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P.O. Box 161

Walnut Creek, CA. 94597

  Involuntary reassignment

I have worked in the Postal Service for 20 years. Two years ago I transferred from a plant in NY to a plant in Raleigh NC. Several weeks ago the APWU posted something on their bulletin board about involuntary reassignment. That they might get rid of 49 clerks and 16 mail handlers. That they could reassign us as much as 500 miles away. I would like to know what some of my rights are. How does my seniority affect this reassignment. Do they go by my time in service in the postal service or do they go by the time I transferred to this plant in Raleigh? Do they have to get rid of all casuals first? Do 204B's have to go back to craft? Do they have to stop giving out overtime? Do veterans have preference if  an in involuntary reassignment should happen? Also the president of the local APWU made mention of people coming from a plant in Tennessee to the plant I work at in Raleigh that they would have seniority over us. Is that true? Also, how can they get rid of us if they are bringing in people from another state? The union is no help here and management hasn't told us anything here. I called labor relations and they said they cannot discuss this matter because a manager regional area meeting hasn't happened yet. So who can I go to for answers? name withheld  (posted 3/5/09)

  Expeditor dies after on the job fall in Denver MPA parking lot
  Postal Service clerk Eric Smith is being buried at Fort Logan on Monday, January 14 at 1 PM. He fell on ice at the Denver Mail Processing Annex (off Tower Rd and I 70) while he was inspecting trailers as part of his job and he hit his head. He tried to get up, but reportedly said he was dizzy and he died a few days later. While he was lying on the ground, awaiting aid, a Postal Supervisor went out and scattered ice melt on the ground near him. The Postal Service is trying to show that the area was safe, but the union (American Postal Workers Union – Denver Metro Local) has statements from employees that the area was salted after the fall. (posted 1/14/08)
  Re: Christmas Eve Holiday Schedule
  Question: In the *** District or at least in my office they are closing some stations early. The window clerks at these stations must report to mail processing at the Main Office after closing at 2:00 pm. Can they do this?

I've noticed many post offices closing early on December 24th to save window hours. The answer to your question is not a simple "Yes" or "No."

Management can probably close the retail windows and move the people to mail processing in back in a one-time situation like this. Retail hours are governed by POM 126.4 . Management knows that most employees on December 24th would prefer to go home early and burn their annual leave. In previous years I recall incidental leave request forms being readily available, sometimes already pre-approved by the supervisor! It wouldn't make sense to close the retail windows and increase mail processing hours.

However, no APWU-represented employee can be involuntarily reassigned to another station on a temporary basis unless management provides transportation there and back. See the memorandum titled "Use of Privately Owned Vehicle." If the employee refused to provide their own transportation, management would have to work them in their current station, grant them administrative leave, or provide them transportation as mentioned above. PTFs, of course, can be sent home early.

Don Cheney
Auburn, WA

 (posted 12/21/07)
  Update: USPS Online Earning Statements Available Only to PCES and EAS Employees
  (11/28/07) Executive and management employees who use Payroll Net To Bank — the system that sends their pay directly to their bank accounts — can now view and print their earnings statements online.

The new service is available on LiteBlue, where ePayroll will begin storing earnings statements for the latest 13 months, or 29 pay periods, online.

Executive and management employees who receive a printed payroll check will not have the ability to check their earnings online. They will continue to receive their earnings statements and their printed checks at their work location.

USPS will continue to mail hardcopy earnings statements to each employee’s address of record.

Employees can access ePayroll with their Employee ID and USPS PIN by logging on LiteBlue from home or work, scrolling to the Employee Self Service section and clicking on the ePayroll link. Employees can find more information on using ePayroll at the Frequently Asked Questions link, or by clicking on the Contact Us link.

Employees can sign up for Payroll Net To Bank through PostalEASE. source: USPS  
(posted 12/1/07)

Update 12/3/07:

Earnings statements for management employees go online (USPS News Link)

  Earnings statements to be online only for EAS and PCES employees

From a question posed on  "It was announced today in our 5 minute standup that EAS employees will no longer be receiving a biweekly pay statement. They will have to access that information online. The supervisor also said that employees will probably be next. Just wondering if you have heard about this? Thanks."

