St Paul, MN APWU

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Todd Elkerton , President                              10/17/18                              651-778-1637


Payroll Error affects many APWU represented employees.

Payroll computer error affecting up to 90,000 mostly APWU employee occurred in Pay Period 21 2018.  I have been in contact with District Management since this issue was identified by the members.  I was waiting to put this communication out until I had firm confirmation on how management intended to deal with this payroll error.  As of writing this bulletin management has not given firm direction on how to proceed.  This morning I received the following from the National APWU Industrial Relations Department:

This is management's error and the responsibility is on management to compensate the employees correctly and timely. It is our position that any employee who is missing at least 8 hours of pay regardless if it is straight time, holiday or overtime pay is entitled an Emergency Salary Advance.

 An employee may request and management is authorized to do an Emergency Salary Advance in accordance with the Postmaster's Field Guide, Handbook F-101-Field Accounting Procedures, and PS-Form 2240.

According to the Postmaster's Field Guide: Policy and Procedure 54.1:

Payroll Work or Leave Hours Adjustments

When an employee receives a salary check that is substantially less than the amount due, a payroll adjustment authorized by the postmaster, manager, or supervisor is required.

1. If the employee requests an emergency salary due to a salary check received that is less than the amount due, in addition to the payroll adjustment, the postmaster, manager, or supervisor must also complete an emergency salary authorization.

2. If the actual net amount cannot be determined for an emergency salary authorization, management may authorize an amount equal to 65 percent of the estimated gross as a guideline to calculate the net amount due.

Language in the F-101 Field Accounting Procedures Section 23-3, the language is very similar:

23-3.1.1 Authorized Conditions

Postmasters and supervisors are authorized to issue emergency salary to an employee in the following circumstances:

An employee receives a salary check that is substantially less than the amount due. Use AIC 554.

An employee does not receive a salary check, which is listed in the payroll register as being issued. Use AIC 754.

These are the procedures and rules establish by management through its handbooks and manuals.  A grievance is a way for them not to authorize the salary advance.  If you lost more than 8 hours pay bring your check stub to your supervisor and ask for the Emergency Salary Advance explained above.

If the request is denied as for a steward.

Special Election to fill the Trustee Chair vacancy

In accordance with the St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU, a special election was conducted to fill the vacancy of the Trustee Chair position.  Three members submitted their names for consideration.  Kim Richardson was elected on the 4th ballot when she received the required 2/3 majority of the Executive Board members present.  I want to thanks the members who submitted their names for consideration and congratulation Kim Richardson on being duly elected to the position.





APWU                            St. Paul, MN Area Local                           APWU

Todd Elkerton , President                              9/21/18                                  651-778-1637


National Negotiations Update

APWU and Postal Management Agree to Extend Negotiations Deadline until October 20, 2018

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #:  92-2018

09/21/2018 - APWU President Mark Dimondstein has announced that the union and the Postal Service have agreed to extend negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement for 30 days.

Our current union contract between the American Postal Workers Union and the United States Postal Service covers the wages, hours and working conditions of 200,000 postal workers. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement expired Thursday, September 20, 2018.

The APWU and postal management have engaged in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) since June 26, 2018. Three months of frequent negotiation sessions and a last 10-day stretch of intense “round-the-clock” discussions identified important issues that the union believes deserve more time to discuss and explore before declaring an impasse and ending negotiations for a voluntary agreement.

“Our goal is to reach a negotiated settlement that can be voted on by the members” declared President and lead negotiator Mark Dimondstein. “National Negotiations are always challenging. At this point in time it is in the best interest of the members to stay at the bargaining table rather than declare a hard and fast impasse.”

Once an impasse is declared, the parties enter the phase of mediation and binding interest arbitration. In an interest arbitration, after both the union and management sides make their presentations and arguments, the final decisions regarding our future conditions of employment is determined by an arbitrator.

The goals of the APWU remain consistent as the union is “fighting today for a better tomorrow” and include:  Fair wage increases, COLA, job security including maintaining no lay-off protections, bridging the gaps of the divisive three-tier wage structure, addressing concerns of hostile work environments, seeking better career and full-time opportunities for both PSEs and PTFs, and expanded postal services.


“Postal workers deserve the respect and dignity, recognition for their dedication and hard work, that comes with a decent union contract,” said Dimondstein. “We will continue this just fight over the next 30 days.”

“Negotiations are fluid, changes can happen quickly and we remain optimistic that together we have the power as unionized workers to win a decent union contract,” shared chief spokesperson and Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman. “Keep the contract campaign going strong and continue to send management the message that we are united in our demand for a good union contract.”

All the rights, benefits and provisions of our existing union contract remain in place, and are fully enforceable during the 30-day extension of negotiations.

APWU                                                    APWU__

Todd Elkerton,  President         St. Paul, MN Area Local                         August 29, 2018                                                                                        651-778-1637







            Management contacted the union while we were attending the National Convention stating they wanted to send out repost letters again to employees on all three tours.


          Management plans on changing days off of mostly Saturday/Sunday, Friday/Saturday, Sunday/Monday, and three Monday/Tuesday bids.   They plan on changing two jobs in Tour 2 Flats; three jobs in Tour 3 Flats; ten jobs on Tour 1 Automation; one Tour 2 Automation bid; two Tour 3 Automation Bids; four Tour 1 Pouch Rack jobs and two Tour 3 Pouch Rack jobs.


          The letters will be sent out to employees sometime this week.  The union did go over the bids that management wants to change and found a few errors.


          If you think that management made a mistake by not reposting by seniority, ask for a union steward or ask to see Jason Stevens or myself (Bruce Gutzke).


          If employees retire in the next month or so, people who received letters could receive another letter cancelling the repost letter.


          When management came to the union in January we suggested that management wait awhile to see if employees move around and then change bids as they came up.  Management did wait which caused almost 50% less reposting letters being sent out.


          As we find out more information the union will keep the membership informed.





Bruce Gutzke

Clerk Craft Director





APWU                                                    APWU__

Todd Elkerton,  President        St. Paul, MN Area Local                     August 8 ,   2018_                                                                                      651-778-1637




In late June, the APWU and USPS made an agreement to provide more benefits to the PSE'S.  The agreement provided management 120 days to implement the agreement.  Management will be sending PSE's information concerning the Health Insurance portion to this agreement starting on August 9th.  The agreement provides for the USPS to make a 65% contribution of the total premium for any PSE who wishes to participate in the USPS Non-Career Health Care Plan for either self, plus one or family during the initial first year of employment.  This will increase to 75% after the first year.  The rates for this health plan concerning what it will cost for you per pay period will be in this letter.


1st PSE Appointment (First Year)                     All Subsequent PSE Appointments

Self Only        $50.00                                         Self Only        $40.00

Self Plus 1      $140.00                                       Self Plus 1      $100.00

Family            $197.75                                       Family            $141.25


            These plans and enrollments are your choice, but to enroll you must go to Liteblue and fill out the enrollment to provide coverage.  A SPECIAL OPEN SEASON WILL BE OFFERED FROM AUGUST 20, 2018 TO OCTOBER 4, 2018 WITH COVERAGE BEGINNING ON OCTOBER 13, 2018.


            Also, after the first year PSE's also become eligible to enroll in the APWU Consumer Driven Plan.


          Please follow the directions in the letter from the USPS to consider if these plans work for you.






          Once the initial probation period ends and are qualified on the Window, if an 814 PSE works the window 4 hours a day for 5 days a week on a continuing basis of not less than 30 hours a week, they will receive TYPE 2  uniforms as outlined in ELM 932.2.   PSE'S who have received the $126.00 will be credited with the difference between the new allowance and allowance previously received for 2018.




          PSE's will receive overtime for work hours in excess of eight hours on a service day or 40 hours in any one service week.  In addition the rules of Article 8.4 concerning penalty overtime will apply to PSE's, meaning PSE's will receive penalty overtime for all hours beyond 10 in a service day and 56 in any one service week.





          Any PSE who is scheduled to work and reports to work in a Post Office or facility with 200 or More work years of employment shall be guaranteed 4 hours of work or pay.









APWU                            St. Paul, MN Area Local                 APWU

Todd Elkerton, President                                  1/31/18                                  651-778-1637


The St. Paul Area Local Takes A Significant Step Forward in Fight to Protect Full-Time Work

In Regional Arbitration on January 30th, 2018, Arbitrator John C. Fletcher upheld an Article 37.3.A.1 dispute from a clerk craft job reversion in March of 2017.  The award summary stated the "Postal Service violated Article 37.3.A.1 when it failed to consider all available hours, to create full-time traditional duty assignments at the St. Paul Minnesota Post Office.  Postal Service violated Article 37.3.A.1 when it reverted duty assignment #95018741.  Management directed to post bid for position #95018741.  Out of schedule premium ordered successful bidder."

In March 2017, USPS St. Paul Plant Manager informed the Union the new Function 1 Labor Scheduler has indicated they will be required to reduce a significant number of full-time duty assignments and result in more than 90% of the duty assignments in the St. Paul Processing and Distribution Plant to be reposted.  The result of this implementation was felt by nearly every clerk within the St. Paul Processing Plant.  The resulting reversions and abolishments became the subject of grievances for each and every full-time position management was attempting to reduce.  The above cited duty assignments are the first of these disputes to reach Arbitration.  Management at the Area Level has indicated they are willing to settle the other cases in light of the Arbitration decision.  Time will tell if they follow through on their word.  Because these positions have significant remedies to the people who receive them I will try and let the members know which jobs in the future carry the out of schedule remedy for the successful bidder, provided the cases which were held in abeyance pending the decision are settled in the manner provided by the Arbitrator.

This is an important case in our fight to protect full-time work in the St. Paul Installation.  I want to thank the members who bore the brunt of management's arbitrary and capricious actions over the last several months.  It is invaluable to have members who willing provide the Union with information concerning the use future career PSE employees.  I also want to thank Jason Stevens for his hard work at Step 1 and Bruce Gutzke for his work at Step 2.  The work they did to put together the documentation for these cases is significant, more than 5000 pages of documentation for each case was provided to management in the form of clock ring data, graphs, and charts which supported the position of the Union.  Further, I would like to thank NBA, former St. Paul, MN Local President, and alternate St. Paul APWU steward Willie Mellen for his hard work in getting the case before the Arbitrator and articulating so eloquently the contractual violation which was occurring.  Last, the National APWU Clerk Craft Director Clint Burelson and Assistant Clerk Craft Directors Lamont Brooks, Lynn Pallis-Barber for their support in this fight.  I sent them a letter last night personally thanking them on behalf of the St. Paul Area Local members.

When we fight we win! It is especially gratifying when the membership and the National Officers work on probably the most pressing issue over the last year, the preservation of full-time duty assignment.

Todd M. Elkerton



.Management is sending out Job Review Questionnaire from the SHAKER Science Experience results.  This is the Human Resources Management working with the SHAKER group to study our Union Jobs..... This questionnaire you should not fill out; the questions will only harm you and your APWU Union Job. 

Please be aware this questionnaire  will only help management destroy our jobs.  The Union at National and Local levels is fighting to protect your rights.  This is a PLOY by management to once again use the Lean Six Sigma against us workers.  The Wikipedia definition of Lean Six Sigma is a methodology that relies on a collaborative team effort to improve performance by systematically removing waste, combing lean manufacturing/lean enterprise and Six Sigma to eliminate eight kinds of waste:  Time, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, over production, defects and skills.

St. Paul/Eagan Members of the Union, we have to understand the underlying goals of these innocuous surveys/questionnaires and not allow or not to participate in this.  The questionnaire has your information already on the papers:  employee number, your name and job title.  The Lean Six Sigma process is elimination and dumbing down of jobs and management will be using the answers against us. 

The questionnaire should be brought to the Union office or sent to the Union office and it will be entered into the next VOE drawing.

It is very important to READ the "FLASH BULLETINS" and Monthly POSTMARK's regarding management's ploys against our jobs.  Please, if you have any questions or concerns - contact a steward by requesting a steward from your supervisor.  Please be present at the next GMM (General Membership Meeting).     See you there....

Dianne Richardson,


APWU                            St. Paul, MN Area Local                           APWU

Todd Elkerton , President                              12/27/17                                  651-778-1637


The War on Full-Times Jobs Continues

The United States Postal Service continues its onslaught on Full-Time positions within the St. Paul Installation.  On December 21, 2017, Area Management and the National APWU had their third meeting of notification of excessing from a notification which was dated October 17th, 2017.  This many meetings is unprecedented in my tenure with the APWU.  At this meeting management acknowledged their obligation under Article 12 to reduce PSE hours and create duty assignments to minimize the excessing of full-time employees within the installation.  Management informed the APWU this reduction will reduce the impact by 16 full-time employees. Management has yet to actually reduce the impact at this time.

In addition, management indicated at the meeting it was their intention to send out preference letters to impacted employees in both the St. Paul Installation and the Minneapolis Installation that evening.  The Union sternly objected and stated due to both St. Paul and Minneapolis Installations being under impact they would need to meet with the National APWU to determine which jobs would be offered.  On Friday, a meeting was held and with APWU NBA and LMDO for District.  After this meeting, according to agreement local management is required to meet with the Local APWU to agree on how the process will happen.  Needless to say management did not do this and proceeded to deliver a preference sheet to the impacted employees starting on Friday night into Saturday on Tour 1.  To make matters worse, Management decided rather than bring all the affected employees in to discuss the process, they would simply hand out the letters on the workroom floor on the machines and not have the ability to answer employees questions.  The exceptionally egregious part of the unilateral action is that one day before Christmas as many of these employees worked 7 days a week 12 hours a day to deliver Christmas for the Post Office then they march out and deliver news that they are no longer needed in St. Paul and rather than provide answers to pressing questions simply state we do not know.

The anger and frustration over management's continued refusal to follow the Contractual Agreement and the lack of compassion shown for those employees who are continuing to show up and process mail for an ungrateful company is overwhelming.  Despite this it has to be set aside to clearly represent our employees.  As the Union President, I spent much of Saturday attempting to get answers from the Plant Manager, District Manager, and Lead District Manager of Distribution Operations.  All I got was we are sorry and need to do better in communicating.  This is simply not good enough.

On Tuesday, I met with the Plant Manager to have questions answered concerning the process of how these duty assignments would be assigned, since all but one of the duty assignments were offered to Minneapolis also.  The Plant Manager was unable to answer these important questions.  As I write this we are still awaiting answers to questions.  We believe it is unacceptable that our members are handed out a preference sheet for excessing and management cannot even explain how they will be awarded.  In fact they could not even tell me who they gave them to at this meeting.

Since the first Regional Meeting on November 3rd, the St. Paul Area Local has been telling local management how this process is to work and it will take time to get these jobs ready to be made available.  Management ignored all this and went ahead unilaterally and violated our Contract.  The St. Paul Area Local will file grievances and seek significant remedies for these violations.  We will also work hard to cancel the present preference process in order to have the procedures in the Contract followed.  We believe management will continue to forge forward despite the significant potential monetary liability.

It is anticipated moving into 2018, management will lay off some PSE's employees in the St. Paul Installation, in addition to reducing hours for those remaining PSE's.  These actions will create financial difficulties for these PSE's and families.  We will continue to be a voice for these employees during this difficult period.  We have to balance this with our obligation to protect the full-time duty assignments which provide additional protections from these actions the PSE are subjected to.  

On December 19th, the St. Paul Area Local was in Regional Arbitration trying to protect this full-time work.  We are anticipating a decision in this dispute just prior to the excessing date of February 3rd.  We are hopeful this Arbitration provides clear instructions on the violation and provides a remedy which will cause Management to stand up and take notice.  It is also possible the decision is not in our favor and this process which we disagree with will continue to move forward.  I will communicate the decision good or bad as soon as we get it.

In the meantime, I would continue to ask your questions in regards to the duty assignments which are being offered outside the installation.  If you are confident one of these positions is something you want then preference it.  If not, do not fill it out and make management involuntarily assign you to the position.  With nearly 100 people identified as being impacted and seven jobs many people in this group will be safe from being excessed on 2/3 The next available time to excess from the installation will occur in early May 2018.

In the middle of all these unknowns and confusion seek clear answers before you make your decision.  The APWU will try and get these answers also as we move forward. I know this is a difficult time and for those being impacted especially so.  Please communicate your concerns to the Stewards and we will represent your rights under the contract to the best of our abilities. 

In addition, we need to be vigilant in protecting our work and file grievances where management or  other crafts are doing our work.  Also, we need to insist management schedule two people on every DBCS, if not, a grievance needs to be filed.  Protecting our work needs to be everyone's priority if we are to keep full-time duty assignments. 

APWU                  St. Paul, MN Area Local                 APWU

Todd Elkerton , President                                 10/23/17                                 651-778-1637



Battle #2 Management's Slash and Burn Function 1 Staffing Enters Round Two

Last week, St Paul Processing and Distribution Plant Manager Randy Elsen informed the St. Paul APWU of yet another Function 1 Staffing model which must be implemented immediately.  This new round of Full-Time staffing "adjustments" will require 80 FT Clerk position to be changed less than one hour.  These changes, we are told, will be notifying the affected employees this week with the changes to be effective Saturday, October 28th.  In addition, the Plant Manager stated 219 Full-Time duty assignments will be reposted.  Originally, it was stated this would be done in the November posting.  However, due to the short notice, management is unable to provide 30 day's notice to the affected employees as required by the contract.  This means management has a decision to make concerning if they want to do this during December.  Management has yet to give us a response on this issue.

The St. Paul Area Local met with management on Friday, October 20th concerning these changes.  Management was unprepared for the meeting and could not answer the questions posed by the St. Paul Area Local. It appears management is reducing the FT compliment of employees from 425 to 404 from the charts management presented.  This reduction would indicate Article 12 will have to be used.  Article 12 of the National Agreement provides agreed to rules for both sectional excessing within the Installation and outside the installation excessing events.  Management was unable to tell us which of these events will occur.  If it is an outside the Installation excessing, management is required to notify the National APWU Regional Coordinator and have a meeting to explain the event.  As of this morning, this notification has not been given.  This is not to say it will not come in the near future.  Nonetheless, even if the excessing remains within the Installation, management is required to give the Union a six month notice whenever possible.  Management rarely gives this agreed to notice, however, the St. Paul Area Local enforces it through grievances when this occurs.

Why is this occurring?

Management claims the St. Paul Processing Plant does not earn the present Full-Time compliment.  When the APWU inquired to explain, we were told by Plant Manager Elsen the recent Function 1 Staffing was run on projected numbers for 2018 and due to the anticipated reduction in letters and flats, the company needs to adjust staffing as soon as possible.  This type of staffing reduction has no basis in the National Agreement.  The Labor Scheduler is no longer generating staffing from what employees are actually doing to create an earned Full-Time compliment.  Management is now clearly manipulating the data to get it to produce the number of cuts they believe is needed to balance the budget for the fiscal year 2018,  thus reducing the Labor Scheduler to an arbitrary and capricious process to determine proper staffing for the Processing and Distribution plants.

So why is the Postal Service suddenly have a fiscal crisis? The issue is three-fold.  First, in 2006 when Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, one of the provisions chained postal rates to the Consumer Price Index.  This provision caps the amount of money the postal service can raise stamp prices.  However, the provisions allow for the Postal Service to raise an exigency case for an increase greater than the CPI.  In 2013, The Postal Regulatory Committee approved an exigency surcharge of 4.3% due to the effects of The Great Recession of 2008-2009.  This provided much needed income to improve conditions within the Postal Service, we, in fact, saw an increase in full-time positions during this time period.  This leads us to the second reason, the 4.3% was determined to end in March.  This created a 2 billion dollar hole in the Postal Services Budget.  The third reason is our Contract expires in 2018.  By creating a fiscal crisis, management can place themselves in position to demand deeper concessions by the Union and if they are unable to get them through negotiation, they will position it in front on an Arbitrator to decide a number of concessions the Union will be required to give.

These issues are political!  Elections have consequences!  The decisions which hamstring the Postal Service financial conditions have been exacted by the party in charge of all branches of Federal Government for both the 2006 PAEA and the appointments of the Postal Regulatory Commission responsible for this decision.  It is clear when the Republicans are in charge they are coming for our full-time jobs, which provide living wages and benefits. 

While the Union has faced these struggles many times over the last 100 years, this recent attack is one of the most severe.  In order to weather this slash and burn process, we will need each and every member to become active in the workplace and be willing to discuss the degradation happening to the Postal Service with their family and people in the community.  We need to cultivate support to keep the Postal Service a vital public service to the American people.

We also need the members to ask the tough questions to management in the upcoming notification service talks given to members.  Ask them how they plan on getting the mail delivered to the public without people to do the work. Ask them why they lied to you when they said if you increase productivity they would be able to add jobs, which you did by the way.  Ask them why they are not standing up for you when these unrealistic staffing models are proposed.  Ask them who they are going to supervise when there is not one left on the workroom floor due to the continued draconian cuts.  I hate to use hyperbole, but this is a fight for the survival of our full-time jobs.  If now is not the time to become active and involved, when is?  The history of this Local shows time and time again that our members respond together in unity to stand against the degradation of the moment.  Hang in there, fight back, and help in the struggle.

APWU                  St. Paul, MN Area Local            APWU

Todd Elkerton , President                                  8/17/17                             651-778-1637




Tour 1 Automation & Pouch Rack

Tour 2 Automation

Just when you think management has gone to its lowest point, they prove to you they can go further and live in the decaying matter at the bottom of the ocean.  For more than 20 years, the St. Paul Area Local and management have signed retreat right memos for sections undergoing sectional excessing to "minimize the impact" to those being excessed by allowing people to bid out during the notice period and have retreat rights.  This allows the number of employees to be excessed from a section to be reduced. 

Since the notification to the Union concerning the impact, we have asked for this MOU to be signed to allow this to occur.  The Plant Manager had indicated he would sign it.  However, when it was presented to him he stated he needs to seek some input before signing.  Never said he would not sign it.  Then this morning, I get a call from the Plant Manager stating he is not interested in signing it.

Absent this agreement there are no retreat rights given until an employee is excessed from the section.  If you bid and presently hold a duty assignment for any of the sections listed above and expect retreat rights per our past practice, please cancel your bid by 10 AM Friday, August 18, 2017

I want to apologize, I was under the impression this MOU would be signed as agreed to verbally.  In the past, these agreements have been made and signed.  It is completely frustrating to work with the present management team in St. Paul.

The Plant Manager comes to you employees and tells you he is trying to minimize the impact on the sections.  Then his actions tell a different story.  We have been demanding all the changes to the section be implemented at one time and management is unable to get their act together to accomplish this.  So, they have to do it in phases which continue to impact employees in that they are required to reorder their lives three times.  Start time changes, reposting duty assignments due to more than an hour change, and excessing to become unassigned regular.  The action of the present Plant Manager speaks much louder than his words.  He has no interest in minimizing the impact to employees.

Therefore, for those impacted sections we will require management do the posting and awarding of the duty assignments in accordance with Article 12 and Article 37 and not agree to a quick bid process.  Historically we have participated in the quick bid process because it provides a quick way to transition into these changes.  By not agreeing the process will take months as bid cycles roll through and retreat rights are offered during every cycle.  I can not express my anger nor frustration at the lack of leadership and resolve to do the right thing for the employees in these sections.

For those APWU represented clerks in sections not impacted.  Management presented additional plans they intend to implement in the near future which impact at least 95 percent of full-time duty assignments. Many of the changes are start time changes within an hour which allow the employee to stay in the duty assignment and require them to report at the new time. There is also a number of sections where management is changing the hours greater than an hour and changing days off.  Article 37 requires these duty assignments to be posted installation wide and if the employee is not able to get the position becomes unassigned on the date of the award of the reposted duty assignment. I have seen some of the proposals and they make no sense operationally.  When questioned on it, we are simply told it does not match the computer model we are required to implement. The simply nod and understand but have to do what the computer states.  The Plant Manager and In Plant support team implementing these changes might as well be a DBCS machine with the red lights and alarms going off.  They have forgotten we do the work and know how to get the mail out the door not some one size fits all computer program which has no sense what it really takes to process mail in the Plant. Next time they tell you we just do not earn the positions and are inefficient tell them it is their actions which create inefficiency.


Todd Elkerton

St. Paul APWU President                                                      


APWU            St. Paul, MN Area Local        APWU

Todd Elkerton , President                         6/2/17                    651-778-1637


Management Changes Its Plan For Abolishments

On Wednesday, May 31, 2017, management sends a modified letter concerning its intentions of abolishing full-time duty assignments in the Plant.  The new notification identifies the following sections and number of duty assignments to be abolished, while the total number of duty assignments is 47,  the sections and number affected have changed;        

            Letter Automation Tour 2 = 12

            Letter Automation Tour 3 = 15

            AFSM Tour 1 = 10

            Pouch Rack Tour 1 = 6

            Mailing Division = 4

After more than five hours of meeting concerning this impact and discussing management's contractual obligations to minimize the impact.  Management has provided no plan moving forward which complies with the Contract. Nonetheless, management intends to arbitrarily and capriciously move forward in defiance of the contractual rights of the members we represent.  The Union has zero agreement in what management has proposed and they intend to move forward. 

According to the timeline, management intends to meet with employees in sections affected starting on June 7th-9th, 2017.  Those employees who are abolished will be assigned to any available residuals or become unassigned regulars subject to assignment by management in August 2017.

Customer Service Function 4 process

Management has provided the Union with half of the City Stations and Branches plan for downsizing the full-time duty assignments.  We anticipate in the near future to have all the Function 4 proposals at which time we will have a meeting concerning the proposals. After this initial meeting, we will communicate with you the impact management intends to implement in Customer Service.  A review of the already supplied proposals indicates management has no intention of complying with the direction of Arbitrator Fletcher in a local case concerning station staffing.  We are concerned the same disregard to the contract will be implemented in Customer Service as management is pursuing in the Plant.  This process has occurred on a handful of occasion since the Arbitration and management have not moved forward with its proposals.  Considering what is happening on a nationwide basis, this time management will implement its plans.  The threat is real to full-time duty assignments.  Pay attention to Flash bulletins to get the most up to date information management has provided to the Union.

Threat of Discipline for "Unsafe Acts" Coming Soon

Northland District Management held a teleconference this week with Labor Unions to inform them management needs to address the issue of 1262 accidents in the Northland District so far this fiscal year.  Management intends to provide a service talk to all employees on their obligations to work safely and putting employees on notice if they chose not to management will implement Article 16.7 and put employees on immediate off duty status called Emergency Placement.  During this service talk, management intends to coerce its employees to sign a document acknowledging they attended the service talk and understand the failure to work safe will result in immediate action to place the individual on Emergency Placement. This document will then be used to justify the employee was put on notice of what will happen when a safety rule is violated. The Union disagrees with this bullying type of behavior by management to provide a safe workplace.  There is not requirement contractually for an employee to sign this acknowledgement.  If you refuse to sign which we recommend and management issues you a direct order.  Sign the form and add the following statement to your signature. "Management is coercing this signature through a direct order."  Ask for a copy of the coerced document and ask for a steward for so the Union can properly address this issue.  Remember to protect yourself and work the rules to prevent loss of income due to being placed in Emergency Placement.  You always have the right to refuse an order to work unsafely.  The Union believes the employer has an obligation to provide a safe work environment and ask an employee to work safely.  The Union also believes if someone is observed working unsafely, the employee should receive direction on how to modify their actions to be safe.  The Union believes the threat of discipline is a bullying tactic and cannot be condoned.  Also, if there is an unsafe situation in your work area make sure you take the time to fill out a 1767 Safety Hazard Report Form to report the issue.  Management is required to abate the issue immediately and provide a written response to the report you make during this work shift.  If they do not abate the safety issue, contact the Union so a safety grievance can be initiated.  Thanks for your commitment to a safe work environment.

APWU                            St. Paul, MN Area Local                 APWU

Todd Elkerton , President                       5/17/17                                 651-778-1637


The Assault On Full-Time Jobs Gets Worse in the Plant and soon Customer Service

Over the last four weeks, management has waged an all-out assault on the full-time duty assignments within the St. Paul Installation.  Over this period, the Union has provided timely communication in regards to this outrageous action of management in disregard to our contract.  This assault has gotten worse over the last two weeks.

On April 21, 2017, Management wrote the St. Paul Area Local a letter informing us of their intention to restructure Letter Automation Tour 3, FSM Tour 1, and Pouch Rack Tour 1.  The letter asked for a meeting with the St. Paul Area Local on April 28th.  The Union attended the meeting and was told management intended to abolish and excess 25 full-time employees from these three sections. At this meeting, we outlined management's obligations to its employees under the contract.  It was a very contentious meeting which ended with management stating they would look into the assertions the Union made concerning contractual obligations and respond back to us.  The meeting ended with this. It was just an information exploring meeting and the abolishments may or may not happen.

At the Labor Management meeting on May 12th management indicated they were moving forward with the abolishments and requested another meeting on Tuesday, May 17th.  At this meeting management presented that it has determined to increase the number of abolishments to 47 full-time duty assignments and add Tour 1 Automation to the list of affected sections.  So, the number of abolishments in each section management intends to implement is FSM Tour 1 (10), Automation Tour 1 (17), Automation Tour 3 (9), Pouch Rack Tour 1 (11).

According to the timeline management provided at this meeting, they intend to meet with employees in affected sections this week.  Management has not told the Union at this point when and where the meetings will take place.  There was a point in time, where management would provide this schedule a week in advance and ask the Union to attend.  However, recent history has been to notify the Union the minute the meeting is scheduled and demand our attendance. If management calls you into to a meeting to discuss abolishments and the Union is not present, ask them where the Union is and demand they not continue until they are able to do this.  If they do not comply ask for a steward and report it.

For those clerks who receive a written notification of abolishment, management has indicated the effective date will be July 8, 2017.  The Union has already presented that we believe the time line is not in compliance with the Contract.  To further confuse the issue over the next 60 days management will be converting PSE employees to full-time residuals which match those positions management has identified for abolishment.  Thus, the initial letters will have to be rescinded and reissued to the newly converted junior full-time employees to the section.  This will create a great deal of stress and fear of the unknown to many full-time regulars which is unnecessary.  While due to the filing residual vacancy MOU requires these conversions, management may attempt to stop the conversion in order to "minimize the impact".  The Union believes it can prevail in a dispute concerning this action if management choses to proceed in this manner also.

This latest attempt of reducing full-time duty assignments is in addition to the 21 recently reverted which occurred over the last two bid cycles.

This assault is not isolated to the St. Paul Processing and Distribution Plant. Management is also reverting duty assignments in Customer Service.  Further, management informed the St. Paul APWU of its intention to present a new citywide Function 4 plan.  Historically, these plans are only presented when management plans to significantly reduce the full-time duty assignments at the station and branches of St. Paul.  We asked management to provide their proposal prior to meeting so we can provide input.  This means in the very near future we will be fighting this battle on two fronts.

The Union will be stretched severely as we process the many grievances which are sure to result from this assault.  Please help us protect your full-time duty assignments and work with us to protect our future.  We believe ultimately the contract protects us in this assault and it will take some time to resolve.  While we are extremely frustrated and angry at these arbitrary and capricious actions on management's part, these emotions will not win the day in this fight.  Only a through the presentation of the facts and contractual rights will we prevail in the preservation of the full-time complement.

These actions by management are going to create undue hardships on many of the members we represent.  The Union takes this seriously and wants our members to know we are going to work hard on your behalf to stop this.


APWU                            St. Paul, MN Area Local                           APWU

Todd Elkerton , President                                 4/19/17                                  651-778-1637


Management begins assault on full-time duty assignments!

Management has begun reverting full-time duty assignments with the St. Paul Installation. This assault on full-time duty assignments appears to not be isolated to just St. Paul, many other Locals are experiencing the same management tactic throughout the country.  Within the last week, management has informed the St. Paul Area Local that they intend to start abolishing duty assignments.  We have yet to meet with management on this new news but anticipate in the near future we will be provided their plans for abolishing duty assignments. Further, we met with management concerning the pre-vacancy of the next bid sheet and management pulled all duty assignments but two, including new reversions to Customer Service positions.

The St. Paul Area Local will mount a vigorous defense of these positions.  The St. Paul Area Local has a series of Arbitrations protecting these types of actions by management when non-career employees are working sufficient hours to support these positions.  Further, Article 37.3 requires management post from all available hours for full-time regular employees to bid.  In pay period 7 of this year, 144 PSE employees worked in excess of 5100 hours a week.  In light of this work by non-career employees, we believe we will be able to defend the present compliment with the St. Paul Installation. In the last Arbitration concerning job abolishments, the Arbitrator ruled Article 37.3.A.1 was violated when management did not use all available hours for full-time employees to bid and awarded back pay for the two restored positions, which was in excess of $90,000.00. The purpose of the Grievance Arbitration procedure is to resolve contractual disputes and provide clear direction in how to proceed in the interpretation of these disputes.  Where an Arbitrator provides clear direction to the parties on its interpretation, the parties are to follow this direction.  Management's actions in regards to these reversions and abolishments are in direct conflict with the direction of the Arbitrators decisions.  Management is on thin ice when it ignores Arbitration decisions, we will seek full remedies for these violations.

