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Update-Start Time Changes-9/22/2020
This morning I met with local management for a fifth meeting to discuss the proposed start time changes. Management has pushed back their desired implementation date until October 17. Today we discussed specific provisions of Article 12 and contractual application to the current proposal. I will attempt to summarize, but please see me if you have any questions.
Tour 1 Level 4’s- There are currently 12 level 4 jobs on Tour 1. The proposal calls for 24. Of the 12, 7 of these jobs match the non-scheduled days of proposed jobs and these MHs will be offered the positions at the new start times. 5 MHs do not match and their jobs will be abolished. There will be 17 new level 4 jobs on Tour 1 posted for bid plant wide.
Tour 1 Level 5’s- Management is reducing the number of Level 5 bids on Tour 1 from 16 to 11. The 5 junior level 5’s will be excessed from the section. The 5 senior level 5’s have jobs which match proposed jobs and will either be placed or asked to take the new positions, depending on their current start time. There will be an expedited bid among the next 5 MHs in seniority. One new level 5 job will be posted plant wide.
Tour 2 Level 4’s-Tour 2 currently has 8 level 4 jobs. Management has proposed 17 level 4 jobs on Tour 2. Of the 8 current jobs, 4 match proposed jobs and those MHs will be offered the proposed jobs. 4 do not match and those MH jobs will be abolished. There will be 13 Tour 2 level 4 jobs posted plant wide.
Tour 2 Level 5’s-There are currently 11 level 5 jobs on Tour 2 and 11 are proposed. Under new language in the CBA, there will be an expedited bid. The senior 3 Level 5 MH’s on Tour 2 hold jobs which match proposed jobs and will be offered the proposed positions. MHs 4 through 9 will be in an expedited bid for remaining matching positions. Two new Level 5 positions will be offered plant wide.
Tour 3 Level 4’s-Currently there are 26 Level 4’s on Tour 3 and management is proposing 24. The junior 2 MHs will be excessed from the section. The senior level 4 on Tour 3 holds a job which matches a proposed job. The expedited bid will be among the next 10 senior MHs. There will be 13 new level 4 Tour 3 positions posted plant wide.
Tour 3 Level 5’s-There are 16 level 5 jobs on Tour 3 and the proposal calls for 11. The junior 5 Level 5 MHs will be excessed from the section. The senior level 5 position is being abolished; therefore, an expedited bid will be conducted among the 7 senior level 5 MHs for the matching jobs. There will be 4 new Tour 3 level 5 jobs posted plant wide.
Keep in mind that these numbers may change slightly depending on any future discussions, such as pending retirements. I am aware of one pending retirement which could alter Tour 2 level 5 expedited bidding. As always, it is my intent to keep you fully aware of all changes and I will continue to update as necessary
Also of note, during today’s quarterly District stakeholders meeting, Sr. Plant Manager DiPippa disclosed that the AGV’s will not be fully implemented until after peak due to certain testing failures. PM DiPippa also stated that it is not the intent of the Postal Service to eliminate any Level 5 bids in Lancaster with the AGV’s, only to reduce Level 5 overtime. We will continue to monitor this situation.
Start Time Changes Update 8/19/2020
I have met with local management to discuss the proposed start time changes on several occasions in the last week. What is apparent to me following these meetings is that the Postal Service has made the ill-advised choice to move forward with their plan at the expense of specific bargained for rights and little, if any, regard for seniority. Based on the information which has been shared with the Union to this point, I have identified several aspects of the proposal which are not only problematic, but are violative of our Agreement as proposed, or may lead to violations of said Agreement.
1.-The Service’s plan calls for combining SPSS and APBS duty assignments and posting these jobs under a general designation which they believe permits the movement of Mail Handler employees between these two machines in a willy nilly fashion. The contract has something to say about that. Article 12 of the Agreement requires that all Notices inviting bids include 8 specific criteria, including the principal assignment area. It is the position of the Union that any duty assignment posted with a general designation and not a singular principal assignment area is posted in violation of the Agreement and must be challenged through grievance activity. Additionally, the Union takes the position that any duty assignment posted with this generic designation cannot be considered anything less than a 50% change in duties, and therefore requires reposting. Brothers and Sisters, our contract and our LMOU already provide for an order of movement of an employee off their duty assignment and we see this exercised every day on the workroom floor. This can only lead me to believe that there is more to this insistence on posting non-compliant duty assignments. It’s not hard to figure out that there are a few SDO’s and MDO’s who will believe that these illegitimate duty assignments are a green light to give their “pals” preferred duties while assigning less desirable work to those of you who are not in good graces or may have voiced your opinion at one time or another. Had the bids complied with the Agreement, you would have been given the chance to exercise your seniority and bid the principal assignment area which you desire. These duty assignments will be challenged through Article 15 once posted and the Union asks that you report any occurrences where your seniority was neglected when choosing the duties that you are assigned on any given day.
