St Paul, MN APWU

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Clerk Craft


Bruce Gutzke, Clerk Craft Director
Jason Stevens, Clerk Craft Trustee

What to do if you get an Emergency Placement
May 2017 Postmark

Ask for a union steward. 

Give your information to the union steward: Name, address, and phone number to be reached. 

 

Did management tell you when to return?  If not, you need to look for a letter in your mail when your meeting is. When the meeting is scheduled, you will want a steward. Then management may call you again for a day in court to decide if they will discipline.

 

 If you get a discipline letter or any kind, you need the union to grieve it because otherwise it stays on your record for 2 years.  That is why it is important!  If you have any questions, ask a steward. 

Remember to remain calm. 

 

The union office number is 651-224-2639.

 

 

Kim Richardson

T-1 Steward

 

Don't Let Management Take Our Jobs

May 2017 Postmark

Right now our duty assignments are under attack.

Management has come up with this program that uses "earned hours" rather than "actually hours".  When I asked them to show me the formula they used to get earned hours they could not provide it.  Now this will all get exposed in the grievance process and we are fighting hard to keep each and every bid that they revert.

On the other hand, it is very important that we don't give them reasons to take bids. Employees working on DBCS with only one employee are showing management they can take away another bid. If they only staff your machine with one employee, ask for a partner, if they don't give you one ask for a steward. Employees not reporting Management for preforming clerk work is allowing them to take hours away from us. If you see them doing clerk work request a steward.


Jason Stevens

Clerk Trustee

 

 

 

Confidentiality Supercedes Everything, From the April Postmark

Sometimes a steward is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to employees asking question about other employees and/or situations. Most employees don't come out and ask "what's going on with that person's discipline" or "I heard that person got fired, is that true"?

 

Most times they will inquire about something that doesn't necessarily seem like it might be private in nature, but it actually is. An example of this is a couple of employees went up to their coworker who was working on a LCTS and said the legs are getting backed up you need to help, you can't just be on your phone all day. The employee looked at them and said I DON'T CARE. The employees did not want to go to management so they went to the Union to see if we could talk to him.

 

The employees came up to me on the workroom floor and told me what happened. I smiled and nodded as they told me the story. When they finished they asked what I was going to do about it. I had to be very careful on my response as I knew this was a privacy issue and I could not say anything that would divulge it. They felt because of my lack of outrage, I condoned his behavior and they got very aggressive and more employees over heard and also got involved. At that point I knew that anything I said could disclose confidential information so I could only respond with "no comment". This again angered them even more, I again said sorry I can't comment and walked away.   

 

The part of the story that the employees did not have was that about 20 minutes prior to that I was in the office with that employee and his supervisor who just issued him a removal (when an employee is issued a removal they continue to work or get paid for 30 days). So when they told me what he said I could understand why he DIDN'T CARE (he just got fired). On the other hand I could understand how the employees misunderstood my disconnect to their issue, but I couldn't say anything.

 

The fact is when someone asks me a question, makes a statement or even asserts a wrong assumption. Sometimes, I just can't answer because someone's privacy may be affected and confidentiality will always supersede every other issue.

 

For the record, even though I did not state the employees name I did ask him for permission to use his scenario in this article, which he did agree.

 

Jason M. Stevens

Clerk Trustee

 

 

FROM THE FEBRUARY POSTMARK

 

INFORMATION FROM THE BID LADY

 

The Clerk Award Bulletin is posted approximately 1 week after it closes. 

If you are the senior bidder and awarded a new bid; I want you to please pay close attention to the effective date for it to begin. 

 IF there is no date, then it means there are qualifications for you to complete before being awarded the bid/position.  Qualifications could be:  Sales Services Associate (Window Training - SSA), Lead Sales & Services Associate, Bulk Mail Training, Passenger Car & Valid State Driver's License and Typing exams.  You must sign up for training in Minneapolis the phone number is on the award bulletin front cover sheet.  

The Sales and Service Associate (SSA)  pre- qualification is  20- modules on USPS ACE computer and it is located in the multipurpose room at Eagan.  You will need an ACE LOGIN...(USPS training)

  Management will provide LOG IN and Password for you. You must complete all 20 modules before you can go to class room training. The modules are on the clock.

 Minneapolis USPS has the SSA (Window) Class and it is day hours.  TOUR 1, 2  & 3 - Clerks will need a Change of Schedule for the class room training, which includes days off and hour change. 

Tour 1 this is very important - you cannot end tour at 4:30 a.m. or 5:30 a.m. and then go to class at 8:00 a.m. that same day.  (It's a TAC's nightmare) and not to mention sleeping etc. 

This information for Sales and Service Associate is also for  PSE's being converted to Regulars . 

Please ask any or all questions - be informed. 

 

The Bid Lady

AKA Dianne Richardson

Clerk Craft Trustee/Steward

Tour 1 (2100-0530) Automation

 


From the January 2017 Postmark

 

Hello Brothers and Sisters

 

 

 Sorry it has been a long time since I have written a article. I hope everyone had a good Holiday season. First I want to remind everyone to be on the right operation when you are working. It is very important when we file a grievance and it also helps save jobs in-section.

 PSE's -  While you are in your probationary period do not be on your cell phone on the floor or take long breaks, or stand around talking instead of keeping busy. The reason I am telling you management has been letting people go during their probation time frame.  Also, the Union found out on December 20th that the PSEs from 11/12/16 have been hired as Christmas help and management failed to tell this to the PSEs .The Union will be meeting with management on this issue. We had 7 conversions to regular in December, congrats to those 7 PSEs who made regular. There should be more conversions in the plant and some AO's. I also would like welcome all the Transfers  that came through Ereassign. PSE 's that failed the BEMU -  test you will be getting letters stating you will be let go. You need to bid on all the bids on the bid sheet until you get a job so that they don't fire you. Any questions,  ask for a steward.
   I am disappointed with management on how they  handled the Tour 2 excessing. How they have handled the Holiday schedule meeting, waiting until Tuesday to meet with the union and then the rest of the week still trying to take names off. Clearly the lack of leadership at this plant is making the workers on the floor suffer the most. We have a labor management meeting set up for January 13, 2017 I will bring up these issues at that meeting.

In St. Paul  your union Stewards and Officers filed  just under 1200 grievances ( this includes all step-1 and step-2) in 2016. I want to thank all the members who wrote statements.

 If you have any questions,  please ask for a steward.

Bruce Gutzke
Clerk Craft Director

 

From the October 2016 Postmark

 

ST. PAUL APWU - LOCAL #65

I WANT TO SAY "THANK YOU" FOR SENDING ME TO THE NATIONAL CONVENTION.    

