APWU NPC Leadership
Listed below are some notes from yesterday's national telecon. Special thanks to Tampa Area Local President Richard Phillips for taking the notes and allowing me to distribute them to the NPC leadership. I've discussed with national the options that may be available in having the recorded telecon made available to the NPC. I'll keep everyone updated.
John H. Dirzius
December 3, 2008
RE: Elimination of Tour 2 (a.k.a. Tour 2 Initiative)
Notes from National Teleconference called by President of National President's Conference
(Notes taken by Richard Phillips, Tampa Area Local)
President, Bill Burrus:
Overview of the Issue: We have to address the internal workings of National
Some locals have suggested that Burrus just sit down with PMG Potter and
straighten this out. President Burrus stated that this issue is too complex
to be settled by such a face-to-face meeting. It's nation-wide in scope, and
the decision of the Tour 2 Initiative did not come from PMG's office.
President Burrus stated that issues of major importance cannot be shortcut,
and be addressed with a simple conversation between himself and Potter.
President Burrus stated that there are different responsibilities within the
USPS, and he suspects that this Tour 2 Initiative originated from Deputy
PMG, Pat Donohue's shop, with other National Operations Managers okaying it.
It is Burrus' understanding that instructions came from Headquarters, asking
that the results be reported back to Washington D.C. from the field.
President Burrus also stated that the decision has been made, and
implemented nation-wide, so it doesn't matter where it came from. The only
way to address it is thru the grievance/arbitration procedures, which
includes the NLRB, with emphasis on the fact that the APWU was denied an
opportunity to participate in the processes.
Overview of the Elimination of Tour 2:
President Burrus stated that there has historically been an erosion of the
numbers of employees from Tour 2. There has been a steady decline from the
complement we have had for the past 20 years.
October 17th - Letter was sent from APWU to USPS, Labor Relations requesting
a meeting regarding information received from local presidents. Basically
the letter was asking: Was it true?
Response from USPS was received by the APWU November 14th - A meeting has
been scheduled for Wednesday, December 10th, which will be first
face-to-face meeting at the National level to discuss the elimination of
Tour 2. President Burrus stated that he believes that the meeting will be
most productive by limiting the participants. The APWU will have the
President, Industrial Relations Dir, and 3 Craft officers at the meeting.
Burrus: There are some holes in management's response. Management states
that there is no National USPS intent to eliminate all Tour 2 work, and that
local management has flexibility to determine staffing.
What the National APWU has been doing?
Can it be stopped?
Can employees be returned?
Contract Options: Article 12, 5, 4, and 17 - Processes that management must
Article 4 - Tech/Mech
Management must take the action agreed to before they implement a unilateral
Article 5 - Unilateral Action
Article 12 - How employees are moved. USPS has the right to determine what
is performed, where, and who will do it.
President Burrus stated that there are no legal restrictions against the
actions of the employer except for what is negotiated into the contract. It's
not a matter of right or wrong, as we perceive it. It's a matter of what our
Most of the APWU's challenges will be to the process, based mainly upon
Article 12. There is no specific contractual language that prevents
management from moving work from Tour 2; the challenges will be on the
processes that management didn't follow.
There may be some locals that have Notice periods in their LMOU's. Each
local should be checking on this.
APWU's strategies have not been made public as of this date, as we do not
want to tip our hand before the formal presentations.
APWU will not appeal to president-elect, Obama to intercede at this time,
during the transition period ... but reserves the possibility in the future.
Greg Bell, Director, Industrial Relations:
Under normal circumstances sectional excessing and excessing outside the
installation must follow a process. What gave rise to this issue at the
National level, is that this appears to be an initiative from the USPS at
the National level to reduce the number of employees.
USPS response to APWU letter was that there is no such initiative; no
documentation exists. This is a false statement which allowed the APWU to
get involved. USPS must allow APWU to participate in any proposed changes
during the development stage. Information from the field indicates that
there was a National directive to eliminate Tour 2 work.
Action taken at the National level:
The APWU has initiated an Unfair Labor Practice charge - 11/25/08
We are presently in the process of meeting with the NLRB Board Agent
12/3/08 - An Amendment was filed to the initial ULP, adding to the initial
issue of eliminating Tour 2 work.
What should local unions do?
Not all P&DC's have implemented the Tour 2 initiative, at present. Some will
be doing so in January 2009.
Notification: USPS does not have to give standard Article 12 notification.
Locals should be filing their own grievances. Key should be on the
notification period to locals for excessing within the installation - each
local should check their LMOU. Also, Article 17 & 31 - obligation to provide
information, documentation, and documents.
Worse case scenario: NLRB could deny the APWU's case outright, or Collyerize
it, pending the outcome of grievance(s)
Other Issues Discussed
RE: 10/4 Modified Work Week Program:
President Burrus: At the present time we are at impasse at the National
APWU has had a dialog with USPS at the National level regarding the 10/4
Modified Work Week. Donahoe came up with a scenario that will work for the
USPS. It was always Burrus' intent that the 10/4 Modified Work Week program
would be voluntary upon the employee.
It was never the intent that the majority, even by vote, could override an
employee's decision not to participate. Local's must recognize the employee's
right to volunteer to participate, and cannot mandate that an employee
participate or lose their job.
Closing Remarks by President Burrus
We have had careers of examining management's decisions thru our own prisms,
and without consequence of the cost factors. Those assumptions to not matter
anymore; cost does matter. USPS management needs to reduce costs. USPS
deficit over the past 3 years exceeds $7.5 Billion, and cannot be recovered
by rate increases. The only way that the USPS can recover this is thru
growth in mail volume, which will not occur anytime in the near future.
Questions/Concerns from Local Presidents:
1, Each local president should ask for the computer program or model that
their Plant Manager used to justify Tour 2 elimination
2. In addition to grieving at the local level, should we be filing ULP's at
the local level? Daryll Anderson: If the provisions of the LMOU are
violated (notification, etc), then file.