Dave Geissigner, Maintenance Craft Director
Maintenance Craft Director
My Fellow Maintenance Employees:
Management continues to frantically dig a hole that is becoming
so deep, the lies are beginning to cave in on them.
we have had a Rochester employees just show up one day and start working on our machines. When asked about
what the hell is going on, management stated that they can do this because there are too many employees in Rochester and not
enough in Eagan as per Article 7. Then management said that this employee is on some detail, although we haven't seen
the paperwork supporting that. Then management said that this employee is requesting some accommodation under Article 12 in
order to minimize the impact of Rochester closing, as if the employee is reassigning himself because of his plant's impact,
but the rest of us have to use e-reassign. Now don't get me wrong, this Rochester employee is as much the victim as you
are. Management reverted an ET tour 2 Saturday Sunday bid because they said it wasn't supported in the staffing package
and then they gave an employee from Rochester this same Saturday Sunday Tour 2 bid. I explained all this last week to a Labor
Specialist in Minneapolis and he thought it is almost as if Management in Eagan is making the Union's argument that the
PD&C is grossly understaffed. All
this has been grieved and it is my hope that it will come to some kind of settlement quickly. These types of actions by management
are severely impacting Labor/Management relations and it is hard to argue with someone when they keep reinventing new lies
and can't remember the old lies.
the time you read this, the MOS clerk excessing should be on its way. Here again, management is saying that we have too many
MOS clerks because we do not support our 19 stations and branches even though MOS does all the purchasing for these stations
and branches and has to enter and file the station and branches assignment sheets. Soon we will see the Hanel parts retrievers
become less and less stocked and Supervisors will continue to cop a part out of MOS when they think no one is looking. This
too is being grieved, but the grievance process can barely keep up with what appears to be a mass unfolding of so many areas
of our National Contract. We've
got ET's and BEM's doing tray cart repair and MM7's doing daily assignments on DBCS's. We have got a myriad
of equipment that has never had a route sheet on it and has never had any maintenance and now management has the audacity
to say that the Eagan PD&C has not only got the worst numbers in the Northland District, but now we are racing towards
the worst numbers in the Nation. Our
former National President Moe Biller's famous quote was "the struggle continues", but now it could almost be
said that the "struggle accelerates". Hang in there and stay calm. The mail processing equipment
is now so poorly maintained that soon catastrophic failures will be the norm. We will run out of parts on a regular basis.
Bathrooms and lunch tables will become filthy. This game of chicken or who is going to blink first is rapidly reaching a fever
pitch. Every one of us knows our jobs and how best to accomplish the task at hand and you also know, management is most of
the problem, not the solution. If Management wants solutions they can put down all those charts and graphs
and seek advice from the best indicator they could ever have, YOU.
My Fellow Maintenance Employees
Dave Geissinger Maintenance Craft Director I would like to thank all of you who
voted for me and Gary Keicker. You can tell by the vote totals that obviously some of you were hoping to change the way you
perceive that things are done and I would like to talk with you about that if you could stop by some time. I also would like
to commend those who stepped up to run for office. It's easy to just sit back and complain, but some feel moved enough
to do something about it and we should all be thankful that there are people like that among us. And finally I would like
to say, we still need stewards on the run tours and we are hoping that some of you, especially if you’re one of those
who hopes to glean another ten or twenty years out of the Post Office, will step up.There is a lot to learn and
prepare yourself for so that you will be the one to lead in the future.
Several people have asked
if all the sub-contracting that is going on in the building has been grieved. Yes it has, and for as many aspects of the contract
as Management has violated, it should be a grievance with substantial merit and be very lucrative.Another question that keeps coming up is what about custodial staffing for all the bids that people retired
from? The answer for that is mixed. Many custodial bids were posted at the beginning
of the month, and hopefully the senior people that preferrenced them are now enjoying their new bids.
The negative side of these retirements is the ink was barely dry on the posting of all these bids
and Management laid on us the new staffing package and the overall amount of custodian
bids went from 66 down to 57. It's a shame that the charade of MS-47 measurements and frequencies is going to an even more ridiculous level, but it is. If there is one positive note to all this it is with
this new staffing package, management now considers us to be at maximum staffing which
will leave no room for any excessed employees from other plants. E-reassign and the in-service registers will be basically irrelevant.
