Remember This Holiday Weekend
Remember This Holiday Weekend
The January Executive Board, Executive Council and General Membership meeting will be held on January 9, 2019.
Executive Board 4:00 pm
Executive Council 5:00 pm
General Membership 6:30 pm
The Oregon Postal Workers Union conducted their Fall Seminar at the local Union Office. Shout out to the instructors: Regional Coordinator Omar Gonzalez, National Business Agents Brian Dunn, Brian Dunsmore, Louis Kingsley, Hector Baez and EAP Consultant Sarah Meyer. Appreciation to all the officers and stewards from around the state who took time from their weekend to attend.
Photo by Nathan Richardson
Thank you to all who attended the National Day of Action. We very much appreciate the support of all our sisters and brothers from the community.
There is another rumor being spread on the workroom floor that all of the PSE’s will be laid off in September. We have spoken with the Service multiple times in the last few days and been assured that there is no plan to lay off PSE’s in September. If you know of a manager or supervisor who is telling PSE’s they will be laid off in September, please provide their names to the Union office and or your steward.
What are the facts? The Service needs to fill mail handler jobs. Mail handler career positions will be available for the general public as of August 13, 2018. It was just a few short weeks ago that the Service planned on forcing 200 clerks into the mail handler craft and laying off 80 PSE’s. The PACC is scheduled to close around the end of the year. The EPPS is expected to be up and running on October 27th. It is not hard to see that some impact is coming. What the impact will be, who and how many it will impact is anyone’s guess. We can all see that there will be some impact on the PSE’s is the future.
Each PSE Clerk will need to consider all of their options, and which option is best for them and their families. Other considerations for the PSE Clerks are: where do you stand on the PSE seniority list; what is the possibility of being converted to career status as clerk; and what is the chance of conversion or being hired as a career mail handler?
We have provided some information for you to consider. We encourage you to investigate your options, and make the best decision for you and yours. Each person’s priorities are different, and it would be irresponsible of us to not share this information with each of you.
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.
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.”
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.
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.