FROM THE OFFICE OF BOB KEOUGH, DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
FOURTH QUARTER BOSTONIAN ISSUE 2011
I hope you and all your family and friends have a holiday season filled with joy and meaning. Best wishes for a prosperous new year. It has been a pleasure to work for you this year. We wish you the best of holidays and a happy new year!
As the year ends, we think about all we are grateful for. Our relationship with you is one thing we treasure. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. We wish you good health and much success in the New Year.
That being said, 2011 has been a hard year for many. Our daughters and sons are in harmís way a half a world away. Hopefully, they will all come home soon and that they have a job to come home to. Please keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers.
By now, it should be clear that the Postal Service has been suffering financial losses. Their retirement prefunding obligations have put them in the red. Congress placed this burden on the Postal Service in 2006. Since then the Postal Service has been struggling.
Currently, Congress is discussing several proposals which will give relief. The problem is most of this legislation contains language harmful to you. Republican congressman Darrell Issa (CA) has proposed particularly vile legislation designed to bust unions and make us all low paid workers with no rights. It would allow layoffs. I believe he is determined to privatize the Postal Service. I urge you to Google this guy and see just how far he is willing to go to take away what you have.
There is a compromise proposal being worked on that does give the Postal Service relief. Freed of this prefunding obligation the Postal Service would be profitable again. I donít want to offend anyone but I must say that the party in power in the House is not our friend. Locally, I urge you to look at Senator Brownís voting record concerning workers and workersí rights. Look at the majority of Republicans voting record in this area and you will see they do not support us. After my family, my job is whatís most important to me and I vote that way. I vote for the candidate that supports working men and women. I believe all APWU members should too.
While big businesses receive huge discounts, the Postal Service pushes to shut down post offices. The Postal Service seeks to lay us off, they push to take our health benefits. They use this financial crisis to push their anti-worker agenda. Itís disgraceful to shut down post offices that are profitable; yet that is what they propose to do. Once again, the average American is asked to sacrifice, while large mailers and big business pushes for more discounts. Itís time for a change.
I want to assure everyone that all appropriate grievances are being filed regarding violations of the new contract. Every union officer in this local has been working on the staffing proposals that management has been pushing to implement. Again, appropriate grievances will be filed when necessary.
To all stewards, Chief Stewards, Area VPs, and our entire Executive Board . . . thank you for all your work. The membership is well served. I look forward to working with you as we move forward. You all do a great job.
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THIRD QUARTER BOSTONIAN ISSUE 2011
Management has caused confusion, anger & low morale
The new contract calls for the elimination of the part-time regular category. All part-time regular clerks must be converted to full-time by August 27th. This means that all part-time regular clerks should have been either in newly established bids or working forty (40) hours by or on that date. Management failed to create and post positions. They chose, instead, to leave these employees unassigned until such time they secure a bid through the bid process. Part-time employees were given thirty (30) hour schedules and told that they were now full time. Managementís failure to live up to its contractual obligations has created confusion, anger and low morale.
Grievances will be filed. There are a couple issues that will be addressed.
First, as unassigned full-time clerks, our former part-time employees should be working forty (40) hours. There is nothing in the contract that gives the Postal Service the right to limit the hours of work of unassigned full-time clerks. Since these employees are full-time, they must be scheduled as such. We will be seeking a monetary remedy.
Second, many of our former part-time clerks have been notified that their schedule is "flexible". Again, there is no contractual basis for this action. Under the contract, unassigned employees must be given a schedule within twenty-eight (28) days of becoming unassigned. This schedule cannot be changed again for six (6) months. Out of schedule grievances will be filed. Monetary remedies will be sought for these grievances as well.
Part-time employees in several of our associate offices have been given schedules of six (6) days. This is unacceptable; we are addressing this aggressively. We have been successful in the Boston Installation in stopping this callous action, and are working hard to setting things right in our AOs.
We will file grievances as necessary, but please keep in mind just how this new contract might impact you. Impacts will not be limited to just our part-time clerks. There may very well be impacts to our current full-time clerks as well. New language requires that all newly established positions be posted for installation-wide bidding. This will change the way staffing packages are implemented. In the past, most positions were offered Ďin sectioní. This will no longer be the case. All newly established jobs will be posted and be awarded by seniority. We will continue to challenge any proposal that impacts our members. There is every indication that the Postal Service will continue to slash clerk jobs.
