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From the Office of Paul Kilduff, General President
BOSTONIAN ARTICLES
FOURTH QUARTER 2011 BOSTONIAN

IT JUST GOES FROM BAD TO WORSE

I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all the full time officers in our Local. This has been a trying year for all of us. So many of us have lost loved ones or dear friends that weíve known our entire Postal careers. Please take time to remember all those we have lost this past year when you are enjoying your holidays with your loved ones. I can only hope and pray that a year from now that we are all healthy, happy, and working. I wish I could look into the future and see what lies ahead for the Boston area.

This a tough article to write. I donít know where to start since the past few months probably have been the worst any person in my position has had to endure. I will attempt to touch on a few subjects that are, as of this date, affecting most members.

Recently I wrote a bulletin titled "The Boston Massacre ". Management decided to come forward with at least 80 staffing packages all at once. They wanted us to give our input to these packages in about 10 minutes. As all members know, this office since - August 27th - has been waiting for bids to be posted for all ex-PTRs. This was supposed to be a smooth transition with enough newly established non-traditional bids posted for all unassigned clerks who recently became full time clerks. As you know, this did not happen.

Why is it so difficult to do things around here without messing up employeesí lives? There were two phases in their plan: 1.) Create bids, 2.) Possible staffing changes after the creation of these bids. The powers that be decided it was best to combine both phases and just mess up everyoneís life. Management went ahead without meeting with the union (as stated in the National agreement) and sent all the newly created bids to Shared Services to be posted in the December bid cycle. Employees are now getting Form 50s showing they are either unassigned non-traditional employees, or the position they currently hold is now a non-traditional position. So without meeting with the local union, management went ahead with their plan to abolish and possibly excess employees in the near future.

The Postal Service is hoping employees bid on positions that are less than 40 hours. I would strongly suggest to anyone to never ever bid any position that is less than 40 hours. You cannot be forced into one if you are unassigned. All traditional 40 hour employees are guaranteed 40 hours Ė no matter what. Do not be intimidated into bidding less than 40 hours!!!

As of this date, November 15, 2011, we are still looking over the staffing packages to give input. The Postal Service is saying all the right things but I believe their intentions are clear in the staffing packages . . . cut . . . cut . . . cut. They act like they are willing to listen but you know the old saying . . . " YOU PUT LIPSTICK ON A PIG, ITíS STILL A PIG"!

Since management has already sent the staffing packages to Shared Services without our input, it will be our intention to appeal these newly created non-traditional bids to ADRP (Administrative Dispute Resolution Procedure), which would afford this local an opportunity for discussion with operations management at the local level, District Area, and National level. If any disputes arise and remain unresolved after such reviews, the National APWU may appeal the disputes to the appropriate arbitration docket.

The key here is the exact language in the National Agreement states: "Before implementing any new non-traditional assignments, the local union will have the opportunity to review, comment, make suggestions and propose alternatives". That means before they are sent to be posted, management must meet with the local union.

As of this writing the Postal Service still intends to close approximately 21 post offices throughout this local. All of these Post Offices listed make a profit; but the sad part of this whole thing is looking at the faces of all the residents, college students, and business owners that will suffer once these offices are closed. All the officers have attended all of these meetings to express our anger that some suits in DC decided to again hurt the American people. I have witnessed people in their 90s come and speak to ask that their Post Office not close. Many state the Post Office is part of their community that they have grown to love.

What kills me about all of these closings is the Postal Service thinks they will still keep the revenue they currently receive from these closings. Many residents and business owners stood up and told the Postmaster . . . " IF YOU CLOSE MY POST OFFICE - I WILL TAKE MY BUSINESS TO UPS OR FEDEX".

Someone once wrote "WHEN THEY CLOSE THIS POST OFFICE, WHEN THE FLAG COMES DOWN, WHEN THE HUMAN SIDE OF THE GOVERNMENT CLOSES ITS DOORS . . . WE ARE ALL IN TROUBLE".

Lastly, recently the Senate Panel approved a Postal Bill titled . . . The 21st Century Postal Service Act (S. 1789) which would give the USPS short-term financial relief. Most members are only reading the part that speaks to "early out" incentives. This bill is so much more than that and could start the process towards dismantling the Postal Service. There could be cuts that will result in all mail delivery being delayed, 90% of door to door mail delivery stopped, elimination of hundreds of mail processing facilities and Post Offices. This bill will also eliminate Saturday mail delivery after two years. Several alternative bills have been introduced in Congress and, hopefully, proposals that benefit Postal workers will be passed.

I also want to thank all the Area V.P.s, chief stewards, and stewards for all of their hard work and dedication this past year. It takes a team effort to run this local. Their job is a thankless one that requires so much more than just writing a grievance. Countless hours are spent off the clock doing work for members they represent. I would request all members to take the time to thank your steward for stepping up to the plate to fight management when your rights are violated. They donít ask for much but deserve your thanks and respect.


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THIRD QUARTER 2011
 
BOSTONIAN

CONGRESS NEEDS TO HEAR YOUR VOICE

We are at a time in our careers that we all must stop what we are doing in our lives to do whatever we can to survive as postal employees. Unless you have been under a rock these past several months, everyone must be aware of what is going on in the Postal Service or should I say what is not going on. I know all members are always reading "Please contact your Congressmen" almost daily in your Postal careers. There have been so many bills on Capitol Hill that weíve asked you to help us with that would help the working men and women of this Union. Itís almost on a daily basis a new bill is on the table.

This time, however, is not the time for any of us to say "Iíll let the other guy do the work" or "I pay dues for my steward to do the work". Most of the time I would say you are right on both accounts, but this is not one of those times. This is a critical time in our lives as postal workers, one that is vital to our existence as postal employees. I am pleading with everyone who is reading this article to either send in a card to your Congressman supporting HR 1351, or please turn your computer on and go to our website . . . www.bostonmetroapwu.com and follow the instructions.

Hopefully by the time this article is printed each member should have received a brochure that includes a postcard from the National office. The postcards will include the names and mailing addresses of each membersí Representative. If this card is still on your kitchen table, please fill it out and put a 44 cent stamp on it, and SEND IT IN. I believe the month of September is an important one on Capitol Hill. Congress will be back in session at that time so things will get rolling as far as debates go.

The bill, HR 1351, would allow the USPS to use billions of dollars in pension overpayments to meet its financial obligations. There is also another bill, HR 2309, that has been introduced by Republicans Darrell Issa and Dennis Ross. This bill, if passed, would do nothing to correct the Postal Servicesí financial problems. However, it would do a lot to move the Postal Service into privatization Ė which is what these two idiots want.

Treat this crisis as if your home was under foreclosure . . . how hard would you work or what lengths would you go to save your home for you and your family? This foreclosure is your job. Please do your best to save your job. It is that serious! I know you will do your best and your APWU will also do our best for you. We will get through this with hard work and determination from all of us.

This is an article that I could write forever due to the many issues in our local and throughout the country. Let me just touch a few issues that are currently ongoing.

On August 23, 2011, an emergency union meeting was called due to the many questions concerning the newly ratified contract. The turnout was great. As many as 100 concerned members attended loaded with questions. I would love to see more meetings like that in the future. Many that showed up were soon to be ex-PTRs that became unassigned full-time clerks on August 27th. As of this writing, management still has not presented us with copies of bids to be posted in the upcoming bid cycle. As stated by me at this past meeting, I believe these bids will not be posted in September. It is unacceptable (as one person at the meeting put it) that management is taking their sweet time with these newly created bids. There isnít a week that goes by that this office does not call Labor Relations to inquire about the newly created bids . . . or where are they?

The Postal Service has notified the Boston District that the first phase must have enough bids for all employees that were PTRs or PTFs. Once these bids are posted, please bid as many bids as possible. It is not a good idea to be unassigned. If anyone is a 40 hour employee, unless you want less hours . . . NEVER BID ANY JOB THAT IS LESS THAN 40 HOURS. The Postal Service is hoping you will just stay where you are.

Currently, local negotiations are ongoing in Stoughton, Mansfield, Marshfield, Cambridge, and Boston. Management in these areas is looking to slice and dice annual leave percentages and reduce the number of non-scheduled days in one work week to one. These meeting will go on for the month of September.

Lastly, I know there are many members who are still upset about the newly ratified contract. This Local did not vote for this contract, and whether you did or not we all must deal with it. I canít believe the negativity that exists in this Local. I am confused why any member would be upset with the APWU! It is the Union that fights on a daily basis with some moron supervisor that thinks he knows more than you and treats you unfairly. Whether you are upset with your steward or upset that we have a contract that you do not like, all of us must look past this negativity and come together as one strong Union.

Try to organize that scab who works next to you and is not pulling his or her weight. Ask your co-worker to stop working on higher level and remind them the less time they work their bid jobs, the better reason for their supervisor buddy to abolish another bid. Management throughout the country has basically thrown the new agreement in the garbage. The ink isnít even dry and there are already thousands of grievances filed for the violations.

I am sick of anyone in management telling me to look the other way while they do our work. I am sick of management reducing staffing in every station and asking each of us to do more with less; MVS employees not given consecutive days off as outlined by the contract; custodians given bigger routes to clean due to lack of staffing; clerks in automation running machines by themselves; window clerks working alone on a daily basis and, last but not least, we still have the same suck pumps on higher level that are taken care of by their management buddies. My point here is, brothers and sisters, that as long as this same bull continues I, as your President, will not give an inch to anyone until they adhere to the contract and treat all of us with respect.

After experiencing Hurricane Irene, homeowners were left dealing with downed trees, homes being flooded or destroyed from fallen trees, loss of life, etc. The Governor called a State of Emergency two days before the hurricane, anticipating the worst scenario and the MBTA shut down for the day. Can anyone tell me when the last time the MBTA shut down? They didnít shut down during the Blizzard 2011. Do you think if there ever was a time for the District Manager to shut down Postal Operations, that Hurricane Irene would have been that time? Also, was he concerned about the employees during and after the earthquake? Private companies and other Federal Agencies had their employees evacuated and made sure buildings were safe before they returned back to their assignments, but not us.

Why do they give safety talks? That same District Manager was home watching TV safe and sound while employees scheduled for that Sunday made their way in during the hurricane. This is the stuff that drives me crazy. With people like our current District Manager in charge, Boston Metro will give this guy the same respect he gives all of us . . . . . NONE!!!! 

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SECOND QUARTER 2011 BOSTONIAN
 
                              A NEW BEGINNING . . .

