APWU Web News Article 55-2012, May 9, 2012
The APWU and USPS have reached an agreement that upgrades Level 6 Maintenance Support Clerk (MSC) positions one level and updates the staffing criterion for the position, Maintenance Director Steve Raymer has announced. The May 9 agreement [PDF] was reached as a result of the union’s protest of the Postal Service’s Oct. 27, 2011, notice of proposed changes to administrative staffing positions under Maintenance Management Order (MMO) 074-00 [PDF]. The Postal Service planned to overhaul the staffing chart based on an extensive survey and review of the duties and responsibilities of MSCs and the impact of technology on the position.
“The issues were fully discussed among all national Maintenance Craft officers, both headquarters officers and NBAs,” Raymer said. “We decided that resolving the matter would better serve our members than a protracted dispute. If we had chosen the latter course of action, the Postal Service would have unilaterally implemented the staffing changes, which would have had immediate and lasting negative effects on members holding MSC duty assignments. In the end, we believe the protections and gains we made warranted an agreement.”
The agreement provides that on the first day of the pay period immediately following issuance of MMO 057-12, all Level 6 MSC members will be upgraded one pay level. The upgrade will be implemented without any reposting of positions or other impact on the duty assignment, Raymer said.
In addition to the obvious benefit for MSCs, there are benefits for the craft as a whole, he said. “The upgrade will result in the elimination of the occupational group and level, and will make the administration of Article 12 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement more equitable for all.” Article 12 governs principles of seniority, posting and reassignments.
As a result of the upgrade, decisions about which MSCs will be impacted by management decisions that result in a reduction in staffing cannot be based on a management whim. The employee’s installation seniority will be the determining factor from among the single occupational group and level. In the past, decisions about whether Level 6 or Level 7 MSCs would be affected were arbitrary, Raymer said.
The agreement provides that if an AMP or network consolidations occurs, the new formula for staffing MSC duty assignments will be applied to the gaining and losing installations. It also permits attrition to take place. “This is done to minimize the adverse impact on the employees,” Raymer said.
The agreement also prohibits any involuntary reassignment by the Postal Service for one year except in the case of an AMP. “This is intended to avoid the need for excessing arising solely from the new staffing chart,” he added.
The agreement also notes that local fact circumstances could permit an increase in MSC staffing. “The addition of this language is important because some offices assign the MSCs additional duties or support their stations and branches fully,” Raymer said.
The new MMO also stipulates that Bulk Mail Centers, also known as NDCs, are allocated one additional MSC position provided at least 20 Maintenance Craft positions are supported.