Don’t Let the Postal Service check Your “Pulse!”

Starting June 14 through July 15 2022, the USPS is pushing its annual Postal Pulse Survey. The APWU leadership urges you to not let the Postal Service take your Pulse! Management surveys have been used as a weapon against the APWU during contract negotiations while not producing any real positive change for employees at the Postal Service.

Through notification from the Postal Service, APWU has learned the 2022 version of the survey removes the comment section and also asks the employee to recommend the Postal Service as an employer and rate its products/services. Nowhere in this survey is there a disclaimer that it is voluntary. Regardless of pressure from supervisors or managers, letter correspondence, excessive emails, or other tactics, employees are not required to participate in this survey. APWU urges you to not participate.

The USPS Postal Pulse Survey of 2021 showed us nothing that we didn’t already know. Management continues to ignore your most pressing concerns: worker morale, lack of positive recognition, health and safety concerns, and lack of career growth. Our right to collectively bargain, fight for better wages and safer workplaces begins postal workers standing together in their union.

Stay united, and don’t be fooled by management’s tricks created to divide us. Over years of struggle, we’ve won a negotiated grievance process, a labor-management cooperation process and national negotiations to address workplace issues. These are the proper channels for management to seek input from postal workers, not a management survey put together without any input from the APWU or the other postal unions.

Don’t let them take your “Pulse!”

Just say no! to the Postal Pulse. Financial Health Warning: Management has a history of trying to use survey results to limit and lower wages for postal workers

June 2022 General Membership Meeting

Topic: June General Membership Meeting
Time: Jun 15, 2022 06:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

NO EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2592387721?pwd=UWc1dzBUQ1lOMjNjaHk3ckhTU0Vmdz09

Meeting ID: 259 238 7721
Passcode: CALL LOCAL OFFICE FOR PASSCODE
One tap mobile
+16699009128,,2592387721#,,,, US (San Jose) +12532158782,,2592387721#,,,,# US (Tacoma)

Dial by your location
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 259 238 7721
Passcode:

Meeting ID: 259 238 7721
Passcode: CALL LOCAL OFFICE FOR PASSCODE
One tap mobile
+16699009128,,2592387721#,,,# US (San Jose) +12532158782,,2592387721#,,,, US (Tacoma)


Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/ktAQkmFnQ

Local Memorandum of Understanding

Local Memorandum of Understanding negotiations time is fast approaching.  What is the Local Memorandum of Understanding?  The LMOU, as it is commonly referred, is a local contract that covers issues that the National Contract allows us to negotiate locally.  The 22 Items listed below are what we are authorized to locally negotiate.  This allows us to create language for each installation.   All the installations that the Portland local represents have a LMOU.  The LMOU for the Portland Local offices can be found on this site.  If you have any questions, comments or contributions, come to a caucus, contact your steward or the Local office.  The negotiation period commences May 23, 2022, and ends on July 22, 2022. 

Clerk Craft LMOU Caucus at local office:

May 3, 2022 12:00 pm

May 4, 2022  6:00 pm

May 12, 2022 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

22 Specific Items for LMOU Negotiations

1. Additional or longer wash-up periods.

2. The establishment of a regular work week of five (5) days with either fixed or rotating days off.

3. Guidelines for the curtailment or termination of postal operations to conform to orders of local authorities or as local conditions warrant because of emergency conditions.

4. Formulation of local leave program.

5. The duration of the choice vacation period(s).

6. The determination of the beginning day of an employee’s vacation period.

7. Whether employees at their option may request two (2) selections during the choice vacation period, in units of either five (5) or ten (10) days.

8. Whether jury duty and attendance at National or State Conventions shall be charged to the choice vacation period.

9. Determination of the maximum number of employees who shall receive leave each week during the choice vacation period.

10. The issuance of official notices to each employee of the vacation schedule approved for such employee.

 11. Determination of the date and means of notifying employees of the beginning of the new leave year.

12. The procedures for submission of applications for annual leave during other than the choice vacation period.

13. The method of selecting employees to work on a holiday.

14. Whether Overtime Desired Lists in Article 8 shall be by section and/or tour.

15. The number of light duty assignments within each craft or occupational group to be reserved for temporary or permanent light duty assignment.

16. The method to be used in reserving light duty assignments so that no regularly assigned member of the regular workforce will be adversely affected.

17. The identification of assignments that are to be considered light duty within each craft represented in the office.

18. The identification of assignments comprising a section, when it is proposed to reassign within an installation employees excess to the needs of a section.
19. The assignment of employee parking spaces.

20. The determination as to whether annual leave to attend Union activities requested prior to determination of the choice vacation schedule is to be part of the total choice vacation plan.

