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Clerk Craft Article 37 Q & A
USPS Automation
Landmark Agreement Settles Disputes on 'Loaner Clerks

Sales and Services Associate Exam Questions & Answers

Moratorium on Excessing Extended

Misc Information Contract Information Burrus Updates
APWU Updates Overtime-Article 8 Q & A

Holiday Memo eff.  2/18/02

Program Evaluation Guide (PEG) Step Increase Agreement Modified Workweek MOU
Washing Hands Policy "Casuals in Lieu of" Preference Eligible win  
Windfall Elimination Provision Pay Info Veterans' Preference Issues
Goodyear VIP Program Mail Processor MOU Eligible Employees Back Pay
  Reasons to give to COPA

The Presidential Postal Commission Declares War on Postal Workers

Your future is in the hands of Congress

Presidential Postal Commission Recommendations

Cut Postal Workers Pay The Commission recommends a powerful Postal Regulatory Board appointed by the President.  That board would cap new workers and cut pay of current workers.

Outsource Postal Jobs All jobs incidental to the delivery of the mail.   The commission recommends contracting out of motor vehicle maintenance, local mail transportation, maintenance, mail processing, retail services and support services.

Elimination of the No Lay Off Clause This would force us to take small salary increases, jeopardize COLA and decrease benefits if we wanted to maintain this collective bargaining right.

Cut Postal Benefits Remove postal workers from the federal employees health benefits program, pension programs and OWCP program.   These benefits are now guaranteed by law.

Close Post Offices and Consolidate Plants Without the say of customers, employees or our elected representatives.

Curtail Collective Bargaining The commission supports collective bargaining, so they claim.  They recommended that binding arbitration be eliminated and go to implementation of the last best offer.  They feel what is guaranteed by law should be part of the bargaining package.

These changes cannot happen until Congress changes the law.

Hear what the special interest groups have to say:

Time Magazine CEO Ann Moore
endorsed Commission proposals that would curtail workers’ rights in negotiating for pay, benefits, and working conditions. “We fully support the Commission's conclusion that the collective bargaining process needs revision,” she said, “today's system of binding arbitration does not always provide an optimal solution.”
Asserting, “approximately 80 percent of the Postal Service's costs are labor,” she advocated reducing those expenses through increased work sharing.

RR Donnelly CO. CEO William L. Davis, the largest commercial printer in the United States, testified before the senate and stated: “we support the recommendations of the Presidential Commission and we urge congress to push ahead right now.   The status quo is not acceptable.   When we talk about outsourcing, we don't mean India, we mean FedEx!”

Pitney Bowes CEO Michael J. Critelli “We at Pitney Bowes and the members of the Mailing Industry CEO council know that postal reform legislation needs to get done now.”
FedEx CEO Fred Smith and UPS Chairman Michael Eskew urged lawmakers to further restrain the Postal Service from using revenue derived through its letter-mail monopoly to “cross-subsidize” its services in the parcel and overnight delivery markets.   “We believe package delivery is well served by the private sector,” Eskew said. “The government does not need to be in it.”
Smith went a step further by urging Congress to repeal the USPS monopoly on mail delivery by 2008, giving companies such as his access to citizens’ mailboxes. In 2008, he noted, similar government protections for privatized European postal systems are scheduled to end. “This would be the single most important step that could be taken,” he said.
Your Voice

President Bill Lewis urges you not to sit and watch as these major mailers convince your representatives that the postal service should adopt the Walmart model for postal workers.   The APWU is prepared to fight this injustice in the halls of congress and at the polls.   I need your help and support if we are to be successful.   This battle for survival is your fight and you must step up.   You can start by giving to COPA, voting, working hard to get out the vote for postal friendly candidates and writing to your representatives.


  i have heard from some NALC representatives that 8 of their carriers have been placed on compensation and have had interviews.  i have also heard owcp may have difficulty placing the injured employees.  but this is all hearsay. Mail Handler  (4/23/04)
  Help Wanted Overtime Available (3/25/04)


The Trenton P&DC located in Hamilton, NJ has begun the restoration phase of bringing the once anthrax crippled P&DC back on line.

The building was successfully decontaminated and has been declared safe for workers to return.  The mail processing machines are in need of total overhauls.

The Trenton maintenance staff has a unique situation.  It must continue to maintain our interim facility located in Monroe, NJ which is 18 miles north of the Trenton P&DC and at the same time we have to do a total overhaul of all of our mail processing machines in Trenton.

We are currently soliciting details for Mail Processing Equipment Mechanics, Electronic Technicians and Maintenance Support Clerks to work with us in this major undertaking.  You will receive all contractual entitlements, i.e. travel, per diem, lodging.  There are overtime opportunities available for all.