The next few months will be a busy time. Adding to the uncertainty is the announcement by the Postmaster General that the Postal Service has asked Congress to allow layoffs. The Postal Service has also asked Congress to allow them to make changes to our health insurance coverage along with TSP (Thrift Savings Plan) changes. Needless to say, the APWU has opposed these draconian actions. Through the years we have all heard about this bill or that bill that could hurt us, but this time itís different; we face a danger like never before. Passage of any one of these measures would be devastating to us. Attacks on unions and collective bargaining are growing. The Postal Service has made clear their intentions to undermine the process. Please read the bulletin boards. Find a way to speak out. Contact your congressman/woman and tell them that you oppose the Postal Serviceís proposals.
Our national has initiated a number of Step 4 grievances challenging the Postal Services blatant violation of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The ink hadnít yet dried on the new contract and they began to break it. It seems to me the Postal Service took what concessions the APWU gave, moved on to Congress to get more, and decided not to adhere to much of what they just signed. Itís no surprise to me that the Postal Service violated the contract; they do so on a daily basis. Our local alone files thousands of grievances every year. However, they now have sunk to a new low. What can one think of someone that smiles, puts their signature on a contract, swears to abide by it, and then proceeds to break it? If there is anyone out there reading this that believes the Postal Service has your best interest at heart, itís time to wake up! They want to lay you off, cut your health insurance and mess with your retirement.
They have also announced a new round of office closings. Boston Metro has 23 offices on the list. If nothing is done, many will close. Without the help of our congressional delegation, many will close Ė and without the help of you, many may close. Contacting your congressman is as easy as clicking on apwu.org or bostonmetroapwu.com. Please take the time to do so. We will be handing out flyers, talking to local businesses and meeting with various government officials to spread the word. We welcome any help we can get. Call the hall if you would like to join the fight to save your jobs.
The new contract will generate a lot of change and with change comes some grief. As the chief grievance officer of Boston Metro, I assure you that the contract will be enforced. The Postal Service will be made to abide by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. All staffing changes will be met with scrutiny with the goal of reducing impacts to our members.
There are many changes to our contract. Soon many of us will be working alongside a new category of employee. Gone are casuals, replaced with Postal Support Employees (PSEs). These PSEs earn benefits, are covered by our contract, and can join the APWU. They will be fellow members of our local. There are contractual restrictions on the use of PSEs; however, they will be utilized in the plants and in our retail offices.
We recently had a union meeting that was attended by many PTR clerks. This was the best attended meeting I have seen in a long time. We answered many questions regarding the conversion to full time. I was happy to see so many people that care enough about their jobs to attend a meeting. General President Paul Kilduff did a good job explaining the new contract and answering some tough questions. I urge everyone to attend union meetings. There is no better place to get information, ask questions and talk with other members.
We were saddened to hear of the passing of long time union activist Beverly Anderson. Beverly was a union steward and executive board member for many years. She was a kind, friendly woman who fought hard for her fellow workers. Beverly worked in the CFS unit for many years, as well as Hyde Park, before her recent retirement. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bevís friends and family.
From the Office of Bob Keough, Director of Industrial Relations
As I am sure you are aware, we have a new contract. The membership has ratified the new agreement. The agreement contains extensive changes. There was clearly a lot of Ďoutside the box thinkingí going on during negotiations. The agreement and all its changes can be found at: bostonmetroapwu.com and/or apwu.org.
There has been a lot of heated debate, rhetoric and opinions given on the agreement from both those for and those against. Our local has split fairly evenly on the question to ratify, 600 members voted yes, while 667 members voted no. No matter where you stand on the question, the time to unite is now. These are difficult times; our local will face challenges like never before. The wise thing to do is put aside our differences, roll up our sleeves and get to the job of protecting our jobs. I am not naÔve; I do not now suddenly believe that management will do the right thing.
Boston Metro is prepared to fight for its members, new contract or not. We have been successful avoiding installation excessings and we plan to keep it that way. Future staffing proposals from management will be met with skepticism and scrutiny. We will use all of our resources to lessen impacts. We will take advantage of new and old contract language for our benefit and to provide opportunities for our membership. I donít like everything in this agreement, but I will work hard to enforce it. We just will not allow management to run roughshod over the APWU.