The head scratcher for this present assault is sixty days ago management came to the Union and stated they needed to create 37 new full-time duty assignments.  The Union was concerned this move would result in the need to revert and abolish in the near future.  The trepidation was from the St. Paul Area Local's experience over the last 20 years, management has not created new full-time positions for bid without a grievance being filed to force the posting of the new positions.  Management reassured the Union these newly created duty assignments were "earned, funded, and approved".  Apparently, according to management, they made a mistake.

At a Labor Management meeting on March 31, 2017, the Plant Manager spent most of an hour explaining the resulting reversions were due to a change in the Labor Scheduler for Function 1.  Then two weeks later after repeated requests from the Union, the Plant Manager changed his response and stated the Labor Scheduler has been not been changed but they are anticipating it will change and they are taking the hard steps to right size prior to implementation. The double speak and backtracking are frustrating because we are dealing with adverse actions to duty assignments.

We know these abolishments will create shortages of employees to process the mail within our installation.  History has shown when this occurs there are many instances of supervisors performing bargaining unit work, cross craft violations, the employees being required to run letter automation machines by themselves, and a great deal of overtime.  These are all contractual violations which need to be grieved.  WE NEED OUR MEMBERS TO PROTECT THEIR WORK FROM MANAGEMENT'S ASSUALT ON FULL-TIME DUTY ASSIGNMENTS BY ASKING FOR A STEWARD AND FILING A GRIEVANCE!!!

The present actions by management represent a clear threat to our future and the ability to have full-time positions.  Please help us protect them.

As soon as we get specific information concerning the abolishments management intends to implement, we will communicate it to the members.

APWU                                                           APWU

Todd Elkerton, President    St. Paul, MN Area Local         March 27, 2017                                                                              651-778-1637






 President                                                                              Vice President

Todd Elkerton                                                              Dave Cook


Treasurer                                                                              Trustee Chairperson

Tim Strong                                                                 Jim Thompson


Clerk Craft Director                                                   Clerk Craft Trustee

Bruce Gutzke                                                               Jason Stevens


Maintenance Craft Director                                               Maintenance Craft Trustee

Jim Pierce                                                                   Sam Kim


 Motor Vehicle Craft Director

 Brian Borgerson



Dianne Richardson                                        _______162_______

Terri Griner                                                       _______118_______


ELECTED AS SECRETARY                                                   

 Tina Jesinski                                                     __________132______                                      

­­­­­­­­Shelley Fleming                                                __________145______




            Adam Godes                                                     ________15________

          Tyler Hogen                                                      ________12________



ELECTED AS DELEGATE TO CONVENTIONS                                

            Shelley Fleming                                                    ______     55______

          Dianne Richardson                                              __     __  108______

          Tina Jesinski                                                     ______     42  _____

          Tyler Hogen                                                      _________20_______

          Jim Thompson                                                   _________97_______

          Kim Richardson                                                  _________35______

          Terri Griner                                                       _________72_______

          Rod Renner                                                       _________55_______

          Matt Garcia                                                       _________42________




BALLOTS SENT AND RETURNED                       Sent                       Returned


Motor Vehicle Service:                                    __78_______            ____27_____


Maintenance :                                                           __161_____             ___51___


Clerk:                                                                       ___839____             ___212____




Total Sent:                                                                ___1078____


Total Returned:                                                        ____290 ____


Spoiled:                                                                      _____2__­­­___










                        Chairman:                 Pat Hawkins


                        Committee:               Tom Kubitza; Huong Ly; Jodi Davis,

                                                            John Wolinski, Julie Nuzum, Christina Smith


Todd Elkerton, President     St. Paul, MN Area Local                                March 1, 2017                                                                                651-778-1637







            The following are the results of the nominations for Local Office which took place at the February 28, 2017 General Membership Meeting.  Ballots are to be mailed out by the Election Committee on March 8, 2017.


            The following offices had only one candidate nominated and, therefore, those candidates are duly elected:


PRESIDENT                                                    Todd Elkerton

VICE PRESIDENT                                            Dave Cook

TREASURER                                                          Tim Strong

TRUSTEE CHAIRPERSON                                 Jim Thompson

CLERK CRAFT DIRECTOR                                 Bruce Gutzke

CLERK CRAFT TRUSTEE                                   Jason Stevens

MAINTENANCE CRAFT DIRECTOR                      Jim Pierce

MAINTENANCE CRAFT TRUSTEE                         Sam Kim

MOTOR VEHICLE CRAFT DIRECTOR                          Brian Borgerson




The following are contested positions:




SECRETARY:  Tina Jesinski, Shelley Fleming




DELEGATES TO CONVENTIONS:  Shelley Fleming, Dianne Richardson, Tina Jesinski, Tyler Hogen, Jim Thompson, Kim Richardson, Terri Griner, Rod Renner, Matt Garcia



Congratulations to those who were elected.

Good luck to all the candidates.

APWU                                                  APWU

Todd Elkerton, President               St. Paul, MN Area Local            February 21, 2017                                                                             651-778-1637__







Second Seminar Time: 1:30 P.M. - 3:30 P.M.


Retirement Planning Seminar

Hosted By:

Brent Ford

Benefit Resource Partners


Saturday, March 18, 2017

2261 Waters Drive

St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU

Mendota Heights, MN  55120


  • Call the Union Office at 651-778-1637 to reserve your spot


  • Space is limited - do not wait.


  • If interpreter is needed notify us now.


Pizza will be served at approximately 1:00 p.m.

APWU                                                  APWU

Todd Elkerton, President               St. Paul, MN Area Local            February 9, 2017                                                                             651-778-1637__






Retirement Planning Seminar

Hosted By:

Brent Ford

Benefit Resource Partners


Saturday, March 18, 2017

11:00 a.m - 1:00 p.m.

2261 Waters Drive

St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU

Mendota Heights, MN  55120


  • Call the Union Office at 651-778-1637 to reserve your spot


  • Space is limited - do not wait.


  • If interpreter is needed notify us now.


Pizza will be served at break

APWU                                                    APWU__

Todd Elkerton,  President        St. Paul, MN Area Local                 December 2, 2016___                                                                                   651-778-1637___




          Penalty Overtime Exclusions Period:  Starts on December 3, 2016 and ends on December 30, 2016.  For this period there is no penalty overtime pay.


          Christmas and New Year's are on Sunday.  How does the scheduling work?  In accordance with Article 11.5.A. of the National Collective Bargaining Agreement:  "When a holiday falls on Sunday, the following Monday will be observed as the holiday."


          IF Sunday is your normally scheduled work day, Sunday is your holiday.


          IF Sunday is your scheduled day off, Monday is your holiday.


          IF Sunday/Monday is your scheduled day off, Saturday is your holiday.


Therefore, the three-day holiday scheduling period will be December 24th - 26th and December 31st - January 2nd.


          Is there additional pay for working my Christmas Holiday?  In accordance with Article 11.4.B. of the National Collective Bargaining Agreement:  An employee who works on Christmas shall be paid 1 ½ times the base hourly straight time for each hour worked.  As explained above, a person's Christmas Holiday is determined by non-scheduled days.  Therefore, if you work your designated Christmas Holiday, you will receive the additional pay on that day.


          When will the holiday schedule be posted?  For Christmas the posting is required by Tuesday, December 20th.  For New Year's the posting is required by Tuesday, December 27th.


          When I choose to credit my Christmas Holiday leave to annual, do I get an extra ½ day of annual leave?  No, if you elect to be credited with Annual Leave instead of holiday pay, you will receive up to 8 hours of annual leave.  Many people confuse holiday leave with holiday pay.  Holiday leave has no Christmas premium attached to it.  Only the work hours performed receive the premium.


          Do PSEs receive holiday leave pay for Christmas and New Year's?  Yes, provided they are in a pay status the last hours of their workday prior to the holiday or in a pay status the first hour of their scheduled workday after the holiday.  The number of hours of holiday leave pay for PSE's is based on the following:

  • 200 year man offices - 8 hours
  • PostPlan offices - 4 hours
  • All other offices - 6 hours

Can a PSE who works the holiday elect to have their annual leave balance credit in lieu of holiday leave pay?  Yes, if a PSE choses this option they will receive the appropriate number of hours in accordance with the above criteria of size of office.



Happy Holidays!  If you have a question which is not answered in this bulletin, ask your supervisor to speak to a steward.





Tour 2 Letter Automation Excessing


          Management informed employees on November 22nd in Letter Automation of a reduction of duty assignments within the section.  The union had an agreement to meet with employees to answer questions concerning this event.  Management did not tell us when the meeting was scheduled, and then on short notice, demanded the union be in attendance.  We were unable to attend.  There are a great deal of questions and misinformation which have occurred.  The union is trying to schedule a couple of meetings to accommodate days off to answer questions.  Right now, this meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 7th.  We are trying to have one on Monday, December 5th, which has not been confirmed.  If you have any questions or are confused, ask to see a steward in the meantime, and get your questions answered.  Please make sure you know your contractual rights and agreements made before you choose to bid.


          The union has also been informed for all sections in which start time changes of less than one hour are going to be made, letters have been sent to employee's homes.  This is another commitment management made to the union to provide these letters before so a review could be made they are correct.  Management chose not to provide them to the union.  If you have any questions, please ask for a steward if you do not understand the letter.


          This staffing and realignment for the Processing and Distribution Plant 2016 has been discussed over a couple of meetings beginning last month.  We are working with a new Plant Manager and while we have made significant progress in limiting the impact to employees of the first proposal, there is some impact to people's lives.  Management has indicated those employees who need time to make adjustments to their schedules will be accommodated for a period of time to accomplish this.  If you are having difficulty, ask for help.






APWU                                                    APWU__

Todd Elkerton,  President         St. Paul, MN Area Local               November 17, 2016___                                                                                   651-778-1637___



          For the past several weeks we have been meeting with Plant Manager Rick DeWolf concerning changes to the current staffing in the Plant.  The changes proposed so far only affect Clerk Craft bids.  We have not published any of the proposed changes because we were still discussing them.  Many changes to the original plans have been made.  We continue to meet weekly, even daily, to discuss further changes.  As of now management will move forward with the following changes:

            Tour 2:

Letter Automation will remain a 0700 BT.  No start time changes are proposed for the following pay locations:  210 Box, 210 Express, 245 and 229.

          Tour 3:

P/L 331:  Management plans to have approximately 34 bids BT at 1230 (change existing 1215 bids to a 1230 BT) and 38 bids will BT at 15:00.  P/L 310:  Express and Box sections no changes.  P/L 325:  No changes.  P/L 329:  No changes to BT times (this includes Expediters).  P/L 345:  BT time will change from 1215 to 1230.

          Tour 1:

P/L 131:  All bids will move from a 2005 BT to 2100 hours.  P/L 145:  No changes to BT times.  P/L 129:  No changes to Expediters (2130 BT).  Level 6 MPC bids will be moved to 2100 (from 2005).  P/L 110 Box:  No changes.  Some bids may need to be reposted.  We are still discussing these changes.  P/L 125:  All bids will BT at 2005.  P/L 120:  No changes.

          Most of the proposed BT time changes can be made without having to repost the bid.  The Contract allows a BT time change of up to one (1) hour either way.  Most employees will receive a letter informing them of the change to their bid and the effective date.


          Management has also proposed to downsize Tour 2 Automation and change days off on a number of existing bids on all tours.  These discussions continue.  We have made some progress and agreements.  Once we have worked out the details and the processes we will let you know.

Jerry Jacobson

Vice President



APWU                   St. Paul, MN Area Local          APWU

Todd Elkerton , President                                  9/14/16                             651-778-1637

MS-47 Custodial Staffing Grievance

Settled for St. Paul Installation


On September 13th, 2016 National Business Agent Curtis Walker settled two disputes concerning Custodial Staffing at the St. Paul MN Custodians and LDC Custodians for a total of $695,000.00 for the fiscal year 2015.  The breakdown is $600,000.00 to Custodians who worked in the St. Paul Processing and Distribution Plant (all tours) and all St. Paul Stations and Branches.  Further, $95,000.00 was awarded to those Custodians who worked in the Airmail Facility also known as the LDC.

The Local Union has worked hard over the last day to provide management with the list of affected employees and the remedy to be paid each Custodian.  A share system was developed that would give the Custodian a share for every week they were in a pay status.  So, a maximum of 52 shares could be earned for the year. Those Custodians who received the maximum shares at the St. Paul Custodian Section will receive $11,992.05 and the maximum payout at the LDC is $12,569.97.  In order to qualify for a share, a Custodian was required to be in pay status for the week within the section.

The St. Paul APWU wants to take this opportunity to thank the Custodians for their patience in resolving this issue.  Also, it is because the Custodians took the time to fill out their daily assignment sheets which provided the documentation to protect the work hours requested in the remedy.  This is another reminder of how important it is for Custodians to accurately document the work they do each day on their assignment sheets.  The MOS clerks who diligently record these assignment sheets also deserve a lot of thanks for their accurate reporting of the work in eMARS system.

The Maintenance Craft Director Jim Pierce and Stewards are also recognized in their role of documenting and moving this grievance forward in grievance process and is appreciated.  Last, NBA Curtis Walker was instrumental in getting these cases settled.

It is expected the affected Custodians will start to receive the monetary settlement by the end month.

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APWU                   St. Paul, MN Area Local          APWU

Todd Elkerton , President                                  9/12/16                             651-778-1637


National APWU Election Ballots are in the Mail

The ballots are in the mail for the election of National APWU officers.  It is important that you take the time and fill out the ballots.  Your participation in the process is vitally important.  Historically, the St. Paul Area Local has had high participation levels, however, over the last few election cycles the participation has dropped.  When you participate and return your ballot the St. Paul Area Local gets the respect from National Officers when the issues that affect us locally come up.  The St. Paul Area Local Executive Board discussed the endorsement of candidates over a few Executive Board meetings and on May 18, 2016, forwarded a list of endorsement in the upcoming National APWU Election that was accepted by the Membership on June 28, 2016.

Endorsements of National APWU Candidates are as follows:

President                                            Mark Dimondstein

Vice President                                    Jeff Kehlert

Industrial Relations Dir.                     Vance Zimmerman

Legislative Political Dir.                      Judy Beard

Education&Research Dir.                   Charles Smith

Health Plan Director                          John Marcotte

Clerk Division Director                       Clint Burelson

Clerk Division Asst. B                         Lynn Pallas-Barber

Maintenance Division Director         Steve Raymer

Maintenance Division Asst. B                        Terry Martinez

NBA MVS Division Central Reg.         William Wright

To be counted, ballots must be returned to and received in the designated post office box in Washington, DC, by2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5.Union members are encouraged to follow the balloting instructions carefully.

Members in good standing who have not received their ballots by Monday, Sept. 19, should notify their local or contact the American Arbitration Association between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Eastern Time) at 800-529-5218 to request a duplicate. Ballots may also be requested by visiting

All requests for duplicate ballots must include the member's name, address, employee ID number (or retiree ID number), the last four digits of the SocialSecurity number, division (craft), and local.

The APWU National Election Committee will take custody of the ballots from the designated post office box at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Votes will be tallied at the Kellogg Conference Center at Gallaudet University,800 Florida Avenue NE, Washington DC 20002.

Unofficial election results will be posted on the union's website,, as soon as they are available, and will be updated frequently. Official results will be posted as soon as they are available as well.

For more information, visit                     


APWU                            St. Paul, MN Area Local                 APWU

Todd Elkerton , President                                 7/12/16                                  651-778-1637

Join the APWU CBA Town Hall Call

With President Mark Dimondstein

Thursday, July 21, 2016 12 p.m. or 8 p.m. EST

APWU President Mark Dimondstein invites union members to join a live Town Hall Call on Thursday, July 21, 2016

To discuss the July 8, 2016 CBA Arbitration Award

To participate, you must register online by 4 p.m. EST Wednesday, July 20, 2016

To register or for More Information Visit

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APWU                            St. Paul, MN Area Local                 APWU

Todd Elkerton , President                                 7/11/16                                 651-778-1637

We Have a New Union Contract

On July 8th, 2016 the APWU released the details of our new Arbitrated National Agreement.  As with every arbitrated agreement in the past we gained some and lost some the following is a summary of the 50 page document released by the Arbitrator.

Length of Agreement

May 21, 2015 to September 20, 2018 (40 months)

Career Employees General Wage Increases

3.8 % increase over the life of the Agreement

1.2% effective November 14, 2015 (Retroactive)

1.3% effective November 26, 2016

1.3% effective November 25, 2017

*COLA's will be maintained under current formula.

PSE Wage Increases

2.2% effective November 14, 2015 (Retroactive)

2.3% effective November 26, 2016

2.3% effective November 25, 2017

In addition to these general wage increases, PSE wages will be increased by fifty cents per hour over the life of the Contract as follows:

$0.09 per hour effective November 14 2015 (Retroactive)

$0.20 per hour effective May 13, 2017

$0.21 per hour effective May 26, 2018

No Lay-Off Protections for Career Employees

No Lay-Off Protections Preserved

In addition, no lay-off protection is extended to all career employees on the rolls as of July 8, 2016.

Job Security Provisions

*No new PVS subcontracting for life of agreement.

* For minimum of one year, no expansion of contract stations, village post offices and approved shipper programs.

*No further plant closings and consolidations until at least April 2017

Maintenance Craft and Motor Vehicle Craft PSE's will be converted to career within 60 days, and the position of PSE in Maintenance will be eliminated.

*PTF employees are reintroduced into MVS craft not to exceed 20% of the MVS career workforce.

Career Employee Health Benefits- will increase by 1% each year of the contract.  The USPS will continue to pay 95% of premium for APWU Consumer Drive Health Plan.

PSE Health Benefits- The 75% contribution of the USPS to the premiums of the APWU Consumer Driven Health Plan, available after one year of service, remains in effect. In addition, PSEs will now have access to a USPS sponsored health plan upon employment with the USPS contributing $125.00/pay period.

PSE Holiday Leave Pay- PSEs will now receive six paid holidays. (PSEs had no holiday leave.) The holidays are the six major holidays of New Years, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

The number of hours paid for the holiday will vary by size of office: 200 Man year offices - 8 hours. POStPlan offices - 4 hours. All other offices - 6 Hours.

PSEs who work on a holiday will have the same option as career employees to have their annual leave balance credited in lieu of holiday leave pay.

Bereavement Leave- clarified to include coverage for "in-laws"

Uniform Allowance-  Allowances for uniform and work clothing programs will be increased

Effective May 2016, increase of 5%

Effective May 21, 2017, increase of 2.5%

Effective May 21, 2018, increase of 2.5%

Eligible PSE Employees

PSEs employed in retail for the first time will receive an annual uniform allowance for three shirts, subject to the normal eligibility requirements.

Limits on Excessing- During the life of the CBA, no employees can be excessed beyond a 50 mile radius.

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APWU                            St. Paul, MN Area Local                 APWU

Todd Elkerton , President                                 7/11/16                                  651-778-1637

New Craft Contract Provisions

The following are the craft specific provisions of the new National Agreement.

Clerk Craft

Incorporates successful MOU "Re: Filling of Residual Vacancies" into the Contract.

New pecking order for full-time vacancies allows for a possible PTF transfer and conversion of PSEs within a 50-mile radius.

New pecking order for PTF vacancies provides for conversion of PSEs within the installation, the transfer of PTFs within 50 miles and conversion of PSEs within a 50-mile radius.

PTFs can express a preference to work outside their installation.

One-time conversions of all Clerk Craft PSEs in 200 work year installations with over 2.5 years of service as of July 8, The conversions will be completed as soon as practical but no later than 60 days from July 8, 2016. One year from the award, the parties are ordered to discuss the possibility of another one-time conversion.

New language in Article 37.5.D that streamlines process for PSE conversion to career.

eReassign Task Force established to explore improvements to the  posting and placement process.

Employees can now exercise retreat rights without regard to level.

Maintenance Craft

All Maintenance Craft PSEs converted to career and the PSE category eliminated.

Maintenance Jobs MOU eliminated except for provisions related to pending disputes over "Unit Clarification".

Significant improvements to excessing provisions in Article 38.3.K.

New provisions for ET-11 issues including a nationwide PAR for ET-11s and negotiations for LMOUs with MTSC.

Retained the Subcontracting Cleaning Services MOU with entire installation in the 18K sq. ft. formula.

Retained the 50-mile rule on excessing.

New pecking order putting APWU bargaining unit employees ahead of non-APWU employees for in-service register selections

Motor Vehicle Craft

All MVS Craft PSEs converted to career and the PSE category eliminated except when part of package to bring in contracted work.

Numbered paragraphs 1, 3, and 4 of the 2010 Motor Vehicle Craft Jobs MOU terminated  Paragraph 2 remains and includes the evaluation of 8,000 HCR routes for possible return to PVS.

No new subcontracting of PVS driving work during the life of the contract.

Because of the loss of flexibility with conversion of all PSEs, elimination of NTFT assignments and restriction on sub-contracting, the Award provides for the return of PTFs with a 20% cap.

Clarification of policy regarding Vehicle Maintenance Agreements (VMAs) in offices with vehicle maintenances.

All Full-Time Regular Motor Vehicle Craft employees - not just operators - will use their seniority for vacation scheduling.

Bids for Examination Specialist (SP-2-188) and Vehicle Operations - Maintenance Assistant (SP-2-195) are open to all full-time regular MVS employees.

APWU                  St. Paul, MN Area Local            APWU
Todd Elkerton , President                                     4/19/16                                 651-778-1637 
The Hunger Games comes to St. Paul Process and Distribution Plant through Lean Six Sigma Employee Involvement Schemes.  Over the past couple of years, the USPS has been promoting a process known as “Lean Six Sigma”. For most of the early part of this process, it was introduced as putting signs up, cleaning the building, and in some cases painting.  It was rolled out as streamlining processes within a facility to ensure mail flowed through operations with the least amount of barriers.

The Wikipedia definition of Lean Six Sigma is a methodology that relies on a collaborative team effort to improve performance by systematically removing waste, combining lean manufacturing/lean enterprise and Six Sigma to eliminate eight kinds of waste: Time, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Over Production, Defects, and Skills.  Notice the definition requires a collaborative team effort, while the early part of implementation looked to be organizational; Lean Six Sigma is quickly evolving into an employee improvement process. 

The APWU has a long history of consistently rejecting Employee involvement programs from the National level down.  The goals of these programs is to pit worker against worker to get you to work harder, take advantage of your knowledge of your job, hold down the size of the workforce, and have your fellow employees harass you for the production you obtain on a daily basis.  A labor history of this type of involvement has resulted in they win, you lose. 
The bedrock of this process is data, and the use of this data to squeeze the employees to work harder.  It is sort of an employee shaming process, in which management provides production numbers on boards to show how each worker (machine) performed the day before, for all others to see.  This visibility and information then create an atmosphere that pits employees against employees to force all to perform at the highest level achieved within the unit.  Thus, turning the workplace into a sort of “Hunger Games” production of survival of the fittest worker and where the weakest must be sacrificed. 

The members of the St. Paul Area Local have historically stood together as management tries to implement these processes of public embarrassment by producing less not more and the game quickly ends.  Remember, the successes or failure of this program requires your participation and you can chose not to participate. 

We are now being told that we will be a pilot site for employee involvement concerning the production of the machines we operate.  Management is erecting a “war room” in the middle of the floor where they will put up production numbers from the previous day, week and month.  Then they will require the mail processing clerks to leave their machines and visit the “war room” where they will be presented with the volume of mail they ran and asked to provide information by writing it on the charts what were the barriers for them not to meet the production goal established.  The mail processing clerks will be required to explain their lack of performance and why the goals are not being met.  This will be done by telling you that none of the information will be used against you personally only to “fix the problem” and make the facility more productive. 

Again, this participation is voluntary; hence you have a choice not to participate.  Please join the St. Paul APWU in saying NO! 

To further create stress, management is installing “Operations Huddle Boards” with three components:

First Section – reporting Past Performance;
 Second Section – What’s our plan? Success for the day and the
Third Section – How are we doing? Real time Quality Performance. 

The Huddle Boards are information boards to Track and Report progress and goals throughout each unit by specific sort plan and machine #. 
The Local Union has many problems with this type of approach and believes that management by stress is not a proven way to improve morale or working conditions.  We are presently looking for ways to combat this.  We need your help to provide information  so we are better armed in defending this attack on our members.  We need to stand together and not let management pit workers against each other.It is not a coincidence that those who have been indoctrinated into the “Lean Six Sigma” have been given belts for their progress similar to those awarded in Karate for their discipline and progress. 

For “Lean Six Sigma”, the process is the elimination and dumbing down of jobs and managers will be rewarded for their discipline in implementing this “Hunger Games” approach. 

As members of a Union, we have to understand the underlying goals of these innocuous programs and not allow or participate in this competitive selection progress.  The results have not benefited the workers, the move to automation has resulted in the loss of allied positions, prepping positions, loss of people to rotate, asking people to operate machines by themselves, the postal facilities have turned into high tech sweatshops where the throughput of the machine will be put up on the scoreboard to show who is losing the battle of the goals.

Let’s be perfectly clear on this issue, the St. Paul APWU has determined it is not in the best interests of the APWU bargaining unit employees to participate in this “pilot project”. 

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APWU                  St. Paul, MN Area Local            APWU
Todd Elkerton , President                                     3/18/16                                 651-778-1637 

Cutodian Staffing St. Paul Installation

To all Custodians within the St. Paul Installation:Management is moving quickly toward implementing TL-5 for all facilities within the St. Paul Installation.  On February 19, 2016, the St. Paul, MN APWU met with Maintenance Management to discuss the implementation. 

In this meeting, management informed the Union that due to MS-47 TL-5 an adjustment of workload and staffing would need to occur because the present level of 57 full-time custodians for the Processing and Distribution Plant and its Station and Branches was being reduced to 50 full-time positions and 1 Part-time Regular. 

Further, management stated to accomplish this adjustment they would need to add positions and change positions on Tours 3 and 1 and reduce Tour2 positions.
Last, there were discussions concerning the impact on PSE within the St. Paul Installation.
The Union stated they will need specific information concerning all of these adjustments prior to discussing how this should move forward contractually.  This week on Thursday March 17 management provided this information.  The readjustment and implementation will affect many in the Custodial maintenance craft.  Management is adjusting Custodial assignments in both the Stations and Branches and all three tours at this time.  Maintenance Management has agreed to meet with the Custodians and present their plans.  The Union has been invited to attend and will be there to answer any questions concerning contractual provisions and rights of its members.  Remember this is a management plan and they are implementing this plan. 

The St. Paul APWU will represent its members to its fullest ability in ensuring contractual provisions for these changes are complied with.
Presently, the plan requires creating newly established three full-time positions to Tour 1 and reposting the junior sat/sun off day position, as well as, creating newly established three full-time duty assignments on Tour 3 and reposting the junior thu/fri off day position.  This process will be done under Article 38 of the National Agreement and will occur in the near future. 

Further, the St. Paul APWU has agreed to repost three residual duty assignments that are presently residual to the custodial craft at the same time.
For Tour 2, the plan shows a reduction of six full-time duty assignments with 14 present Custodians duty assignments from both the Stations and Branches and the Plant being either abolished or reposted. 

This action requires Article 12, excessing to the needs of the section to be implemented.  Article 12 requires the Local Union to be notified as much as six months whenever possible prior to implementation.  It is unsure at this time if this time requirement will be adhered to by management. 
Management is presently preparing written letters of notification to be issued to the Custodians whose duty assignments will be specifically affected by the changes and working on scheduling the meeting with all Custodians to explain their plan.  As for PSE’s in the custodian craft it does not appear there will be an immediate release  due to lack of work that will occur.  However, there are no guarantees this may not occur after implementation of the staffing proposal. 

We are presently trying to get clarification to determine if a PSE in the St. Paul Installation who may be released for lack of work has the right to be offered available residual duty assignments in other installations within the District prior to management hiring off the street.  When this is resolved we will be better able to provide information concerning this issue. 

Please do not make any quick decisions concerning this information, like resigning.  There are a lot of unknowns still to be determined in this process that will impact your position.  It is possible the PSE’s presently assigned to Tour 2 will be moved to Tour 1 and Tour 3 at the completion of the bidding process. 
Further complicating this process is that management intends to implement MS-47 TL5 in the LDC and all its Stations and Branches within the St. Paul Installation during this fiscal year.  It is almost certain this implementation will further impact Custodians in the need readjustments. So, clearly this will be a long drawn out process.  The St. Paul APWU is committed to responding and addressing all contractual issues which will arise as result of this implementation.

  It is clearly a difficult time as information comes forward and number of members affected by this change increases.  With changes comes anxiety as many try to re-order their lives to the new staffing requirements.  Please ask whatever questions you have and try to get as much specific information prior to making your personal decisions regarding these changes.

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56 Million Dollar Settlement Disbursement Underway

This remedy does not affect anyone in the St. Paul Installation and is only for those who worked in a small Associate Office of Level 15,16, and 18 between May 7, 2011 and December 5, 2014.

In December of 2014, the National APWU and USPS entered into an settlement concerning small associate office nationwide.  The settlement provided that employees in Level 15,16, and 18 offices who were on the rolls as Part-Time Flexibles or Non-Traditional Full-Time Assignments will be paid on a “share basis” for the period of May 7, 2011 and December 5, 2014.  To be eligible for a share and employee would have to have work hour for a week.  They were a total of 187 possible shares for this time period.  For each share the value was approximately $26.23.  So, an employee who meets the criteria established and worked all 187 weeks the total was approximately $4900.00 for the individual.  After nearly a year of figuring, the parties agree to disburse the money prior to Christmas.  However, management failed to complete the processing a computer glitch the technicians encountered.

Finally, on January 15, 2016 the Postal Service informed the APWU that the initial payments for the affected employees were included in the January 15th paychecks.  Shortly, after employees started to receive their pay stubs they started calling the St. Paul Area Local to find out why their checks were so larger.  It was discovered that some employees were not being paid the amount that they were reported to receive.  An inquiry to the National APWU resulted in National Level disputes being filed to cover anyone who was not paid in full.
As a result the National APWU posted an article that explains how to determine if an affected employee was paid correctly.  The following is directly quoted from the posted article.
“Current employees can check if the amount of their payment is correct by visiting the APWU website entering their Employee Identification Number (EIN). Upon entering the EIN, the amount the APWU submitted to the Postal Service for payment will appear. The payment for the settlement will be identified on the pay stub as “PP 20/1998.”Former employees can verify the amount they should receive using the same procedure with their former EIN, which can be found in the corner of their old paystubs."It is not necessary for employees to notify the APWU at the local, state, regional or national level of any discrepancies because we will be able to identify them at the national level."  Burelson said.

APWU Web News Article #008-2016
The APWU has filed a national-level dispute (Case #HQTC20160014) to cover anyone who was not paid the full amount, he reported.” APWU Web News Article #008-2016

While the National APWU instructs you not to contact the Local, the St. Paul Area Local invites you to inform us immediately if you were not paid properly after checking the website for the proper amount you were supposed to be paid.  So, we can compile a list locally and follow up with information directly to the affected individuals when it is available concerning the correction to the incorrect payments.

Thank you for your patience in this process, clearly there has many problems.  Despite the problems, the APWU has fought vigilantly concerning this settlement.  There is no doubt they will continue to fight to ensure the members have been paid in accordance to the agreement between the parties.    

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APWU                                                    APWU
Todd Elkerton,  President        St. Paul, MN Area Local                December 18,                                                                                     651-778-1637   

Penalty Overtime Exclusion Period

As you know by now, the no penalty overtime exclusion period runs from December 5th through January 1st, 2016.  The penalty overtime rules are not applicable for a 4-week period.  All other overtime rules remain in effect.  

 New Leave Year

As a reminder the new leave year begins on January 9, 2016.  You once again may carry over up to 440 hours of annual leave.  Please make sure you use any excess annual by January 8th or you may lose it.  Another option is the Annual Leave Exchange.  The Contract allows an employee to sell back a maximum of 40 (forty) hours of annual leave prior to the beginning of the leave year providing two 2 (two) criteria are met.  They are:  (1) You must be at the maximum leave carry over ceiling at the start of the leave year and (2) You must have used fewer than 75 sick leave hours in the leave year immediately preceding the year for which the leave is being exchanged.   

PSE Conversions

Management has begun the process of converting Clerk PSEs to full-time career employees.  This process has had some problems.  We are working with management to expedite the process as soon as possible.  For those PSEs being converted, full-time career employees are credited at the beginning of the leave year with the total number of annual leave hours that you will earn for the leave year.  However, there is a rule that states new career employees are prohibited from requesting annual leave for the first 90 days after being converted.  After the 90-day period, you may use your annual leave.  

