APWU Fights Scheduling Abuses In the Clerk Craft

After the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was signed, USPS management had the opportunity to post duty assignments with work schedules that fit the workload.

Some postmasters posted assignments with four 10-hour days, which were very popular.

Conversely, many small-minded postmasters posted duty assignments with 30-hour work-weeks spanning five or six days. The result has been an increase in overtime, an increase in out-of-schedule (OOS) pay, and an increase in the number of hours worked by Postal Support Employees (PSEs) that could have been worked by career employees.

Hiding the Truth

Managers have the ability to track OOS pay, but rather than expose the inefficient and unpopular 30-hour schedules they posted, many postmasters told their subordinates not to authorize OOS pay. These directives have forced employees to file grievances in order to receive proper payment for work outside their schedule. They also hide the amount of OOS pay management is incurring, because grievance settlements do not show up in the accounting system the same way authorized OOS pay does.

When the union alerted high-level postal officials to this falsification of time records, the response was clear. “This falsification is a dischargeable offense,” replied one senior manager. The union’s response was, “Then fire them.”

We doubt that anyone will be fired for such actions, but this scenario raises an important question: What is the difference between employees falsifying their own time records and managers falsifying the records of hundreds of employees? Aren’t the managers falsifying records for personal gain? Aren’t they trying to improve their standing and thus increase their pay?

Who Is Responsible?

There are hundreds of managers who have hidden behind the statement, “We were told to post these schedules by headquarters.” Headquarters management has maintained that no such order was given. But both statements can’t be true.

The APWU provided headquarters-level managers with examples of post offices where 30-hour schedules have been posted and employees have been scheduled for extreme amounts of overtime and OOS pay and PSEs are working excessive hours.

Management responded by giving the APWU data that purported to show that our assertions were wrong or that there was an anomaly during the time period covered by the union’s information.

The APWU researched the information postal management provided and, with help from the locals cited in our original examples, found numerous discrepancies in the USPS material. We submitted additional evidence that local managers were hiding OOS pay; that “loaned” PSE hours were not counted against the gaining office; that such offices had excessive overtime, including penalty overtime, and that, as a result, the USPS would be unable to realize the savings expected from the use of Non-Traditional Full- Time assignments. We are fully prepared to take this issue to arbitration.

The APWU’s analysis has proven one simple fact: When given the opportunity to mess things up, hundreds of managers will jump at the chance.

Rob Strunk
Clerk Division Director

23 thoughts on “APWU Fights Scheduling Abuses In the Clerk Craft

  1. APWU must deal with the origin of the abuse. The area and district mob bosses direct what they want to accomplish by directing orders to lower management with an understanding that directions will be followed or suffer consequences for failing to execute orders. APWU, CLERKS, will suffer from dictators unjust acts.

  2. Not Naive:

    I challenge you to dispute the following points/facts as being false that I have made:

    1. Returning Iraqi war employees can be BUMPED by junior non-vet union stewards for purposes of excessing. In fact, junior non-vet union stewards can Bump any senior employee for purposes of excessing.

    2. APWU union officials have a APWU Union Officer Only Retirement Plan that the regular non-officer dues paying employee paid for with their dues BUT cannot use or access.

  3. enufisenuf and papajoe, man you guys brighten my day with your wit as you dish out sometimes hard to swallow truth. If anyone can define the APWU for what it really is, it’s enufisenuf.

  4. I happen to know for a fact that there will be a hospitality room this year at the convention fully stocked with liquor. I happen to know for a fact that returning Iraq vets can be bumped by junior non-vet union stewards who are protected by superseniority when it comes to excessing. Whatever happened to seniority…the claim to fame for unions? I happen to know for a fact that union officers have an APWU Union officer only Retirement Plan paid for by union dues that the ordinary dues paying member cannot access nor is entitled to. Whatever happened to all for one one for all… injury to one injury to all garbage that is spewed by all the johnny come latelys in the union? Seniority provisions should apply to everyone across the board and to allow junior union stewards, that just became stewards ONLY for the purpose of protecting THEMSELVES from excessing, to BUMP our senior war veterans under the guise that they need to stay behind to file grievances is a crock and a travesty of justice! I happen to know that for a fact! Who will you be dressed as at the parade of states? Party on not naive…party on!

