Maintenance Craft Agreement with USPS Resolving Line H Dispute
05/19/2017 – The Postal Service and the Maintenance Division of the APWU signed an agreement resolving a national level dispute regarding custodial hours on line H of Form 4852 (case number Q15T-4Q-C 17274095). The issue in the case is “the determination of compliance with item 6 of the July 9, 2014 TL-5 MOU.”
The Postal Service filed this dispute to challenge the results in the field on the July 9, 2014 MS-47, T/L-5 agreement – in particular, item 6. The agreement continued a requirement for the Postal Service to properly staff the custodial workforce in facilities and to ensure that the custodians were performing the work that justified their staffing. When the work was not properly scheduled, a once-a-year review would take place. If the Postal Service was not properly assigning the custodians to their work, a payment at the overtime rate may be due.
District/Area levels of management responsible for approving the Maintenance Craft compliment slashed the supporting documents to the bone to try to eliminate employees. The success of the Maintenance Division Officers in negotiating the 2014 settlement resulted in ensuring that staffing levels are maintained and not artificially reduced by local management failures to properly schedule custodians.
Maintenance National Business Agents and local representatives effectively enforced this requirement. Large-figure compensation amounts were paid out for custodians who were not scheduled to perform their duties.
Initially, management in the field attempted to fabricate excuses and issues to essentially take exception to the existence of the original settlement. This effort was backed by headquarters-level maintenance operations, who engaged in bullying everyone to ignore or violate the spirit and letter of the parties’ agreement.
In the end, the dispute was resolved. The core of the item 6 agreement remains and was restated in the Line H Q&A dated May 12, 2017. The outstanding grievances involving Line H are to be resolved in accordance with the Q&A.
It remains to be seen whether local (and higher level) USPS management will honor their commitment and agreements. If not, item 6 does provide for an escalating payment penalty.