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Bulk Mail Center & Business Mail Entry Units News



Business Mail Acceptance

The Postal Service has automated the labor-intensive process of evaluating bulk mailing eligibility for worksharing discounts. The Mailing Evaluation Readability and Lookup Instrument (MERLIN) verifies nearly all mail preparation requirements for both letters and flats. It produces all reports necessary for mailing acceptance and provides images of preparation problems for the mailer to support process improvements. A total of 1,203 units have been purchased under this program. By the end of 2002, 346 MERLINs had been deployed. Deployment will continue through 2003 and should be completed in early 2004. source: usps


Recently I requested information regarding a project limited to Bulk Mail Centers, the replacement of gravity take-up rollers and the work associated with this project. By letter July 24, 2003 the Postal Service responded to my inquiry with the following language:

"Roll Fall" is a project to ensure the safe operations of the gravity take-up rollers. Headquarters Material Handling sent the solicitation out to a list of pre-qualified vendors for this project. However, it was local management who was responsible for giving due consideration to public interest, cost, efficiency, availability of equipment and qualification of employees when evaluating the need to subcontract. Therefore, it is local management that should be able to provide the union with an explanation of the consideration they gave to the Article 32.1 .A factors and how they reached the decision to subcontract.

To the extent that the documents requested exist and are reasonable and relevant to the consideration by local management when making the decision to subcontract, they should be provided to the local union representative.

This information is being provided due to local management's position that the work covered by the Roll Fall project was part of a "national contract". As you can see, the decision to contract this work was made locally, as such any grievance(s) protesting this subcontracted work must be filed at the local level. Please contact me at (202) 842-4213 should you have any questions regarding this matter.

Gary Kloepfer
Assistant Director "A"




On March 14, 2002, we initiated a National level dispute (APWU # HQTT20023) regarding the installation of the Singulator in Bulk Mail Centers. This dispute does not include the installation of the Singulator, rather this dispute is limited to the Site Preparation and Turn Key Facility Work which were not part of the original National level contract. The limitation of our dispute to only Site Preparation and Turn Key Facility Work was necessary due t the fact the Union did not dispute the Postal Serviceís original August 11, 1998 notification of subcontracting Originally, the work in this dispute was excluded from the national level contract. It was specifically designated to be performed by bargaining unit employees within the Bulk Mail Centers. Without any notice to the Union, the Postal Service modified its National level contract and took this work away from the bargaining unit. The Union learned of this modification only after its review of the documents it received on March 8, 2002. At the time the Postal Service made this modification, it had not changed its position that the installation of the Singulator was national contract as defined in Article 32 Section 1 of the National Agreement. As such, it was contractually required to notify the Union of this modification at the National level.

It is the Unionís position that the Postal Service violated Article 19 and 32 of the National Agreement and Section 535 of the Administrative Support Manual when it modified its National level contract regarding the installation of the Singulator without advance notification to the Union and by failing to demonstrate the existence of good faith consideration to any of the factors contained in Article 32 or Section 535 of the Administrative Support Manual. As a remedy we will be seeking compensation at the appropriate overtime rate for all the hours worked by contractors in each of the Bulk Mail Centers.

We ask that Bulk Mail Centers, if not already, track the hours worked by the contractors performing Site Preparation and Turn Key Facility Work. This information will be needed for remedy calculation purposes.

Gary Kloepfer



The March BMC Meeting was a success, the Dallas Texas Area Local was a great host and as usual, the BMC delegates were their fantastic selves. The minutes will be sent out as quickly as possible, however there are a few items that need to be brought to your attention immediately.

1. Continuation of BMC Conferences. Upon my return to Washington several members of the Executive Board expressed their displeasure with the BMC Conference in general. In their opinion, they stated the BMC Conferences should be removed from the Constitution. Interestingly enough, neither wanted to discontinue their own Craft Conference. Whether these officers will attempt to place a constitutional resolution on the floor at the upcoming Convention remains to be seen, however, you should be aware that such a resolution may be generated by those on the Board that are unfriendly to the BMCs.

2. Number of National Officers Attending BMC. These same Officers also complained about the number of National Officers that attended and provided information to the delegates. In light of their complaints, I am considering just asking them to make a written report for the next BMC Conference as they appear to be opposed to meeting face to face with the membership. However, the final decision regarding invitations will be left up to the BMCs.

3. NATIONAL CONVENTION. I have arranged for a meeting room at the National Convention for the purpose of having a BMC Caucus. I have selected Tuesday morning of the Convention week. The BMC Caucus will start at approximately 8:00AM. Since the meeting room will be in the Convention Center, we should be able to meet up until the beginning of the Convention start time.

4. BMC Pins and/or Jackets. There was discussion about designing, ordering, and purchasing a BMC specific pin, hat, or jacket. The Memphis BMC volunteered to work on a design that will reflect the Clerk, Maintenance and Motor Vehicle Crafts at the BMCs. This design will be forwarded to each of the BMC Locals for their input. If a design is agreed upon, the BMCs will have to decide whether they would like a pin, hat, jacket, or shirt and any combination of the above. Since this will be a cost item, each Local should discuss this issue with their respective Executive Boards prior to making any decisions.

5. Fall BMC Conference. The Fall BMC meeting will be held in Memphis. The dates have not been finalized as of this date. I will notify each Local as soon as the Memphis Local notifies us of the hotel and the dates that are available.

6. 2003 BMC Conferences. The 2003 Spring BMC Conference will be held in Detroit, Michigan and the 2003 Fall BMC Conference will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Gary Kloepfer
National Representative at Large

Headquarters Maintenance Officers

Steve Raymer - Director
Bobby Donelson - Assistant Director A
Jake Jackson - Assistant Director B
Gary Kloepfer - National Representative at Large
(202) 842 - 4213
(202) 289 - 3746 - FAX