 Christmas Holiday

The Christmas Holiday falls on Friday, December 25th.  This holiday scheduling period is Wednesday the 23rd, Thursday the 24th and Friday the 25th.  Employees who work on their holiday (Christmas Day or their designated Christmas Holiday) will be paid one and one-half (1 ½) the base hourly straight time rate for each hour worked.  It is not paid for work performed on the 25th unless it is your holiday or designated holiday.  This is in addition to the holiday leave pay employees are entitled to receive. Those requesting annual leave in lieu of the holiday pay will still be paid one and one-half (1 ½) times the base hourly rate for each hour worked on the holiday or designated holiday.
 Holiday Scheduling for New Year’s Day Holiday Schedule is the same. 

December Bid Sheet

The next bid sheet will be posted on December 29th through January 8, 2016.  All employees, including newly converted PSE’s are eligible to bid.  All bids are normally submitted through PostalEase, LiteBlue or phone bidding.  However, in the past, newly converted employees have had problems.  Because you are so new, you may not be able to log into the bidding system.  If you attempt to log in to bid and find you are unable, please see your supervisor or steward.  You may have to submit a manual/paper bid sheet.  You are eligible to bid even if you are in your first 90 days and/or in probation. 

 Choice Vacation Period

The next choice vacation period will begin on April 1st.  Management must provide you with Form 1547 on or before March 1st.  You have until March 21st to turn in your 1547.  Management will normally complete and return the form no later than March 31st.  


Per our LMOU the Overtime Desired List sign-up sheets will be posted in each section no later than midnight the 10th of December and will be removed no sooner than midnight the 25th of December.  If you want to be on the ODL for January, February and March of 2016 remember to get your name on the list.     If you have any questions about any of these subjects, ask to speak with a steward.


Jerry Jacobson
Vice President 

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APWU                  St. Paul, MN Area Local            APWU
Todd Elkerton , President                                     10/7/15                                 651-778-1637       

Retirement Planning seminar
Hosted by:Brent Ford
Benefit Resource Partners


  Oct. 20th, 2015 CSRS
October 21, 2015 FERS

6pm-7:30 pm
St. Paul APWU
2261 Waters Drive

*** Call the Union Office today to reserve your spot.            

indicate which seminar.

*** Space is limited so do not wait
*** If interpreter is needed notify us now.  

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APWU                                           APWU
Todd Elkerton,  President         St. Paul, MN Area Local      September 30, 2015                                                                   651-778-1637


The USPS has been preparing and installing the new SPSS in the St. Paul Processing and Distribution Plant.  The union was informed that this would occur in January of this year.  When notified, we immediately started to ask for information to begin the process of preparing for the impacts this machine would have on the membership.  These requests were rebuffed each and every time by management.  At a District Labor Management meeting two weeks ago, the union approached the District Plant Manager and was told the bids have already been created and he stated he did not know why they had not been shared with us.

Last week management finally sat down with us to discuss the staffing of the SPSS machine.  After a contentious meeting in which management either did not know or were elusive to our questions, it was agreed to have another meeting on Thursday.  At that meeting we started to make some progress.  Management will post 14 new duty assignments for Clerks to induct and sweep the SPSS machine.  The positions have been submitted and are expected to be on the next Clerk vacancy.  The 14 positions will be split evenly on Tour 3 and Tour 1.  The parties have agreed that it will be included within the pouch rack section.  We have been told that they will have the same hours as pouch rack duty assignment for each tour respectively.  While there will be seven Clerks, five inducting and two sweeping, it has been agreed that three other pouch rack employees will be assigned to the rotation of the induction stations.  The three additional will be assigned to a pouch rack or bull pen breakdown when not inducting.

There will be two sort plans run on the machine, an outgoing program run on Tour 3 between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 – 9:30 p.m. depending on volume.  The outgoing program will be only run Monday through Friday.  Then the machine will be dispatched and set up for destinating mail that will include city, 550/540 and PDF mail that will be run on Tour 1, which will be run seven days a week with anticipated tie out at approximately 2:30 a.m. each day.  Once the machine has gone through its acceptance process, which is expected to take a month, pouch rack employees will be able to preference working on this machine using its present process of choosing positions.

We are told that management will be soliciting volunteers by seniority to be assigned to the machine during its acceptance period from the pouch rack employees on Tour 3 and Tour 1.  These volunteers will be the only people assigned during the acceptance process.  The training will be conducted by the company installing the machine starting on October 13th.  Management has informed us that PSE’s will be moved to pouch rack to fill in for those that will be part of this process.  We will be monitoring how this process works.

We ask that the volunteers inform the union of any issues as they relate to what is going on during this time frame.

APWU                                                    APWU
Todd Elkerton,  President        St. Paul, MN Area Local                 August 4,   2015                                                                                     651-778-1637                                 

VMF MEMBERS---            

It has recently been brought to my attention that VMF management has been spreading false information in regards to a recent Step 3 grievance settlement. 

This settlement was a mutual agreement between a USPS Management representative and the APWU MVS National Business Agent. 
The facts and circumstances involved in this grievance were in regards to supervisors performing bargaining unit work.  I would like to note that a bargaining unit employee in a 204-B status is considered a supervisor according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The APWU has been fighting management’s attempts at taking bargaining unit work and assigning it to management personnel for three (3) plus years now.  They have done this with General Clerk work, stockroom work, and in the above-mentioned grievance, work that should be performed by the Lead Automotive Technicians. 

Management has wrongfully gone on the workroom floor and is spinning the situation as the union is preventing employees from advancing in their careers at the VMF and attacking 204-B’s.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.

For those of you who do not have much time at the VMF, the Lead Automotive Technician’s job is to serve as a working group leader and run the workroom floor.  It is not management’s job (or 204-B’s) to do this.  The Lead Techs should be setting up the shop on all tours, managing the workload (tags, road calls) and assigning work to the lower level bargaining unit employees and performing PMI’s.  Management has all but taken this work from the bargaining unit and forced themselves into this position. 

Management was warned that this was a violation of the Contract but as usual moved forward with their plan anyway.  To take it a step further, VMF management has used the hours they have taken from the bargaining unit to justify the creation of another supervisor position!  The union’s only recourse was to file a grievance and protect the work that is rightfully that of the bargaining unit and our members.

That is exactly what we did.  It is our job to protect bargaining unit work, not help create supervisor jobs to take work away from the bargaining unit.  This grievance settlement should result in the returning of work back to the bargaining unit where it rightfully belongs.  However, we are not out of the woods yet.  I am sure management will fight the returning of this work. 

We are going to need our members to be vigilant and keep an eye on management, document them performing any/all bargaining unit work and get the information to a steward. 

Help us protect your job!  If management comes to you on the workroom floor and badmouths your union and stewards, let them know you support them!

Remember – united we stand – divided we fall! 

In solidarity,
Dave Cook
Industrial Relations Director

 APWU                 St. Paul, MN Area Local            APWU
Todd Elkerton , President                                     3/23/15                             651-778-1637

St. Paul Area Local Elections have concluded

On Saturday March 21, the election committee convened and counted the return ballots for the contested elections.  The turn-out was very low, except the Maintenance Craft which had two contested elections for their craft officers. 

I want to thank all the members who took the time to fill out and return ballots, your participation
and concern for the local is appreciated.

I also want to thank the election committee, Pat Hawkins-Chair, Julie Nuzman, Thomas Kubitza, Houng Ly, Jodi Davis, John Wolinski, and Sara Clemons for their service a due diligence as they worked hard to ensure a fair election.  The results are posted, and I would like to thank all candidates for their interest in the positions.  Those that were elected will be sworn in at the March 24th General

Membership Meeting at 6:45pm.

 Choice Leave

For many of the installations that we represent we are now in the open season period for choice leave.  Every year we run across a station, branch, or section that has not followed the procedures outlines in the LMOU.  If you are part of one of these sections and want choice leave approved please contact a union steward so it can be corrected. 

Opening for Social and Recreation Committee for St. Paul Installation

We recently received a resignation from the clerk who was appointed to this committee.  If you are interested please contact my office and leave your name, work location, and phone number so we can fill this position.

Safety concerning powered equipment and bikes at the Processing and Distribution Center in Eagan

OSHA has cited the Plant for violations of concerning the use of this type of equipment.  The USPS has come to an agreement to abate these violations.  The St. Paul Area Local participated in a meeting with Management and the Mailhandlers where all parties affirmed their commitment to employees’ safety.  Management intends to be aggressive for all violations of PIT operators and bike riders to the posted signs in the facility. 

There will be observers from the Safety Office as well Management to ensure the rules are being followed.  If someone is observed violating and of the established safety procedures in the operation of these transportation equipment their licenses will be revoked and the person will be required to go through proper training again prior to have their privileges to use this equipment restored.  Further, if people are found to be repeatedly in violation of the rules management has indicated they will start corrective action that could lead to discipline.

If you find yourself in this situation please request a Steward.  The St. Paul Area Local wants to see its members safe at work and hopes that all its members observe the safety rules for the protection of all its members.

Vandalism in the St. Paul Employee Parking Lot

We have again been informed that there has been vandalism in the parking lot.  This is a crime against personal property.  We all need to be aware and watchful for this in the parking lot.  If you are a victim of vandalism immediately report the damage to your supervisor and call the police to make a complaint. 

These types of actions are not condoned.  At this time we are unsure if it is a postal employee or someone from the public.  This is a crime that many times goes unreported until others speak out.  We need to work together to find the person or people doing this.  The Postal Inspectors and OIG are aware of the problem.

National APW Contract Negotiations are proceeding.

The National APWU is presently negotiating for the our next contract.  President Diamondstien is hosting a number of town hall meeting for members to participate in and also providing timely updates in the members only area of the website.  The St. Paul APWU has been provided stickers and posters to distribute.  We will be sending these stickers to our associate offices, stations and branches in this mailing. 

If you chose to wear your sticker take a selfie of it and send it to the link at the website.  The National APWU needs our support as they continue to negotiate a contract the respects the hard work we all perform for the Postal Service.

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APWU                                                                 APWU

Todd Elkerton, President   St. Paul, MN Area Local                  March 23, 2015                                                                   651-778-1637 




 President                                   Todd Elkerton                                                                      
Vice President
                            Jerry Jacobson 
Industrial Relations Director     Dave Cook                                       
                                    Steve Letendre
Treasurer                                    Tim Strong 
Trustee Chairperson                   Jason Stevens 
Clerk Craft Director                    Bruce Gutzke
MVS Craft Director                     Brian Borgerson
Motor Vehicle Craft Trustee       Tyler Hogen


Dianne Richardson                                             _____157________

  Jim Czepa                                                _____ 100_____


Kim Elledge                                               ______6_______         
Karen Volkman                                                  ______37______
Keith Landsman                                                 ______6_______
Jim Pierce                                                        ______48_______


Sam Kim                                              _____     44    ____
Gary Keicker                                                     _____      50 _______


 Lanette Garcia                                                     ______   32  ___   8         
Allen Matejka                                                    __     __  11  ___   10
Jason Stevens                                                   ______   106____   3
Gerald Malean                                                   ________34_____   7
Steve Letendre                                                  ________113____   2
Dianne Richardson                                             ________125____   1
Jim Pierce                                                        _________57____     6
Kim Richardson                                                  _________31____   9
Sam Kim                                                          _________75____      5
Jim Thompson                                                   _________96____    4

BALLOTS SENT AND RETURNED:                                 Sent                                   Returned 

Motor Vehicle Service                                                                __70______                    ___22____  
Maintenance                                                                                 __153_____                      ___98____  
Clerks                                                                                             ___798_____                   ___259_____                                                                                         
MH                                                                                                   ____1_____                     ____0______ 

Total Sent                          _______
Total Returned                 _______379________                                                                                                          
 Spoiled:                           ________1_______                                                                                               

Pat Hawkins 
Committee:      Tom Kubitza; Huong Ly; Jodi Davis; Julie Nuzum; John Wolinski; Sara Clemons 

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APWU                   St. Paul, MN Area Local          APWU
Todd Elkerton , President                                  2/10/15                             651-778-1637 

Maintenance Craft Special Meeting

In accordance with the Constitution of the St. Paul Area Local, the President has received a petition from the required 10% of the craft members requesting a meeting concerning the vacancy of the Maintenance Craft Director, Dave Geissinger on January 20th, 2015.

The meeting is scheduled at 1:30 pm, Wednesday February 18th, 2015 the Union Office 2261 Waters Drive, Mendota Heights 55120

For those who are unable to come to the meeting, The St. Paul Area Local gets it authority from the Constitution for filling a permanent Craft Officer position.  Article 9 Section 5 states; “In the event of a Craft Officer vacancy on or after November 1st of even numbered years, the craft vacancy will be deemed a temporary vacancy.”  The Constitution provides no way for the temporary vacancy to be filled.  Therefore, the St. Paul Area Local has not filled the position of Maintenance Craft Director.

During this time, the General Craft Officers the President, Vice President, and Industrial Relations Director being elected from all three crafts are tasked with ensuring the Maintenance Craft is represented.  Prior to the resignation of the Maintenance Craft Director, Jim Pierce was designated as a Step 2 Representative to discuss all Step 2 grievances for the Maintenance Craft.  Between the above mentioned officers and stewards we are working hard to represent the Craft.

The call for the General Election is presently out and there will be an election that takes place next month, March 2015, to fill all elected positions of the St. Paul APWU. 

After the meeting, a bulletin will be prepared and sent out for the members to see what was discussed at the Special Meeting.

Excessing out of Installation Maintenance Craft- Cancelled

Due to the hard work of the St. Paul APWU, Management has issued a cancellation notice of the excessing event planned for the Maintenance Craft St. Paul Installation by letter dated February 2, 2015 to APWU Regional Coordinator Sharon Stone.

The St. Paul Area Local is still working on getting the same type of notice of the Clerk Craft.  

National APWU Contract Negotiations Open February 19, 2015

In advance of the opening of National Contract negotiations, the National APWU is announcing a town hall meeting hosted by the APWU National President Mark Dimondstein on February 17.  The invitation is for all APWU members to participate.  If you want to participate please go to and register for this event.  It  will be available four times during that day and it is expected to last approximately 35 minutes.

Further, to show your solidarity union members are encouraged to wear stickers and union clothing on February 19, 2015.  The National APWU is sending a sticker for every member to the St. Paul APWU.  We will send out stickers for every member at our Associate Offices, Stations and Branches when we receive them.  Also, the St. Paul Area Local has a number of T-shirts in size Large and X-Large that we will give  to any member that comes by the Steward Desk at the St. Paul Processing and Distribution Plant.  These T-shirts will be given on a first come first serve basis until they are gone.

Special Posting for PSE conversion to PTF positions

For all PSE’s there is presently a special posting to Northland District PSE for conversion to available PTF positions within 50 miles of your present installation. The following is the list of PTF opportunities within the Northland District.

This special posting closes on February 12, 2015.  So, if you are interested, make sure you meet the 50 mile radius requirement and  get your preference in ASAP.  

The stewards have been provided with the Preferencing Bid Sheet.  If you are not able to get one from management,  ask for a Steward at 651-224-2639.

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APWU                                                    APWU
Todd Elkerton,  President        St. Paul, MN Area Local                    February 10, 2015                                                                            651-778-1637


1:30 P.M.





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APWU                                            APWU 
St. Paul, MN Area Local                     February 3, 2015


Nominations for the following positions will be accepted at the Tuesday, February 24, 2015 General Membership Meeting. 

The General Membership Meeting will be held at 6:45 p.m. at the Union Office (2261 Waters Drive, Mendota Heights, MN.

 (*Positions serve on the Local’s Executive Board)           


 Excerpts from the Constitution of the St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU AFL-CIO are printed below in order to assist candidates and voters in understanding the election procedure.

ARTICLE IX ELECTIONS     Section 1.  The election of Officers, Trustees, and Delegates to Conventions of this Local shall be by the referendum system of balloting, and shall be elected by a plurality vote.           
The elections shall be under the direction of an Election Committee appointed by the President consisting of a Chairman, and not less than five (5) nor more than ten (10) members  immediately following nominations.  Each candidate shall be entitled to an observer of their choice.  No member of the Election Board shall be a candidate for Office or for Delegate to Conventions.  Each craft should be represented on the Election Board.

Section 2.  All Officers and Delegates to Conventions of this Local shall be elected for a term of two (2) years.
Three (3) Trustees shall be elected for a term of two (2) years.

Section 3. 
Nominations from the floor for Candidates for Office and candidates for Delegates to Conventions shall be held at the February Membership Meeting in odd-numbered years, and be eligible to hold Office and be Convention Delegates if they are in good standing, subject to the provisions of Article 10, Section 2 of the National APWU Constitution.
Candidates for any craft position must be members of the Craft in which they seek such a position, and they are to be elected only by members of that Craft.
At least fifteen (15) days prior to the February Membership Meeting, the Secretary shall post a call for nominations for Local Officers and Delegates to State and National Conventions.  The posting shall include the date, time and place of the election of officers, the positions to be filled, length of term and any eligibility requirements.
No nominated member shall be a candidate for, or hold more than one (1) elected office in this Local. 

Any member may nominate any eligible member as a candidate by; a verbal nomination from the floor at the February Membership Meeting, or signed, written notice to the Secretary at any time after the call for nominations and before the close of nominations for the desired position at the February Membership meeting, stating the position desired.  The notice shall be read at the February Membership Meeting, and this shall constitute a nomination from the floor. 
Those candidates nominated from the floor at the February Membership Meeting in odd-numbered years must be present to accept or reject said nomination or must have submitted a written acceptance in advance of the close of nominations in order to be eligible.          

The Election Committee shall prepare a ballot for each member in good standing, and mail on or before the fifteenth (15th) day following the February nominating meeting, together with two (2) envelopes.  The position on this ballot bearing the names of all regularly nominated candidates for each Office, for Trustee, and for Delegates to Conventions, shall be determined by placing the names of the nominees to each position in a container and candidates’ names shall appear on the ballot in the same order in which the names are drawn from the container.   The smaller of the two (2) envelopes shall bear the words “BALLOT ONLY”, in which the ballot, when voted shall be placed.  The smaller envelope containing the voted ballot, shall be placed in the larger envelope, which shall be a stamped envelope, and returned to the Chairman of the Election Board in care of a Post Office Box rented for and by the Election Board.  The voter should place their name in the upper left-hand corner of the larger envelope following the words, “BALLOT OF…”  The balloting shall close at eight a.m. (8:00 a.m.) of the Saturday preceding the meeting in March of the odd-numbered years.
            After the Election Committee has checked the returned ballots for eligibility, they shall mix the smaller envelopes and conduct the canvassing in such a way as to guarantee a secret ballot.  After the tabulation and canvass of the ballots, the Committee shall prepare three (3) copies of their certification of the results of the Election; one (1) copy for the Local President; one (1) copy for the Secretary; and the third copy to be enclosed in the package containing the returned and counted ballots; envelopes used to mail in marked ballots’ tally sheets; and all related election documents must be kept for one (1) year.         

Candidates for Delegates receiving the highest respective votes as to number to be elected shall be elected as such.  In the event of a tie vote, candidates tied shall cast lots for the position.  In the event of a tie vote involving a General Officer, Craft Officer or Trustee, a run-off election by referendum ballot shall be conducted, involving only those candidates that were tied.

No member shall vote by proxy, nor shall write-in votes be valid, considered or counted.

In the event of any unopposed candidates duly qualified for Office, after nominations have been closed for Office, the Secretary shall be instructed to cast a unanimous ballot for that candidate and that person shall be declared elected, and that candidate’s name and Office shall be so noted on an informational part of the General Ballot.

Successful candidates shall be sworn in at the regular March Membership Meeting and shall assume the duties of their respective offices on April 1st of the election years.

Section 6.  All elections shall be decided by a plurality of all votes legally cast.  Convention Delegate candidates standing next to highest to the winning candidates for Delegate shall be declared the Alternate Delegate.

Section 7.  Candidates are subject to Article 10 of the APWU National Constitution and subsequent amendments thereto.
            No member shall accept nomination for Office or Delegate whose name appears on a list of supervisor eligibles, unless the member has requested in writing, to be removed from such a list and a copy of such request has been furnished to the union prior to accepting the nomination.  At the March meeting of an election year, either in person or in writing, the newly elected Officers and Delegates shall make the following pledge to the membership:  


For the purpose of this Article, a supervisor position shall be any position as defined by the National Labor Relations Board.

NOTE:  This is to apply to all elections and vacancies following the 1972 General Elections.

CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS  AMERICAN POSTAL WORKERS UNION ARTICLE 10 Eligibility to Run and Hold National, State or Local Office      

Section 2(b.)
  Any employee eligible to be a member of the American Postal Workers Union who voluntarily holds a managerial, supervisory or EAS position with responsibility for issuing or recommending discipline, or applying or interpreting the National Agreement for the equivalent of a two-week period in a year shall be ineligible to hold office at any level of the APWU or to be a delegate to any convention held by the APWU or any subordinate body of the APWU, so long as the employee continues to serve in such position and for a period of one (1) year from the time the employee vacates such position.

Any member who has submitted an application to a managerial, supervisory or EAS position with responsibility for issuing or recommending discipline or for applying or interpreting the National Agreement shall withdraw such application prior to acceptance of nomination for any office in the APWU.

Section c.  Any member who voluntarily, after August 31, 1984, holds, accepts, or applies for any managerial or supervisory position, EAS position or the PASS Program or any supervisory program, for any period of time, whether one (1) day or a fraction thereof, either detailed, acting, probationary or permanently after being elected or appointed to any office, shall immediately vacate any office held by that member in the national, local, area local, district council, state or regional organization, any department of the APWU, the Postal Press Association, or any subordinate body of the APWU which receives financial support or uses the name of the American Postal Workers Union.

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APWU                  St. Paul, MN Area Local            APWU
Todd Elkerton , President                                     1/13/15                                 651-778-1637 

So the problem in putting out bulletins with the latest information about the changes to clerks bids is that by the time you get the bulletin, the changes have been changed again.  Todd and I met with management and they did tell us their “plan”.  Their plan included changing bids, changing the start time of certain bids in certain sections and then because of the BT time changes, some bids would need to be reposted.  They also told us it would be done in a certain order.   Our intent when meeting with management was to make sure everyone had at least 2 bid cycles to make necessary changes or two opportunities to bid. Management made some changes after they met with us.  Since then, most of the numbers have not changed, but how management gets there has.  As of today, January the 12th here’s what we know. 

Letter Automation: Tour-2 we were told that tour-2 will have 25 bids that begin tour at 0700 hours.  Now management says they are going to go with 15 bids and may go to 25.  This issue will be discussed again.

Tour-3 will have 38 bids that BT at 1215 and 25 at 1500. 
Tour-1 will have a total of 112 bids.  All will BT at 2005 hours. 

In the meantime, they will move the bids/employees that can be changed and those that can not be moved will be reposted.

  Also in the mean time, those with a 2100 BT will stay at 2100.   

  Management will not change their BT with a 1723. 
FSM: The 10 new bids for tour-2 (0700 BT).  They have been posted.  Tour-3 will have 32 BT at 1215 and 12 at 1530.

  Tour-1 will have all 41 bids BT at 2005 hours. 
Overall there will be an increase in the total number of bids by 7.As of today, all affected employees should have received a letter from management notifying them of what changes are going to happen to them and/or their bid.  If you have not received a letter or feel the letter you received is in error, please see a steward.

On Friday the 9th I met with Senior MDO Petersdorf.  She says there will be no more assignment details (1723’s).  Management has no interest in changing employee’s duty assignments because it costs them too much money.  We warned them it would.  So, they would rather live with the problems associated with different start times with-in the same section, even on the same tour.  The difference in BT times should have no effect on overtime rotation.  Employees have the option of submitting and requesting a change of schedule (Form 3189).  However, keep in mind, the change in schedule temporarily removes you from your bid.  It is not a change in your bid.  Because you are outside your bid, this makes you unavailable for OT and also makes you junior to those who are working their bid.

APWU                                                 APWU
Todd Elkerton, President         St. Paul, MN Area Local                      January 13, 2015                                                                         651-778-1637         



          Also search over 100 union sponsored scholarships at the following website:  (Not part of the APWU Scholarship Program).


Three $1000.00 scholarships to be awarded to son or daughter of an active, retired or deceased member of the St. Paul, MN Area Local American Postal Workers Union.  Rules and applications are available in the steward’s office, and will be printed in the January and February issues of the ‘Postmark’ or call the Union Office (651) 778-1637.  Application must be postmarked by February 28, 2015.


Information and forms for these scholarships can be obtained at the Union Office (651)778-1637, the steward’s office at the Eagan P & DC, or at the MN AFL-CIO web site (    The Minnesota AFL-CIO Scholarship is awarded to graduating high school seniors who are union members or the dependents of union members.  Applicants must have a straight “B” average or better and attend a post-secondary institution within the State of Minnesota.   Deadline is April 30, 2015.  For more information contact 651-294-3085 or 1-800-652-9004 or
  • David K. Roe Scholarship
(Two $1000.00 scholarships awarded for a post-secondary institution (within the State of Minnesota). 
  • Hubert H. Humphrey Memorial Award
(Two $1000.00 scholarships awarded for post-secondary institution (within the State of  Minnesota). 
  • Donald Pilla Memorial Award
(One $1000.00 scholarship awarded for vocational/technical school (within the State of Minnesota).     

 $500.00 scholarship with winners to be selected by lot.  Scholarships awarded to union members affiliated with the MN AFL-CIO not high school graduating dependents.)  Deadline April 30, 2015.  For more information contact the U of M Labor Education Service at 612-624-5020 or 


Tobey Lapakko Labor Leadership Grant (for women), or Charles McKenna Leadership Grant (for men) for members of affiliated unions seeking to develop their abilities and skills as union leaders.    Recipients will be selected by lot by the Minnesota AFL-CIO Education Committee.  See website at or 651-227-7647.

  • E.C. Hallbeck Memorial Scholarship
  • Vocational Scholarship
Awarded to high school seniors of APWU members.  Applications must be received by March 16, 2015  Applications and further information may also be obtained at the National APWU website at


Scholarships available for racial/ethnic minority union member and their families who wish to pursue post-secondary education at one of Minnesota’s State Universities or at one of the two-year community and technical colleges that are part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU).  (Those attending the University of Minnesota or a private school are not eligible for this scholarship.  For further information contact 651-738-1404 or 1-866-738-5238.  Deadline is May 1, 2015.   


(Federal Employee Education Assistance Program)
          Current civilian federal employees and their dependent family members (spouse/child).  Applicants must be current high school seniors or college students working toward an accredited degree and enrolled in a two or four year undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate program.  All applicants must have at least a 3.0 or higher GPA on a 4.0 scale.  Application package must be postmarked no later than March 27, 2015. Applications and additional information is also available on the web at


APWU                                                    APWU
Todd Elkerton,  President        St. Paul, MN Area Local                        December 3, 2014                                                                                   651-778-1637


Article 8.4.C of the National Agreement states in part:
“Penalty overtime pay will not be paid for any hours worked in the month of December.”        

Each leave year, a four-week period is designated the “month of December”.  This year’s period for the penalty rate exclusion begins on December 6, 2014 and ends January 2, 2015.  The exclusions of penalty rate of pay during this four-week period does not impact other aspects related to the use of the Overtime Desired List.  The Overtime Desired List and all other rules still exist in December.  It is only the penalty rate of pay that is affected.

2015 LEAVE YEAR         

The new leave year begins January 10, 2015.  Beginning January 10, 2015 you can start using leave that you will earn in 2015.


The new leave year begins January 10, 2015.  You may carry over a maximum of 440 hours of annual leave into the new leave year.  If you have more than 440 hours of annual leave as of January 10, 2015, you will lose ALL annual leave hours in excess in 440.  If you have more than 440 hours of annual leave, you will need to use it before January 10, 2015.  The JCIM states in part:  “Supervisors should exercise care to assure that bargaining unit employees do not have to forfeit any part of their annual leave.”  If you have in excess of 440 hours and are having problems getting annual leave approved, request to see a steward.


The National Agreement provides the following:  “The parties agree that APWU career employees will be allowed to sell back a maximum of forty (40) hours of annual leave prior to the beginning of the leave year provided the following two (2) criteria are met:
 1.    The employee must be at the maximum leave carry over ceiling at the start of the leave year, and2.    The employee must have used fewer than 75 sick leave hours in the leave year immediately preceding the year for which the leave is being exchanged. NOTE: The leave you are exchanging is the leave that you will earn in leave year 2015.  You cannot exchange leave that is in excess of the 440 hours that you are carrying over.   


Employees required to work on his/her Christmas Holiday (Christmas Day or your designated Christmas Holiday) will be paid one and one-half times the base hourly straight time rate for each hour worked.  It is not paid on December 25th unless it is your holiday.  This is in addition to the holiday leave pay employees are entitled to receive.  Those requesting annual leave in lieu of the Holiday Leave pay will still be paid at one and one-half times the base hourly straight time rate for each hour worked on the holiday of your designated holiday.


The following applies to career employees in the St. Paul installation:
 Employees who submitted 1547’s (Choice Vacation Slips) for choice vacation in the months of January, February or March of 2015 should have received an answer from management by November 30, 2014.  If you submitted a request and have not received an answer, please request to see a steward.         

For career employees in Associate Offices, refer to your LMOU.  Your specific rules may be different.   If you have any questions, please request to see a steward.

 Jerry Jacobson

Vice President

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APWU                                                    APWU
Todd Elkerton,  President         St. Paul, MN Area Local                        November 5, 2014                                                                                   651-778-1637

This is an important notice regarding changes being made to the current Clerk Craft Bid Sheet #93373.  This bid sheet opened on Tuesday the 4th and closes Friday the 14th of November at 10:00 a.m.  There will be changes to 4 bids, 3 in Customer Service and 1 in the Plant.  Usually when bids are posted with errors, they are pulled or removed from the bid sheet and then reposted with corrections on the next bid sheet.  In this case we are working with management to correct the bids while keeping them posted.  The intent is to award the bids without delays.            

Bid #95014272:

Tour 1 MPFSM with Wed/Thurs SDO.  The BT time will change from 21:30 to 20:30 hours.  No other changes.

Bid #71241336: 

Roseville SSA.  This bid will have a Valid State Driver’s License-Passenger Car requirement added to it.

Bid #71241352:

Woodbury SSA.  This bid will have a Valid State Driver’s License-Passenger Car requirement added to it.  In addition, this is a Flexible-Non-Traditional Full Time Assignment (FNTFT).

Bid #95024507: 

Shoreview Carrier Annex.  This bid is a Mail Processing Clerk position.  All qualifications (Driver’s License and Window) will be removed from this bid.

Bid #95027516: 

Is a vacant, full-time Roseville Station SSA duty assignment that should have been posted.  It will be added to the bid sheet.  It is a 6-week rotation with a Black Schedule.  It will require window (421 Sales and Services).  There will be no schemes on this bid.  It will have BT time of 0500-1400 Monday-Friday and 0500-1350 on Saturday.

Two Bids on Page 1, #71241192 (Eagan) and #71241194 (Eastern Heights): 

Will be removed.

If you have already submitted a bid, please be aware of these changes.  You may want to cancel, change or add to your bid. 

If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Sunderland at 651-224-6674 or contact a union steward.

 Jerry Jacobson

Vice President 

APWU                                                    APWU

Todd Elkerton,  President        St. Paul, MN Area Local                September 16, 2014                                                                                   651-778-1637

                        RETIREMENT TRAINING 



9:00 A.M. – NOON          CSRS TRAINING 

1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.    FERS TRAINING   




APWU                                                    APWU
Todd Elkerton,  President         St. Paul, MN Area Local                    August 27, 2014                                                                         651-778-1637

 TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2014 11:00 A.M.   




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APWU                                                 APWU
Todd Elkerton,  President        St. Paul, MN Area Local                             May 12, 2014                                                                                      651-778-1637 

Numerous Transfer Opportunities available until May 21, 2014

The recently signed National Memorandum of Understanding on “Filling Residual Vacancies” has created an eReassign opportunity for many full-time Clerk Craft positions.  The vacancies are required to be posted May 1, 2014 until May 21, 2014. 

This posting is for Full-time and Part-Time Flexibles who are looking to transfer to these openings, within the pecking order established by the MOU.
In order to submit a request for transfer, it must be done through e-Reassign at  Last month, the USPS changed to log-in procedure to the liteblue website.  It will now require a new password be established.  These instructions can be confusing so be prepared to spend some time getting it established.  A word of advice, do not wait until May 20, 2014 to try and express a preference on these full-time position in case you have difficulties navigating the process.

Stop Staples Campaign Continues

The rally held on April 24th at the Har-Mar Staples Store had more than 100 participants.  We were joined by the NALC, Regional Labor Federations, Retirees, AFSCME, Nurses, and many other concerned community members. We received coverage from many media organizations and are starting to get our message out.  We were also joined by Congressman Keith Ellison who addressed the crowd and Second District candidate Mike Obermeuller, both stated that they are firmly in our corner concerning this issue.The Stop Staples Campaign is continuing. We are working on a boycott of Staples stores with the AFL-CIO and Regional Labor Federation.  We are asking that you discuss this issue with your family and friends and ask that they support our boycott.  This a clear privatization attempt by the Postal Service to eliminate retail window services.  In the near future, we will ask our members, friends and family to sign post cards addressed to the CEO of Staples.  We have ordered a large supply of these post cards and expect to have them soon.  Please watch for the opportunity to sign these cards and return them to the St. Paul Local so we can gather them up and have them sent.