Permanent Reassignments

We currently have 7 vacant Mail Processing Equipment Mechanic positions and 2 Building Equipment Mechanic positions available for permanent reassignment. 

Any APWU member who is interested in these opportunities please contact Bill Lewis, President of the Trenton Metro Area Local for additional information.

Union Office Phone # 609- 631-7745 or email:  BillLewisTMAL@aol.com
  Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Trenton Metro Area Local here in New Jersey is submitting the enclosed information to generate discussions and request suggestions and strategies to combat this unprecedented USPS attack on earned wages of Postal Workers.

As many of you may know, the Trenton P&DC in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, has been a closed USPS facility since October 18, 2001.   Since that time, Trenton employees have been temporarily reassigned to work in five (5) separate Postal installations - as Temporary Duty Stations.

These Temporary Duty Stations in New Brunswick, Edison, Eatontown, South River, Monroe Township and Toms River, New Jersey are not suburbs of Hamilton Township nor does Hamilton Township serve as a suburb of any of these locations.                      

Since October 18, 2001, the USPS has required the Trenton P&DC employees - almost 700 in number - to travel - on their own time to these Temporary Duty Stations.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement is clear.   The Trenton P&DC employees are required to be paid by the USPS for all travel time to Temporary Duty Stations while their Permanent Duty Station - the Trenton P&DC - is closed due to the Anthrax attack.   Not only has the USPS withheld the wages of the Trenton Anthrax victims, but has refused to participate in all scheduled arbitration hearings for the issue.

The USPS refused to appear at the first hearing in July of 2003, claiming their USPS Attorney-as-Advocate was unavailable.   When rescheduled, the USPS claimed their Attorney-as-Advocate was ill.   When the APWU insisted the USPS appear before the Arbitrator and request a continuance, the USPS agreed and then contacted the Arbitrator in secret to cancel the Arbitration without notification to the APWU.   When the cases were scheduled for the third time, the USPS refused to go forward and allegedly moved the cases to Step 4, claiming a National Level Interpretive Issue existed.   At the expiration of the 30-day period - with no USPS identification of the nature of any interpretive dispute - the cases were moved back to the Regional Level.   With a fourth scheduling for Regional Arbitration imminent, the USPS again moved the cases to Step 4 claiming the Temporary Duty Stations referred to above were “defacto Permanent Duty Stations.”

The USPS has made it clear they hope the issue - and the million  in  wages withheld from Trenton APWU members - will be appealed to National Level Arbitration where it can wait at the bottom of that pending list for the next ten years.

We in the Trenton Local are seeking the aid of the Local and State APWU Unions so that the most effective method can be developed to fight against this unprecedented attack against earned wages of Postal Workers.   We also plan to bring this issue to the February President's Conference in Connecticut for the agenda.

You can visit our Web Site at  TrentonMetroAreaLocal.com for the entire, more detailed history of the issue and the events up to the present.

We certainly appreciate your discussion, your input and your help.

One last word - if the USPS is successful in continuing the stonewalling of the Regional Arbitration of this Wage Withholding, the USPS will - as their strategy - use the black hole of Step 4 arbitration appeals - and the many years delay - to stonewall other issues of great import to the APWU.    If this USPS manufactured “Defacto” Permanent Duty Station position is successful, all temporarily dislocated APWU members will be denied pay whenever a facility is temporarily closed.  

Bill Lewis via email 1/15/04

  Trenton P&DC (posted 11/09/03)
As we all know the fumigation process went extremely well.  They are currently collecting samples and test strips.  We will have a long wait before we hear the official results from the environmental clearance committee. The results will be made public when the committee completes their review and studies the data collected.

Anthrax Travel Grievances

I will give a quick overview of all the events and where we are today with this issue. This is a major class action grievance that affects five hundred Trenton Union Members from all three APWU crafts.

On July 24, 2003, management informed the Eastern Regional Coordinator's office they were canceling the July 31, 2003 date with Arbitrator Pecklers.  The reason provided was they were changing advocates and their new advocate was not available.  It should be noted that these cases were reviewed and dates were mutually agreed upon.

On August 11, 2003, the anthrax travel issues scheduled for July 31, 2003 were rescheduled for September 26, 2003 with Arbitrator Pecklers. Management requested to have a meeting on September 23, 2003 to discuss resolution of the anthrax issues. On September 22, 2003, they called and confirmed that they would be at the union office around noon.  Well, to say the least, management never showed, their excuse being they were unable to meet with a "higher authority" to get approval.  Anticipating their next move, I reached Jim Burke because I believed they were going to cancel the date again.  Jim agreed with me, there would be no cancellation.

