APWU: Excessing Rules Dramatically Improved

Under previous contracts, thousands of APWU members were involuntarily excessed outside their craft and installation, sometimes hundreds of miles away.

Although the opportunity to be excessed instead of being laid off — as would be the case in most industries — is an important right, excessing often had a devastating impact on employees who had to uproot their families and move in order to keep their jobs.

Excessing wreaked havoc on APWU members: Spouses had to quit their jobs, children were taken out of their schools, elderly parents were often left behind, and some union members ended up “upside down” on their home mortgages.

Limiting Excessing: A Top Priority

One of the chief goals of the union during last year’s contract negotiations was to alleviate the problems imposed upon our members by excessing. Given the business climate we find ourselves in today, with the Postal Service attempting to close hundreds of post offices, stations, branches and mail processing operations, this was a paramount issue.

We successfully negotiated several changes to Article 12, which governs excessing, and to related Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) that improve the rights of union members.

One of the cornerstones of our new contract is an MOU on Minimizing Excessing, which remains in force for the duration of the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The most important new right gained in the MOU is the prohibition on excessing beyond 50 miles from an employee’s home installation. The 50-mile driving-distance radius is measured from the plant, where one exists, and from the main office where there is no plant. The same rules apply to the gaining installation.

Alternatives to Excessing

The APWU also successfully negotiated several alternatives to excessing. Before employees are excessed outside the craft or installation, the Postal Service must review its operations to create more efficient duty assignments within the installation. The USPS must also look for scheduling opportunities to offer duty assignments that are consistent with local operational needs in order to reduce or eliminate the need to excess employees. For instance, management could create Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) duty assignments, consider work that had previously been contracted out, or return work improperly being performed by EAS personnel, etc.

In the Clerk Craft, we negotiated changes to the Transfer Opportunities to Minimize Excessing MOU. Clerks in impacted installations are now permitted to voluntarily transfer (based on seniority) into residual Clerk Craft vacancies within their USPS district or within a 100-mile radius of their installation in order to reduce or eliminate excessing. This Clerk Craft-to-Clerk Craft transfer right, which utilizes the eReassign system, works much like a bid, with the senior applicant awarded the transfer opportunity.

Management’s obligation to separate PSEs or minimize the use of PSEs prior to excessing career employees from the craft or installation continues, as was previously required for casuals. In addition, Article 12 was amended to require the Postal Service to identify duty assignments currently held by PSEs in nearby installations within the appropriate radius.

To reduce the confusion and inequities regarding seniority that existed under the previous contract, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that there may be only one “moving day” for excessing within any postal Area in any three calendar-month period. To facilitate the union’s ability to make certain that excessing events are limited to the appropriate number of employees, the contract now requires that management prepare and provide the union with a Comparative Work-Hour Report, showing work hours both before and after the excessing event, within 45 days of the excessing.

Another important change in Article 12 is the new language that permits an APWU-represented employee who has been excessed to another APWU-represented craft within an installation to decline to retreat to their former craft.

No Lay-off Protection

Perhaps the most important protection for our membership is the extension of the no-layoff clause in Article 6 of the contract. Members who have six years of continuous service with at least 20 pay periods in each of the six years are protected. Additionally, we negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding that provides no-layoff protection for the life of the contract to anyone hired before Nov. 21, 2010.

As is true for all of our contractual rights, the vigilance of our members is what prevented Congress from taking them away, and is what will ultimately preserve these rights.

Mike Morris, Director
APWU Industrial Relations

(This article first appeared in the Mar/Apr 2012 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

9 thoughts on “APWU: Excessing Rules Dramatically Improved

  1. APWU says have no fear…next week we’ll have another version of the contract that will cover this issue!

  2. Schedule with an small immediate payment
    25% paid July, 2012
    25% paid October, 2012
    50% paid October, 2013
    Schedule with a large imediate payment
    50% paid July, 2012
    25% paid October, 2012
    25% paid October, 2013
    Schedule with delayed initial payment
    50% paid October, 2012
    50% paid October, 2013
    Right now it is not clear how much cash the Postal Service has to pay in incentives.  Clearly, it would be willing to pay incentives immediately that equaled the savings in salaries for the remainder of the fiscal year  if the current budget includes paying the salaries of employees that will not be needed due to the network restructuring.  If this assumption is true then, the Postal Service could offer an incentive no larger than 25% of the average salary of a retiree with a possible payment  this summer.    If the current budget does not include that cost built in, than the Postal Service would appear to have little financial wherewithal to pay the incentives in this fiscal year that it needs to offer in June to convince employees to retire
    Click here to take action and send a quick message to your representative. Tell them to vote Yes on S-1789
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  3. ALL A BUNCH OF UNION BLAH BLAH BLAH BS. Truth is if there are no local jobs, like what will happen in NJ after May 15th, you WILL be excessed OVER 50 miles BECAUSE that’s the only place there ARE jobs. AND not just here, it will happen all over the country. Only chance is to convince YOUR local polititions that if they want your vote they must remove all of the higher up Washington PO Exec’s and get people in there who actually believe that the Postal SERVICE exists for the American people, not to be broken up for Newt’s private sector!!!

  4. S1789 is at least the best to offer an early retirement, but in reality many are within a few years to go, why is it the only craft union, the APWU would rather see the members excessed and their lives unraveled than push for the incentive retirements, GM and others had to do it, and they were bailed out, but why is it, that even the President cannot stop the Postmaster General ?, this is sick, he is above the laws or immune to them ?, offer us a way out, please !
    S.1789 is the Senate bill the members are for and their unions against, we want out, and our unions want the dues and have us suffer under this Taliban regime called the USPS.

  5. we in the detroit district, we excessed from motor vehhicle to the letter carrier craft, it wasn’t done by true seniority, because i have almost 11 years of service and the most senoirity of us excessed and some drivers’ are still there with half or less time. we’ve been denied retreat rights and they have hired numerous pse drivers over the last 3-6months. we are told there isn’t nothing that can be done about it. no ntft positions in detroit, made ptfs ntfts, so we can’t retreat, held annual bid and deleted runs to show no vacancies. we can’t transfer back, we can’t be represented by apwu, we can’t do anything, i didn’t sign up for this crap! new contract says we can retreat back and usps blocks it, what good is a contract if no one can enforce it. at least that what local in detroit says. did i mention we lost seniority in this involuntary switch, 11 years,but only 2 as a carrier, where does that leave us(10 mvs drivers) detroit district. shouldn’t be carrying mail period.

  6. Thats total BULLSHIT in wilkes barre they forced full time clerks to take carrier job only to replace them with PSE National was contacted and the old cock and bull storie was issued by the union WHY PAY UNION DUES WHEN YOUR UNION DOESNT DO SHIT FOR YOU MOE BILLER ROLLS IN HIS GRAVE YOUR SELLING THE CLOTHING RIGHT OFF OUR BACK Isold my soul to the company store

  7. Nice, but not real, many PO’s are understaffed with excessing still ongoing, and the old farts were excessed to be Carriers and quit or were fired, but they cannot be laid off, Guffey , from Union members; “You are a joke”!

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