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  • DMI Local 44 Update 4-17
    Posted On: Apr 20, 2020

    April 17, 2020


    • PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TO EXPRESS THE DIRE NEED FOR USPS TO BE INCLUDED IN A CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PLAN! If the USPS does not receive funding, they’re projected to be broke by September.  Save your job! Make the call!

    Grassley – (202)224-3744Ernst – (202)224-3254

    • Hawkeye District OHNA fax – (515)251-2080
    • To call on Governor Reynolds to issue shelter-in-place, call (515)281-5211 Option 1
    • Total Hawkeye District positive Covid-19 cases – 7
    • National USPS Covid-19 deaths – over 35
    • Total Iowa Positive Covid-19 cases – 2,332 and 64 Covid-19 related deaths
    • Union is pushing management to purchase sprayers to disinfect areas
    • Need to follow up with management on the Priority Belt move in regards to social distancing
    • Need to check on Pouch Rack area to see if changes have been made to ensure social distancing
    • MOUs came out today on air flow
    • Discussion on purchasing KN95 masks, which are between surgical and N95 in effectiveness
    • Discussion on new employees within 90 days taking Covid-19 related leave without penalty
    • PASS congestion at Stations still a concern
    • Fans are not recommended during this crisis, open doors to circulate air
    • Discussion on management’s responsibility to inform employees of USPS Covid-19 cases and a call for transparency. Why is the USPS not putting out total number of employee infections by state and nationally?  Why is the USPS not tracking and publishing employee deaths from Covid-19?  Daily Service talks could keep employees updated..
    • Letter passed around and signed to encourage Congress to support the USPS
    • NDC off limits for Data Collection Techs for the next two weeks, reads by phone
    • Will be getting masks to expeditors to give to drivers upon entrance of the building. 
    • Discussed making t-shirts displaying the urgency of wearing a mask.
    • Discussed different types of face shields.  Iowa Central College is making some.
    • Feedback that the Union isn’t doing enough.  Need to inform employees on how the Union is addressing Covid-19 issues, post information by the time clock, talk to our members.
    • Please see the following list of work the APWU has done regarding Covid-19:

    APWU Response to Corona Virus

    • Beginning Late January we began communicating with the USPS on their response. Vance reached out to the USPS Safety and Health Department to ask what they were doing to protect the employees.

    • In February, began sharing what info we did receive from the Postal Service on this (for example first Stand-up talks went out late in January).

    • Early February the APWU put out the PPE Management instruction and reminded all employees they can use facemasks and gloves and that the USPS must provide them.

    • February 13, 2020, APWU sent out the USPS mandatory stand up talk on staying home when you are sick. Began pushing this stand in earnest.

    • Mid-February APWU began pushing the USPS to increase cleaning and sanitizing procedures as well as implement the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic cleaning procedures. o It was also decided at this time to send out to the field any stand-up talks, policies, etc. we received from USPS to field as soon as we receive it. • Requested the clarification on who could wear masks (window clerks etc). Management sent us the PPE MI and said all employees could as long as they complied with the MI.

    • February 26, 2020 Met with the Regional Safety and Health Representatives and Regional Coordinators, discussed COVID19 situation and began making plans. Jointly crafted the first statement for website. • February 26, 2020—began posting all info to the APWU website and developing the current “Coronavirus Information for Members” page on the website. • February 26, 2020 sent out fore dissemination all info we had received including data from the CDC, including CDC position on whether or not COVID19 could be transmitted by mail/packages.

    • March 1, 2020 Brought a regional safety and health rep into DC to work full-time on our response, researching the disease, cleaning methods, and postal policies and procedures. Also to take calls from the field. • March 1, 2020 reached out to our safety and health consultants in the field to see who had expertise. Jim Frederick was referred to us.

    • Received first notification from USPS of positive tests of USPS employees in Seattle, put all the information out to the field.

    • March 2, 2020, met with National Postal Union Representatives to discuss COVID19 response and approach to the Meeting with the PMG. • March 2, 2020, Met with the PMG on the USPS Coronavirus response—this was an APWU demanded meeting. o Demanded PPE o Demanded better cleaning protocols o Demanded handwashing time o Requested targeted stand-ups for ISCs, Call Centers, and NCED o Demanded a liberal leave policy • March 2, 2020, made determination to change magazine page to one about Coronavirus. • March 2, 2020 also began first discussions on the APWU “business” response.

    • March 3, 2020 received new MMO-031-20 “influenza and cleaning contingency” from USPS and released to field. • March 3, 2020 Meet with all resident officers to discuss our response.

    • March 4, 2020 – First News Service Bulletin on pandemic mailed to worksites • March 4, 2020 set up the COVID19 email address for NBAs and Regional Coordinators to send in issues and questions. Released to field that afternoon. • March 4, 2020 began discussing issues at NCED with Postal Service on the Virus. • March 4, 2020 released more COVID19 items from CDC, Post Office, etc..

    • March 5, 2020 met with USPS in National Joint Safety and Health Meeting—discussed multiple coronavirus related issues. • March 5, Joined the AFL-CIO working group on Coronavirus.

    • March 6- 8, 2020 put all regional safety and health reps on full-time work for 2 days to call local and state presidents in their respective areas to inform about website, offer help, and insight as needed.