This is my first article as General President of the Boston Metro Local 100. I am honored to be in this position Ė one which I will never take for granted. I want you, the membership, to know that I will work even harder to keep this local headed in the right direction. I follow in the path of many outstanding presidents that have held this office. Steve Albanese, Matt Bowen, Steve Lukosus, Ed Madden, Moe Lepore and Bob Dempsey all have helped to make Boston Metro the strongest and most organized local throughout this country. I pledge to continue to keep the fire burning and never . . . ever stop fighting for the working men and women of this great local. We have a difficult road ahead of us with many unanswered questions concerning our future. I look forward to working side by side with Vice President Bob Dempsey, Director of Industrial Relations Bob Keough, M.V.S. Craft President Bill Weaver, Maintenance Craft President Wayne Greenside, and Clerk Craft President Scott Hoffman.

I also would like to thank Bob Dempsey who stepped up when Moe Lepore retired and kept our local running without missing a beat. I have seen first-hand what Bob has sacrificed and watched his work ethic that went into running our local. Along with running our local, he attends all meetings with the Greater Boston Labor Council which has allowed him to meet many unionists whom have become friends of the Boston Metro. We will continue to stand side by side with our union brothers and sisters when called upon to continue the struggle of the working family.

My job will be a difficult one but I am honored to also have an outstanding Executive Board loaded many years of experience. The Boston Metro Local is as strong as it has been for years. Iíd like to welcome three new faces to the Executive Board Ė Dale Denham as Director Human Relations, and Paul Holland and Linda Cheevers as Clerk Craft Trustees. All three have years of experience which will only strengthen our local.

Congratulations to Dennis Avery as he assumes his new position as Assistant Treasurer. The following will remain in their positions on the Executive Board: Marie Allouise as Recording Secretary, Bob Waterhouse as the Director of Organization, Legislation & Education, Bruce Pearson as Sergeant-at-Arms, Matt Dodd as Director Mechanized Distribution, Clerk Craft Trustees John Tobin and Dan Gonsalves, Maintenance Craft Trustee Joe Joyce, and M.V.S. Craft Trustee Ned Hogan.

Along with Area V.P.s Ray Bell, Barry Holland, Bob White, John Uccello and John Milso, it is safe to say representation for our members is strong. Our local is also blessed with outstanding chief stewards such as Matt Dodd (Northwest Boston), Bob Waterhouse (Cambridge), and George Tarquinio, John Tobin, and Dan Gonsalves (all of whom are located in the GMF).

I would like to take the time to thank all the hard working stewards for all their hard work and fighting the fight that never ends. With all this experience, how can any president fail? Thanks to all the station and branch stewards: Tony Cerasuolo, Erik Bridgeman, Rosemary Mullin, Dorothy Sorocco, Joe McCaffrey, Wanda Jackson, Bruce Pearson, Marge Henderson, Janet Gateley, Tom Long, Beverly Rudnisky, Marybeth Mayo, Marie Allouise, Tom Smith, Donna Dyer, Dale Denham, Bob Cintolo, Mary Flanagan, Dawn Ochs, Rich Sullivan, Joe Fritz, Mike Grealish, and Nick Papadinis; to all Northwest Boston stewards: Arthur Silva, Jack Wheeler, Ralph Mazzarella, and Carol Sambol; to all the GMF stewards: Rennie Paolini, Bill Cormier, Bill Thomas, Dave Tobin, Lawrence Reardon, Herb Moy, Carol Zeien, Paul Holland, Bob Farrell, and Debbie Abel; to all the Cambridge stewards: Linda Cheevers, Andy Choi, Jim Kendall, Joan McCaughey, and David Millerick; to all maintenance craft stewards: Jim Sieger, Steve Shedden, Helen Fitzgerald, Howard Holloman, Leo Hynes, Glenn Wright, Joe DiCesare, Mark Camacho, Paul DeChiara, Mike Sacchetti, Janine Regan, Joe Tropeano, Joe Joyce, Peter Veneto, Joe Dargin, James Mason and Mike Dwyer; to all M.V.S. craft stewards: Rich Rawlinson, Dennis O'Connor, Russ Hudson, Ned Hogan, Bill Elms, Duke Penison, Jim Brogan, Nick Morelli and John Gortze; and to all the 017 & 020 Associate Office stewards: Richard Merna, Chad Monagle, Ann Cronin, Steve Barrows, Cindy Bounds, Joe Lane, Janice DeMello, Mary Simpson, Wayne Magnuson, Peter Putnam, Donna Greenwood, John Wiik, Judy Tigges, and Tom Fitzgerald.

I would also like to thank John Coburn and John Jenkins for their many years of service as stewards and Executive Board members. Their hard work and dedication to Boston Metro will be missed.

As every member knows by now, union members voted by a large margin to ratify our current contract. APWU members approved a new contract May 11, with more than 75 percent of those casting in favor of ratification. This agreement will expire May 20, 2015. There were many pros and cons that left me considering yes or no to ratification. There were also many rumors throughout the country concerning the 40 hour workweek, and also the excessing language. If any brother or sister currently holds a traditional 40 hour full time position, then he or she can never be forced into a position of less than 40 hours. That is a fact! No brother or sister can be excessed more than 50 miles. In my opinion, that is as important as a raise is to others. Before this contract was ratified, any one of us could have been excessed hundreds of miles from Boston. This now cannot be done for the life of this contract.

As President Guffey states: "We were able to retain protection against layoffs, bring back thousands of jobs in each craft, and limit excessing." He goes on to say: "The agreement includes many big changes and I realize that some union activists are apprehensive. With help from the national union, I am confident that locals can implement the new provisions and protect the rights of APWU members."

I am not happy with everything in this contract, but itís my job to make sure that management does not try to completely take some of this language and abuse it. The full time officers will meet with management when they are considering any changes that affect any brother and sister. Rest assured Ė there will be no slaughter of any craft in this Local!!!! We will also hold the National APWU to their word that if they are needed to assist us in any shape or form to call them immediately.

APWU members are encouraged to contact their members of Congress and urge them to support H.R. 1351 (the USPS Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011), an important measure that would restore financial stability to the Postal Service.

This bill was introduced on April 4, 2011, by Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA). The bill would correct the overfunding of the Postal Serviceís pension accounts, and would allow the cash-strapped Postal Service to use any surplus to meet its retiree health benefits prefunding obligation. President Guffey stated: "This bill would help put the Postal Service back on track to fiscal solvency. In order to protect the USPS for the future, we need all the help we can get on Capitol Hill."

Please, brothers and sisters, I cannot stress enough to each and every member to contact your reps and ask them to support this bill. This bill (H.R. 1351), if passed, will go a long way in securing the Postal ServiceĎs future Ė if not for you, then maybe your sons or daughters.

Lastly, there is a lot of work to be done in the upcoming months. Local negotiations will begin in August for all crafts. FMLA issues are still unresolved, but I am hoping for agreements on several issues shortly.

I ask all brothers and sisters to protect your job . . . do not let another craft or non-bargaining suck pump perform your duties. We must fight for every job we now have. If you are performing mail handler duties, continue to perform them. Continue to file grievances to take back our work from any craft. Now is the time to stand up for your rights . . . withhold your labor by asking for a steward each and every time you witness a violation. Stewards cannot be there all the time, so you are our eyes and ears. The Postal Serviceís problems are due to mismanagement only . . . not the hard worker on the floor.

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FIRST QUARTER 2011 
BOSTONIAN

"DO YOUR JOB"

NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS


Excuse me for using a commonly used quote from New England Patriot head coach, Bill Belichick, when addressing his team. Every one of us knows what our job entails, but we sometimes do a little more. Donít get the wrong message with this first part of my article. All of us, whether you are an MVS employee, Maintenance employee, or Clerk, tend to go above and beyond the call of duty in regards to performing your duties as assigned. I am in no way asking anyone to stop working but only to do only what your job description entails . . . nothing more, nothing less. In case anyone has not noticed, employees of all crafts wherever you are working are probably working short-staffed on a daily basis. This trend will continue unless each and every one of us does something to change the thinking of the powers that be.

Each day as an MVS driver you are making pick-ups and drop-offs that are on your daily schedule that are extremely hard to keep up with. You are trying to keep pace with the schedule given to you; and if you donít adhere to that schedule, you are called on the carpet to explain yourself. I really do commend your efforts but I have to ask, are you really following the Standard Operating Procedure for all of your visits? Are you making sure your truck is secured when leaving your station? Are you sure the expeditor was able to perform his or her job before you left? I am requesting that each driver, once you arrive at the loading dock, to wait for an expeditor to do their job. If it takes an expeditor 20 minutes to come to your door, then wait. Expeditors are forced to run around because they too are short-staffed. If we all work together and do our job, management will have no choice but to increase the staffing if they want these runs to be on time. Itís not your fault if you are late leaving or you are late arriving to your destination.

Maintenance employees are given work orders these days that are double the amount of work previously performed. If you are a custodian, then you know what Iím talking about. The reason again is lack of staffing. All too many times because our brothers and sisters work their butts off to complete the task at hand. Management feels they have succeeded by making custodians do twice the amount of work. Again, do not run around making it unsafe to complete your work orderÖdo your job...nothing more, nothing less.

Mail processors working in automation are sometimes running machines by themselves. The question I ask is WHY? The only time this is allowed under the contract is start up and close out. If you are running a machine by yourself after start up or close out, then it is wrong of your supervisor to have you work unsafe like this. Call for your steward immediately if this occurs. Your supervisor is only running the numbers up for his benefit and his bonus. If there is one main reason not to do this itís because of your safety. Working alone is an accident waiting to happen, so please donít do it. Management continuously reverts, abolishes, and excesses mail processors on a monthly basis. If you are running around and doing more than you should, then you are helping to abolish one of your co-workersÖso please . . . do your job . . . nothing more, nothing less.

Window clerks are abused each day in our local. Window clerks know all about short-staffing. Each and every day in each station short-staffing is an on-going issue. With lines out the door in every station, and most times one clerk on the window, you still get the job done. I have never worked the window, but I know it has to be a stressful job when you look up and see 30 to 40 people staring at you and all of them have that look on their faces wondering why you are working alone. If any window clerk is ever faced with working alone, I would advise you to please take your time with all of your transactions to avoid a shortage. If you are alone and need change, then call your supervisor wherever they are and wait. Tell the customers you do not have enough change and wait until your supervisor shows up. It is not your fault Ö it is your supervisor that is at fault for leaving you there alone.

