POStPlan in Direct Conflict With APWU National Agreement

APWU Web News Article 78-2012, July 2, 2012

The APWU has put the Postal Service on notice that their plan to replace Postmasters at small, rural post offices with Postmaster Reliefs (PMRs) is a direct violation of our 2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The USPS announced their POStPlan (Post Office Structure Plan) on May 9, 2012. The plan calls for reduced staffing and work hours at 13,900 small post offices, moving the Postmasters in these offices to an Administrative Post Office to manage their former post office remotely, and replacing the postmasters in those reduced-hour offices with PMRs.

In a letter to the USPS Vice President of Labor Relations [PDF], APWU President Cliff Guffey wrote: “Some of the details of the plan raise serious questions about how the Postal Service intends to reconcile POStPlan with the Postal Service’s commitments in the APWU National Agreement.”

The APWU notified management that we expect them to adhere to provisions of the National Agreement that eliminate PMRs in Level 15, -16, and -18 post offices (including rural offices that were at those levels on Nov. 10, 2010) and limit the amount of bargaining unit work that Postmasters in those offices perform.

“POStPlan violates and conflicts with some of the most critical terms and assumptions of the APWU National Agreement,” Guffey wrote.

POStPlan also conflicts with the Postal Service’s own rules, policies, arbitration awards, and settlement agreements that require:

  • That the Postal Service maintain a one-to-one ratio of PMRs to Postmasters;
  • That PMRs relieve Postmasters on a temporary basis to do the Postmaster’s work while the Postmaster is not at work.
  • That PMRs are not to be utilized in the absence of clerical employees.

Of particular concern, the POStPlan has multiple PMRs covering for one Postmaster; has the PMRs working as permanent replacements rather than temporarily filling in for the Postmaster; and has the PMRs doing work that is neither supervisory nor managerial.

“This plan to cover window hours in solely retail operations at the impacted rural post offices with non-bargaining unit, non-supervisory and non-managerial PMRs is a blatant rejection of key underpinnings of the National Agreement, as well as the law,” Guffey said.

The plan violates our agreement in a number of ways, including:

  • That “when non-managerial or non-supervisory work, not otherwise excluded by Article 1.2, which was being performed by supervisors, is not longer performed by supervisors, then it must be assigned to clerk craft employees (MOU re: Clerical Work [PDF])
  • That all new positions and new work that is non-supervisory and non-managerial “shall be assigned to the most appropriate bargaining unit position” under Article 1.5 (MOU re: New Positions and New Work).
  • That there are specific limits on the number of hours of work a postmaster can perform in the Postal Service’s smaller offices (GLOBAL SETTLEMENT – [PDF]).
  • And that whether or not non-supervisory and non-managerial work performed by a supervisor “seeped” out of an APWU craft, the Postal Service would assign such work to a bargaining unit craft and NOT an EAS position (MOU re: Job Audits [PDF]).

“This effort to undercut the APWU must be revised before the POStPlan goes any further,” Guffey wrote.

8 thoughts on “POStPlan in Direct Conflict With APWU National Agreement

  1. Closing small post office is a cost effective means to reduce wasteful cost and hinder service as many small offices no longer serve a need due to changing demographics. Many are suburban officies located within a 5-6 mile radius of each other. Many small office postmaster salaries are $10,000-$15,OOO MORE than clerks and perform clerk duties selling stamps and boxing mail with no delivery. This is a result of offices begin established when ther was a need in 1900 but modern advances in transportation, communications, and demograhics has eliminated the need for many of these officies. Postmasters at these officies could be put in vaccant supervisors or vaccant postmaster positions. USPS to maintain existence as it is presently setup to operate at a breakeven point must eliminate wasteful spending. Politicans must deal with the issue and take necessary action to eliminate non needed cost such as 6 day street delivery which has no needed purpose in individual and business communication. This the 21st century technologyy is rapidly changing life styles.

  2. Watch those mailhandler vacancies created by their exodus become landing spots for affected clerks and….watch any clerk hope of a VERA go up in smoke thanks to your “leadership” at 1300 L Street NW Wash DC!

  3. Just what the Postal service wants,union desertion.Stand united .If you have a disagreement,take it up at your next union meeting.Be part of the solution.With out your union you would not enjoy the benefits ,fair wages and protections you have.Don`t believe me? Do a little research on unions in our work places versus non union work places.You will be enlightened!

  4. If I were an APWU member I would get out now and salvage what little dignity I had left. The USPS will do as they feel benifits the service whether or not it violates the contract. They can save money now, pay grievances later and still come out to the good money wise. Abandon ship with the rest of the rats and save yourself.

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