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Route Counts and Inspections
Hello Brothers and Sisters! As you probably know the Postal Service has withdrew from the route adjustment process at the local levels and will now start implementing route counts as per the M-39 chapter 2 across the nation. All of you should get familiar with this chapter so that you may learn what mgmt. can and can’t do. You can read or download the manual, M-39, at the national website, nalc.org. Everyone should review their duties in the M-41, Carrier duties and Responsibilities, also. I know management does not give you time to read it, however, it is in the back of your route book, or should be, or you can also read it at the national website.
Many carriers have not gone through a route inspection before. Many of us “old” carriers used to go through this once or twice each year, so it is familiar to the older carriers and are experienced with mgmt. tactics during route counts. I urge the carriers who have gone through this to help the newer carriers prepare for what is coming up. You new carriers need to heed the experience of the older carriers during route counts and should seek their advice. This could very well mean whether your route gets a fair count and inspection, worst case scenario, be eliminated.
Management has already announced that they intend to cut 2000 routes nationally according to their DOIS projections. DOIS stands for Data Of Inaccurate Supervisors so you know where we stand on the subject of DOIS. Crap in, crap out. Do not let management bully you with their DOIS estimations. The only recognized “call” is the carrier’s 3996 by the National Agreement. If you LET them bully you, you only prove their call is correct. Don’t let them attempt to force you to cut your lunch or breaks to make THEIR call. Do it professionally and correctly to make YOUR call. CALL IN when you can’t make your call, this is a must. No call and you are in unauthorized OT. Your call is only an estimate and is supported by Step 4 Decision M-00464-Oct. 6, 1978. Be as accurate as possible in making your call, but it is an estimate. We all know certifieds and late dropped Express Mail will change your call. Be sure to notify mgmt. whenever you realize you will not make your call, whether at the time you leave the station or by calling in, and make sure you call within a reasonable time so they can make adjustments. Ask your supervisor what time they would like you to call if you cannot make it and make your call by that time.
They cannot give you conflicting instructions either. They cannot order you to continue delivery and that you are not authorized OT. Once you make the call that you cannot complete the route in 8, they must have you bring it back, send help, or authorize you the OT. Step 4 decision M-00326 supports that conflicting instructions should not be given a carrier when calling in.
Remember during your route counts that if you are delivering curbside mailboxes, you must place your vehicle in neutral at each mailbox. This is postal policy and something that you should do each and every day. This policy is stated in Step 4 decisions M-00994, M-00972, and M-00341. Remember, if you follow what you are instructed to do it takes time, so do it! Seconds add up to minutes. They pay you to follow the rules. It is their route, their trucks, and their mail. Follow the rules and you will never get disciplined (in a perfect world with good supervisors), however, you would be surprised at how many carriers want to do things “their” way. Doing it your way gets you into trouble so follow the M-41 and read up on the M-39 and most of you will do just fine! TAKE THE TIME to do your job right!
If any operational changes are made before the
inspection be sure to notify your steward
immediately. This would include clerks putting
mail in the coffins or an acct. clerk waiting
for you to check in as you walk in through the
door during inspection week. We know that this
does not happen during the regular weeks of the
year and they are implementing this to knock
time off your route.
During the week of inspection you should start earlier in order to count your mail. This should help facilitate getting you out at approximately your normal time of departure. This is so that any traffic problems you encounter would be the same as the rest of the year. Remember to verify EVERY count management makes on your route. If you do not, then you must accept what the supervisor puts down for your count, and if he miscounts, you are the one that suffers. You have a right to verify every count, including one-day counts. I never missed an opportunity to verify my mail; I hope you will not either. This dispels any chance that mgmt. may have “miscounted”. Trust no one but yourself!
Remember…BE INFORMED! BE PROFESSIONAL! BE UNION!
Denny Belden Aka: VetCarrier