 

I am always excited to tell the membership how much I learned and enjoy the pre-convention workshops and Nat'l Convention.  I was asked to take 2 classes from the pre-convention workshop.  I elected to sign up for Arbitration Forum which provides an exceptional opportunity to observe a panel discussion where an arbitrator, USPS Labor Relations Manager, and an APWU NBA (National Business Agent) give their unique perspectives on preparing, presenting, arguing, and deciding cases.   Mike Gallagher, APWU, Rick Archer, Field USPS,(39 years), William LaSalle, NBA Maint. Craft (Eastern Region), and Irene Donna Thomas, Arbitrator, Business Agent, Lawyer, Supervisor, taught arbitration law.   This class was very informative and helped you to learn how to frame the issue of your grievance if and when it goes to arbitration.  I received a certificate for this workshop and it is signed by President Mark Dimondstein and Joyce B. Robinson, Research and education Director.   

The second class/ workshop I went to is PSE Issues, This focuses on enforcing contractual rights of Clerk Craft PSE's.  Some of the topics included were protecting PSE's rights, holding management accountable for exceeding the use of non-career employees, increasing the career workforce, and seniority issues. The PSE will get a 5 day break after working 360 days and returning on the 366th day.  The PSE's converting to regular within the residual bids (jobs) that went residual and the eReassign.  They are now receive holiday pay; New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day (4th of July), Labor day, Thanksgiving day and Christmas Day.  The Holiday pay is as follows:  200 man year's office = 8 hours, POStPlan offices - 4 hours, All other offices - 6 hours. PSE who works holiday may elect to have their annual leave balance credited with 4, 6 or 8 hours or receive holiday pay.    I received a certificate  for this workshop. 

STOP TPP 

What is TPP - It is Trans-Pacific Partnership.  It is a vast, "free trade" agreement that will allow corporations to circumvent the laws of signatory nations in the interest of private profit.  It's intended to reduce restrictions on trade among 12   Pacific Rim nations, which together comprise 40% of the world's economy.  But the TPP actually poses great threat to worker, and will accelerate the global "race to the bottom" in wages and benefits for working people.   This basically means the USPS will outsource and privatize and eliminate jobs, lowering wages, eliminating the possibility of postal banking and threatening the universal service obligation.   The other companies will allow multinational companies to challenge las, regulations and safeguards of any signatory country through the investor-to-state dispute settlement provision, a private "justice system" that undermines our democracy and our national sovereignty. 

The passage of the TPP is a clear and present danger: we need to stop the biggest corporate grab in history.  TPP is NAFTA on steroids.  WE need our USA businesses to stay in the USA.  Say "NO" to TPP.

 

Thank you for your support in me.

 

Dianne Richardson

Clerk Craft Steward and Trustee

 

From the October 2016 Postmark

 

ST. PAUL APWU - LOCAL #65

I WANT TO SAY "THANK YOU" FOR SENDING ME TO THE NATIONAL CONVENTION.    

 

I am always excited to tell the membership how much I learned and enjoy the pre-convention workshops and Nat'l Convention.  I was asked to take 2 classes from the pre-convention workshop.  I elected to sign up for Arbitration Forum which provides an exceptional opportunity to observe a panel discussion where an arbitrator, USPS Labor Relations Manager, and an APWU NBA (National Business Agent) give their unique perspectives on preparing, presenting, arguing, and deciding cases.   Mike Gallagher, APWU, Rick Archer, Field USPS,(39 years), William LaSalle, NBA Maint. Craft (Eastern Region), and Irene Donna Thomas, Arbitrator, Business Agent, Lawyer, Supervisor, taught arbitration law.   This class was very informative and helped you to learn how to frame the issue of your grievance if and when it goes to arbitration.  I received a certificate for this workshop and it is signed by President Mark Dimondstein and Joyce B. Robinson, Research and education Director.   

The second class/ workshop I went to is PSE Issues, This focuses on enforcing contractual rights of Clerk Craft PSE's.  Some of the topics included were protecting PSE's rights, holding management accountable for exceeding the use of non-career employees, increasing the career workforce, and seniority issues. The PSE will get a 5 day break after working 360 days and returning on the 366th day.  The PSE's converting to regular within the residual bids (jobs) that went residual and the eReassign.  They are now receive holiday pay; New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day (4th of July), Labor day, Thanksgiving day and Christmas Day.  The Holiday pay is as follows:  200 man year's office = 8 hours, POStPlan offices - 4 hours, All other offices - 6 hours. PSE who works holiday may elect to have their annual leave balance credited with 4, 6 or 8 hours or receive holiday pay.    I received a certificate  for this workshop. 

STOP TPP 

What is TPP - It is Trans-Pacific Partnership.  It is a vast, "free trade" agreement that will allow corporations to circumvent the laws of signatory nations in the interest of private profit.  It's intended to reduce restrictions on trade among 12   Pacific Rim nations, which together comprise 40% of the world's economy.  But the TPP actually poses great threat to worker, and will accelerate the global "race to the bottom" in wages and benefits for working people.   This basically means the USPS will outsource and privatize and eliminate jobs, lowering wages, eliminating the possibility of postal banking and threatening the universal service obligation.   The other companies will allow multinational companies to challenge las, regulations and safeguards of any signatory country through the investor-to-state dispute settlement provision, a private "justice system" that undermines our democracy and our national sovereignty. 

The passage of the TPP is a clear and present danger: we need to stop the biggest corporate grab in history.  TPP is NAFTA on steroids.  WE need our USA businesses to stay in the USA.  Say "NO" to TPP.

 

Thank you for your support in me.

 

Dianne Richardson

Clerk Craft Steward and Trustee

 


Clerk PSE career conversions and what you need to know

                 We are happy to report that PSE conversions to career status have continued in both the Clerk and MVS crafts.  This is great news for bargaining unit employees and the APWU.  Unfortunately, along with these conversions it is clear that the Postal Service's conversion process has many faults.

In the Clerk Craft, PSE's notified of their conversion to career status must fill out a preference bid sheet.  You should receive a copy of the preference sheet from your supervisor.  Please be sure to fill out your preference sheet completely and follow all time limits listed in the conversion letter.  If you didn't receive a preference sheet, inform your immediate supervisor.  If they are not able to provide one, request a steward so we can intervene on your behalf.

Once you fill out your preference sheet make a copy for yourself and also a copy of your driver's license.  Fax your bid preference sheet and a copy of your driver's license to Mary Jo Hauge @ 612-349-6315.  Make sure you do all of this in the time frame stated in your conversion notice.

Once preferencing is done, an official bid award notice will come out.  Please pay close attention to the job qualification comments on the bid you are awarded.  If training or testing is needed you should get contacted by the training unit (only for PSE's converted to career).  If you don't hear from the training unit within 5 days of award notice, contact them yourselves (training and tests need to be scheduled within 10 days of award notice).  The phone numbers for all training and testing is listed on the front of the official award notice. 

Now that you have met the qualifications for the position, you are the successful bidder and assume the bid as posted.  You are now afforded the rights of a career employee to bid on future vacancy notices.  As a new career employee there are some important tasks you must complete.

-Make sure you know your 4 digit pin.  This pin allows you to phone bid.  You will only be allowed to bid on future vacancies via phone or web (liteblue).  If you do not know your 4 digit pin contact Human Resources at 1-877-477-3273, option 5.  They can provide you with a new pin #.  DO NOT wait until 2 days before a vacancy notice closes to request this pin.  You will not receive the new pin in time and will not be allowed to manual bid.

