First Compression and now Suppression
Bosses Order Mass Abolishment's
If you are not handling mail watch out! This is what the latest edict from postal management seems to be stating. Apparently Postal HQ is mandating so called "allied and indirect positions" to be abolished. Postal big shots are ordering Areas to reduce positions that do not directly touch the mail. They are applying a unilateral percentage to each Area.
Some of these "indirect" positions include expediters, general clerks, transfer clerks, training technicians, secretaries, review clerks, data collection clerks, ramp clerks, express mail clerks, special postal clerks, etc.. The bosses realize that the work must still be preformed and have advised Areas and Districts there is a formula for the use of "reduced OT". The effort entitled "TAIP" (Targeted Allied and Indirect Positions) is a HQ driven initiative much like the Tour Compression is a HQ initiative. The forces reassignment of thousands of Tour 2 senior clerks is seen as an effort to force some workers to retire from the postal service. Top managers have denied the compressions are directed by HA and Areas despite evidence to the contrary.
Regional Coordinator Omar Gonzalez has not received official word on TAIP but is alerting Locals that if jobs are unilaterally abolished yet the work remains, grievances must be filed, without delay, challenging management's actions especially if the abolishment results in excessing. "No one is immune to management's madness," he lamented. Locals must act!
Pacific Area Excessing May be Delayed
Scrambling to meet their timelines Area Bosses may have to push back their Jan 31st date for involuntarily reassignment hundred of clerks. Area is having issues with validating residual jobs to place impacted workers. An official announcement has not been made but forced excessing out of installations is anticipated to be mid Feb. 2009!
More AMP's Closing
USPS is going forward with their Network Plan to close all Airmail Centers by the end of 2009. The first one slated in Seattle slated to be closed by the end of March '09. This the first major closure in the Western Area since the elimination of MVS in Tacoma WA. Coordinator Gonzalez is meeting with Local officials to enforce Article 12 of the contract.
Coordinator Gonzalez fired a New Mexico panel Arbitrator who systematically ruled against the Union after a confrontation with an NBA. Exparte discussion with USPS was the final straw that led to the termination.
New Mexico's Service Issues = Management
For at least five solid years the poor postal service given to citizens of New Mexico can be attributed to the quality of local management, compounded by the SW Area's reluctance to admit and act on it. The District Office is in the city with the worst service but it is not limited to just Albuquerque. Service issues are everywhere! Of course, poor service is not limited to New Mexico either but in this particular part of the country there is not question that management is solely responsible. From the top manager to the flunky labor relations types they claim to be concerned about employees and service yet conditions literally get worse. There is extreme low morale among employees who still struggle to get their work done with no real managing from their bosses. The only apparent relief is for patrons, workers and citizens to contact the media or Congressional reps. as well they should!
Five Day Delivery Probable
Washington DC - In an extra ordinarily called meeting December 16th the PMG informed the postal unions and management associations of the bleak economic picture that postal service is in. In turn National Union President William Burrus briefed Western Region Coordinator Omar Gonzalez and the NEB of the real possibility of the elimination of one day of delivery. The first two months of fiscal year 2009 was worse than anticipated according to the PMG. Efforts to secure a "loan sort to speak" (actually a better payment plan) of retirement obligations, along with severe cost cutting efforts may not be able to provide enough relief for USPS to keep it operation sustainable. If and when five day delivery comes it will not be a set day eliminated. In some areas it may be Saturday while in others a different day of the week on a rotating bases may be the way local managers go. The immediate impact will be to the carrier craft but operations will also be impacted. Employee work weeks will be modified and more excessing would be in store. In a sign of the times the NALC (carrier's union) has been reaching out to APWU in an effort to coordinate union response to growing employee work like disruptions. The was no mention of lay offs at this meeting. But, discussion did ensue on the issue of shared impacts by all elements of the postal service complement.
Postal HQ admits lie on Tour Compression
Washington DC - To no one's surprise USPS big shots admitted the compression of Tours, (i.e., two tour initiative) is a Headquarters mandated project triggering the National Union to file a Step 4 appeal. Management had claimed the elimination of tour(s) was not an HQ or nationwide effort. After the Union filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the government and demanded negotiations management came clean. The National Union is advising locals to file individual grievances for each employee so that if a monetary remedy is granted those employees who have appeals will be compensated.
Regional Budget Cut 30%
Coordinator Omar Gonzalez, who administer 13 westerns states for the National Union, was informed his budget has been cut by 30% plus. Gonzalez has sent the Locals and NBA's notice of the cuts and the anticipated impacts. "Its the economy stupid," explains Gonzalez! While 2009 and new president give us hope things will likely get worse before getting better, he added.
Postal Monopoly report issued
The Postal Regulatory Commission issued a report December 19th required by the '06 postal reform law(PAEA) on universal service and postal monopoly. The report declares recent events require a recommendation that Congress closely monitor USPS financial situation as the possibility now exists that significant changes may be necessary. PRC also recommends USPS be directed to develop info on probable impact if universal service is changed. But the PRC also recommends societal benefits of Federal postal service be carefully assessed before adjusting or "eliminating" universal service or the monopoly. Coordinator Gonzalez sounded the alarm last May on the Federal Trade Commission and PRC anticipated reports' impact on the future of the USPS.