21. Those other items which are subject to local negotiations as provided in the craft provisions of this Agreement.

22. Local implementation of this Agreement relating to seniority, reassignments and posting.

May 2022 Executive Board Meeting

Topic: May Executive Board Meeting
Time: May 10, 2022 01:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2592387721?pwd=UWc1dzBUQ1lOMjNjaHk3ckhTU0Vmdz09

Meeting ID: 259 238 7721
Passcode: CALL LOCAL OFFICE FOR PASSCODE
One tap mobile
+16699009128,,2592387721#,,,,# US (San Jose) +12532158782,,2592387721#,,,,# US (Tacoma)

Dial by your location
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 259 238 7721
Passcode: CALL LOCAL OFFICE FOR PASSCODE
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/ktAQkmFnQ

Do Not let the Postal Service take your “Pulse!”

The APWU was notified by the USPS that they will be attempting, again, to take your “Postal Pulse!” The survey period is schedule from May 11, 2021 to June 11, 2021. We must once again clearly state our objections. Do not let the Postal Service take your Pulse!

Just say no to the postal pulse. Financial Health Warning: Management has a history of using the survey results to justify lower wages for postal workers.

Postal employees can expect to have postcards promoting the Postal Pulse survey sent to their homes. Copies of the survey will be sent to employees at work and home. Employees with regular access to usps.gov email addresses will be blitzed with messages to take the survey. Messaging monitors, bulletin boards, etc. will make sure you see something from the Postal Service encouraging you to participate every day during the survey period.

Management may hold “stand up talks” to push the survey on employees. Some supervisors and managers may even insist employees take the survey. You are not required to take the survey and you cannot be forced to take the survey!

Why does management even pretend to care or how you answer the survey? Local supervisors and managers are not rewarded for how well they score on a survey, but for how many people take the survey. Even if you do the survey and answer every question as negatively as allowed, your “participation” counts the same as the employee who gives them a perfect score. Remember, even if you send in a blank survey—that is considered a “participated” survey!

“The surveying of employees has been going on for years,” said Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman. “Has it led to improvements at worksites? Has it led to better wages, hours, or working conditions? The answer is simply no. Management is still cutting staffing, they are still demanding postal workers work faster and harder with less resources.”

How about the new Emergency Federal Employee Leave? Are your direct supervisors and management being understanding? Are they helping to approve your leave or does it seem the answer is always “denied” when you apply? The Postal Pulse will not help solve these issues and has not solved the issues for years. Only union negotiating, filing grievances, and fighting for adherence to our contract has improved our wages, hours, and working conditions. 

Management Routinely Uses Surveys Against Workers

The Postal Service in the past has used the surveys to argue in arbitration to cut your wages and benefits. In the past postal management asked 27 questions in this survey. The first 26 was about listening to you and making the workplace better while the 27th question was about your wages and benefits. They took the first 26 questions and ignored them. They then used the 27th question against the employees in interest arbitration.

And now, in 2021, the survey is being pushed immediately before the APWU will begin contract negotiations with the Postal Service to establish a contract. Will the Postal Service use the Postal Pulse against the APWU in negotiations? That is a question that must be pondered.

“I implore all postal workers to not assist management in stripping your pay, benefits, and working conditions by participating in the survey,” said Director Zimmerman. “Stand with your union and boycott the surveys!”

Only collectively demanding compliance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement and speaking together with one voice, will we force management to change their ways. Stand united – and do not be fooled by these “Trojan horse” initiatives, created to divide us.

Management may also ask people to join focus groups and participate in management-initiated events to make the workplace more “engaging” or more “efficient.” These are not sanctioned nor approved by the union. They were not negotiated and use of them violates the union’s right as the sole representative of the bargaining unit employees under Article 1. Do not give in to the cheap participation incentives like pizza, gold stars, or pictures in magazines to get you to participate. Survey participation does not benefit you. It only benefits management.

We have a negotiated grievance process and a negotiated labor-management cooperation process to address workplace issues. Management needs to be following our contract, dealing with the grievances already filed and making sure hostile frontline supervisors are dealt with. Your union knows the “pulse” of those we represent. If a local supervisor or manager cannot see the problems without a survey, then they are part of the problem.

APWU Statement on the Release of the Postal Service’s 10-Year Plan

Today, Postal Service management issued a 10-year plan they are calling Delivering for America. The plan lays out a number of steps management hopes to take to bridge the projected $160 billion financial shortfall projected over the next ten years. There are elements of this plan the APWU will support and there elements of the plan we will oppose.