Thanks to all that have stepped up to help in this campaign. To those that have not, please get involved in this important issue. 

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APWU                  St. Paul, MN Area Local            APWU
Todd Elkerton , President                                  4/14/14                             651-778-1637 

Reposting of Duty Assignments: Continued

Tour 3 Automation is scheduled to occur the next bid cycle

In a Labor/Management meeting on Friday, March 11 management indicated that they are just about ready to notify Tour 3 Automation employees of the changes that will occur on the next bid posting.  At this point we do not have the specific individuals that are affected.  However, from the information management provided to us at this meeting seventeen bids will be reposted installation wide; this includes eight duty assignments that are being changed on Sunday outside of the one hour window provided for in the contract and nine duty assignments that will have days off changed.  It is anticipated that management will provide these letters to affected employees in the near future.Also, there are fourteen duty assignments that will see Sunday start times moved that do not require reposting because they are not being changed greater than one hour.  The remaining thirty-five will have no changes.When you receive a letter and have questions ask to see a steward and they can get an answer for you.

Tour 1 Automation reposting results

Those on Tour 1 who had their duty assignment reposted and did not get awarded on the last award notice will now become unassigned regulars.  The contract provides that you will keep the same schedule and days off unless notified by management of change within the first 28 days of becoming an unassigned regular.  Further, as an unassigned regular you can be assigned to a residual duty assignment in accordance with Article 37.4 of the National Agreement.  Those employees who have now become unassigned regulars will get a letter from management in the near future with the available residual vacancies and be allowed to preference by seniority those residuals that are available if you do not preference management will assign you to a residual duty assignment.  If you are in this status and have questions on how it works, seek the advice of a Steward.

Parking Issues at the PlantParking in the BMEU lot

Management has brought the issue up in Labor/Management quite a few times now.  There are a large number of employees parking in the BMEU parking lot when they should be parking in the employee lot where there is ample space to park.  Management has indicated that they have posted a sign and provided service talks to employees explaining this issue.  Management has indicated if employees chose not to comply with these parking restrictions that they will start towing employee vehicles that are parked in the BMEU lot after BMEU hours.  If you do not want to pay towing expenses please refrain from parking in this lot.

Vandalism in the Employee Lot at the St. Paul Processing Plant

Since we have moved to the Processing Plant in Eagan there have been incidents in the employee parking lot of members getting their cars keyed and damaged by someone.  This issue creates a major issue for the Union.  First we cannot condone this destruction of property to our members.  We have raised this issue to management and have asked that this area be monitored and secured so our members do not have to suffer this loss to their property while they are work.  If you have had this done to your vehicle while parked in the employee lot and have not reported it please write a brief statement about the time and date this has occurred and leave it with a Steward.  This is a criminal act and some have reported it to the Eagan Police Department.  

 Stop Staples Informational Picket Scheduled

The St. Paul Areal Local is working with Minneapolis Area Local and Postal Data Center APWU along with the Craft Unions of the Post Office to bring attention to the Staples Pilot Project.  The Staples Pilot has put USPS retail services into Staples Stores in four States.  The APWU believes that this a significant threat to the sanctity and security of the mail.  The APWU also believes that this is a direct assault on living wage jobs in the USPS efforts to outsource its retail services to low paid minimum wage jobs.  The informational picket will be at the Roseville Staples store on Snelling Ave. and County Road B in the Har-Mar Mall.  It will be held on the sidewalk that runs parallel to Snelling Avenue on Thursday April 24th from 4-6 pm.  Please mark your calendars and make plans to attend this event.  The job you save may just be your own.

Todd Elkerton,  President       St. Paul, MN Area Local                         
April 3 , 2014                                                                                 

APWU and USPS Reach Agreement on “Filling Residual Vacancies” that Provides a Roadmap for PTF and PSE Conversion          

On March 20, 2014 the parties at the National Level reached an agreement that will result in conversion of PTF and PSE to career status.  The exact number of conversions that will take place is unable to determine at this time because it will depend on the number of residual vacancies and factors related to the steps to conversion from each individual craft.

                    The agreement as it relates to the Clerk craft is in effect until October 31, 2014 and may be extended by mutual agreement.  The agreement provides a pecking order to fill residual vacancies.  The procedures are listed below.  When a residual exists, this process must be followed until the position is filled. 

1.        Unencumbered Clerks in the same installation.

2.            Employees with Clerk Craft retreat rights for the installation.

3.            Full-Time Regulars from an installation impacted by excessing who request transfers within the District or a 100-mile radius through e-reassign 21-day posting

4.            Conversion of Part-Time Flexible Clerks in the installation.

5.            Full-Time Regular Clerks impacted by excessing who request voluntary reassignment beyond the District or a 100-mile radius through regular e-reassign.

6.            One-time posting of remaining residual assignments to PTF Clerks in other installations in the District that are on the rolls as of March 20, 2014.

7.            Priority consideration transfers through e-reassign from other APWU crafts and regular transfers through e-reassign from all crafts.

8.            Conversion of PSE Clerk Craft to career status within the installation.   

Maintenance Craft residual duty assignments will be filled in accordance with Article 38.3; 38.4; 38.5 and the “order for filling vacant maintenance positions” in the JCIM after applying Item 7a.  (Maintenance Transfers).  Custodial duty assignments will be filled by offering conversion to PSE Custodians by seniority on a District-wide basis.  Note:  This is different than installation seniority that is defined in both Clerk Craft and MVS Craft.             Motor Vehicle Craft residual duty assignments will be filled by applying Articles 39.1.B.6; 39.1.B.7; and 39.2.A.11.  Residual vacancies will be filled by converting PSE’s working in the same position as the residual vacancies in the same installation.          

Locally, all Craft Directors have been instructed to create a list of vacant and residual duty assignments and will ensure that management adheres to the agreement.

It is asked that PSE’s seek to find the seniority standing within their crafts and immediately report in instances where they believe it is wrong.  Contact a steward immediately to ensure that it can be investigated and corrected if need be before this process begins.


 I have been contacted by some PSE’s, mostly from Stations, regarding mileage and how to be compensated if you are required to move from one Station to another on the same day, or mileage to and from home to the Plant on Sundays.          

What I have found is that you must complete the initial PS Form 1010 which enrolls you in the eTravel Program.  Once you have completed the PS Form 1010, you won’t need to complete another one.  Each time that you submit for mileage reimbursement, you will complete PS Form 1164.

What is needed on PS Form 1164 is your Station, Name, Station Phone Number, Your Name, Address and Employee ID Number.

Once the PS Form 1164 is completed, sign and date ad “Claimant” and mail to the following with an enclosed, self-addressed envelope:
Cori ClaughertyAdministrative Assistant
St. Paul Postmaster’s Office
St. Paul, MN  55164-5001        

Cori will do the math and submit the paper work.  Your reimbursement will be electronically sent to the same account your payroll is sent to.

All employees are given an e-mail address that the Postal Service sends messages to.  In order to access this e-mail, it must be done on an ACE computer that is located in the Plant or by accessing the computers located at the Stations.  Your supervisor or manager will have your ID log-in.  The postal employee will set up their own password.  This password will need to be re-set every few months or so.

An e-mail regarding the Travel Policy was sent on November 18, 2013 to those PSE’s from Stations that come to the Plant on Sundays.

If you have any questions, please see a steward or request these forms from your supervisors.  Always keep copies of all requests for your records.

Cynthia Lauer

Industrial Relations Director

APWU                                                    APWU
Todd Elkerton,  President         St. Paul, MN Area Local                         March 27, 2014                                                                                   651-778-1637


With the recent changes and reposting of Tour 1 bids, there is some confusion.  Many employees recently received a letter from management notifying them that due to changes to their hours and/or days off, their bid was going to be reposted.        

The National Agreement requires bids to be reposted when certain things happen. 

When the principle assignment area, section, tour, scheme knowledge, days off or changing the bid from a traditional full-time to an NTFT, the bid will be reposted.  An occupied bid can have its starting time changed up to one (1) hour (earlier or later) without needed to be reposted. 

This rule applies to cumulative changes while a bid is occupied.

  The following are examples that may better explain the rules.
 If you have a bid with a 2145 start time, your start time can be moved from 2045 to 2245 during the life of the current Agreement and as long as you occupy the bid.  Management could change your start time from 2145 to 2100 then later to 2245 without reposting your bid as long as you occupy the bid and the changes take place during the life of the current Agreement. 

If you have a start time of 2145 and management changes it to 2100 and then changes it to 2000, the bid will need to be reposted. 

This is a cumulative change of over one (1) hour (2145 to 2000). 

Again, this rule applies as long as you occupy the bid during the life of the current National Agreement.

If an occupied bid with a 2145 BT is changed to 2100 and is then vacated (the employee bids out, resigns, retires, etc.) and you bid into the vacant bid with a 2100 BT, your one (1) hour radius for that bid is now 2000 to 2200.  Management can now change the BT of your bid from 2100 to 2000 without having to repost it. It is up to management to determine whose bid needs to be reposted and whose can be changed without being reposted.  We will meet with management to try and help eliminate any mistakes. 

Again, this is management’s decision to make these changes.  Because we are assisting does not mean that we condone it.
 Other bids being reposted are bids that are having their scheduled days off changed.  If there are five bids that are identical (same section, scheduled days off, hours and duties) and management is changing two of them, the bids of the two junior employees will be reposted. 

These changes only affect those bids that are scheduled to work on Monday (Sunday night for Tour 1).  Employees on Tour 1 having their bids reposted have been notified.  Employees whose bids are not being reposted and are just having BT time changes should receive notice in the next couple of days. 

Some employees will not receive any notice because these changes do not affect them.

 We met with Plant Manager Greg Pobuda on Wednesday, March 26th.  He has notified us that management will move forward with the proposed changes to the Tour 3 Automation Section next month/bid cycle.

  Because of the start time change to those bids scheduled to work on Sundays, they may need to be reposted pending the rules above.  Plant Manager Pobuda also notified the union that he has decided not to abolish bids on Tour 3 and Tour 1 Mailing Division. 

Also, the Tour 2 Automation Section will not be abolished and excessed.
 There has been some confusion about reading and understanding the Tour 1 bids on the bid sheet.  I believe about a year ago, Shared Services started making these changes. 

Regardless, to clarify and understand the days off, the bids are posted showing the “service days” off.  When the bid shows/reads Thur/Fri as scheduled days off, that means you do not report to work on Wednesday night (for Thursday) and Thursday night (for Friday).  Shared Services also started printing week-long schedule under each bid in an attempt to help employees better understand the bid’s schedule.  This again shows the “service days off” and not the actual days off for Tour 1 bids.  For Tour 2 and Tour 3 bids, the “service days” are your actual days off.

 FORM 1547 

As a reminder for those who submitted Form 1547 for Choice Vacations this year, the LMOU for the St. Paul Installation requires management to “normally complete and return the Form 1547 to employees no later than March 31st of each year”.  If you submitted Form 1547 requesting a choice vacation and do not receive a completed form from management by March 31st, request a steward.  Each Associate Office will have their own process for requesting choice vacations.  If you work in an Associate Office and have questions, please request a steward. 

 Jerry Jacobson

Vice President                                           

APWU                                                    APWU
Todd Elkerton,  President        St. Paul, MN Area Local                        March 13, 2014                                                                                  651-778-1637

          STAFFING CHANGES FOR THE ST. PAUL P & DC           

On March 10, 2014, management informed the St. Paul APWU of its official intent to restructure several Clerk Craft sections in the St. Paul P & DC.  The reason management provided is  based on F1 Baseline Staffing realignment and Load Leveling.  Management requested a meeting at 12:00 noon on March 11, 2014 to present their proposals.

The union attended this meeting and were notified the restructuring will affect all three tours.  The union raised their objections and concerns about these proposals and management stated they would look into it and get back to us.

At this point, it looks like management is going to be doing this in a short period of time and indicates that they intend to notify affected employees within a week and have the reposted positions on the bid sheet that opens on March 25, 2014 and closes on April 4, 2014.

The following is a list of affected sections and the proposals that management intends on implementing.

 Letter Automation Tour 1:  Change Sunday for Monday duty assignments to 2005 with some day off changes.

 Letter Automation Tour 3:  Change Sunday duty assignments to 1205 begin tour with some day off changes. ·       

Those occupied duty assignments that have seen a cumulative change of greater than one hour will be reposted according to the LMOU and National Agreement to a Level 6 and higher.  Those who do not receive a reposted duty assignment will be unassigned regulars at the effective date of the reposted duty assignment. 

Pouch Rack Tour 1:  Change General Expeditor’s begin tour to 2100-0600. 

Pouch Rack Tour 2:  Change General Expeditor’s begin tour to 0500-1330.  Also, Level 6 start times from 0700 to 0500 begin tours. 

Pouch Rack Tour 3:  Change General Expeditor’s begin tour to 1315. ·     

All the General Expeditor positions are a greater than one hour change and require reposting according to the LMOU and the National Agreement to Level 7 and higher Clerks.

 Mailing Division Tour 1:  Reduce Section by two duty assignments and cover manual flats from AFSM sections.  

 Mailing Division Tour 3:  Reduce section by two duty assignments and cover manual flats from AFSM section. 

·        The St. Paul APWU believes that this move violates the LMOU and what operations are worked in that section.  The APWU also believes this proposal requires Article 12 notification requirements.  The parties are still in discussion concerning this issue.  We will update you as soon as we have more information. 

Letter Automation Tour 2:  Abolish section and move bids to Tour 3 with a 1245 begin tour. 

·        The St. Paul APWU believes this is an Article 12 issue that requires up to six month notification to minimize the impact and allow employees the chance to bid and secure a duty assignment of their choosing.  The parties are still in discussion concerning this issue.  We will update you as soon as we have more information. 

FSM Tour 1 and Tour 2:  Management indicates that they will be making day off changes but have not received approval at this point.  This is all the information management was willing to provide to us at this point. The remaining sections at this point have no proposed changes. 

The union recognizes that members will have many questions concerning these changes that  the supervisors will be unable to answer.  Please ask for a steward, and if they do not have the answer, they will try and get it for you.
               This is the most complete information the St. Paul APWU is able to provide at this time. 

We believe that the timeline is going to be tough to complete seeing that all this information needs to be submitted by Tuesday of next week for Shared Services to get these changes on the next bid cycle.  The union also believes that there should be more time to allow those being affected to prepare and figure out what they are going to do as they have to reorganize their schedules to accommodate these changes. 

Please know that where the Contract provides notification periods, we are filing grievances to seek the notification.

APWU                                                    APWU
Todd Elkerton,  President        St. Paul, MN Area Local              January 7, 2014                                                                651-778-1637           


The changes for Tour 1 and Tour 3 Automation have been placed on hold. 

Management intends to continue to use 1723’s and pay out of schedule to those Clerks scheduled on Sundays.  Management is currently looking at staffing concerning day off needs and they believe this staffing survey will be completed in the near future.  So, they have agreed to place the current proposals to the union on hold while they determine the extent to reposting duty assignments. 

 Management intends to formally provide notice to the FSM Sections on Tour 1 and Tour 3. 

Due to there not being reposting issues in these two sections, management will be sending out letters notifying those people who work Sunday of the change in begin tour from 1300 to 1205 and 2130 to 2030.  The effective date of this change will be February 22, 2014. 

In the meantime, management will be providing 1723’s and pay out-of-schedule premium for this change.
   The union will continue to provide as up to date information as is provided to the union.  I know that these updates provide for a lot of anxiety for members as they are unsure of what is going to happen.  I will continue to listen to input from the members and bring these concerns forward on your behalf to management.

APWU                                                    APWU
Todd Elkerton,  President        St. Paul, MN Area Local                       January 3, 2014                                                                                   651-778-1637

FOR TOUR 1 AND TOURIN P/L 131, 138, 145, 331, 345 

On January 3, 2014 at 11:00 a.m., the St. Paul Area Local and St. Paul Processing and Distribution Plant Manager met again concerning changes in start times to the above Pay Location list.  The union has re-printed the letter provided to the union dated January 3, 2014 on the other side of this bulletin.  The notification has changed since the meeting conducted on December 26, 2013.           

As of now, the start time changes will only affect start times on Sunday afternoon and evening.  Those duty assignments that, as a result of this change, require reposting have not been determined at this time.  The Contract states that those occupied duty assignments that have a cumulative change of greater than one hour requires reposting.  Right now we are unsure how many positions this would involve.  We will be meeting next week to try and get a determination on this issue.  It is hopeful that those occupied duty assignments that will need to be reposted will be identified and the incumbents in those assignments will receive a letter notifying them of the reposting by the end of next week.
            The original letter did not identify the 1500 start time on Tour 3 Automation as needing to change, but the letter this week states that this start time will change to 1400 on Sundays.          

We will continue to work with management to attempt to comply with their contractual obligations to you.

For those individuals that have transportation or scheduling issues with the new start time, management has indicated that they will work on a case by case basis.  If you have difficulty in this area, contact a steward.  We will try and get Flash Bulletins out after every meeting to let you know where we are at in the process.

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APWU                                                    APWU
Todd Elkerton,  President        St. Paul, MN Area Local               December 31, 2013                                                                      651-778-1637

TIMES FOR P/L 131, 145, 331 AND 345          

On December 26th, the St. Paul APWU was notified by letter of management’s intention, “Due to operational needs, begin tours on Sunday will be permanently changed in Tour 3 and Tour 1 Letter Automation as of Pay Period 3, 2014 (January 11, 2014).”  The notified changes were to move Tour 3 to a 1200 start time and Tour 1 to a 2005 start time on Sundays.  The union scheduled a meeting the next day to discuss this change. 

At this meeting, the union informed the Plant Manager that this change would require reposting most duty assignments in these pay locations.  The reason for this is that contractually if management changes a duty assignment by more than one hour, the duty assignment has to be reposted.  This applies to cumulative changes during the Contract period.  Most of the duty assignments on Tour 3 and Tour 1 had a start time of 1345 and 2145 at the start of the present Contract.  Therefore, management’s planned permanent start time on Sunday move puts most duty assignments outside of the one hour circle.                   

The contractual requirement has consistently been enforced by this Local.  The Plant Manager became irritated by this notification.  As a result, he stated that management would also be changing Tour 1 FSM and Tour 3 FSM in a similar fashion.  We told him this was not part of his notification letter provided to the union.  The Plant Manager stated he would have a new letter drafted to include all four sections.  The Plant Manager also stated that because of the requirement to repost he may also be making changes to off days and all four of these pay locations may have a start time of 1200 and 2005 every day of the week.

Remember, these are management initiated changes.  Management is choosing to disrupt the lives of its employees to accomplish its goals.  The union does not support these changes at this time.  The union believes that with 80 PSE employees, management has the flexibility to accomplish its service requirements in the short term by scheduling properly.

The union is deeply concerned about these proposals and the possibility that nearly 80 percent of the Clerk employees in the Processing and Distribution Plant will have their duty assignments reposted.  To further the concern, this might not be the only time this occurs this year.  There is a possibility if management moves forward with changing delivery standards and further consolidations this year, it could cause another reposting of most duty assignments in the Plant.  It is for this reason that the union does not support this change at this time.  The union believes that management should consider what may be happening in the near future and avoiding this type of disruption twice this year.  It is our hope that these disruptions can be mitigated during discussions but considering the Plant Manager’s demeanor during this initial discussion, this hope is fleeting at best.

The union will also seek that management conducts meetings with each pay location to explain why they are doing this and be available to answer questions from the members concerning these changes.
   The union asked for a timeline in which this will be completed.  The Plant Manager stated he did not know and that he would have to talk with his staff.  What we do know is that the letter indicated they want to have this done by January 14th.  However, with a reposting requirement, management would have to have all the duty assignments placed on a bid sheet and the next bid cycle is early January. 

The union does not believe that they can accomplish what they want to do in this time period which means that it will be potentially posted sometime in February, 2014.

At the conclusion of the meeting, we scheduled another meeting to occur on January 3rd at 1100.  The union will update the members on the progress of this issue as soon as we have more information.  At this time there are many more questions than there are answers.

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APWU                                                                    APWU
Todd Elkerton, President   St. Paul, MN Area Local                     September 30, 2013                                                                         651-778-1637_


National Elections are underway. Ballots must be returned by October 7, 2013.  Remember voting is your right to determine the direction of this Union, do not waste this right by not voting.  The St. Paul Area Local has a long history of leading the Nation when it comes to voting.  If you have not done so, fill that ballot out today and bring into work to mail.  It takes very little time and every vote counts!! 
Management agrees to post 15 new created duty assignments in Customer Service.

Last fall the Union contested the Station Staffing and filed numerous grievances concerning the reduction of duty assignment during management’s function 4 process.  The Union took one of the cases to Arbitration and was upheld in its grievance.  It is because of this management has agreed to settle the rest of the cases by adding an additional 15 full time newly created duty assignments.Further, Management has agreed to return those stations that were forced to split days off back to rotations.Over the next week or so, Management and the Union will visit those stations that we have agreed to add the duty assignments to get input from the clerks and management at these stations on where the duty assignment should be added.This agreement is the result of new contractual language within Article 37 to create desirable duty assignment from all available hours.

Management has agreed to move the time clocks at the St. Paul/Eagan Processing and Distribution Plant.

Plant Manager has agreed to move the time clocks for the P&DC to the front of the workroom floor.  The location will be left of the aisle that comes directly out from the lunchroom next to the front end (Barney) operation.  The Plant Manager has stated that employees will be expected to leave their timecards in slots provided with their names at their end tour and has indicated that those employees who do not will be held accountable.  Maintenance is presently in the process of pulling electricity over to the area along with other logistical issues that need to be in place before the move. 

Clearance and City Outsides to move to Pouch Rack

The parties have mutually agreed to move the Clearance operation from Tour 3 Mailing Division to Tour 3 Pouch Rack.  In addition, City Outsides will move from Tour 1 City Division to Tour 1 Pouch Rack.  With these changes employees within Pouch Rack will now be able to preference these operations from their respective Tours.

In a Pre-Arbitration Settlement, the St. Paul Area Local achieves a 1.75 remedy for continued 1.6 violations.

On September 26, 2013 NBA Willie Mellen agreed to a Pre-Arbitration Settlement concerning continuing violations of Article 1.6 of the National Agreement. The settlement provides that management will cease and desist from performing bargaining unit work in the Clerk Craft.  Further, the settlement provides that management will pay for all violations in the grievance file and up to date of settlement an additional 25 percent premium above the overtime rate.  The settlement remands the grievances back to parties to meet and remedy the settlement.  I would like to personally thank the Industrial Clerks, Cindy Lauer, and NBA Willie Mellen for their hard work on this settlement.

Ensure that you are on the proper operation while you are working!!!

As the USPS moves towards more data driven staffing models it is extremely important that you are clocked into to the proper operation for the work you are performing.  All too often we are confronted with management’s staffing models and we know that people are not punching to correct operations. This seriously impacts getting proper credit for the work you are performing.  The USPS is paying you while you are at work; take the time to get on the proper operation.  IF YOU DO NOT KNOW THE PROPER OPERATION NUMBER THEN ASK YOUR SUPERVISOR, IF HE DOES NOT KNOW, ASK FOR A STEWARD.  As this Local continues to fight for full time duty assignments we need to know that the data for the clock rings is correct. Thanks in advance for taking the time necessary to ensure that this is happening.

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APWU            St. Paul, MN Area Local        APWU
Todd Elkerton , President                             9/9/13                    651-778-1637 

APWU National Election is in process, ALL MEMBERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO VOTE

Starting today Monday September 9, 2013 ballots for the National APWU Election will be placed in the mail with all ballots being mailed by September 13th.  The ballots are due back October 7th, 2013.The St. Paul Area Local has a long tradition of being a local that has a high percentage of ballots returned.  Therefore, the St. Paul APWU is urging all members to vote in this year’s election of national officers.  Voting directly for Union Officers is a right that was fought for hard and long, to afford all APWU Union members the right to vote directly for the candidates.  It is one of the reasons we are considered one of the most democratic unions in the United States.As in the past, the National APWU is providing an incentive for participation in the election process.  The top three locals of 1,000 or more will receive $4000.00 each. The St. Paul Area Local has been awarded this incentive in the past and missed by .05 % last election.  The St. Paul Area Local would like to break into the top three again this year and we need you to make this happen.  So, make plans now to vote in this election.  Last, thanks to all those that do vote and encourage your fellow union members to participate.

 $937 Cost of Living Raise Set for Septembe

Career APWU members will receive a $937 annual increase in pay this month.  This substantial raise is a result of the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement which preserved cost-of-living adjustments for the members.The Cost of Living adjustment was effective Saturday September 7, 2013 and will be reflected in your next paycheck.  The raise amounts to $36.04 per pay period and reflects the increases in the cost of living from January to July 2012, and from January to July 2013.The present COLA increase is in addition to the first increase in March 2013 of $207.00In addition to the COLA, APWU career represented employees will receive a pay increase of 1.5% effective November 16, 2013.Postal Support Employee (PSEs) are not eligible for COLA’s, yet they will receive a 2.5% increase effective November 16, 2013 

 ALL St. Paul APWU Members are urged to contact their Senators NOW!!!

A bill introduced by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) in August will jeopardize the healthcare and retirement benefits of postal employees by giving Arbitrators the authority to remove the APWU from the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program and the Federal Employees Retirement System.The APWU vehemently opposes removing APWU employees and retirees from these programs.

S. 1486 is the bill that members are asked to contact their senators and tell them that they oppose this bill as written.In addition to healthcare and retirement benefits, the bill also destroys service to our customers by eliminating almost all overnight delivery, decimating the mail processing network, closing post offices, phasing out door to door delivery and ending Saturday letter delivery.Over the summer, I have had conversations with both Senator Franken and Senator Klobuchar aides concerning our issues.  In all these discussion, I am told about the calls and letters they are receiving from our members.  Both Senators understand our concerns.  However, only Senator Franken has become a co-signer of S. 316 the bill that we think would most strengthen the postal service and preserve healthcare, retirement, and service standards to our customers.

If you have not done so take time today to Contact Senators Franken and Klobuchar and tell them that you oppose S.1486 and encourage them to support S. 316 as its replacement.

Capital Switchboard is at 202-224-3121


APWU                                                                    APWU
Todd Elkerton, President   St. Paul, MN Area Local                     August 15, 2013                                                                         651-778-1637 

Management to change 1600 start times on Tour 3 Automation to 1500 Begin Tour

At the August 14, 2013 Labor Management meeting, Management informed the St. Paul APWU that it intends to change the 1600 start time duty assignments to a 1500 Begin Tour. 
The Union requested a 30 day notice be provided to the Union in writing prior to its implementation.  At this point we are unsure if this will happen. 
Because the change is not more than one hour those that are in 1600 start time duty assignment will not have their bids reposted but will remain the incumbent in those duty assignments. 
If this creates some difficulty, management has agreed to work with the employee through a change of schedule for a period of time to make this adjustment. 
Management’s explanation for this move is that there is now mail volume to start the front end at 1500 and this will provide volume to run certain sort plans earlier.

Industrial Staffing Arbitration

As previous communicated, Arbitrator Fletcher sustained the St. Paul Area Local’s concerning  Station Staffing specific to Industrial Station.  The Arbitrator ordered that management and the Union jointly re-do the staffing matrix at Industrial Station to include all available hours.  The parties made three site visits to Industrial Station and found many concerning issues. 

The result of these meeting is that the parties have agreed to add 70 hours to original staffing matrix that was originally proposed for Industrial Station. There is a meeting scheduled with the Industrial Clerks on Friday 8-16-13 to discuss the new station staffing.  I want to thank all that were involved in this case.   The bids will be available on the next bid cycle. 

The parties have agreed that Eagan will be the next station we visit and try to mutually come to an agreement on proper staffing for Eagan. 

PSE rights are being strengthened through MOU’s from National APWU

In a memo with the USPS on August 13, the Union signed an agreement that strengthens and clarifies PSE Seniority.  The memo clarifies many issues that have been in dispute. 

In some parts of the country, including the St. Paul Area Local, the USPS has been claiming that a PSE can be let go at the 360 day break and junior PSE’s retained.  These tactics had been used to circumvent “just cause” provisions to remove PSE’s.  This new memo makes it clear that when a PSE’s five day break occurs and the USPS determines there is a need to reduce the number of PSE’s, the PSE with the most seniority must be reappointed and the most junior PSE in the installation must be separated. 

IF management chooses not to reappoint a PSE after their 5 day break, we ask that PSE’s contact the Union to determine if management had made this decision properly.
There was also a memo in February that elaborated on the ‘just cause” rights PSE’s have concerning discipline.

The St. Paul Area Local is working hard to protect and create full-time jobs so the PSE’s will have jobs to be converted into when the time comes.  In the Clerk Craft, the contract allows management to employ up to 20 % of the Career Clerk workforce in the district as PSE. 

Presently the Northland District the PSE’s make up 17% of the Career Workforce.  When management reaches the 20% threshold we will be seeking conversion of the PSE to career employees.
As can be seen, this Local is spending a great deal of time ensuring future postal employment and rights of PSE’s, it pays to belong.  If you are a PSE and a non-member, I suggest that you consider joining the APWU. These fights cannot be made without your belonging to the APWU. Presently 75% of the PSE are members. If you work with a PSE who is not member, encourage them to sign up.

Healthcare, Retirement Benefits now available to Same-Sex Spouses of Postal, Federal Workers

As a result of the recent Supreme Court ruling that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, OPM has announced guidelines that allow for extension of benefits who have legally married a spouse of the same sex.  A special open season is presently being offered to allow eligible employees to enroll in the following programs.
 Federal Employee Health Benefits
Federal Employees Group Life  Insurance
Dental and Vision Insurance
Long-Term Care Insurance
Retirement Benefits

If you are affected by this, you must act quickly in that the special open season closes on August 26, 2013.

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APWU             St. Paul, MN Area Local            APWU
Todd Elkerton , President           8/1/13               651-778-1637

 Maintenance Step 2 Settlement

Over the past few weeks, there have been pay settlements that affect many maintenance craft employees. 

First, there is a grievance for the custodians concerning MS-47 bypassed routes from April 2012 and March 2013.

Second is a contracting grievance concerning Building Maintenance Mechanics that involved installation of ceiling fans and black air pipe at the processing and distribution plant.

These settlements include a cash payment for all the Custodians and BEM in the St. Paul Installation.

Last, the FSS bypass grievances have been settled.  With management agreeing that there is only one overtime desired list for each tour and occupational group, management cannot bypass a person on the OTDL because they have not been to training.  This settlement also provides 600 hours of overtime bypass settlements.
If you have any questions, please ask a steward or David Geissinger.

Update on Station Staffing grievances: In late May an Arbitrator ruled that management must use all available hours to create desirable duty assignments for career employees to bid at Industrial Station.  The Postmaster and I have made three site visits to Industrial Station and agreed to adding two bids to Industrial Station. 

The bids should be posted on the next bid cycle.

I want to thank the Industrial employees for their continued engagement in this process; if not for you the APWU could not have been successful in this issue.

Further, the parties have agreed to meet and try and settle the other station staffing grievances that were filed.  So, over the next few weeks the Postmaster and I will be making site visits as we try and resolve the rest of the grievances.

Member Involvement Needed Now!!!

Legislation has been introduced in both the House and the Senate concerning the Postal Service.  The House bill has been passed out of committee 22-17 along party lines with 22 voting for being Republicans.   This bill in its present form would prohibit postal unions from negotiating protect  layoff, increase health insurance costs for postal employees, limit collective bargaining rights, reduce compensations for injured workers. 

It also changes delivery standards to not include overnight standards, requires closing post offices, station and branches, consolidate plants, and reduce door to door delivery and Saturday letter delivery.

Last, it establishes “competition advocates” that will look to ways to contract out the work done by postal employees.  This bill in its present form will have devastating effects on us as postal employees.
Please take the time it takes to call your representative and urge them to oppose this legislation and its devastating effects on communities, and workers. As an alternative ask them to support HR 961 USPS Stabilization Act and HR 2459 Overnight Delivery Act.  The number can be found on the back of this bulletin. 

