Trenton Metro Update, April 2, 2006
The union had been notified that management
intended to excess 41 level 5 clerks out of the Trenton
P&DC. This number has now been reduced to 34 level 5
clerks. The excessing is due to the deployment of the new
Automatic Induction Unit (AI) and the Automatic Tray
Handling System (ATHS). The postal service has assigned
the new work to the mail handlers craft. These new
modifications to the AFSM 100 will cause a reduction of 4
clerks per machine.
The notification letter to the union had several
procedural errors and contained less than accurate
information. The letter will need to be reissued and it
must contain precise information. The minimum time frame
is 90 days before excessing, not the 60 days as stated.
My position is we must receive 6 months notification and I
will fight hard to get what we are entitled to. The
letter stated we had 10 level 6 keyers in the flat sorter
section, we only have 2 level six clerks in the flat
section and the rest of the keyers are level 5. This
changes the mix. Excessing out of the section is among all
level 5 clerks in the FSM section. Once the new letter is
issued and I have reviewed the impact statement I will
meet with management at the regional level.
The first excessing meeting has been set for April 17,
2006 at 11 am in Kilmer.
Several members who may be impacted due to the deployment
of AI have retreat rights to their former facility and
they have asked if they maintain these retreat rights.
After discussions with North Eastern Regional Coordinator
Liz Powell, the parties agreed the impacted employees get
retreat rights to both Trenton and their former facility.
Other members who are in a bidding restriction due to
volunteering to be reassigned in lieu of a excessed
employee have asked, now that they are impacted, are they
eligible to bid? The parties have had discussions on this
and I am waiting for a Memorandum of Understanding which
would release them from the bidding restriction.
I am constantly looking where we can
create new positions and help reduce the impact.
Currently there are no residual clerk positions in Central
Jersey due to managements wholesale reverting of clerk
positions for the past several weeks. The Trenton Plant
is currently running overtime at 20 to 25 percent. That
means there are clerk positions available and I must use
overtime and casual hours to help create new positions.
Management will resist our attempt; they have been
mandated to get the clerks into lower paying mailhandler
The postal service plans on creating new mailhandler
positions to staff the AFSM. Currently in Trenton
there are insufficient mailhandlers and from what I am
hearing this shortage is nation wide. Plans are to staff
these positions with excess clerks, and they will attempt
to get you to request a transfer to the mailhandler craft
as a PTF. If you want to become a PTF you can always opt
to become a PTF in the clerk craft in lieu of being
excessed. I recommend against any full time clerk
becoming a mailhandler PTF.
If you are excessed into the mailhandler craft you will
receive saved grade but with a new seniority date. Once
its your turn according to your seniority, you will be
returned to the clerk craft, and regain your old
seniority. You do not have an option you are just returned
to the clerk craft. Also your retirement could be
affected by becoming a PTF. I will explain this in a
The rumors are out of control on this subject, I will
update you as events unfold. I will post letters as I
receive them on the local's web page.
The postal service has advised me of a voluntary early
retirement (VER) only for function 1 plant employee in the
Trenton P&DC, Kilmer P&DC and Monmouth P&DC. Employees
identified as VER eligible were pulled from on-rolls data
as of March 21, 2006 and will be sent the offer package on
May 8th. The VER window period is May 12th to June 12th
and the decision to retire is irrevocable after June
12th. The approval/disapproval notices will be sent to
the employees on June 12th. The VER effective date will
be June 30th.
Tour 2 Automation - 1-Hour Start Time Change
The postal service has advised me today, March 31, 2006,
they are moving tour 2 automation (letters) hours from 7
am to 8 am. The service's reason for this move is tour 1
is still processing the mail at 7 am. The service and the
union have agreed to give 30-day advance notice before any
hours are changed. Any employee desiring to move before
the 30 days please contact me.
The postal service has plans to changes other hours.
Any hours that overlap another tours by more than an
hour are being looked at. They plan on adjusting tour 2
first and then move to the other tours.
Anthrax Travel Grievance
The judge has not issued her decision on the postal
service motion to vacate the arbitration decision. Once
the decision is rendered I will email you.