Unofficial Answer: "Thanks for your note. We are aware of this change and we're planning an article in the near future. This was originally a pilot program for EAS and PCES employees. There are no plans at this time to extend this option to craft employees." (posted 10/12/07)

  Trenton Metro APWU Local Update

Travel Payment

Every member who received the initial payment for the anthrax travel pay back in December 2006, will additionally receive approximately $539 00. Those few members who had not received the proper amount will be paid the amount they were shorted plus the $539.00. For the last 2 months I have been trying to implement the settlement and have met serious resistance from the Postal Service. I have been in touch with our attorney and we are taking steps to get our compensation. I will advise all of you when the payment will be made.

National Day of Observance for President Ford

January 2, 2007, was the National Day of Observance for the late President Ford, if you were required to work that day you are to receive a day of administrative leave.

Item 10 of the memorandum of understanding states -- "Where provisions in this Memorandum of Agreement provide for a day of administrative leave to be taken at a future date, such leave must be granted and used within six months of the National Day of Observance or by the end of the Fiscal Year, whichever is later."

You must use this administrative leave day by July 2, 2007, or forfeit it.

The MOU is on the local's web site.

Bill Lewis - President
Trenton Metro APWU  (posted 6/3/07)

  Why Are We Raising Postage Rates?

By Ronald Williams, Jr., Mail Handler, United States Postal Service

As a young retired military leader currently employed with the United States Postal Service working in a Processing & Distribution Center (P&DC), I get a daily panoramic view from inside the mail giant working behind the scenes in an industrial environment. I love the work I do processing, distributing and handling U.S. Mail and using some of the state-of- the-art technology available to get the job done. I can tell all the readers that from my own perspective that we could put our “two cents” in for the next few years like I’m doing right now and our U.S. postage would still be the most affordable rate around the globe.

At the same time I am frustrated with the unprofessional and inappropriate behaviors on the part of the front line leaders I am exposed to in this super-sized government agency. Based on my daily experiences I can see the signs and symptoms that have led to the pain of many current and past employees who have unfortunately resorted to or considered a fit of rage within a system that ignores complaints, minimizes employee training, and discounts the talents their employees bring to the table. Instead, we focus on how much mail we can cram on a processing belt and into automated machinery as fast as we can while accepting shortcuts and overlooking details due to the fast pace of the day in a deadline oriented business.

Our front line leaders push and divide employees by way of exclusion, favoritism, through use of bully tactics, gawking techniques, and use of threatening postures while hovering over employees creating the feeling of being in a concentration camp. Supervisors and managers chase and hide behind quantities of mail instead of processing the mail “by the numbers”. Floor supervisors diminish their credibility by disrespecting their bosses behind their backs by addressing them with names associated with their hair color such as “Little Red Riding Hood, and Blondie” and physical attributes like being bucktooth blatantly in front of the troops. Floor Managers have made comments to groups of employees stating “you wouldn’t have liked to work for me 26 years ago” I’m thinking hmmm, you know something you’re right!

Opportunities to discuss business issues are rare to nonexistent until it is time to fill out a survey that is perceived by the employees to benefit the managers who have learned to master the yes and no questions so they won’t have to be bothered with details. A favorite boasting tactic for management in my facility is to tongue lash employees with threatening comments to the effect of if you don’t like it here, you can go work at the fast food restaurant down the street. Why should anyone run from poor leadership? Most of the masses have worked hard to earn their position in the organization through interviews, testing, background checks, medical screenings, sweat in the trenches, and from a few extra points for holding Old Glory as a military veteran. If you can make it through all that and do your job well then you’ve earned the right to work for the Postal Service.

