Fourth Quarter 2011 Bostonian
Weíve surely entered into a period of uncertainty for the future of the Postal Service. Every day we read about new legislation being introduced to "save" the Postal Service. Unfortunately, most of these plans are designed to dismantle and destroy the Postal Service as we now know it.
The recent introduction of the 21st Century Postal Service Act (S. 1789) sponsored by Senators Joseph I. Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Thomas Carper (D-DE) and Scott Brown (R-MA) is a quick fix that in short, provides some "Short-Term Relief" but "Long-Term Damage".
Although this legislation is less destructive than the house bill (H.R. 2309) that is being pushed by Representative Darrell Issa, itís still just another plan designed to dismantle and destroy us.
In the meantime, Postal management has entered into "survival mode" and they think they can just go on their merry way into destroying our Postal Service by liquidating assets by closing Post Offices and plants. They now want to change the delivery standards by delaying the mail to accomplish their goals.
It has been nonstop trying to deal with this insanity being dealt our way by the Postal Service in these crazy days of Postal "survival mode". Iím really starting to get nervous about our futures and whether or not weíll have a Postal Service ten years from now. Seems like many of our legislators want to create "private sector" jobs at our expense and continue attacking working families.
These crazy days have us attending community input meetings for the following Post Offices management is looking to close: East Arlington, Arlington Heights, South Waltham, W. Medford, Tufts, Readville, Soldiers Field, North Weymouth, East Dedham, Boston College, Newton Upper Falls, West Newton, East Watertown, New Town, State House, Babson Park, Grove Hall, Uphams Corner, Nonantum, Newton Lower Falls, M.I.T. and Inman Square.
The really scary part of the above closing proposals is that all of these Post Offices are generating a PROFIT. None of these Post Offices are losing money but management believes they can transfer the business by inconveniencing the customers and forcing them to use other locations. It has been pointed out by many customers at these meetings that if the Postal Service closes their location they will probably switch their business to either UPS or FedEx rather than be forced into going to another location.
I hope the Postal Service is listening to the customers who are making it quite clear Ė they love their Post Office and the clerks who service them!! Unfortunately, I believe these community input meetings are only a "dog and pony show" for some of these offices, and their comments are falling on deaf ears. No one in attendance at these meetings can understand that if these Post Offices are making money why is the Postal Service hell bent on inconveniencing the customers by trying to force them into using other locations.
The saddest part is when someone in the community raises their concern about handicap parking or accessibility at other locations and management starts slinging their BS. I was reading a story about another Post Office closure in Minnesota that contained the following: "One more thing: Think the Postal Service is worried about people with disabilities? The mayor of Clements is wheelchair bound.
The city clerk said that "the entire process was not handled very well," and she hopes the Postal Service has learned something so other communities donít have to experience what Clements did. Donít count on it. Weíre going to be reading this story over and over and over again."
I thought this story was timely since weíre seeing this lack of concern and compassion firsthand on behalf of management for handicap parking or accessibility at these community input meetings here. If the customers only knew how management treated their employees who get injured on the job, they would soon come to the realization that postal management simply doesnít care.
We recently returned from our All Craft Conference at which I submitted the following two resolutions of behalf of Boston Metro:
** NTFT MOU Q&A **
WHEREAS, the following question and answer appeared on the National website (www.APWU.org) on April 28, 2011:
"Question: Could new Non-Traditional Full-Time jobs be scheduled six days a week?
Answer: Clerk Craft NTFT assignments could be created as six-day assignments where necessary to create a desirable duty assignment for employees to bid (for example, at a small Post Office that is open six days per week). This type of schedule would not be permitted in a mail processing operation or in any installation that has 200 man-years or more of employment.
The local union would have the opportunity to work with local management to assure that full-time assignments are maximized while at the same time protecting the desirability of the assignments which are posted.
No current Full-Time Regular employee can ever be involuntarily assigned to a posted duty assignment of six work days."
WHEREAS, this Q&A was released during the ratification process to alleviate concerns over NTFT duty assignments and was used by many to help decide which way they were going to cast their vote.
WHEREAS, this Q&A has yet to be incorporated in any of the mutually agreed to release of Q&Aís that have been received by the field.
WHEREAS, management has already "tipped their hand" with their intent to create six day schedules in installations that has 200 man-years or more of employment.
RESOLVED, This Clerk Craft Conference go on record that this question & answer (above) needs to be included in a future (updated) release of mutually agreed to set of Q&Aís/JCIM to be used by the field ASAP.
Be It Further RESOLVED, If the Q&A/JCIM (resolve) above cannot be accomplished the APWU file a Step 4 dispute on this issue.
** Stamp Stock **
WHEREAS, The Postal Service has consolidated Accountable Paper sites making it more difficult for stamp replenishments by eliminating the ease of access to "emergency orders".
WHEREAS, The Postal Service has instituted a computer program that controls/"forecasts" what a station can carry as inventory and also controls the amount of stock allowed on the floor (screenline).
WHEREAS, most stamps these days are "Forever" stamps and the only cost to the Postal Service for carrying more stock is the cost of printing the stamps.
WHEREAS, these newly implemented consolidations and computer program have resulted in many Sales and Service Associates/Window Clerks to be embarrassed, ridiculed and verbally abused for having to explain they donít have stamps to sell to frustrated customers is inexcusable.
WHEREAS, the Postal Service is currently using declining revenue for their closing proposals, whether it is by design or not, this flawed computer program is subjecting our clerks to unnecessary customer abuse and should not be tolerated.
RESOLVED, This Clerk Craft Conference go on record that the Clerk Craft Officers meet with Postal Management to adjust this computer program to ensure that Sales and Service Associates/Window Clerks have sufficient stock on hand so clerks never have to be subjected to embarrassment, ridicule and verbal abuse for not having stamps to sell ASAP.
Iím happy to report that both resolutions were passed unanimously by the Clerk Craft Conference. The first resolution has resulted in an "Initiate National Dispute" (Step 4) on October 18, 2011, concerning the six day work weeks.
The struggle is crazy these days so stay informed and get involved because our futures depend upon it.
In conclusion, since this is actually our Holiday issue, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year !!