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Postal Management Scuttles Agreement On Route Inspections

Union to Intensify Vigilance of Violations; Plans Carrier Training to Fight Abuses

Postal management has notified the NALC of its intent to withdraw unilaterally from USPS-NALC Memorandums that mandated local management and union leaders to work out agreements on route inspections.

NALC President William H. Young decried the move and called it a major blow to improved labor-management relations in the Postal Service. He noted that this comes at a time when close cooperation is essential as Congress prepares to resume consideration of postal reform legislation.

Young announced that the union will institute a major nationwide training program to insure that mail counts are correct. He also issued a special alert to NALC officers to be on the lookout for management attempts to circumvent requirements in postal manuals and handbooks governing mail counts and inspections.

Ironically, the official notice of the action to the union arrived at NALC Headquarters on a day of infamy, December 7. However, no one at NALC national headquarters was surprised by this action since rumors of it had been circulating for weeks.

“It is a sad day for letter carriers and the mailing public,” Young said. “Management was unwilling or unable to rein in maverick managers whose actions insured that no local agreements would be consummated in their regions. Instead of trying to work with our Union, these mavericks went full speed ahead training managers to resume traditional route inspections early next year.”

Resume Bickering

“Our Joint Memorandums on April 1 and August 4 laid the groundwork for a lengthy period of cooperation and understanding on route adjustments and inspections that would have resulted in a more efficient Postal Service, a more wholesome work environment and a higher level of service for the American public,” Young added. “Management has now tossed them on the trash heap and signaled a go-ahead to resume daily bickering on the workroom floor!”

Once again the ugly head of management bonuses appeared to be at the core of the decision.

It is management’s desire to capture savings even though the Delivery Operations Information System (DOIS) has badly distorted the amount of savings potential. Postal headquarters officials are convinced they can eliminate 2,000 routes if they capture the under time that DOIS is alerting them exists.

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The chief operating officer of the Postal Service asserted that no route should have more than two hours office time given the Service’s gains in DPS percentage and other efficiencies now available to carriers.

Vision Blurred

Young said the high level USPS official’s vision is blurred by unrealistic numbers entered into DOIS by over zealous managers who have received their marching orders from superiors whose bonuses depend on capturing those levels of savings. It is also blurred by insisting on entering S999 mail (not accepted by sorting machines) as DPS mail even though most of that mail must be processed by the letter carrier.

“We will not allow our members to be run over by these zealots,” Young added. “We will defend our rights with a rigorous training approach, one which will insure that all letter carriers understand how to count mail and fill out the form during the week of count and inspection.”

Young said NALC officers will receive resource papers alerting them to potential violations with minor adjustment procedures and other attempts to circumvent the provisions of the handbooks and manuals.

Denny Belden 1091 Orl. FL

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