Senator Amy Klobuchar
302 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
DC Phone 202-224-3244

Senator Al Frankin
309 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
DC Phone 202-224-5641

Representative Tim Walz
CD 1
1722 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
DC phone 202-225-2472

Representative John Kline CD2
2439 Rayburn HOB
Washington DC 20515
DC phone 202-225-2271

Representative Erik Paulsen CD 3
127 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
DC Phone 202-225-2871

Rep. Betty McCollum
CD 4
1714 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
DC Phone - 202-225-6631

Representative Keith Ellison CD 5
1027 Longworth Building
Washington, DC 20515
DC phone 202-225-4755

Rep. Michelle Bachmann
CD 6
103 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
DC Phone 202-225-2331

Representative Collin Peterson
CD 7
2109 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
DC phone 202-225-2165

Representative Rick Nolan
2447 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
DC phone 202-225-6211


Representative Paul Ryan
1233 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
DC Phone 202-225-3031

Representative Tammy Baldwin
2446 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
DC phone 202-225-2906

Representative Ron Kind
1406 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
DC phone 202-225-5506

Representative Gwen Moore
2245 Rayburn HOB
Washington DC 20515
DC phone 202-225-4572

Jim Sensenbrenner
2449 Rayburn HOB
Washington DC 20515
DC phone 202-225-5101

Representative Tom Petri
2462 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
DC phone 202-225-2476

Representative Sean Duffy
1208 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
DC Phone 202-225-3365

Representative Reid Ribble
1513 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
DC Phone 202-225-5665

Senator Ron Johnson
2 Russell Courtyard
Washington DC 20510
DC phone 202-244-5323

Senator Herb Kohl
330 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
DC phone 202-224-5653

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APWU                                                                 APWU

Todd Elkerton, President   St. Paul, MN Area Local                     April 15, 2013

www.St.                                                                     651-778-1637


Elizabeth (Izzy) Ortiz  (ELECTED)                          162
Dianne Richardson                                             150


Chairman:                 Pat Hawkins 

Committee:   Tim Strong, Jodi Davis, Julie Nuzum, Huong Ly, Dennis Mendenhall, Sara Clemons    

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Todd Elkerton, President St. Paul, MN Area Local March 27 , 2013 651-778-1637



In accordance with the Local Constitution Article 9, Section 3:“In the event of a tie vote involving a General Office, Craft Officer or Trustee, a run off election by referendum ballot shall be conducted, involving only those candidates that were tied.”



Todd Elkerton, President St. Paul, MN Area Local March 25, 2013

www.St. 651-778-1637




President Todd Elkerton
Vice President Jerry Jacobson
Secretary Stephen Letendre
Trustee Chair Jason Stevens
Clerk Craft Director Bruce Gutzke
Motor Vehicle Craft Director Dave Cook

Cheong (Charlie) Hwang 211

Fred Bainbridge 219 - elected


Cindy Lauer 227 - elected
Terri Griner 199


Tina Westgard 43

Jim Thompson 78

Elizabeth (Izzy) Ortiz 82 - tie

Dianne Richardson 82 - tie


Keith W. Landsman 14
Karen Volkman 49

Kim Elledge 9

Dave Geissinger 52 - elected

Rod Renner 61

Gary Keicker 62 - elected

Doug Peterson 12

Steve Henjum 23 - elected

Motor Vehicle
66 sent,
36 returned

Maintenance 177 SENT 124 RETURNED
Clerks 752 SENT 294 RETURNED

Total Sent _____1005
Total Returned _454
Spoiled: 3


Chairman: Pat Hawkins
Committee: Tim Strong, Jodi Davis, Julie Nuzum, Huong Ly, Dennis Mendenhall, Sara Clemons

In accordance with Article 9, Section 3 of the St. Paul Area Local APWU Constitution,

“In the event of a tie vote involving a General Office, Craft Officer or Trustee, a run off election by referendum ballot shall be conducted, involving only those candidates that were tied.”

Therefore, the Election Committee will prepare a ballot with Elizabeth (Izzy) Ortiz and Dianne Richardson to be mailed out to only clerk craft members.

Future bulletins will be sent out to provide a timeline for this procedure to be implemented.

APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton , President 3/14/13 651-778-1637

It’s Choice Vacation Time!

The following process does not apply to associate office employees. Each associate office has their own Local Memo which addresses their choice vacation selection process. If you have any questions about your particular office, please request a steward.

The Local Memorandum of Understanding for St. Paul states “Periods for requesting choice vacation will commence no later than March 1st of each year. Employees must submit their Form 1547 to management no later than March 21st. Normally, management will complete and return Form 1547 to employee no later than March 31st of each year”.

During the months of January, February, March, April, the 1st 21 days of May, September, October and those dates in November not covered in Section C, 10% of the complement will be scheduled on annual leave in each section or unit.

Section C states “From May 22nd and including June, July August and from the first Saturday in November and continuing for a total of 21 calendar days, 14% of the complement will be scheduled on annual leave in each section or unit.

When the 10% or the 14% is applied, whichever is applicable and the resultant number is a fraction, if the fraction meets or exceeds 50 percent the number will be the next highest number. If the percentage is less than 50%, the next lowest number will be used, except when less than one, one will be used.

Choice vacation period shall begin with the new leave year (January 13th, 2013) and end on the last Friday in November (November 30th, 2013).

All employees shall be granted 2 (two) selections as their first choice during the choice vacation periods. If an eligible employee requests 15 (fifteen) continuous days of annual leave, such request will be counted as 2 (two) selections.

Employees changing their assignment shall have their vacation periods honored in the new assignment and such annual shall not be part of the quota of the gaining or losing section or unit for choice vacation.

No exchange shall be permitted of vacation choices.

When filling out your Form 1547, make sure you enter under “First Choice” all the weeks that you want annual leave. The Second and Third choice areas are for designating an alternate choice if you are not able to receive the leave requested under your first choice. Form 1547 asks for “inclusive dates”. This means to include all the days you want including your days off and holidays.

Your vacation period starts on the first day of your basic work week unless otherwise agreed upon and in 40-hour increments. Exceptions may be granted by agreement among the employee, the Union and the employer.For those of you working with split or rotating days off, your basic workweek begins on your first scheduled day immediately after your first scheduled day off in that service week.

For example, if you have Sunday/Wednesday off the week of your vacation, your basic work week begins on Monday and ends on the following Sunday.

Stations and Branches

As of Tuesday, March the 12th all in-section bidding is complete. Management claims all retreat rights have been offered. We disagree. Our records show at least 2 employees from West St. Paul still have retreat rights. We are working with management to straighten this out. Recently we won a grievance at Step-3 concerning the staffing at the Woodbury station. The settlement requires management to post one new full time 40-hour a week duty assignment in the Woodbury office. This is just one of many grievances we have filed over the past year. We are in the process of preparing one of our other staffing grievances for arbitration.


Plant Manager Pobuda has been detailed out of St. Paul for a period of up to 6 months, maybe longer. He will be replaced with a manager from Seattle. His name is Kenn Messinger. Management will begin in-section bidding on tour-3 in the pouch rack section this weekend. All in-section bidding in mailing division and in automation has been completed. We have been in discussions with management regarding the excessed employees into the mail handler craft. No time table or decisions have been made but we are moving forward with this issue. Our union office will be moving from its current location to an office area near the main front entrance doors.


Our 2010 National Contract states the following: Effective 6 months from the signing date of the 2010 National Agreement, full time career clerk craft and motor vehicle craft employees who are not on the Overtime Desired List and are in an installation with employees working in NTFT duty assignments in the same functional area, will not be required to work overtime except in an emergency. Management now has NTFT duty assignments posted in mail processing, customer service and in the motor vehicle craft. We have informed management according to this rule, our NON-ODL employees can no longer be forced to work overtime in those areas. Some employees were forced in the last week or so, grievances are being filed. The Bulk Mail Entry Unit is excluded. The BMEU falls under a different functional area.

Jerry Jacobson

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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton , President 2/12/13 651-778-1637


It has recently been brought to my attention that the Postal Service has a job posting up for three (3) Ad-Hoc Drivers Trainers in the St Paul instillation. This job falls under the jurisdiction of the Motor Vehicle Craft. As such, the USPS must give first consideration to Motor Vehicle Craft employees who apply (if no MVS aplicants, other craft employees will be awarded jobs).

These jobs are used on an as-needed basis when drivers’ training exists. You would not vacate your current full-time bid if awarded one of these Ad-Hoc positions. These positions will help provide drivers training (both classroom & behind the wheel) to new carriers and all other postal employees (career & non-career) who are required to drive as part of their job duties (Automotive Technicians, Tractor Trailer Operators, building maintenance, etc.).

The types of vehicles you would train in include LLV, FFV, 2-Tons, Dodge Caravans, administrative vehicles, maintenance vehicles and Tractor Trailers. You must be licensed to drive all of the above vehicles when you apply for these jobs. This is why MVS employees are perfect for the job. The overwhelming majority of us already have a commercial driver’s license.

I know several people whom have held these positions in the past and they all have liked this work. The posting is up from February 12, 2013 thru February 22, 2013 @ 10:30 AM. You can find this posting on employee bulletin boards in your facility which includes instructions on how to apply for the job. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at the Union office and I would be more than happy to assist in any way possible. I would like to see MVS employees keep this work within our craft.

In solidarity,

Dave Cook

MVS Director

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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton , President 2/7/13 651-778-1637

Station Chaos

As of now here’s some of what’s going on at the stations and branches. Please remember, this is subject to change (which it has almost daily). During the week of February 4 through the 8th, in-section bidding will be conducted in the following stations, Apple Valley, Dayton’s Bluff, Roseville and White Bear Lake. As soon as the in-section is concluded, retreat rights will be offered to those with retreat rights.

The Union has agreed to quick bid the in-section bidding and retreat right process because of the recent retirements causing staffing problems and to get those employees with retreat rights back into their stations as soon as possible. Most of the results will be effective February 9th if possible.

The following stations will have in-section bidding and retreat rights offered during the week of February 11th through the 15th, Eagan beginning Monday the 11th, Rice Street and Woodbury beginning Tuesday 12th. Industrial and Elway will also be done during the week.

Management insists on posting 2 NTFT bids at Rice Street Station with a schedule of 3-12 hours days. One will work Mon-Tues-Wed 0445 to 1745; the other is Thurs-Fri-Sat 0445 to 1745 (12 Hours a day, 3 days a week). Both of these assignments are 36 hour a week assignments. They will first be offered in-section. If they go residual (in-section) then they will be posted installation wide.

The other bids at Rice Street will be posted installation wide. The contract states if a full time regular bid is reposted as a NTFT, it is subject to the in-section process. The other FTR bids are changed, but not to a NTFT and because there is no excessing, the bids go installation wide.

The 3rd position will also be a NTFT Flex scheduled 40 hours a week with a 6 week rotation. NTFT Flex assignments are similar to what we have called “relief” bids. In a NTFT Flex assignment, you are subject to a flexible schedule that can change weekly. Despite our objections, management is moving forward with the changes to the Rice Street Station bids.

Management has notified us they intend to close the West St. Paul Annex. The mail operation will move to the Eagan Station. The annex and the retail are one section. Management is abolishing 3 bids effective March 30th which will cause excessing from the station. New bids will be posted at Eagan. Because these are newly created bids they will post installation wide. The excessed employees from the annex will have retreat rights to West St. Paul. As of now, the annex will close on April 1st.

Management is also putting relief on one bid at Eagan for the West St. Paul retail unit.
Management has also notified they are abolishing all bids in the pool. Notices went out to pool employees earlier this week. Management has agreed that all pool employees will retain retreat rights to the “Pool and Relief” section if the section is re-created with in a year of being abolished.Management will post relief bids or NTFT Flex positions at each station. The plan is to go back to what they were doing several years ago.

I’m sure many of you remember when we had reliefs at each station and management told us they had to abolish them and repost those bids in a pool. They claimed they had to do this because reliefs at each station are not working. Now they say pool bids are not working so they have come up with a better idea, post reliefs at each station? I know, I looked twice also, I thought we were stuck in a Vaudeville act. Our next labor/management meeting is Friday the 8th.

Jerry Jacobson,
Vice President

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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton , President 1/25/13 651-778-1637
Management notifies the Union of abolishment of the Pool Section

On Friday January 25, the Union met with management and was told of their intention to abolish the pool effective March 23, 2013. Management intends to send a letter to each affected Clerk on Monday January 28th. Of the 28 duty assignments assigned to the Pool Section, Management is going to post 11 NTFT Flexible positions and 10 FT relief positions at the Stations and Branches.

Management indicates that the February 26th bid posting will have these positions. The staffing proposals for the Pool have changed many times and may change again.

However, from the meeting today it appears that management is intent on moving forward to abolish all the duty assignments of the Pool.
I expect that early next week the Postmaster and the Union will agree to provide retreat rights to the Pool clerks if they bid before the abolishment of the section. Further, it is expected to agree that if the Pool is established again within one year of its abolishment that the clerks presently in the Pool will have retreat rights to that section.

Management notifies the Union of the closing of Uptown Station

At this same Labor Management meeting on Friday January 25, the Union was informed that the “Node” of the MO Office relocation to close the Uptown Station has been approved. The Postmaster stated that he will be getting instructions in the near future on how to proceed with the public notification. Further, the Postmaster indicates that he should be able to provide the timeline for closing this Station within a week.

Management notifies the Union of plan to close the West St. Paul Annex

Management has indicated its intention to proceed with closing the West St. Paul Annex 3/30/13. Management will need to post a position in Eagan where they intend to move the mail. This has the potential to cause and excessing event from the West St. Paul Annex. The Union is still waiting for the 1994’s for these two sections to see how they intend to accomplish this move.

What is the result of all these changes?

As of this writing there are 29 employees in Customer Service for St. Paul that are potentially retiring on January 31, 2013 and management is planning on reducing a total of 23 duty assignments. The Union has been told that they will provide us in the near future the 1994’s for the Stations that will be reduced duty assignment in addition to those that will have duty assignments added because of the Pool position being reposted in Stations. The Union has addressed the potential for contractual violations that could occur with these proposals. The Union will need members communicating what is happening at the Stations and Branches to address these issues through the grievance process.

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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton , President 1/24/13 651-778-1637

Staffing Reductions

Customer Service

We are trying to get information that will solidify what Management’s plans are for the Station and Branches in St. Paul. This information has been changing seemingly every day with promises of updated correct information. We still do not have this solid information. When the Union gets it, we will forward it to the members.

The following is what has been occurring and why it has been difficult to provide this solid information for members to make informed decisions.
On January 10th, the Postmaster for St. Paul, MN notified the Union that they would like to meet and discuss newly established 1994. The correspondence to the Union stated that as of now the potential impacts are as follows: to reduce the full-time complement from 158 to 138 with 3 of the positions being Non-Traditional Full-Time assignments.

The staffing matrix the Postmaster provided indicated the following reductions: one career position each at Dayton’s Bluff, Clerk Messengers, Elway, Industrial, Rice St., Vadnais Heights, and Woodbury. A reduction of two career positions each at Main Office PO, Uptown, and West St. Paul. A reduction of 10 career positions from the Pool, with the remaining positions being turned into 40 hour Non-Traditional Full-Time Flexible positions.

Shortly after this notification, the Union started to receive calls from members that Customer Service Supervisors were being told that the Pool would be abolished altogether.
The Union immediately requested documentation from the Postmaster concerning these proposals. Management indicated that they will work on it and provide the requested information as soon as possible.

At Labor/Management Meeting on January 15, the Postmaster indicated that all the information was on the computer and to schedule a meeting to look at it and he would provide the information that we needed. The meeting was scheduled for January 18th.

In this meeting, we looked at data from the stations that were identified as having reductions and asked that management forward the data for our review. There was also discussion on the Pool and the rumors. Management indicated that they would need to reduce the Pool to five or six and work the rest back into the stations as reliefs like it was in the past. Management indicated that they would “rework” this and get back to us concerning where the reliefs would be added at the Stations and how many would remain in the Pool.

On Tuesday January 22 management sent an email stating this is Official Notice that that are going to proceed to abolish the Pool Crew Section. The Union responded that it needed information regarding where the reliefs were added and the subsequent 1994 for those stations also. The Postmaster responded that he would provide it to the Union. As of today, the Union still does not have the new updated proposals.

The Union also responded to “Official Notification” that Article 12 requires local notification to the Union at least six months in advance and asked if management intended to abide by this notice requirement. Management responded that they would implement these actions sooner than that and from their response it looks like they will move forward with this plan in late March or early April. The Union will continue to demand specifics and will provide them to the members when we receive them. Further, the Union again will file all appropriate grievances concerning the staffing changes and notice period.

This has been very frustrating to us and I am sure you the member as this indecision will affect all of us.

Processing and Distribution

On January 9th, Plant Manager sent notification to the Union of its plans to reduce 33 positions in four pay locations 325, 329, 125, 129 and requested a meeting the next day. The Union attended the meeting and discussed the reductions. This was a very contentious meeting because the Plant Manager indicated that he would be having service talks that day and handing out letters to make it effective February 9th.

Also, the Plant Manager stated that he did not have the staffing plans together yet to show what the sections would look like after the reductions. The Union informed the Plant Manager that it would be filing grievances due to the lack of notification to the Union and that it would seek a remedy for all employees excessed on February 9th for a six month period starting on January 9th.

The following are the reductions in the sections identified; 16 full time assignments Tour 3 Pouch Rack, 8 full-time assignments Tour 1 Pouch Rack, 5 full-time assignments for Tour 1 Mailing Division, 4 full time positions for Tour 3 Mailing Division. Management identified the junior employees in these sections that may be affected and provided them letters on January 10th.

As of today, the Plant Manager has still not provided staffing proposals that show what the sections will look like after the reductions. Again, as in the Stations and Branches, the Union will file all appropriate grievances concerning these actions.

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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton , President 1/24/13 651-778-1637

Retirement Fever

The number of people that are scheduled to retire has been a difficult number to obtain. However, it looks like up to 130 people that the St. Paul APWU represents will be retiring on January 31, 2013. With so many people preparing for retirements we are getting a large number of questions. This bulletin will attempt to answer the basics. The Union continues to be a valuable resource for retiree members to go to when they are unable to get questions answered. The St. Paul APWU values these retiree members and gladly provides help where possible.

Retiree Membership

As a retiree you will have some choices to make concerning Membership, both the Local and National offer retirees a reasonable way to stay a member and keep open the door for your questions and needs. Upon retirement, both the Local and National will send you a letter of how continue membership. Remember these are two different programs with two different dues structures and benefits.

St. Paul, MN Local Membership

If you wish to remain a retired member of the St. Paul, MN Area Local dues are $12.00 per year payable January 1st of each year. This entitles you to participate in all activities of this Local to include union meetings and functions. These activities are announced in the Local’s newsletter “Postmark” that will be mailed to your house as a retired member. Further, if you wish to remain in the Death Benefit, which pays $800.00 to your designated beneficiary, there is an additional $6.00 added to your retiree membership dues for a total of $18.00 a year. The dues are prorated for those not retiring on the first of the year.Recently the retirees of this local have started a retiree chapter that meets regularly and discusses topics that affect you as a retiree. One of the more recent meetings they saw a presentation of Medicare and how it works with Health Care. If you continue as a retiree member stay involved and attend one of these meetings. The dates and times are printed in the Postmark.

APWU National Membership

If you are in the APWU Health Plan you will need to maintain this membership. The National Membership is $36.00 per year. This membership provides that you will continue to receive The American Postal Worker, enrolls you in the APWU accident benefit plan and many other member benefits. Specifics can be found at under the department of Retirees. For those that do not have access to a computer you can contact the Retiree Department at the following address:
Retiree Department


1300 L Street

Washington, DC 20005

Give Management Your Address

APWU members that are retiring and want to receive their incentive checks in the mail are required to fill out PS Form 3077. The incentive agreement stipulates that employees will complete PS Form 3077, Request to Forward Salary Check, and submit it to their employing office.

The incentive payments will be distributed to the address provided by the employee. In absence of the submission of PS Form 3077, both payments will be mailed to the locations where the employees WORKED before they retired or resigned.

What’s the Last Day

It is clear from the questions that some retiring members are unsure of what the last day to report to work will be under this January 31st date. If you are scheduled to work Thursday January 31st, retiring employees should report for duty that day.

Tour 1

A Tour 1 employee who is normally scheduled to work on January 31st, the last work day will be the shift that starts on January 30th and ends on January 31st. So those employees report on Wednesday night at the reporting time and when they finish work on Thursday they are now retired.

Tour 2 and Tour 3

A Tour 2 or Tour 3 employee will be required to report to work on Thursday and will start their retirement at the conclusion of their shift.

The St. Paul, MN Area Local wishes all that are retiring a long and healthy retirement and thanks everyone for their endless support to the Union.

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Todd Elkerton, President St. Paul, MN Area Local Nov. 16, 2012 651-778-1637

Associate Office Update

Several months ago, the arbitration concerning the use of postmasters in small offices, level-18 and below was completed. This is the grievance concerning how many hours a postmaster or supervisor may spend performing bargaining unit work. I am told we can expect a decision soon. Currently we have many grievances at step-2 pending the results of this arbitration. As soon as we hear anything, we will report on it. I would like to ask all employees in the associate offices to please let me know if you are retiring or resigning from the postal service. We do our best to monitor the career positions, both full time and part time at the associate office level. I have no doubt management will try and revert any positions they can especially if they become vacant. This applies to PTF’s also. We will continue to fight to protect clerk work and to convert PTF’s to full time whenever possible.

Adopt a Family

The Greater Twin Cities United Way and the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO are co-sponsoring their Labor of Love-Adopt a Family holiday program. They are asking for cash donations, which are tax deductible. They will use the donations to purchase gift cards from Union grocers. Please make your check payable “Labor Studies Resource Center, LSRC. You can mail it to AFL-CIO Community Services Program, attention Laura, 411 Main Street, Suite 202, St. Pau, Minnesota 55102. They ask that you please make contributions by December 3rd

Do you have time to Donate Blood?

The St. Paul Regional Labor Federation is also sponsoring a blood drive with the Greater Twin Cities United Way and the American Red Cross. The blood drive is on Tuesday December 4th at 411 Main Street. The hours are from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM. If interested please contact Lynne at 651-222-3787. (over)

Station and Branches

We met with management and they have informed us that they are planning on using overtime to staff stations on 2 Sundays in December (12/9 and 12/16). The window will not be open but the overtime will be to process post. Also, management has agreed to that they will use stations clerks as lobby directors when needed. Tentatively, this will be Monday the 10th and the 17th.
Jerry Jacobson Vice-President

Open Season

Just a reminder, open season for health benefits closes December 10th. Please don’t wait until the last day to make your choice!

Also for PSE employees, before you sign up, be aware that for plans other than the APWU Consumer Driven option, your premium will be the
entire cost of the plan, not just the “your share” amount list on the brochures. The premium for the APWU Consumer Driven option for PSE’s is $43.65 Self, or $98.20 for family, biweekly) If you intend to sign up for any plan other than the Consumer Driven option, please speak to a steward or officer first so you know what your actual costs will be.

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Todd Elkerton, President St. Paul, MN Area Local November 5, 2012 651-778-1637
Annual Leave Reminders

With winter closing in quickly and January just around the corner, I thought I’d remind everyone of some of the annual leave rules for the St. Paul Installation. First, our negotiated choice vacation period begins with the new leave year. This upcoming year (2013) begins on January 12th. It ends on the last Friday in November which is November 29th. For those of you interesting in taking “choice vacation” during the months of January, February, or March, the period for putting in for choice vacation started November 1st. You need to turn in your form 1547 to your supervisor no later than November 21st. Management will complete and return the form to you no later than November 30th. During the months of January, February and March, the annual leave quota is 10%. As a reminder, from November 3rd to November 23rd (this year), the annual leave quota is 14%. Please make sure the A/L quota is adjusted accordingly in your section. If you have any questions, please request a steward.

Finally, Time for A Raise

The National reports that effective November 17th, APWU represented employees will receive a 1% increase in their annual salaries. I know it does not sound like much, but if you consider the circumstances, in this day and age, a raise is better than nothing. For a level 6, Step O, the raise is about .26 cents an hour. The raise will be reflected in paychecks issued December 7th, 2012. In addition, we will receive COLA’s in March. The March COLA’s will include increases in the CPI from January of 2012 and January 2013. PSE’s are not eligible for COLA’s; however, they will receive a 2% increase across the board. New pay scales will be in the November-December edition of the American Postal Worker magazine, and they will be posted on their website at

Penalty Overtime

In accordance with Article 8, penalty overtime regulations are not applicable for a 4 week period each year. This year the 4 week period is December 1st through the 28th.

Retirements, Retirements, At Last Retirements.

Ok, maybe not retirements at last, but a retirement incentive at last. By now, I’m sure you have heard about the retirement incentive. I have heard that many employees are having problems getting their retirement counseling session included. Keep trying. In the meantime, we are trying to schedule a retirement seminar. We would like to know if you are interested. If you are, please contact us at 651-778-1637. Leave word with one of our secretaries. Whether you are retiring now or in the next several years, it might be in your best interest to attend. Once scheduled, we will let you know when and where.
Jerry Jacobson, Vice President

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Todd Elkerton, President St. Paul, MN Area Local 10/3/12


The long awaited incentive to retire has now been signed. The parties entered into this agreement on September 28, 2012. The agreement is being offered to all career employees in the APWU bargaining units that choose optional retirement, retire pursuant to a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA), or voluntarily resign from the Postal Service. There are a few exceptions: employees in a probationary period, employees who have been removed, disability retirement, or transfer to another federal agency.

To be eligible for the $15,000.00 incentive employees must indicate in the prescribed manner on or before December 3, 2012, their intent to participate in the incentive program by indicating they wish to take optional retirement, retirement pursuant to VERA, or voluntary resignation and separate effective January 31, 2013. Further, the parties agreed that those that previously scheduled retirement prior to January 31, 2013 will be allowed to retire on their scheduled date and receive the incentive. Those that have scheduled it later than January 31, 2013 would need to change the date to January 31, 2013 to receive the incentive.

Part-time employees and NTFT employees will be provided the incentive on a pro-rated basis. In addition, these employees will be assigned or separated on February 28, 2013.

The payment of the $15,000.00 will be divided in two lump sums to be paid $10,000.00 on May 24, 2013 and $5,000.00 on May 23, 2014.

Shared Services will be sending out retirement information to all optional and VERA eligible employees in the near future. If you need more information, the website will have more specifics. If you cannot get your questions answered, please seek out a steward and we will try and get an answer for you.

As a word of caution, retirement is a major life decision. Before you enter into an irrevocable decision, make sure you have a clear picture financially of what this decision is. If you are unclear, keep asking your questions until you completely understand. The last thing you want to do is regret this decision once it is made.


An MOU has been reached by the USPS and APWU concerning temporary assignments, reassignments or re-employment in APWU represented crafts. The parties agreed that future temporary assignment, reassignments, or re-employment of fully or partially recovered employees to work in APWU represented crafts will be to residual vacancies or to uniquely created assignments consisting of duties that would otherwise be properly performed by non-career employees. The agreement does not restrict the current practice of accommodating/assigning employees light or limited duty in his/her own duty assignment. However, it does limit the ability once someone is unable to be accommodated in their own duty assignment. The agreement allows that any existing assignment in the Clerk Craft that was created to fit an employee’s work restrictions may remain in place until the assignment is modified or changed. While we are awaiting more information on the impact of this agreement, it certainly appears that future medical accommodations outside of one duty assignment will be severely limited and could result in no accommodation being made.


The Clerk Craft will be the primary craft for the operator position on the new Advanced Facer Canceller System (AFCS) the Postal Service has announced.

In a letter dated September 27, 2012 the Postal Service wrote: “After reviewing the input from the APWU and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union … the Postal Service has determined
that on the AFCS 200, the duties performed by the operator are similar to the duties performed by a Mail Processing Clerk. Accordingly, the primary craft for the operator position on the AFCS 200 is the Clerk Craft. The primary craft for the induction activities on the AFCS 200 will continue to be the Mail Handler Craft.” The existing AFCS is a high-speed machine that culls, faces, and cancels letter mail through a series of automated operations. The AFCS 200 will perform the same functions as the existing system while also providing “significant additional capabilities”, such as processing thicker mail than the existing AFCS, increased depth-of-sort capabilities, and printing a POSTNET barcode that allows mail to be directly sorted on the Delivery Barcode Sorter (DBCS), the USPS wrote.

The St. Paul APWU anticipates that this will result in some jobs posted to the Clerk Craft to operate the new AFCS. We are being told that there will be direction provided by the National parties in the near future on how to implement this agreement.


After spending the summer trying to minimize the impact of the loss of 64 full-time positions, there will be Clerk Craft employees excessed to Mailhandler positions within the facility. The parties are still at an impasse concerning the separation of PSE ‘s to the maximum extent and will argue this issue through the grievance/arbitration procedure. It is our hope that those that are being excessed will be returned to the Clerk Craft in the St. Paul installation as soon as possible.

For those that are excessed, we hope to see you back soon. Further, please feel free to check with us on the progress of your retreat rights. President Elkerton also agreed that those that are being excessed could have a meeting with Doug Vitak of the Mailhandler’s union to address any questions that you may have concerning how the Mailhandler’s handle day-to-day schedule, overtime, holiday scheduling and whatever other questions concerning your assignment as a Mailhandler.

Further, because of this involuntary assignment, management bears the burden to meet your contractual guarantees for work hours. Management has indicated that they will discuss the change with excessed employees.

There were three senior in lieu of volunteers to take the three residual custodial positions. Management intends to provide training for these individuals during day hours prior to moving to the position. Management has indicated that they will contact each volunteer individually and tell them what their schedule will be.

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Todd Elkerton, President St. Paul, MN Area Local 9/26/12

As a result of the September 25, 2012 Trustee Election:


Congratulations Doug!

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Todd Elkerton, President St. Paul, MN Area Local 9/17/ 2012 651-778-1637
**** ATTENTION *****
Volunteers in Lieu of Excessed Employees

Management is in the process of excessing clerks from craft within the St. Paul Installation. Because of a change in the 2010-2015 National Collective Bargaining Agreement, the following language has been agreed to in the JCIM (Joint Contract Interpretation Manual).

“A senior non-impacted employee may volunteer for placement in withheld duty assignments outside of their craft and within their installation only if it is from and to an APWU represented Craft. Senior non-impacted employees may volunteer for placement within the same or lower wage level and status. The Postal Service will post a notice on the official bulletin boards to notify non-impacted employees of the opportunity to replace an impacted employee and including a listing of the withheld duty assignments. Selections of volunteers will be made by seniority. Seniority for employees in their new craft/installation is established in the respective gaining craft article.”

Management has not posted this notice as of yet. We are insisting that they get this posting up. There are three APWU represented withheld positions in the custodial craft. These positions are on tour 1 with 2215-0645 work hours, and with days off Thursday/Friday and Friday/Saturday. Employees who preference custodial jobs must possess a valid state drivers license and meet Postal Service’s safe driving criteria. The preferencing for the impacted employees is occurring now and will at noon on September 24th.

If you are interested in volunteering in lieu of impacted employees please let management know prior to this point and submit in writing your intention to preference these three custodial positions. The preferencing paperwork should be found where the normal vacancy announcements are located. If you have trouble accessing please notify a supervisor to get you the forms. Those senior non-impacted employees who volunteer will not receive retreat rights to the clerk craft. If you have any questions contact a steward immediately.

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Todd Elkerton, President St. Paul, MN Area Local 9/13/12 651-778-1637

Excessing from the Craft will occur on October 6th

After seemingly endless meetings with management, we have agree that the impact of both events is 20 level 6 clerks. Presently, there are 20 withheld residuals inside the installation. The 20 withheld duty assignments consist of 3 custodial positions and 17 mailhandler positions. Because of this fact, management is not obligated contractually to provide a 30 day notice to employee once the duty assignment is identified that they will be moved into. Therefore, management intends to provide the junior level 20 clerks with a preferencing sheet to indicate their preference for the 20 withheld jobs. The preference sheets will be open starting September 14th-24th till noon. The effective date of the excessing from the craft will be October 6th.
Because these positions are outside of the clerk craft, the seniority provisions fo

r each craft will be utilized to determine the seniority in that craft for the excessed level 6 clerks. In accordance with Article 12 excessed clerks will be returned by seniority at the first opportunity to the craft from which reassigned. If an employee is reassigned to an APWU represented craft, when the installation notifies the employee in writing that he or she will be returned to the craft from which reassigned, and before the employee is returned, the employee may waive return to the former craft by written notification to the installation head or designee within (5) calendar days of the notification. This means that those excessed clerks that receive the custodial positions will have an option of whether or not to return to the clerk craft. All those who are excessed to a mailhandler position will be required to return without a choice to the first available vacancy by seniority.
The Plant Manager has agreed to have a meeting with the affected employees in the plant to answer any questions that these employees may have. These meetings are anticipated to be scheduled early next week. As always, if you have any questions regarding this process you have the right to ask for a steward to discuss these questions. If the stewards do not know the answer to the question they will attempt to get an answer as soon as possible.When the notifications started we were looking at a reduction of 64 full time duty assignments for both events. In the preceding time we were able to reduce the number to 24-28 people. The parties believe that the remaining 4-8 people can be absorb through attrition. If this does not happen, management may try and excess some more people. If this occurs we will certainly notify you of these events.
Lastly, there will be a grievance filed because management did not separate PSE’s to the maximum extent possible prior to the excessing. Management believes that as long as they keep the PSE under 30 hours a week they can do this excessing. The Union disagrees. We represent the PSE’s also and it was not the PSE’s decision to reduce the number of full-time clerks. However, the St. Paul APWU has to fight hard to protect full-time duty assignments and as long as clerks are excessed outside of the craft or installation there will be no opportunity for a PSE to ever make regular. Therefore, the grievance is not against the PSE it is intended to protect full-time assignments that are the PSE’s future.

