July Clerk Craft Vacancy Notice Changes!

The July Clerk Craft vacancy notice shall be changed.  The three (3) customer retention agent duty assignments on pages 1 and 2 will be the only assignments available for bid in the July Vacancy Notice.  A revised notice is being distributed.  The Union and management will be reviewing all other jobs and expect to have them posted in the August vacancy notice.

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Excessing Event Cancelled!

We are very happy to announce the cancellation of the excessing of 212 Clerk Craft employees into the Mailhandler, Letter Carrier and Maintenance crafts.  Our Local received notification via email from APWU Western Region Coordinator Omar Gonzalez. Attached to the email was a letter stating ”This is notice that the Portland, OR P&DC excessing event dated March 2, 2018 in the clerk craft is cancelled.  The decision to cancel this notice of withholding is based on further consideration by the Portland District.”

This announcement was confirmed later in the day when President Joe Cogan met with Senior Plant Manager Felipe Flores.  Manager Flores stated that he had reevaluated the situation, held discussions with other USPS representatives and determined it was the “right thing” to do.  We appreciate Plant Manager Flores making this decision and keeping our Clerks in the craft. This action will benefit more than just those Clerks who were destined to become mailhandlers, carriers and custodians.  

Our PSE’s will no longer have their numbers reduced to the maximum extent possible due to the excessing of career Clerks.  PSE’s may be provided more opportunities to remain with the service and have future opportunities for conversion to career status.  This will also allow the non-career employees of the mailhandler and carrier crafts to have an opportunity for conversion to career.  

This is great news for our Membership, and should be celebrated by all. We are grateful that the impact has been cancelled.  We must continue in our fight to protect our rights and the service to our customers. As former APWU President Moe Biller was fond of saying “the struggle continues.”  

Seniority Concerns?

The following letter was attached to a petition that has been circulated within the Portland Installation.  It has been re-written here exactly as it was presented to the employees who signed.

 

To Whom It May Concern:

We currently work in the Portland District and we are having some restructuring happen here.  However, it appears that there is some inconsistency in this restructuring. Please allow me to explain.

A number of years ago, there were two facilities that had been set up in the Portland area, but neither one was assigned to the Portland District.  Their names were Sunset and Mt. Hood. A few years ago, Sunset was disbanded and the people working there were absorbed into the Portland District. At that time, all the employees in Sunset were “transferred” to Portland and placed at the bottom of the seniority roster.  This was agreed to by both the APWU and the USPS as the correct manner in which to handle this manner.

Currently, we are, again, shuffling the Mt. Hood employees into the Portland District. As per past activities, they should be “transferred” to Portland and placed at the bottom of the seniority roster.  However, the APWU is planning on shuffling them into the seniority roster with their current dates.

Some are saying this is to protect a APWU official, and some say it is to protect a APWU official’s girlfriend.  I do not know, nor do I care. My concern is that the Mt. Hood people are being afforded preferential treatment. If it was correct to “transfer” the Sunset people to the bottom of the list, then it is equally correct to “transfer” the Mt. Hood people in exactly the same fashion.

I, and all the others that have signed this paper, are requesting that Mt. Hood be treated the same as Sunset and be “transferred” into their proper standing in the Portland District.

Thank you,

This petition has not been provided to the Portland Oregon Area Local by the author or any of those who signed it.  The Local received a copy from a shop steward when it was first being circulated. Having received that copy, I went to the PACC  and discussed the issue with the clerk who claims to have authored the petition. Nothing more was heard of this until June 27, 2018. On June 27, a letter from the National APWU was received at the local office with eight copies of the petition.  The petitions were sent to the National President of the APWU, and as far as I know with no further discussion with the local officers.

Let us get some facts straight:

Sunset DDC was discontinued in accordance with Art. 12.5.C.1 of our contract with the USPS.

Mt. Hood P&DC was consolidated in accordance with Art. 12.5.C.2 of our contract with the USPS.

No local union officer or steward has brought the issue of Mt. Hood P&DC, Sunset DDC and Portland installations seniority or this petition to any executive board, executive council or membership meeting.

Some of the signers of the petition are not members of the APWU and do not have a voice or vote.

Some of the signers of the petition are mailhandlers, who are not members of the APWU and do not have a voice or vote.

The petition refers to the “Portland District.”.  The Portland District includes all of Oregon and SW Washington.  I believe that when the author was referring to the Portland District, the proper reference should have been the Portland Installation.  Sunset DDC, Mt. Hood P&DC, and Portland were separate installations in the Portland District. They are all now the Portland Installation inside the Portland District.

When I spoke with the author, I asked for a few clarifications and provided some evidence and facts.  The author stated they did not know the names of the “APWU official” or “APWU officials girlfriend” referred to in the letter.  The author did not know the names, and could not provide any evidence that this was true, yet chose to include it in the petition with a claim of “I do not know, nor do I care”.

The evidence I provided to the author included copies of our contract with the USPS that determines how mail processing facilities are consolidated and discontinued and how seniority is determined when these actions take place.  I provided a copy of the Sunset DDC seniority roster, prior to the discontinuance of that installation. I provided a portion of the Portland seniority roster, showing that the Sunset employees who were involuntarily reassigned, not transferred, into Portland, carried their seniority with them.

The petition states “At that time, all the employees in Sunset were “transferred” to Portland and placed at the bottom of the seniority roster.”  The employees were not transferred, they were involuntarily reassigned.  Some may have been placed at the bottom simply based on their seniority, some were PTF’s at Sunset DDC, but the employees who were involuntarily reassigned, not transferred, to Portland came, and were placed, with their Sunset DDC seniority and is evidenced by the seniority rosters of both installations.  