On September 25, 2003, management attempted to cancel the date with the Eastern Regional Coordinator's office.  When we refused, they unilaterally contacted the arbitrator and canceled the date.  We learned of this action on the day of the hearing, September 26, 2003, from New York Metro Area Advocate Jim Davidson.  I commented that the arbitrator was late, and Mr. Davidson stated, "he's not coming, we contacted him and canceled". 

Upon hearing this news I contacted Jim Burke's office.  NBA Eric Wilson confirmed they did indeed cancel the date after contacting the USPS.  NBA Jeff Kehlert, the APWU advocate for this date, spoke with Arbitrator Pecklers, who conveyed he was  "sandbagged" by the USPS and was led to believe it was a mutual cancellation.  Arbitrator Pecklers immediately gave three dates to choose from.  The Postal Service failed to respond to calls by the arbitrator or the APWU.  Jim Burke chose October 6, 2003 for the hearing, and after the date was assigned, the USPS surfaced and told the arbitrator they were not available.  The arbitrator, now seeing their stall tactics, informed the USPS if they could not agree upon a date he would assign a date for all parties to appear.

The USPS, having exhausted all of their stall/delay options, informed Jim Burke they were sending the grievance to Step 4 for interpretation.  Based on what they are claiming is interpretive, it is clear they are playing a delay game.

On Monday October 20, 2003 I met with the National Labor Relations Board to file a ULP and discuss the Postal Service's actions of barring the local from arbitration.  Since we already have an open ULP about them barring us from the grievance arbitration process I piggybacked this complaint with the existing one.   As a remedy I am requesting a complaint be issued and the NLRB direct the Postal Service to arbitration.  Additionally I am requesting the board review the arbitrator's decision when it is issued.

The USPS had 30 days from the date they referred the grievance to Step 4 to present their interpretive arguments.  November 7, 2003 was the 30th day, and no arguments were presented, NBA Jeff Kehlert contacted APWU headquarters to get the grievance sent back to regional arbitration. This was accomplished on Friday at 4:30 pm.    I will request the APWU contact the arbitrator to see if he has any date available in the near future.

Clearly the USPS has demonstrated that their only reason for the Step 4 referral was to delay the hearing and deny the Trenton members their day to be heard.  With this recent action of not presenting any interpretive issues and all the other evidence I presented to the NLRB I would hope the NLRB will see this as a violation of the National Labor Relations Act.

I am constantly reading how the USPS focus is to improve their labor relations; this is clearly not the case in the Central New Jersey District or New York Metro Area.  Regardless of what games the USPS will play I will meet them head on and we will be sitting at the arbitration table presenting the travel grievances.  I cannot predict what the arbitrator's ruling will be, rest assured we will be heard.  Stay tuned for the latest.

Bill Lewis
President, TMAL

  United States Postal Service and American Postal Workers Union, AFL–CIO, Atlanta Metro Area Local  NLRB Case

On July 18, 2001, Administrative Law Judge Pargen Robertson issued the attached decision.  USPS filed exceptions and a supporting brief, and the APWU Atlanta GA.  Metro filed an answering brief.

The National Labor Relations Board has delegated its authority in this proceeding to a three-member panel.

The Board has considered the decision and the record in light of the exceptions and briefs and has decided to affirm the judge’s rulings, findings, and conclusions only to the extent consistent with this Decision and Order.

This case involves access to USPS property by both employees and nonemployees for the purpose of engaging in union solicitation.  At the time of the events alleged in the complaint, the Union already represented the USPS employees, but was seeking to organize drivers employed by Mail Contractors of America (MCOA), a company that provides mail hauling services to USPS on a contract basis. Three persons sought access to a room on USPS premises known as the “contract drivers’ lounge” in order to solicit MCOA drivers.  Those three persons were Joe Johnson, an off-duty employee of USPS; Will Hardy, an off-duty MCOA employee; and Lyle Grimes, a union organizer who was not employed by USPS or MCOA.  The judge found that USPS violated Section 8(a)(1) by denying all three of them access to the lounge.  For the reasons stated below, we find that the USPS violated Section 8(a)(1) by denying access to Johnson, but not by denying access to Hardy and Grimes. full text

Anthrax Arbitration Canceled


note: This grievance is for all APWU members, all crafts who had to travel outside the local commuting area of Trenton due to closure of anthrax-tainted postal facility.