-Set up your Self Service Profile (SSP) account @ www.ssp.usps.gov.  This will allow you access to the Postal Services liteblue web page (liteblue.usps.gov).  The liteblue page is an important resource for all Postal employees.  You are able to sign up and change benefits, perform job bidding (Clerk Craft), review pay checks, access your employee Official Personnel File (OPF) and numerous other applications. 

You should receive a new career employee benefits orientation.  It is important that you sign up for you benefits within allotted time frame (60 days from conversion).  This includes health insurance, dental insurance, flexible spending account, Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and life insurance.  If you fail to complete this task you will be denied benefits until the next open season.  You should receive a blue benefits book shortly after this orientation via mail that will assist you in signing up for benefits. If you do not receive your blue benefits book within 3 weeks after conversion, contact Human Resources at 1-877-477-3273, option 5.  Tell them you are a newly converted to career employee and you need your benefits book. 

-The open season for health benefits and flexible spending account is December of every year. 

-Life insurance open season does not occur yearly.  OPM decides if there is an open season for Life Insurance and at times it has been 10-15 years between open season. 

-TSP is an important part of your future retirement as a Postal employee.  It is the Federal Governments version of a 401(K) plan and is considered a defined contribution plan.  The union strongly urges all members to set up your TSP account immediately upon conversion and at minimum contribute 5% to take advantage of the employer's matching.  The Postal Service will match up to 5% (pre-tax) of what you contribute to your account each pay period (automatically deducted from your paycheck based on what percentage you choose).  The first 3% is matched dollar for dollar.  The next 2% is matched $0.50 for every dollar you contribute.

As usual, if you run into any problems with your conversion please request a steward or call our office at 651-224-2639.  We would be more than happy to assist our members with the conversion process.  Enjoy your summer!

In Solidarity,

Dave Cook

IRD


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Update on the SPSS Safety Grievances

I just wanted to update all members and specifically the employees that are working on the Small Parcel Sorting System (SPSS) on the progress of the safety grievances that have been filed.

Something as simple as adding a stool or adjustable chair at the induction area to help reduce fatigue is unacceptable to management. While they sat on their ass filling out the 1767 stating why the SPSS employees don’t need them.   

Then when the case went to step 2 and the labor rep and craft director sat down to discuss the case, the SPSS employees continue to stand. Then the case was appealed to the Joint Labor/Management safety and Health committee. That committee sat comfortably in their chairs as they discussed and could not resolve why the SPSS employee should have the same and again the SPSS employees continued to stand.

The case then was remanded back to the step 2 and after short discussion; the labor rep denied the case and sat at her desk while she wrote up the denial letter meanwhile the employees on the SPSS stand.
 
The case has now been appealed to step 3 and SPSS clerks have had to stand at the induction area for 5 Months now as management comfortably sits in their chairs.  Management is fighting tooth and nail for the mere thought of an employee sitting down as they work. I guarantee that every supervisor has a chair at their desk and is sitting down while they do their job!
And even if there is one supervisor out there that is not sitting, it is by their choice.

Management doesn’t have to go home with sore feet, back and shoulders because everyone has figured out a long time ago that if you are in a stationary spot for a long period of time a chair will help reduce fatigue. Apparently they don’t want to provide the craft employees the same basic equipment that they covet each day.  BTW: there is also another grievance that would provide anti fatigue mats or ErgoMates© for the employees that sweep the SPSS machine rather than stand on the concrete floors and again  Management is fighting rather than cooperating   to resolve that case. 

Jason Stevens

Trustee Chair

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   A lot has been going on this year, where to start. Within the last year, the Union has helped Management Convert between 80 to 90 PSE to Full-Time career positions.
This has not gone very smoothly due to management’s inability to do their job properly, but the union will continue to make management follow the contract or grievances will be filed.

Any PSE that makes regular needs to stop by the union office to make sure they know how to bid, ask about holiday signup and schedule, getting their name on the over time desired list just to name a few. Any PSE that has not made regular yet and wants to know where they are on the list, just stop in and see me or call me and I will be glad to let you know.

In the next two months about 30 more PSEs should get converted. One important thing has changed in this process:  if a PSE gets a BMEU job and they fail the math or the 2 week training course management intends to let you go, so you need to take the math test seriously. So if you get a BMEU job given to you as a PSE stop in and see me.

The union will still file a grievance if you get fired if you don't pass the test.
 1994's—management still has not provided any to the union yet, but now management is starting to revert jobs at the stations and the plant.

Grievances have been filed on any reverted bids. Step-2's are going well. I got a little behind due to my son being in the hospital and me getting sick over the holidays. I will try to get back caught up in Jan/Feb.
 

At the AO's we have been getting more calls on Supervisors doing more work so keep on calling the union office and letting us know we need to protect our jobs. This also goes for the stations.  Discipline is on the rise so if you get called into the office or if your supervisor wants to see you in the office asked to see a steward. If the PI's or OIG calls you into the office or comes to your house the first thing you need to do is ask for a steward.

Well I hope this year goes better than last year for everyone. I also want to thank all the Stewards and Officers that have helped me this year.
 


Bruce Gutzke, Clerk Craft Director

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    Reprinted from the October 2015 Postmark

Hello Brothers and Sisters

 The filling of residual bids and conversion of PSE has been a challenge.  On August 20th, management pulled 16 Customer bids off  e-reassign without notifying the union until 9-4-15. Also management did not put on the plant bids. 

The union filed a grievance on both issues. After a couple of meetings, Management placed all the bids back on the October  e-reassign. So I am hopeful that conversion of 30-35 PSEs will take place in November. 

PSE's -  make sure your seniority is correct so you don't get skipped. 

Regarding the 1994's, management still has not provided all the documents that the union requested. Step-2's are going well. We have won a couple of Step-3 AO grievances regarding full-time bids with better days off.
 
We are now filing some grievances to create NTFT bids at offices that only have PTF's. We will see who wins. Station employees please keep on sending us supervisor doing clerk work and the other stations who have not send us any statement shame on you.  I know management is doing clerk work this will hurt you when it comes to the 1994's staffing.
 

We are still looking for members to become union stewards, the need is for tour-3 and tour-1. Please leave a note in Todd’s panel if you want to become a steward. I want to thank all the stewards that we do have for all the hard work that they do. 

Bruce Gutzke, Clerk Craft Director  

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** ATTENTION CLERKS:  ** WARNING  EFFECTIVE DATES ON AWARD NOTICES

I would like the clerks to pay attention to the EFFECTIVE DATE on the “Award Notice”(s).  VACANCY Notice is a list of jobs/bids that you can preference.    

The AWARD Notice is published a week later.  Then when you find your name awarding the bid to you: 

PLEASE, look at the effective date;  the bid may have  qualifications for training pending: Valid state driver license, SSA (window), passenger car, BMEU Training and Clerk typing, data entry, basic computer skills, this is per bid requirements.  Effective dated (open) also could mean a medical pending.

