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Decisions Decisions! Breaks
Hello Brothers and Sisters! Another month flies by and not a single supervisor has gained a single IQ point! In fact they’ve all lost some! I’m sure you agree since manglement has run the USPS into the ground with their discipline based management system. You’d think they’d wake up and realize…IT’S NOT WORKING! But that would require common sense…nuf said!

Let’s get on with giving you information that you may use in your defense or offense.

A Step 4 Dec., M-00134 states that your 10-minute break that is listed on your form 1564 in your carrier book, should NOT list the approximate time where your breaks are to be taken. Along with that Step 4, you should also note that M-00138 states:

“…The Postal Service considers the line of travel to and from the route as being “part of the route.” Further in the paragraph it reads, “…Inasmuch as the designated line of travel to and from the route is part of the route street time, a designation of an approximate break location on the line of travel is considered appropriate.”

So this means that you may select ANY spot along your line of travel for a break spot. So don’t let mgmt. select one for you. In conjunction with these Step 4’s, M-00834 states that you do not have to take one break in the morning and one in the afternoon. You may take both in the morning or both in the afternoon. Do this on your next inspection and watch the inspector just about blow his top! Hee Hee! Here is the language to this Step 4:

“Handbook M-39, Sec. 242.341, requires that the two ten minute break periods be separate from each other, and that such breaks must be separate from the lunch period. There is no specific requirement in the M-39 Handbook that one of the break periods be before and on after a carrier’s lunch period.”

Now for you PTF’s, did you know that you are allowed 5 min. break for every 2 hours you work? Well now you do! Step 4 Dec. M-00618 and M-00171 both state: continued next column...

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“The pro-rata basis will involve four equal segments of 2 hrs. each in the 8 hr. day. Accordingly, a part-time flexible carrier who works 2 hours performing carrier duties is entitled to a 5 min. break; 4 hours carrier work would provide a 10-minute break; 6 hours carrier work would provide on 10-minute break and one 5-minute break; and 8 hours carrier work entitles the carrier to 2 10-minute breaks.”

Well, I hope I have added some good information to the membership and you utilize these the best way for you and your route. These breaks are a negotiated item, they are there for you to use, DO NOT work through your breaks. These are there for you to rest and if you work through them you show a FALSE TIME of what it actually takes for you to do your route. If you skip your breaks, or even worse, skip your breaks and lunch, be prepared to have your route added to. It will be no one’s fault but your own. Use your breaks and show the real time it takes to do your route. In the summer heat do not forget that if you are feeling overheated, sit down and rest in the shade, look for signs of heat stroke or dehydration. These are comfort stops and not your breaks. Do it for your safety and well being. Until next time…BE INFORMED!…BE PROFESSIONAL!…BE UNION!

In solidarity,

Denny Belden
Aka-VetCarrier Orlando, FL - NALC Branch 1091

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