Another thing that could
change work place conditions for many of us will be the implementation of 5 day delivery sometime in August. Management
is just beginning to ponder the realities of that. If our PD&C continues to take mail
from La Crosse and Eau Claire as we did from Rochester and have that coupled with 5
day delivery, it is conceivable that we will not have enough maintenance employees with weekends off.
believes that mail volume will be huge on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and once again bids may have to be realigned.Change will continue to plague us the remainder of our postal careers as the post office races toward
a very uncertain future. Are we a public service or a candidate for privatization?
The answer to that question is in the not too distant future.
I wanted to express my concerns to you about what I consider to
be a growing problem, lack of respect shown towards your union stewards. Many times some of our maintenance
brothers and sisters will launch on a steward in the hall way or in the lunch room with an accusatory tone as if the Union
steward is somehow complicit in the perceived complaint.
The steward will politely stand there and just take this
chewing out. When you start out the conversation with something like "What are you doing about Vadnais
Heights?" in a derogatory tone as the steward happens to be walking down the hall, perhaps not even
on steward time, you can probably expect less than a professional reply. They have to be thick skinned, that's true, but
not someone's whipping boy.
The stewards are volunteers
who have chosen to help serve you, not be served up by you. Stewards are the back bone of this organization,
the true worker bees in this giant national organization. We will all need a steward some day and let's
be appreciative that someone around here wanted to step up. Stewards don't need to be coddled as much
as they need to be supported and appreciated and a little civility will go a long way in helping you, and the steward, achieve
a positive outcome.
Mnt Craft Director
It seems every couple of years some individuals will try to distort the reality of what is in
the National Contract, Handbooks, and agreed to Memorandum, and what isn't.
Many of us
took a jolt by bids being realigned. After 10 or 15 years some of us finally got the days off that we wanted only to once
again be sent back to square one. I have always hated the phrase "It's Management's right to mismanage"
and I have attempted to stay engaged and ahead of the curve to minimize the "mismanagement", but sometimes
management is determined to shoot itself in the foot.
The bid realignment was contractual, but
it definitely is not solving the overtime problem or gotten the machines to run any better, but they will
be the last ones to admit that.
The year 2013 is going to make the changes of 2012 look like a walk in the park.
For starters, management is now under a directive by Drew Aliperto to keep overtime to 1% of payroll, which
literally means zero. They also are under the directive to reduce staffing by 8%, which coincidentally is about the attrition
rate from the early retirements. They also want to utilize PSE's to the full 10% capacity as rapidly as possible foregoing
in-service registers and e-reassign to fill vacancies.
Four years ago we were talking about date
stamping sandwiches in the vending machines and where to park tractor trailers in the parking lot. Now
every conversation is about staffing, hours of work, and terms of employment with training cutbacks, travel expenses slashed,
prescription eyewear reimbursement eliminated, and overtime becoming very scarce.Now we are currently left with fighting for
each and every job we currently enjoy and a continuing paranoia that when these PD&F's in the Northland District are
closed, will the excessing limits of 50 miles be changed Nationally to accommodate all these people at the expense of the
junior people in our own plant?
The Good Old Days are over for many of us who remain, but it isn't because
your Union is not doing its job. We have had record Step One's settled, mostly for cash and not language, we have had
the largest Step 2 settlement of our Local's history, we have a record amount of very high buck cases sent to Step 3,
and we try to engage each of you on a regular basis on the work room floor so that you can voice your concerns and vent your
rage because of the constriction of the Postal business model that is all around us.
You can delude yourself into
thinking someone will wave a magic wand and everything will go back to 2006 but that's not going to happen.
What you can do is step up to the battle at hand. We need several stewards on the run tours and one at the airport.
As the Postal Service limps along with the mortal wounds inflicted on it by Congress and management, the battles
around here are going to intensify. Anyone who is telling you that they can just beat their fist on management's
desk and file few grievances and make it all better is just lying to you. The fight will continue all through your
remaining postal career. They would love for your to retire, quit, or die. Labor is not the problem around here, it is management.
They really could care less as long as their bar graphs and pie charts are colorful and cute. Many of us with a mechanical
background take offense with the whimsical approach they use to tackle the myriad of problems around here.