I would even request if any of your customers are upset to give them the Postmasterís number Ö Kathy Lydon in Cambridge @ (617)-575-8720, or Jim Holland in Boston @ (617)-654-5683. If you are alone and need to use the menís room or ladiesí room, ask all the customers to leave the lobby and secure the door. It is not safe for you to leave the lobby unattended for any amount of time. For your own safetyÖ do your job Ö nothing more, nothing less.

Brothers and sisters, my point in this article is to say that because you are all working above the call of duty and doing the job of two to three workers, do you think your manager appreciates it? When there were two major blizzards in December and January, did your manager pay you for the days without an AWOL? Does your manager grant you paid leave for an accepted FMLA condition? Does your manager ask for evidence each and every time you are out? Does your manager give you overtime when your section is short-staffed? Does your manager take care of you and abolish everyone else in your section except you? Now you are getting my point. It doesnít matter how hard you work . . . nothing will change how you are treated. Please do your best but remember Ö DO YOUR JOB Ö NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS.

Lastly, all of us have been watching the news lately concerning another union busting Republican Governor in Wisconsin. This, my brothers and sisters, is a wake-up call for all of us. We all must do our part to let our voices be heard. Please donít wait until itís too late to be heard. Contact your representatives to voice your concerns about union busting and collective bargaining. We are fortunate to be in a blue state, but one never knows what lurks out there. If there is a rally in your city, please find the time to attend and let your voices be heard.

Across this great country the unions are coming together to halt this attack. We all stand united but this time all of us are needed to stand together in this fight. The Republican Party and Tea Party are out to destroy unions and take away our rights. If anyone does not believe that, then you are living in another world. Everything we have in our contract is because of the American Postal Workers Union. All of our benefits were negotiated because of collective bargaining. PleaseÖjoin all of your brothers and sisters from all parts of this great country and LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD!!!!!!

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INJURED AT WORK? A TRAUMATIC INJURY?
DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO?

The most common injury is the traumatic injury. This is defined as a wound or other condition of the body that is caused by external force, including stress, identifiable in time and place, and that is the result of an incident or a series of incidents that occur during a single workday.

Example: You are working at your case and your supervisor approaches you and starts yelling at you in a very loud voice in front of all your co-workers. If this action causes you to be stressed at that time, then this is a traumatic injury.

Why? Because this one incident occurred in a single workday and you can identify the time and place. In all stress claims, it is very important that you have witnesses to back your claim that your supervisor yelled at you.

Example: You were lifting a heavy package or just dispatching heavy tubs on a machine and felt a sharp pain in your back or legs. This is also a traumatic injury.

Why? At 11:00PM, you were lifting a tub or package and felt this pain. You can identify the time and place of this incident, so this is a true traumatic injury.

The most important part of a traumatic injury that I hope you remember is if you know when the injury occurs and what you were doing at that time . . . then you know itís a traumatic injury.

NOW THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS ARTICLE:

After you know you are injured, it is your responsibility to report the injury immediately to your supervisor. This means any injury, for example, paper cut, an insect bite, a scratch anywhere on your body, muscle pull, dust in your face, slipping on anything on the floor, food poisoning in the cafeteria, and even having a jitney hit you.

A. If your supervisor knows his job, he will have you fill out a CA-1, Notice of a Traumatic Injury, and Claim for C.O.P. Donít let the supervisor tell you to wait a couple of hours to see how you feel. The single biggest mistake people make is not reporting the injury and thinking the injury is not serious. The next day you wake up and canít get out of bed because of pain. You go to work and finally report the injury to your supervisor and he will say to you, "Why didnít you report it yesterday?". You will now be disciplined, and your claim will be controverted. Donít make this mistake. Report any injury immediately to your supervisor.

B. There will be a box titled C.O.P. on the CA-1 that you should check off in case after your doctorís visit he should disable you for a day or a month. C.O.P. is Continuation of Pay so your pay will not be interrupted just as if you were still working each day. You are entitled to 45 days C.O.P. when claiming a traumatic injury.

C. If your injury is not an emergency (any bleeding, heart attack, eye injury, broken bones, or just anything that stops you from driving your car), then you should call your doctor for an appointment, or go to the same hospital where your treating physician practices, and go to the emergency room for treatment. You should never go to any postal contract physician if itís not an emergency. If you are told you have to go to their doctor . . . call for a steward immediately !!! If you are forced to go to their doctor, never make a follow-up appointment. Tell the contract physician that they can examine you, but not treat you. Go to your own doctor !!! The second doctor will now become your treating physician.

Example: Itís 1:00AM, and you hurt your back lifting a tray in automation. Report it to your supervisor, fill out a CA-1 and check off C.O.P. If you can drive and walk OK, then go to your hospital of choice. Go to the emergency room and make a follow-up appointment with your own doctor.

D. There are two forms you should be given to take to your doctor by your supervisor.

1. CA-20, "Attending Physicians Report". Your primary care physician should fill this form out after he treats you. The CA-20 should have a diagnosis. If youíre disabled, the CA-20 should state how long, and it must be signed by a doctor Ė not a nurse.

2. CA-16, "Authorization for Examination and/or Treatment". This form will let your doctor know any treatment given to you will be paid by the Department of Labor for sixty (60) days. This form only comes with a CA-1 and when you are going to see your doctor or your own emergency room on the same night of your injury. Your supervisor is obligated to give you this form within four hours of your injury. All you have to do is state, "I donít want to be treated by the Postal Serviceís doctor; Iím going to my doctor or hospital today or tonight". The CA-16 must be filled out by your supervisor with the hospitalís name on it before you leave work for treatment. If your supervisor does not give you one, ask for a steward before you leave for treatment. Most supervisors do not have a clue what a CA-16 is, nor where to find one.

E. Once you receive treatment from a physician and he fills out the CA-20 disabling you from work, it is very important you get the evidence in within ten (10) days of filling the CA-1. If this deadline is not met, you will not receive C.O.P. Once again . . . if disabled . . . medical evidence must be turned in within ten (10) days with a diagnosis, and signed by a doctor (not a nurse).

F. To be eligible for C.O.P., the form CA-1 must be submitted within thirty (30) days of your traumatic injury. I canít stress enough how important it is to notify your supervisor for any injury immediately - and just as important to fill out the paper work for the injury as soon as possible.

HEREíS A RECAP ON WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A TRAUMATIC INJURY:

Notify your supervisor of your injury immediately.

Fill out a CA-1 - and check off C.O.P.

A filled-out CA-20 with a diagnosis and signed by a doctor - not a nurse.

A filled-out CA-16 by your supervisor

Medical evidence disabling you must be in within ten (10) days of a completed CA-1.

A CA-1 must be turned in within thirty (30) days of the injury to be eligible for C.O.P. (Continuation of Pay).

A recent change to C.O.P. requires all employees - if C.O.P. is chosen - that for the first three (3) days, all employees must use their own leave. However, if anyone is disabled for fourteen (14) consecutive days, an adjustment will be made to retrieve your three (3) days of leave. The adjustment will show all days absent will be C.O.P.

I hope this article will help you if you are ever injured at work. Your supervisor should know what to do, but in most facilities, supervisors do not want to do the paperwork. Itís their job to help you when you are injured. Donít let anyone talk you out of filling out a CA-1. You have to protect yourself because no one else will. I am tired of getting the same call day after day, "I got hurt two weeks ago and didnít report it because I didnít think it was anything bad". Please, donít make that mistake. If youíve learned anything from this article, it is to report your injury immediately to your supervisor.

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FOURTH QUARTER 2010 BOSTONIAN ISSUE

SEASONS GREETINGS!!


Before I get into my article I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! The past year has been a difficult year for a lot of us and one can only hope "2011" will be one that we can finally say,
"What a great year!". Holidays are meant to be a special time with family and friends. I hope this holiday season all of us come away with memories that will last a life time.

I donít have one specific item to write about so I will touch on several different topics that may affect several people. At the time of my article, November 15, contract negotiations are well under way with APWU President Burrus and Postmaster General Potter. President Burrus will be our chief spokesperson at these negotiations until November 12th. Starting November 13th newly elected President Guffey will be leading us at the bargaining table. I have the utmost respect for President Guffey that he will bring home a new contract with terms and conditions that all of us can accept.

The last update as of November 2nd was not of one with high hopes. Postal management presented its economic proposal, which would establish employeesí wages and benefits for the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. President Burrus was shocked, as he put it, that the proposal "would destroy 20 years of progress." President Burrus goes on to state Postmaster General Potter states he intends to protect current employees by "grandfathering" their wages, and imposing lower pay and benefits on future employees.

President Burrusís words to the membership are . . . "there is zero possibility that the union will agree to wage cuts". Hopefully by the time the Bostonian hits the streets, the Postal Service will have engaged in serious talks about the terms and conditions of a new contract. As usual, any member can call the union office for updated info concerning contract negotiations or visit www.apwu.org.

 

The Postal Service loves to cry and state that they are going broke and blame all their problems with the Unions. Do you think at the bargaining table the Postal Service brought up how the USPS paid millions of dollars for contract violations? At least $250 million in 2008, and $179 million in 2009. Does it take a rocket scientist to realize if management would stop violating our contract that they could save money? Itís so simple, isnít it?

Can anyone control the manager in Braintree who keeps extending PTR hours Ė which he knows is a violation of the collective bargaining agreement? This is the same manager who for years has been farmed out to several different Postal Facilities in an attempt to hide him. As far as I am concerned, he is a low life bully that has no place in a position of authority. I just wish someone - just for one time - could do the right thing and fire an idiot like this person to show Zero Tolerance is for all employees Ė and not just the bargaining unit employees.

Can anyone control a manager in Vehicle Maintenance who contracts work out at a higher price when we have M.V.S. Craft employees who can do the job - even on overtime - and still save the Postal Service money?

Can anyone control an MVS manager who picks and chooses what days to operate the bus from the A street parking lot? Even after informing this manager the plant has several disabled employees who cannot walk the distance from the lot to the GMF, he just gives a blank stare into outer space. I remember a time when people cared about people, but those days are long gone. This same individual stated Ė why would I bring someone in to drive a bus on overtime? Do you think he would say that if it was his family member?

Can anyone control a tour one manager at the Northwest Facility who has absolutely no clue about anything? He violates the contract day in and day out; he is responsible for employees receiving extra money in their checks because of his countless violations. He is also responsible for harassing employees with certified FMLA conditions, and continues to do this. I have never seen a manager disliked as much as this guy Ė or let me change that . . .
hated like this guy. Bob Keough and I were at the Northwest Facility one night to speak to all tour employees. This manager thought he was going to stay and listen to the union speak to the members. Once it became know he was there, we threw his ass out and everyone in that meeting stood and applauded. Thatís when I realized he is another useless, heartless, uneducated idiot.