President, TMAL #1020
List of Mail Processing
Plants Being Consolidated
Bridgeport, CT P&DF into
Stamford, CT P&DC
Monmouth, NJ P&DC into
Trenton, NJ P&DC & Kilmer, NJ P&DC
Pasadena, CA P&DC into
Industry, CA P&DC & Santa Clarita P&DC
Waterbury, CT P&DF into
Southern, CT P&DC
Kinston, NC P&DF
Fayetteville, NC P&DF
Greensburg, PA Post
Office into Pittsburgh, PA P&DC
Mojave, CA Post Office
into Bakersfield, CA P&DC
NW Boston, Ma P&DC into
Boston, MA P&DC
Marysville, CA P&DF into
Sacramento, CA P&DC**
Read the Notification Letter (pdf)
**read news article
NPMHU: USPS BEGINS IMPLEMENTATION OF EVOLUTIONARY NETWORK
DEVELOPMENT PROCESS - In late October, the U.S.
Postal Service took its first formal steps toward
implementing a new program to close or consolidate certain
mail processing operations that management believes are no
longer necessary to provide universal service to all mailing
customers. The program - called END or Evolutionary
Network Development - is expected to continue for many
years, notwithstanding opposition from the NPMHU and other
employee groups, from community organizations and Members of
Congress, and from certain representatives of the mailing
USPS Moves on Consolidation Plans
- The USPS announced plans in October to consolidate 10
plants into nearby plants in these areas: Bridgeport, CT;
Monmouth, NJ; Pasadena, CA; Waterbury, CT; Kinston, NC;
Greensburg, PA; Mojave, CA; Boston; Marysville, CA; and
Olympia, WA. Vogel said the areas "from a practical, logical
and logistical point of view made perfect sense.
program, in effect for three years and formerly called
Network Integration Alignment, the USPS has closed 50
facilities and annexes and consolidated distribution
operations for First-Class Mail, Priority Mail and
Periodicals in plants nationwide. The program also involves
opening new post offices and facilities in growth areas,
where demand for postal services is rising."
Mail services switching from Olympia to Tacoma - The U.S.
Postal Service has announced it will move some of its mail
processing operations from its Olympia plant to Tacoma beginning
April 1, 2006. The move will involve the transfer of some mail
processing operations and equipment from the Olympia Processing
and Distribution Facility, where approximately 100 people work.
Some affected career employees will be reassigned to the Tacoma
plant or to other vacant positions within the area. Dale R.
Zinser, the District Manager, said the move will not affect mail
APWU: Locals Threatened with Consolidation
Are Urged to Take Action to Protect Jobs, Service
APWU President William Burrus has written to 17 local
presidents, notifying them of USPS plans to consolidate some
mail processing operations in facilities represented by their
locals, and providing them with material to help protect jobs
and service in their communities." Any attempt to deter
management from closing facilities or consolidating operations
will require a grass-roots effort by members of your local, in
concert with other postal unions and labor organizations, as
well as with community organizations,” Burrus wrote on Oct. 24.
Postal Workers Union Local president believes in power of the
Political leaders, mail customers join effort to keep processing
in city-Phil Jones, president of the American Postal Workers
Union, Cumberland area Local 513, believes that the scores of
letters written in reference to the United States Postal Service
wanting to move mail sorting operations from Cumberland to
Frederick have had an impact. (10/30/05)
Over 100 Clerks to be Reassigned
from Monmouth P & DC
The Postal Service has
notified the APWU at the regional level
of their decision to consolidate mail processing operations at the
Monmouth P&DC with those of the Trenton & Kilmer P&DCs.
This move will involve the
transfer of the 087 mail to the Trenton P&DC and the 077 mail
to the Kilmer P&DC. The Postal Service is reporting that only
the outgoing mail is being moved. Within 6 months both
incoming and outgoing will be processed at the Trenton P&DC.
This decision will negatively
impact the lives of many employees in the Monmouth P&DC.