  5. for questions and more questions, The president of our union has stated that pse’s are not to work more than ntft’s. I will talk to a couple of other higher ups in the union and see if I can get a consensus of this. I tend to take our presidents word for these things- I will call him again today and post another blog. I can tell you that as a shop steward I will be pulling clock rings and if our pse has more than me and the other ntft I will be filing a grievance. I will get back to you!

  6. Obviously none of you have read your CBA, or the APWU Constitution (both posted on the apwu website). The APWU HQ personnel have attempted for YEARS to get the convention delegates to grant the NEB the authority to eliminate HQ officer positions due to the downsizing of our total on rolls. In LV in 2008, the convention delegates passed a constitutional amendment that almost EVERY national officer spoke against. That amendment requires the National President to fill EVERY vacancy within 60 days. In 2010 in Detroit, the delegates again overruled the national officers by passing an amendment to require the HQ staff to pay for a NBA to travel to his/her Area Labor Relations Specialist IF THE NBA WANTED TO DO SO. Get your facts straight before ranting and accusing “Goofey” of philandering. I happen to know for a fact that he is proposing again the elimination of HQ officer positions in LA this August.

  7. What about where the post office moved clerks starting time by 3 hrs and never alerted the union…

  8. I’m only going to say this one last time:

    APWU will not and cannot support any early out! We cannot survive without your dues. Now…stop bothering Goofey so he can prepare his exit speech for August of this year. Get your liquor orders in before the deadline. Hospitality room orders are due NLT 6-30-12. Parade of States this year will feature midget union presidents from the left coast. Trophies will be awarded to 1,2 & 3rd place winners for most times getting cut off at the mic! Who needs any early out when we got this party going on! Party on Garth!

  9. well it’s out in the open that they are falsifying it. they know they are doing something wrong . therefore, if they don’t stop then fire the motherf—ker…

  10. @ Rhonda if our PSEs work more than us NTFT’s (35 hrs Thank God not 30)you say to file grievance but from what I understand from our union they say it really doesnt matter if the PSEs work more than us NTFTs-or is there just something our union is misinforming us?? Can someone please answer??

  11. career employee above… you’re pinning this mess on the clerks? Get a clue! 5O% voted on the contract and the majority who said yes were working in the sticks and currently given just a few hours a week of week. No brainer for them. Our elite national reps. said they got a good thing going and a vote yes would secure their jobs. That is why god made sheeple. Don’t point the blame on the rank and file. Instead, lash your anger out at our inept reps!

  12. It’s also insulting to see management hanging up posters encouraging employees to report the “bad apples”, i.e., be a good snitch. I’m a letter carrier and we get our own version of retarded micromanaging, too. What galls me is how the supervisor will demand an “explanation” for being 5 minutes later one day than the previous one. Hell, a five minute difference can be attributed to a million different causes and besides, who cares if it’s under eight hours anyway?
    Of course, their demands on us with the growing intolerance for even the slightest mistake is made even more ridiculous when you consider their own incompetence, time wasting standing around bullshitting, and other worthless crap they do every day. I am the branch president and two of my carriers were converted to carrier technicians back in March and they told me yesterday they still aren’t getting technician pay. Rural carriers’ pay system is in total disarray as the incredibly pathetic supervisor simply cannot do the payroll accurately.
    That’s just the tip of the iceberg – fools and fuck-ups demanding perfection from craft when they can barely find their way to the PO in the morning. Craft people are not perfect, but management is far far worse.

  13. The problem with the USPS is you have headquarters people telling middle management people to “be creative”. This results in lots of game playing that hurts everyone including the business itself. Donahoe is a tool. Plain and simple.