Hang in there and we will win this war of attrition. From the roof top units to the low cost sorter, trained maintenance
staff will again be appreciated as we do our jobs for our true bosses, the American Public.
Maintenance Craft Director
Fellow Maintenance Employees
There has been much misinformation spread
about the recent bid realignment that was done on Tour 2. The biggest thing that people are confusing is that there was not
an intersectional excessing that occurred by realigning the bids, therefore no certified letters had to be sent out. Secondly,
since they did not excess out of section, the bidding was open to the entire installation and not just that Tour 2 section.
Some people are reading from Article 12 in our contract instead of the Local Memorandum of Understanding which governs this
type of realignment. I conferred with multiple people on this and regrettably, this is one time management actually did something
the correct way.
Everyone knows that the
staffing is not correct for this building and for this amount of equipment and this has been grieved and appealed to Step
2, but management is insistent on reducing overtime and they think that realignment of the bids is the
way to achieve this. We all know this is just a shell game and now the overtime will move to some other days other than Saturday
and Sunday. The penalty for understaffing is overtime and this is a reality that management cannot escape from.
Maintenance Tour 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
My Fellow Maintenance Employees
We just received the signed, official, and long awaited staffing package and once again, it is a management
wish list, but this time, it has a more profound implication. To sum up the numbers management's main game plan is to cut the MPE staffing by 17 and to
make these numbers up by adding 10 ET's and 7 MM7's. They envision a staff of more ET's on the run tours and more
MPE's on Tour 2. They would like to accomplish this by doing intersectional excessing to get MPE's presently on the
run tours moved over to Tour 2 and if any MPE's were to retire, that MPE bid would immediately be reverted and replaced
with an ET bid or an MM7.
At first I thought that this all would be slowly accomplished
through attrition, but management is hoping that any MPE's that are on the PER for ET will finally opt to become an ET,
if not, and a posted ET bid goes residual, it could be filled by some ET from one of these closing PD&C’s desperate
to bail out of his closing plant.
So, what does all this mean? It really is management showing their hand
to us and they intend to have reduce the MPE's by 17 and they will try to accomplish this by inter- sectional excessing
and ultimately, installational excessing. Are you on the ET PER? Would you accept a MM7 downgrade?
Would you consider going to another tour? These are all questions that will haunt us as this plan unfolds, but the one thing
for certain is local management didn't bat an eye when it excessed people to Iowa, only to bring most
of them back, and when they start talking this excess talk, their moves are as clumsy as an elephant on tequila.
I will keep
you informed as we continue down this path. The entire staffing package is grieved not only for the above reasons, but also
because it essentially reduces MOS staffing by one and gives all our AMT positions to Minneapolis to join their staffing.
A very important aspect of Maintenance excessing is that we have to be excessed to an existing bid;
we just don't get kicked out the door and become unassigned. Management knows that there are very few MPE bids around
and probably the largest pool of residual bids for MPE's is next door at the NDC. That aside, we may still have to deal
with the clumsy way Management deals with excessing, and how they have a rich history of disrupting people's
My Fellow Maintenance Employees
As many of you
are now aware, we recently secured a nice settlement for the custodians.
Many thanks to our maintenance stewards Gary Keicker, Elizabeth Blackwell, Jim Czepa,and
Jerry Malean for all their efforts which enabled myself to take the time to hammer out this award.
It really has been a team effort. Beyond the monetary remedy for this
MS-47 grievance, there was an additional aspect which requires the Postal
Service to bring the custodial ranks up to the approved staffing level. Because
of this you will soon be seeing many familiar clerks join our
cusodial ranks. Please take a minute to welcome them all. We are truly fortunate to be in the only craft that is gaining in numbers. We are also gaining bids at our stations andbranches as we implement the new contract and abandon contract cleaners. By the time this Postmark article reaches
you, our US Senate should be in the throws of the Postal
Reform debate. It was regrettable that a minority of Senators can continue to
obstruct and be the party of NO as vital services such as the Postal Service hang in the
balance. No one will be able to put the genie back in the bottle as far as first classmail
volume is concerned, but transformation does not have to be a choice between the past
and the future. The Postal Service is the only proven way to reach tens of millions of people each day, and because of our efforts, everyone in our great country benefits.