The Award Notice has all the phone numbers to sign up for any training and you must sign up within 10 days (which is Article 37 of the Contract).  If you have any questions on the award notice, PLEASE contact the Union Office and a Steward will answer your questions.  

Dianne Richardson, A.K.A. The  Bid Lady
Clerk Craft Trustee

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Hello Everyone



                 I need to remind all of you that when an award sheet comes out, you need to look to see if there is a effective date to start the bid. If there  is not, you do not go to that new bid.

              
  
Your effective date will now show up on a Tuesday Bulletin.  Also if by your name it says pending and you don't think that is correct, get a hold of a steward or me so we can look into this.
     

           
If you are a newly converted employee, it would be a good idea to talk to a steward regarding the bidding process so that you don't miss out on a opportunity.
 Also, if you have not updated your password in order to bid, you should do that prior to the bid sheet closing.  I have had to tell members that I cannot help them because you are responsible for your password for bidding and they missed a opportunity to get a bid. I hope this will help with the bidding process. 
 Any further questions ask to see a steward.  Anyone interested in being a union steward send a note to Todd. We need people to step up to the plate on Tour 2, we are short handed on days.    

Thanks
Bruce Gutzke

Clerk Craft Director
 

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“Hello to all Mail Processing Clerks and Sales, Service Associates” I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for your participation during this last Election.  I want to take this time to say “Thank You” for those of you that voted for me to represent the Clerk Craft at the trustee level.    The Trustee’s job is to look over the checks and balances of the Union accounting books.  The Trustee Chair, Jason Stevens   organizes the meeting every quarter.

Dianne Richardson, Clerk Craft Trustee

 

  Hello Brothers and Sisters, 

2014 has been a busy year. The Union was able to get 42 PSE converted to Full-Time Regulars. Also, we were able to  finally get the time clocks moved closer to the locker rooms.

The Union has also resolved many of  the working alone issues due to all the  statements from members, Thank you. The Union was able to create more Sat/ Sun  and Sat/Friday  bids.
 
 At step-2 the union  was able to resolve many cases  more quickly  this year than before. We had 317 case sent up to step 2 this year and we have resolved 287 of those cases already.  Compared to last year, we had 277 cases at step 2.
 
I want to thank all the stewards for their hard work this past year. 
 

If anyone wants to be a steward please let Todd know, because we are need of stewards  especially on Tour 2. Hope everyone had a Happy New Year. 
 

Bruce Gutzke
Clerk Craft Director
 

  Convention Report

Dianne Richardson
Clerk Craft Trustee          

 
I want to thank the union membership for sending me to the National Convention.  The convention was 7/17-7/25/14 in Chicago.  This was my first APWU National Convention.  The convention began with union officials from all states discussing the National contract. 
           

 
The various officials talked about the changes they want to apply to the next contract. These changes were open for discussion, for and against.  There were several numbered microphones on the floor. National President Mike Dimondstein, Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Powell, Executive Vice-President Debby Szeredy and Central Region Coordinator Sharon Stone were all on the podium directing the discussions.  The Executive Board would call on all the microphones by number.  The microphones had 3 lights, red (against), green (for), and yellow (call for a question or information). 

The Articles were discussed and then put to a vote.  The article changes that passed then went on to be voted on at the next level of the Conference, which  included APWU Clerks, Maintenance and Motor Vehicle.  There was another open discussion, information and arguing points to support the Article changes. Then once again, we voted for or against the issues.  The agreed upon Article issues will go forth with the National Officers to bargain with the USPS  Management for our next contract in 2015. It was very educational and interesting how all APWU officials from all the states had the same concerns. 

I gained a lot of knowledge by observing and participating in the 2014 National Convention.  This will help me in the my ability to further help the membership in my roles as a steward and Clerk Craft Trustee. 

I again want to say “thank you” for all the educational information and participating in the process of our democratic system working for our union membership to accomplish the goals set forth by all the leaders for our brothers and sisters. 

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  Hello Brothers and Sisters, 

I hope everyone had a great summer. I first want to thank the membership for sending me to the National Convention in Chicago this July.

The biggest fight at this convention was over the reduction of NBA positions. Only one of the positions was kept and all the rest were voted to be abolished,  saving the National APWU a lot of money, which in turned saves you a lot of money.  We debated almost 3 days over these resolutions.

Other topics that were presented at the convention were PSE sick leave, PSE probationary period, PSE annual Leave, PSE COLA, PSE Sunday pay, PSE OT pay and many other PSE issues. Also NTFT Overtime rules, PTF Conversion MOU Permanent, Time Limits For 21 Day eReassign Postings, Submission of 3971's by Electronic Means, and many more.
 
We heard many  exciting speeches from politicians, Walmart workers, that all have showed their support for Postal workers. We need to keep on fighting the good fight against management. 
  The biggest fight so far this summer has been the conversion of 16 PSEs to career status which finally took place in August. We are continuing to track the residuals bids so we can convert more PSE to career status before the October deadline, we are hopeful that upper management will extend the deadline.

The other big news is Plant Manager Greg Pobuda is retiring. We are not sure who his replacement is going to be, but If history repeats itself we will have many grievance to file, so when issues come up stay calm and ask for a steward.
 
As far as stations go we know management is working on their 1994's, but as of writing this article they have not given us anything yet. I am sure management is going to staff the stations to earned hours vs actual hours and I am sure we will end up back in front of an Arbitrator. As issues come up, we will try to keep you informed.
 
I want to thank all the members who have called or sent a message or who has asked for a steward because without your help many issues would get missed. I would also like to thank all of the stewards for all of their hard work they have done this year.
 

Bruce Gutzke
Clerk Craft Director
St. Paul APWU
 

  Hello Brother and Sisters, 

  Lets talk about work clothes allowance. There is a new form that needs to be filled out when you bid a bid that allows for a clothing allowance. The form is called “Uniform Program Worksheet-- Workclothes Allowance”. Your supervisor is able to get  this form for you. If they are unable to get you this form, you can call the union office because we have a copy in our office. In order for you to get your clothing allowance this form needs to be filled out. Management has changed their rules at Shared Services, this just does not come automatically.
 
We locally get work clothes allowance that other parts of the country do not. If you have not received your allowance for 2013 or 2014, ask for a steward
.
 Another big issue is that management is trying to get rid of the Training Unit here in St. Paul. They have reverted all Three Tour bids in the training unit. Grievances have been filed. Make sure you use the current award notices because the phone numbers have changed to set up training (schemes ,Wwndow training, etc.). If you have problems, don't wait until your training is all done or until you fail to qualify. The newest change is management is not going to add zones to bids anymore, so that is how they are trying to show they do not need the training unit anymore. To give people heads-up the union is filing grievances on any bid that gets posted that had scheme/zone on it and now does not.                 

 
   We met with Postmaster Mike Larson regarding bring the pool back and he told us he was not interested He also informed us that some more changes will be happening at the stations. He blames all the call-ins as to why the stations are failing and not the fact that he does not know how to manage the stations. Remember it was his decision how to staff the stations the last time. He also does not know why people don't want to bid station bids;  let me tell you why 30 hour bids, split days off, management reposting bids every year. That’s why I want to thank all the stewards for all the hard work they have done this past year. 

