St. Paul, MN Area Local
Todd Elkerton, President

In Regional Arbitration on January 30th, 2018, Arbitrator John C. Fletcher upheld an Article 37.3.A.1 dispute from a clerk craft job reversion in March of 2017.  The award summary stated the “Postal Service violated Article 37.3.A.1 when it failed to consider all available hours, to create full-time traditional duty assignments at the St. Paul Minnesota Post Office.  Postal Service violated Article 37.3.A.1 when it reverted duty assignment #95018741.  Management directed to post bid for position #95018741.  Out of schedule premium ordered successful bidder.”

In March 2017, USPS St. Paul Plant Manager informed the Union the new Function 1 Labor Scheduler has indicated they will be required to reduce a significant number of full-time duty assignments and result in more than 90% of the duty assignments in the St. Paul Processing and Distribution Plant to be reposted.  The result of this implementation was felt by nearly every clerk within the St. Paul Processing Plant.  The resulting reversions and abolishments became the subject of grievances for each and every full-time position management was attempting to reduce.  The above cited duty assignments are the first of these disputes to reach Arbitration.  Management at the Area Level has indicated they are willing to settle the other cases in light of the Arbitration decision.  Time will tell if they follow through on their word.  Because these positions have significant remedies to the people who receive them I will try and let the members know which jobs in the future carry the out of schedule remedy for the successful bidder, provided the cases which were held in abeyance pending the decision are settled in the manner provided by the Arbitrator.

This is an important case in our fight to protect full-time work in the St. Paul Installation.  I want to thank the members who bore the brunt of management’s arbitrary and capricious actions over the last several months.  It is invaluable to have members who willing provide the Union with information concerning the use future career PSE employees.  I also want to thank Jason Stevens for his hard work at Step 1 and Bruce Gutzke for his work at Step 2.  The work they did to put together the documentation for these cases is significant, more than 5000 pages of documentation for each case was provided to management in the form of clock ring data, graphs, and charts which supported the position of the Union.  Further, I would like to thank NBA, former St. Paul, MN Local President, and alternate St. Paul APWU steward Willie Mellen for his hard work in getting the case before the Arbitrator and articulating so eloquently the contractual violation which was occurring.  Last, the National APWU Clerk Craft Director Clint Burelson and Assistant Clerk Craft Directors Lamont Brooks, Lynn Pallis-Barber for their support in this fight.  I sent them a letter last night personally thanking them on behalf of the St. Paul Area Local members.

When we fight we win! It is especially gratifying when the membership and the National Officers work on probably the most pressing issue over the last year, the preservation of full-time duty assignment.

Todd M. Elkerton