We have nearly 200 part time regular employees in Boston. New contractual language eliminates the part-time regular employee category. To me this is the most troubling aspects of the agreement. There will be many new staffing matrixes coming forth over the next months. Many will have Non-traditional jobs; these jobs will have a minimum of 30 hours. These positions will be considered full time. There will be impacts to part time employees. We are committed to protecting our part time clerks. The officers of this local understand the potential hardships this will cause. We will fight to lessen the impacts to PTRs.
Many full time employees are worried that they will be forced into positions with less than 40 hours. The new contract contains language that prohibits this. If you are a current 40 hour/week, 5 day employee, you can NOT be forced into a position with less than 40 hours. It wonít happen. These staffing changes will be rolled in over the next few months. We will meet with members if and when this local is notified of staffing proposals.
I want to congratulate my friend, Paul Kilduff, on his election to General President. I am confident that Paul will do a great job and be a fine president. He is a Ďget things doneí type of guy. Paul has been our DIR for the past 3 years, where he excelled. I also want to thank Bob Dempsey for stepping into the presidency when Moe Lepore retired. Itís been a hectic last year, and Bob has worked his butt off. He has done a great job. I know our localís finances are in good hands with Bob as VP/Treasurer. I also want to welcome and congratulate Scott Hoffman. Scott has been elected as Clerk Craft President. Those of you who know Scott know that he is a formidable advocate. He brings his passion and knowledge to the position. With looming impacts, Scott is the right guy for the job.
I feel confident that we have a great team in place. We have the best stewards anywhere. Our Area VPs are experienced and knowledgeable. They are usually swamped with work, yet somehow always get the job done. Paul, Bob and I will be working alongside MVS President Billy Weaver and Maintenance President Wayne Greenside to keep this union strong. Iíve said it before but I will say it again Ė Boston Metro is the finest local in the country! We are the most organized local for our size at over 95%. We demand respect from the Postal Service and work hard to continue Bostonís history of excellence.
I look forward to serving the membership as Director of Industrial Relations for the next three years. My primary job as chief grievance officer is to ensure that we put forth the best work possible in both the grievance procedure and in arbitration. Lastly, please donít let management or other unions do our work. If you witness this type of thing, talk to your steward or call the union office. Take pride in your union and have a great summer!
FIRST QUARTER BOSTONIAN ISSUE 2011
From the Office of Bob Keough, Director of Industrial Relations
STAND UP FOR UNION RIGHTS
I implore everyone to take the time to support our union brothers and sisters in Wisconsin in their struggle against union busting forces. They are facing an attack by Republican Governor Scott Walker on their basic right to have a voice in the workplace. Walker has made his agenda clear Ė to destroy collective bargaining and the unions there. Tens of thousands of workers have been protesting. This from AFL spokesman Vale: "People who work for a living will never keep up with the Koch brothers and what corporate CEOs plan to spend, but the students, teachers, firefighters, cops, activists and everyday citizens who are showing up day after day want to make sure their voices are heard."
Walker has made attempts to divide union workers there. How do you help and support Wisconsin workers? There are a number of ways Ė send an email to the Governor to express your opinion, educate yourself, keep your friends and neighbors informed, attend a rally. Check out the video message from APWU President Cliff Guffey. Guffey makes it clear that if the Republicans are successful in Wisconsin, we could be next. Visit apwu.org or our localís website at bostonmetroapwu.com. Wisconsin is ground zero. Anti-labor forces are lining up against collective bargaining. Other states have similar anti-labor proposals; this is a full out attack by the right-wing to destroy unions in this country. Show your unity with the Wisconsin workers today because in unity there is strength. These jobs that are being attacked are not just union jobs; they are good middle class jobs. All middle class citizens should be concerned. When did it become OK to blame the workers? Wall Street and bankers turned our economy into a casino and nearly bankrupted the country; but yet somehow itís all the unions fault? Honestly it makes me sick, but still there are those that buy into the lies and rhetoric from the right. Unions are not a bad thing. Workers are not the enemy. Support those in need in Wisconsin because it may be us next.
I want to thank everyone for your continued support. I have been re-elected to serve another term as Director of Industrial Relations. It has been an honor to serve the membership for the past almost 3 years, much of it spent as Clerk Craft President. I have worked hard to protect the Clerk Craft and will continue to do so. I pledge to the job I am entrusted with to the best of my abilities. Together with our newly elected President, Paul Kilduff, Vice-President Bob Dempsey, MVS President Bill Weaver, Maintenance President Wayne Greenside, and newly elected Clerk Craft President, Scott Hoffman, and the entire Executive Board, we will continue the fight.