The petition states “However, the APWU is planning on shuffling them into the seniority roster with their current dates.”   The APWU and the USPS have, and are, in constant discussion of the appropriate application of seniority in accordance with the contract.  The APWU has, and will continue to, enforce our contract and ensure that the language of the contract is followed. The Articles and sections that pertain to seniority in the clerk craft during the consolidation of installations were provided to the author of the petition.

Art. 12.5.C.1.b Involuntary reassignment of full-time employees with their seniority for duty assignments to vacancies in the same or lower level in the same craft or occupational group in installations within 100 miles (Portland) of the of the discontinued installation (Sunset),….

Article 12.5.C.2.a  “When an independent postal installation (Mt. Hood P&DC) is consolidated with another postal installation (Portland), each full-time or part-time flexible employee shall be involuntarily reassigned to the continuing installation without loss of seniority in the employee’s craft or occupational group.    

We are willing to provide evidence and explain the how’s and why’s of seniority during an involuntary reassignment/excessing event to any member. I would refer any members who have concerns, call the local office, come to a local membership meeting, read Art. 12, sections 4 and 5, and Art. 37, Section 2 of our contract and the Joint Contract Interpretation Manual, both available at the local office, with your steward or at apwu.org.

I fully understand that change is hard.  I understand that many employees are concerned with where they are on the seniority roster.  I ask that the membership have the discussion with me, Vice-President Bill Martin or any of the craft directors.  We are the APWU representatives that are meeting with the service on a regular basis. We are willing to provide evidence and explain the how’s and why’s of seniority during an involuntary reassignment/excessing event to any member.  The suggestion that any of our representatives would abuse their positions to protect a steward or a steward’s girlfriend by violating the contract or through the manipulation of contract language at the expense of all people represented by the APWU is simply offensive to all who uphold our contract.

Joe Cogan-President

June 18th Rally

On June 18 some of our local members were joined by other members of our community in a rally to bring attention to the reduction of almost 300 clerk craft jobs in the Portland Oregon Installation. Thanks to all who attended, including Jobs with Justice, NALC, AFL-CIO of Oregon, and CPWU.

 

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Plans for Opening Day

We have received many questions from our Membership about what will happen when we arrive at the new Portland plant on 06/16/18.  Our latest meeting with the Service has provided some information that we want to share with you. The Service intends to gather all of the employees in the Cascade conference room to view a short video.  Upon completion of the video, employees will tour the workroom floor with safety representatives. All employees should receive this first day orientation concerning emergency evacuation exits and gathering points, BDS, lockers, timecards, safety, etc.  

This orientation should be held on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to cover different days off for the workforce.  If needed, another orientation will occur on Tuesday. The Service should provide the same orientation to any employees who are on leave during this next week.  

Reminder: Union T-Shirts on Fridays and Opening Day Stickers.

We must stress that all Members should have their e-bidding accounts established at this time.  If you have not bid in a while, or have not set up your e-bidding account and password, you need to complete this process as soon as possible.  Please do not wait until the last minute, only to find that you are unable to bid on any vacancies in the future.  

New Portland P&DC Opening

We are less than two weeks away from the opening of the new Portland P&DC building. The USPS does not know what the Clerk, Maintenance and Motor Vehicle duty assignments will be.  The APWU Local officers met with local postal officials on May 30 and 31, 2018. The service could not give the APWU Local officers a date when the next clerk craft posting will be available for review, what the maintenance assignments will be, and stated that the MVS runs are changing as the MVS employees are bidding.  18 days before opening, the USPS is still unable to determine what their employees bid jobs will be in a building that they have known about for years. The USPS will resort to giving their employees a temporary assignment order to report to the new facility. The Union is still of the position that the employees were entitled to more than a couple of weeks notice. At the most recent meeting the Union informed the USPS that it does not agree with the temporary assignments.  

The USPS made the decision to build a new facility.  The USPS made the decision to move all mail processing operations from three facilities into one facility.  The USPS made the decision to change our jobs. It is now our job to make sure that they follow our contract with the USPS.   How is it the second largest employer in the United States of America can’t figure out that all of this should have been started sooner or postpone the opening to a later date?  The USPS cannot even get the furniture delivered and must postpone the moving of some of the employees who work in the District offices to a later date. We have heard this whole event described as a runaway train that is destined to crash.  That may turn out to be true.

18 days prior to opening the service has not determined how the employees will be trained on safety, emergency evacuation, how to provide and assign lockers or give some type of general orientation of the new facility. The employee labor relations manual states:

817.4 General Safety Orientation for Employees

All employees, including non-career employees, must receive a general safety and health orientation and sufficient on-the-job training to enable them to follow safe work practices, to recognize hazards, and to understand the benefits to be gained by following safe work practices. Such training must also include:

  1.     Site-specific safety rules,
  2.     Specific job safety analysis,
  3.     Required OSHA programs,
  4.     Emergency evacuation procedures, and
  5.     OSHA rights and responsibilities (see 817.5).

If the service fails to provide this orientation, please fill out a Form 1767, Report of Unsafe Work Condition or Unsafe Work Practice and give it to your supervisor.  Your supervisor is required to fill out their portion of the form and return your copy by the end of your shift. We should be using the Form 1767 to report all unsafe work conditions – it will be very important as we enter into a new facility.  

Date of Impact/Excessing is October 27, 2018.

As of May 30, 2018 the USPS states that the number of Full-Time Clerks to be excessed is 182.

As of May 30, 2018 the USPS states that the current PSE complement is 119 and they still intend on reducing that number to 47.