An arbitration hearing began on Dec. 13, 2011, on the first two of several disputes that arose when management incorrectly implemented new provisions of the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement. The disputes involve the placement of newly converted full-time employees into non-traditional schedules, and the denial of retreats rights to Clerk Craft employees on posted Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) duty assignments in their former installations.
The contract, which was ratified by union members in May, required the Postal Service to convert to full time all Clerk Craft part-time flexibles in Level 21-and-above offices and all part-time regulars, regardless of the size of their office. It also required management to convert all part-time flexibles and part-time regulars in the Motor Vehicle Craft, effective Aug. 27, 2011.
In accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the newly converted regulars should have been placed in residual vacancies or given schedules of five 8-hour days. Instead, management placed most of the employees into newly-created NTFT assignments, many of them with just 30 hours of work per week. This was improper, because the NTFT positions had not been posted for bid, so they were not residual vacancies. Residual vacancies are positions that remain vacant after the completion of a voluntary bidding cycle.
The union is asking the arbitrator to correct the contract violations by making all affected employees “whole” and instructing management to assign affected unencumbered/unassigned workers to schedules of five 8-hour days. We will report on the arbitrator’s decision as soon as we receive it.