    • March 6, Released the manager’s and supervisor’s guide to Coronavirus, updated MMO, and new standup talk.

    • March 11 Held internal meeting to discuss more in depth the APWU “business” response for the building, officers, staff, and employees. • March 11 held teleconference with regional safety and health reps • March 11 held teleconference/meeting with craft directors and Article 14 officers to update. • March 11 put out new USPS policy on travel and postmaster portal procedures to certify cleaning of facilities.

    • March 12 Met with safety consultants Jim Frederick and Corey Thompson on our response. Both are now at our service. • March 12, initiated MOU on travel restrictions for NCED for APWU represented employees stating no employee could be forced to travel. Disseminated to field.

    • March 13, put out updated supervisor and manager guidance to field.

    • March 16 put out the USPS Liteblue page info on coronavirus • March 16, began discussions on grievance extensions during the pandemic • Continued giving legislative input on the various bills in congress.

    • March 18, 2020 signed Temporary Expanded Sick Leave for Dependent Care During COVID19 and Temporary Additional Paid Leave for PSEs MOUs. • March 18, sent out USPS stand up talk on Keeping Your Vehicle Clean.

    • March 19 signed Enterprise Customer Care Centers (CCCs) Telework MOU. • March 19. Sent out USPS stand up talk on COVID-19 Prevention and Response • March 19 signed Mailing & Shipping Solutions Center (MSSC) Bargaining Unit Telework MOU. • March 19 began looking at summaries of Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and how it applies to postal employees.

    • March 20 sent out USPS stand up talk on Customer Signatures • March 20 signed Temporary Extension on Step 3 and Arbitration Appeals—Revised MOU (also gave locals the ability to sign grievance extensions at their level).• March 20 Signed the Extension on Timeline for Local Implementation MOU

    • March 22 sent out the COVID19 FAQ from USPS

    • March 23 sent out Retail Unit stand up talks on social distancing and related posters. Many of these ideas came from our people in the trenches. • March 23 sent out Operations Continue Stand Up Talk. • March 23 signed HRSSC telework MOU

    • March 24 Signed CRT Telework MOU • March 24 signed Temporary Exception for Level 18 Postmasters Performing Bargaining Unit Work MOU. • March 24 signed National Material Distribution Center (MDC) Bargaining Unit Telework MOU. • March 24 signed IT/AS Telework MOU.

    • March 25 sent out DSI Guidance and Retail Stand up talk on suspending RCE (mystery shop) DSI guidance came after our members in the field brought up concerns. • March 25 continued talking about NPPN union telework. • March 25 continued demanding sneeze guards in retail. • March 25 President Dimondstein statement “Postal Workers in a Time of Crisis” posted

    • March 26 News Service Bulletin with President’s statement and “APWU pushes for postal workers during pandemic” mailed to worksites • March 26 management agreed to install sneeze guards in retail. • March 27 received email agreement that COVID19 related absences could not be used to separate employees serving in their probationary periods (career or non-career). • March 27 signed Temporary Exception Period—Clerk Craft Staffing Function 1 & Function 4—Covid-19 MOU. • March 27 sent out USPS Essential Personnel stand up talk, Retail PO Box payment grace period, and Delivery Staying Vigilant stand up talks. • March 27 Sent message to field we are in continued discussions on getting the FFCRA clarified with USPS

    • March 30 sent out Delivery Retail Operations business closed and Mail Processing interacting with HCR stand up talks. • March 31 sent out message to field again on the FFCRA.

    • March 31 sent out new 3-30 Supervisor and manager guide, Return to work procedures for employees testing positive for COVID19, Privacy stand up talk on COVID19, and updated decision tree. • March 31 Implemented a online spreadsheet Regional Coordinators, NBAs, and local/state presidents can enter in data where they need supplies. We will provide to management.

    • April 1 reached email agreement to delay maintenance excessing outside the installation until the September move date. • April 1 sent out NALC food drive postponed announcement. • April 1 reached extension agreement for all Step-4 timelines for 30-days (email). • April 1 signed • April 1 signed OHN nurse telework MOU in case of facility closure • April 1 signed IT- Helpdesk telework MOU • April 1 continuing discussions on MVS issues and Article 19/Notifications Timelines

     • April 2 posted FFCRA article to website.

    • April 3 Submitted FFCRA Q and A to management for review • April 3 Send out to field Stand up talk on employees dealing with VMF employees • April 3 sent out the Stand up talk on COVID 19 ordering supplies • April 3 Signed Article 19 timelines extension MOU

    • Things we do every day:  Receive updated COVID19 tracking numbers from around country, break into APWU regions, send to Regional Coordinators Field dozens of questions from the field and route to appropriate APWU national or local officer.  Converse with Postal Service on outstanding issues related to COVID19—especially when we hear of supply or barrier issues.  National, State, and Local officers are participating in teleconferences about COVID19 every day at the district and area levels.  Reviewing the spreadsheet daily on supplies.  Update website as needed—including upgrading the server to handle all the traffic we get. Staffers are participating in meetings with AFL-CIO, Gallup, SHRM, etc via teleconference, etc.  Sending out social media messages, messages from Mark, etc.

    Please join the DMI-APWU zoom meeting by emailing Mike Bates  mjbates2016@gmail.com  to stay up to date on the latest USPS Covid-19 news.  Get informed, get involved!

                                                              United we stand, divided we fall!

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