 40 hr a week job and is going to be reduced to 30 hrs a week and i refuse to take it or bid it…what are managments options to do with me??
    excess me out of my section by seniorit?
    excess me out of the building by juniority?
    leave me unassigned and put me where ever they want?
    fire me?
    please. serious answers only..
    and to all you window relief (pool) people..read the part closely where it says you can be sent to another installation to work… how far away?? to do what? they say now they can have you deliver mail instead of working the window..in smaller offices..so if you are sent to one can they put a bag on your shoulder and send you on the street??? too many questions to make a decision on this quickly..

  23. the apwu is all about the number of dues paying members!!!!!! the same reason the nalc is throwing pact money at all who will vote thier way, to keep 6 day delivery. you have to have to read in to everything. let’s keep in mind who double dipping here!!! It’s not us!!!! It’s our so called union brother’s and sister’s!

  24. If you cannot do the work in the PO correctly,you definitely can’t do the work in the low paid McDonald!!!!!!!!!
    Believe it!!!

  25. there are too many stiffs in the po who can’t box the correct po box mail to the correct po box holder….they should be fired w/o questioned asked!!!
    internet is the new paradigm and physical mail will soon be extinct!!!!!
    Human will soon be retrofit with a nano-chip and we all will soon be controlled by machines with a nano computer brain!!!!! Believe the unbelievable and will be soon reality!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Mr. Guffey and Mr. Strunk gave postal management what they wanted and delayed our COLA’s and wage “measly” increase so that management can offer $20,000 for each EAS employees taking the VERA and salary increase for those staying. Yes, they say it’s performance based but you know how postal management can manipulate the numbers so their wage increases can be justified!! Furthermore, these national officers and local officers endorsing this contract is basically agreeing to lower pay for new employees (PSE) while “tying” those PSE’s hand behind their back to join our UNION so that they can avail of th APWU’s medical insurance!! Has those leaders of this UNION turned “DICTATORS” while conniving with postal management and deny those new (PSE) employees a FREE CHOICE??? This country is ALL ABOUT FREE CHOICE and by removing this right, these national and local officers have turned to GREED and SELFISHNESS!! What a shame!! VOTE NO!!

  27. A “PORK BARREL” contract for the national officers and local officers who agrees to this T/A!! VOTE NO!!! It will be harder to negotiate a new contract in the future once you establish a precedent like the NTFT’s which is another name for a PTR with more hours or less!!!

  28. If this is your idea of doing damage control for all the bad press you guys have gotten since this TA came out, Mr. Strunk, try a little harder. Right now I have this terrible vision of C. Guffey with lipstick slapped on him doing his best imitation of Ned Beatty. Please, make it stop!!!

  29. 204b acting supervisors will be eliminated? Maybe at all-APWU offices, but the APWU agreement can’t stop a letter carrier, RR carrier, or mail handler from taking an acting supervisor detail. All this agreement does in that respect is ensure that no APWU members will be acting supervisors.

  30. Joe on Tue, do you think that is new language for Article 3? That’s the same language that’s been there for years. Is this the first time you’ve cracked open the contract? Who else do you want to have the power to discipline clerks? Congress? The customers?

  31. tell me how mr. guffey how you protected all the 40 hr workers currently paying union dues. when the junior 40 hr. workers begin to get it jammed up their ass and they finally realize what the NT FTR really means. it will be to late my guess is you will screw before the next election. but not before you sold us out.
    I do hope i’m proven wrong, but from looking at all sides and angles the new contract does not bode well for our current members. i’ll take a wait and see approach as for as total critisism, but when my office becomes 50per cent 30 hr worker and 50 per cent 40 hr worker gets screwed eventulay. what happens for instance when 4 foryy hour clerks don’t bid a 30 hr. job Don’t sugar coat it what is the final outcome when all 40 hr. and 30 hr. jobs are full and now we have 3-4-5 40 hr. unassigned ftr. what happens explain to all the people in english.

  32. YOU APWU OFFICERS Make me sick..all those years when you were working you want the GOOD RULEs now most of you are retired and you threw everybody else under the bus. I think you all should find another job because you SCREWED Everybody that is still working with this contract. How much money did you take for APWU Insurance from USPS MGMT. That Insurance should be dissolved also…..

  33. Rob: You and your team of all negotiators sold us out. We would not be surprised to see that you were bought out by USPS. It’s time that you, Cliff Guffey and rest of your associates keep your mouth shut.

    The union is by the members, for the members and of the members. You steered the ship straight to an Iceberg for a disaster.

    Did you read Article 3 B? Read it again. You have given “Exclusive Right” to USPS to fire employees. Please give us a break. We thought you were our “Savior”. We guessed you wrong.

    Show us anywhere in the last 30 years in which gave “Exclusive Right” to USPS to fire people?

    Show us anywhere in the last 30 years in which we permitted supervisors to do clerk work?

    This is just the “Tip of the Iceberg”. Would you and Cliff take a pay cut of 25% or more?

    Calling Casuals PSE does not change facts. They are casuals. You put a lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig.

    Please all of you so called Pro-USPS officers need to resign and go home. We will take care of our union.

    Your new contract is a divider. There is absolutely nothing in the contract for us. How dare you decide the fate of the future employees at a Wal-Mart Wage of $12 an hour?

    The Employer shall have the exclusive right, subject to the provisions of this Agreement and consistent with applicable laws and regulations:

    A. To direct employees of the Employer in the performance of official duties;

    B. To hire, promote, transfer, assign, and retain employees in positions within the Postal Service and to suspend, demote, discharge, or take other disciplinary action against such employees;

    C. To maintain the efficiency of the operations entrusted to it;

    D. To determine the methods, means, and personnel by which such operations are to be conducted; E. To prescribe a uniform dress to be worn by designated employees; and

    F. To take whatever actions may be necessary to carry out its mission in emergency situations, i.e., an unforeseen circumstance or a combination of circumstances which calls for immediate action in a situation which is not expected to be of a recurring nature.

    (The preceding Article, Article 3, shall apply to PSE Employees)

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