The only way to deal with this moron is to file a 
grievance every time he violates your rights. Maybe one day Charles in Charge will say "Enough is Enough" with these incompetent managers.

A subject that is always on our minds is retirement and what decisions we may have to make just to plan our retirement. The APWU Retirees Department is there and always available to all members to help. If you have any questions regarding military buy-back, disability retirement, Social Security, Medicare, part-time regular calculations, supplemental annuity, cost-of-living adjustments, reporting death claims, Windfall Elimination and Government Pension Offset, or any other questions pertaining to planning your retirement, please email this department at RetireeQandA@apwu.org.  They will gladly assist you in every way possible.

I must warn all employees who may have to call in to report an absence. The Postal Service is now allowing your immediate supervisor to call your home to inform you to provide evidence for your absence. This is wrong! The only time a call to your home is allowed is in an emergency - or an overtime call. If your supervisor calls you, please ask for a steward as soon as you report to work on your next scheduled work day. Better yet, do not answer the phone if you recognize the number. This is simply a way to harass you so you may think about not calling in the next time. We will fight this all the way to arbitration.

When requesting a day off under the local agreement, all employees know they must fill out a 3971. I am only getting complaints from clerks on this issue so I will focus on language dealing with clerks. The exact language in the local agreement states: Clerksí requests for leave other than for an emergency, or choice/non-choice vacation, shall be submitted on form 3971 at least 48 hours in advance. Such requests must be acted on within 48 hours. When more than one request is received, seniority will be the determining factor in allowing leave regardless of whether the leave requested is annual or lwop. If management does not adhere to this, please ask for a steward.

Lastly, I want to thank all the hard working stewards and Area VPs for putting up with me and making me look good. It
ís been a tough year for all of us, and I know and see all the hard work each one of you puts in. I see all the extra hours off the clock and cell phone bills that the membership does not see. Your hard work makes me work harder but, most of all, I am honored to work with the best of the best and to be part of the Boston Metro APWU which is the best local in the country Öbar none. Our local is lucky to have the leadership we have in all crafts. It goes without saying but MVS and Maintenance have two leaders who work above and beyond. I am talking about Bill Weaver and Wayne Greenside.

Please keep your thoughts and prayers for all our service men and women when you are enjoying the holidays. Veteransí Day has come and gone but our country is in good hands. This country has over 27 million veterans, and growing each day.  If you see a soldier in uniform at the mall or airport . . . thank him or her and watch the look on their faces. Believe me, you will make their day and you will walk away feeling better also.

Again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! Letís bring on 2011 and high hopes for a better life for all Postal Workers!!!!


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THIRD QUARTER 2010 BOSTONIAN ISSUE


                 A  HISTORIC  CONVENTION

I canít believe the summer is over with the fall and winter fast approaching us. Our National Officers are currently into contract negotiations as you read this article. I wish I could say I was optimistic and that we would get a great contract with a big raise. There is probably a better chance of a tidal wave in the deserts of Las Vegas. Letís keep our fingers crossed and hope that if an Arbitrator has the final say in settling our contract, that he or she does the right thing and rewards us with a fair contract that all of us (except scabs) deserve. The Boston Metro will keep all of our members up to date with information concerning the on-going negotiations.

During the week of August 21st ĖAugust 28th, I attended the National Convention in Detroit, Michigan. It was an historic convention since the convention was the last chaired by President Burrus. President Burrus, as you know, is retiring at the end of his term this year. He deserves a lot of credit for many of the benefits that all members now enjoy. The delegates at the National Convention gave President Burrus a well deserved send off as he said goodbye to the delegates for the last time. I can only hope whoever is this great unionís leader can walk the same walk and talk the same talk as President Burrus did during his Presidency.

Many important resolutions were voted on by the delegates, such as dues increases, 204B issues, health premiums, and the financial status of our own Union. You, the membership, should know that all of your elected delegates take their responsibility as a delegate seriously. Several of the elected delegates stayed an extra day (Saturday) to attend workshops that would add more valuable skills to help in the fight to combat management. You, the member, should also know that these delegates used their own annual leave or leave without pay to attend the convention. I would like to thank all the delegates for attending the National Convention and representing Boston Metro. The delegates who attended were: Janice DeMello, Linda Cheevers, Barry Holland, Raymond Bell, Joe Joyce, Jack Wheeler, Mike McDonald, and Moe Lepore.

One of my favorite nights at the Convention was when I had the honor to meet many foreign Postal Workers from around the World, such as Egypt, Bulgaria, Sweden, Portugal, Norway, Poland, England, Russia, Greece, Argentina, Spain, Canada, and Switzerland. I was given the opportunity to attend this important function by Sue Carney. Sue is our National Human Relations Director who works tirelessly for all of our veterans, injured workers, and any postal worker who needs some type of assistance. I was completely amazed when all of these foreign Postal Workers spoke about their respective post offices in their countries. We all have one thing in common Ö management sucks everywhere! In Russia Ė people were being excessed. In Spain Ė there were abolishments. In Bulgaria Ė many employees had hour changes without notice, and almost all countries had short staffing. The one question I wanted to ask the Russian union was if they excess you in Russia, where do they send you? (That was a joke)

The Convention was held in Detroit during a time in which this city needed us to help with their economy. I attended another Convention many years ago in Detroit when the city of Detroit was booming. The auto industry was in full swing and unemployment was low. I was saddened and shocked to see what has happened to the city of Detroit. Unemployment is 35% in Detroit itself. Downtown was empty from pedestrians and cars.

The part that saddened me the most was the sight of many homeless veterans in wheel chairs. These were veterans from the Vietnam War, and it made me wonder what is going to happen to our returning disabled vets from the current war. It is time to bring our sons and daughters home and out of harmís way. The United States has to take care of our own instead of others. I am a veteran and as Patriotic as anyone, but after seeing these vets in the streets, visiting the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington DC, and looking at 19 year old kids in wheel chairs, I have to say . . . ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! I am sorry if I offended anyone and I know this is a Union paper, but that is only my opinion. OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST:

Grievances are picking up concerning management performing bargaining unit work. I am happy to see that, and it tells me all crafts are fed up with management. We must all stick together and realize all of management is not your friend. They will abolish and excess you in a heartbeat. If it came down to you or them if one person had to stay, who do you think it would be?

Do not let any supervisor or manager perform your job duties even if they are your friends . . . and if they are your friends, then you need to find better friends. Grievances are won at Step 2 and Step 3 for large sums of money for these violations. Please continue to withhold your labor and this can be done by asking for a steward each and every time you witness a contract violation. You pay union dues for job security, so please stand up for your rights. I know itís tough sometimes when you work for a manager on tour-1 in the GMF who is not tall enough to even ride on a roller coaster. Heís a punk and a bully, but somehow upper management allows this bully to stay on as a manager. Do not allow this bully to scare you Ö fight back and file grievance after grievance against this idiot.

In maintenance, on tour-3, I know itís tough working for a supervisor who has no clue about how to treat anyone with respect. He came from another District because he sucked there too. Now we must deal with this idiot and we will, believe me. He does not respect the union here in Boston and even posted a cartoon in his office proudly displaying this cartoon to show it. The cartoon was of a sheriff holding a gun and a sign about unions. Do you think you or I would be allowed to post such a cartoon in our work area? Again, proof positive a double standard exists in the Post Office. This idiot should have been put out on the streets just like you or I would have been. Our national office is aware of this guy so he will be hearing from them soon. Do not let this moron intimidate you for any reason.

Lastly, a reminder that NRP is still here and will always be here. Please remember to report any and all injuries to your supervisor immediately Ė no matter how small it is. I still receive many calls from members who thought that bump was nothing when it happened, but need medical assistance months later. Do not let your supervisor fill out your IOD forms (CA-1 / CA-2). He will put in his own words describing your injury. Please get copies of everything you fill out for your protection down the road.

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SECOND QUARTER 2010 BOSTONIAN ISSUE

                     O.W.C.P. UPDATES


The first New England States Convention was held the last weekend in April. I attended a class taught by Human Relations Director, Sue Carney, which was titled OWCP/ NRP and Human Relations Department Updates. There were many important updates concerning the injured worker so in this article I will go over a few of them.

COLA Ė Effective March 1, 2010, the Consumer Price Index OWCP COLA adjustment is 3.4% for FECA. The base month for comparison is December (from Dec 08 to Dec 09). FECA Bulletin #10-02.

PHARMACY PROVIDERS Ė On December 1, 2009, DOL implemented a new policy for processing Schedule II drugs for claimants who are identified as recipients of the FECA Program.

http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dfec/pharmacy-schedule-11-policy.htm

AMA GUIDE Ė The division of Federal Employees Compensation has informed us that a new 6th edition of the AMA "Guides" has been published. OWCP formally converted to the new "Guide" on May 1, 2009. This edition will be used in all schedule awards.

PROVIDER SEARCH Ė A new feature called the Provider Search is being offered to help claimants generate a custom list of providers by entering criteria that describes what they are looking for. When searching the database, the search may include the program name, provider type, specialty, provider name, city, state, and zip code. You can access the new web feature on the ACS web portal web page by connecting through DREC>e-tools.

New Billing Requirements for OWCP Programs - Providers (excluding Pharmacy) must bill with their ACS OWCP provider number in box 33 of OWCP-1500 of OWCP-04. If the number is not on the form, your bill will be returned.

CA FORMS Ė It is important to note the USPS system populates CA forms, and the USPS methodology requires the employee to dictate information to the supervisor who will then type the remaining information onto the forms. Members should be apprised that they have the right to refuse the system completed /generated form. Members may demand a blank copy of the CA forms to complete and sign on their own. Forms completed by hand must be accepted. Do not let your supervisor fill out your CA forms for common sense reasons. They do not have your best interest at heart and, in my opinion, will mess it up.

PHASE II NRP Ė As many of you know, this Phase has already hit the Boston Metro. It will impact all limited duty employees and those MMI (rehab) employees who have not yet gone through Phase II. It is our belief the USPS is testing this new protocol because existing NRP has not yielded the results the company was looking for. Additionally, "early out" is also not producing the yield USPS had calculated, in addition to decrease in mail volume. The Postal Service will do whatever is possible to reduce the payroll, and now the catch of the day is Ö all limited duty members. I will remind all members again that the days of coming back to work with restrictions are over. If you are injured at work, in my opinion, it is better for you to stay out of work until you are 100% healthy to resume working your bid.

