August 2018 Update
As summer draws towards it's end, we continue our focus on moving things forward. Progress is being made with MHA conversions, grievance activity remains substantial, we’ve begun implementation of the updated RI-399 MOU (at least in some facilities), and we continue to be plagued by what seems to be the never-ending fallout from the Function 1 Scheduler. In addition, the report of the Presidential Task Force on the USPS has been provided to the White House; although, it reportedly is going to be kept under lock and key until after the November elections. Lastly, but importantly, it will soon be time to develop our proposals for the 2019 National Agreement.
While MHA conversions continue, the process cannot be described as something that’s operating smoothly. The conversion of MHAs relies upon the existence of residual duty assignments. A residual duty assignment is a full-time regular duty assignment which is not filled by the bidding process. The award notice which follows the bidding cycle and indicates the results will identify some duty assignments with the phase “No Successful Bidder.” Those duty assignments are now residual and will be filled according to the National MOU governing the filling of residual vacancies. This MOU provides a selection process which produces the conversion of MHAs.
The problem begins when the bidding procedure is not properly operated and it’s all downhill from there. Mail Handlers bid to new duty assignments, their current duty assignment becomes vacant, these vacant duty assignments, if they are not reverted, must be posted for bid. So, what happens? The vacancy notice comes out and these duty assignments are nowhere to be found. I’m sure everyone who’s been around a while has had this experience. Your coworker has a duty assignment with hours or off days that you would like, they bid to a different duty assignment, and you check the next vacancy notice only to discover that the duty assignment you’d like to bid on isn’t listed. Next, your off to the Union office where you find out that your Representative is on their second (maybe third) email or phone call inquiring into the issue.
In short, this is happening in many facilities almost every bidding cycle; and from what I’m hearing, it isn’t just happening in Local 323. Getting back to the MHA conversion process, it’s important to recognized that the bidding procedure and MHA conversions are related. When the bidding procedure is not operated properly, it delays the creation of residual duty assignments which consequently delays the conversion of MHAs. One inefficient process impacts the following process. Or maybe, to put it in a Postal context: If the 010 fails, every unit behind it fails.
So, is the only answer to continue filing grievances? I guess so. But … OK, here’s where I’m going to stop. The next paragraph is not going to be constructive.
Enjoy a Labor Day weekend brought to you by the American Labor Movement.