USPS notified APWU of its intention to remove schemes from all clerk bids.
In addition, the Postal Service intends to eliminate scheme qualifications on Clerk bid duty assignments after March 7, 2015. This is due to the continuing reduction in mail volumes requiring manual scheme knowledge. Furthermore, eliminating scheme qualifications on Clerk bid duty assignments will reduce the substantial annual costs for scheme training. There will be no impact to employees within the Clerk Craft who currently occupy a duty assignment with a scheme requirement.
APWU has filed a National Dispute over USPS actions
The issues and facts involved in this dispute are as follows:
In a letter dated February 20, 2015, the USPS notified APWU President Mark Dimondstein of their intention to eliminate the Specialized Operations Networking Integrated Keyboard System (SONIKS) after March 31, 2015.
In addition, the Postal Service stated they intend to eliminate scheme qualifications on Clerk Craft bid duty assignments after March 7, 2015. The USPS stated that the notification was “a matter of general interest.”
The APWU takes the position that the notification dated February 20,2015 is a unilateral action in violation of the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Because the letter stated there would be a complete elimination of schemes, this is a unilateral change that violates the CBA under the provisions of Article 19.
There are numerous standard position descriptions in the Clerk Craft that include scheme requirements in their qualification standard, which are covered under BQnet (handbooks and manuals). A change of the qualification
requirement would require an Article 19 notice and would not be a notice of general interest.
The parties have historically accepted the fact that when a clerk works a scheme for thirty (30) hours per accounting period, schemes are required.
As late as March 18,2015, the USPS filed an National dispute USPS No. QlOC-4Q-C15104590, regarding interpretive review KlOC4KC14109006 taking the position as follows:
LSSA duty assignments, which include scheme requirements and were grandfathered into the LSSA positions established under the 2010 agreement, may include scheme requirements once the incumbent clerk vacates the duty assignment.
The above USPS HQ’s stated position supports the union’s position that the unilateral removal of scheme requirements is improper.
As remedy, the union requests that the USPS rescind the notification letter dated February 20, 2015 and make the Clerk Craft whole for all violations that occur as a result of this action and/or subsequent actions related to this action.