Thanks In Solidarity

Bruce Gutzke
Clerk Craft Director

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  Hello,     

It’s time again to discuss some of our hot topic issues, starting with our PSE’s and what some of your rights are.
 

We have several issues that I see are becoming problematic and I am hoping some of the career clerks will encourage our PSE’s to speak up and if necessary, file a grievance.


Article 8 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement provides that any PSE who is scheduled to work and who reports shall be guaranteed 2 hours of work or pay. 
Article 8 and the ELM provide that a PTF or PSE may not be required to work more than 12 hours in one service day.  In addition, the total hours of daily service, including scheduled work hours, overtime and mealtime, may not extend over a period longer than 12 consecutive hours.  Many times our PSE’s are required to work a split shift and we have seen as much as a 15 hour span.  If this occurs, please request a steward . You are entitled to additional pay if this happens.

The PSE’s will eventually be converted to career employees.  They are most likely not aware of the rights that they now have. 

I have listed only a few issues. There are more! 

Please help them out in informing them and encouraging them to not be afraid to seek the help of their fellow members, and the Local APWU.

Thank you to Todd Elkerton for having the tenacity to take on the staffing issues at the stations which resulted in two new bids in Industrial and an additional 15 bids at other stations.  Also due to the Industrial Station Arbitration, all bids at the stations that currently have split days off will be reposted to either fixed SDO’s or a five or six week rotation.  This was not an easy case, but he did a great job.

Our stewards on tour 1 have taken on the issue of staffing of the DBCS, which required two mail processing clerks to perform the loading, feeding and sweeping functions.  Currently the remedy has been 50% additional  pay and cease and desist language, however now the stewards have filed an ongoing and continuous grievance requesting a higher monetary remedy.  I believe this is a strong case and that the APWU should prevail. 

I could go on and on, it’s hard to put into a few short paragraphs what happens on a daily basis, so I will continue to keep you informed in future articles.I hope to see more of you at the November General Membership meeting as that is the last meeting for 2013. 

Cynthia Lauer
Industrial Relations Director 

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  Hello Brother and Sisters,          

  
The fight continues with management on the number of PSE's they are hiring and all the jobs they are reverting in the plant. Grievances have been filed. 
         

   
Good news on the grievance front,  management has had to place bids back at the stations and repost the station bids that had split days off. Employees will be receiving letters as to the reposting of the split days off.

Regarding the grievance filed on the AFCS 200 which was assigned to the Clerk Craft from the Mail handler Craft on Sept 28, 2012, an Arbitration Award was reached on the MPLS case so in the near future our case should be resolved in our favor. The union will keep you up to date.

Step-2 's are going well and the goal of hearing a case within 30 to 50 days of it being sent to step 2 has almost been reached and the next goal that the President has set for me is trying to get them heard within 7 to 10 days of coming to step 2.

Finally at the AO's;  all the grievances at So. St. Paul have been heard and settled at step 2. This has been a long process but it is finally complete. The next AO’s to work on will be Cottage Grove and Stillwater. Jerry and I will be working on the 1.6 B grievances at the AO's.
  

The moving of the time card racks closer to the lunchroom is moving slower then we thought, but the union has been arguing with management regarding why this is taking so long and management just keeps pointing fingers at each other. I am hopeful that this issue will be resolved soon. 
  

  This goes out to anyone that  receives a clothing allowance if, you have not received your yearly amount talk to your supervisor and then ask to see a steward. I am hearing rumors that people are not getting their clothing allowance.  I have talked to Martha McCoy on this issue and she is looking into it,  but I want to make sure no one gets missed. Thanks for your help on this issue.
  

I will be heading out to the Clerk Craft Conference in early November and I will be attending class like FERS retirement, PSE maximization, small offices, and legal issues.  want to thank the membership for giving me the opportunity to go and learn and be able to represent you better. 

Bruce Gutzke
Clerk Craft Director
 

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Hello Everyone,

This article is going to touch on an issue that has been occurring every day and applies to non-overtime desired list employees.
The Joint Contract Interpretation Manual in Article 8 provides in part that 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.

Both Customer Service and Mail Processing and Distribution have NTFT positions. The remedy if a non-list employee is forced to work overtime is 50% additional pay at the straight time rate of pay, which works out to being  paid at the penalty rate for any overtime.
 
Several of the stations have non-list clerks that are being forced to work O.T. as a non-list and are being compensated. Please remember if you are a non-list employee and are being forced to work O.T. request a steward so we can get you compensated correctly.

We currently have 11 NTFT full-time flexible assignments and management is changing their SDO’s it seems right about the time their 3-day weekend or a holiday  comes around, Management must give you proper Wednesday notification if they change your bid hours. If they don’t, the hours outside of your bid hours become overtime and guarantee time.Also going on is that these same flexible NTFT’s are being excessed from their section while allowing the PSE’s to stay,. This is a violation of Article 12 of the Local Memorandum of Understanding which provides that a PSE, Part-time Flexible Employees, and Unencumbered Regular Employees, in that order, shall be reassigned first. If this occurs please request a steward as this is a grievance and you should be compensated.As always violations continue, we are here to represent you so please call.

Thank you

Cynthia Lauer
Industrial Relations Director 

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Hello Everyone,

                First of all thank you for all of you that voted for me!  I will continue to represent all of the membership to the best of my ability.
               

        Where do we begin?  I want to send out a special thank you and recognition to those clerks who make our jobs easier in the APWU, Industrial, Roseville, Woodbury and Shoreview station just to mention a few.  There are those clerks out there, and you know who you are, that never allow management or another craft to do our work without reporting it.  Without the clerks informing the APWU of the violations, we lose clerk positions, etc., but due to the diligence of these clerks, we are able to proceed with these continuous types of violations and move these grievances through the grievance procedure toward arbitration to seek higher penalties, or request clerk positions to be posted or given back. 

      
I know that these types of violations occur at most stations, yet we receive no calls from the clerks out there at certain stations.
These types of violations are quite easy to settle and it is compensation to the clerks at these stations for reporting it, but more importantly once we get these violations reported the APWU requests that it cease and desist.  If it does not, we can show a history of ongoing and continuous same type violations and demand higher penalty or jobs posted.

       We currently have a case at Industrial that was arbitrated and we are awaiting the decision to get a job posted at Industrial Station, should be sometime in June.  Had it not been for those clerks informing us of all the violations we would have had no history to prove our case. 

Please help us save our jobs! Pick up the phone and call, or simply request a steward. 

Thanks again,

Cindy Lauer

Industrial Relations Director
 

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The Clerk Craft Director, Bruce Gutzke can be reached at 651-778-1637



Hello Brothers and Sisters
Bruce Gutzke -
Clerk Craft Director

I am happy to be serving you for a another 2 years as your Clerk Craft Director. The last two years were very challenging with all the new Contract changes. Like the NTFT Positions, PSE, 204-b, Lead Clerk positions.

