by Lindamarie Peabody

Hello everyone! I recently had the privilege of attending the Clerk Craft Conference being held in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 11th-14th. It was well attended by over 2000 delegates, and it was nice to see old friends and many new faces. My first class covered everything you wanted to know about PSES. We learned that in Level 22 offices you can have 10 percent of the clerk workforce be PSES, and in Level 21 and below you can have 20 percent of the workforce as PSES. Every PSE who is hired is given a special designation code. A PSE who can work the window has a code of 81-4 and a PSE who can work in distribution has a code of 81-3. We must make sure that all of our PSE work hours are recorded correctly, because that is how our national union tracks district cap and management violations of these limits. If you are not sure which codes your PSES are, you can ask management for their Form 50’s and verify with TACS that their hours are being correctly input into the system. IF we can all keep track of these hours, the union can use them to create duty assignments for full time regulars after six months if they pass the 30 minimum per week. PSES have special rules that only apply to them. They can only work 8 hours per day and anything over that is a violation and may be grieved. PSES can’t be placed into higher level positions if there are full time regulars available to do the work. They are guaranteed two hours of work once they hit on the time clock. Management can cancel work any time before the scheduled reporting time. After working 90 days or 160 calendar days they can use the grievance procedure if needed. PSES can’t transfer, but can work in other offices as needed on a short-term basis. They must work 360 days + (5 day break) + 5 more days to be eligible to receive health benefits. If you are a PSE you can get the consumer driven APWU Health Plan where the post office pays 75 percent of the premium and the employee is responsible for the remaining 25 percent. Last year 22,000 PSES were converted to full time regulars. A wonderful reason to join the union!

In my second class we focused mainly on filing grievances and the specific remedies we should ask for when filing these grievances. Did you know the number 1 grievance involves the bypass of overtime of senior qualified employees? The second most filed grievance involves discipline for attendance. We could cut most of our grievance activity if management would just schedule properly and employees would show up for work regularly! All in all, the convention was very informative, except that I heard very little regarding our contract negotiations. I wished there had been more information given, but you can visit the APWU.org web site under the member’s only seciont to find out most of the details.

December is fast approaching and I wanted to remind all of you about the Children’s Holiday Party. Enclosed in the newsletter on page 7 is the flyer that must be filled out completely and returned to the union by December 5th. Call me at (610) 566-2237 if you have any questions. I also hope to see you at any meeting in the near future. It would be nice to see and hear from some of the new members we have to get their perspective on how they see their future with the USPS! Always remember, a union is only as strong as its members!

In union solidarity,

Lindamarie Peabody
Director of Industrial Relations/Editor