Station and Branch reductions

Management continues to meet with station and branches concerning their planned reduction at each station. For those sections where the reduction results in a person being excessed from the section, in-section bidding is and will occur. The second group of in-section will be October 1-10. For those sections where there is not a reduction that causes someone to be excessed from the needs of the section will be posted installation wide in accordance with the Contract. The APWU is working hard on the grievances concerning these newly implements staffing plans.

Tour 3 Letter Automation Reduction

The last bid sheet saw some significant movement in the Tour 3 letter automation section. This has caused management to adjust the impact to the section and who will be excessed from the section and those that will participate in in-section bidding. The in-section bidding will be conducted from Sept. 29 to October 8 with the results being published on October 9 and effective October 20th. This timeline may change but this is best we have at this point in time.

Scheme Training

The Contract provides that employees who have: (a) received notice of planned abolishment of present duty assignment; (b) failed to retain a duty assignment due to reposting; or (c) been involuntarily reassigned, have the option of receiving training on-the-clock for only the first bid after on the action (a-c) have occurred. Any subsequent bids regardless of whether the employees completed the training for the first bid will fall under the guidelines for senior bidders.
Notice this is an option for those employee under the above circumstances. If you fall under these reasons and are not being given the option please contact a steward to resolve this issue.

PSE Health Insurance

After an initial appointment of 360 day term and upon reappointment to another 360 day term, any eligible non-career PSE who wants to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program on a pretax basis will be required to make an election to do so in accordance with procedures. The total cost of health insurance is the responsibility of the PSE, except as provided below. The Postal Service will make a contribution in the amount of 75% of the total premium for any eligible PSE who selects the APWU consumer driven plan. So, if you are a PSE in this situation and elect to choose health insurance, please call the Union Office and get instructions on how to properly do this at 651-778-1637.

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Todd Elkerton, President St. Paul, MN Area Local 9/7 /2012 651-778-1637


The Motor Vehicle Craft Trustee has resigned effective September 7, 2012. The Local’s Constitution (Article IX, Section 5) provides that in the event of a craft vacancy, a special craft meeting shall be held and those members present will elect a Motor Vehicle Service Craft Trustee.

Nominations will be accepted from the floor at the meeting. Candidates wishing to be nominated in writing must file a signed, written notice with Local Secretary Steve Letendre.


Article VII, Section 6 of the Constitution of the St. Paul, MN Area Local sates the duties of the Trustees:

Section 6. The Craft Trustee shall have general supervision of the property of this local and shall take a yearly inventory of same. All records of the Secretary and Treasurer shall be subject to examination by the Trustees upon their request. Unless otherwise notified by this Local, they shall audit the books and records of the officers as of the close of business of each calendar quarter and submit a written report at the next General Membership Meeting.

The Trustees shall prepare a list of eligible voters of this Local and list those members eligible as candidates for the regular election and Delegates to Conventions. A copy of said lists shall be furnished to the Chairman of the Election Committee for the purpose of mailing ballots to the votes in all referendum elections.

Steve Letendre


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Todd Elkerton, President St. Paul, MN Area Local Sept. 6 , 2012 651-778-1637

MaintenanceTour 2 Staffing

Management is proceeding with the implementation of “realigning” bids on Tour 2 for ETs, MPEs, and MM-7s. On Thursday, 9/6/12, notice of intent to fill bids to make this realignment a reality will be posted and all affected maintenance employees will be encouraged to bid on these assignments. It should be noted that all these bids that will be reposted are open to the entire installation.

Everyone wishing to bid on these posted jobs will have to fill out a new preferred assignment selection form (PASF). Remember that since these jobs are open to the entire installation in that occupational group, you could be outbid by a senior employee from another tour and ensuing residual bids will be backfilled to include applicable promotional eligibility register applicants.

Dave Geissinger
Maintenance Craft Director

MVS Members

Due to a vacancy, the St. Paul APWU MVS Craft is seeking volunteers interested in learning about and becoming a union steward. Specifically, a tractor trailer operator working tour 3 or tour 1 (however any tour would be greatly appreciated). As I always have, and will continue to represent all members of the MVS craft to the best of my ability, I believe it is important to have a steward from both MVS Crafts. No one knows the operation better than those of you who work in it every day. The union needs your help defending our contract and your support in preserving our jobs. Those interested can stop by the union office and talk with Todd Elkerton (President), Jerry Jacobson (Vice President) or myself or call 651-778-1637 (President’s Office). I will ensure that you will be provided with all of the needed support to become a knowledgeable union representative.

I have also recently been made aware that in the next couple of weeks, the USPS is sending a representative from Denver to audit our operation. The purpose of this audit is to see if there are any avenues/restructuring of runs that can make our operation more efficient. These audits are a common thing and are currently being performed at PVS operations all over the country. As more concrete information is made available, I will keep you informed.

In solidarity,

Dave Cook

MVS Director

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Todd Elkerton, President St. Paul, MN Area Local 8/30/12 651-778-1637

Tour 3 Automation Reduction of 20 Full-time Positions

While the St. Paul APWU has continued to seek answers from management concerning the events that are now occurring, we become frustrated with the lack of information. We were notified on July 20th that management intends to excess employees from Automation. We met with management four times asking for specifics of reduction and where they would occur. Management told us that they were not finished with their plan. On Tuesday August 14, 2012 we asked again and management responded that they were not ready yet. Management failed to provide this information prior to our leaving to National Convention. Then while our officers were in the plane to LA management decided to roll their plan out to the floor with no notice or input from the APWU. These actions caught the Tour 3 Stewards flat-footed and uninformed. They immediately called looking for answers and were told that the Union was notified. This answer by management is not true.

The St. Paul APWU continues to work on your behalf, even though it would be easy to tell them to shove it. Management intends to reduce 20 full time duty assignments from Tour 3 Automation by 9-22-12. Management distributed letter to employees affected by this change on 8-22-12. In order to meet this obligation, Management started to revert some vacant duty assignment prior to the last bid posting. It is anticipated that when the award notice comes out on Friday there will be some more opportunity to reduce positions that were vacated this bid cycle. If this is the case, management will have to change letters sent to the employees because of the reduced impact.

Station and Branches Reduction of 44 Full-time positions

Management continues with its planned reduction of full-time duty assignments at the Stations and Branches. Postmaster Larson has meet with 5 offices to explain management’s plan and will meet with the remaining offices starting September 6th. The Union disagrees with these staffing proposals and has already put management on notice that grievances will be filed to rectify the violations. It is disappointing that Management could not agree to correct these potential violations prior to them being implemented. We will seek make whole remedies for those impacted by these changes. The St. Paul APWU believes that the resulting liabilities to these potential grievances could exceed the cost savings management is trying to achieve with these changes.

In the meetings that have occurred, our members have expressed many of the same concerns that have been brought to management in our meetings prior to now. These members have given appropriate feedback and criticisms to the proposals.

The end result of these staffing changes will be devastating to the customer service that our patrons have come to expect.

Outside The Installation Excessing vs. Excessing outside the craft within the installation

Since the regional notifications of both the Customer Service and Processing & Distribution impacts we have met on a nearly weekly basis to try and reduce the impact to the level 6 clerks involved. We presently have a dispute on the actual number to clerks to be excessed. Presently management is insisting that the number is 29 people to be excessed and the Union is insisting that it is 25 people. Further, Article 12 requires that management take certain steps to reduce the impact prior to excessing that they have not completed yet. We intend to fight this battle in the grievance process if management does not perform the actions required in Article 12 prior to the excessing.

The number to be excessed is a very important number. The reason is it has to be determined if this is an outside the installation excessing event or outside the craft within the installation event. They are different notification rules for each event. Basically, if this event is outside the installation management is required to wait until November 17 to make the move. If it is inside the installation they can make the move within 30 days of notifying the employee of their new duty assignment.

Right now management has not meet with the Union and provided the list of full time duty assignments that will be offered to the excessed employees. We are unsure when this meeting will take place. It is anticipated that when it does there will be agreement on how the positions will be offered.

Agreement reached on retreat rights for excessed employees

There has been a Memorandum signed with the Postmaster, Plant Manager and the Union that; “Any FTR Level 6 employees who are identified as being excess to the needs of the section, In accordance with Article 12.5.C.4.B may bid and be awarded a duty assignment prior to becoming unassigned outside of the section and will maintain their contractual retreat rights to the section.” So, those employees who have been notified in writing that they will be excessed from the section will receive retreat rights to their section if they bid and are awarded prior to the day of excessing occurs.

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Todd Elkerton, President St. Paul, MN Area Local
July 25 , 2012 651-778-1637

Chicken Little Says “The Sky is Falling”

In the past, during election year run-ups, you have heard your APWU make repeated calls for Union members to vote to save your job. Elections are won and lost for the most part bad legislation has been defeated with the efforts of Unions like the APWU lobbying Senators and Representatives to support our case and ultimately support Postal Workers. My fear is that union members hear these calls for action as “okay, here they go again.” For most of you it sounds a lot like Chicken Little running around shouting “The sky is falling, vote for your job” and it has become all too familiar, right? Please take a minute and read the rest of this article and then you determine for yourself if Chicken Little’s message is relevant or not.

By now, everyone has heard news of the Postal Service’s severe financial problems. Bills have been introduced in Congress in an effort to address this issue. The bills have been vastly different in their approach and scope. On 4/26 of this year, the Senate passed legislation aiming to keep the Postal Service in business without closing thousands of post offices throughout the country. In my opinion, the bill was good legislation with bi-partisan support and the bill was then sent to the House for debate. It appears the House Republican leadership is more concerned with the political landscape and horribly failed the American public when they let the bill die without debate.

Instead, the House introduced a bill authored by Republican Rep. Issa that would literally destroy the Postal Service as you know it. If passed the bill would: mandate increased life and health insurance premiums, mandate employee pay to be comparable with the entire private sector, fringe benefit levels that would not exceed those of 1971 and many other provisions that would weaken the Union’s ability to negotiate a fair contract. Rep. Issa’s bill, HR 2309, would have a huge negative impact on every postal employee.

Additionally, Mitt Romney and his team of economic advisors, most notably Kevin Hassett, has stated that the solution to the Postal Service’s problems is simple… eliminate it! Hassett, writing for the American Enterprise Institute, stated that this would easily be accomplished by rewriting the regulation concerning universal service. Once the rules were rewritten, then the Postal Service could be auctioned off for around $100 million to UPS and FedEx. Simple enough, right?

I work at Eastern Heights station and occasionally when I work the window, a customer will ask “Why is the Postal Service in such decline?” it’s the internet, right? The answer is yes and no. In 2006, President Bush and the Republican Congress required that, within the next decade, the Postal Service pre-fund future retiree health benefits for the next 75 years. It’s a burden no other agency or company faces. That mandate accounts for 85% of all of the agency’s shortfall and according to experts more than 90% of the $6.46 billion shortfall from the first half of fiscal year 2012. Before pre-funding began in 2007, the Postal Service had annual profits in the low billions. It is this unaffordable payment that the Postal Service is simply not capable of making next and as a result, the Postal Service is days away from default.

The next question is always the same, “why doesn’t Congress stop the over payment?” Good question. Simply put, the over payment funds are used to reduce the federal government’s budget deficit. When the payments stop, the deficit increases and this is something no politician wants. Simple enough, right? Amid all these horrible forecasts, PMG Donahue states that there is growth and with the right legislation, the Postal Service could be a profitable business for years to come.

The Postal Service’s Chief Financial officer reported in February that the revenue from selling stamps and other products exceeded the costs of delivering mail by $200 million. Much has been written about the Postal Service, an institution embedded in our Constitution, and actually older than the country itself. It touches the lives of all Americans, and for six straight years it was named the public’s most trusted federal agency, according to the Ponemon Institute. The Postal Service and its employees are admirably weathering the worst economy in 80 years, in large part due to the hard work by bargaining unit employees. The Postal Service is enjoying work productivity at record levels. In fiscal years 2007 through 2010, if you subtract the related costs from the earned revenue from mail delivery, the Postal Service had an operating profit of $611 million again.

So, what’s my point? As stated above, the United States Postal Service touches the lives of every American and is a vital part of our everyday lives, and yet it is very clear that the Republican Party couldn’t care less about the American people and their way of life. Instead, postal reform legislation is all about the political landscape as evidenced in bills introduced in Congress by Republican house leaders.

Messages coming from Republican Presidential hopefull Mitt Romney and his team of economic advisors are even more ominous when they say eliminate the Postal Service.
This time I think Chicken Little just might be right when she says the sky is falling!

Good luck and God bless!

Fred Bainbridge

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Todd Elkerton, President St. Paul, MN Area Local July 23 , 651-778-1637__

Excessing outside the Installation is increased by 20 clerks for St. Paul Installation

On Friday, July 20, 2012, management provided Regional notification that as a result of the delivery standards that changed on July 1, 2012, they need to excess 20 Full-time employees from the automation section. The notice provided indicates this will happen on October 6th. This excessing is on top of the 24 previously identified concerning Station Staffing. The Union contends that this notice requires a six month notice. However, management says, “where possible and it is not possible”. From the original impact of 24, it had been cut in half to 12. So, right now the number stands at 32 excessed from the clerk craft.This morning, I was told by the Tour 1 stewards that management had sent out excessing letters to employees. Management has not provided these letters to Union as has been done in the past prior to them being sent to employees. I have been told that it was sent to the 12 junior level 6 clerks. From the available residuals that management provided, it appears that there are 31 residual duty assignments for the Custodians, and mailhandlers in St. Paul Processing center and the NDC. However, we do not even know if these are the jobs they are offering excessed employees.The St. Paul APWU has strenuously objected to these proposals on contractual grounds.

Management refuses to provide proper notification concerning Station staffing adjustments

The notification concerning the station staffing came on May 29, 2012 and there was no indication made at this meeting that this would start prior to six months notification provided for in the contract. Locally, we have met with management on numerous occasions to address these staffing proposals. At each and every meeting, we have informed management of their contractual obligations concerning these staffing proposals to try and mitigate the impact on the employees. Our three major objections have been the use of PSE’s, split days off, and staffing only to the earned model. Management has rejected most of these objections and refused to provide staffing to meet their contractual obligations. At the last meeting, there was agreement to put rotating days back in most of the stations. They were going to make these changes and provide us with the updated 1994’s concerning this agreement. However, each and every suggestion that we made, management refused to implement. Therefore, they are moving forward with their plan to reduce the stations by 48 full-time duty assignments and replace these assignments with 27 PSE’s.We are told this morning that all these changes will be on the next bid vacancy. If management moves forward with this they will not met their contractual notifications to employees concerning these changes.At this point, the St. Paul APWU is unsure on how management is going to move forward. It is also crystal clear that they have no intention of sharing with us prior to notifying the affected employees.The St. Paul APWU and Management had a long history of working together to ensure that contractual rights are being honored. However, management’s actions since Friday indicate there is no intention of working with the St. Paul APWU on these issues.Therefore, the following list is of management’s reduction of full time duty assignment from each station.
Apple Valley -3
Cliff Lake -1
Como -1
Dayton’s Bluff -6
Eagan -4
Eastern Heights -1
Elway -1
Industrial -2
Main Office -3
Transfer -1
New Brighton -3
NSP Annex -1

SP Branch -1
Rice St. -1
Riverview -2
Roseville -4
Seeger -1
Vadnais Annex -3
Vadnais Retail -1
WSP Annex -1
WSP Retail -1
White Bear -4
Woodbury -1

At this point management is proposing no impact to the Pool, Mendota, and Uptown.

PSE Staffing

Article 12 provides that management separate to the extent possible all PSE’s prior to excessing occurring, to minimize the impact to full time employees. Management believes that the National Agreement provides that they can have up to 20 % PSE’s and provided they are kept under 30 hours a week they will be in compliance. Therefore, over the St. Paul APWU’s contractual objection, management intends to increase the number of PSE’s in the St. Paul Installation. It is clear that we will have to resolve this issue in the grievance process. There are presently grievances at Step 2 concerning the usage of PSE in lieu of full time employees in both the plant and the stations.


The St. Paul APWU has tried to provide up to date information on management plans. However, this has been extremely difficult because every time we meet there has been another plan in place or an indication that we can work to minimize the impact to employees. It is extremely difficult to put information out to the members that within hours management changes the plan without notification to the Union. While it would be easy to walk away and tell management they are on their own, we know that this would create many more problems. Therefore, we continue to try and convince management to comply with the contract. It is always better to have the contract complied with from the beginning than to file a grievance and affect a person’s life that should not have been affected. However, this should not be misconstrued that the St. Paul APWU will not file all grievances where necessary to ensure compliance with the contract. The St. Paul APWU remains committed to ensuring management abides by its agreement with its employees, even if it means the grievance process. It is our intention to provide weekly flash bulletins to communicate what management is telling us until these issues are resolved. While we know this will create a great deal of anxiety as management continues to change its directions as staffing is concerned.

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Todd Elkerton, President St. Paul, MN Area Local
June 8 , 2012


As a result of USPS changes in service standards starting July 1, 2012, St. Paul management is adjusting the work schedules of all Letter Automation employees. Management informed us of the specifics of this change on June 7th. We have tried to minimize the impact by keeping reposted duty assignments to a minimum. However, because of contractual requirements, many bids will have to be reposted. Further, because this change does not increase the mail coming to St. Paul, management is being required to accomplish this by being complement neutral. As a result of this, Tour 2 will be adding some jobs and Tour 3 will see some abolishments.

First, management is creating 28 duty assignments that will start at 10:30 a.m. These new bids will be posted on the next vacancy and will be posted installation wide. These jobs will be traditional eight hours a day, forty hours a week, with two consecutive days off. The result of this will be that 11 duty assignments that start at 1205 will be reposted to 10:30 a.m. The employees with this start time will receive a letter soon explaining this reposting and encouraging them to bid on the new assignments. If they are unable to obtain a bid, they will become unassigned regulars. This accounts for 11 of the 28 duty assignments. The rest of these 28 duty assignments, which is 17, will come from Tour 3. Depending on how many Tour 3 people move, up to 17 junior employees will be excessed to the needs of the section.

Second, management will be moving the start time of Tour 3 Letter Automation to 12:45 p.m. For those duty assignments that were 1345 and changed to 1400, the move to a 1245 start time is within the one-hour window provided in the Contract and will not be required to be reposted. The 1600 start will be left alone at this time.

Third, management will be moving the start time of Tour 1 to 2100. For those duty assignments that were originally at 2145, the start time change is within the one-hour window period provided for in the Contract and will not be reposted. The 2030 start will be left alone at this time.

At this time we are investigating how many duty assignments are outside the one-hour window provided for in the Contract. In those situations where the change is greater than one hour, the Contract requires that it be reposted. Depending on the Tour and if there is a decrease or increase in the number of bids will determine if the duty assignments are posted for in-section bidding or installation wide.

Management indicates that they want most of this accomplished to be effective July 14th. They have notice requirements to the affected employees that may slow this process down. However, we do know that the 28 bids at the 1030 start time will be posted for bid on the next vacancy announcement.

At a Labor-Management meeting on June 6, 2012, management informed us that effective June 11, 2012, all 556-557 and 558 PARS mail will be processed in Minneapolis. On June 26, 2012, 550, 540 and 551 PARS mail will be moved to Minneapolis. This will result in both CIOSS machines being shut down. One machine will be moved to Minneapolis.

This move will begin on June 23rd. St. Paul Maintenance employees will be used to disassemble the CIOSS machine and load it on transportation.

APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton , President 5/30/12 651-778-1637

Regional Notification of Out of Installation Excessing

On May 23, management conducted a teleconference on their proposed need to excess up to 24 level six clerks as a result of management’s proposals for the staffing at the stations. While we continue to meet on management’s proposals and are hopeful we can minimize the impact these proposals have on full time clerks. Management used the numbers from the original proposals with no modification. At the end of the meeting, management indicated that as of May 23, 2012 the impact will be 5 full time clerks. We believe that we will be able to capture these five positions and avert an out of installation excessing concerning these positions. We will notify the members as soon as management agrees that there will not be an out of installation excessing.

Lead Clerks

Under the terms of the National Agreement management is required to post Lead Clerk positions to provide oversight, direction and support in the absence of Supervisory presence to bargaining unit employees in both Retail and Mail Processing operations. We are presently working with management to get these positions posted to comply with the National Agreement. If you are interested in one of these positions there is specific information provided at under the Clerk Division area. In addition, you can contact the Stewards desk for the information in making your decision. We had met with Plant Manager for the Mail Processing positions and were informed of where they were going to post these positions. When the Plant Manager went on vacation the Lead MDO decided that these would be changed creating some issues. We are presently meeting with management what to do with these issues. Further, in Retail the current LSSDA will be grandfathered into these positions. However, where management has split Retail and Annex, if there are five clerks in the Annex management is required to create lead clerk for this Annex. Management is attempting to rework there 1994 to accomplish this requirement.

PSE’s in Retail

Management has now made the decision to hire PSE’s for specific stations. The St. Paul APWU disagrees with this decision and believes that it will result in grievances being filed over the usage of PSE at stations that violates the contract. We are already seeing that management is going to circumvent the Pool clerks being utilized at these stations and move the Pool Clerks to the Plant. We are presently preparing grievances should management chose to staff this way. Please help us by contacting the Stewards desk on how management is utilizing the PSE at your station.

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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton , President 4/18/12 651-778-1637

Customer Service Staffing

Printed in the Postmark this month were management’s proposals for stations. Please be advised that as a result of these proposals management has indicated to APWU at the regional level that it will be necessary to excess up to 24 level 6 FTR clerks outside the St. Paul Installation. Management is required to have a Regional Impact Meeting. As of today, this has not been scheduled to my knowledge. The purpose of the Regional Impact Meeting is for the APWU National Officers and USPS Regional Officials is to discuss the initial numbers and supporting documentation for the proposed reduction.We are presently preparing our numbers that dispute this impact. Further, there are many contractual provisions that management has to satisfy prior to excessing. We will provide more information as it becomes available concerning this notification.Further, we have had one meeting with management concerning their 1994’s and have requested information that management is contractually required to provide that they have not provided yet. This meeting took place a week and half ago and management has still not provided the required information.We will vigorously attack these staffing proposals by requiring management to answer all the contractual obligations that they have not met at this time and explaining to management the financial liability they could incur if they move forward with these proposals. Our goal is to minimize the impact and significantly reduce the number FTR positions they are proposing to eliminate.

Processing and Distribution Staffing

The last bid sheet, we saw management move a number of Tour 1 automation bids to 2030 begin tour. Now the present bid sheet that will be out soon management has chosen not change the start time. It is clear that management does not know what is going to happen but have been told to prepare for a change. National USPS has indicated that barring any Congressional action to the contrary that they will change service standards on May 17th. The timeline, if they were to immediately start to process the mail from the AMP facilities, does not provide for the new duty assignments to be posted. Lacking this time we believe that management will move PSE’s to Tour 2 to process this mail and make us file grievances for these jobs according to the usage of these PSE’s. In discussions, we have tried to get management to post duty assignments, rather than put PSE in these desirable hours. We hope in the next week or so that we start to get a clearer picture of what is going to happen.

Legislative Progress

On Tuesday April 16th, the US Senate passed a cloture vote that allow the debate on S. 1789 the 21st Century Postal Service Act of 2012. Immediately, at the beginning of debate, the amendments were introduced that have not been evaluated regarding the impact on APWU members. However, the debate will continue for at least a week. We will keep you updated on the impact the amendments would have on the members. Our members are encouraged to continue to contact Senator Klobuchar and Senator Franken and thank them for the continued support to seek amendments that protect Postal Workers.

Senator Amy Klobuchar
302 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
DC Phone 202-224-3244

Senator Al Frankin
309 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
DC Phone 202-224-5641

    1. APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
      Todd Elkerton , President 3/6/12 651-778-1637

      It’s Choice Vacation Time! The following process does not apply to associate office employees. Each associate office has their own local memo which addresses their choice vacation selection process.The Local Memorandum of Understanding for St. Paul states “Periods for requesting choice vacation will commence no later than March 1st of each year. Employees must submit their Form 1547 to management no later than March 21st. Normally, management will complete and return Form 1547 to employee no later than March 31st of each year”.During the months January, February, March, April, the 1st 21 days of May, September, October and those dates in November not covered in Section C, 10% of the compliment will be scheduled on annual leave in each section or unit.Section C states “From May 22nd and including June, July August and from the first Saturday in November and continuing for a total of 21 calendar days, 14% of the compliment will be scheduled on annual leave in each section or unit.When the 10% or the 14% is applied, whichever is applicable and the resultant number is a fraction, if the fraction meets or exceeds 50 percent the number will be the next highest number, If the percentage is less than 50%, the next lowest number will be used, except when less than one, one will be used. Choice vacation period shall begin with the new leave year (January 13th, 2012) and end on the last Friday in November (November 30th, 2012).All employees shall be granted 2 (two) selections as their first choice during the choice vacation periods. If an eligible employee requests 15 (fifteen) continuous days of annual leave, such request will be counted as 2 (two) selections.Employees changing their assignment shall have their vacation periods honored in the new assignment and such annual shall not be part of the quota of the gaining or losing section or unit for choice vacation.No exchange shall be permitted of vacation choices. When filling out your Form1547, make sure you enter under “First Choice” all the weeks that you want annual leave. The Second and Third choice areas are for designating an alternate choice if you are not able to receive the leave requested under your first choice. Form 1547 asks for “inclusive dates”. This means to include all the days you want including your days off and holidays. Your vacation period starts on the first day of your basic work week unless otherwise agreed upon and in 40 hour increments. Exceptions may be granted by agreement among the employee, the Union and the employer.For those of you working with split or rotating days off, your basic workweek begins on your first scheduled day immediately after your first scheduled day off in that service week. For example, if you have Sunday/Wednesday off the week of your vacation, your basic work week begins on Monday and ends on the following Sunday.

      Align Networks Physical Therapy Services Management recently held service talks with employees telling them about this new service. The USPS has entered into a contract with Align Networks. A supplier that will provide physical therapy network/billing services on a national basis to support the injury compensation program.The “Align Network” website shows the following. The Employer Services listed on the site include: Aggressive management of visit attendance and compliance, notifications to employing agencies when employees miss appointments, support in determining medical necessity, assistance in continuance-of-care dispute resolution, help with therapy claim and probably the most egregious, providing employers with “Documentation of Workers Compensation Clinical Guidelines for treatment frequency and duration based on condition to allow employers to determine the appropriateness of continued care”.The Unions position is that therapists should provide medical services based on patient needs, in cooperation with your treating physician. Based on the information on the Align website, it appears the company may be allowing the USPS to interfere with that process. Participation in this process is strictly voluntary. You can not be forced or pressured into using Align Networks for any treatment services. The USPS claims there are advantages for employees who use Align Network. They say employees will not need to obtain prior approval from OWCP and they will not have to pay for out of pocket expenses. Only the DOL/OWCP has the authority to determine what medical care will be authorized. My advice is to avoid this service.

      Scholarships and More Scholarships In addition to the Locals own Harry Williams Scholarship, we have scholarships from the Minnesota AFL-CIO, Martin Duffy Adult Lerner Scholarships, APW-ABA Scholarships and scholarships available from the National APWU. More information may be found in the Stewards office. Please individual scholarships for rules and qualifications.

      Second Annual Labor Bowl The St. Paul Regional Labor Federation and the St. Paul Labor Studies and Resource Center are sponsoring this years Second Annual Labor Bowl. This event is for charity. It will be held May 3rd at 4:00 and 6:00 PM at the Midway Pro Bowl in St. Paul, 1556 University Avenue West. Please call #651-222-3787 for reservations and more information.

      Jerry Jacobson Vice President

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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton , President 1/27/12 651-778-1637

Treasurer Elected

On February 16th, in accordance with St. Paul APWU Constitution, the Executive Board elected Fred Bainbridge to fill the permanent vacancy of the position Treasurer. I would like to thank Fred for stepping forward to fill this important position within this Local. Fred is working to correct the Treasurers reports that were submitted for prior approval. It is our hope that by the March Membership Meeting we will have the amended reports ready for approval by the membership.

Treasurer Update

On Monday February 13th, I met with agents from the Department of Labor OLMS division and provided them with the results from our internal investigation. The agents requested all our financial documents going back to April 2006. We are cooperating with the DOL and will provide whatever information they request that we are able to provide. The DOL complimented us on the how we quickly we were able to find the issues and the thoroughness of which we investigated the issues once we found them. I will continue to update you on this issue as I am able. I appreciate your patience and concern for this organization.

AMP notifications

The St. Paul Area Local has been notified that the USPS is moving forward with the proposals to close the Duluth, Rochester, Eau Claire, and LaCrosse Processing and Distribution Facilities and move the mail processing operations to St. Paul. These notifications also stated that these changes are pending until the delivery standards proposal has been accepted.
This is bittersweet in that we do not agree with slowing down the mail but appreciate the additional tour 2 jobs. However, if this occurs there will be changes coming to all installations we represent. There have been many questions about how it affects a person individually. Let me start by saying management has not shared any of its plans at this point. What we do know is that the only place we presently have to capacity to process this mail is on Tour 2. We anticipate that if this goes through we will see additional tour 2 bids posted to meet this new demand. As for the hours and how many bids will have to be reposted we are unsure at this point. We will continue to meet with management weekly and will update you on the progress of this important issue.

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Todd Elkerton, President
St. Paul, MN Area Local
February 2, 2012


At the General Membership Meeting held on January 24, 2012, a letter of resignation was submitted by the Treasurer. It was also reported that the Local Union is conducting an internal investigation, requested by myself with agreement of the Executive Board, concerning the finances of this Local. The investigation is continuing and we will be meeting with the Department of Labor who has now opened up an investigation, in the near future.

Today, with the approval of the Executive Board, I have appointed Fred Bainbridge to serve as temporary Treasurer until we are able to fill the permanent vacancy caused by the resignation. Fred has served as Treasurer of this Local in the past and was responsible for moving us from the paper and pen ledger system to the computer software we use today. We will be having the Executive Board election for this permanent vacancy on February 16, 2012. Assuming that we can reach a 2/3 majority vote from the Executive Board, I will announce who the new Treasurer will be at that time.

There are a lot of rumors that are circulating on the workroom floor. I will not address these rumors with the exception of one. There has been no cover up that is occurring.

When the financial inconsistencies were found, it was immediately communicated with the fiduciary officers of this Local. Further, the Executive Board were all communicated with concerning all the information that was known at the time.

The Executive Board members affirmed my actions and my request to further investigate the issue involved. It would be much too premature for me to comment on this issue until I was confident that all issues that have been identified have been dealt with.

I understand your anxiety concerning this issue and appreciate your concern for this organization. Please be assured that as soon as the investigation is concluded we will be able to report to you those findings.

Todd Elkerton


President Elkerton was informed late last week that the staffing packages that management had submitted to us were being redone and that they will be provided to us as soon as District Management signs off on them. We will keep you updated as this progresses.

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St. Paul, MN Area Local January 30, 2012 651-778-1637


Dave Westgard has resigned as Treasurer of the St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU AFL-CIO.

The Constitution of the St. Paul, MN Area Local provides a mechanism for the filling of a vacancy of a permanent basis. Article 9, Section 5 of the Local Constitution states in part:

Section 5:
“In the event of a permanent vacancy in any General Office, the Secretary shall post on all bulletin boards fifteen (15) days in advance, a Notice of said Election and the President shall call a meeting of the Executive Board for the purpose of filling the vacancy as soon as practicable.

A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Executive Board present shall prevail in the selection. Where there are more than two (2) candidates for the vacancy, the candidate receiving the lowest vote will not be eligible for the next ballot.
If a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote cannot be reached (impasse) by the Executive Board at the initial Election meeting, the membership will vote by referendum ballot of all eligible candidates.

This referendum ballot will be held no later than thirty (30) days after the initial election meeting of the Executive Board. The candidates will be placed on the ballot by lot.”

The above procedure governs the filling of the office of Treasurer.

The election for Treasurer will take place at a Special Executive Board Meeting to be held on:

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2012 AT 8:00 A.M.

If you are interested in the office of Treasurer, your name must be submitted in writing to the Secretary of the St. Paul, MN Area Local by the close of business on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 and should be sent to:

Post Office Box 21128, St. Paul, MN 55121.

Article 8, Section 5 of the Local Constitution outlines the duties of Treasurer and states:
Section 5
“The Treasurer shall receive all monies collected by this Local and give receipt for same. The Treasurer shall pay all bills sanctioned by the Local upon the presentation of vouchers signed by the President and the Secretary.
The Treasurer shall be responsible for the safe-keeping of all securities and papers representing investments and funds of this Local.

All withdrawals from this Local’s accounts in banks and credit unions shall be for deposits in this Local’s accounts only. The Treasurer shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the President.”

Stephen J. Letendre
St. Paul, MN Area Local
American Postal Workers Union

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Todd Elkerton, President St. Paul, MN Area Local 1/26, 2012 651-778-1637 ATTENTION MEMBERS

The St. Paul Area Local has the following scholarship opportunities available to its members. Applications are available in the Union Office at 2261 Waters Drive, the stewards office at the Eagan P & DC; or contact us at 651-778-1637 and we will mail them to you.