Recently our local gained nine new stewards. I would like to thank Carol Sambol (Northwest Boston Carrier Annex), Dorothy Sorocco (Braintree DMU), Jim Kendall (Central Sq., Cambridge), Steve Barrows (Framingham), Dave Tobin (Tour-1, GMF), Rich Sullivan (Union Sq., Somerville), Mark Henderson (Maintenance @ Northwest Boston), Tom Long (East Weymouth) and Nick Papadinis (West Roxbury) for stepping up to the plate to help the membership. Itís a thankless job but these dedicated members decided the time was right to step up and represent you, the member.

Lastly, I want to speak to non-members that I know either read the Bostonian or read our articles on-line. First I have to ask Öwhy are you reading a union newspaper? How can you work next to a dues paying member and not feel guilty? We (the union) are in for the fight of our lives with the upcoming contract negotiations. Please donít tell me or anyone else that the union does nothing for you, or youíre just mad at a certain steward. That is BULL, and you know it!!! If you could give an honest answer, you would admit you are just too cheap to pay. You want the other person to pay so you get a free ride like you have for many years.

The Postal Service is attacking all of us by reduction in staffing, getting rid of injured workers, increased discipline, completely ignoring FMLA laws, and excessing up to 500 miles away. So you, the non-member, sit by and watch all of this happen to your co-workers, thinking it will never happen to you because you are the management suck-pump. I donít know how any non-member can cash their check and not feel guilty! Everything on your paycheck was negotiated by the American Postal Workers Union. I have an idea . . . from now on Ė when you cash your check, walk in backwards and donít show your face. I know I could not work next to my co-workers without being embarrassed.

Again, why are you reading this article? You know whyÖ.you are too cheap!!!! The time has come for you, the non-member, to man up and join the APWU. The time has come for you, the non-member, to stop riding the backs of your co-workers and getting all benefits for nothing and, last but not least  . . .  stop reading the articles that union sisters and brothers pay their hard earned union dues for.

Do the right thing  . . .  Join the APWU and stop making excuses  . . .  because no one believes them!!!

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FIRST QUARTER 2010 ISSUE

THE END OF AN ERA, A NEW BEGINNING


This is an article I thought I would never write during my term as your Director of Industrial Relations. My last article with Moe Lepore as my President. Even just mentioning it sounds so surreal. How can the Boston Metro Local not have Moe Lepore as its leader? As many of you know, Moe is leaving us on April 1st, 2010, so he may devote all of his time and energy to run for office at the national level in Washington D.C... Moe has picked the perfect job for someone with so much fire and energyÖthe job of organizing as many non-members as possible. Can you imagine someone in Texas that has never met Moe? After Moe speaks to that non-member, he or she will be ready to jump off the nearest bridge for our union.

In all seriousness, Moe has been my friend for 30 years and hasnít changed his passion for this Union even the slightest bit. He always had the fire in the belly that will continue to burn in Washington, DC. Many of us remember some little guy running around the G.M.F., looking for any supervisor or manager to explain how exactly the contract is to be followed. Sometimes it took more than a few words from Moe to explain it but most times it took Moeís finger in the face of that manager to get the word of the Union across. Before I really knew Moe I wondered, who is that guy with the Red Sox hat? It didnít take too much more time for me to realize he symbolizes what being a unionist is all about. The first time I attended a union meeting I witnessed Moe giving one of his speeches about management doing our work. He stood up and yelled "FIGHT THE DRAGON" and take back our Service. At that point I was ready to kick some management ass.

It has been an honor to work with Moe as a steward and now as a full-time officer. Many people really donít know what kind of person Moe really is. Besides being a close friend, I respect him even more for being a great father to his son, Daniel. Daniel is in his mid- 20ís now and each and every week Moe and Daniel spend time with each other. As much as Moe is devoted to this Union, he would tell you he is a dad first and a President second. I would ask that any member that would like to say good bye to Moe to try to attend his last meeting in March. Please look for the bulletin for the date and time.

It is sad but this is the end of an era. I canít picture April 1st and coming to work without Moe. We will get on with business that day but it just wonít be the same. I say to you . . . Moe, "Good Luck for I know this is only the beginning of your next chapter in this Union. There is no doubt in my mind you will win your next election and make us all proud". Washington has been lucky lately, our loss has been their gain. Weíve lost many great unionists over the years such as Steve Albanese, Jim McCarthy, Richard Boutwell, and Steve Lukosus. Needless to say we have our pick of whom to call when we need a question answered.

Now for the New Beginning, As of April 1st Bob Dempsey will be our new President. Bob will have his work cut out for him trying to fill Moeís shoes. I know he will continue Moeís fire in our local and will also continue to bang on doors on the 4th floor when needed. Myself and clerk craft president Bob Keough will work side by side with our new president and assist him in any way we can. Brothers and Sisters, we have a strong local that will only get stronger in the upcoming years. Times are tough as we all know, but let me make this very clear . . . if the Plant Manager, District Manager, and Postmaster feel that we are weakened without Moe, then they will be severely mistaken. The agenda of the Boston Metro is very clear. We will fight anyone tooth and nail each minute they violate our contract or try to harm any employee.

Iím happy 2009 is behind us and at the same time hoping 2010 will be a better year. With the early outs or early retirements, our local lost approximately 250 members. That is a huge decline in membership which now brings us down to fewer than 2200 members. One has to wonder why do we have so many grievances with fewer members? The vast majority of grievances lately have been staffing problems throughout the district. All crafts are now understaffed. Our maintenance brothers and sisters that own custodial jobs are now working as elevator operators for full 8 hour tours. One has to wonder, who is cleaning the routes if custodians are running elevators? There is already a rodent problem in almost every building now so why are we not cleaning the way we should? Does somebody need a dope slap in Maintenance?

I know I donít need to remind all brothers and sisters to work in a safe manner. All crafts are now working understaffed while at the same time doing more work. Please do not try to perform the duties of three people. Your manager is hoping you continue to perform the work of three people to show upper management he or she was justified in cutting jobs. If you are working on the platform Ė please follow the S.O.P. with every arriving truck. If you are a truck driver Ė please wait for the expediter at your door and please also follow the S.O.P. Management knows you are going the extra mile to stick to your routes but taking short cuts to perform your duties could back fire. If you do not follow the S.O.P. and something does happen such as an injury or an unsecured load on the truck falls out the back door onto the street, you and I both know who will take the fall for this. I donít care if every truck is delayed one hour each to follow the S.O.P. That is the way it must be until the platform is properly staffed. Please do not put your job at risk taking short cuts.

Do I need to tell any window clerk about working understaffed? Shortage grievances are hitting my desk at a record clip. This is a major concern to all of us. Again, window clerks are trying to do the work of three people after all the job cuts. Please take your time with each transaction on your window. If you look up and see 100 people in line ,do not rush. The Postal Service always states in every Letter of Demand that the employee did not exercise reasonable care in their duties. Basically that means they feel you are not watching what you are doing. Can you imagine the Postmaster or District Manager standing in front of 40 angry customers? Please take your time and do your job the way you were trained Ö nothing more and nothing less.

I would respectfully ask all window clerks to please work the window. If you donít, you are only helping management to cut - if not your job - then someone elseís. There are too many sweetheart deals in some offices such as Fort Point Station; that has to stop! We are all in this together which means we should have each otherís back. Do not let your supervisor play favorites. Everyone should be treated the same. Donít you think management loves it when clerks stab each other in the back? How some of these people are allowed to stay on as supervisors always amazes me. We are at the bottom of the barrel with supervisors. . . go no further than Fort Point Station. There is one supervisor that is not capable of supervising a cemetery.

I would like to remind all brothers and sisters their rights when it comes to being interviewed by Postal Inspectors and the O.I.G. I am amazed at how many brothers and sisters do not ask for union representation when approached by these people. It is your responsibility to request representation immediately after these agents identify themselves. They will try to convince you that itís no big deal for you to speak to them and itís also in your best interest to answer their questions without delay. Please do not fall for this tactic!!! You have rights. I hate it when someone states they spoke to them because they have nothing to hide. That maybe so but they may twist your answers around and even ask you to take a lie detector test.

Never ever submit to a polygraph test.

Please remember these words when approached by these guys. "I request the presence of my APWU representative before I will speak to you".

Lastly, I trained five new stewards recently and I would like to thank each one for stepping up to the plate to help their brothers and sisters in our struggle. The new stewards are: Donna Dyer, Mary Beth Mayo, Tanya Svenson, David Arruda, and Chad Monagle. There is no doubt in my mind these five new stewards will be strong unionists that all members they represent will be proud of. I look forward to working with each one and wish them the best of luck.

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November/December 2009

                    Home For the Holidays ?


First and foremost let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! This past year has been a very difficult one for many of us. I canít remember a year that has been filled with so many ups and downs. Hopefully all of us can spend time with our families and loved ones and that will help us all to forget all the depressing days that we all have been through. I only wish that "2010" will bring each and every one of us good health for our families, close friends, and co-workers.


Since my last article, as everyone knows by now, several things have taken place. Many brothers and sisters have taken advantage of the early out to get on with another part of their lives. It must be a great feeling to know when your last work day will be. I look forward to waking up one day and realizing . . . Wow, this is it!! That day for me is still a few years away but at least I can dream, canít I? The good thing is many members have retired, but the bad news is we have lost many members. The Boston Metro Local at one time was up to around 5,600 members and now, if weíre lucky, we may have at this writing around 2,200 members.

One would think that the grievance activity would lessen with fewer members, but itís the opposite . . . there are more grievances now than ever and, to be honest, I see grievances picking up in 2010 where it left off in 2009. You and I both know with all the retirements that the Postal Service will do their best to make you work a little harder with less help.


As of today Phase Two of the National Reassessment has hit town. I thought it may be several more months before this phase would come to Boston but now that the next phase is here, itís here to stay. Phase Two is a little different from the first phase where it only dealt with employees that are injured with permanent restrictions. Now, Phase Two lumps all injured employees - regardless of permanent or temporary - together as one.Let me give you an example of how this next phase will work. If any member suffers an on the job injury during the night on a single work shift, or has an ongoing problem and now files an I.O.D., that employee will be automatically be put into the N.R.P. At the time of any injury, all employees must fill out the proper forms (CA-1 or CA-2) and seek medical help if needed.

The problem I see in the future for all employees who suffer an injury is if your physician, after his examination, states you now have restrictions.

