National convention

Delegates Unite at National Convention

Congratulations on a lively National Convention; our members were well represented and the delegates united for the good of the union. Another one for the history books! I would like to thank the Southern Maryland National Capital Region Local, its President Dena Briscoe and its members for their generous hospitality.

Many issues were discussed at the congress and craft conferences. I am proud of the Eastern Region delegates for a job well done. I would also like to thank all the delegates for their unwavering unionism. Please visit www.apwu.org for a summary of the convention.

COVID-19 remains

COVID-19 certainly remains and plays a role in our daily lives. New variants show that the virus can mutate to become more infectious, even after vaccinations and boosters.

Daily MMO cleaning, Stand-up Talks, and deep cleaning after a positive case has been identified at a facility are crucial. Remember that Form 1767 Report of Hazard, Unsafe Condition or Practice can be used and should be completed to document deficiencies. Grievances must be filed to address these serious concerns. It can be repetitive, but we have to stay focused.

Humanity at work

Everyone has the basic right to report to work without fear of retaliation, harassment, intimidation, bullying and threats. I hear members talking about degrading and disrespectful treatment by management in the workplace. We must engage the discussion with the employer at all levels to send a strong message that this will not be tolerated!

Our national task force has begun to meet with the aim of leading the way. Please refer to our educational brochure published this year, entitled “Improving your work environment”. For more information and access to references, visit https://apwu.org/fighting-workplace-harassment or text “HARASSMENT” to 91990.

Mutual respect is a mutual right and a starting point for having humanity in the workplace.

This positive approach will hopefully foster healthy working relationships. If you encounter a hostile work environment, contact your local union representative and complete a Form 1767 (Report of Danger, Condition, or Unsafe Practice). Hostile work environments are considered hazardous conditions and a 1767 is appropriate. Managers are required to keep these forms on the workroom floor, easily accessible to all. Remember to keep a copy of the completed form for your records to share with your local union.

Article 12 on the Horizon

Under the USPS 10-Year Plan, change is coming and we must be prepared not only to fight for new work, but also to defend our current work and ensure that others do not perform our work at the same time. When we learn of violations in the field, claims should be filed to document them and help in the event the USPS issues a Section 12 notification.

When a regional notification of 12.5.C.5 (surplus watercraft or outdoor facilities) is received by the regional coordinator’s office, a regional meeting must be held. Until then, management cannot enter discussions locally.

Article 12.5.B.3 of the contract stipulates:

The Union must be notified in advance (up to six (6) months if possible), such notification to be at the regional level, except under A.4 above, which must be at the local level.

Section 12.5.A.4 states:

4. reassign within a facility employees who are surplus to the needs of a section of this facility;

These two provisions are extremely important and must be enforced by the union to hold management accountable. If the USPS argues that this was not possible, it must meet a charge demonstrating its reasoning.

As we prepare to take on new challenges together, my fellow coordinators: Central Region Coordinator Sharyn Stone, Western Region Coordinator Omar Gonzalez, Southern Region Coordinator Ken Beasley, and Northeast Region Tiffany Foster pledged to fight any attack on the APWU. .