Also search over 100 union sponsored scholarships at the following website: (Not part of the APWU Scholarship Program).


Three $1000.00 scholarships to be awarded to son or daughter of an active, retired or deceased member of the St. Paul, MN Area Local American Postal Workers Union. Rules and applications are available in the stewards office, and will be printed in the January and February issues of the ‘Postmark’ or call the Union Office (651) 778-1637. Application must be postmarked by February 28, 2012.


Information and forms for these scholarships can be obtained at the Union Office (651)778-1637, the stewards office at the Eagan P & DC, or at the MN AFL-CIO web site ( The Minnesota AFL-CIO Scholarship is awarded to five (5) recipients in 2012 to graduating high school seniors who are union members or the dependents of union members. Applicants must have a straight “B” average or better and attend a post-secondary institution within the State of Minnesota. Deadline is April 30, 2012. For more information contact 651-227-7647 or 1-800-652-9004 or
  • David K. Roe Scholarship
(Two $1000.00 scholarships awarded for a post-secondary institution (within the State of Minnesota).
  • Hubert H. Humphrey Memorial Award
(Two $1000.00 scholarships awarded for post-secondary institution (within the State of Minnesota).
  • Donald Pilla Memorial Award
(One $1000.00 scholarship awarded for vocational/technical school (within the State of Minnesota).

Two $500.00 scholarships. Winners to be selected by lot. Scholarships awarded to union members affiliated with the MN AFL-CIO not high school graduating dependents.) Deadline April 30, 2012. For more information contact the U of M Labor Education Service at 612-624-5020 or

  • E.C. Hallbeck Memorial Scholarship
  • Vocational Scholarship
Awarded to high school seniors of APWU members. Applications must be received by March 15, 2012. Applications and further information may also be obtained at the National APWU website at


Scholarships available for racial minority union member or child, grandchild or spouse of a union member for post secondary education at one of Minnesota’s State Universities or at one of the two year community and technical colleges that are part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU). (Those attending the University of Minnesota or a private school are not eligible for this scholarship. For further information contact 651-738-1404 or 1-866-738-5238. Deadline is May 1, 2012.


One $1,000.00 scholarship. Entrants must be a graduating high school senior of an APWU member. Winner is selected by luck of the draw. Deadline is May 15, 2012. Scholarship Form will be available February 1, 2012. They will be available at the Union Office, steward’s office or on the web at and click on the ‘Scholarship’ link at the top.

FEEA 2011 SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM(Federal Employee Education Assistance Program)

Current civilian federal employees and their dependent family members (spouse/child). Applicants must be current high school seniors or college students working toward an accredited degree and enrolled in a two or four year undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate program. All applicants must have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (CGPA) unweighted on a 4.0 scale. Application package must be postmarked no later than March 25, 2012. Applications and additional information is also available on the web at


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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton, President 12/12/11 651-778-1637


Menards choose this holiday season to offend the hard working people of the Post Office in their last minute home improvement ad sent in the 12/4/11 local newspapers. The ad is 20+ pages of home improvement products that are on sale. Every page of the ad has at the bottom of the page in very small print sayings about Christmas. The saying that we have objection about is found on page 17 of this ad. “Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas.”

On Tuesday December 6th, I sent an email letter to Menards which expressed the disrespect and offensive nature their ad showed for the hard working postal workers who work many hours around the clock to ensure that packages are delivered correctly and promptly year round. I requested a public apology.

I received a short response soon after that stating they recognized my point and that they apologize, it was not funny. Then I informed our stewards and officers of the ad and made a call through social media to contact Menards concerning the offensive remarks in their ads. The online ad was changed within an hour of this initial email. These initial contacts forced the Menard’s Marketing Manager to send me an email on December 7th. While acknowledging the offensive nature of the ad, the Marketing Manager refuses to take responsibility for the ad on behalf of Menards. The Manager placed the blame on a rogue advertising technician that used a quote made by Johnny Carson. In other words, Menard’s did nothing wrong in this ad it was Johnny Carson’s fault because he made a joke years ago.

While it was hoped that the initial contact would bring about a public apology concerning this ad, it appears that Menards is unwilling to do this. So, we are asking that you boycott Menards for this Christmas season. In addition to this we are asking you to contact Menard’s Headquarters and tell them that their ad was offensive to postal workers at 715-876-5911.

We also have copies of the Menards customer feedback forms that can be filled out and sent back to them on business reply mail at the stewards’ desk in the Eagan processing plant. If you can’t get to the Plant, stop by Menards and pick up some feedback forms for you and your coworkers. Remember, that each feedback form that is filled out and returned to Menard’s caused them to incur a cost that is payable to the postal service.

Also, tell your friends and family of this behavior by Menards and ask that they not shop at Menards.
Let me thank you in advance for your efforts to inform Menards' of their unconscionable behavior towards the hard working people of this Union.

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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton , President 11/28/11 651-7781637

December Bid Sheet:
The December Bid Sheet will be posted from December 6, to December 16th. The results will be posted December 23rd. The bids awarded December 23rd will be effective December 31, 2011. If you are awarded a bid or awarded a bid that requires training, there should be no delay. If management delays the bid or delays your training, please ask for a steward.

Penalty Overtime Exclusion:

The December period during which penalty overtime regulations are not applicable consists of 4 consecutive weeks. The penalty overtime exclusion period this year is from December 3rd, to December 30th, 2011. In those instances when there is a need to have someone work beyond 12 hours in a day or 60 hours in a week, management will first utilize the ODL then the NON-ODL

New Leave Year:

The new leave year begins on January 14th 2012. You may carry over up to 440 hours of annual leave.
Christmas Holiday:

The Christmas holiday falls on Sunday December 25th. The holiday for full time regulars and NTFT s can be Saturday the 24th, Sunday the 25th or Monday the 26th depending on your scheduled days off.

Scheduled Day Off:
Saturday/Sunday: Holiday will be Monday

Sunday/Monday: Holiday will be Saturday

Sunday/Rotating: Holiday will be Monday

Any day other than Sunday: Holiday will be Sunday

Holiday scheduling for the New Year’s Day Holiday schedule is the same.

Christmas Holiday Worked Pay

Employees who work on their Christmas holiday (Christmas Day or your designated Christmas Holiday) will be paid one and one-half times (1 ½) the base hourly straight time rate for each hour worked. It is not paid for work performed on December 25th, unless it is your designated holiday. This is in addition to the holiday leave pay employees are entitled to receive. Those requesting annual leave in lieu of the holiday leave pay will still be paid one and one-half times (1 ½) the base hourly straight time rate for each hour worked on the holiday or designated holiday.
Jerry Jacobson Vice President

Attention All Station and Branch Employees - Mandatory Overtime to end for many

Beginning November 23rd, 2011 mandatory overtime will end for many APWU represented employees. In accordance with the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement, full time regular career Clerk Craft and Motor Vehicle Craft employees who work in an installation and functional area with Non-Traditional Full Time Assignments, cannot be required to work overtime (except in an emergency) unless you are on the Overtime Desired List. If just one clerk in any station/branch occupies a NTFT assignment, clerks working in Function 4 (all Customer Service) through out the installation cannot be required to work mandatory overtime unless they are on the ODL. If only one clerk in mail processing occupies a NTFT duty assignment, then NON-ODL clerks in Function 1 can not be required to work mandatory overtime. There is no “Except December” for this mandatory overtime prohibition. Please note, management has not yet posted NTFT duty assignments in the plant. Management plans on posting them in January of 2012. So, until the NTFT duty assignments are posted in the plant, management may force overtime to NON-ODL employees.

Security Violations at Station and Branches

Pool Clerks,It has come to our attention that there are security violations regarding the transfer of accountability to the pool clerks when scheduled to work the window at the stations.Offices have been using the funds from the cash retained reserve drawer to open an accountability for the Pool clerk scheduled at their office, instead of cash retaining funds from the previous day. The funds must be able to be transferred (AIC647) from one employee to another and entered into POS system using PS Form 3294-C.The funds are not at any time to be taken from the cash retained drawer.If there are insufficient funds to open a drawer, the pool clerk should be scheduled to perform other duties within the station until said funds are available to be transferred. The pool drawer must be counted out daily, if the employees will not be utilizing the drawer within one (1) week. Cash drawers must be locked in the safe at all times when not in use. The spare key must be placed into the proper envelope (P 3977) and follow all instructions as indicated. When a violation occurs, please request a steward to obtain the form to report a Security Violation or Poor Financial Practice and make a copy for your records. Make management accountable and see to it that they respond as to what corrective action was taken.

Karen Reynolds - Clerk Craft Steward

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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton, President 11-9-11 651-778-1637

Proposed Constitution Changes to be read at GMM

Article XV of the Local Constitution states:


Section 1. Proposed amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws must be submitted in writing and signed by not less than twenty-five (25) regular members in good standing. All members shall be notified by mail or local publication, that said amendments are pending. The proposed amendments shall be read at two (2) consecutive meetings and acted upon after the second reading, and shall require a two-thirds (2/3) of the votes cast for adoption. Amendments submitted to referendum shall require a majority for adoption.

Section 2. Proposed amendments may also be submitted as a result of Executive Board action, or by recommendation of a duly appointed Constitution Committee.

Proposed Amendment to the Constitution as proposed by Membership Petition

Article 9, Section 5 states in part:

In the event of a permanent vacancy in any general office, the secretary shall post on all bulletin boards fifteen (15) days in advance, a Notice of said Election and the President shall call a meeting of the Executive Board for the purpose of filing the vacancy as soon as practicable. A Two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Executive Board present shall prevail in the selection. Where there are more than two (2) candidates for the vacancy, the candidate receiving the lowest vote will not be eligible for the next ballot.

Suggested change: after… eligible for the next ballot, add the following language:

“If a Two-thirds (2/3) majority vote cannot be reached (impasse) by the Executive Board, the membership will vote by referendum ballot of all eligible candidates.”

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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
odd Elkerton 10/31/11 651-778-1637

Save America’s Postal Service! Closing Post Offices & Mail Processing Centers and Cutting Service is Wrong

The Postal Service is critical to our economy — delivering mail, medicine and packages on time and at an affordable price, without a dime of taxpayer money.No company can grow or even maintain its business by cutting its service. But that’s exactly what the Postal Service is proposing to do. The USPS previously announced plans to close 3,700 post offices and 252 mail processing centers. Now they are proposing to revise their service commitments to eliminate overnight delivery of first-class mail, change next-day delivery to two-days, and two-day delivery to three days. The proposed changes acknowledge what the Postal Service has repeatedly denied: Slashing the mail processing network will result in drastic cuts in service to the American people. • Closing Mail Processing Centers and cutting service is penny wise and pound foolish. Reducing the scope and quality of service will not restore the Postal Service to health. It would likely drive mailers away and therefore worsen the Postal Service’s financial problems.• Closing post offices and facilities, and reducing mail delivery, will cost jobs, cut off rural communities and make it harder for small businesses to grow.• Downgrading service would be devastating to our economy. The Postal Service is the heart of a $1 trillion mailing industry that employs over eight million American workers. The root of the Postal Service’s current financial crisis is a 2006 law that requires the USPS to pre-fund 75 years worth of future retiree health benefits over a 10-year period. No other business or government agency bears a similar burden. Congress created the USPS financial crisis, and Congress can fix it—without drastic cuts in service or massive layoffs, and at no cost to taxpayers. Make your voice heard and sign the petition to Save America’s Postal Service! Copies are available at, at the Eagan plant, the Union Office on Waters Dr, or you can call the union office at 651-778-1637 and we will mail one to you. Please sign; and have your friends and neighbors sign too! If you haven’t been involved before, now’s the time to step up to the plate!

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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
ToddElkerton,President 9/19/11 6517781637

Contract Negotiations
The parties concluded Local Negotiations on Thursday, September 15th, 2011. The parties were able to come to agreement that the annual leave provisions in the LMOU that referred to “8 hours of more” would be changed to “one scheduled day” to accommodate the new Non-Traditional Full-Time assignments. This will allow NTFT employees to have their leave approved within the provisions of Article 10 by seniority regardless of the number of hours scheduled to work. Further, we agreed to some clean up language concerning sections and the move to the new processing plant.

Impasse Declared The parties were not able to come to agreement on a handful of other proposals and will be entering into Impasse for these items. The St. Paul APWU came forward with proposals to insert Postal Support Employee into the LMOU where appropriate. The St. Paul APWU believes that the parties have an obligation to negotiate PSE’s into the Holiday Pecking order, provide a schedule by Wednesday, and provide a process for PSE’s to schedule annual leave. The St. Paul Area Local has a history of representing non-career employees in its LMOU when we had TE’s. In these negotiations, we submitted proposals that were similar to those of TE’s and management would not agree to these proposals rooted in bargaining history between the parties. So, we are going to seek to obtain this through Impasse. This leaves the parties to follow the existing LMOU for holidays. This pecking order does not have PSE’s in it. This will create grievances during holidays when PSE employees are scheduled. Management chose to Impasse five proposals. The first is a proposal to extend to time it takes to place someone into a bid from 15 to 28 days. Management claims that its move to subcontract all the bidding process to “Shared Services” has created an undue burden and that it needs longer time to accomplish this. The St. Paul APWU would not agree this to because the parties at the National level agreed that the local time limits would be adhered too. In addition, locally people have been put into bids in the 14-15 day time frame since the early 1970’s. We believe that computers are supposed to make things faster not slower. Further, management chose to Impasse four proposals that seek to modify Annual Leave approval. Three proposals seek to change the language that management “may” approve annual leave within the prescribed quota percentages. Rather than, the current language that states “will”. The result of these proposals would mean that management would have the ability to deny annual leave at its discretion. The Union found this unacceptable. Last, was a proposal that would require employees to submit annual leave requests the Monday proceeding the week in question to be approved. Again, the St. Paul APWU found this proposal unacceptable. Management created these problems by reducing staffing that no longer accounts for employee using leave. Thus creating an emergency any time someone uses leave. Management can fix its problem by providing staffing that allows employees to use leave within its contractual obligations. The St. Paul Area Local will vigorously defend our rights under our LMOU from these attacks by management in the Impasse process. You will be kept up to date as the process moves forward

Save America’s Postal Service On Tuesday September 27th, between 4-5:30 pm we will be joining other Unions in a rally at each congressman’s office to bring attention to the USPS issues. Click on the "call to action" page to find details for a rally near you.

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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU

Todd Elkerton, President 9/8/11 651-778-1637

As some of you might not be aware, the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement states that the USPS will return some VMF work that is currently being performed by contractors. Per the contract the returning of this work will result in the creation of 740 duty assignments in the VMF’s Nationwide.

On August 30, 2011 the APWU at the national level was provided with a list of locations that will be receiving some of these 740 VMF duty assignments, per the USPS. According to this list, the St Paul VMF will be receiving 6 new Level 9 Lead Automotive Technician bids. This is great news for our VMF! After preliminary discussions with VMF management, the addition of these bids will almost definitely result in the creation of a Tour 1 at the VMF. The addition of this Tour will help us better the services we provide to our customers.

Now I am sure the first question you have will be “Why are they creating all Level 9 Lead Automotive Technician bids?” This is the first question I asked and as of the writing of this bulletin I still do not have an answer. I have spoke with VMF management and the National officers of the APWU and no one has a clue as to how or why those levels were chosen. Nonetheless, we are still more than happy to be receiving an increase in VMF staffing. This is definitely a good sign when you consider all of the doom & gloom being preached to us on a weekly basis.

A plus of the creation of the above 6 bids is the chance for current technicians to advance their careers and apply for one of these Level 9 Lead Automotive Technician bids. So if you might be considering one of these bids, now is the time to start preparing to fill out PS Form 991. The hiring for this position requires a written application as the Lead Automotive Technician positions are filled on a “Best Qualified” basis. If you have any questions in regards to this process please feel free to ask one of your union representatives and we will assist you in any way possible.

The other plus in the creation of the 740 VMF bids nation wide is the opportunity for transfers. As part of the filling process, employees who have properly submitted an eReassign request will be given access to these bids before people are hired off the street. You can submit a standing eReassign request (by location and job type) by going to You will need your Employee ID # and 4 number password to log-in. Once you are on the page for liteblue find the “Employee Apps-Quick Links” bar. You should see the eReassign button. Click on that and follow the instruction to submit a request.
Some of the possibly desirable locations that will be getting technicians are as follows: San Juan (2), Tampa (2), Nashville (9), Denver (2), Phoenix (14), San Diego (15), Honolulu (1) & Dallas (11). These is only a few of the locations available. To see the full list of VMF’s available and the number & type of bids go to or ask a union steward.

In solidarity
Dave Cook
MVS Director

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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton, President 8/29/11 651-778-1637

LMOU Negotiations Local Negotiations continue we had discussion last week with both the St. Paul Installation and Associate Offices. The St. Paul APWU continues to try and negotiate language that provides clear and concise work rules for NTFT assignments and PSE’s. To date we have had much discussion but no action on our proposals. I plan to keep the members updated on the progress of these negotiations as the month proceeds.

Volunteers Needed The St. Paul Area Local is in need of volunteers to participate in the following areas. Regional Labor Federation (RFL)- We are seeking a couple of volunteers to participate as a “delegate” or “alternate delegate”. The RFL represents most of the unions in the East Metro area. Each of you receives the “Union Advocate” newspaper which is a product of the RFL. You would be required as a delegate to attend monthly meetings in St. Paul at 411 Main St. on the second Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. As a alternate you would be put on list if the delegate was unable to attend a meeting then you would replace them.

PEER EVALUATORS We are seeking a couple of volunteers to be PEER Evaluators. PEER is an intervention process that is used in work areas where it has been indentified by people working in that are to have unresolved problems. PEER is a collaborative process that brings craft employees from the represented organizations in to interview employees in the those identified work area. As a PEER Evaluator you would be part of a team of other employee that would interview and follow-up with people in those work areas. Your time spent on these interviews and follow-ups as well as travel expenses are paid by the post office. If you are interested contact my office there will be a training for new PEER Evaluators happening in middle to late September.

Information from Social and Recreation Committee improperly directs employees to APWU for information. All requests (Event form and self-addressed stamped envelope) for discount tickets offered by the St. Paul Social and Recreation Committee to the employees must be sent to the address listed below: St. Paul Social and Recreation CommitteePO Box 76093St. Paul, MN 55175 Questions: Lisa Sunderland (651) 293-3365*** Information posted on Postal Vision regarding any information other than the above has been incorrect. APWU does not have event tickets to sell to employees.Submitted by: Steward Karen Reynolds (St. Paul Social and Rec. Treasurer)

APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton, President 8/29/ 651-778-1637


With over 200,000 jobs and 4500 post offices on the line, there is a war for the survival of our jobs going on. We must learn to stand up collectively or our rights as union members will be stripped from us. It has become crystal clear that the political powers are aligning for us, the USPS, to be the next attack of Congress. Congress created the current financial disaster for the United States Postal Service in 2006 when it passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, requiring the United States Postal Service to pre-fund 75 years of future retiree benefits in a 10 year period. This impending financial disaster can only be solved through congressional action. The longer it goes on the more draconian measures that will be sought by the Postmaster General. In the past, many of our members have chosen to not involve themselves in these issues. It is a learned helplessness that we can not make a difference in this issue because decisions on our future are being made many miles away in the halls of congress. We can not sit in our cocoon until this passes and expect that our lives will be improved by sitting it out. The cost of silence is too great. We will need all our members to get involved to save our jobs. There is a congressional bill titled H.R. 1351 that would provide the USPS the necessary funds to meet its financial obligations by correcting the prefunding sham that was created in 2006 and returning the billions of dollars the USPS has overpaid to its pension funds in previous years. However, word on Capital Hill is that Representative Darrell Issa has vowed that H.R. 1351 will never be brought up for a vote in his committee. In its place he has offered HR 2309 which would have devastating consequences for us as present workers for the USPS. His bill would provide the opening to take away our bargaining rights. If this happens the quality of our private lives will be greatly diminished was well as our communities as they lose a vital part of their community, their post office. In the next couple of weeks, each member of the APWU will receive a mailing explaining to them what is at stake. Inside this pamphlet will be postcard for each of you to fill out and return to your legislator. You will be asked to fill it out and affix a 44 cent stamp and send it in. It is imperative that each and every one of you fill this out and send it in. We need to act collectively to let our representative know that there is a way to save the USPS without doing it on our backs. You can also call 202-224-3121 to be connected with the US Capitol switchboard which can connect you to your congressman. Further, later in September there will be a National Day of action planned. The plan for this day in action is for us to act together with the NALC, Mail Handlers, and Rural Carriers and meet directly with the congressmen who represent us to educate them on our issues. We will need volunteers for these local meetings tentatively set for September 27, 2011. If you are interested in attending these meetings please contact the local union office and let us know so we can provide you with specifics as the time nears. Are you in? If not now, when? None of us can afford the results of sitting on the sideline during this upcoming fight. Please show the courage to say I can and will try and make a difference. The only failure will be quitting and throwing you hands up, saying I can not make a difference. Your co-workers and family are counting on you.

APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWUTodd Elkerton, President 8/22/ 651-778-1637 LMOU Negotiations The St. Paul Area Local has started LMOU negotiations for all offices we represent. The main thrust of negotiations is to try to establish work rules that provide orderly scheduling and leave approval for Postal Support Employees that does not adversely affect career employees. Further, the Union is seeking to provide a leave approval process that does not adversely affect Non-Traditional Full-Time Assignment. As of yet, management has not proposed any changes but we expect that to change in the near future. I would like to thank the membership in advance for their support in this process. We intend to be finished with all LMOU by the end of September. We will try to provide updates on the process as it continues. Non-Traditional Full-Time Assignments (NTFT) The National Agreement provides that Part-Time Regular and Part-Time Flexible employees in Function 1 offices (Processing and Distribution Plants) and Post Offices Level 21 and above will no longer have either category of employee. Further, that all employee in this status for these offices will be converted to full time effective 8-27-11. The Union believes that Management is violating the National Agreement when it is converting these employees. First, the Union believes NTFT assignment not an employment category only a work schedule that can only be established and posted according the Craft Articles of the National Agreement. The Unions position is that the only way management could convert employees in a NTFT is through the posting requirements of duty assignments. Further, as a full time employee the contract still provides that the normal work week will consist of five work days consisting of eight hours each. Therefore, the Union provided in late July how they believed this could be accomplished. Management chose not to convert these employees in accordance to the Contract. Therefore, the Union is forced to file grievances concerning this conversion. So, what has management done? Management has decided to provide NTFT assignments to all these employees and the management provide schedule will start on August 27, 2011. If you are one of these employees and do not understand or have questions please contact a steward. What are Postal Support Employees (PSE) PSE’s are bargaining unit employees and will replace casuals and TE employees. PSE’s can be members of the APWU. As of this date, many of them have signed up as members, which is great to see. PSE are required to be hired through the appropriate register established for each craft. PSE’s are hired for 360 day appointments with a 5 day break in service. When career hiring occurs it must be from PSE’s by seniority. The PSE will be next career APWU employees. Please welcome the PSE to your work areas. There have been many concerns over the hiring of PSE’s at this point. Specifically, how does this affect the retreat rights of those that have been excessed out of section? The National Agreement does not provide restrictions for the hiring of PSE’s in this situation. However, the National Agreement does provide that if they, either individually or collectively, are working a legitimate full time duty assignment that management is required to post a full-time duty assignment. The St. Paul Area Local has assigned a Steward from each craft to monitor there work hours for potential new duty assignments. The excessed employees will continue to be returned by seniority to full-time assignments that they are indentified as the senior bidder on. Last, PSE’s have leave benefits and health benefits after one year of employment. Office Closings The USPS has announced that it is reviewing 3700 post offices, stations and branches for closure. The list that was provided indicates that Riverview, Seeger Square, and Mendota are on the list. Further, just this week the USPS met with the St. Paul City Council to relocate and consolidate MO Office, located at 180 E. Kellogg Blvd and Uptown Station, located at 408 St. Peter St. within a mile of their current locations. In addition, management had proposed relocating its retail operations in Northfield and Cottage Grove. As for the downtown locations management met stiff opposition to removing postal facilities from downtown St. Paul. Further, management has been less than transparent in this process. At the Labor Management meeting we had with management concerning the initial proposal for this action. Management indicated that the process was put on hold because the USPS did not have money to do this. The APWU asked that it be kept up to date on the issue and if it comes back on the table. Then, one week prior to the meeting with the St. Paul City Council, management posted a notice in the lobby of MO Office with no indication that the Uptown site was being relocated. It is clear that management is not good to its word and that these issues will be done by ambush with little notice to the APWU or the public. Further, the St. Paul Area Local has been given a similar response to Northfield and Cottage Grove stating that at this time to proposals will not go forward because a lack of money. We expect that the same that has occurred downtown will occur in these two communities. The Union has had discussions with representatives in these areas and voiced our oppositions to the closings and relocations of these offices. We need your help to keep us informed on these issues. When you see any public notice go up in your office concerning these issues please contact the Union Office because at this point this is the only way we know what is happening. We are exploring all options available to protect these offices. We will also need your help to contact your Congressman and explain your feelings regarding these closures and relocations.

APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton, President

In a recent labor management meeting, management informed the union of their intent to abolish 10 clerk craft duty assignments in the tour 3 pouch rack section. Management states the abolishments are due to changes in mail processing operations.

On or about 6/20, management began testing their new APPs machine in the NDC (BMC). The testing period will take approximately 10-12 days. If all goes well, management will accept the APP by July 2nd. Beginning July 2nd, management will run priority mail on the APPs. Beginning July 2nd, our facility, the St. Paul P&DC will send 7 trailer loads a day of destinating priority mail to the NDC to be worked on their small APPs. 100% of our originating priority will go to the NDC to be worked on the new APPs machine.

Locally, we will still work some priority mail. This may be what’s left after the first 7 trailer loads, some 2 day, 3 day or 3 day non-committed. The decision how much of this mail we will work will be determined on a day to day basis by management on the floor. Because of the shift of priority mail from the P&DC to the NDC, management figures they will be overstaffed in the tour 3 pouch rack unit by 10 bids. Management is planning on abolishing ten 1700 start bids. The Union has already made an agreement with management to provide retreat rights, up to 10 employees, who voluntarily bid out or who are excessed out of the section.

As a reminder “Bid duty assignments” are abolished, excessing of employees will be done by juniority. This excessing is done by level. Therefore, this action does not affect general expeditors. The union does not necessarily agree to the numbers management has provided, however, management has the right to manage. The Union has informed management of our intent to request daily and/or weekly reports. We will not only monitor mail volumes, but also the number of work hours in the pouch rack by operation.

We are aware that management has been excessing employees into the pouch rack section on a daily basis. Management states the unassigned regulars, casuals; etc will be removed and/or reassigned from the pouch rack. Also, there should no longer be a need to excess anyone into the section.

The Union will closely monitor the section and file any appropriate grievances. We ask that you punch the right operation number for where you are working, especially in the pouch rack section.

The 10 abolished bids will be posted in either letter or flat automation sections.


We have brought it to management’s attention that not all FSM employees have received FSS training. The plant manager has assured us everyone will get training ASAP. If you are an FSM employee without FSS training, please notify a steward so we can address this with management.

On June 21st, Plant Manager Greg Pobuda reiterated to the Union that there are no changes for the FSM section, especially the start time of the T-3 FSM section.

We meet weekly with management and will do our best to keep you informed. Thanks.

Jerry Jacobson
Vice President

APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU

Todd Elkerton, President 5/17/ 651-778-1637Contract RatifiedOn May 11, 2011 the member of APWU ratified a new contract with 75% of the members voting casting a ballot in favor of the agreement. The agreement has many new changes. The local will be sending all stewards and officers at the end of this week to training on the changes so we are able to enforce the new agreement. There will be regular updates as management tries to figure out staffing with the new agreement. Prior to the announcement management on the customer service side had processed new staffing for all stations. Then management put these on hold pending the vote on the new contract. With the results it is anticipated that these will all be redone. Tell Congress to support H.R. 1351H.R 1351 is titled “USPS Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011” This bill corrects the overfunding of the Postal Service’s pension accounts, and would allow the Postal Service to use any surplus to meet its retiree health benefits pre-funding obligation. According to President Guffy, “This bill would help put the Postal Service back on track to fiscal solvency.” If anyone lives in the 1st congressional district of Minnesota send a message of thanks to Representative Tim Walz who is first representative from MN to sign on as a co-sponsor.1st District Tim Walz 507-206-06432nd District John Kline 952-808-12133rd District Erik Paulsen 952-405-85104th District Betty McCollum 651-224-91915th District Keith Ellison 612-522-12126th District Michelle Bachmann 651-731-54007th District Collin Peterson 218-847-50568th District Chip Cravaack 651-237-8220Upcoming Membership MeetingDon’t forget about the Membership Meeting for this month is during the day at 11:00. Afterward we will be having our open house, come have some ice cream and cake and see the new building.Pay GrievancesWe are attempting to get grievances paid within a timely manner. At every Labor Management meeting since April 1st this has been a topic. IRD Terri Griner met with the Plant Manager and a MDO responsible for the adjustments recently and was told they are all done. We disagree and asked for verification of payment. We were told that they would have it to us soon. We will keep seeking timely payment of your grievances until this issue is resolved.

APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU

Todd Elkerton, President 5/2/ 651-778-1637HARRY WILLIAMS GOLF TOURNAMENTUNION MEMBERS AND GUESTS ARE WELCOMEWHEN: Monday, August 1, 2011 WHERE: BRISTOL RIDGE GOLF COURSESOMERSET, WISCONSINTIME: 8:00 A.M. SCRAMBLECOST: $65.00 PER PERSONINCLUDES GOLF, CART, MEAL and CONTESTS Many Great Prizes Available!DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES IS JULY 18, 2011MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO: “ST. PAUL AREA LOCAL APWU”(PROCEEDS GO TO THE HARRY WILLIAMS SCHOLARSHIP FUND).……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..Detach and return along with entry fees to: P.O. Box 21128 Eagan, MN 55121TEAM NAMES:______________________________ _________________________(Captain)______________________________ _________________________Contact Phone Number and/or E-Mail:____________________________________(SEE OTHER SIDE FOR DIRECTIONS)


DIRECTIONS TO BRISTOL RIDGE GOLF COURSE:Web Site: www.bristolridgegolfcourse.comTelephone: 715-247-3673 or 888-872-5596 (toll free)From the Twin Cities or from Western Wisconsin· 94 to the Somerset Exit (Exit #4)· Go North approximately 5 miles through Burkhardt· Just after Burkhardt, turn left on County Road I into Somerset· Take a right at stoplight and go ½ mile· Take a left onto County Road C North and go 2.1 milesBristol Ridge Golf Course is on the leftFrom the Twin Cities (Stillwater Area)· Take Highway 36 to downtown Stillwater· Cross the Stillwater drawbridge into Wisconsin· Go 9 miles on 64 East to 2nd Somerset Exit (35 North)· At top of exit, take a left towards Somerset· Go ¼ mile and take a right onto County Road C North

Go 2.1 miles (Bristol Ridge is on the left)


APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU

Todd Elkerton, President 4/12/11 651-778-1637Tentative Agreement

This week the National APWU is sending out ballots for you to make a decision on the tentative agreement between the APWU and USPS. We are told that this mailing will have the whole tentative agreement for you to review prior your voting. You can also download a PDF version of the contract at This agreement has been described as a “watershed agreement” by Mike Morris, Industrial Relations Director. Which according to his definition is an important point of transition between two phases, conditions, etc. Further, Mr. Morris states that this agreement has more changes in it than all the previous contracts combined. So, to provide a complete overview of the changes would take many pages and I would probably lose your attention.

The tentative agreement is overall good for current employees represented by the APWU in that it continues the no-layoff clause, limits excessing to no more than 50 miles and includes raises of 3.5% and uncapped COLA’s. The estimate made by the economists provides that this tentative agreement will provide approximately $4,000.00 worth of raises. Last, the new agreement provides for thousands of jobs to be returned to the bargaining unit and stronger language to protect our work from subcontracting. These protections are essential for our survival into the future. We have seen 100,000 jobs lost in the last three years alone.

In addition to the above mentioned items, the tentative agreement provides help to Small Offices that have seen an erosion of work over the last decade as Postmasters have just assumed the work and cut PTF hours. It provides conversion to Full-Time to all PTF’s in level 21 offices and above. It provides that any office with PTF’s or PTR’s to convert to full-time where the union can show at least 30 hours of work per week. Further, the tentative agreement provides a bright line for the work that Postmaster is permitted to do according to the level of the office.

The tentative agreement eliminates casuals and TE’s. It provides for a new category of employee called a PSE- Postal Support Employees. The PSE will be part of the APWU bargaining unit. However, they will be considered non-career positions that will have 360-day appointments. There is agreement that qualified and available PTF employees will be scheduled at the straight time rate prior to a PSE. Further, the TA provides that Career employees will be filled by those PSE on a seniority basis. As part of the bargaining unit, the PSE will earn leave and after a year be eligible for health insurance. Lastly, the PSE, being part of the bargaining unit, can also be signed up for membership.