If these restrictions prohibit any employee from performing their respective bid assignment, in my opinion, you have a very good chance of going home until you are fully recovered. Many current injured employees have for the past several weeks been placed on standby in a room for 8 hours. In my opinion, this was done solely to make it look like there is no available work for anyone with restrictions. How can someone be gainfully employed for months performing manual jobs such as headcase, return to sender mail, and other various assignments, while recovering from an injury or illness? Are we to believe that this work went away overnight?

Every manager is required to make every effort under Phase Two to try to locate work for any injured or light duty employee throughout the district, and even look for available work in other crafts. This pecking order can be found in chapter 546 of the ELM. I can predict all brothers and sisters will be told by their manager that they are trying to find available work for you but, believe me, this couldnít be further from the truth. I feel that in most cases most of the injured or light duty employees not working their bid assignment will not have a job identified by management that can be performed under their restrictions. This is a fact and donít let anyone tell you otherwise. The purpose of Phase Two is to force everyone back to full duty or, better yet, to start the process of getting as many employees off the rolls as soon as possible.

If any employee is identified as being placed in the Phase Two Process and at that time is asked to update their medical restrictions, please do so. Obviously if any employee is getting better, please show that you are on the road to recovery on the proper form (CA-17) and also when you are expected to resume full duty. At some point in this process - if you cannot resume full duty, chances are that you will be called in for an interview concerning your status.

At this interview an employee could either receive a new 2499 (modified job offer), or be told there is no available work at this time. I strongly advise any employee who is called into the managerís office to be interviewed, that you ask for union representation immediately. If presented with a new 2499, please read it carefully to make sure the offer is at least 4 hours and within your restrictions. If the job offer is less than 4 hours, then the job is not a suitable job offer.

I expect in most interviews the employee will be told the Postal Service is unable to find work under the employeesí work restrictions. At that time the employee will be told to fill out a CA-2a and given several options such as, choose C.O.P., fill out a 3971taking leave of your choice, or fill out a CA-7 to be compensated by the Dept. of Labor. If by some miracle available work is located but only for 4 hours a day, you will still have to take some type of leave for the remainder of the day. At that Phase Two interview if a member decides not to take the job offer of 4 hours a day, you will be told to leave the building and report back to work your next scheduled work day to see if any work can be identified.

Brothers and Sisters, as you can tell, the Postal Service is looking for any way they can to reduce the payroll. At this point they are attacking anyone that is ill or injured. I would advise any employee from now on Ė if you are injured at work Ė stay out of work with supporting medical evidence until you are completely healthy to perform your respective bids. The days of coming back as soon as possible with restrictions are over. Management can tell you what they want, but the truth is they have their marching orders under this phase.

I will be here to answer any and all questions concerning Phase Two, so please call with your concerns at any time. I guess the Postal Service thought this new phase would be a great Christmas gift for all injured and light duty employees. I can just picture all the managers on the 4th floor in a meeting talking to each other . . . "How can we mess up Christmas for some of our loyal postal employees? Oh I know . . . letís send them home and not pay them for the holidays". At that time a 6 ft 3 in. Scrooge stood up and said with a smile . . . "NOW THATíS WHAT IíM TALKING ABOUT".

Itís so sad that we have people in this building running this company into the ground and who do they blame it on? We have the Manager of Customer Relations giving a pizza party for all the chosen suck pumps to celebrate, as she put it, their "amazing accomplishments during FY 2009". They not only had a pizza party, but hidden prizes! Are we in the 4th grade here or what? I know most everyone feels the same way I do about pizza parties from their managers . . . They can take the pizza and stuff it where the sun donít shine!!! So much for the Postal Service having a deficit (7 Billion) since this pizza party came out of its funds.

Lastly, itís been a quick year in office and I can say with all certainty I am no longer a rookie. I am so lucky to be here as your voice, and I will continue to force management to adhere to the contract.

I want to thank all the people who make me look good Ė all the Area VPs . . . Ray Bell, Bob White, Barry Holland, John Milso, John Uccello, and Bob Waterhouse, who is the Cambridge step 2 advocate. I also want to say "Thanks" to the Chief Stewards, John Coburn, George Tarquinio, John Tobin, Dan Gonsalves and Matt Dodd. I canít mention every steward but I want to say "Thanks" to all of them for their hard work at representing the membership. Itís not an easy job but these people stepped up to fight the fight and do a great job.

All of these stewards are responsible for winning the membership thousands of dollars this past year because of the grievances they filed and won. I urge every brother and sister to file grievances if you see a violation. We as a union must do more to protect our job security. All crafts are doing more work with less help and thus supervisors and managers are performing more craft work. They will act like they are giving you a hand but if you allow this to happen, this same person will be abolishing your job, stating there is not enough work. Please do not stand by and watch your manager perform your job duties. DO THE RIGHT THING . . . FILE A GRIEVANCE!!!!

                                    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
September/October 2009

          STANDING UP FOR THE WORKING MEN & WOMEN

Itís hard to believe the summer is over, did we even have one? The fall approaches with many critical issues at hand in our local. Excessing by management is everywhere and to be honest this could be just the tip of the iceberg. I would like to begin my article concerning an attack by the Postal Service on an officer/union steward. Scott Hoffman currently is a steward at the Chestnut Hill Post Office. Iím sure many members know Scott from the L.S.M. days in the GMF many years ago. If you do know Scott, you know that he is an aggressive and passionate steward to say the least. Scott is not only an officer/steward but also an arbitration advocate. If any management advocate would admit it ,they would tell they have their work cut out for them when they know they are going head to head with Scott Hoffman.

That being said, Scott has not worked a day for the Postal Service since April 22, 2009. Recently Scott has unearthed improprieties in the GMF Medical Unit concerning Fitness for Duty Exams. When the Postal Service schedules a Fitness for Duty exam for employees, the Postal Service is required to inform the employee why this exam is requested. Along with that, the Doctor which will perform the exam is also given a record or forms about the employee about to be examined. What Scott uncovered was the examining Doctor only received what the Postal Service wanted to send him or her. Many items of interest that should have been sent to the Doctor were left out obviously on purpose. To say the least, the Postal Service did this to persuade the Doctor their way and hopefully get an unfit report after the exam.

Many items sent to the Fitness for Duty doctor would be unsigned statements, records that were 20 years old, old discipline, etc. Never included in this record sent to the doctor would be copies of grievances to show the employee won his case, or statements from co-workers helping this employee and, last but not least, updated medical showing the employee has a chronic condition.


How can any employee have a chance if the Fitness for Duty physician does not have all the facts in front of him or her? After Scott confronted the Medical Unit on these issues, the attack on him began. All of a sudden Scott was scheduled for a Fitness For Duty Exam of his own. Management again sent only evidence to the Fitness for Duty doctor showing, while on union business, Scott had had heated exchanges with management over the treatment of members on the workroom floor. In all my years Iíve never seen an attack on any steward conducting union business like this attack against Scott.

The Boston Metro is not going to allow this to happen to any officer/steward without a fight. Immediately the local contacted Greg Bell, our National Director of Industrial Relations. He stated at that time since Scott was being directed to undergo a Fitness for Duty because of his union activities, that the Boston Metro should seek legal help in the fight against management. The Boston Metro took Mr. Bellís advice and contacted the localís lawyer, Shielah McCarthy. Immediately Ms. McCarthy went to court asking for an injunction to stop the proposed Fitness for Duty exam.

Presently, this is still on- going in the court system and grievance/arbitration procedure. The attack on Scott is not a Scott Hoffman issue, but an attack on our union. Scott is putting his Postal Career on the line for his union and the membership of this great local. You, the membership, should know that being a steward is not only about filing grievances. Any steward in this local would put his or her career on the line to save a memberís job.

As all members are aware by now, our General President, Moe Lepore, has decided to run for National Office in the next election. Moe will be running for the office of Director of Organization of our National Office. This came as quite a shock to us all but after the initial shock, when you think about it, the move makes sense. Moe will now be traveling across the country, hoping to sign as many non-members as he can at this time in our careers when we need to make our union as strong as we can. Can you imagine someone in Kentucky that hears Moe speak for the first time? Moe will take that fire that we all know he has hopefully to all 50 states and get as many new members as possible.

Moe has a fire for this union that is unmatched by anyone that I have met in my entire postal career. If any brother and sister could be in this office at 5:30 a.m. and see just how much Moe has accompolished before the rest of the officers are even in there to begin our day. He has more energy than the energizer rabbit and has the uncanny wisdom to predict things that are months away.

It will be a sad day when Moe leaves for Washington after his victory on election day because all of us have become accustomed to having Moe around as our leader. Vice President Dempsey will assume the office of General President at that time. To say the least, he will have his work cut out for him; but that will be the time for all officers, stewards, and the membership to keep the fire burning that Moe has already lit years ago.

On a personal note, I want to thank Moe for his leadership and his friendship. It goes without saying he is union 24/7 but most of all itís his friendship I will miss. He could be the biggest pain in the ass, donít get me wrong, but Moe would give you his last dime, drive 100 miles just to be there in your time of need, and has never said no to anyone that has needed help. No one but no one will fill Moeís shoes, but this local will go on being one of the most organized and strongest locals in this country thanks to Moe Lepore and all those who preceded him.

Lastly, if I may say a few words about Senator Ted Kennedy. It was a sad day when all of us heard of the passing of the Senator. To most of us, there has always been a Kennedy in our State. We always thought this would be the case for our lifetime. To me this is a sad ending to the Kennedy legacy and we probably will never see another Senator in our lifetime like Ted Kennedy. As many have already spoken, "Ted Kennedy was the real deal" as they say. He was union friendly, compassionate, and most of all a friend to all who needed help. Before he died he fought up to his last breath for the cause of his life, " providing health insurance for all Americans". This was the Senatorís passion and like he always said . . . "THE DREAM LIVES ON". Rest in peace, Ted.

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JULY/AUGUST 2009 BOSTONIAN

COMING ATTRACTIONS

The Postal Service unleashed a new step two phase of the National Reassessment Process which is currently in Providence, RI, at this time. This phase is labeled a Pilot Program whereby all limited duty, whether temporary or permanent, are all included. This Pilot Program is not currently slated for Boston for several months, but I felt I must warn you of its intentions.

Let me give you a couple of examples of what could happen to anyone who is on limited duty when this program comes to our local. Management, on a daily basis, will identify work they deem is necessary for anyone who is injured. If anyone is injured on the job today and fills out the paper work for the injury, that employee will automatically be put into this program.

