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Titusville and the 8 hr. Routes!

During my campaign for office I went and visited one of our outermost stations in Titusville (FL). I got to meet a great bunch of carriers and hard workers. I got to shake their hands and listen to what issues they were facing out in no manís land. They all said the obvious. Overburdened routes, mandatory overtime, and not enough help. Something all of us face, however, the mail that confronted me at that station was worst I have ever seen in my 31 yrs. as a carrier.

There must have been 20 to 30 tubs of flats curtailed not only on one route, but quite a few! The carriers are working 11 Ĺ hrs a day, 6 days a week, and still canít catch up. The tubs are all over the work- room floor. I noticed a Tues color code and it was Sat. I asked him if he had curtailed this mail from Tues. He said yes, not the last Tues but the Tues prior. 2 weeks ago! This curtailment is not allowed by the POM 621.3. All stewards should check this section in the POM and see if management has violated its provisions. All standard mail should be delivered by the second day of receipt at the station. If your moronagement at your station is not doing this, grieve it. Make them adhere to their own manuals! Send it to the B team and ask for a cease and desist. This will make them have to adjust routes. This is THEIR rules, that THEY wrote in THEIR manual. So letís be sure they maintain THEIR rules. If THEY can bend the rules, then surely there should be no discipline issued if WE bend the rules right? Of course, that will never happen, so put their feet to the fire and force them to adhere to postal policy!

The great wisdom of route adjustment management at this station eliminated almost 10% of the routes there; I believe it was 5 routes. What great route adjustments they made there. What route adjustment team of morons did this? Have any of the Central Fl. district managers been to the coast to see this poor excuse for 8 hr routes? Of course not! They are too busy with 2 hr lunches to worry about carriers who work 6 days a week and 11 Ĺ hrs a day to go see if they should maybe do something about it. The amount of tubs on that floor that day was the worst I have ever seen. It was practically a safety hazard to walk around in that station! Iím sure the station supervisor was doing the best he could with what upper management left him, but upper management could care less about the carriers or customer service, especially way out in Titusville.

I have never been as appalled at the lack of concern about getting the mail out as I was in that station in Titusville that day. The carriers are working their hardest to try and catch up with an endless supply of mail, yet they just keep falling farther and farther behind. The big house either doesnít care, or doesnít know it is happening. I donít know which is worse! The supervisor I met that day was doing the best he could in getting the mail out. With working all the carriers 11 Ĺ hrs a day and on their SDOís they just cannot catch up with that much mail curtailed.

Steve Stern, their Steward, shared with me the concerns and conditions they were working under. Let me tell you, from what I saw there, I will never complain about the amount of mail at my station to any Titusville carrier. I would be embarrassed to tell them I had 4 tubs curtailed. Almost all these carriers had double-digit tubs flowing out of their cases and catalogs stacked 4 ft. high against the walls! Titusville has my respect for working under those conditions and I am currently looking into some arbitrations that may help them at that station.

This is the problem with the current, or should I say past route adjustment process. It is highly inaccurate and can be manipulated by management to fit what they want to do. It was well known that they already had in mind how many routes they wanted to be cut at each station. They then just went in and made sure their numbers would allow them to do that! We had a carrier who on a special count and inspection was going 9 to 9 1/2 hrs each day. So how were they going to stop this you ask? They wrote him up for 2 hours of time wasting practices! 2 hours! This was after our own station mgr. went with him the day before and only wrote him up for 15 min. of time wasting practices. I guess the route team leader didnít like that so he put another mgr. on the inspection and came up with this BS! They canceled the inspection because they said he had to be retrained because of time wasting he did. Funny, for 18 yrs. he did fine and has probably the best personal file of commendations of any carrier Iíve ever seen with many years of no sick leave use commendation letters from the PO, yet he all of a sudden needed re-training!

You see, even with that adjustment process they just used the tools they had to swing the inspection the way they wanted. They even made it known to me that they would be generous and not add to his route since with 2 hrs. of time wasting practices would have made his route only 7 Ĺ hrs long! Can you believe these idiots?

 

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Personally, I am glad that the adjustment process is being changed. We can change it locally or wait for national to come up with the process, but any local agreement will be binding. If an agreement can be found that will give us a fair 8 hr. route, then I will support it if the branch officers support it. The main thing for any agreement is that no DOIS figures should be used.

DOIS had been around awhile and we all know that any program is only as accurate as the data that is put into it. Now look at your floor supervisor. Does he/she look like they know the exact piece count you have? That they accurately input the data each day? Do they go and put in the exact amount of flats that were misdirected to your route and you had to give a tub to another carrier, or that carrier gives you a tub of flats? Do you think they really put in accurate figures? Because if they donít, then that data is flawed and I wouldnít want that to help determine my route. DOIS is only a tool for mgmt. It sets no standards for you or me! Remember that! The only call that is accurate is your call on your 3996. They can holler DOIS says this or that, but, donít let them intimidate you; DOIS means nothing in you giving your call! Give an accurate call on your 3996 and that is what they must deal with. YOU do not have to deal with DOIS. Tell them if DOIS says that, have the computer carry the route and youíll go home. Otherwise, itís the call on the sheet!

I send my respect to the hard working carriers at Titusville! It was great to meet them and the mail they have to contend with is staggering! Something needs to be done to those routes out there. The big house probably doesnít know they exist and it is obvious they donít care. Any area manager that walks into that place would be appalled as I was. But, I guess that answers how often they get out there. I know supervisors and some of the big wigs read my articles, so how about telling them to get out there and correct the problems out there! Iím sure the customers out there would like to get their Thanksgiving flyers by now, or the sales flyers that already have been held at stores. Gee, I bet if we looked hard enough through their flats we might find some 4th of July sales flyers!

Next time you see a carrier from Titusville, be sure to shake their hand. They are working just as hard as we are, but have weeks of mail still sitting by their case and no relief in sight! Remember, good ole manglement says they are all 8 hr. routes! YeahÖright! They also say 204Bís are still carriers! Say, Iíve got some swampland for saleÖÖÖ.

RememberÖ.BE INFORMED! BE PROFESSIONAL! BE UNION!

Denny Belden
AKA-VetCarrier

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