Notes from SAC – South Atlantic Conference

THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’
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Work Place Environment – Harassment

The first seminar was Saturday evening from 6:30-9:30 pm. It was given by Joey Johnson, Director of Labor Relations, NRLCA, and David Heather, Director of Steward Operations, NRLCA. This seminar focused on the work place environment. Harassment to be exact! They said that the cases of harassment are increasing and they want their members to know what to do. “There is no excuse for and will be no tolerance of harassment!”

They went into details of different types of harassment, such as bullying, intimidation, belittling etc. Sometimes it is difficult to determine what is harassment. They talked of different arbitrator rewards for harassment. Arbitrator Fields rendered a decision in 2000 that, because the relationship between supervisor and employee is inherently unequal, an employee confronted by a supervisor with behavior that a reasonable person would find offensive such as yelling, name calling, profane, sarcastic, belittling or other inappropriate language is the victim of work place intimidation and bullying…”

Managers of managers can also be charged for not overseeing the situations. Due to the fact that they are responsible for their managers and the way in which they manage. Harassment does not have to be a direct language, nor does it have to be for multiple incidents. Their behavior can be considered harassment even for a single incident!

What is bullying? According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (the Canadian equivalent of OSHA), bullying is usually seen as acts or verbal comments that could mentally hurt or isolate a person in the workplace. The question to ask yourself is would MOST people consider the action unacceptable? Spreading malicious rumors, gossip or innuendo that is not true, constantly changing work guidelines or expectations, establishing unrealistic time standards, and criticizing a person persistently are all examples of bullying.

Even if your not the victim your rights are being violated for having to work in that type of environment. If you are the victim, or just a witness to the unacceptable conduct, it all starts with you to put a stop to the conduct!

First, stand up politely and tell them you don’t appreciate it and to stop! Your role is to first tell them their behavior is not acceptable and to stop!
You can have a witness: a coworker or the union. Go to management! You have the right to talk to anyone; Supervisor, Post Master, Human Resources, OIG, or Postal Inspectors. Management is to maintain confidentiality.

Keep a factual journal or diary of daily events and record: The date, time and what happened in as much detail as possible. Name, date, witnesses, the outcome. Do Not Retaliate! You may end up looking like the perpetrator and will most certainly cause confusion for those responsible for evaluating and responding to the situation. DOCUMENT….DOCUMENT….DOCUMENT!!

 

Engineer Study

The first, most important thing, I want to go over is the engineer study! I cannot stress enough how important it is that all your scans are scanned EXACTLY at the location you placed them, this is your “point of delivery”. If you scan “in box” do not scan until you are AT the mailbox!!! If you are carrying parcel to the door you scan it AT THE DOOR! If you leave it with the individual scan it right where you you hand it to them. The engineer study is already taking information from your scanner right now to determine times! So if you are scanning a parcel in the vehicle that you are actually walking to the door then you are costing yourself the distance and time to the door! The scanner is tracking your every move! Carry your scanner everywhere you go on your route!

For the engineer study Edit books and your 4003 line of travels need to be 100% correct. All regulars, from my understanding, will be inputting all their route information into the computer system, called Rural Street Database, of where their mailboxes are located, where the point of deliver is at the address when they deliver to door, where there is a Stop sign, where there is yield sign, and etc. This will then be used to go with the data they already are receiving from your scans of distances. So please, please, please, scan at POINT OF DELIVERY! I know it is irritating to carry the scanner everywhere with you but it is the future of your route and pay!

With these new scanner you must make sure to follow your line of travel! If you are going to be going off your line of travel for any reason make sure to notify management! We have had the district call to ask why specific carriers were not following their lines of travel! This was while they were still out on their route! They know where you are, how long you have sat somewhere, they know if you took the certified to the door, if you came to a complete stop at a stop sign, and if you are speeding. The scanner leaves “breadcrumbs” that they watch or even can go back and see what you were doing on your route! So follow your route correctly EVERYDAY unless your have permission to deviate!

 

Second Trips

The next hot topic of the evening was the second trip issue! Welllll…..The unions stance on this is if the mail/parcels do not fit in your vehicle or the mail/parcels are received AFTER we leave for the street we follow the formula of 2 minutes per mile plus loading time plus the additional EMA if you exceed 40 miles for the day.

Therefore; if the mail/parcels are in the building before we leave for the street but are not worked for us to deliver before we depart for the street we receive actual time at time and one half plus the additional EMA.

If they tell you to stop delivering your parcels to get the mail delivered to have the outgoing mail back to make the truck, the additional trip to redeliver those parcels are at actual time at time and one half plus additional EMA.

If they tell you to go through the parcels in your parcel hamper as soon as you get them to check for mis-thrown parcels, that time is actual time at time and one half. When management has you run parcels in the AM this also falls under the time and one half plus miles.

The union feels that if they want to get this mail delivered they should be calling in an RCA if they don’t have enough clerks to get this mail to us in the morning. The second trip rule was not intended for what they are trying to use it for now! Technically they should have you wait for mail to be completely sorted and pay you on “waiting time” to prevent a second trip.

 

RCAs working over 12 hours a day

Management should not be working RCA’s over 12 hours a day including a lunch break since they are not covered under the FLSA overtime. So if you, as an RCA, get worked over 12 hours a day you need to grieve so we can resolve this issue.

 

SPM Scans

Scans are for service performance. They are used to see how long it is taking for one piece of mail to get from point A to point B. The postal service is doing these scans to try and get out of a contract with IBM who has been tracking this information for them. So at this point they are still testing to see if they are going to continue with the SPM scans.

 

2018 Mail Count

They are preparing for a mail count in 2018. They were hoping that the engineer study would be complete by this time. However, they do not anticipate that happening. The evaluated compensated system is complete. Don’t get excited…..The project is not finished. They still have to test, debug, and validate it. They want it to be right when it is done!

 

Increased Parcels

They are looking at avenues, due to package increase and no mail count this year, for some type of relief to the carriers on the growth of parcels.

 

RCA Seminar

Read and know your PO-603. There should be one at every case. If not notify management to order them! Must have vehicle even if assigned to LLV route. Follow all direct orders and then grieve. Regular carriers and RCA’s should have stamp stock. You can get from management if you don’t want to supply your own, however, they can audit you at every 4 months. Notify supervisors or any safety team member of safety hazards. This includes safety hazards on your route!

 

Working in the Dark:

They are trying to get blue reflector vest for carriers to wear to be recognized. Carriers can wear at their option. The purpose for this is so the customers can recognize you when you are at their door for a delivery in the dark. He said carriers are always going to have to work in the dark. They expect for carriers to be out, on some occasions, at 6-7 pm. And with time changes it will be dark in the winter. They don’t, however, mean for carriers to be out at 8pm, and some as late as 4am! They know this is happening and are trying to rectify!

 

Vehicle insurance

All carriers who deliver mail out of their personal vehicle needs to make sure they notify their insurance carrier that you deliver the mail. Don’t tell them you are commercial! You are not! They need to be made aware that you deliver mail. If not and you are in an accident while delivering the mail they can deny your claim.

Other Issues

  1. Management can require a truck to have a lockable bed cover if bed is being utilized to hold mail or parcels.
  2. Bathroom breaks are not part of your lunch! If you don’t take a break you don’t put one down! If you take a break make sure you put it down! Because you can be disciplined if your are not reporting your breaks!
  3. If you are being demanded by management to get a larger vehicle file a grievance.