As expected the Postal Service canceled the arbitration hearing for our
anthrax issues.  We did anticipate the USPS to try something to delay the

This latest stunt was totally unexpected and unheard of. They called the
Arbitrator and informed him the hearing was canceled.  They led the Arbitrator
to believe the cancellation was mutually agreed upon when in fact it was a
unilateral decision. Both parties employ the Arbitrator and a mutual agreement
is required to cancel.   Let it be noted, this is the second cancellation, the
first date was July 31, 2003.

On Thursday, September 25, 2003, the USPS called the Union to cancel the
date.   The Union would not agree and informed the USPS we would be at the
hearing.  This did not prevent the USPS from asking the Arbitrator at the
beginning of the hearing for a continuance.  In most cases the continuance would be granted.

The morning of the arbitration hearing, the Union was prepared to present our
case and any motions to prevent any further delays.  Management's
representative arrives 30 minutes early with no papers or even a pad of paper.
  He makes small talk for 45 minutes and when I asked, "what happened to the
Arbitrator",  Management states,  the Arbitrator is not coming.  I immediately contacted Regional Coordinator Jim Burke's office and advised him of this grievous act of the USPS.  The Coordinator's office confirmed that the Labor Relations Representatives have stooped to an all time low.

The Arbitrator has contacted our advocate and has apologized and stated he has  been sandbagged by the Postal Service.

Medical Documentation Request

Employees are receiving letters from the USPS requesting medical
documentation from employees on rehab light and limited duty positions.  
 If you received this letter, contact your steward for grievance investigation.   I
will have discussions with the Postmaster this week.


I have been informed that Management has unilaterally changed employees hours for Christmas week without any prior discussion with the Union. Other
employees are being solicited for hour changes.  I urge employees not to get
into this illegal action.  Remember the Postal Service has shown their true colors this week....

Bill Lewis
President, Trenton Metro Area Local

  Tour of the P&DC
July 20, 2003

The tour of the fumigation equipment at the Trenton P&DC happened on July 9, 2003.  I was looking forward to the tour so I could share with all of you what was happening within the walls.  Well, several days before the tour, I received mail from the USPS containing a Non Disclosure / Confidentiality Agreement related to the tour.

I had to agree to the terms of this document or I could not participate in the tour.  I read the document several times and I felt very uncomfortable agreeing to it.  The way I read it was, if I told you anything from that point forward about the decontamination process I would be in breech of the terms of the agreement and I would be liable for a law suit and I would place the local in jeopardy.  I forwarded the Non Discloser and Confidentiality Agreement to an
attorney for review.  The lawyer agreed with me and called the Postmaster trying to modify the agreement to allow me to act as a collective bargaining agent and keep you up to date.  The postal service refused to negotiate with me or our attorney about changing the agreement.  

I chose not to silence myself and did not participate in the tour.  I will continue to pass along all information I have.  I have not seen any reports from the other unions who did sign the agreement and took the tour.  The only legitimate reason to participate would be to gather information to relay on to you, since I was unable to keep you up to date I did not go on the tour.


On July 31, 2003, we will have the arbitration for all the hours spent traveling to Kilmer, South River, Monmouth, and Toms River.  I am still considering Monroe in the mix.  A class action grievance was filed on behalf of every APWU represented employee.  We have been preparing for this arbitration for some time now.  Our case will be presented by National Business Agent Jeff Kehlert.

I do anticipate the Postal Service to play its usual games in delaying or creating a smoke screen.  If this arbitration is ruled in our favor it could result in a significant sum of money being awarded.  

Another case scheduled on this date is a class action grievance filed on the time spent under going testing and receiving medical treatment at RWJ hospital.  This grievance is also for all APWU employees.

I have over the past few months attempted to resolve these grievances, but have been unsuccessful.  I was told once how nice they were in not excessing us.   I do recall them trying to close us down or rightsize us.  It was only last
summer to be exact.

In closing, the best I heard this week was from a manager in Kilmer "we should be happy we have jobs"   similar to "Lucky to have jobs."

The struggle continues for the Trenton Postal Workers.

Bill Lewis
President, TMAL



On July 18th, U.S. District Court Judge William Hoeveler granted the Miami Locals' request for injuctive relief and prevented the postal service from reassigning 33 senior employees from Tour 2 to Tour 1 for at least 60 days until an arbitrator can decide their fate.

The case arose out of postal managements arbitrary decision to abolish Tour 2 jobs in March of 2002. The union grieved the issue and the employees have remained in the same days off and hours performing the same duties for over a year. In the meantime PTF clerks were being denied the right to preference on residuals on Tour 1.

Last week, the service came up with the bright idea of placing the Tour 2 senior employees on the Tour 1 residuals that the PTF's were not allowed to pref on.