On top of the new language management decides to downsize the plant and stations which has been a tracking nightmare. Also excessing 17 employees to the Mail handler Craft. Even with all that you, the members, have handled this in a professional manner.

The newest thing is can we force non-list or not. The answer is no if there are any NTFT bids in your functional area. There are two functional areas, one is the plant and the other is stations. In either case, we have NTFT in both areas. The Contract Language states: " 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 OTDL 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."

So if you are a non-list and management forces you to work ask for a steward so that we can file a grievance.

You can get paid 50% more pay.
Step-2 have been going ok but not great as I would like so I will be talking to Todd and asking him to add more people to help with step-2's.I will keep you updated on how it is going with step-2's.


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First I would like to thank all the employees that just retired for all their hard work over the years and wish them a happy retirement (I am very jealous and wish I could retire too).

This has been a crazy year. Management met with the union on January 25, and told us their intention to get rid of the pool. But saying that could be subject to change since management has changed their mind several times from the first time we have met. We were also notified that they were closing Uptown and they are also going to close West St. Paul Annex.


Management also met with the union regarding their plans to make some changes at some stations. The stations that they are looking at are Eagan (messengers only), Elway, Main office, Rice Street, Woodbury, Industrial, and Uptown. The Union will be looking at the 1994s and fighting for the best outcome. The Union knows that the great members at the stations will make it work whatever management does whether or not it make sense. OT will rise, management doing clerk work, management not getting employees break reliefs so they will work through their breaks and lunches. If that happens, ask to see a steward.

I am hearing that at stations where they are short due to so many people retiring, employees are not getting relieved for breaks and lunches at the window. You need to ask for a steward so that we can take care of that issue right away.


In the Plant, management wants to downsize T-1 and T-3 Mailing and Pouch Rack. Management has already sent out Letters regarding this issue. The union has filed the appropriate grievances regarding the short notice. Management also stated that once they know for sure who retired they will send out new letters to the employees that are not affected. We will continue to meet with management and keep you up to date with flash bulletins.


Bruce Gutzke
Clerk Craft Director

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Correct Operation Numbers a Crucial Factor for Keeping Jobs



Just a reminder throughout the year and especially the holiday seasons it is very important for employees to punch the correct operation number. With employees being sent to other sections and all the overtime being worked; make sure you punch the correct operation number for the operation you are working. If you are unsure of what the operation number is for a particular job, ask your supervisor and make those moves.

This is very important because the operation numbers show the work hours that are needed to process the amount of mail for that section. This is a crucial factor in determining the man hours needed for each and every job. The Union utilizes clock rings to determine the correct number of hours to be paid for a grievance and if the correct operation number is not punched, hours and money that could have been retrieved for payment of a grievance could be lost due to the employees not punching the correct operation number. So take the extra time and make sure you are on the right operation number. Your job could depend on it.

Terri Griner, Industrial Relations Director


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Hello Brothers and Sisters,

I want to thank all of you who got out and voted on 11/6/12. Where to start? I finally have been scheduling Step-2 again on a weekly basis and trying to catch up, but this has been a very busy fall and summer with the station and plant excessing going on. Also all the in-section bidding and retreat rights.

I want to remind the members that if you have any questions regarding bidding, retreat rights, setting up your training, whether or not you are still qualified on a zone or window do not rely on your supervisor or manager to give you the right answer.

Please call and ask for a steward to check into your question because I would hate to be the one to call you and tell you that you don’t get a bid because a supervisor or manager or even a co-worker gave wrong information.


At our Labor/Management meeting on 10/31/12, Greg Pobuda stated he will be assigning the AFCS 200 machines to the clerks beginning December 29, 2012. He also claims that he will not be posting any additional bids to cover these new jobs. He plans to assign this work to T-3 Automation section.

I am sure this will lead to some problems so make sure you ask for a steward. He also informed us that he plans on posting "companion" bids for some of the employees who are lucky enough and who have earned the right to retire.


I want to let the members who back in 1999 or 2000 that were sent Letters of Demands for receiving an over payment know that the union at the national level has settled all of these cases and the settlement is the employees will pay half and management will pay half. I will sign the step-2 on all the grievances that were put on hold back then during the week of 11/5/12.


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Hello Brothers and Sisters,

I first would like to thank the membership for sending me to the National Convention in LA this summer. There have been a lot of things happening these past few months, like changes at the stations (1994's), downsizing on T-3 automation, excessing clerks to the mailhandler craft.

Where to start? I guess I will start with what is happening at the stations. Jerry and I went to all the station meetings management had scheduled. The same question was brought up at every station; how are we going to get all the work done with less people. Management just gave the same old answer, you have to make it work because that is what you earn not what is actual. The union has been arguing since last Nov with management over the staffing of the stations.

The first proposal from management was to have split days off at every station and I am glad to say only 3 stations were changed to split days off. Side note, grievances have been filed on the three stations regarding split days off to get them back to rotating days. Also at every station grievances have been filed regarding the use of PSE and the argument earned versus actual hours. The contact is very clear that management is to use all available hours, which would include OT, supervisors doing clerk work, etc. Make sure you ask for a steward when you see carriers or supervisor performing your work. We need to protect our jobs more than ever. I would like to Thank Cindy Lauer and Dawn Ecker and Tim Strong for helping with the going over the 1994's at the stations.

Regarding excessing from the plant, the first number that management had proposed was 32 but by the end only 17 members were excessed to the Mailhandler craft. I don’t believe that the excessed employees will be mailhandlers for very long due to the early outs that were just announced and the new work that was awarded to the clerk craft.

I also want to thank the membership for giving to COPA, We received another award for your generosity in giving. I believe this is the 4th year in a row.

Bruce Gutzke, Clerk Craft Director


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Hello Brothers and Sisters, I would like to thank you for sending me to the Four State Caucus, this was my first time attending this event. Many issues were discussed regarding NTFT's, PSE's, Pool & Relief Clerks, Safety & Health, Legislative issues regarding the closing of postal offices.

There were a number of resolutions that were voted on and the ones that passed will be sent to the State Convention which will be held in May and if they are passed there they will be sent on to the National Convention in August.


I also have been dealing with a number of issues here at the plant. One of the issues is regarding travel time between the machines and the break/lunch room. Management has started disciplining employees if they take more than 15 minutes including travel time for their breaks. I timed how long it took me to walk from the lunch room to DBCS # 25 which it took me almost 3 minutes, which turn means I only would get a 9 minute sit down break. I brought this issue up with Acting Plant Manager Randy Elsen and he stated he was going to have to talk with Steve Labs and get back to me. If I don’t hear back from him I will bring it up at Labor management meetings that we have on Tuesdays.


Out at the stations I have been dealing with a few letters of demand and a removal. I want to warn all of you do not talk to the OIG without a Union Steward - they are not on your side. Also I will be meeting with the Step-2 reps for the AO's over the next few weeks.

