President Bertolone on American Workforce Podcast

Click on the following link to listen to the podcast that includes an interview with APWU Local 215’s former President, Jim Bertolone…

Privatizing postal services will create tremendous barriers for postal unions. – America’s Work Force RadioAmerica’s Work Force Radio (awfradio.com)

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Tentative Agreement Summary

Terms of the 2021-2024 Tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement

  • Three-year contract: September 21, 2021 through September 20, 2024
  • General Annual Wage Increases and Cost of Living Allowances (COLA)
    • 1.3% November 20, 2021 (Will be Retroactive)
    • 1.3% November 19, 2022
    • 1.3% November 18, 2023
    • Six (6) Cost of Living Allowances (COLA) for career employees (March and September of each year) with no change to the current formula based on the July 2021 CPI-W. (After the fourth month of the six-month measuring period, the COLA increase is at $0.39 per hour and will be based on the January 2022 CPI-W Index)
    • PSEs receive the general wage increases and an additional 1% increase each year in lieu of COLA (i.e. 2.3% each November)
    • $0.50/hour additional increase for PSEs effective the first pay period of the second full month after the Agreement is ratified
  • Job Security
    • No Lay-off protections for career employees with six years of service remain in full-force and effect.
    • Any current career employee on the rolls as of September 20, 2021, with less than six years of service will be included in the no lay-off protections for the life of the National Agreement, providing an additional 72,000 career employees protection from lay-offs.
    • 50-mile limit on excessing of employees
    • The current moratorium on subcontracting of Postal Vehicle Service (PVS) work will continue in its present form during life of the Agreement
  • Holiday Pay
    • Juneteenth added to the holidays for career employees for a total of 11 paid holidays per year
    • PTF pay rate will be increased to reflect a total of 11 holidays each year, increase will be effective on January 1, 2022
  • Health Insurance
    • No change to the Postal Service contribution to premiums for those participating in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
    • 95% Postal Service contribution to premiums of the APWU Consumer Driven Health Plan (CDHP)
    • PSEs converted to career will receive credit for time they were enrolled in a FEHBP plan towards the 1-year qualifying period for the 95% Postal Service contribution to CDHP premiums
  • Enhanced Level 8 & 11 Pay Scales
    • Grade 8 Pay Scale:
      • Bottom Steps FF-AA eliminated with Step A becoming the first Step.
      • New top Step P added
      • Employees currently in Grade 8 will move into new steps while retaining all credit toward next step
        • Steps FF-BB moved to Step A
        • Step AA moved to Step B
        • Steps B-O moved up one Step
    • Grade 11 Pay Scale increased by an average of 2.3% prior to any general increases or COLAs
  • Part-Time Flexible (PTF) Work Rules
    • Schedule guarantee of 24-hour per pay period, increased from 2 hours a pay period
    • Guaranteed at least four hours of work or pay when scheduled
    • Forty (40) hours of annual leave will be advanced at the start of each leave year for immediate use
    • Guaranteed a minimum of one (1) non-scheduled day each service week except during the peak season exception period with notice Wednesday the week prior
    • Within 90-days of ratification a One-time Voluntary Transfer Opportunity to residual full time regular vacancies in larger offices within a district.
  • Automatic Conversion of PSEs in Level 20 offices and above
    • PSEs will be converted to career status upon reaching 24-months of relative standing
      • Clerk PSEs assigned to offices Grade 21 or higher will be converted to Full-Time Flexible with such assignments made in accordance with the Clerk Craft provisions of Art. 37.4
      • Clerk PSEs assigned to Grade 20 offices will be converted to Part-Time Flexible
      • MVS PSEs assigned in any size office will be converted to Part-Time Flexible
      • PSEs converted under this provision start at a new Step GG in Grades 5-7 and Step A in Grade 8.
      • Automatic Conversion does not apply to PSEs assigned to Grade-4 RMPOs
  • Other PSE Provisions
    • Forty (40) hours of advanced annual leave upon completion of an initial 360-day PSE appointment in Level 20 offices and above.
    • PSEs assigned to Level 4 RMPOs receive an additional one (1) hour of paid annual leave per pay period upon completion of two (2) 360-day appointments
    • PSEs assigned to Level 4 RMPOs upon completion of two 360-day appointments will receive 40 hours of advance leave.
    • PSEs will be offered one (1) non-scheduled day each service week except during peak season with notice the Wednesday the week prior.
  • PSE Staffing
    • The 12 PSEs per District assigned to Level 4 RMPOs will no longer count against the 20% District cap
    • 10 PSEs in the 46 Package Support Annexes (PSAs) will not count against the District cap (for a total maximum of 460 PSEs) and will be allowed to work in any facility in the installation the PSA is attached to
    • A four (4) weeks “ramp-up” period prior to the start of accounting period 3, the 20% PSE District cap will be temporarily increased by 1% per week equating to no more than a 4% increase.
  • Uniform/Work Clothes Program Allowances
    • 2.5% increase to the uniform/work clothes allowances in 2022, 2023, and 2024
    • Delivery/Sales Service Distribution Associate (DSSDA) will receive Type 1 uniform allowance
    • New “Rollover” program where unused funds can carry over to a successor allowance year
  • Additional Work Rule Improvements

