September 2013 Update
The month of September has seen the completion of management’s consolidation plans for 2013. This involved the relocation of the originating mail from St. Cloud to the Minneapolis P&DC as well as the excessing of some St. Cloud Mail Handlers to the Minneapolis/St.Paul NDC. This event has produced circumstances similar to the Rochester and Mankato events both in terms of operational impact and grievance activity. In addition, we have seen the consolidation of the LaCrosse, WI, operations into the St. Paul P&DC with Mail Handlers also reassigned to the NDC.
The St. Cloud event represents the first excessing implemented under the terms of the 2011 National Agreement and a dispute exists regarding the proper utilization of MHAs in that facility following an impact to the career workforce. Considering that MHAs are a newly created category of bargaining unit employee, we are moving largely through uncharted territory. Certainly, we know that management must separate MHAs to the extent possible prior to excessing; however, the National Agreement provides little (if any) guidance concerning the employment of MHAs subsequent to excessing. That leaves us to make the determination and file a grievance where we believe that the employment of MHAs is impacting on the seniority rights of excessed Mail Handlers. MN State Executive Board Member Shane Ryden will be assisting the St. Cloud Branch with these issues in addition to the grievances he has been pursuing for the Rochester Branch.
Management has identified the mail processing operations from St. Cloud, Rochester, as well as the mail processing operations in Duluth, for consolidation in the early part of 2014. Whether that ultimately happens and to what extent remains to be seen.