The parts of the tentative agreement that are problematic and the source of much of the opposition are as follows.

First, the tentative agreement provides for lower entry level steps for new career employees along with capping the top pay at Step J. This amounts to a much longer time to reach the top pay, which would be anywhere from 13-18 years depending on the level someone is hired. This also would mean that a new hire will see a reduction of $5000.00 per year from the current APWU represented employee at the top step. This represents a two-tier pay scale. Historically, two tier pay schedules have been problematic for Unions on whole and have been shown to weaken a bargaining unit over time. While we have essentially had a three-tier pay schedule since the early 1990’s with Casuals, TE, and Career employees, time will tell what affect this has on the APWU.

Last and probably the most controversial is that the tentative agreement provides for redefining what a full-time position is. Instead of the historical 40 hour work week, 8 hours a day, five days a week, management will be allowed to post positions that are 30 hours to 48 hours a week up to twelve hours a day and call it a full-time assignment. Further, the National APWU has negotiated that no full-time employee on the rolls at the signing of the TA will be involuntary assigned to a duty assignment of less than 40 hours. In addition, if someone voluntarily bids a job of less than 40 hours and that job is eliminated, Management must return that employee to a 40 hours status because you can not involuntarily be placed in a duty assignment less than 40 hours for the life of the agreement. In Function 1 offices (which are Processing and Distribution Plants) management can post up to 50% of these types of positions in the Clerk and MVS Crafts. However, in our function 4 offices all duty assignments can be the NTFT positions. This language will fundamentally change how jobs are constructed and employees scheduled. For some employees these new jobs are going to be just what they are looking for and thus good. For some who believe eight hours is plenty of time to spend at work, it is going to be a bad thing. This is also a fundamental change for the APWU because no longer will 8 hour, five day a week jobs be the norm.

These are just the highlights of the changes that are in the tentative agreement. It is recommended that each of you read the new language and make an informed decision. This local has historically recommended how members should vote on the tentative agreement. However, because of the timing of the ballots and the change in leadership we were unable to meet as a E-Board prior to this mailing and make a recommendation.

The National APWU leaders have defined this tentative agreement as an “outside the box” agreement. They also recognize that it is not perfect but believe that it is far better that what could be expected in interest arbitration during these trying times. Also, the ability to recognize the interests of both parties and to craft an agreement proves that collective bargaining works in the public sector. Considering all the forces that have lined up prior to this tentative agreement, it is quite an accomplishment to be able to provide a tentative agreement for you to even consider. Further information can be found at . Please take the time to make your choice and return your ballot. It would be great if we can achieve the return rate that was seen in our last local election.


Dawn Ecker, President St. Paul, MN Area Local March 21, 2011



Treasurer Clerk Craft TrusteeDave Westgard Tina WestgardMotor Vehicle Craft Director Motor Vehicle Craft TrusteeDave Cook Steve Henjum
ELECTED AS PRESIDENTPat McCann ____246_ _____

Todd Elkerton ____506 _______

ELECTED AS VICE PRESIDENTJerry Jacobson ____429_________

Dawn Ecker ____317_________

ELECTED AS DIRECTOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONSJudy Fricke _____329________Terri Griner _____408________


Jesse Lopez _____349_ ____Steve Letendre _____395_ ____ELECTED AS TRUSTEE CHAIRPERSONBillie Dunn _____389 __Karen Reynolds ___344________ELECTED AS CLERK CRAFT DIRECTOR

Bruce Gutzke

___293________ Cindy Lauer _272________ ELECTED AS MAINTENANCE CRAFT DIRECTOR Dave Geissinger ______76________Karen Volkman ______54________


Gary Keicker ______71_ _____

Rod Renner

61__ ____

DELEGATES TO CONVENTIONS:Terri Griner 2 264Dave Geissinger 17 112Karen Springborn 22 51Kim Elledge 23 44Karen Volkman 16 115Cindy Lauer 6 201Jim Thompson 19 67Karen Reynolds 12 157Steve Letendre 9 166Jodi France 13 139Bruce Gutzke 14 138Steve Letendre -- --Jodi France -- --Bruce Gutzke -- --William Thomas 25 37Ann Ziemer 21 54Gary “Big G” Schneider 15 120Gary Keicker 18 84Dave Westgard 4 237Judy Fricke 11 163Keith Landsman 26 33Todd Elkerton 1 416Pat McCann 7 198Billie Dunn 8 195Jerry Malean 24 41Jerry Jacobson 3 250Ray Moore 20 63Jesse Lopez 10 166Dawn Ecker 5 203 ***************************************************************BALLOTS SENT AND RETURNED: Sent ReturnedMotor Vehicle Service 65 42Maintenance 191 135Clerks 850 579Mailhandler 1 0Total Sent 1107Total Returned 756
Spoiled: 8
THANKS TO THE ELECTION COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN AND COMMITTEE:Chairman Pat HawkinsCommittee: Tim Strong, Theresa Helsper, Kim Olsen, Brian Borgerson, Julie Nuzum, Dawn Erickson, Jodi Davis, Dennis Mendenhall

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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU

Dawn Ecker, President 3/14/11 651-778-1637APWU, USPS Reach Tentative Agreement on New ContractFull details are available on the APWU’s National Website www.apwu.orgHighlights of the New Collective Bargaining AgreementWagesThere will be across-the-board pay increases of 3.5 percent over the life of the contract. Nov. 17, 2012 – 1% increaseNov. 16, 2013 – 1.5% increaseNov. 15, 2014 – 1% increase Cost-of-Living AdjustmentsCOLAs for 2011 were waived, and COLAs for 2012 are deferred until 2013.A March 2012 COLA will become effective in March 2013, together with a March 2013 COLA. A September 2012 COLA will become effective in September 2013, together with a September 2013 COLA.Cost-of-Living Adjustments will be made in March 2013, September 2013, March 2014, September 2014 and in March 2015. New Entry-Level StepsAdditional steps will be added to the pay scale for new employees in Levels 3through 8, with lower starting salaries. Future employees will progress through the new steps onto the current pay scale, but will not be eligible to progress to the current top step.Health BenefitsThere will be no changes to the healthcare benefits of APWU members in 2012. Each year from 2013 through 2016 there will be a slight shift in employees’ share of contributions toward healthcare coverage. This will amount to an increase of several dollars per pay period each year.Limits on Excessing The agreement limits excessing outside of an installation or craft to no more than 40 miles from the installation in most cases and to no more than 50 miles in any case. If management cannot place employees within 50 miles, the parties will jointly determine what steps may be taken. Employees will not be required to retreat to crafts they were excessed from if the crafts are represented by the APWU. There will be designated “moving days” no more frequently than once every three months for excessing from postal installations. This will strengthen seniority when excessing occurs in multiple installations within a geographic area. Jobs and Job Security Protection against layoffs continues for all career employees who were on the rolls as of Nov. 20, 2010. The language of Article 6, which governs layoffs and reductions-in-force, remains unchanged.New provisions on subcontracting give the APWU the opportunity to develop proposals to compete with subcontractors for work, and stipulate that if APWU-represented employees can perform the work less expensively than the subcontractors, the work must be performed by APWU-represented employees. The tentative agreement protects jobs with a provision that stipulates that the APWU will retain jurisdiction if the duties of union members are moved to facilities that are not currently represented by the APWU. Jobs in the Clerk CraftNo fewer than 1,100 Call Center jobs that had been contracted out will be returned to the APWU bargaining unit. The Call Center locations will become part of the installation of the nearest Processing & Distribution Center, so that APWU members can bid on these positions. A minimum of 800 positions will be created in the Clerk Craft to perform administrative and technical duties that are currently performed by EAS personnel. Lead Clerk, PS-7, positions will be created in mail processing and in retail to perform administrative duties. At least one Lead Clerk position will be established in any office where there is no supervisor. At least one Lead Clerk position will be established in any Customer Service office with five or more Clerk Craft employees.Ratios for the establishment of Lead Clerk positions in mail processing will be as follows :
# Clerks # Lead Clerks
500 or more 5, plus one for each 100 clerks
204Bs will be eliminated from offices with supervisors, except to fill absences of more than 14 days and vacant assignments of more than 14 days. Part-Time Regular positions will be eliminated from the Clerk Craft. Jobs in the Maintenance CraftThere will be a joint audit of maintenance work currently performed by contractors to identify duties that can be assigned to the Maintenance Craft where it is cost effective.Custodial staffing will be established on an installation-wide basis rather than on a facility-wide basis. Initially 1,500 custodial positions that were contracted out will be returned to the bargaining unit. Help Desk positions at the MTSC (Maintenance Technical Support Center) in Norman, OK, will be assigned to the bargaining unit.There will be an audit of EAS positions to determine if non-supervisory duties are being performed. Bargaining unit duties derived from the audit will be returned to the bargaining unit and a minimum of 60 bargaining unit positions will be established.All in-craft promotions will be on the basis of installation seniority within a “banded” score. Jobs in the Motor Vehicle CraftApproximately 740 Vehicle Maintenance Facility positions will be created to perform work that is currently performed by subcontractors. The jobs will be created as follows: 219 Level 8 Technicians
459 Level 9 Lead Technicians
62 Level 10 Lead Technicians
A minimum of 600 Highway Contract Routes (HCRs) will be converted to Postal Vehicle Service (PVS) routes, with a minimum of 25% of the duty assignments given to career employeesThe APWU will have the opportunity to review approximately 8,000 additional HCRs, and will have the opportunity to submit proposals for the work. There will be an audit of EAS positions to determine if non-supervisory duties are being performed. Bargaining unit duties derived from the audit will be returned to the bargaining unit and a minimum of 60 bargaining unit positions will be established. Part-Time Flexible and Part-Time Regular positions will be eliminated from the MVS Craft. New, Non-Traditional Positions The tentative agreement changes the definition of “full-time” in a way that gives the Postal Service and our members greater flexibility. The “full-time” designation will apply to any position of 30 or more hours per week and to any position of 48 hours or less per week. No current employees can be forced into a full-time position of less than 40 hours per week or more than 44 hours per week. These provisions will allow for the creation of many non-traditional full-time schedules, including four 10-hour days, three 12-hour days, and four 11-hour days.There will be no mandatory overtime for employees in non-traditional assignments or in functional areas that utilize non-traditional full-time assignments.To provide the USPS with flexibility, the parties agreed to create a new position for Non-Career Assistants, who will comprise up to 20 percent of the workforce in most functional areas of the Clerk Craft and up to 10 percent in both the Maintenance and Motor Vehicle Crafts. These employees will be paid lower wages than career employees, but higher wages than Transitional Employees and Casuals. They will be part of the APWU bargaining unit and will receive raises, health benefits, and leave. Non-Career Assistants will have access to the grievance procedure, and they will have the opportunity to join the ranks of the permanent, career workforce by seniority. Transitional Employees and Casuals will be eliminated as workforce categories. Employees who are currently serving as TEs or Casuals will be eligible for conversion to Non-Career Assistants if they have passed the appropriate tests. Small OfficesThere will be no Part-Time Flexibles in Level 21 and above offices. Positions will be staffed with Full-Time Regulars (including non-traditional assignments) and Non-Career Assistants. In Level 20 and below offices, wherever the union can demonstrate the existence of 30-hour duty assignments, management must create them. Restrictions will be placed on the amount of bargaining unit work that may be performed by supervisory personnel in small offices. The formula is as follows: Level 20 offices and above - No bargaining work by supervisors allowedLevel 18 offices - 18 hours per weekLevel 15 and 16 offices - 25 hours per weekMany Contract Postal Units (CPUs) will be returned to the APWU bargaining unit; others will be closed, and a system will be established to evaluate additional CPUs for return to the bargaining unit or closure.Bidding Employees will enjoy unlimited bidding on jobs that do not require training or a deferment period. Such bids will not count toward an employee’s allowed number of bids.Light & Limited Duty The union’s proposals regarding light- and limited-duty positions will proceed to arbitration. Our proposals are intended to protect seniority rights and to provide fair opportunities for accommodation for employees that need it.

APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU

Dawn Ecker, President 2/21/11 651-778-1637FSSFSS #1 will begin the burn in period on 4/11/11. Depending on the results of the burn-in, FSS #1 may be up and running anytime from April 11, 2011 to May 2, 2011.FSS #2 will begin the burn-in period on May 2, 2011.Stations that will be run on the FSS will be:Eagan White Bear LakeWoodbury ShoreviewNew Brighton RosevilleApple Valley N. St. PaulIn the clerk Craft, the FSS will be run in a rotation with the FSM 100’s. Both of these machines are in the automated FSM section. Management’s intent is to only run the FSS’s on tour 3 and tour 1. There could possibly be a dispute on which craft is going to prep mail for the FSS.Unassigned RegularsThere have been numerous questions being raised about UAR’s (unassigned regulars) and how long they can remain unassigned without a position being posted.Article 37.4D of the National Agreement sets the criteria for creating a new duty assignment. First, the number of full time regular clerk craft duty assignments must be less than the number of full time clerks. Then the UAR must be unassigned for 120 calendar days. Then the UAR must not fall into the following exceptions:

1. Detailed to a non-bargaining position, i.e. 204B

2. Identified to be excessed out of the installation3. Medically unsuitable for assignmentAs of this date, there are more full time clerk craft positions than there are full time clerk craft employees, therefore a newly established full time assignment is not required to be created.This is being monitored and if the criteria in 37.4D is met, a grievance will be filed for new positions.

APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU

Dawn Ecker, President 1/20/ 651-778-1637

From the St. Paul AFL-CIO Community Services:

“Come join us for the Winter Carnival Grande Day Parade on Saturday, 1/29/11 at 2:30 p.m. Our marching unit is co-sponsored by the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation’s AFL-CIO Community Services program and Greater Twin Cities United Way.If you would like to participate, please call Lynne Larkin-Wright at 651-222-3787, extension 16, or email Union members and their families and friends are encouraged to participate in this fun community event. Marchers should plan to wear their local union jackets or uniforms if available and carry their local union banners. We are looking for volunteers to carry signs that proudly proclaim “Unions and United Way, Partners Serving our Community”. After the parade we will have our annual warm-up party sponsored by Medica at the Assembly Hall. There will be good food and fun for the whole family.”


Reminder- This month’s General Membership Meeting is January 25th, 11:00 a.m!


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Dawn Ecker, President St. Paul, MN Area Local December 20, 2010 651-778-1637


We have received notice from the National APWU that management will no longer accept APWU FMLA forms. The National APWU has filed a National Level grievance on this issue. We encourage employees to use the DOL WH-380 forms instead of the APWU forms until such time that the national level dispute is resolved.

The FMLA coordinators will return other certification forms back to the employee and the employee will have 15 days, unless impracticable, to submit FMLA certification using Form WH-308. (The entire memo can be read at the National APWU website, and our local website).


Management at the District Level has determined to grant Administrative Leave for Tour 3 and Tour 1 on Saturday, December 11, 2010 for any employee who requested Annual Leave, or LWOP, due to weather. Any employee outside of this time period who requested annual leave or LWOP, the union will be filing a grievance on your behalf. Please contact a steward or officer if you have any questions.


There seems to be some confusion among unassigned regulars regarding whether or not they hold a bid positions. Some unassigned regulars were given the opportunity to preference hours and days off at the time they became an unassigned regular. These are NOT regular bid positions. These are temporary assignments, until you become successful on a clerk vacancy, or assigned to a residual duty assignment. Unassigned regulars should continue to bid on clerk vacancies, or will end up being assigned to residual duty assignments, when such assignments become available.


Dawn Ecker, President St. Paul, MN Area Local December 2, 651-778-1637__DECEMBER 7TH CLERK VACANCYThe Clerk Vacancy that is due to come out on December 7, 2010 will now be back to the automated system. Employees at the Plant and LDC must either computer bid or phone bid. NO MANUAL BIDS WILL BE TAKEN FROM THE PLANT OR LDC. Employees at stations and branches will still have the opportunity to manually bid if they choose.In-section bidding and retreat rights will continue to be done manually. This is the only bidding that will be done manually. These bids will continue to be placed in the white mail boxes.PENALTY RATE OVERTIMEThe exclusion of the penalty rate of pay begins December 4th through December 31, 2010. This exclusion does not impact the use of the Overtime Desired List. The Overtime Desired List still exists during this time period. Only the penalty rate of pay is affected.2011 LEAVE YEARThe new leave year will begin on January 1, 2011. January 1st is the date that you can start using leave that you will earn in 2011.ANNUAL LEAVE CARRYOVERThe new leave year begins on January 1, 2011. You may carry over 440 hours of annual leave into the new year. If you have more than the 440 hours as of January 1, 2011, you will lose ALL hours in excess of 440 hours.ANNUAL LEAVE EXCHANGE(Reprinted from the National Agreement)“The parties agree that APWU career employees will be allowed to sell back a maximum of forty (40) hours of annual leave prior to the beginning of the leave year provided the following two (2) criteria are met:1. The employee must be at the maximum leave carry over ceiling at the start of the leave year; and2. The employee must have used fewer than 75 sick leave hours in the leave year immediately preceding the year for which the leave is being exchanged.”Note: the leave you are exchanging is leave that you will earn in leave year 2011. You cannot exchange leave that is in excess of the 440 hours that you were carrying over.CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY WORKED PAYEmployees required to work on his/her Christmas Holiday (Christmas Day or the employee’s designated Christmas Holiday), will be paid one and one-half times the base hourly straight time rate for each hour worked. It is not paid for work performed on December 25th unless it is the employee’s holiday. This is in addition to the Holiday Leave pay the employee is entitled to receive. Those requesting annual leave in lieu of the Holiday Leave pay will still be paid one and one half (1 ½) times the base hourly straight time rate for each hour worked on the holiday or their designated holiday.CHOICE VACATION FOR JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH, 2011Employees who submitted 1547’s (Choice Vacation Slips) for choice vacation in the months of January, February, March of 2011 should have received an answer back from your supervisor by November 21, 2010. If you have not, please request a steward. OPEN SEASON REMINDERRemember – Open Season ends on December 13, 2010. There is a Health Fair scheduled at the Eagan Facility on December 8th from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. NATIONAL COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT(Re-printed from the APWU Website)The contract was originally scheduled to expire November 20th, but the union and management agreed to two previous extensions, first to November 23rd, then to December 1st.The 2006-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement will remain in effect until a new agreement is reached through negotiation, mediation or arbitration.

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Dawn Ecker, President 10/20/10 651-778-1637DENMARK AVE. OPENThe Denmark Ave entrance is now open. The two entrances on Lexington will be closed in the very near future, by 11/1/10.BIDDINGThe front page of the Clerk Vacancy notice 101210M has incorrect information where it states on the front cover:“…also sign the verification sheet provided by SDOs to indicate that you have had the opportunity to bid.”This is incorrect for this bid sheet. That procedure is used for insection bidding and retreat rights, NOT for bid sheet 101210M.LIVE BIDDERQ212 of the JCIM states: “Must an employee who submits a letter to remain a live bidder on a previous bid continue to submit a letter for each subsequent successful bid? Response: Yes. A new letter must be submitted each time an employee is designated a successful bidder. The only exception is when the employee is forced to bid due to his/her duty assignment being abolished or reposted.” After discussion with our NBA, when all the positions were reposted in September, Q212 of the JCIM applies to that bid sheet, meaning all previous bids and higher preferences on the same bid sheet are not required to have a “live bidder” form filled out. However, if you received a bid actually awarded and no longer want to be considered for a previous bid or higher preference from the September manual posting, you must submit a cancellation of those bids. A.O.’S60 day notification letters of potential excessing have been or will be handed out to impacted employees at the following A.O.’s: Cottage Grove, Northfield, Owatonna, Stillwater, and Forest Lake. This potential excessing is projected due to the removal of CSBCS machines in these offices. The CSBCS machines are still running in these offices right now. This 60 day notification does not mean you will be excessed in 60 days, it is “potentially”. The union met with Labor on 10/20/10 on these staffing packages. We will meet further with the Postmasters. We will attempt to reduce the impact through meetings, attrition, etc. These excessing letters are not set in stone. Meetings will also be held with the employees at these AO’s with the Union. The Union has also been notified that the withholding for these AO’s has been extended out to 300 miles.

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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU

Dawn Ecker, President 10/13/10 651-778-1637

REGULAR BIDDING AND IN-SECTION BIDDING WHEN THEY OVERLAPThere is much confusion on how in-section bidding works along with the regular bidding cycle. Q: If I am “awarded” a bid during the normal bidding process but in-section bidding takes place prior to me leaving my section do I get to in-section bid?A: Yes, as long as I am still in the section I have a right to in-section bid. If I do in-section bid, I will still be obligated to start the bid I was awarded from the regular bid sheet, but will return to my in-section bid with the posted effective date of the in-section bidding. If I chose not to in-section bid, I will assume the bid I was awarded from the regular vacancy with no rights from the section I am leaving.Ex: Regular bid sheet, award posted October 1st, effective October 9thIn-section bid, open until October 8th, effective October 23rd.If I in-section bid, I will assume my new bid on the 9th, but return to my in-section bid on the 23rd. If I do not in-section bid, I will assume by new bid on the 9th, and will not have any rights in my old section.BIDDINGWith all the bidding that is going on, it is important to remind yourself of some of the bidding obligations to protect yourself.LIVE BID FORM – This form is used when you want to remain live on a bid that someone is pending on and it was a higher preference on the same bid sheet or from a previous bid sheet. You must answer yes to all three of these questions:1. Does the job on which I wish to remain live on still have the senior bidder pending qualification? You cannot live bid on a job already “awarded” to someone else.2. Have I become a successful bidder (awarded or assigned – NOT pending qualification) on another job either on this same bid sheet or a bid sheet thereafter?3. If I was a successful bidder on the same bid sheet, did I preference the bid on which I wish to remain live HIGHER than the one on which I was successful?This form must be submitted within 10 days from the date you were notified (via Clerk Bulletin) that you are a successful bidder.There is also information on these forms to cancel a bid that has someone pending and that may drop to you. These forms are attached to every award notice and Tuesday Bulletin. If in doubt fill out the form.All training must be set up within 10 days of the date of the award notice; if you do not make the initial contact to set up training within this time frame, you will forfeit the job.If you fail to demonstrate a skill, you will serve a 120 day restriction from bidding jobs with the same skill from the date the employee attempts to demonstrate the skill.If you fail a job possessing a scheme only, you will serve a 90 day restriction from bidding any jobs. (If you do not complete the 4 hours of training in 5 days you will have it count as an unsuccessful bid only. If you do complete 4 hours of training in 5 days and subsequently fail, forfeit the job you will serve the 90 day restriction).If you fail or forfeit certain jobs listed under 37.3.F.7 you will serve a 180 day restriction from bidding duty assignments in that position designation. (See list in contract or request the list from a steward)

Judy Fricke, IRD

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APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU

Dawn Ecker, President 9/27/10 651-778-1637


Many questions have come up about saved grade and bidding. Here are some answers to your questions:

1. If I am in a level 6 bid position, but have saved grade level 7, can I bid on duty assignments designated as level 7 and higher for pay purposes only?

Answer: No. The level 7 saved grade is for pay purposes only, by holding a level 6 bid position, you are a level 6 for bidding purposes.

2. If I am an unencumbered regular level 7, can I bid on duty assignments designated as level 7 and higher only?

Answer: Yes, only upon obtaining a lower level (e.g. level 6) bid position, would you become a saved grade level 7.


We have numerous change of schedules come to the APWU via the fax machine. Change of schedules are an employee’s personal request. The APWU’s signature only waives out of schedule premium pay. The APWU will not sign a change of schedule unless the employee requesting the change of schedule personally speaks to a steward or officer.


You probably have already received you ballots for the national APWU elections. Please Vote! This is a contract negotiation year, and with the financial state the USPS is in, it is not going to be easy. You have until October 5, 2010 to get your ballot back in. our endorsed candidates in the contested races are:

Cliff Guffey – President

Rob Strunk – Clerk Craft Director

Martin “Marty” Mater – National Business Agent “B”


APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU



Dawn Ecker, Acting President St. Paul, MN Area Local August 12, 651-778-1637 Bidding Update We have had numerous questions asked about the manual in-section bidding and the manual installation wide bidding which will be occurring in September. Below is management’s timeline in which bidding will occur:In-Section Bidding/Retreat Rights: will be open between September 3rd and September 10th, 2010. In-section/retreat right bid sheets will be available at the General Clerk’s Office during this time period. If you need an in-section/retreat rights bid sheet mailed to you, please contact Gail Hanninen at #3089 or Julie Austin at #3361. The results of in-section/retreat rights bidding will be posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 and be effective September 25, 2010.This in-section/retreat right bidding will be available on a MANUAL bid sheet only. Remember, if you have retreat rights to a section, bid on this bid sheet, as you may be reached in the bidding process to exercise your retreat rights. In the future, in-section/retreat rights bidding will continue to be done manually and prior to the regular bid sheet.Installation Wide Bidding: will be open between September 14th and September 24th, 2010. These bid sheets will be available in the General Clerk’s Office during this time period. If you need this bid sheet mailed to you, please contact Gail Hanninen at #3089 or Julie Austin at #3361. The results of the installation wide bidding will be posted on October 1st, 2010 and will be effective October 9th, 2010. This installation wide bid sheet will only be available on a MANUAL bid sheet only. Regular bidding (phone, computer) will be reinstated for the October bid sheet.If you are successful in obtaining an in-section bid, you would still be able to bid on the installation wide bid sheet.Assignment of Unassigned Regulars to Residual Duty AssignmentsWe have received numerous questions regarding unencumbered preference eligible employees and their assignment to residual vacancies.Article 37.4.C.3 of the National Agreement provides: “If there are insufficient same or higher level vacancies to accommodate assignment of all unencumbered employees, preference eligible employees will be placed first into the same or higher level vacancies in accordance with Article 37, Section 4.C.5.”Question 221 of the JCIM states as follows:221. In what order must unencumbered employees be assigned to the same or higher level?Response: After the assignment of preference eligible clerks, Article 37.4.C.1 requires that unencumbered employees be assigned in the following order: 1) currently qualified employees; 2) partially qualified employees, 3) employees not currently or partially qualified.Article 37.4.C.5 is applied in the following order:a. Currently qualified: Offer by seniority, assign by seniorityb. Partially qualified: Offer by seniority, assign by seniorityc. Not currently or partially qualified: offer by seniority, assign by seniority.


Dawn Ecker, Acting President St. Paul, MN Area Local August 4, 651-778-1637 MOU

A MOU has been signed for the transition into the new building. Volunteers will be taken by seniority from the FSM 100 section, Letter Automation, and Level 7 expeditors by tour. The MOU addresses overtime and holiday scheduling also.

INSECTION AND RETREAT RIGHT BIDDINGShared Services has informed St. Paul that they will no longer be able to do automated insection and retreat right bidding and it will have to be done manually. They also informed us that this bidding must be done outside of the normal bid period. We have determined that we will now have to do insection and retreat right bidding with the old quick bid system we have used in the past. The APWU will assist management with this bidding process. Management will be sending out an all employee mailing on this procedure. Insection and retreat right bidding for the LDC will be done August 9-13/2010, with an effective date of August 28, 2010. The results of this bidding will come out on a Tuesday Bulletin. The insection and retreat right bidding for the plant that was to occur on 9/14-9/24 bid sheet will now have to be done September 7-10, 2010 with an effective date of September 25, 2010. This means that the reposting of the facility will be done in two parts, insection and retreat rights from September 7 through the 10th, and the repost of installation wide positions on September 14th through the 24, with an effective date of 10/9/10.RELOCATION MEETINGS Relocation meetings for the employees to be excessed outside of the installation will occur on August 9, 2010 at 1600 and 2200 and again on August 11, 2010 at 1600 and 2225. Carson Nunes from Finance will be heading these meetings.


Management will be giving employee tours of the new facility on August 17 through the 19, 2010. Dates for makeup tours are being determined. These tours take approximately 2 hours and will be given on the clock. Management has assured me that interpreters will be available when a hearing impaired employee is scheduled for their tour. I have requested that the Plant Manager have a pre-tour meeting with the hearing-impaired.

Click here to view the MOU

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Dawn Ecker, Acting President St. Paul, MN Area Local July 28, 651-778-1637


SALE OF BUILDING The Pipefitters/Steamfitters have pulled out of their intent to purchase our property at 654 E. 6th St. They have determined that the possibility of Metro State University taking action to acquire our property would be a potential financial risk to their Union. We have opened up negotiations for the sale of our building with Metro State University again, and hopefully we can come to some sort of agreement with them.


The Local is in the planning stages for the purchase of a new property in Mendota Heights, near the new Postal facility in Eagan. We are in the process of meeting with the designer and architects for the plans for the new building. Things are coming around slowly but surely, to make certain everything meets the Union’s needs prior to signing a purchase agreement.Any new information concerning these two issues will be relayed in future bulletins.

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Dawn Ecker, Acting President St. Paul, MN Area Local July 20, 651-778-1637 IN-SECTION BIDDING AND RETREAT RIGHTS Shared Services has contacted local services and informed them that they will no longer do in-section bidding and/or retreat rights through the automated process, beginning on the bid sheet which comes out on 7/20/10. The Union has met with local services and in-section bidding and/or retreat rights will be done on a special manual bid sheet.When a position becomes vacant, and needs to be posted for either in-section bidding or retreat rights, a manual bid sheet will be made available for the employees eligible in the section. Instructions will be included with this special manual bid sheet, and will occur at the same time as the normal bid sheet. Be aware that if you make your in-section bid your number 1 choice that you will now need to skip your number one choice on the automated bid sheet, as you cannot have 2 first choices. If you have any questions, you can contact local services at 651-293-3089.TRANSITIONING INTO THE NEW EAGAN FACILITYThe Union and Management are still meeting on the clerks’ transition into the new building. Some sections will be moving in phases, some will move all together at once. The Union is requesting that the phased moves be done with volunteers, then force by juniority, if volunteers do not suffice. Rotations, overtime, and holidays at both facilities are still being negotiated. As soon as these issues are worked out, the Union will put out another bulletin.REPOSTING OF BEST QUALIFIED POSITIONSThe Union and Management have agreed that the reposting of the Best Qualified Positions for the new facility will be done on the August 17, 2010 bid sheet, with an effective date of 10/9/10. A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed in order to extend the effective date of these Best Qualified positions.MOU SIGNED FOR SECTIONS NOTIFIED FOR SECTIONAL EXCESSINGMOU’s have been signed for sections that have recently received letters to be abolished, reposted and/or excessed to the needs of the section. These MOU’s give employees in these sections the opportunity to bid prior to the date of abolishment/excessing and still obtain retreat rights back to the section. These sections are: City tour 1, Mailing tour 3, Pouch Rack tour 1, FSM100 tour 1, Registry tour 3 and MO Box tour 3.

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Dawn Ecker, Acting President St. Paul, MN Area Local July 2, 651-778-1637___PHASE 2 EXCESSING AND PREFERENCING UPDATEManagement has requested that because of excessing out of Eden Prairie, St. Paul and Hutchinson, the dates of preferencing be moved up to the dates of July 13-July 23, 2010.This change in dates is to benefit the St. Paul members; otherwise if the preffing was done by St. Paul after Eden Prairie and Hutchinson, some of the preferred, withheld residuals in closer offices would be taken and would not be made available to St. Paul. The seniority of the three (3) offices will be merged when it comes to preffing these withheld residuals.A meeting will be held for the transition into the building on July 7, 2010. The discussions will involve who will report to the new building, when, overtime issues and holidays.As more information becomes available, it will be put out in a bulletin.Dawn EckerActing President

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Dawn Ecker, Acting President St. Paul, MN Area Local June 11, 2010 651-778-1637

Attention LSSA, SSA and SSDA:Below is the notice the Union has received from Clerk NBA Willie Mellen:It has come to our attention that there is a sporadic security problem with POS Screens. If you put your screen on standby from the “clerk services” page, it is possible to come back to the screen and hit the blank screen where the “no sale” button would be located (if not in standby mode) and your drawer will open while going to the sign-in screen. The standby problem seems to be; when standby is entered into from the “clerk services” screen instead of the “main/mailing” screen, the security/lock out function does not secure the drawer in some instances.”Please contact an officer or steward and let them know either way if this is happening or not and inform us as to the model number and serial number and we will forward this information to Headquarters.Excessing Outside the InstallationJust an update of what is coming up on the issue of excessing outside of the installation. Management has agreed at this point only to withhold 40 residual duty assignments for the second phase of excessing. This number is an estimate at this point of how many jobs they need, as it could go lower due to a number of things. Remember, the number of Level 6 positions to be withheld was 106. At this point, 41 have preferenced already and with an estimate of 40 in September, the number has dropped to 81 from 106. Management has agreed to rescind 25 notices of potential excessing from the 25 senior identified employees. Management’s intent is to preference the withheld positions in July, with a potential excessing effective date of September 25th.The union