Remote Encoding Center staffing ratio changed to 62% Full-time Regular and 38% PSE and all career duty assignments are Full-time Regular.

90-day waiting period to use annual leave eliminated for new career employees with 90-days continuous service prior to their conversion.

Updated the Deaf and Hard of Hearing MOU

Work Environment Improvement Task Force

Work Place Free of Harassment

Enhanced and Expanded Services

Environmental/Sustainability issues, EAP, and Child and Elder care, included in the jurisdiction of the National Labor Management Committee

District Safety Committees made permanent

Right of Union Officials to Enter Postal Installations

Regional Safety and Health Representative Training Opportunities

Repromotion MOU

Article 8 Task Force to address excessive overtime, particularly in relation to non-list employees

Election Mail Task Force MOU

Full per diem for employees traveling to NCED

  • Additional Clerk Craft Provisions
    • Window training starts within 10-days after posting of the senior bidder
    • Updated NTFT duty assignments language
    • Pilot program to test new pecking order for the assignment of PTF Hub Clerks
    • Filling of Residual Vacancy MOU updated

Additional Motor Vehicle Service Craft Provisions

PTFs identified for conversion to FTR converted within 28-days

APWU will have opportunity to submit recommendations on new vehicles prior to specifications being sent to contractors and before manufacturing and completion of new vehicles

National committee established to address training initiative and opportunities

HCR limitation on Subcontracting MOU remains in full force and effect.

Additional Maintenance Craft Provisions

No additional custodial staffing packages will change from MS-47 TL-3 to TL-5 for life of the contract

Change the calculation method of PS Form 4852 for Juneteenth Holiday

Annual cap on the number of times an employee can be involuntarily assigned to off-site training courses

Career employee may request to be tested for maintenance craft positions and if rated eligible may request placement on the appropriate in-service register.

Updates to the posting of relief assignments in the craft

Agreement to consolidate and upgrade multiple legacy jobs.

Employees traveling to NCED for training receive full per diem for length of stay

Additional Support Services Craft Provisions

In Material Distribution Centers Maintenance Mechanic General Grade 7 eliminated and Building Equipment Mechanic Grade 9 added.

Penalty Overtime provisions applied to Operating Service employees

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Union Meeting Thursday 10/21/2021

For everyone’s information: Union meetings are in person now… and masks are required only for those not vaccinated at the IBEW Union Hall on East River Rd.

If you need directions and do not know how to utilize Google, feel free to email me or ask a steward.

Thanks

Rob Stahl, President

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Article on the passing of renowned Actor Ed Asner

At our last Union meeting, I was asked to share this article about a great Union activist, Ed Asner.

Read the article below:

SAG-AFTRA Mourns the Passing of Former SAG President Ed Asner | SAG-AFTRA (sagaftra.org)

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National Negotiations

Contract was set to run out at midnight last night. However, it has been exended. Read more by clicking the link:

Negotiations Update: APWU and USPS “Stop the Clock” to Continue Bargaining for a New Contract | American Postal Workers Union

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Several Updates

I have updated the seniority lists for the P&DC, since last Saturday, due to a large number of conversions, both PSE & Career lists have changed. They are hiring a bunch of new PSE’s over the next couple weeks, o that list will have additional people added in the near future.