If an injury requires any employee to have restrictions which prevents them from performing their assigned bid, management must make every effort to find work for them. Here is the scary part. If only 3 hours of work can be located within their restrictions, a Form 2499 will be filled out by their supervisor for only 3 hours of work. At that time, the injured employee will be called into an office advising them of the available work and be told to "take it or leave it". If an injured employee does not except this assignment, they will be sent home immediately. If the injured employee decides to accept the offer, they will work for 3 hours and fill out a 3971 for leave of their choice or C.O.P.

Brothers and sisters, this will be done on a daily basis for as long as you are injured. You will be told to report to your assignment on your next scheduled workday to see if there is any work to be performed within your restrictions. Again, if none can be identified, you will be sent home.

Recently, Bob Keough and I went to represent an employee at the Cohasset Post Office. We were both amazed at how the management team of so called experts knew absolutely nothing about this pilot program. They sat a brother down to explain to him he was going from working 40 hours a week to working 30 hours a week. They couldnít help him fill out the proper forms, answer any of his questions and, the worst part of all, Bob Keough and I had to explain the process to this gentleman. The woman and gentleman from management stated, and I quote, "Thank God you know all about this". In managementís own memo, it states assistance will be provided in completion of all forms along with answers to any questions. What they left out was, this assistance will come from the American Postal Workers Union due to the fact we donít have a clue what is going on!

I will update you in the near future when this next phase is scheduled to come to our local. The Postal Service is doing its best to reduce the payroll, and this is just another way to do it. Is there a day that doesnít pass when your supervisor doesnít mention the Postal Service is in serious trouble? They have been told to reduce overtime hours, paid leave and, lastly, send all injured workers home, stating there is no work available. This will also stop employees from reporting injuries. As usual, the APWU will fight all attempts to harm our members by these idiots that come up with these stupid programs. Stay tuned Ė there is more to come!

Grievance activity is way up but that doesnít surprise anyone, does it? The Boston Metro is well over 1,000 grievances filed and probably 1,000 settled grievances at the step 1 procedure. As everyone knows, the Postal Service has cut overtime to the bone and really doesnít care about staffing. All the Postmaster is concerned about is how to reduce the payroll, and this is done by cutting hours anyway he can. Window clerks continue to work alone for long periods without a break, and continue to receive discipline for not asking certain questions even if they know the customer only wants a certain service.

Maintenance has a manager who feels itís time to automate the elevators on a building that may not exist five more years. The proposed cost of this brilliant idea is around $880,000.00. This brilliant idea will eliminate 27 elevator operator jobs, therefore excessing these 27 employees to who knows where. Let me see if I understand thisÖ.we are brokeÖthatís what they tell usÖ.letís spend $880,000.00 on something that we donít need on a building we are leaving soon and, oh yes, Ö letís send 27 families out of state. Sounds like a plan concocted as this manager sat in his back yard having a beer!

They say the logic behind this is we will save money in the future getting rid of 27 employees. They will still be postal workers getting a postal check every two weeks, wonít they? Can anyone else see who is destroying this company? "Abbott and Costello" are alive and well in Boston.

MVS is still spending money at an outrageous pace on private contractors when we have qualified people to do the same job here. Yes, brothers and sisters, we are in trouble but itís not you and I who created this problem; but you are the ones paying for Abbott and Costelloís mistakes. (Iíll let you figure out who Abbott and Costello are!)

I want to thank all the area VPís and stewards for all their support. If the membership only knew just how much time and effort you put into your jobs, they would be shocked. Itís not an easy job but like they say, someone has to do it. To the membership, please do not let anyone perform your work who is not a craft employee. File a grievance when any EAS employee is performing your work. Please work your bid job on a daily basis. If you are a window clerk, please work the window. If you donít, you are only helping your manager to downsize jobs in your office. I canít stress this enough to all brothers and sistersÖ.Work your Bid!!!!

Lastly, itís been a little over one year in my first term as Director of Industrial Relations. I have to admit itís a whole different world that I have been lucky enough to be elected to. I have nothing but the utmost respect for all former officers who have held a position in this office. They always said Ė you have no idea whatís itís like until you walk in our shoes. I enjoy my job and all that comes with it. Iíve enjoyed seeing old friends and making new friends during my visits to many stations. I will never take this job for granted for I know I am lucky to hold this position.

I am honored to work with Moe Lepore, Bob Dempsey, Bob Keough, Bill Weaver, and Wayne Greenside. When I need help or advice, they are only a call away and they are always willing to help. I could name so many others but itís all a team effort that should not go unnoticed by the membership. This team is missing a key ingredient however; we now need the entire membership to help continue the fight. More than ever our jobs are getting slashed and our rights violated day in and day out.

You, the membership, are our eyes and ears in your station. You must not allow your supervisor to perform craft duties. I know a lot of members get along with their bosses but this is your career he or she is messing with. All of us need each other to make it another 30 years in this business; but if we allow business as usual, then we are doomed to fail.

                               --------------------

MAY/JUNE 2009 BOSTONIAN


           INJURED AT WORK? A TRAUMATIC INJURY?

                        DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO?

The most common injury is the traumatic injury. This is defined as a wound or other condition of the body that is caused by external force, including stress, identifiable in time and place, and that is the result of an incident or a series of incidents that occur during a single workday.

Example: You are working at your case and your supervisor approaches you and starts yelling at you in a very loud voice in front of all your co-workers. If this action causes you to be stressed at that time, then this is a traumatic injury.

Why? Because this one incident occurred in a single workday and you can identify the time and place. In all stress claims, it is very important that you have witnesses to back your claim that your supervisor yelled at you.

Example: You were lifting a heavy package or just dispatching heavy tubs on a machine and felt a sharp pain in your back or legs. This is also a traumatic injury.

Why? At 11:00PM, you were lifting a tub or package and felt this pain. You can identify the time and place of this incident, so this is a true traumatic injury.

The most important part of a traumatic injury that I hope you remember is if you know when the injury occurs and what you were doing at that time . . . then you know itís a traumatic injury.

NOW THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS ARTICLE:

After you know you are injured, it is your responsibility to report the injury immediately to your supervisor. This means any injury, for example, paper cut, an insect bite, a scratch anywhere on your body, muscle pull, dust in your face, slipping on anything on the floor, food poisoning in the cafeteria, and even having a jitney hit you.

A. If your supervisor knows his job, he will have you fill out a CA-1, Notice of a Traumatic Injury, and Claim for C.O.P. Donít let the supervisor tell you to wait a couple of hours to see how you feel.
The single biggest mistake people make is not reporting the injury and thinking the injury is not serious.
The next day you wake up and canít get out of bed because of pain. You go to work and finally report the injury to your supervisor and he will say to you, "Why didnít you report it yesterday?". You will now be disciplined, and your claim will be controverted. Donít make this mistake. Report any injury immediately to your supervisor.

B. There will be a box titled C.O.P. on the CA-1 that you should check off in case after your doctorís visit he should disable you for a day or a month. C.O.P. is Continuation of Pay so your pay will not be interrupted just as if you were still working each day. You are entitled to 45 days C.O.P. when claiming a traumatic injury.

C. If your injury is not an emergency (any bleeding, heart attack, eye injury, broken bones, or just anything that stops you from driving your car), then you should call your doctor for an appointment, or go to the same hospital where your treating physician practices, and go to the emergency room for treatment. You should never go to any postal contract physician if itís not an emergency. If you are told you have to go to their doctor . . . call for a steward immediately !!! If you are forced to go to their doctor, never make a follow-up appointment. Tell the contract physician that they can examine you, but not treat you. Go to your own doctor !!! The second doctor will now become your treating physician.

Example: Itís 1:00AM, and you hurt your back lifting a tray in automation. Report it to your supervisor, fill out a CA-1 and check off C.O.P. If you can drive and walk OK, then go to your hospital of choice. Go to the emergency room and make a follow-up appointment with your own doctor.

D. There are two forms you should be given to take to your doctor by your supervisor.

1. CA-20, "Attending Physicians Report". Your primary care physician should fill this form out after he treats you. The CA-20 should have a diagnosis. If youíre disabled, the CA-20 should state how long, and it must be signed by a doctor Ė not a nurse.

 

2. CA-16, "Authorization for Examination and/or Treatment". This form will let your doctor know any treatment given to you will be paid by the Department of Labor for sixty (60) days. This form only comes with a CA-1 and when you are going to see your doctor or your own emergency room on the same night of your injury. Your supervisor is obligated to give you this form within four hours of your injury. All you have to do is state, "I donít want to be treated by the Postal Serviceís doctor; Iím going to my doctor or hospital today or tonight". The CA-16 must be filled out by your supervisor with the hospitalís name on it before you leave work for treatment. If your supervisor does not give you one, ask for a steward before you leave for treatment. Most supervisors do not have a clue what a CA-16 is, nor where to find one.

E. Once you receive treatment from a physician and he fills out the CA-20 disabling you from work, it is very important you get the evidence in within ten (10) days of filling the CA-1. If this deadline is not met, you will not receive C.O.P. Once again . . . if disabled . . . medical evidence must be turned in within ten (10) days with a diagnosis, and signed by a doctor (not a nurse).

F. To be eligible for C.O.P., the form CA-1 must be submitted within thirty (30) days of your traumatic injury. I canít stress enough how important it is to notify your supervisor for any injury immediately - and just as important to fill out the paper work for the injury as soon as possible.

HEREíS A RECAP ON WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A TRAUMATIC INJURY:

Notify your supervisor of your injury immediately.

Fill out a CA-1 - and check off C.O.P.

A filled-out CA-20 with a diagnosis and signed by a doctor - not a nurse.

A filled-out CA-16 by your supervisor

Medical evidence disabling you must be in within ten (10) days of a completed CA-1.

A CA-1 must be turned in within thirty (30) days of the injury to be eligible for C.O.P. (Continuation of Pay).

I hope this article will help you if you are ever injured at work. Your supervisor should know what to do, but in most facilities, supervisors do not want to do the paperwork. Itís their job to help you when you are injured.

Donít let anyone talk you out of filling out a CA-1.

You have to protect yourself because no one else will. I am tired of getting the same call day after day, "I got hurt two weeks ago and didnít report it because I didnít think it was anything bad". Please, donít make that mistake. If youíve learned anything from this article, it is to report your injury immediately to your supervisor.

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Articles from Past Issues . . .
APRIL / MAY 2009 

"STAY STRONG. WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS."