Being treated with dignity and respect doesn’t stop when we swipe our badges at the gate. We focus on individuals more than teams inside the P&DC making the facility a personality distribution center rather than a facility that concentrates on teams and processes. It takes a village to raise this postal child with the first initials U.S., last name Mail. On any given day I often see 2-3 supervisors and or managers standing around shooting-the-lip about their retirement, the latest sporting event, or complaining about whatever and at the same time ignoring the benefits of the diversity surrounding them to improve operations.

Let’s say these folks each make a $50,000 salary, that’s $150,000 standing around getting paid to do nothing. If there is a need for a supervisor let’s teach them coaching skills and get rid of the babysitter mentality. If we really want to save some money the company could keep $50,000 of the $150,000 to put back in petty cash and let a self-directed team of 15 employees divide the $100,000 for consistently exceeding goals better than an untrained individual without coaching skills and who isn’t a resident expert, and I bet pretty soon you won’t be able to recognize the place because you just motivated a team rather than an individual with a cash incentive.

The team can call a manager for assistance if intervention is needed to complete the task at hand. These adults who make important decisions outside the facility like buying houses, cars, insurance, and raising children would continue to make important decisions at work by building bridges across operations so we are communicating and tapping into the abilities of all members to safely and effectively get the mail processed in the least amount of time. Changing times requires changing minds. The park your car, park your brain mentality does not work in the 21st century especially when our customers can vote for our service with their voices and their feet. We need all hands on deck to be empowered so we can collectively check the “altitude” of this sonic Eagle and soar above danger so we can get to where we are going quickly.

At some point in our history we are going to have to put people in front of mail. I believe we do mail well, but I think we do our own people poorly! My point is these behaviors are intimidating and conducive to a hostile environment that potentially exposes each and every employee to direct or collateral damage in the form of deaths, injuries, and declining service that will impact our bottom line. I strongly believe that if we take care of the people our service to every address in America will be off the planet and unmatched by any competitor.

Until managers come out from behind the numbers and share business knowledge about postal operations, facility operations, postal reform, transformation plans, rate hikes and whatever else is on the horizon I guess I’ll have to keep reading the newspaper, listening to podcasts, surfing the web, and watching the media to get what I can’t get from my home away from home inside the Postal Service. And when my neighbors ask me the postal worker questions about business that affects their business I guess I’ll refer them to the Public Information Officer. I ask again, “why are we raising postage rates?”
 (posted 4/9/07)

Mismanagement at the (Sacramento, CA) Royal Oaks Carrier Unit

Recently, there has been numerous problems at the Royal Oaks Carrier Unit in Sacramento, California.  The problems revolved around the usual customer complaints.  Mail was late and constantly misdelivered.  Businesses complained that they closed at 5 PM and their carrier had not arrived.  Missed scans and Express Mail failures were among the worst in the nation at the Royal Oaks Carrier Unit.  Overtime was at astronomical levels.  Route inspections and adjustments made the problems worse.  Management of course, blamed the carriers for not doing their jobs properly.  Management attempted to discipline and remove some carriers.  There were a few improper incidents on the workroom floor regarding hostile confrontations between management and carriers.  The NALC complained that the Station Manager had created a hostile work environment.  An investigation revealed that the accusations were correct.  The Station Manager was reassigned.  The new Station Manager ordered sweeping changes.   A new floor plan with changes to clerk duties and hours was enacted.  Several new supervisors began working at the Royal Oaks Carrier Unit. The Postmaster had a stand up announcing that the new supervisors were his best and that he expected improvement in efficiency.  The changes did not improve anything.  The clerks complained that the new system was confusing, inefficient and that mail was being delayed.  The Station Manager decided that the solution was to change the clerks to later start times and have the clerks work Sundays.  Again, nothing improved.  Several employees complained that their pay checks were incorrect and that they were underpaid. 

