A major part of the management network modernization plan includes the creation of Sorting and Delivery Centers (S&DCs). These centers will centralize many delivery operations into larger buildings with automated package sorting equipment. Management currently projects the creation of 400-500 S&DCs.
Over many months, the APWU leadership engaged in numerous, and at times productive, discussions with postal management over the union’s serious concerns regarding job protection as well as service to the customers.
These discussions have resulted in an initial Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) “Re: General Principles on Sorting and Delivery Centers.” The MOU, dated June 20, 2023, was signed by Deputy Postmaster General Doug Tulino and APWU President Mark Dimondstein.
The MOU makes it clear that no retail operations (window or box sections) will be reduced or closed due to the implementation of management’s S&DC plans and confirms that customers will still be able to pick up their certified mail, held mail, etc. at their local post offices.
In addition, the MOU clarifies that distribution duties in the S&DCs will be categorized as function 4 operations.
In relation to motor vehicle operations, the MOU establishes that unless already subcontracted, it is postal Motor Vehicle Services employees who will be moving the mail from the processing facilities to the S&DCs and from the S&DCs to the local post offices. There will be ongoing discussions on bringing currently-subcontracted truck driving work back into the Postal Service to be performed by APWU-represented employees.
The MOU also makes it clear that there are many outstanding issues to address and discussions will continue regarding staffing, job duties, job postings and Local negotiations.
“This MOU is a positive step forward in addressing a number of the union’s concerns. The union had received these commitments verbally many months ago, but it was important to get them in writing,” shared APWU President Dimondstein. “This initial settlement should put to rest some of the rumors, claims and legitimate concerns regarding the reduction and closing of retail operations and Post Offices. Obviously more in-depth discussions are needed and will continue between the APWU leadership and management as the union works to address and resolve a number of ongoing union concerns, and we will continue to share the results with all APWU members,” he concluded.