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LCUS OPERATIONAL CHANGE???
On November 21, 2018 the Mail Handlers Union Local 308 at the Phila. NDC received a letter from the Postal Service informing them of an “operational change” to the LCUS. The change is to go into effect on December 4, 2018. In the notice the Service claims that “an additional sortation will be added to the LCUS which will be operated by mail handlers and clerks and allow for the processing of machineable parcels to 3 and 5 digit sortation.” To most people, myself included this really doesn’t say much other than they are going to assign clerks to work on the LCUS despite the fact that the Service, APWU and the MHU had all signed off on a national MOU on June 26, 2018 which determined that the LCUS was the sole property of the mail handler craft. Further, on November 17, 2018 members of both Unions and the USPS held a joint training session to discuss the National RI-399 memo and how it will streamline the process and prevent situations like this from occurring.
In my 20 + years as a Union representative I have to say that this is the most egregious case of BAD FAITH BARGAINING I have ever seen as the Service was clearly planning this back door action despite being in the midst of training that was to prevent things like this from happening.
So what exactly is this operational change? When Postal representatives were asked specifically what was going to change and how and for how long clerks were going to be used on the LCUS they had ZERO answers. That’s right, absolutely nothing! This is further evidence that this “operational change” is a manufactured event to try to get clerks onto the LCUS machines in direct contradiction to the National MOU and the building inventory.
Also of note is the Service failed to properly notify the RDRC or Regional Dispute Resolution Committee and since they are required to provide at least 14 days notice to the RDRC then the December 4, 2018 is not a valid date for the Service to initiate this change. Despite their failure to timely notify the RDRC we anticipate that they will move forward in violation of this 14 day requirement.
We have already spoken to the Plant Manager regarding this action but again we anticipate them going forward regardless of the fact that it’s a clear violation. Local President Gibson has already reached out to his counterparts at the National Level and I have already filed a dispute with the LDRC concerning this change. As we believe that any and all work performed on the LCUS falls under the MH crafts jurisdiction, and all hours worked by clerks on the LCUS will be greived as a cross crafts violation.
I suggest any mail handler who sees clerks performing work that belongs to the mail handler craft either request a steward or write a statement identifying the people involved and how long they were doing mail handler work. This action on the part of the Service is an affront to all mail handlers as it is managments ineptitude that has now put them in a position where they believe that the use of clerks in mail handler jobs can make up for the reversions and abolishments that have reduced staffing to the point where they are constantly failing. We cannot and will not stand for this and will do everything within our abilities to ensure that even a minute of work performed by anyone other than a mail handler will be challenged.
Phila. NDC Branch President