The National Office has filed a National-level grievance challenging the F-1 Scheduler because it is based on improper time or work studies. The Union alleges that this action by the Postal Service violates Article 34. The detailed grounds for this grievance are set out in the attached grievance letter. The parties will be meeting on this grievance next week, to start the processing of this dispute, and developments will be circulated as they occur.
Effective November 25, 2017 – the basic annual salary for each grade and step of Table One and Table Two shall be increased by an amount equal to 1.3% of the basic annual salary for the grade and step in effect on May 20, 2016. This is the second of three-scheduled general wage increases as outlined in the 2016 National Agreement. In addition to the general increases provided in Section 9.1, MHAs will receive an increase of 1.0% annually, for a total of 2.3% effective November 25, 2017 as outlined in Article 9.7 of the 2016 National Agreement.
To protect against statutory deadlines, the National Office has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that the Postal Service has failed to bargain in good faith by providing all of the relevant information requested by the National Union. The National Contract Administration Department has been pressing the Postal Service for months seeking information and worksheets relevant to the application of the Function-I Scheduler in any and all mail processing facilities that may be affected by this management tool.
Veterans’ Day is celebrated on Nov. 11th– in 2017, the holiday falls on a Saturday. In view of the confusion caused by this anomaly, the Contract Administration Department issued a memorandum intended to clarify the holiday schedule for Mail Handlers.
The Federal Health Benefits Open Season provides an opportunity for career mail handlers to make any necessary changes to their health insurance coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Open Season is November 13, 2017 through December 11, 2017.
As provided for in Article 15, Section .3E of the National Agreement between the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the United States Postal Service, both parties have agreed to jointly produce a Contract Interpretation Manual (CIM), which represents a good faith effort to identify contractual issues on which the National parties are in agreement regarding interpretation and application of the parties’ National Agreement. The latest issue of the CIM is Version 4, which was released on August 24, 2017.
Effective on September 2, 2017, career Mail Handler craft employees are scheduled to receive the third of seven possible cost-of-living (COLA) adjustments as outlined in Article 9.3 of the 2016 National Agreement. This COLA increase is based on the upward change in the relevant Consumer Price Index (CPI) following release of the July 2017 Index, and provides an annual increase of $270 for all Steps in Table 1 and for Step P of Table 2. The remaining Steps in Table 2 will receive the proportional COLA increase percentages as outlined in Article 9.3 of the National Agreement.
Management continues to implement its ill-conceived plans to realign its work force. Their plans involve massive bid reversions and job abolishments in almost every mail processing facility throughout the country. In most cases, management is basing its staffing needs on the flawed Function 1 Scheduler that the Postal Service uses to determine staffing levels at the large mail processing plants. Postal management continues to argue that these reversions and/or abolishments are necessary because of the continuing decline in mail volumes.
In response to these unwarranted attacks on the postal workforce, NPMHU President Paul Hogrogian and APWU President Mark Dimondstein sent a joint letter to Postmaster General Megan Brennan protesting the Postal Service’s proposed actions. The two Presidents vowed that both unions would work together to combat the Postal Service’s attacks on its employees.
The NPMHU has been recently informed by Postal Headquarters that the September 2017 “move date” will be pushed back and that no Mail Handler will be involuntarily reassigned out of his/her installation until, in all likelihood, at least February 2018. Postal management has agreed to use this extended period to discuss with the unions ways to minimize and even eliminate the involuntary reassignments of Full-Time career employees out of their current installations. Management also confirmed that it is required under Article 7 of our National Agreement to reduce their proposed non-career work hours to the greatest extent possible before excessing career employees out of their installation.
However, management remains steadfast in its intention to realign the work force and align employees’ schedules/start times with the projected mail arrival profiles. This will result in wholesale start time changes, bid reversions, and abolishment of duty assignments. Area Labor-Relations specialists will be meeting with the respective NPMHU Regional Directors to discuss how they will be implementing these changes. During these meetings, our Regional Directors will be voicing our strong opposition to these unnecessary changes and suggest more efficient alternatives.
Unions representatives at the Local and Branch levels will challenge the unwarranted start time changes, reversions, and abolishments and will file the appropriate grievances. The National and Regional CAD remain fully prepared to assist the Local Unions in processing these grievances. All members also should stay informed of these issues, both through the mail and on the NPMHU website.
On June 21, 2017, NPMHU President Paul Hogrogian and APWU President Mark Dimondstein delivered a clear message to Postmaster General Brennan, copy of the correspondence is as follows:
Postmaster General – Chief Executive Officer
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260
Dear Postmaster General Brennan:
As presidents of our respective unions representing over 250,000 hard-working postal employees, we are deeply disturbed by the wholesale and massive job cuts under way by your administration. The cutting of an already skeletal workforce will not only cause massive disruption to the workforce but will cause further degradation of postal services for the American people throughout the country.
We also note that your public commitment to abide by the respective Collective Bargaining Agreements as you address workforce complements is being violated because the ongoing job reversions and job abolishments are contrary to contractual obligations. The excessing impact statements – currently amounting to over 1500 events affecting over 15,000 employees and counting – are blatant violations of our CBAs in relation to advance notice, mandated information to the unions, meeting requirements, move dates, and residual vacancies.
Using the information that the Postal Service has provided to the unions, there also is no way to determine if the required Article 12 provisions involving part-time flexible hours or PSE and MHA/Casual employment were considered or if the staffing is based upon all available work hours.
Our contracts further require that at the Area/Regional meeting a list of residual vacancies be provided to the union for each excessing event. At the current time, there are insufficient residual vacancies to accommodate the impact of thousands of bargaining unit employees. In fact, it would take a significant amount of time to gather that number of residual vacancies.
Without the residual vacancies, there is no excessing. That begs the question of why there is a demand to excess thousands of employees if there are no ‘landing spots’ for the excessed employees to be placed into.
Based upon all of the above factors and concerns expressed above, the NPMHU and the APWU request that management consider and explore all other alternative options prior to the massive excessing plan currently proposed.
Without change, these management actions essentially throw any good faith efforts and constructive relationships to the wind. At a time when the parties have been working together to craft, promote, and pass constructive postal reform legislation, we wonder why the Postal Service would choose to declare war on its unions and its employees. Rest assured that, absent correction, the APWU and the NPMHU will together resist these misguided actions and violations of your agreements with, and commitments to, our members.
We are both available early afternoon on Tuesday June 27th or late morning or early afternoon on Wednesday June 28th to further discuss these matters in person.
We await your response.
(Signed) Presidents Paul Hogrogian and Mark Dimondstein
Congratulations to the 2017 Scholarships Recipients:
Local 301 NPMHU Scholarships
Joseph Spencer – Son of Brockton P&DC Mail Handler Joseph Spencer.
Joshua Labonte – Son of Springfield NDC Mail Handler David Labonte.
NPMHU Arthur S. Vallone National Scholarship
Molly Dion – Daughter of Central MA P&DC Mail Handler John Dion.