My Fellow Maintenance
I appreciate our local giving me the chance to attend Arbitration Training in Washington D.C. last week. The daily
classes were excellent and it is always insightful to meet people from all over the country that are dealing with very similar
One day before class we were addressed by one of the National Officers, Industrial Relations Director Mike Morris.
I thought his comments were probably the most profound I've heard in some time. He said, "There's only one fight
left for this Union and it is at the ballot box this fall. If Republicans prevail, we're all done."Some will dismiss this as just
more election year rhetoric. Some will say that we all heard this before from the Union when Ronald Reagan got elected, but
never before has there been so many Republican sponsored bills, spawned from a hatred of organized labor, intent on dismantling
the Postal Service.
The 2006 Republican controlled Senate injected a poison pill into the Postal Service with the mandate to pre-fund retiree
health care and as the Postal Service staggers under the weight of that mandate, Congressman Issa demands we continue to go
to 132 million homes per day, 6 days per week, with no increase in postage, and if we are unable to; it's because of that
lazy Union labor force, not the destructive nature of past congressional control. So, is Mike Morris right? Is this fall's
election our last fight? I have been hard pressed to find any Republican sponsored legislation that is
postal friendly. If anyone you work with could point out even a couple of Republicans that are sympathetic to our cause, I
would like to know about them so we can support them in their re-election bid.We are not against Republicans because of some "save
the whales" liberal ideology; we are supporting people who support us. This upcoming election will be your opportunity
to cast a vote for yourself. You can make hay about some social issue like gay marriage or you can vote for yourself. You
can blame high gasoline prices on the lack of drilling in the Caribbean or you can vote for yourself. You can insist that
you need to guard your constitutional rights to bear arms, an issue that was never challenged by Obama or you can vote for
the final analysis, you can vote for yourself and keep making a living wage and worry about various social issues at some
future date, or you can back a social conservative and watch your job be privatized. It really isn't being selfish to
at least this one time, bite the bullet, and vote for yourself.
Dave Geissinger - Maintenance Craft Director
Our Maintenance Craft Officers are Director David Geissinger and Trustee Gary Keicker
Fellow Maintenance Employees
As we embark
on another year it seems the priorities will continue to be the same. Try to grow staffing to adequate numbers, make sure
management continues to pay for their lack of staffing with overtime and grievance settlements, and try to keep the subcontractors
Step 2 discussions
continue to be slow and are being appealed to step 3 at a very high rate. Even cases where management knows they will ultimately
lose, they think they can do better with the business agent than dealing with me. I will continue to bring the difficult
cases to the forefront rather than letting them languish in a file cabinet, but all the talk of settling grievances at the
lowest possible level remains to be just that, all talk.
The merits of the cases like the MS-47 and the FSS overtime
by-pass are fairly bullet proof and it would be in the best interest of the Postal Service to settle these and keep the liability
to a minimum, but Postal Labor representative’s strategy seems to be just kicking the can down the road and
just see what happens. The
big news for the coming year will continue to be the Postal Service's attempt to close the Duluth, Rochester, Eau Claire,
LaCrosse, and Mankato mail processing facilities.
If this unfolds like the Postal Service envisions, it could
swell our ranks with transferees from these plants and greatly curtail our overtime. It would also greatly congest our work
room areas with empty equipment and more mail and make our work place a more helter skelter environment. It also would probably
mean the end of E-Reassigns as thousands of maintenance employees would swell the ranks of those wishing to transfer.
As part of this installation,
we have been the lucky ones, but the days ahead will be tumultuous. I have depended on many of you for your advice and input
and I hope we will stick together as we run towards a goal line that keeps moving further away. Being part of this installation
probably will bring many of us security for the near 3 to 5 year term, but the rapidly changing environment will make the
distant future anyone's guess.
My Fellow Maintenance Employees.
As we quickly proceed towards the final days of another calendar year, many of us have a natural propensity to take
stock of things and that includes thoughts of retirement. At present, I and another MPE, Don Riley, are
compiling some interesting materials and hope to have an informational workshop on retirement and its many implications sometime
after the first of the year. Naturally, this would not be a counseling or guidance seminar so much as it
would be an informational sharing of the many known and less known facts.
Stay tuned and
we will keep you posted on how this is shaping up.