The Postal Service is
preliminarily reporting that 116 level 5 clerks and 6 level 6
clerks will be excessed out of the Monmouth P&DC. As I stated
this number is preliminary and may be reduced or increased.
On or about October 18, 2005, the
Trenton P&DC will receive an additional Advance Facer
Canceller, AFCS and a bio detection system. Once these
systems are functional the Trenton P&DC will begin processing
all of the outgoing 087 mail on tour 3. Currently we are
doing a large portion of the 087 mail already.
will begin processing 087-pallet mail on our LIPS machine. Management
plans to hire Transitional Employees (TE’s) to assist in this endeavor.
The TE’s usage will be terminated Nation Wide in December 2005, so why
exploit these individuals? This usage of TE’s will buy management some
time to excess employees from Monmouth to Trenton.
I am being told several
different figures on the number of employees being reassigned
to Trenton. Some sources are saying 60 and some are saying
30. No matter what the number is, once the employees are
reassigned, the Trenton P&DC will be processing the 087
incoming mail. Currently, plans are underway to move 2 DBCS’s
from Lakewood to the Trenton P&DC and we are awaiting an
additional DBCS machine and stackers from headquarters.
Rumors will be plentiful and I will try to keep everyone
updated as we move along the path of uncertainty
Memorandum of Understanding Reached on Reassignments for Trenton P &
DC Employees (3/9/05)
The following is a MOU reached today
regarding the Trenton P&DC employees who do not wish to return to the
Trenton P&DC. The Postal Service resisted the APWU's attempt to get
this MOU implemented.
Memorandum of Understanding
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE
AMERICAN POSTAL WORKERS UNION, AFL-CIO
RE: Reassignments ? Trenton Facility
The parties agree to the following on a one-time basis to accommodate
employees who do not wish to return to the Trenton facility.
Employees holding a duty assignment in or assigned to the Trenton
facility will be given one opportunity to indicate that they do not
wish to return to that facility.
Voluntary reassignments will be made as follows:
In the clerk craft, seniority and status shall be handled as if
reassigned in accordance with Article 12. (Clerk craft employees will
retain seniority and status.)
In the maintenance craft, employees will retain their
status (full-time/part-time) but begin a new period of installation
In the motor vehicle craft, employees will retain
their status (full-time/part-time) but begin a new period of
Reassignments will be made to either existing residual
duty assignments which were not filled through bid in the gaining
installation, or residual duty assignments resulting from the posting
of additional duty assignments created for the sole purpose of
accommodating reassignment requests under this MOU. No conversions
will result from this creation of duty assignments, and assignments
created to accommodate these employees may be reverted if not filled
by a reassigned employee. All employees must meet the minimum
qualifications of the position to which they seek to be reassigned,
and also (in the clerk craft) must quality on any additional
requirements of the duty assignment (i.e., schemes, skills).
The USPS will not be required to pay relocation benefits for any
employee who is reassigned under this MOU. There shall be no retreat
Nothing in this MOU requires the USPS to create additional vacancies
for purposes of placing employees.
The Area/Regional parties, along with national parties as designated,
shall meet to determine the methods for implementing the above
All reassignments to be made under this MOU shall be within the
immediate metropolitan area (i.e., beginning with Central New Jersey
District and if necessary expanding to other districts within the New
York Metro area.)
This Memorandum of Understanding does not set a precedent for any
purpose, and may be cited in this and other forums only to enforce its
Doug A. Tulino
Labor Relations Policies and Programs
U.S. Postal Service
American Postal Workers Union,
President, TMAL #1020
Trenton APWU Wins Anthrax Travel Grievance
Arbitrator Michael J. Pecklers has rendered his decision in
the Anthrax Travel Case. The arbitrator sustained the
union's grievance in full. He found the USPS violated
Article 19 and 36 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement by
virtue of its failure to pay travel time to employees who
were reassigned to temporary duty stations following the
closing of the Trenton P&DC due to Anthrax.
Many questions have been presented to me since receiving the
decision, and I apologize for the delay. I needed time to
digest the award and consult with our National Business
Agent and the local's attorney.