In solidarity,

Bruce Gutzke Clerk Craft Director


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We recently received management’s proposed staffing (1994’s) for 14 of the station and branch offices in St. Paul. The 1994’s are a series of forms that management fills out to show what is currently staffed at a particular station and what is being proposed. Management has been promising to provide these forms to the Union since August of last year. Well, we finally received 1994’s for 14 stations. We have just started reviewing them and are developing a list of questions for management. We have not had a chance to sit down and questioned management on their proposed staffing. I can tell you it’s no surprise they are proposing to make drastic cuts. Of the 14 stations, management is proposing to cut 23 full time jobs. They are proposing to eliminate the current posted NTFT jobs at the stations. They are plan on utilizing 2 PSE’s at each station and one at each retail office. The PSE’s would be scheduled be one in the morning, say 0500 or 0600 to 1000 hours. Then another one late in the afternoon, starting about 1400 and ending about 1800 hours. The language in the contract was recently changed to define a full time job as 30 to 48 hours a week. Management scheduled each PSE to work 27 hours a week or less. Obviously we have many questions concerning the method used in developing these staffing plans. We will finish reviewing the 1994’s and meet with management before their plans move forward. We will also be filing grievances on this issue. Associate OfficesWe have been told the Article 1.6.b issues will be going to arbitration later this month. The 1.6.b issue is the new language in the contract that allows postmasters/supervisors to perform a defined amount of bargaining unit work in each office, depending on the size of the office. We have many grievances filed on this issue. The grievances we have filed are currently being held at step-2. It should come as no surprise management at the national level is trying to delay this important arbitration. As of this writing, it is still scheduled for arbitration. Providing the arbitration is not delayed, arbitrators may take 90 days or longer to issue a decision. We will continue to monitor this and update you of any changes.

Jerry Jacobson


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Hello Brother and Sisters, I want to remind all the station and AO members that management continues to perform Clerk work on a daily bases, yet we only hear from only a few stations and those employees are recieving settlements at a rate of $38.29 per hour for each hr management is doing our work. The proposed staffing plans for the Stations finally came out and management wants to cut jobs at every station and give you split days off instead of rotating days off. They want you to work even harder then you already do and they will start doing more Cleck work. Don't let management do your work let us know. Also ask management to see your staffing plans. Jerry and I are assigned to look over the staffing plans so if you have any ideas about your Stations give us a call at the union office (651-224-2639). Just a reminder if the post office owes you money and it is past the (60) day waiting period you can fill out a PS Form 1608 and get a cash advance. You will receive 70% and when management finally pays you on your check you will pay back the 70% they advanced you. I will remind all the stewards that when they settle a case at step-1 to get the Gats pay done right away so that you will not need a pay advance, but when a settlement does not get paid timely let us know.

Bruce Gutzke


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Hello Brothers and Sisters, I would like to thank you for sending me to the Four State Caucus, this was my first time attending this event. Many issues were discussed regarding NTFT's, PSE's, Pool & Relief Clerks, Safety & Health, Legislative issues regarding the closing of postal offices. There were a number of resolutions that were voted on and the ones that passed will be sent to the State Convention which will be held in May and if they are passed there they will be sent on to the National Convention in August.I also have been dealing with a number of issues here at the plant. One of the issues is regarding travel time between the machines and the break/lunch room. Management has started disciplining employees if they take more than 15 minutes including travel time for their breaks. I timed how long it took me to walk from the lunch room to DBCS # 25 which it took me almost 3 minutes, which turn means I only would get a 9 minute sit down break. I brought this issue up with Acting Plant Manager Randy Elsen and he stated he was going to have to talk with Steve Labs and get back to me. If I don’t hear back from him I will bring it up at Labor-Management meetings that we have on Tuesday. Out at the stations I have been dealing with a few letters of demand and a removal. I want to warn all of you do not talk to the OIG without a Union Steward they are not on your side. Also I will be meeting with the Step-2 reps for the AO's over the next few weeks.In solidarity, Bruce Gutzke Clerk Craft Director


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I want to thank the membership for allowing me the opportunity to go to the All Craft Conference in Las Vegas. I attended a number of workshops like retail issues, small office, federal employee retirement class, welcoming our new FSE workshop, NTFTs and other desirable duty assignment. All the classes were very enlightening. Since we have come back, I have met on a couple of step 2s and I was able to settle a removal and get it reduced to a 7 day suspension. Todd, Jerry, a few stewards and I had to attend a meeting regarding staffing of NTFT assignments at AOs and stations on Tuesday and Wednesday. Management has been working on this staffing package for at least 6 months but management gave the APWU one day to give input, and did not have any documentation for us to look at.


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AFSM 100 and NIOSH Investigation

The AFSM 100 machines have also been studied extensively to determine the health and safety concerns with working on the AFSM 100 machines. NIOSH videotaped workers, measured workstation heights and reach distances, observed work postures, and asked employees about their medical history and reviewed occupational safety and health injury and illness logs.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH, studied the safety concerns of the AFSM 100 machines at the Colorado Postal Facility on the AFSM 100 machines in April 2009 to evaluate the safety concerns on these machines.

Some of the results from this study conclude that employees that work on these machines are at risk for injuries of the upper extremities such as shoulders, arms, wrists, hand and back injuries. These injuries are due to lifting, trunk twisting and bending. Employees work at awkward postures and use forceful exertions and repetitive motions in their daily work tasks.

Some of the suggestions NIOSH states are to have all work areas in the range of 27-62 inches high- with the height closer to the middle of that range to reduce back and shoulder injuries. NIOSH also suggested that 27 lbs is the maximum acceptable weight for repetitive lifts that are more frequent than two or more times a minute. Extended reaches drop the acceptable weight to only 8 pounds. An employee should not reach across the nutting to lift a tub they should turn the nutting around and try to keep the reach for the tubs around 16 inches from the edge of the container or dolly. This also should be practiced when prepping mail, by not reaching long distances to pick up a bundle. Another suggestion they made was for the daily job tasks to be be rotated frequently throughout the day so employees won't have to repeat the same type of task- such as lifting repetitively or gripping repetitively throughout the course of the day. They also suggest that knives and cutters for prepping should be replaced frequently to reduce the stress on the limbs and body. They also would like employees to be active in providing input in the scheduling and pacing in the way the jobs are designed and performed and to work safely and lift properly to reduce the risk of injury. So practice that power lift class we had, and remember to report injuries and concerns to your supervisor immediately.

Terri Griner Industrial Relations Director


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Hello Brothers and Sisters

It has been a very busy summer and early fall, with local negotiations taking place for the plant and 41 A.O.’s. Management brought many changes, like reducing annual leave percentages, and management may sign your leave request instead of will sign your leave request within the quota. This was my first time being on the negotiations team. I learned a lot.


I was only able to settle 9 step 2 cases in the month of September, due to local negotiations. I hope in October I will be able eto meet with the Labor Reps more often. I am currently discussing a removal at step 2, which will probably go to step 3. management at step 2 is taking a hard line on discipline. I have already had to send a letter of warning up to step 3, which is unheard of. There are 2 more removals and more discipline at step 1 that will probably move to step 2 shortly.


