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Labor Day Telethon
At last year's telethon, The Union presented pledges and donations totaling $2.4 million to MDA, helping the telethon attain a record $63.8 million indonations and pledges.
People Over Bonuses
Excerpted from the article
Branch 214 memebers say no
to abuse, picket Bryant Annex
By Bill Thorton, Vice President
There is a negative impact to monetary incentives, manager bonus system and computer computer generated work estimates in place today.
In the current environment, there is a grueling, daily stressful, anxiety ridden work floor. Those of us who started before Reorganization and he birth of the Postal Service and into the 70's and 80's do not remember such condition. While never an easy job, and with a sort of militaristic management style, there was also a sense of decency. The mail may have gotten heavy but there was no marriage mail, only 2 bundles for park and loop routes and foot routes, no DPS, Verticle Flat Cases, scanning responsibilities, and certainly no computer driven work load estimates. Station managers and supervisors issued few disciplines. Employees worked for salaries. It was a service and monetary reason for managerial abuse were basically no-existent.
So what happened? It is reasonable to look for some of the reasons behind the changes in working conditions. These changes didn't drop from the sky.
"Pay for Performance"
This is the name for the Postal Service bonus plan for managers. It replaced EVA or Economic Value Added, the previous bonus system, in 2003.
(Pay-for-performance plan boosts managers' salaries,Dan Davidson, Federal Times, July 12, 2006) Managment explains the system as follows,
"About 74,000 postmasters, executives, supervisors and administative workers participate in the new pay for performance program... the highest possible performance raise under EVA was 6 percent. Under the new system, participants can receive a raise that ranges from 0 to 12 percent."
Changes in the way work is performed and monitored.DOIS
(Patrick Donohue, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Postmaster General, Optimizing Delivery at the US Postal Service, 5/15/2004)
The US Postal Service believed that the key to success in this delivery environment is a skilled front-line supervisory team with technology tools that provide actionable data for daily management decisions. To provide that data, the US Postal Service implemented the Delivery Operations Information System (DOIS).
The national union has acknowledged,if only indirectly, that DOIS is not going away. As President Young has pointed out, the Postal Service needs a DOIS system-a DOIS system that is accurate and that could help modernize and improve delivery management. (What's the Deal with DOIS? May 2006, Postal Record)
The union cannot stop the automation or the volume recording systems like DOIS and cannot keep managemers off the workroom floor. Article 3 gives management the right to manage. The union oversees management responsibility regarding wages and workroom floor conditions. It is in these areas union/carrier can fight abuses of those systems.
The players and programs may change but there is no change in the accepted contractual procedures concerning workload assessment-how much time it will take to finish the route.
Form 3996 is not about carrier performance but is the mechanism for the carrier to inform management when they cannot finish duties within 8 hours.
Fighting abuse one 3996 at a time
San Francisco managment continues to impose their version of the The Carrier Commitment Program. This was resurrected from the past when some offices had opted out of 131.4 M-41.
Nonetheless, commitment has reared its ugly head again. Supervisors come around early and inform carriers how much they will be working verbally, and maybe even give some unclear instructions on what to curtail. This is a way to get around 131.4 of the M-41 and the rules on the misuse of DOIS/computer generated management workload estimates.
The Reporting Requirements have not changed despite management's less than clever attempts to ignore them.
It has become obvious that management is intent on ignoring these requirements and forcing carriers to accept their figures. Don't accept this. The union can fight this but only if carriers submit the 3996 when appropriate/needed. That means anytime you cannot complete all your duties in 8 hours.
However, when a carrier has verbally stated or given a Form 3996 to management informing them that he or she cannot follow that instruction, management must make a decision. The instruction actually contains 2 directives. The carrier has informed management that he or she can do one or the other. It is management's responsibility to decide which one it wants complied with. When a manager refuses to clearly instruct as to whether the carrier should complete the assignment or return within 8 hours, the carrier may have to call from the street. At that time, the carrier is to inform the supervisor where he or she is, what is left and an estimate of what time they will return to the office. The manager will then have a second opportunity to give clear instructions that can be followed. If none are given, then the carrier is to complete as much as possible without going into overtime. If instructed to complete the route, he or she must follow the instuction. No carrier has the authority to curtail mail; only management may make that decision.
If the carrier is told to finish that means that overtime is authorized.
No matter what kind of scheme, recording system or management bonus system they come up with at L'Enfant Plaza at Postal Headquaters in Washington, D.C, one thing remains the same. You do the work.
Informational picketing and picketing in general has been proudly used by groups (including labor unions) seeking redress of violations of rights when normal channels of redress have been inadequate, too slow, or frustration over conditions reach crisis levels. It is a first amendment right guaranteed by the constitution.
Management, of course, hates this type of mass action because it moves discusions outside of the accepted venues of redress like the grievance procedure and opens management up to public embarrassment and scrutiny. It also allows workers to mass together and exercise a solidarity that is threatening to management's control. The labor movementhas its roots in street actions and even with collective bargaining and contractual rights, the usefulness of the picket remains.
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