The union believes that local management manipulated the timeline for the reassignment to coincide with the dissemination of the VERA packets in a concerted effort to coerce the senior clerks into retirement.

Judge Hoeveler ruled that the "reasonable" thing to do was keep the status quo for 60 days until an arbitrator can decide the merits of our grievances.

This is a major victory for senior employees and management is devastated.

source: Miami Local President Gil Santana via 21st Century Postal Worker


APWU Publishes First In Series of Briefing Papers

"Looking Back, Looking Forward: 30 Years of Postal Reform," the first in a series of APWU analytical papers on the Postal Service, was published Dec. 4. This document, like others to follow, can also be seen on the union Web site, www.apwu.org.

The papers are being distributed to key lawmakers and opinion leaders, as well as members of the national media. This first APWU paper presents a retrospective on the performance of the Postal Service in the 30 years since the passage of the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970.

The APWU view is that the USPS has been, by any objective measure other than its recent deficits, a great success. Postal rates have increased no more than inflation (less than service-industry prices in general), and customer satisfaction and on-time delivery performance are very high.

Subsequent briefing papers will cover:

the impact of telephone deregulation and the emergence of the Internet;

the unfunded liability of the Postal Service and what must be done to address it;

the importance of capital investment programs that the USPS has deferred in order to show a "surplus";

the importance of maintaining universal service at a uniform price, and whether businesses should continue to be required to share the costs of universal service;

the fact that current postal policy favors business mailers at the expense of the financial health of the Postal Service; and

the remarkable productivity gains in USPS mail processing operations and how they've offset the cost of serving 1.7 million new delivery addresses each year.

APWU Safety Specialist Named To OSHA Advisory Committee

Corey Thompson, APWU's National Safety and Health Specialist, has been selected to serve on the 15-member National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics (NACE), a panel established to advise the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health on ergonomic guidelines, research, and outreach.

Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao in early December announced the selection of industry, academic, legal, medical, and labor experts that will meet four to eight times during the next two years.

"I'm confident that this committee of experts will help us reduce ergonomic-related injuries and illnesses suffered by thousands of workers each year," Chao said when she announced the composition of the committee.

"We are extremely pleased that Corey has been appointed," APWU President William Burrus said. "We know he will be an outstanding advocate for worker safety. His appointment is especially important in light of the Bush administration's ongoing efforts to undermine the ergonomics standards that labor unions fought so hard to implement.

"Regrettably, the panel has many more representatives of industry than of labor," Burrus added. "The imbalance brings into question whether there is a commitment to serve corporate interests or to protect the safety of workers."

The NACE is chartered initially for two years and will consult and advise on a number of issues related to OSHA's four-pronged approach to reducing ergonomic-related injuries in the workplace: guidelines, research, outreach and assistance, and enforcement.

The committee's first meeting will cover information related to industry- or task-specific guidelines; identifying gaps in existing research on ergonomics in the workplace; research needs and efforts; outreach and assistance methods to communicate the value of ergonomics; and increasing communication among stakeholders.

Thompson has been at APWU for nearly five years and has worked in the industrial hygiene field since 1980.

(source apwu.org)

Mr. James V. Bertolone, President
Rochester SCF Area Local

Mr. William Burrus, President
American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO

Mr. Bruce Clark, President
Iowa Postal Workers Union

Mr. Wray Davis

Mr. Ken Fitzpatrick, President
Springfield MA Area Local

Frank Giordano, NBA
New York Region, APWU

Maria Johnson, President
Memphis Area Local, APWU

Mr. Art Luby, Attorney
O’Donnell, Schwartz and Anderson

Mr. Jeff Mansfield, President
Greater Seattle Area Local

Mr. Paul Mendrick, President
Denver Metro Area Local

Mr. Greg Poferl, National Business Agent
Support Services Division

Ms. Liz Powell, Regional Coordinator

Northeast Region

Mr. Robert Pritchard, Director

Motor Vehicle Service Division

Mr. Frank Romero, Director

Organization Department

Mr. Phil Tabbita, Executive Assistant

Mr. Robert L. Tunstall, Secretary-Treasurer





Posted July 13, 2002


(Tulsa World) About 50 postal union members from Tulsa joined a nationwide demonstration on July 1 against the discount rates given to presorted mail used mostly by businesses. Workers carrying signs reading, "Big Business Pays Less, You Pay More," "What is the price of mismanagement?" and "More $, Longer Lines," walked in front of the downtown station at 7:30 a.m. and then moved about 10 a.m. to the post office at 51st Street and Sheridan Road.