Also, to all NTFTs at 21 and higher officers, you should now have set schedules, so if management changes your schedule, ask for a steward. There are so many changes in this new contract, I expect a lot of calls from the AO’s letting us know what is going on there. I know I will try to stop at all stations and AO’s in the near future. Please don’t hesitate to call and talk to a steward or officer if you have any questions.

Bruce Gutzke – Clerk Craft Director


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Hello Brothers and Sisters,

I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer. Well, where do I start, This has been a very busy summer with all the new changes with the new contract and Local Negotiations going on.


Let me start talking about NTFT (Non-traditional Full-time Assignment) in function 1 officers (Plant). We will no longer have PTR or PTF employees.
These non-traditional work schedules may include those with less than 40 hours or less than 5 days a week or more than 8 hours a day, split shifts, etc.

In function 1, no more than 50% of all duty assignments in the facility may be NTFT duty assignments of 30-48 hours, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties at the local level. These NTFT employees will normally work the number of hours/daily, and/or weekly, identified in their bid assignment except in an emergency. These employees are entitled to out of schedule premium for hours worked outside their normal schedule. I need all members to watch this closely, because management’s idea of an emergency will be annual leave, sick leave, etc. Ask for a steward if you see NTFT working past the normal schedule.


In Function 4 offices, management may create as many clerk NTFT duty assignments of 30-48 hours in a facility as is operationally necessary. Also in function 4 offices with no employees working in NTFT duty assignments at least 25% of employees will have consecutive days off.


The union has started to file grievances on the conversion of all PTR and PTF in the plant and all AO’s due to the fact that they all needed to be converted by August 27, 2011 and management has failed to post the bids properly.


If you have any questions, ask for a steward.


Bruce Gutzke,Clerk Craft Director


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Hello Brothers and Sisters,

There were many changes made in this last contract that we all ratified, such as: 204-Bs detailed to a non-bargaining unit position in excess of 90 days shall be declared vacant and shall be posted for bid. All bids will drop down to the next senior bidder. Unlimited bidding to non-scheme bids i.e. Letter, flats and pouch rack. Article 1.6B for Associate Offices has been changed due to the global settlement that was reached. Examples would be that in level 18 offices, the Postmaster is permitted to perform no more than 15 hours of clerk work per week, and in level 16 offices, 25 hours per week, and in level 15 offices, 25 hours per week.

If you have any questions, please ask for a steward. If you supervisor asks you to go to the office for any reason, ask for a steward.

Bruce Gutzke

Clerk Craft Director


Clerkervisors? 204Bizzy Bees? Superclerks?

Many of the station clerks are seeing a new breed of clerks. As jobs are being cut to ridiculously low levels a new work pool is being tapped into. Supervisors are taking up the extra work loads at our stations.

It is nice to know that as we clerks wait to see when, how many, and where jobs are being reverted, the management of the USPS can find their job security in the work clerks should be contractually performing.

We recently had a station manager who was injured as she worked as a clerk. Another supervisor worked as a clerk for a full tour on a Saturday instead of brining in the ODL. There are stations where the last clerk leaves at 2 p.m. and all the dispatching “magically” is prepared for the 6 p.m. truck by no one?

Management has caused the clerk shortage at stations. Clerks want to get the carriers to the street and our customers served. Now the only way to achieve these goals is by using this new work source.

No! In recent years we have seen 3 major waves of jobs cut at our stations. Each time someone in management gets promoted, the stations suffer. There are longer lines at the window, improper shortcuts in the backrooms, and the “new workforce” grows.

I’m asking, no, I’m begging, the few clerks left at the stations to help in ending this new workforce. If you see management doing clerk craft work, tell us. Fax us a statement. Help protect jobs, real clerk jobs.

The job you save could be your own.

Billie Dunn, Steward T-2


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Where’s the Pickle?

Billie Dunn

Several years ago, the window clerks in St. Paul were treated to a special training session. All window clerks who attended, on the clock, were given a green writing pen. It was bent at the top to look like a pickle! The pen was to remind us of the important message we were given concerning customer service.

A video was played where an energetic restaurant owner retold his personal views on customer service. The customers in his restaurant were accustomed to getting a free pickle with their meals. One day, for some legitimate reason, a customer was not given a pickle. This caused bad feelings and the restaurant could have lost a good customer forever. The restaurant owner’s final point was, if it comes down to giving a customer a pickle, or losing them for good… GIVE THEM THE PICKLE!

Now, remember, this was a USPS authorized and paid for class. I remembered this class the other day when I returned to work a new bid as a SSA (Window clerk).

A customer came up to my window with a package. She was concerned that one of the seams might not be securely fastened. She asked if I could run a piece of tape across the area. I reached for my roll of packing tape and did not see one. I asked the clerk next to me if I could borrow her tape. “No”, she said, “we can’t give away any packing tape because we sell it.” The new policy has our customers paying $3.29 for a roll of tape if they need one 8 inch piece to run across a seal.

Imagine being a window clerk (the face of the USPS) and telling your customers an 8 inch piece of tape across their package is going to plunge the company into further debt. If used correctly, an 8 inch piece of packing tape can be a better promotional tool than dozens of posters, TV ads, and mass mailings.

On the subject of tools, I wish the new crop of management would go back into our dusty archives and dig out the “Pickle Video”. Maybe they could learn customer service is achieved one person at a time, one day at a time.

As the USPS’ service, business and morale continue to deteriorate, I’ll keep asking, “WHERE’S THE PICKLE?”


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Second Class Clerks

Judy Fricke, IRD

As a clerk at the station, do you feel like you’re treated like a second class citizen? Well, you probably have good reason to feel this way. At the stations, management has always put the carriers first and any consideration for the clerks came later. For example, Elway and Industrial are in the process of huge route adjustments. Along with these adjustments came scheme changes. These scheme changes wee significant, the entire scheme changed to the point that “formal” training needed to be done. However, was there any thought of this by management prior to the effective date of the change? You guessed it, the date of the change or after. The handbooks on scheme training, along with the contract, state that for the number of changes that have occurred with these schemes the clerks should be getting 38 deferment days to complete 36 hours of training. This training is required to be on the clock. However, management never took this into consideration when making the changes and now these two stations are a mess and mail is all over the place. Just think how smooth a transition this could have been had management taken into consideration that they had clerks at the station that needed to learn the new scheme and provided the training prior to the changes. What a concept, don’t you think?? Because of no foresight, they now have clerks trying to throw the mail without knowing the scheme, which delays the mail getting to the carriers. Because it takes longer to throw the scheme, management does not want to release the clerks to put in the study time to learn the changes, which delays the clerks learning the scheme. The longer the clerks are required to throw a scheme they are not getting training for, the more mail piles up! Sound familiar? This all means that what could have been an easy transition was made more difficult because management put all their focus on changing the way the carriers deliver their route with no consideration that the mail had to be sorted by the clerks before the carrier received it. And for this, management will get a big bonus, just wait and see! If you want to know how to handle these types of situations, attend a General Membership meeting, much more information is shared and we welcome questions and/or ideas.


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