Outside the Installation Excessing for St. Paul Installation
As the financial crisis for the United States Postal Service deepens, management continues its attack on full-time jobs. On November 2, 2017, management conducted a regional notification of their intent to reduce full-time duty assignments from 425 to 404 in the St. Paul Processing Plant. This reduction according to the Postal Service will cause an excessing of 37 full-time employees from the Installation. Article 12 of the National Agreement requires this meeting. In addition, the Minneapolis Area Local was informed management intends to excess 98 full-time employees. This excess event is supposed to occur the first week of February 2018. Contract limits the excessing to a 50 mile radius. The 50 mile radius for both installations will create a significant issue for management to find 135 full-time residual duty assignments to place employees into.
In a Flash bulletin in late October I informed the membership of this possibility from looking at the proposals to change the start times of 80 full-time duty assignments and repost 219 duty assignments. The St. Paul APWU does not believe the proposals are in compliance with the National Agreement. The St. Paul Area Local has initiated and processed grievances concerning the first round of this slash and burn process and appealed many of them to Step 3 of the grievance arbitration process. This crux of this dispute is scheduled for arbitration December 19, 2017. It is anticipated the decision will be received prior to the February 2018 excessing date. If we are successful in the contractual dispute the impact out of installation could be reduced due to the return of duty assignments improperly reverted. The next set of cases being processed presently at Step 2 are the abolishments which occurred September 30, 2017 and the employees remaining unassigned regulars. The St. Paul Area Local is committed to defending full-time jobs being reduced.
One of the most offensive and confusing parts of these actions is the same week we are being told we have all these excess employees, a lawn sign goes up in front of every post office and the processing plant in St. Paul stating the USPS is hiring. The bold letters send the person interested to the website usps.com/careers. When management was asked how many people they are hiring, we are told up to 100 new hires are required to process the mail. It is very deceiving to on the one hand say we have to many employees on the rolls and need to reduce and on the other hand advertise that postal service is hiring career employees. The Union offered they should use the present claimed over staffing to process the mail for the upcoming holiday schedule.
The Union was told new the staffing models are made on staffing projections which they do not know if it will occur. However, presently they need everyone to be successful in processing the mail and delivering to our customers.
This slash and burn on some projections not made in reality are extremely short sighted and it will degrade service to our customers. The Postal Service management is hell bent on resolving the financial crisis on the back of its employees is at best disrespectful to its employees and customers. There needs to be legislation which provides for the financial needs of the public post office. They need to be planning to grow the postal service by leveraging its delivery and retail service to provide needed products to its communities and customers.
We have experienced financial crisises in the past and have survived. We will need to rely on this resilience as management calls plays from the same playbook they have used previously. Hang in there and continue to help the union protect good paying desirable jobs from those in power that appear to want to destroy the historical compact the United States Postal Service has with the public.