After repeated call by the St. Paul APWU on behalf of its members to management to not just talk about safety but to do something about it. The Northland District Manager has decided with the support of the Unions to develop a District Safety Team. The parties have spent some time developing an working document for this group to start addressing safety concerns in the workplace. It is expected this team will be assembled and kicked off this fall.
The team members consist of people who are concerned about safety and have knowledge of safety issues within facilities appointed by their representative organization to serve on a team full time which will work on safety issues and give direct reports to the District Manager concerning safety issues within the facilities of the Northland District. The St. Paul APWU was asked to provide two members to this team. As President, I have talked to these two and they have agreed to participate.
The St. Paul APWU has been encouraging the District Manager to do something to change the culture in regards to safety for many years. So, when he asked us be part of the solution we have chosen to participate in this process. As with all management plans there is some cynicism this is just another ineffective program in addressing safety. However, I believe optimistically this new team and process agreed to has to potential to make a difference in providing a safer work environment for our members.
As an employee you also have a responsibility to report unsafe working conditions through the USPS Form 1767 which is required to be available to all employees. If they are not available please contact your supervisor and ask they be provided, if the supervisor does not respond contact the Union and we will ensure management is complying with their obligations to have these forms available to you. Under the Employee Labor Relations Manual (ELM) 814.1.e ; Employees have the right to participate in the USPS safety and health program without fear of restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination of reprisal. The instructions on the PS Form 1767 states once an employee reports an unsafe condition in the workplace management must immediately take action to abate the safety issue. If management is not responding to the 1767 report with an immediate response please contact the Union.
Together we can make the USPS a safer place to work.