June 11, 2013
By Neal Tepel
Washington DC – After stonewalling for more than two months, the Postal Service has taken initial steps to enforce an arbitration ruling that was a major victory for the APWU. The arbitration award which was issued on March 29 settled a dispute about the amount of bargaining unit work postmasters and supervisors may perform in certain size offices.
The arbitrator upheld the union’s position, ruling that the “Global Settlement” Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the union and management set absolute limits on the number of hours postmasters may perform bargaining unit work in small offices. The award will greatly benefit clerks in small offices by increasing the number of hours they work.
Unfortunately, on April 3, 2013, the USPS Vice President for Delivery and Post Office Operations sent a memo to managers in the field instructing them that no changes should be made as the result of the award.
After repeated demands by the APWU, the USPS Vice President has taken initial steps to enforce the arbitrator’s ruling, directing managers on June 6 that the work-hour limitations on postmasters “must immediately be observed”
“It is disappointing that it took the USPS this long to partially comply with a final and binding arbitration award. We intend to make sure that management fully complies with the arbitrator’s ruling,”said Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk.