Incentive Letters to be Sent Beginning Oct. 10

APWU Web News Article 124-2012, Oct. 10 , 2012

The USPS is scheduled to send letters offering incentives to APWU-represented employees who are eligible for regular retirement or voluntary early retirement (VER) during the week of Oct. 10. The letter and additional information will be mailed to employees at their home address of record.

Employees who do not qualify for regular or early retirement may resign in order to receive the incentive, provided they mail a signed original PS Form 2574, Resignation from the Postal Service, effective Jan. 31, 2013, to:

Human Resources Shared Service Center
P.O. Box 970520
Greensboro, NC 27497-0520

Employees must note on the  Form 2574 that their resignation is for the “Special Incentive Offer.”  The form must be received by the HRSSC no later than Dec. 3, 2012.

To qualify for regular retirement, employees must have at least:

  • 30 years of service and be 55 or older; or
  • 20 years of service and be age 60 or older; or
  • 5 years of service and be age 62 or older.

To qualify for early retirement, employees must have at least:

  • 20 years of service and be 50 years of age or older, or
  • 25 years of service at any age.
  • For employees in the Civil Service Retirement System, the annuity is reduced 2 percent for each year workers are under age 55.

Employees who as of Sept. 28, 2012, had a scheduled resignation date before Jan. 31, 2013, may still resign on their scheduled resignation date and be eligible to receive the incentive.

Employees who had a previously scheduled resignation date after Jan. 31, 2013, must change their date to Jan. 31, 2013, in order to receive the incentive.  They must contact the Human Resources Shared Service Center (HRSSC) no later than Dec. 3, 2012, and change their resignation date to Jan. 31, 2013.

For further information regarding the Incentive Offer, see APWU Incentive at a Glance [PDF]USPS LiteBlue, and Frequently Asked Questions [PDF] USPS LiteBlue

Posted in APWU Newswire, Local, Retirement | Leave a comment

OSHA Cites Tucson Postal Facility for Exposing Workers to Potential Injuries Imposes $70,000 Fine

APWU Web News Article 122-2012, Oct. 2, 2012

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the Cherrybell Stravenue Processing and Distribution Center in Tucson Sept. 25 for a willful safety violation for the improper operation of a powered industrial truck.

The OSHA investigation was prompted by a complaint that an untrained, uncertified supervisor had operated a powered industrial truck during an evening shift when two of three certified truck operators did not report for their shift. The truck, which is used to move large quantities of mail, requires training and certification to operate.

The charge, a willful violation, is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. The proposed penalty is $70,000.

The US Postal Service has 15 business days from receipt of its citation and penalty to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent OSHA Review Commission.

The Postal Service is contesting the citation and penalty, and an Informal Conference has been scheduled for Oct. 10. The APWU has requested “party” status and will participate on behalf of the members of the Tucson Area Local.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. For more information, visit OSHA website at www.osha.gov or call their toll free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

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PRC Urges USPS To Preserve Overnight Delivery

APWU Web News Article 121-2012, Oct. 2, 2012

In an advisory opinion on the Postal Service’s “Network Rationalization” plan [PDF] issued Sept. 28, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) urged the Postal Service to preserve overnight mail delivery and concluded that ”there is a point in the Postal Service’s cost curve beyond which the additional savings captured are too small to justify the additional reduction of service that would result.”

The advisory opinion is the commission’s response to the Postal Service’s plan to close or consolidate half of the nation’s mail processing plants and to reduce delivery service standards for first-class mail, standard mail, periodicals and package services. The changes to service standards would ultimately eliminate all overnight delivery service for single-piece first-class mail, and delay much of current first-class two-day delivery to three-day delivery.

The PRC concluded that “the benefits of eliminating most overnight delivery of First-Class Mail” cannot be shown “to outweigh the risks of exacerbating declining mail volume trends or harm to the Postal Service brand.”

“We are pleased that the PRC recognized the importance of maintaining service standards,” said APWU President Cliff Guffey. “We’ve said all along that the Postal Service cannot cut its way to profitability. The PRC clearly shares our concern that cutting service will accelerate revenue and volume losses,” he said.

The Postal Service asserts that the savings would be approximately $2 billion a year, but the PRC’s analysis found that “in order to capture the anticipated cost savings upon full implementation … the Postal Service would have to improve average system-wide productivity by over 20%. The commission found this “remarkably ambitious” and risky.

In fact, according to the PRC, the savings could be as little as $46 million per year “assuming mail processing productivities remain at current levels.” In addition, the commission found that “these cost savings may be offset by volume losses and resulting contribution losses from mailers who believe the service levels no longer meet their postal needs.”

The commission was also critical of the way the Postal Service used network modeling tools to justify its decision. The advisory opinion says, “the Postal Service uses modeling to develop an initial list of facilities to be consolidated,” then “rejected much of the model results; more than half of the plants identified using modeling tools were replaced based on management insight before local studies were performed.”

The PRC wrote that the phased implementation of network consolidation announced by the Postal Service on May 17, 2012, provides an opportunity for the Postal Service to study the effects of service standard changes to better inform its decisions on how to preserve as much of the current services as possible.

