APWU, USPS Agree
On New Lead Clerk Jobs
(05/04/12) The APWU and USPS agreed to job descriptions for new Lead Clerk positions on May 4, and agreed to the process for posting and bidding the new positions. The new positions were negotiated as part of the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The process for establishing the new positions in outlined in series of Questions and Answers. [PDF]
Lead Clerk positions will be established as follows:
Lead Sales & Service Associate [PDF]
Lead Mail Processing Clerk [PDF]
Lead Customer Service Clerk [PDF]
They will earn one level higher than others in their group.
To be awarded a Lead Customer Service Clerk or Lead Mail Processing Clerk position, employees must have a minimum of one year’s experience in the functional area. Lead Sales & Service Associates must have a minimum of one year’s experience working on the window.
Lead Clerks can perform all of the tasks of a supervisor except issue discipline and grant leave. They may work alone or as a working leader, with or without supervision, and will have the latitude to determine when a supervisor should be involved in their activities.
Lead Clerk positions will be posted as senior-qualified duty assignments.
A New Tool to Create Good Schedules
Clerk Division Director
(This article by first appeared in the May/June 2012 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)
In an effort to help locals establish good schedules for Non- Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) duty assignments, the Clerk Division has developed the APWU Scheduler, a computer program that is available on the union’s Web site. Local presidents can use this tool to propose desirable assignments for NTFT positions in the Clerk Craft.
When the Postal Service creates NTFT duty assignments, management must make “every effort” to create “desirable” duty assignments from “all available work hours.” This includes overtime hours, hours worked by Postal Support Employees (PSEs), hours worked by part-time flexibles (PTFs) from other offices, hours spent by supervisors improperly performing bargaining unit work, and cross-craft hours. Also, NTFT duty assignments can only be created when it is “operationally necessary.”
But we don’t just want to file grievances – we want better schedules! That’s why the Clerk Division created the APWU Scheduler program.
In many parts of the country, however, postal management is refusing to comply with the contract as it relates NTFT schedules. Postal managers are using a computer system to create the NTFT schedules, and unfortunately, their computers are not programmed to create desirable duty assignments from all available work hours. In some instances, postal management is using only Customer Service Variance (CSV) and earned hours to establish NTFT assignments. This violates the Article 37.3.A.1 of Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
Locals are strongly encouraged to file grievances if NTFT assignments are created without making use of all available hours.
But we don’t just want to file grievances — we want better schedules! That’s why the Clerk Division created the APWU Scheduler program.
Using Postal Service data requested and input by local unions, the APWU Scheduler will suggest various alternate desirable duty assignments.
The program will review all Clerk work hours to design alternate schedules. After reviewing all relevant documents and information, the local should be prepared to suggest desirable duty assignments.
Keep in mind that workers who were full-time career employees as of May 23, 2011, cannot be involuntarily assigned to NTFT assignments of less than 40 hours a week. Such employees may be reassigned to occupy NTFT assignments of 40-44 hours a week, so long as the assignments have at least two scheduled off days, with no scheduled work days of less than six hours or more than 10 hours. All other employees, including current PTRs, PTFs, and career employees hired after the signing of the contract, maybe assigned to any residual NTFT duty assignment in accordance with Article 37.
If the issue remains unresolved and is appealed to the Administrative Dispute Resolution Process, APWU Scheduler will help locals develop the evidence needed for the dispute – even if management has already posted NTFT schedules.
APWU Scheduler Pre-convention Workshop
The Clerk Division will lead a workshop on the Scheduler program on Aug. 17, just prior to the National Convention. The workshop will demonstrate how to input data into the APWU Scheduler to create desirable duty assignments in the Clerk Craft for Function 1 (mail processing), Function 4 (retail), and maximization hours. Attendees should have a basic knowledge of data entry using Excel spreadsheets.
Before the training session, local presidents are encouraged to visit the ‘Members Only’ section of the APWU Web site and download a copy of the updated version of the Scheduler program. Download the information in the ‘My Documents’ folder on your computer before using. The updated version of the Scheduler program will be used during the presentation.
The Clerk Division has also prepared a variety of resources to assist local presidents as they use the APWU Scheduler program, including slideshows on how to input Function 1 and Function 4 data, as well as responses to frequently-asked questions.
The online program updates a tool that was distributed to local presidents on DVD, and will be updated periodically. Please do not hesitate to contact Pat Williams, Clerk Craft assistant director, if you encounter any problems while using the program.
NTFT Overtime Rules
We continue to get questions regarding the new rules involving mandatory overtime when NTFT assignments are present at your installation. The best way of explaining the rule is with an example.
If an installation has a main office and 12 stations, and one of the stations has at least one NTFT assignment in Function 4, no employee in Function 4 in the entire installation, including the main office and all 12 stations, can work mandatory overtime.
Locals should file grievances whenever violations occur. Management cannot be permitted to post 30-hour schedules and then request that employees work overtime.
Another question has arisen regarding whether management can request that employees work out of schedule on a regular basis. Again, the answer is “no.” Management will never post duty assignments for more reasonable hours if employees permit the USPS to give them out-of-schedule duty on a regular basis.
It’s understandable that employees want more income. However, out-of-schedule duty can be a short-term gain with long-term consequences. Grievances should be filed seeking serious penalties for continued violations of the prohibition on scheduling employees to work beyond their bid hours. The penalties can increase until postal management realizes that it should post more reasonable schedules.