My article this month will be about several topics that concern you and I. Itís no secret the Postal Service, along with the rest of America, is in deep trouble with financial woes. They are claiming we are losing money at a staggering rate each month. If anyone watches the local and national news each night, you would agree times are tough these days. Itís sad to see so many people laid off and homeless at the same time. We live in a rich country, but you wouldnít know it by seeing so many hungry and homeless children. I can only pray that with a new President who has a plan for the future that he can right the ship and bring this country back from eight terrible years of the Bush administration.

As Postal workers we enjoy many benefits that most do not have. For many years people always said "you are lucky to have a job". No one really paid attention to that comment and, if all of us admit it, we blew that comment off. We blew it off because we all were doing fine, such as 20 to 30 hours of overtime each pay period, using our leave any time we wanted; and staffing was never a concern.  Now in 2009 we are getting swamped with threats that the Postal Service will never last unless we change our ways.

All Postal Workers know just by looking around in their stations or plants that this is not your fatherís Post Office. Our office, on a daily basis, receives staffing package after staffing package which either abolish jobs or excess members. Overtime is down to almost nothing or, if we do get overtime, itís only for 20 minutes for daily, or 4 to 5 hours on an N/S day. I didnít believe a lot of the warnings from the Postal Service until I attended a Presidentsí Conference in Washington, DC, at the end of February.  At this Conference, National President Burrus gave a gloom and doom report and, to be honest, concurred with the Postal Serviceís accusations that we are in desperate times.

The comment that alarmed me during President Burrusís speech that day was the Postal Service lost $800 million dollars in January alone and at that rate no company could remain in business losing that much money long term. President Burrus also stated with a strong tone to his voice," WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS".

I guess what I am trying to say to you, brothers and sisters, is to stay strong, do your job the best you can, and know with all certainty you have a job for life. That being said, the Postal Service has no right to violate the contract they agreed on November 21, 2006. Until our contract ends on November 20th, 2010, they must adhere to the agreement in its entirety.

The Postal Service is asking our members to completely ignore our Agreement so that the Postal Service may live another day. This is bull and they know it. The real reason we are in deep trouble is due to terrible leadership from (Postmaster General) Potter down to the line supervisors. This ship is slowly sinking only because they are overspending and wasting funds every day on needless things such as useless machines that are tossed in dumpsters within months, bonuses for special people ( need I say more), and millions of dollars paid to workers when management violated our contract day in and day out.

We also should be looking for added revenue. Recently DHL went out of business, and we didnít get that work; why? We have a supervisor buying stamps with her own money at Newtonville and giving them out to customers waiting in line. Again, we need revenue and she is letting it walk out the door.

So please, donít tell me the Postal Service is in trouble when our trouble is right in front of us. Please donít tell me we are in trouble when the Postal Service is contracting work out from the M.V.S. and Maintenance craft Ė at a higher rate of pay. Even if we paid overtime in these crafts, it would cost less than contracting out.

So, brothers and sisters, we would be happy to help save the Postal Service, but donít you think they should clean up their own house first? The Postal Service always comes to the workers for help and we suffer the consequences such as AWOLs, FMLA disputes, discipline for talking, etc.  But this time itís on them . . . help yourself first, Mr. Potter!!!!

NATIONAL REASSESSMENT UPDATE:

It is sad to report as of March 20, 2009, that we have lost 6 members to the Reassessment Process. The Postal Service has proceeded with their plans to reduce payroll by ousting as many limited duty employees as they can.

As many as 30 more members will lose their jobs by the Summerís end. I canít begin to wonder what it must be like to walk in the shoes of these members. All they did was get injured at work, and what do they get after all their years of service Ė THE DOOR!!

Management is now hoping employees wonít report injuries; and guess what, thatís exactly what is happening now. Again, I would ask anyone that is not involved in the Reassessment or has never been injured to please not judge your injured brother and sister. What would you do if you had back surgery, neck surgery, lost use of your hands where you couldnít even wash your hair or tie your shoes; and after all of the pain and suffering from an injury at work, you were told the Postal Service no longer needs you?

Lastly, grievances are already up from last year. Our local has already filed 400 grievances as of March 20th. We are on a record pace to surpass last yearís grievance total of 2300 cases. I would ask all members again to file a grievance any time you see a supervisor or another craft employee performing your work. Please remember, if you let this happen day in and day out, you are helping to excess yourself or a co-worker.

I want to make this very clear before I go on. I am not directing the following comments to ALL 204Bs. There are many members who are 204Bs that never hurt their brothers and sisters. I understand some members perform this job to make extra money for their families, and I respect them for that. Unfortunately we have many dues paying members that are 204Bs or acting supervisors who, for some reason, like to harass or bully their own brothers and sisters while on higher level. A word to these 204Bs, if you are on higher level Ė then you are management. I never want to hear from you that you pay dues and why are you bothering me.

As far as I am concerned, as a 204B you are on the dark side and you have no voice in the APWU at that time you are on the 204B status. I would ask all stewards if you have 204Bs in your station or office, to keep track of their higher level time and if he or she is on higher level for 120 consecutive days Ė to file a grievance to have that bid vacated so that a deserving member can bid it. If these 204Bs want to play a game and hold two jobs at once, then make them pay for it. If you are a 204B at this time, ask yourself Ė is it worth the extra dollar a day? Do you even realize that the longer you are on higher level the more it shows your bid is no longer needed? In other words, an easy decision for your friend, the manager, to abolish your job. So ask yourself, is it really worth it to make a dollar more?

One last comment to any 204B, please donít blame the union when your job is vacated after a grievance . . . Blame Yourself!!!
                              ----------------------------------------

JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2009


FILING A CA-2 THE RIGHT WAY THE FIRST TIME

This article will deal solely on the FORM CA-2, OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE, and how to help you better understand how to properly fill out this form the right way from day one.

Filling out a CA-2 takes a little time from you, the employee, but with a little patience, you can do it right the first time so it doesnít take months to get approved by the Department of Labor. In this article, I will give you the doís and doníts of a properly filled out CA-2.

The most important part of a FORM CA-2, Occupational Disease, is to make sure that it is an Occupational Disease. The best way to know this injury is, in fact, an occupational injury is if your injury has happened over a period of time. In other words, it did not happen on one single work night. (If you injured yourself on a single work night, then that would be a CA-1, Traumatic Injury.)

Let me give you an example. You are a mail processor, and your right wrist has bothered you for two months every time you lift trays or ledge load. You do not know exactly how you hurt it, but you are sure it is due to your job as a mail processor. Since this injury is cumulative and not a single shift, the injury would be defined as an Occupational Disease. Therefore, a CA-2 should be filled out. Now that you know what a CA-2 is, please follow the steps to properly ensure your claim is not delayed due to lack of effort on your part.

The single most important step in getting your claim approved is a Physician that will state your injury is job related. Before you think about filling out a CA-2, go to your Primary Care Physician. Explain to him/her why you feel your injury could be job related. I hope that your doctor will agree and refer you to a Specialist. A Specialist is very important since the Department of Labor usually will not accept a diagnosis from a Primary Care Physician. A Specialistís diagnosis will carry more weight in getting your claim approved through the Department of Labor. Once you have a Specialist that is ready to state your injury is job related, then you are ready to proceed in filing your claim.

1. Ask your supervisor for a CA-2 Form (yellow form) and a CA-20 Form (Attending Physicianís Report). Once you receive the forms, you must follow all the instructions on the back of the CA-2 Form before you can turn it in to your supervisor. On the back of the CA-2 Form in the upper left you will see Employeeís Statement. You must answer on a separate piece of paper - all the questions from A to E.

2. Also on the back of the Form CA-2, to the right of Employeeís Statement, under Number 2 is MEDICAL REPORT. The Specialist now treating you should fill CA-20 Form out entirely. However, take note of Letter G. Your Physician must explain how your employment caused your injury. Your claim will not be approved unless your Physician states, "YES", YOUR CLAIM IS JOB RELATED.

The following example should be taken to your Physician to help him/her explain how your employment caused or aggravated your injury. Your Physician should include any results from any tests taken, such as MRIs and CT Scans, etc.

Example: Mr. John Doe has been a postal employee for 25 years. He is currently a Mail Processor, which requires him to lift heavy trays of mail, which could weigh up to 50 lbs. each. Sorting, culling, sweeping bins of mail, pushing heavy equipment, and ledge-loading mail onto machines have been performed by Mr. John Doe for the past 5 years, 40 hours a week, 8 hours a day.

It is my opinion, with all MEDICAL CERTAINTY, the diagnosis of lower right lumbar strain of the back is causally related to his employment.

This is just one example but, as you can see, the Specialist explained how your job caused your injury. Whether you are a window clerk, manual clerk, machine technician, bus driver, or an elevator operator, please use this example to show your Physician how he or she should write their narrative supporting your claim for injury.

Now you are ready to finish filling out the CA-2 so you can hand it to your supervisor. Please make sure you fill out the entire front page. Please look at questions 11 and 12. Block 11 should be the date your injury first started to bother you. It is OK to just put the month and year in only. If your shoulder bothered you five years ago, then put in July ? 2001.

Block 12 is the most important block. That is the day your Physician diagnosis stated your injury was job related. After your Physician states your injury is job related, you now have three years to file the claim. Now with the entire front filled out, with your answers to the employeeís statement, and the Medical Report (CA-20), along with the medical narrative, you are ready to finally submit your claim.

All of the above should be submitted to your supervisor at one time. Please make sure you have copies of everything before you submit the entire claim to your supervisor. Your supervisor will sign the CA-2 and give you a receipt to show your claim has been submitted. Your claim will now go to the Injury Comp. Office, who will in turn prepare it to be sent to the Department of Labor for final processing and adjudication of the claim. If everything is in order, the approval of your claim could take up to 60 days or longer.

LET ME RECAP:

1. Find a Physician (Specialist) who will support your claim for injury.

2. Ask your supervisor for a CA-2 and CA-20.

3. Follow all directions on the back of CA-2, Employeeís Statement, and Medical Report, with Physicianís narrative explaining how your employment caused your injury.

4. Fill out the front of CA-2 Form and sign it. Pay attention to Blocks 11 and 12.

5. Make copies of everything.

6. Turn in the complete package to your supervisor. Make sure your supervisor gives you receipt of your claim.

I hope this article helped you understand what an Occupational Disease is and a guideline to help you fill out your CA-2 Form. I cannot stress enough how important it is for your Physician to state how your employment caused your injury. If your Physician does not explain his opinion, along with an explanation, your claim could take months to be adjudicated. If your Physician will not take the time to explain his opinion, then my advice would be to find another doctor before you proceed with your claim.

Please do not hesitate to call me with any questions concerning your injury. My phone number is (617)-423-2798.

               
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