  14. Hi, Mr. 30 hours,

    Close to a year ago I also became a what I called a screwed regular. I work 6 days a week 5a.m. to 10 am. I too watch the regular 40 hour clerks come in a work a boat load of o.t. In my office I do sometimes get out of schedule premium, but no where near my old schedule of 40 to 48 hours a week. We also have a pse and as I am a shop steward I watch her hours pretty carefully, they are not suppose to work beyond our hours. If they do file a grievance. Don’t fear filing I mean the least you can get is 30 hours and that is already happening. this inappropriate scheduling that has been done which in addition has lessened your annual and sick leave is being arbitrated. and we can only hope to win. Good luck to all of us especially the screwed regulars!!

  15. once again apwu members point out all that is wrong with management. when will they take a look at themselves and admit they are to blame for this mess. the contract they voted on will be the reason nalc and npmhu get similar contract. clerks only think of themselves. talk about overpaid, try and find a clerk when trucks need to be dispatched. where is the expeditor then? poor babies, thanks for nothing.

  16. Hey Mr 30 welcome aboard the postal way. If you read the contract it says.
    PSE ‘s are like the bugs you find under a garbage can when you pick up the can on a hot day.

  17. First of all, the Union only helps the Union. They care zip about veterans and injured employees; just like the USPS. Maybe if the PO did not base upper management pay and bonus’ on the amount of equipment under roof instead of management ability, we would be billions better off now. Maybe if poor management practice such as wasted postal funds, multiple lost grievences, repeated sexual harassment charges were eliminated through termination; we would be in a little better shape today. Or, at least the Fed would have more postal funds to rip off like all the other cash cows.

  18. APWU does a good job of deflecting attention from themselves and their pathetic representation not to mention “watershed” failures that are still as of yet undetermined and incomplete. Ask why…if other agencies and corporations are downsizing, and…if the USPS is losing business and taking the financial steps they have taken and,…if their membership rolls have been drastically reduced, is the APWU continuing with their current staffing and their salaries? With the downturn in membership rolls, they will need to subsidize those lost dues either via dues assessments or dues increases so they can continue those lifestyles they enjoy such as the APWU Officer Only Retirement Plan paid for by your dues.If you ask Goofy he will claim executive privilege just like Hussein does.

  19. In our plant, our second in command argued with the area over the NTFT bids – he did not want them but was indeed instructed to implement them. He was proven correct as the assignments did not work and we’re in the process of disrupting people’s lives again by switching back to 5-8’s. The Eastern area did indeed order this nonsense.

  20. I still believe if the post office would ask people if they would like to move to a different processing plant I am sure you would have some takers . Our family would like a change also offer the vera and the other programs.to encourage people to retire.

  21. i understand a lot of things are going on in the Postal World right now. many topics are being spoken on. EXPLAIN the NTFT position, i have been issued 30 hours for going on just shy of a year now. There was no job bidding, there was no choice on jobs, and this remains the case for nearly a year following? In my office we were given a sheet with start times on it and was told to pick when you would like to come in. I currently work 6 days a week with a 5 hour work schedule. When will something be done about this? Why are PSE’s being brought in while you have able bodied people who will work. How long do we sit and watch regulars come in on overtime while NTFT’s can not break past 30 hours. I think this whole situtation is bullsh*t. It’s basically the Post Office spitting in my face becuase they want to make the numbers look better on their end. News Flash, if me getting 30 hours for alomst a year dosen’t matter to management who is making anywhere from 60,000.00 – 80,000.00 a year then their numbers mean NOTHING to me. Why don’t we take from the supervisors who still think that sitting in the building for a 10 hour day while doing half a days work is acceptable? Why does the workforce suffer? Why make cuts to the people who get up six days a week for 5 hours a day, or the 40 hour reg. Why are there 6 supervisors in a building but you only ever see 2 of them? This is past sickening. People have families to take care of and bills to pay and the fact that this has now become an openly accepted thing is disturbing. Ask yourself this, If i took 400.00 out of your next paycheck could you still maintain the life style you are living now? Possibly, but why inflict that kind of burden on yourself? let me repeat it’s bullsh*t.

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