I will contact the USPS’ advocate to schedule a meeting to
discus the terms of the settlement. The local is prepared
to move swiftly to bring the settlement phase of this case
The local filed several grievances on this issue, the union
presented 2 cases to the arbitrator to ruled on. This is
common practice for the parties to just arbitrate a lead
case and then apply the decision to the remaining
grievances. The union has filed additional grievances for
our members assigned to Kilmer for 3 years and 5 months.
The amount of compensation owed to each member will have to
be calculated, I have no figures at the present moment. The
grievances were filed for the 580 members in all three
The following is Arbitrators Pecklers Award:
1) The matter is arbitrable.
2) The American Postal Workers Union has established
by a preponderance of
the credible evidence, that the Employer violated
Article 19 & 36 of the parties'
Collective Bargaining Agreement when Management
refused to pay for travel
time to employees who were reassigned to temporary
duty stations following
closing of the Trenton Processing & Distribution
Center due to Anthrax.
THE GRIEVANCES ARE ARBITRABLE.
THE GRIEVANCES ARE SUSTAINED IN FULL. THE EMPLOYEES
IDENTIFIED ON THE LIST GENERATED INITIALLY ON DECEMBER 12,
EX.U-3, AND UPDATED ON APRIL 25, 2002 VIA EX.
U-4. SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL TIME AS PROVIDED HEREIN,
FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 20, 2001 TO
MAY 3, 2002. PURSUANT TO ELM 438.15, THE TIME SHALL BE
COUNTED AS WORK TIME FOR PAY PURPOSES. THE MATTER IS
THEREFORE REMANDED TO THE PARTIES TO DETERMINE AND AGREE
UPON THE EMPLOYEES WHO SHOULD BE COMPENSATED, AND THE AMOUNT
OF SUCH COMPENSATION, JURISDICTION IS RETAINED SOLELY
TO ASSIST WITH ANY REMEDIAL ISSUES.
Dated: February 21, 2005
Michael J. Pecklers, Esq., Arbitrator
North Bergen, NJ
AFL-CIO: Social Security
When the president talks to America about something as
serious as working families' retirement security, we need
to hear sound facts and straight talk. But that's not what
we heard from President Bush in last night's State of the
Union address. He didn't say working people would end up
with lower benefits under Social Security privatization.
He didn't talk about the high price working families would
pay for privatization—in benefit cuts, new government debt
and potential Enron-ization of America's most successful
family protection program. Here's what you didn't
hear—please share these facts:
With private pensions and public employee retirement plans
under attack, working families need more retirement
security, not less. But privatizing Social Security would
make retirement less secure by cutting guaranteed benefits
by 30 percent even for workers who do not choose
For workers who do choose to have privatized accounts, the
government would take back 50 cents for every $1 in an
account—on top of the 30 percent cut in guaranteed
For the average worker who lives 20 years beyond
retirement, that's a $152,000 cut in guaranteed benefits.
Privatization would push many more seniors into poverty.
Privatization would hurt the economy and explode the
deficit, passing on $2 trillion in debt to our children
during the first decade alone. Most of that money would be
borrowed from foreign bankers in China and Japan.
Privatization would open Social Security up to corruption,
waste and Enron-ization because politicians would
hand-pick which Wall Street investment companies could
make billions off our privatized accounts. Decisions about
Americans' retirement security should be based on what's
best for average people, not tied to politicians' wealthy
friends or companies that have political influence.
We must strengthen Social Security—but we must take the
time to do it right so we help rather than hurt working
families. We should be talking about commonsense fixes for
Social Security rather than slashing benefits. First, we
must insist the government pay back money that's been
borrowed from the Social Security trust fund. We also
could end the "wealthy wage exemption" so CEOs pay the
same Social Security taxes on their incomes as average
working people pay on theirs. We could roll back President
Bush's most excessive tax breaks for the very wealthy. And
we can help working families build private pensions and
savings on top of guaranteed Social Security.