Also, if you have any resources you would
like to share with us, we would be more than happy to talk with you.
Have a great
holiday season. We all have very much to be thankful for.
Fellow Maintenance Employees
By the time you receive this issue we should be well on
the way towards our impending default to the US Treasury. What that means remains unclear, but what is crystal clear is it
is a Republican ambition to cause this default in order to further an agenda against the middle class worker.
Several members have quit the Union because of our involvement in the Wisconsin protests
in Madison. Others have expressed their dislike of Union talk of "class warfare" or "corporate greed".
Still others think that the only role a Union should have is to file grievances and nothing more. Which role your Union takes
in the near future will depend on you and your involvement at the local general membership meeting.
What role do you think a Union should take at the Crystal Sugar Plant in northern Minnesota?
Workers have been locked out of their plant for over a month and replacement workers are now working there instead.
What role do you think the Unions of Wisconsin should take when
the Governor decides to no longer honor any signed labor agreements?
What role should APWU workers take when their processing plant is targeted for closure or consolidation?
These questions and concerns are no longer abstract hypotheticals. Fate has given us
the task of once again having to fight the same battles that were fought for worker rights over 80 years ago. Our success
in these upcoming days and months will usher in a new era for the American dream. Our failure will send us back to the dark
days where working men and women knelt before the Barons of industry.
Fellow Maintenance Employees
continues to be our number one concern as we head into a new fiscal year. Although there are nearly 200 of us in the
maintenance craft, when you spread us out over three tours, three different buildings, and 17 stations and branches, it feels
pretty sparse. Although management looks at labor as a liability, it is management's mismanagement that is the real liability.
We have the luxury now of having mostly new equipment, but as this honeymoon period ends, we in maintenance will be
asked to do more with even less.
requested over a year a go to have a National Staffing Advocate come into our plant and help us define what are realistic
staffing levels for a plant this size. This advocate will be assessing mech side, building side, and MS-47 issues.
My thanks to our National Director Steve Raymer for finally facilitating our request. Hopefully we will get a tangible
result that we can articulate in the grievance process. Many
of you might have met our two new PSE custodians and hopefully you have welcomed them into the fold. This PSE avenue is the
only way anyone will ever get a full time career position with the Post Office and with the amount of retirements anticipated
over the next several years, these PSE's should be in the drivers seat for a long career with this flag ship of the district
By the time this goes
to print we should have the newest MS-47 grievance for both the LDC and the St. Paul PD&C with it's stations and branches.Many thanks to our Maintenace stewards Gary, Jerry, Kim, William, and
Elizabeth for their hard work on this project. We have identified hundreds of thousands of dollars in by passed routes and
hopefully we will be successful in our Step 3 appeal.
Also, some of you might be aware that we are presently in local negotiations. I will keep you updated on the
progress of these. Local negotiations happen every time we enter a new contract and it is our opportunity and management's
to tweak certain understandings.
where did the summer go?
Maintenance Craft Director
My Fellow Maintenance Employees
- from the January 2011 Postmark Over the past 20 some months that I have been craft director we have experienced some of the largest
changes of our postal careers. Excessing, moving, and a new building all come to mind. The future will probably hold even
more challenges as mail operations continue to consolidate and technical advances evolve to newer and higher levels. As I contemplate
these future challenges I just have to admit to myself that I no longer have the energy or drive that it takes to continue
to be of service to you. Each day the issues of checklists for equipment, routes, inventories, along with MS-47 and MS-63
considerations get more complex and more difficult to nail down. The tasks before us continue to change and the energy levels
needed are more than I care to give. I will not accept a nomination for craft director for this next term. Many of you have come to expect
a level of service from your union stewards and it is my sincere hope that some of you will step up and be stewards yourselves.
The realities of what is looming on the horizon are more daunting than ever and your union local needs new energy and vitality
to deal with these. I will continue the tasks at hand until my term expires and I would like to thank all of you for your support. Sincerely Dave Geissinger
reprinted from the November 2010
Everyone who has walked through the North
end of the Eagan Plant has looked on in awe at the assembly of the FSS machines. These massive machines will be what I think
is the tipping point for our understaffed situation in Maintenance. We endured 60 hour weeks because of the move and the de-postalization
of the Kellogg building, but these machines, because they are so intricate, because they are expected to do so much, because
they are not perfected, will probably be the straw that breaks the camel's back. If management is expecting it can pull
ET's off each run tour to "man" these monstrosities, who will be left to do DB's? Only a handful
of people will be trained by the acceptance date of these machines. How many hours per week will these few people be expected
to put in? It just seems like the house of cards is about to collapse, but maybe that is a good thing. The entire Northland
District will be looking at the FSS productivity numbers and this will bear heavily on management and their stress levels.