Changes continue here In Boston. The FSS has finally come on line. Mail processing bids at NWB have been posted for both tours 1 and 3. As of this date, offices coming on line with the FSS have not been impacted. Clerk positions in our offices are not expected to be impacted by FSS at this point. Yet while bids are being created and posted, many abolishments are hitting the GMF. Management has initiated a massive staffing package which has impacted both tours there, tour-3 the hardest. Approximately 25 mail processors will be excessed from the tour. Tour-1 is not expected to face an excessing but many will be impacted with NS and/or schedule changes.
The full time officers have been meeting regularly with the Postal Service with the intent to lessen the impacts to our members. We will continue to do our best to keep everyone informed as things develop. The sheer number of employees impacted has made this the most demanding staffing package to date. Employees are being impacted in different ways, some will be abolished, some will have begin time changes, some will be excessed. Positions are being changed and reposted. It will be a stressful time for many.
We will continue to make sure that management fulfills all contractual obligations and to minimize the impacts as much as possible. Management still has been unable to answer just how they expect the mail to get worked on tour-3. They have eliminated EVERY part-time position in Automation. They have eliminated the Primary Section totally and they have reduced the number of full-time jobs in Automation. They struggle to get the mail up now. Eliminating this many jobs helps how? We will not tolerate backfilling or the use of casuals.
Our local has initiated grievances for the snowstorms of December 26 and January 12 for the Boston and Cambridge Installations. Employees impacted by these major storms are included in the grievance. Additionally, individual grievances have been filed for employees that management refuses to allow the use of annual leave. Thatís right Ė they AWOLd us for not making it in during the blizzard.
A class action grievance has been filed by MVS President Bill Weaver, on behalf of all crafts, in response to managementís FMLA violations. We will continue to challenge management whenever they violate the CBA and our rights under the FMLA. Managementís use of the Ďdeems desirableí list is also being challenged. At a time when all of us, in all crafts, are being expected to do more with less, I urge all to be vigilant. Report all contractual violations to your steward or to the union hall. Our jobs are at stake.
It isnít always bad news. Thanks to the good work of NBA Steve Lukosus, our local recently won an arbitration decision for a snowstorm grievance, resulting in thousands of dollars to members. Area VP Ray Bell pre-arbitrated grievances resulting in over $15,000 to members. Area VP Bobby White saved the careers of 3 employees, when many believed hope was gone. Being a steward is not always easy, and itís often thankless so I think itís important that we acknowledge some of the good work our stewards are doing. We are fortunate to have so many dedicated and skilled unionists in Boston. Our stewards do good work day after day.
In my last article in the Bostonian, I talked about our veterans and the participation of APWU members in the Veterans Day remembrance held at the GMF. I unintentionally failed to mention Bill Hoey. Bill is and has been the driving force behind the memorial held each year. Bill is a Vietnam veteran. He has served our local as a steward and has always been a man of character. I know Bill works tirelessly for Veterans and for that he is owed thanks. He is an asset to our local. Both Bill and his wife Nancy are fine unionists who work hard to help Veterans and their causes.
FOURTH QUARTER BOSTONIAN ISSUE 2010
From the Office of Bob Keough, Director of Industrial Relations
Grievances continue to pour into the hall. The majority of these grievances will be settled or sustained in our favor. Most are the usual type: supervisors doing our work, OT violations, crossing craft violations, and holiday violations. Most result in monetary settlements. The quality of our grievance is good and continues to improve. I am looking forward to our stewardsí seminar to meet with our stewards. NBA Steve Lukosus will be conducting an advanced steward training that day.
My chief goal as D.I.R. is to ensure that every grievance filed is properly documented and if brought before an arbitrator, will prevail. Utilizing technology and giving our stewards the resources to do the job continues to be a priority. A number of important issues await arbitration: loss of consecutive N/S days and improper use of R&P clerks, to name a couple. These issues will be pressed forward.
We also have been faced with many many staffing impacts this past year. We have aggressively met each one head on with the goal of reducing the impacts of these offensive actions. I see it all the time. With a stroke of a pen - management cuts a job or takes away a weekend job. They seem surprised when we make them aware that this negatively impacts the employee.