Americans deserve the Social Security benefits we have
paid for—we will not accept a privatization plan that
makes retirement less secure. And we will not accept the
notion that keeping older Americas out of poverty is not
"fiscally sustainable" while tax breaks for millionaires
are. Last night President Bush may have been fuzzy about
his plans for Social Security—but he made it clear that
when he talks about fiscal discipline, he means
disciplining working families and America's most
vulnerable—the children, the poor and people with
disabilities—to create and preserve policies that benefit
the very rich. He made it clear that when he talks about
an "ownership" society, he really means a "you're on your
ownership" society. Count on the budget he proposes next
week to make this even clearer. To get more information on
Social Security, including fact sheets and printable
fliers, visit the AFL-CIO Social Security web site at:
Thank you for acting to protect Social Security for
working families. In solidarity, Working Families
e-Activist Network, AFL-CIO
Feb. 3, 2005
President, TMAL #1020
Trenton P&DC Update, by Trenton, NJ APWU
President Bill Lewis
I would like to
wish everyone a very Happy and Healthy New Year. I thank
each and every one of you for your support over the past
year. Together we have come a long way and we are almost
back in the new Trenton P&DC. I have had discussions with
Postal Management regarding the return of mail processing
operations to Trenton. As of today the time frame is:
January 8, 2005, all mail processing machines will be
running and capable of sorting mail.
January 31, 2005, the contractors will be completed
with the renovations and the building will be turned over to
the Postal Service.
The whole month of February will be used to test the mail
processing machines. They will sort standard mail to work
out any problems that may surface.
The main event will be on February 27, 2005, with the
ribbon cutting ceremony with an elaborate celebration in
store at the Trenton P&DC. This event will be for union
members and families. I have attended the planning meeting
and it was hard to find anyone who worked in the Trenton
P&DC on the committee.
February 28, 2005, the Main Office Window Service
will reopen to the public.
The first week of March will be used to finalize move in day
plans. March 5, 2005, the Postal Service will
terminate mail operations in Monroe and begin mail
processing in the Trenton P&DC. The latter part of that week
the Postal Service will phase back in the 085 and 086
As always these are not my plans and I have had no input and
are subject to changes without notice.
I have been in contact with the national APWU regarding any
employee who may be traumatized about returning to the
Trenton P&DC. The Postal Service refused to discuss this
issue with the APWU Regional Coordinator, Jim Burke. I have
contacted Bill Burrus’ office about implementing the same
Memorandum of Understanding that pertained to the APWU
members in Brentwood. I will additionally request our
Congressman's assistance in this matter.
The travel compensation issue is scheduled for arbitration
on January 13, 2005. I hear members discussing the
thousands of dollars they are getting, and this is not
reality. The arbitrator may say the Postal Service didn't
violate our contract and we get zero or on the other hand
the arbitrator may sustain the grievance and award the full
remedy that will be the hours spent commuting to Kilmer,
South River, Monmouth and a few other locations. Either way
it is a gamble for both parties. There have been ongoing
discussions with the Postal Service about resolving this
issue. I will make a presentation of both parties’ proposals
at the local union meeting on January 8, 2005, and
then poll the members in attendance for their views and
guidance. In the mean time we are preparing for arbitration
and further legal action if warranted.
With the reopening of the Trenton P&DC, management plans on
making staffing changes. Management wants to move city
scheme mail to the annex, make adjustments on start times
(all tours) and make drop day changes on Tour 3. Most of
these changes are based on high amounts of overtime. Maybe
if they had maintained the proper staffing they would not
have the high volume of overtime.
The next several months will prove to be challenging, and
the Postal Service will test our resolve and they have
repeatedly proven they cannot be trusted. We must continue
to show our solidarity, we must continue to organize and
raise COPA money. No local in history has been through what
we have endured and still are united. Make no mistake that
we are prepared to fight the injustices ahead of us.
Inclosing today, I once again thank you for allowing me the
privilege of leading us during these disturbing times and I
ask you to keep the leadership of your union in your prayers
and thoughts to help us bring this ordeal to closure.
Yours in Unionism,
Trenton Metro Area Local #1020