Most MOU’s related to Covid have been extended until September 30, 2021. This includes the Liberal leave and change of schedule policy.

I had a meeting with the new acting postmaster yesterday, and during the discussions the issue of out of schedule pay for the Main Office Window Fill-in Clerks (Relief and Pool Clerks). It appears that they have not been properly paying pool and relief clerks. It is up to the Clerks to let us know if and when they are not being paid properly. In general, the rule is, that as long as they notify you by Wednesday of the week prior to the fill in assignment, and that assignment is to cover an absence or vacancy of at least 5 days, they do not have to pay you out of schedule pay for hours worked that are different from your “bid” schedule. However, if they have you work hours that are different from your bid schedule, and it is not to cover a vacancy or absence for 5 days or more, then you are entitled to out of schedule pay for the hours worked outside of your bid schedule. If hey fail to notify you by the Wednesday preceding, you are also entitled to that out-of-schedule premium.

Principles of seniority are very important. You are normally supposed to work your bid, however, when the need arises for an employee to work outside of their bid, the junior employee is that employee. PSE’s are junior to career, and overtime career are junior to normally scheduled career.

Employees requesting EFEL leave must provide sufficient documentation, the rules for this leave are pretty strict. It is only available for employees that can’t come to work due to limited number of Covid related reasons. Please don’t try to scam the system, you likely will not succeed in getting paid.

If you ask the Union for advice, realize we are human, and can make a mistake from time to time. However, it seems everyone that asks me for advice these days either doesn’t like it and does their own thing (usually with negative outcomes) or they want to argue about the advice I give. Please stop. If the Steward tells you something, then you ask the Chief Steward and they tell you the same thing, then you ask the President and they tell you the same thing…. it’s likely your arguing with the people that represent you is getting you nowhere. If you suspect an answer provided by a steward is incorrect, feel free to e-mail me at Rob@apwulocal215.com and I will provide you with the contractual language, or best evidence we have, to answer your question. Thanks

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Union Meeting Tonight

I am making available some of the items that will be mentioned tonight at the Online Zoom meeting. If any member would like an invite to our Zoom Union meetings, please email me at Rob@apwulocal215.com. Click the links below to see some of the items that will be mentioned.

ABA Scholarship info and application

UnionPlus.org – Earn your Bachelor’s Degree online for free

APWU Group Legal Plan Open Enrollment

Worker’s Memorial Day Info

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Updated (Extended) EFEL Guidance

Another letter has been issued extending management’s guidance for approving leave based on the Emergency Federal Employee Leave Act…. You can download it below.

Download Here

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Updated EFEL Guidance (and lack thereof)

Unfortunately, OPM has not yet provided guidelines for EFEL, as was anticipated. Thus, as a result, the USPS at the headquarters level has put out the attached document, dated March 30, 2021, as follow up to the two prior Tulino documents dated March 12, 2021, and March 18, 2021 (previously disseminated). Please note that the attached is a unilateral USPS document.

Once OPM issues its guidelines APWU will issue its interpretation of said guidelines.

You can see the new letter put out by the USPS here.

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Covid related MOU’s extended, and more

Please see the attached documents. President Dimondstein signed extensions on the COVID MOUs through June 4, 2021. Also attached is the extension of the liberal leave policy. He also signed extensions on the annual leave carryover which will allow 520 hours to be carried into leave year 2022 and career employees can also sell up to 80 hours of leave for leave year 2022. One MOU that was not extended–but was suspended–was the additional leave for PSEs. Under the new EFEL all employees could be paid up to 600 hours for COVID related absences.

Extension of Previous Memorandum of Understandings

Liberal Leave policy Extension Original Liberal Leave policy letter

2022 Annual Leave Carryover

2022 Annual Leave Exchange

Suspension of Additional Paid Leave for PSEs

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