|Welcome to Local 308||
January 15, 2021
Let’s kick off the New Year and the first letter of 2021 with a few brief items of good news and one item of fantastic proportions. Firstly, everyone should have received grievance money in their last paycheck; those of you who wrote statements received more, some considerably much more. These payouts were from when the District had decided to bring in clerks and carriers from other facilities to do our work without exhausting the overtime lists. Next up, to sum up an agreement signed at the National level; there is so much mail and not enough staffing because of COVID and the messed up Function 1 scheduler tool, we will be converting 25 MHAs to regular in this facility and over 5,000 nationwide.
Jobs are currently up for bid and will close on January 17th. There is one bid for automated bidding and 4 for manual selection. Please see the bulletin board for directions on bidding.
The first round of vacation bids open for submission on January 19th. Please get your bid packet in the Union or MDOs office and submit your form into the green bid box by the time clocks during the appropriate submission period as dictated by your seniority number. If you have questions, ask a steward.
I’d like to thank the stewards, alternate stewards, and chief stewards of this facility for their work last year. It was a busy and trying year all-around and we filed a record number of grievances shattering the 500 grievance mark. Our average grievance count is usually in the upper two hundreds to low three hundreds.
Appreciation must also be given to all of the people who wrote witness statements throughout the year; without people writing reliable witness statements, there are no grievances. Without grievances there are no payouts or job creations. This is all why it is so important that everyone protects our jobs and writes statements when bosses or clerks are performing our work. To protect our jobs and create new ones, we rely on three “S”’s: swipes, scans, and statements. Everyone’s clock ring swipes prove where people are working and when. Always move on the time clock when you switch operations and urge your coworkers to do the same, no matter what a supervisor tells you. Scanning is everyone’s job and is not just a service to our customers, but it is also a great job protection and creation tool. Scanning shows the amount of mail in the building where it is, and when and where it came in and went out. If scanning is part of your job, make sure that you do it. The final piece is statements. Statements lead to grievances, which lead to liability and payouts. That liability makes the Post Office realize, sometimes after a prolonged period, where they need to address situations with staffing. Please be sure to properly employee the three “s” words and then make sure to also see a steward in order to file your grievance. This is your Union and these are our jobs, help us protect our rights and our work.
There will be a sick leave crackdown, especially if it is not COVID related leave. Expect to be given attendance reviews and discussions because when the liberal leave policy extension ends and as the vaccines start to be doled out, you can bet dimes to donuts that the paper will start flying out of the attendance control officer’s printer. Just be warned that I’m sure that storm is on the horizon. Remember what I’ve always put in print and spouted out: there really isn’t a gray area when it comes to attendance, you’re either here or you aren’t, you’re either protected or you’re not, and the only person that takes the blame for you not coming to work is you.
As the District continues to fumble around with the COVID protocols, the onus is on each of us to keep ourselves, our families, and each other safe. Wear your masks, wash your hands, social distance, and if you have symptoms then stay home. If you are healthy then come to work and help bail out the ship that was left to sink.
Let’s talk about our ship for a minute and the artist formerly known as the acting plant manager. Maybe it’s just something about plant managers that hail from Ohio or maybe it’s the name Chris that is the jinx for the Lehigh Valley, but the successor to the throne left by Chris Smith and Chris Goughler is Mr. Bruno who tagged himself with the misnomer of “The Fixer”. On the day he arrived here, he lied to the employees about who he was, which was just the beginning of a three month term of deception, disrespect, defiance, and dumb ideas. He ducked responsibility and accountability (and elected officials), broke the contract at every turn, disrespected the employees and the bosses, and ignored suggestions unless they were made from his own mind. He hid mail, antagonized an OSHA official, and ignored COVID procedures and overall made us all unsafe, miserable, and unproductive. He forced everyone in on holidays and then took them off himself, including leaving two days before Christmas when the plant and annex were failing disasters and so many customers wouldn’t be receiving their packages or cards. He claimed that he didn’t answer to anyone other than the customers and Dave Webster, and in the end, he did answer to them. It was his delaying of the customers’ mail and the deception in the details to Mr. Webster that led to a visit from the Chesapeake Region Director in order to assess the plant and annex conditions and to ultimately show the fixer to the door, which hopefully forcefully hit him in the posterior on the way out possibly scrambling some brain cells in the process. In speaking at length with Mr. Webster, I told him of what went on here over the past three months and how the morale in the building had diminished right along with the performance, attendance, and sound decision-making skills. Mr. Webster assured me that a change in leadership will bring along with it a change in communication, outlook, and management. He knows that, historically, Lehigh Valley is a plant that performs well and that there had to be a reason for our conditions. I will be meeting with the new acting plant manager to try and help set a course for our future success and resurgence and I hope that our whole craft can help get this plant back to being the successful processing center that it was pre-COVID and pre-Chris mess.
Show up and stay safe.
Stay United, Stay Strong-