 On December 1, 2006, I noticed that there were about 100 Social Security checks and twenty feet of first class mail that was not distributed.  I contacted the District Manager's office and reported the mismanagement.  Auditors from the Sacramento District and the Pacific Area converged on the Royal Oaks Carrier Unit.  Hundreds of feet of curtailed mail was discovered.  An audit of clock rings disclosed numerous deletions and unauthorized changes by management.  Most of the clock ring changes adversely affected limited duty and disabled employees.   Because the limited duty employees were treated more harshly; I filed a class action EEO complaint.  The new Station Manager has not been working and is rumored to be considering retirement.  (posted 12/17/06)
Reader Concerned Over New USPS Emergency Salary Authorization Policy
Re: Revised PS Form 1608, Emergency Salary Authorization (Postal Bulletin 10/12/06 Issue)
When to Use PS Form 1608
Use the revised PS Form 1608 only for issuing emergency salary to an employee that did not receive a scheduled payroll check. Make sure that an emergency salary is not issued before the date of the scheduled date of the payroll check.
Note: Do not use the revised PS Form 1608 for employee payroll adjustments. If an employee receives a payroll check that is less than amount due, use the appropriate form: PS Form 2240, Pay, Leave, or Other Hours Pay Adjustment Report; PS Form 2240-R, Rural Pay or Leave Adjustment Request for PS Form 1314; or PS Form 2240-RA, Rural Pay or Leave Adjustment Request for PS Form 1314-A.
As I understand this article, when an employee is missing a significant amount of pay, they will have to wait for a PS Form 2240 Pay Adjustment to be processed.  The only time PS Form 1608 Emergency Salary Authorization will be used is if the employee is missing an entire paycheck.

Some employees will find this new policy to be a financial hardship.  Previously, a person short one full-day's pay or more could request an advance of his/her missing salary.  See Handbook F-l, Section 822.7.  This would put pressure on the manager to get the pay adjustment processed in a timely manner.  Without this option, employees will experience more delays in getting their missing pay.

  Apparently some managers who took over timekeeping duties from clerks are doing a poor job.  As a result, pay adjustments have increased.  This is one way to cut back on the number of emergency salary authorizations.  (posted 10/14/06)
  Re: Drinking in Public Place While In Uniform

- Drinking Off-Duty/In Uniform - I remember that the character Cliff Clavin  on Cheers, who wore a postal uniform to a bar in Boston (a public place) and even drank beer in postal uniform, was praised by PMG Marvin Runyon. From 1982 to 1993 when the series initially ran, and up through today's reruns, the Postal Service never protested this depiction of a postal worker, despite the glaring violation of the ELM! The trademarked USPS eagle emblem was clearly visible on his uniform (see photos). When Azeezaly Jaffer put his bar tab on the USPS, wasn't he on duty? (posted 9/10/06)

  From Reader: Livermore, Calif.  Customer Services Manager is one of the nation's top-ranked roller skaters.  Note: article is from USPS Pacific Area Update (click picture for larger view) (posted 8/7/06)

  Over 20 Injured Workers Escorted Out of San Diego Postal Facility??

(posted 3/06/06)

  "they just escorted 12 clerks and mailhandlers out the door in san diego plant for not taking their new job offer."

"they all had been reviewed and did not like their new assignment. they were given new job assignments based on updated medical statements. the san diego local just got a new president and he is clueless, under the old president these employees would not have been permitted to clock in and then taken into custody and paraded around the building like common criminals. time cards and badges taken. then sent home."

"Just a note from San Diego, Ca. I'm an injured carrier from 2002, which was sent to CFS right away in a limited duty status as a carrier. OK. So last week, I had a meeting with this pilot program that they are doing here with all injured workers that have reached P&S, MMI status. I was told they have NO WORK FOR ME and several other carriers too. We were referred over to OWCP/DOL and escorted out of the building and our badges taken away from us. At our main plant last week, 24 employees (clerks) were also escorted off the job. I can't believe they are doing this to us. They went with the first group of people that were P&S status within the first year and was given a job offer, (carriers to clerk jobs). The second group that were P&S after one year were given a removal. They did not go by senority, so employees with 15-20 years were given a removal. It aint rights. Were can we get a Class Action going her so that we can get our jobs back. I am in the process off going thru more surgery after be placed on P&S status with the first doctor. My treating doctor now says I would need further surgery to take care of my pain I am in. Any advice would be appreciated."

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