Itís clear they have given no thought at all to the employee; or if they have, they could care less. As I have said before, we have been successful negating many of these action and will continue to do so. With the Postal Service openly expressing the need to cut positions, itís an enormous battle. Unfortunately many have been impacted. I assure you, the Postal Service is made to adhere to all its contractual obligations in these matters.
On a more sinister note, occasionally a manager comes along who, in my opinion, is motivated only by malice. Case in point, Braintree DMU manager Joe Sokolski. He has created an atmosphere of hostility and anxiety there. This has been an ongoing problem for many months. Labor Relations has launched an investigation and we are awaiting the results. He has attempted to abolish every position there; he has repeatedly berated, bullied and played silly games with the employees there. He attempts to manipulate employees and pits worker against worker. I believe itís sick. While not hopeful, we await the results of the investigation. Whatever management decides to do with this guy, rest assured we will not tolerate his antics and are prepared to continue the fight. He is just another clown in a long line of clowns, and we will be here long after he is not.
As 2010 draws to an end, I want to recognize some of the hard working people that keep our local running and strong. First, a special thanks to all of our stewards and officers. Sometimes being a steward is a thankless job. You all do a great job. MVS and Maintenance are in good hands with Bill Weaver and Wayne Greenside. Cambridge chief steward Bob Waterhouse works tirelessly on the membersí behalf. Our trustees have worked hard to cut spending and reduce expenses. Our secretaries, Bettie and Mary, are the best. Ask anyone that knows, these two women are the backbone of the union office. They keep the engine running smoothly. We are fortunate to have so many outstanding unionists. Our entire Executive Board works hard to keep the local strong. Thank you all!
Obviously these articles are written in advance. As I write this we are celebrating Veterans Day. With roughly 25% of our workforce veterans, the Postal Service is one of the nationís largest employers of Vets. Boston Metro thanks and honors all our veterans. MVS steward Bill Elms, Vice President Paul Kilduff, Maintenance Craft President Wayne Greenside and brother Neil Cronin (all veterans) recently represented the APWU and were the honor guard at the Veterans Day Ceremony held this year at the GMF. They donned their APWU veteranís hats with pride. They did a great job; it was great to see APWU there.
A couple of facts about the origin and history of Veterans Day: In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War I. The end of the war happened at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, so that's why November 11 was chosen. Congress changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954. Veterans Day, a legal holiday in the U.S., honors all who have served in the nationís armed forces, whether they are living or dead. Letís keep our veterans in mind, especially those in harmís way. Happy Veterans Day. Happy Holidays. Thank a vet.
THIRD QUARTER BOSTONIAN ISSUE 2010
CLERK CRAFT REPORT Bob Keough
Our National Convention took place August 22 through the 26th in Detroit, Michigan. Workshops were held on Saturday. Many important issues and resolutions were debated, some of which could shape the future of the APWU. The entire Boston delegation worked hard and did a great job. I thank each of them personally for their time and efforts. I am proud to work alongside such outstanding unionists. Barry Holland, Ray Bell, Janice DeMello, Linda Cheevers, Wayne Greenside, Mike McDonald, Joe Joyce, Bill Weaver, Jack Wheeler, Moe Lepore, along with the full-time officers, represented our local.
I was fortunate to have been picked to serve on the Clerk Craft Committee. The Committee was made up of 8 members from different locals. Our job was to review every Clerk resolution submitted to the Convention. The resolutions were discussed, and we passed along our recommendations to concur or non-concurrence to the entire Convention. The entire body then votes on the resolution. It was an honor to serve on this prestigious committee, and I thank Clerk Craft Director Jim McCarthy for the opportunity.
Talking with my fellow Committee members, it became very clear just how widespread excessing has become. Many parts of the country are facing large impacts. In some cases, clerks have been excessed 500 miles. Thousands of full-time clerks have been affected. Larger locals have had hundreds of full-time clerks excessed. Excessed employees are faced with tough choices: uproot and move up to 500 miles, convert to PTR, or quit. Families are being torn apart. Locals big and small are being impacted. The cuts are deep. Further excessings are expected as FSS comes online. We in Boston have been working hard to avoid these kinds of impacts. We are optimistic installation excessings will be avoided. FSS impacts will be minimal here.