They in turn will try to unload on us craft employees. Once again, if being on the OT list is too much, get off. If you are
in a situation where management is really leaning on you, ask for a steward. We don't want to lash out at all this insanity
and find ourselves getting walked out or terminated. We need a lot more people trained on this equipment than the current
level of training billets provide, we need to work safely and not hurriedly in response to stressed out managers, and most
of all, we need to stay united and supportive of each other in a calm and rational manner.
Dawn Ecker, President St. Paul, MN Area Local
November 18, 2010__
MAINTENANCE CUSTODIAN BULLETIN
MS-47 GRIEVANCE SETTLEMENT
As some of you are already aware, the
MS-47 grievance of 2008-2009 has been settled and each of the Custodians that worked at the St. Paul P & DC and its Stations
and Branches during that 2008 and 2009 period should be getting part of this settlement on the November 26th or
the December 10th pay day.
This settlement was for custodial routes
that were not completed at the St. Paul P & DC and its
Stations and Branches only. It does not include the LDC or any Associate Offices.
If you do not see this settlement on your paycheck by December 10th, let me know.
Remember, you must have worked as a Custodian during this 2008 and 2009 time frame at the St. Paul P & DC or its
Stations and Branches to be eligible for this award.
St. Paul, MN Area Local
Postal Workers Union
My fellow Maintenance employees:
To date, the new plant here in Eagan is unfolding pretty much as we had anticipated. The
staffing package is grossly inadequate, route sheets do not exist, equipment inventories are incomplete and missing, and areas
that were recently open space are now turf wars between crafts. The only thing that has gone right with this entire move has
been Maintenance and their moving of the many machines, everything else has been a borderline fiasco.
I have requested that our local president request that our National
Staffing Advocate come in to St. Paul and do a staffing analysis of this new building both mech side and building side along
with the stations, branches, AO's. They will also analyze our MS-47 measurements and frequencies for their own inadequacies.
I need indisputable data to fight and win in these many areas of battle. If we prevail in these grievances, not only will
we enjoy more overtime pay, we will ensure staffing and jobs for future Maintenance employees. Remember, the penalty for understaffing
is overtime. Don't sign off on a route sheet that you know is incomplete. Don't work on a standing work order. Do your job
safely and don't sell yourself or your future replacement short.
fellow maintenance employees
I write this in early August it is still the calm before the storm. As you read this however, we should be in the throes of
the move and we are finding out first hand how well the plan is going. At this early date, I already know that we have a new
maintenance manager, a new MOS manager, and new Labor representatives meeting with us on Step 2 grievances. With all the overtime
that some of us are enjoying and others are dreading, it is easy for many of us to be overwhelmed. The EAP counselors are
keenly aware that
some, the change to this big factory environment, the overtime, the different commute, coupled with back to school, the end
of summer, and spending weeks down at Norman training on new equipment is going to be just too much. If the grind is getting to be too much,
do yourself a favor and get off the overtime list and talk to your doctor and EAP on what will be the best strategy for you
to get through this most difficult period. We are all getting older and this move will take a toll on us only if we let it.
My Fellow Maintenance
Many thanks to the
Rochester APWU local for hosting us for the Minnesota State APWU convention. It is important for our own purposes to meet
with the many small locals we have across the state and make them aware of our concerns about moving to a new mega plant.
Also I think that when all is said and done, we are moved, and everything shakes out, we are going to be the lucky ones who
are assigned to this brand new flag ship of a plant. It is this message that all these other locals are starting to comprehend.