2.-As discussed previously, the Service’s plan is to have all employees start at three designated begin tour times. Management has determined that the start times will be 0700 for Tour 2, 1500 for Tour 3, and 2300 for Tour 1. The Union countered with a proposal to start tours at 0600, 1400, and 2200. When discussed, the Service provided no fundamental business reason for choosing these particular start times and even stated at one point that the times really didn’t have any significance, the important factor to management was that there could only be three start times. The Union’s proposal is based on the requirements of the Agreement, specifically,” …that dislocation and inconvenience to employees in the regular work force shall be kept to a minimum, consistent with the needs of the Service.” To this, it should be apparent to all by now, the response must be a challenge through the grievance/arbitration procedure.
3.-The proposed staffing plan does not increase the overall number of duty assignments available to Mail Handlers. There will be a reduction in Level 5 duty assignments on Tour 1 and 3 as well as Level 4 duty assignments on Tour 3. There will be an expedited selection process conducted on these Tours within the affected salary levels. A number of junior employees on these tours within these salary levels may be reassigned. The Union will be monitoring the process closely to ensure that all movements are executed in a manner consistent with the Agreement, and if not, will respond appropriately. The proposal does not alleviate our current understaffing crisis, and if anything, exacerbates operational deficiencies by reducing the number of Mail Handler bids in critical areas and shifts these assignments to areas where the need for them remains questionable. I would also note that the information shared with the Union shows a large reduction in the number of duty assignments with preferred schedules. Currently we have 36 duty assignments across all three tours with weekend non-scheduled days. The staffing matrix shared with the Union reduces this number to approximately 20. Again, this will need to be monitored closely and where this change can be proven to violate the Agreement, a grievance will be filed.
4. Several duty assignments have been neglected in the proposal, as the focus is aimed very narrowly at machine staffing. The Union has argued for breakdown, collections, BMEU, and order fulfillment staffing. While more recent talks have yielded some progress in the areas of the breakdowns, other areas remain overlooked by the current model. The Union will continue to engage management in discussions concerning these areas.
I do not need to tell you that we are all in for plenty of disruption and change in the upcoming weeks and months. The Union is committed to ensuring that we utilize every instrument available to protect what we have bargained for, and that you are not deprived of your contractual rights, and that the National Agreement and your seniority are the adhered to throughout this process. Please do not hesitate to see me with your questions and concerns.
Shelby J Root
Management Discusses Schedule Change
July 31, 2020
Sisters and Brothers,
On July 30, 2020, Plant Manager Mandik met with myself and Local 308 President John Gibson for an initial discussion regarding changes in start times which may impact a significant number of Mail Handlers in this facility. Management intends on implementing changes to start times which would eliminate the current number of different start times and essentially reduce begin tour times to 0700, 1500, and 2300. These times are not yet set in stone. During the discussion it was agreed that there may be exceptions to the proposed universal start times where it may make more sense to have an assignment start at a specific time dictated by an operational window. Also disclosed by PM Mandik during the meeting was a “levelling” of duty assignments across all three tours so that all three tours have a similar number of Mail Handler duty assignments. It is likely that Tour 2 will see an increase in duty assignments while the other tours may see a reduction. Management has asserted that it intends on working with the Union to minimize disruption to employees and has asked that the Union be fully engaged in the process to ensure that these changes are executed in a manner which complies with the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Also discussed was the fact that management has initiated a new Function 1 Review in an effort to increase duty assignments for operations where work hours were not accounted for in past Function 1 Reviews. The Union has offered certain counter proposals which would eliminate the number of impacts and will continue to scrutinize all proposed changes and seek contractual solutions which will reduce inconvenience and disruption to all Mail Handlers. Although no precise implementation date is available, the Plant Manager is hopeful that all changes will be implemented prior to the beginning of the 2021 Fiscal year. In the coming days I will be receiving more information on these changes and will share all information with you as it is received. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to see me.
Shelby J Root
NPMHU Local 308