There were several resolutions submitted, including one by Boston Metro, to expand Part-Time bidding rights. Currently Part-Time regular employees are restricted when bidding a Full-Time position. This issue was one of the most debated items at the Convention. The Clerk Craft Committee argued over this subject at length. I believe that seniority should be the sole basis for awarding bids. However, given the fact that so many locals have full-time employees excessed, many felt that now is not the time to expand PT bidding. The fact that PT regulars could bid a full-time position prior to excessed FT clerks getting their retreat rights caused the majority of the Committee to vote against these resolutions. These resolutions were brought forth to the entire Convention and voted down. I will continue to fight for the bidding rights for Part-Time employees. Article 12 excessing issues do need to be resolved; however this does not diminish the fact that we are an industrial union and our seniority is all we have. Although these formal resolutions did not pass, I believe that the currently qualified requirement for newly established positions language will be addressed during national negotiations.
A resolution calling for a $3.00 dues increase was brought forward to the Convention. President Burrus stated the National APWU did not need an increase, while many locals argued that declining memberships and increased costs, much of it passed from the national to locals, made a dues increase necessary. After much debate the resolution was defeated.
The Boston Metro co-authored and submitted a resolution supporting our troops and calling for the end of the war. The war in Afghanistan has lasted longer than any other war in American history at 105 months, passing Vietnam at 103 months. Suicide among our returning veterans has skyrocketed. The resolution calls for jobs for veterans and decent health care among other things. It also calls on the APWU to demand the end to the war and for all unions to do the same. The resolution passed overwhelmingly and with positive energy. National Human Relations Director Sue Carney spoke with passion and eloquence on the matter. Her dedication to veterans is remarkable. She Ďwalks the talkí. She has dedicated herself to helping vets and veteran causes. I have been astonished at her tenacity and effectiveness. Thank you, Sue, for all you do for our veterans.
Our contract expires this November. Negotiations are set to begin September 1st. The body made it clear to the National that we will not accept any give-backs as they negotiate our National Agreement. More news will be forthcoming as negotiations take place.
National APWU elections will take place shortly. Ballots will be mailed out on September 13th. There are many important races taking place, including President, Vice-President, Organizing Director and Clerk Craft Director. Please take time to vote. Your vote counts and matters. APWU National President Bill Burrus will not be seeking reelection; he will be retiring at the end of this current term. Burrus is a remarkable guy. We wish him and his family well. He has served the APWU for many years and distinguished himself well.
Locally we have been notified that the FSS machines will go on line October 14th. These machines have been delayed multiple times. The Postal Service is adamant the FSS will be ready on that date. We shall see. Tour-1 NWB is still undergoing an in-section. I will not do managementís job for them. They have repeatedly screwed up the in-section. I have made it clear that all retreat rights, in-sections and postings must be done in accordance with contractual requirements. Appropriate grievances will be filed if necessary. MPC positions will be posted for bid once retreat right issues have been resolved. Rumors of the mixed states mail leaving NWB have proven not to be true. We have not been notified of any impacts to tour-2 NWB at this time.
There are a couple of things we can do to protect our jobs. We estimate that over 50 window positions could be saved if every window clerk clocked on to the correct operation number at all times. Many times a window clerk will be throwing mail, but be clocked onto the window operation. Numbers would show too many people on the window and no credit is given for the distribution work. Obviously the numbers are skewed, but management does not care. They cut jobs based on these numbers. It may be awkward to keep swiping your badge, but protecting our jobs is worth it.
Window clerks "earn time" for each transaction performed. The more time earned Ė the more positions. An example given regarding earning time: a customer wants 10 books of stamps. The window clerk can scan one book and enter 10, thus earning time for only one transaction; or the window clerk could scan and enter each one individually, and earn 10 times as much time. Simply put, the more transactions Ė the more jobs. Lines are long and many offices short-staffed but please perform your duties the way you were taught. Your job is on the line. If youíre not on the window, please make sure youíre not on a window operation number, vice versa with manual operations. I also believe that all postal work is ours. We can do it all. We will take it all. If mail handlers are cut from an office, we will take the work. Lastly, if a supervisor is doing our work, we need to address that. It is not ok. Our craft is under attack. Call a steward or the hall to report any violations in your office or section.
In the plants, expeditors are required to follow a safety SOP. Adherence to the SOP causes trucks to back up and drivers impatient to leave. Supervisors pressure expeditors to cut corners. There have been several incidents of loads not secured properly, keys not taken and lock-boxes left open. Several MVS members have been fired. Management will come after our expeditors if something goes amiss. They will look for a scapegoat, and it wonít be them. The platform GMF is already short-staffed. Expeditors are running from door to door. Please work safely and follow the SOP. You are protecting yourself and your job.