My Fellow Maintenance Employees (reprinted from the April 2010 Postmark)
As the months pass by and we near our move to the new plant in Eagan,
it is becoming more apparent that not only will some equipment at that plant not be inventoried, but there will not be checklists,
routes, or even lockout/tag out procedures in place. It takes a substantial commitment of time to implement all that will
be required to come up with the necessary checklists so that we can all do our jobs safely, but management apparently has
decided that this commitment of time will not be expended and they will probably fashion our assignments much like they have
done at the new Oklahoma plant with standing work orders and routines.
Another job eroding tactic that management intends to implement is basing daily maintenance
on the amount of mail that a particular machine ran the night before. If the machine ran very little mail, you might only
have a ten minute daily, if it ran a lot, you will probably get a little more time. In theory this seems practical, but it
assumes that the machine isn't 28 years old to begin with and that most of the components should be replaced. One of the most
powerful tools you have at your disposal is your ability to diagnose. If we are going to be ham strung in with electronic
route sheets that give little or no time to work on a machine, then we must generate work orders and protect our work. Your
job description details how much predictive and preventive maintenance you can engage in and not some electronic format management
has endeared itself to.
As management continues its march towards cutting more jobs, we as maintenance employees
have to look at our jobs differently. We used to argue with management about various duties that are not in our job description,
now we need to argue for all the duties that ARE in our job descriptions.
St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Tom Edwards, President
Maintenance Flash Bulletin
As we continue to wait
and see what exactly management is talking about with their letters of excessing and staffing packages, some of our junior
members, and even some senior members, should consider what we all know as certain.
We are an impacted plant.
Did you know that as
an employee of an impacted plant, your name goes to the top of the list for assignments as a transferee? Your sick leave usage, safety, or disciplinary record are not taken into consideration. You don’t have to be a member of one of the occupational groups that has been identified for excessing;
you qualify because you are from this impacted plant.
If you ever thought about
transferring to a warmer climate or maybe going back to an area you came from, now might be your chance. You won’t be able to take your seniority with you, but if something has been stopping you from going
and living where you would rather be, you should check out “e-reassign” today.
Some of you who are junior
BEM’s, ET’s, or MPE’s might want to grab the bull by the horns and consider assignments elsewhere as a transferee. No one is going to lose their job with excessing, but some people are going to be
Your union is working
hard on getting the number of people impacted down to a minimum, and it is your decision if you want to wait and see what
management offers you, but if you ever thought about going to a sunnier locale, the next 30 to 90 days might be your golden
window of opportunity.
Maintenance Craft Director
My Fellow Maintenance Workers:
As you all know
by now, the Maintenance staffing package from Western Area has been submitted to the APWU. Besides the usual tactics of down
playing the amount of time for a route on a piece of equipment, this time they have reinvented basic arithmetic. Somehow a
larger building, with more complex machinery, more tray mail, and more dock doors for trucks more MOPE equipment equals fewer
maintenance positions. The cover page of the staffing package lists 18 maintenance positions to be cut via excessing, but
management informed the APWU that any maintenance excessing will not occur until October or November of this year. We move
everything into the new building expeditiously, get everything up and running, and then they thank us by cutting our positions.
I recently attended
the regional Labor Management meeting and the master of ceremonies was Tony Williams. Tony went on and on about how we are
losing money, how we must change, how we must attract as much new business as possible, and as I looked around the room it
occurred to me, the same management team that drove the Post Office into the ground is now being put in charge of saving it.
They have cluster groups and leadership teams. They have presentations and charts. They have the whole thing figured out,
but where is the input from craft employees. There is a wealth of knowledge and common sense amongst our senior employees.
They have seen much of this before and have achieved certain wisdom, but management is placing its trust in the same bean
counters that misplaced 75 billion over the past 3 decades. This point seems to escape management, but when their lofty goals
of move in target dates and equipment productivity go unrealized, they will blame it all on someone's sick leave usage, and
never their flawed vision.
We know our jobs
and we are going to insist that our work be performed correctly, safely, and in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.
We might not be able to influence the folly that is occurring at the top, but we will enforce every sentence of the contract.
Try to attend as many union meetings as possible so you personally become well versed on what your rights and obligations
Tom Edwards, President
Paul, MN Area Local February 11, 2010
Attention: Maintenance Members
The St. Paul Area Local has received the maintenance staffing package for the new Eagan facility. The following is management’s
projected impact to the rank and file of the maintenance craft. These numbers
are FLUID, as management changes their plans, i.e. machinery, equipment, etc, the numbers too may changes.