The commission advised the Postal Service to delay its implementation plans until it considers the report’s recommendations — including alternatives that would avoid cutting back services such as overnight mail.

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APWU, USPS Negotiate Retirement Incentive

APWU News Bulletin 20-2012, Oct. 1, 2012 | PDF

The APWU has negotiated a retirement incentive agreement that awards eligible full-time career employees a $15,000 payment in two installments, President Cliff Guffey has announced. The first installment will be $10,000; the second will be $5,000.

“Our goal was to achieve an incentive for members who are ready to end their postal careers; to ensure that no groups of employees are excluded, and to lessen the hardships of excessing for those who remain,” Guffey said. “This agreement accomplishes those objectives.”

Who’s Covered

The incentive will be offered to eligible full-time employees who terminate their service through retirement, early retirement, or voluntary separation. Eligible part-time employees will receive a prorated amount.

Most full-time employees will have a separation date of Jan. 31, 2013. To allow sufficient time to provide accurate retirement estimates, part-time employees and employees occupying Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) assignments of less than 40 hours per week will have a separation date of Feb. 28, 2013. Employees in Accounting Services position of the Information Technology/Accounting Services (IT/ASC) bargaining unit also will have a separation date of Feb. 28.

The $10,000 payment will be made on May 24, 2013; the $5,000 payment will be made on May 23, 2014.

Employees who had a previously scheduled retirement date earlier than Jan. 31, 2013, may retire on their scheduled date and receive the incentive. Employees who had a previously scheduled retirement date after Jan. 31, 2013, must change their date to Jan. 31, 2013, and meet retirement eligibility on that date in order to receive the incentive.

To qualify for early retirement, employees must have at least 20 years of service and be 50 years of age or must have 25 years of service at any age. (For employees in the Civil Service Retirement System, the annuity is reduced 2 percent for each year workers are under age 55.) Eligibility will be based on a Jan. 31, 2013, effective date. Eligible employees who do not qualify for regular or early retirement but wish to receive the incentive may resign.

Not covered by the agreement are employees who were in a probationary status on the date of separation; employees who were issued a Notice of Removal or Letter of Decision as of the effective date; employees who separate via disability retirement, and employees who separate via transfer to another federal agency.

There will be no limit on the number of employees who may accept the offer, except for employees working in Accounting Services positions in the IT/ASC bargaining unit: No more than 30 employees may accept the offer in the Eagan MN ASC; no more than 10 employees may accept the offer in the San Mateo CA ASC, and no more than 20 in the St. Louis ASC.

Next Steps

Full-time employees must indicate their intent to accept the incentive offer on or before Dec. 3, 2012. Employees taking voluntary early retirement who wish to revoke their decision by must do so by Dec. 3, 2012. The deadline for part-time employees and those in NTFT assignments is Jan. 4, 2013.

Retirement counseling will be conducted via phone in group sessions not to exceed 10 retirees. Employees requesting additional help after participating in a group session will be accommodated on an individual basis.

Under the agreement, where the number of employees accepting the incentive impairs operational efficiency, the USPS may post the duty assignments of employees accepting the offer any time after Dec. 3, 2012, to be filled no sooner than vacating employees’ separation date. If temporary staffing is still needed, Postal Support Employees (PSEs) may replace career employees who accept the incentive for a period not to exceed 90 days from the effective date of the voluntary separation. There can be no involuntary reassignment from an installation while the district PSE cap is exceeded.

 

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APWU, USPS Reach Agreement on NTFT Schedules

APWU Web News Article 119-2015, Sept. 28, 2012

(09/28/12) The APWU and the Postal Service have reached an agreement that clarifies management’s obligation to create desirable schedules and work hours for Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) assignments and other positions in APWU-represented crafts, President Cliff Guffey has announced.

The Sept. 28 settlement was prompted by APWU protests that career employees occupying NTFT assignments of less than 40 hours frequently work fewer hours than non-career Postal Support Employees (PSEs) and often have less desirable schedules than PSEs.

A set of Questions and Answers signed by the APWU and USPS reaffirms management’s obligation to create more desirable duty assignments and provides examples of how this can be accomplished.

According to the Questions and Answers, “any regularly worked hours should be considered when modifying bid duty assignments for career employees” to create more desirable NTFT duty assignments.

The Questions and Answers provide examples of how to use PSE hours, as well as career overtime hours, to create more desirable NTFT assignments. However, the examples are not intended to be an exclusive list of possibilities.

In addition, the document says the principle of creating desirable duty assignments is not limited to NTFT assignments. For example, in an office where PSEs regularly have either a Saturday or Sunday off, a traditional full-time regular assignment with weekday drops could be reposted with Sat/Sun non-scheduled days, under the principles established in the memo.

 

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APWUEgs

Electronic Grievance System has arrived.

Stewards can now handle all aspects of the grievance proceedures totally paperless.  This should save the local time and money.  For more information, stay tuned, or contact Shane McDonnell at wcalapwu@aol.com.

 

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