A duty assignment that remains vacant after the completion of the bidding process becomes a residual position. Under normal circumstances these jobs would be posted the following bid cycle; however the Postal Service has invoked Article 12. Under Article 12, residual positions must be held for area excessing. This list of residual positions has grown. Approximately 30 Full-Time and 10 Part-Time positions are being held under Article 12. We are attempting to get out from under Article 12 to get these jobs reposted. This would also allow transfers in and out of our installation and allow Part-Time employees more bidding choices.
The 39th Annual Massachusetts and 1st Annual New England States Convention took place April 30th - May 2nd. Many national officers were in attendance, including General President Bill Burrus, Secretary-Treasurer Liz Powell, Clerk Craft Director Jim McCarthy, Human Relations Director Sue Carney, and Legislative Assistant Director Steve Albanese. New England National Business Agents Steve Lukosus, Frank Rigiero and Tom OíBrien hosted workshops. The workshops took place April 30th and were well attended. I attended the IOD/NRP workshop taught by Sue Carney.
National officers addressed the delegates on Saturday. Each took questions. An important item talked about was five day delivery. There is no doubt that five day delivery would be disastrous for us. Not only would it mean the loss of many more clerk jobs, I believe it would be the beginning of the end for the Postal Service. Our competitors will have no problem delivering mail on Saturday. It wonít be long before the Postal Service will be looking to eliminate another day of delivery. The monopoly would be over. Our livelihoods are at stake.
We need our Congressmen and Senators to support six day delivery. Please take time to find out what you can do. A great place to start is the legislative page on the national website at www.apwu.org. You can also find more information on our localís website at bostonmetroapwu.com.
A resolution submitted by the Boston Metro was debated and approved by the delegates. It now moves forward to the National Convention which will be held this August in Detroit. I am confident that this resolution will be adopted by the delegates there as well. This resolution will require that the restrictive language in Article 37, Section 3, be removed. Current language severely limits part-time employeesí choices. Part-time employees find it very, very difficult to return to full-time. Seniority should and must be the sole determining factor for awarding bids. I am proud to have authored the resolution. As a member of the Clerk Craft Committee for the upcoming national convention, I will ensure that this issue is addressed. I am committed to this issue. We will work tirelessly to see that this resolution is passed and negotiated into our contract.
Locally, chronic short-staffing has reached the breaking point in many offices. Many clerks are forced to work long hours without taking a break. Some donít take a lunch. Itís getting harder and harder to get a day off. Management dumps more and more work on us. One problem that is growing is boxline scans. Since there is not enough manpower to get the job done on time, often boxline scans are done, but the mail has NOT been thrown. Mail is not getting up on time, yet scans show the mail as up. We have supervisors doing the scan daily, as the mail is still sitting in tubs. The boxline scan should not be done until all DPS and First Class is done. Supervisors should not be doing these scans. The boxline clerk should do it only after the mail is up. I have addressed this issue with the Postmaster numerous times.
Instructions to scan box mail upon its completion have been issued. It is not OK to scan it done if it is not done. Here is a portion of a management email regarding scans. It is in response to a phone call from me. It is from an area manager. "I spoke to Ö after receiving a call from Bob Keough and I explained and instructed Ö that the Box line is not to be scanned until the mail is up with the understanding that we would consider that the mail is up when the DPS and 1st class is up. This is same instruction I gave to all my managersÖ".
If your supervisor is performing scans or you are being instructed to scan in spite of the fact that the mail is not done, please contact the union hall. Management justifies staffing cuts through numbers. Most times the numbers are skewered. False box scans, false all-up scans, mystery shopper scores give the impression that everything is OK. The truth is lines are out the doors, box mail is not getting up. Clerks are pulled from the window to get the mail up. Most offices are short-staffed. R&P clerks are misused and supervisors are doing our work. Grievances are up.
If something isnít right in your office, call your steward and file a grievance. We must protect our work and jobs. Management has not slowed down one bit. They have been busy trying to eliminate positions. Staffing packages continue to pour into this office. Massive impacts at NWB, Braintree, and Cambridge are the latest. An average of five staffing packages a week show up, most involving abolishments and excessings. Window clerks are stressed out and overworked, I know, but please do not give management an inch, cut corners or do them any favors. It only hurts us in the long run.