5 level 10 Electronic Technicians
3 level 9 Maintenance Mechanics (MPE)
7 level 9 Building Equipment Mechanics
3 level 4 Elevator Operators
Management has notified the local that as of 2/4/10,
management anticipates excessing 18 maintenance employees from the installation. The
National Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 38.3.k.5 #1 states: Installation seniority governs in identifying excess
employees within an occupational group and level.
The Local Memorandum of Understanding, Article
38 further defines excessing by tour and section.
As of now, management has not informed the local
of how and when they intend to start excessing. We will continue to meet regularly
with management. We will keep you informed as details become available.
My Fellow Maintenance
Now that we have perhaps one of the most turbulent and game
changing decades many of us have ever experiences behind us, it would do well for all of us to contemplate the near future
and do whatever we can to become players and not just casual observers of what will be the defining moments for our local
and for our St. Paul P&DC.
As we move closer to our move date to Eagan,
it would behoove even the most apathetic of our members to start attending the General Membership meetings. These meetings are your lifeline in finding out how other members feel about the issues, observe debate
and argument over these issues, and ultimately vote on what could be some of the most important memorandums of understanding
and constitutional questions our local has ever faced. Your dues are your ticket
to put yourself at the center of these debates. If you know a fellow employee
who is a non-member, tell him or her that these are important times to be a member and we could use their understanding and
support as well.
As maintenance employees, we will have an up close look at
new machinery that will shape our future. We must start fresh and call management
on phony route sheets and bogus time allotments for work orders. We must do the
route in its entirety and if that means calling it incomplete because of time constraints, then so be it. We need to protect the work, not only for ourselves, but for the many who will come after us. The Eagan plant will let us put to rest much of the counter productive culture
that has plagued the relationship of labor and management in St. Paul. The Postal Service is spending millions on the latest technology and we need to protect
these capital assets. We cannot allow apathetic managers to run everything into
the ground again. Just doing our job, in an orderly fashion, will help the Postal
Service be viable and help future postal employees enjoy the rewards of gainful employment.
I would like to thank the Wausau Wisconsin APWU for putting
on a very successful John Akey seminar this past August. The Maintenance Round
Table discussions were chaired by our National Maintenance Director Steve Raymer and Business Agent Troy Rorman and much insight
was gained by all the new maintenance stewards who were in attendance. It was
invaluable for all of us to sit around a table with National Officers and hopefully it will focus our future efforts in the
Our maintenance step 2 grievance caseload has dropped by
27% thanks in part to the tireless efforts of your trustee and step 2 designee Karen Volkman.
We hope to continue this pace and hope that most of the step 2 cases will be resolved or moved forward before we move
to the new building.
Hopefully by the time you are reading this, some of your
new building questions will start to be answered. Naturally staffing is foremost
on everyone’s mind and as things become available, I will make certain that you are the first to know.
Your fellow maintenance
My Fellow Maintenance
Congratulations to all of you for having the highest percentage
of votes cast of the APWU crafts. It was a close election and I hope all of you
will take some time and thank Rod Renner for his hard work and diligence these past two years.
We are united more than ever and we have had numerous excellent candidates step up to the plate desiring to become
stewards. In the weeks to come we will be forming an excellent team which we hope will be of service to you for years to come.
It may be a little cumbersome in the beginning, but I assure you, all of the stewards that are certified will have YOUR best
interests in mind.
As I see it, the battle lines are being drawn and it’s
going to come down to these three focal points: Staffing, subcontracting, and the Eagan move. I
do not intend to reinvent the wheel as we bring the fight to management. These
battles are being fount at numerous locals across the country and I intend to find out the successful strategies others are
Maintenance is the craft that is absorbing other crafts that
have too many employees for the future of the Post Office. Maintenance is the
craft that has been told that MPE’s and ET’s are not eligible for VERA retirements. Maintenance is the craft that has a very high percentage of veterans in its ranks because Veteran’s
Preference made openings for custodians. To be the craft that grows in the face
of more complex automation is something we should all be proud of. We will forever
be united with our clerks and MVS members in our American Postal Workers Union and welcome them whenever possible into our
ranks, and know the complexion of the APWU is changing.
Thanks to all of