For generations, postal workers and the United States Postal Service have fulfilled the postal mission of “binding the Nation together” by providing the “prompt, reliable and efficient” services the law requires. Postal workers are justifiably proud of our commitment to service and our role in connecting every home, business and civic institution in the country.

Our experience of the past year amidst the pandemic has only underscored the essential role the Postal Service plays in every community across the country. However, the Postal Service is at a critical juncture and the future of the Service itself, hundreds of thousands of family-sustaining postal jobs and a critical national institution, lay in the balance. The Postal Service’s finances, squeezed by more than a decade of a congressionally-manufactured crisis and a lack of much-needed investment in people, processes and equipment, are in a dire state. On-time mail delivery is at unprecedented and unacceptable low levels.

It is no exaggeration that the future of our national treasure, the public Postal Service, will be determined by the actions of Congress, the Postal Service, postal workers and the mailing public in the months to come.

Some elements of the plan are welcome proposals which reflect the enormous dedication of postal workers and the Postal Service’s unrivaled network and its unmatched presence in communities across the country. We share management’s optimism in the Postal Service’s potential to grow new lines of business, capitalize on the booming package market, connect everyone more closely with all levels of government, and to increase and improve services offered to business and household mailers alike.

The APWU will continue to work to ensure the Postal Service succeeds in expanding and enhancing service to the public. We welcome those proposals in the plan and will also continue to advocate for other enhanced services, like expanding postal financial services.

There are parts of the plan that raise deep concerns to the APWU and our members. At a time that the public is demanding faster delivery of mail and packages, proposals that would slow the mail and reduce retail services – such as changing service standards, plant consolidations and reducing operating hours at post offices – will only have a negative effect on postal workers and the public. We will proactively engage with management, the PRC, Congress and the public to address areas of concern and defend the jobs and living standards of APWU members. As always, the APWU is united with the people of the country in our demand for prompt, reliable and universal postal services.

The APWU considers management’s introduction of the plan an opportunity to debate and discuss the future of the United States Postal Service and the jobs and livelihoods of the postal workers who make it the most trusted agency in America. We have a vision for the future of the Postal Service that shares some of the proposals in this plan, and departs from it in other areas.

Above all else, the plan underscores the urgent need for Congress to act swiftly and boldly to provide the Postal Service with critically-needed relief from the financial constraints of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, funding to make the Postal Service whole from COVID-related losses and funding to allow the Postal Service to invest in the people and infrastructure needed to improve and expand postal services for generations to come. The last year has emphasized the vital role of reliable, speedy and universal postal services for all communities. Congress has an important role to ensure the Postal Service and postal workers have the resources needed to deliver on our promise to the public.

The American Postal Workers Union will continue to advocate for postal workers and the people of the country who rely on the essential service we proudly provide each and every day.

SELS-Sensor Enabled Location System

SELS is the pilot project system that was implemented in the Portland Oregon P&DC in January 2021. Commonly referred to by the employees at the Plant as “the tracking system”.  In October of 2019 the USPS put out a standard operating procedure (SOP) manual. At that time, the USPS stated the reasons for this system is “to improve processing operations, automatically capture operational zone work hours, and to locate high value competitive products within mail handling and processing environments”. 

 The 2019 SOP claims that the Electronic Badge Readers or EBR’s (Time Clocks) that are currently in use are nearing a point of needing replacement.  The badges/tags issued will be used in conjunction with timecards during this pilot program. Allegedly the buttons on the badges will be able to call a supervisor or maintenance.  I have yet to speak with a member who has been given instructions on how to use the badge for those purposes and do not believe that the Portland tags are able at this time.   The service has stated that this system will not be used for disciplinary purposes, does not generate, store or use “Personally Identifiable Information”, and that bathrooms and administrative offices will be left out.  

The APWU has submitted a dispute regarding SELS at the national level. Lamont Brooks, Director, Clerk Craft Division requested information (RFI) that resulted in answers to 48 questions submitted by the APWU. 

 Question #8. Can there be any discipline issued to APWU represented bargaining unit employees as a direct and/or indirect finding, related to sensor technology? USPS Response: This is still a proof of concept. No disciplinary actions will be taken at this time.

 Question #12. What information is being captured on the sensors/tags during the pilot?

USPS Response: The sensor tags being used in the SELS pilot do not currently have the ability to capture and store information. The sensor technology system tracs items such a battery performance, button press, zone presence accuracy and precision, durability, sensor enabled calculated work hours, and the location of high value assets.

 The SOP and RFI for the pilot project have been provided to the stewards at the Portland P&DC.  A local request for information for Motor Vehicle Services has been submitted. Contact the local office or a steward if you have any questions.