APWU — PHOENIX METRO AREA LOCAL AUGUST 2006
A PACHE J UNCTION ❖ C HANDLER ❖ G ILBERT ❖ G LENDALE ❖ R EC S ITE ❖ M ESA ❖ P EORIA ❖ P HOENIX ❖ S COTTSDALE ❖ S UN C ITY ❖ T EMPE ❖ W ICKENBURG ❖ AVONDALE /G OODYEAR
POTENTIAL MAIL HANDLER JOINING APWU DISCUSSION
AIDED BY YOUR LOCAL’S TECHNOLOGY Mark Rowe, President
Your Local, Phoenix members from LIUNA to join APWU. Technically, and legally, the term for
Metro APWU, has made such an overture to membership in our Union to Mail Handlers is called
great efforts to utilize "raiding”. Having opted out of the AFL-CIO, LIUNA and any of its
available advances in subsidiaries, no longer have protection under the AFL-CIO bylaws (article 20)
technology to help your which prohibits one AFL-CIO Union from raiding one another.
steward force help you. I don't much care for the terminology "raiding”, but that's what it’s
An example is the called. LIUNA and some Mail Handler officers will consider it a hostile
Steward Chat Forum. takeover attempt by the APWU. The Mail Handler
This is an open forum membership will be inundated by their Union with
for stewards to share Management would absolutely hate it! Mail reasons why they should not sign authorization cards
problems, opinions, for the APWU. The APWU will need to gather at least
Processing facilities all staffed with employees
and solutions. Through 30% of Mail Handler member signatures to hold an
this venue, stewards represented by one Union, imagine the election for Mail Handlers to vote whether or not to join
also have free access to potential strength we could show if we needed the APWU. This will be no easy task. But, in
me, your Local’s to mobilize on issues affecting us. accordance with the APWU National Constitution,
President. which clearly states we believe in the principles of and
Additionally, I attempt shall strive for the formation of one Postal Union, we
to have Open Forum with stewards to discuss already have a decision made on what to do given this opportunity.
various issues. Recently in the Phoenix Mail Handler’s newsletter, some disparaging
The following excerpted discussion on remarks were made about the APWU perhaps to initiate the ‘us against them’
the APWU steward’s website bulletin board is atmosphere within Mail Handler member ranks over jurisdictional assignments.
an example of using technology to advance We are all too aware of the fact that the Mail Handlers have been selected
communication between stewards. See the for most of the new positions created by technologically advanced mail
dialogue of sample posts on a recent topic, processing equipment being implemented such as APPS and the new Flat Sorter
machines. This same Mail Handler newsletter article, credits Mail Handler
Posted by (Mark) Rowe Union efforts for the POSTAL SERVICES
continued on page 2
7-12-06 at 7:44am
As you may already be aware, Labors
International Union of North America AMERICAN POSTAL WORKERS UNION
PHOENIX METRO AREA LOCAL #0093 NONPROFIT
(LIUNA) the parent organization of the ORGANIZATION
P.O. BOX 60190
National Postal Mail Handlers Union PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85082 U.S. POSTAGE
(NPMHU) recently dropped out of the AFL- (602) 437-8173 PAID
CIO. The Mail Handlers are a small segment PHOENIX, AZ
PERMIT NO. 438
of LIUNA as well as being the only Postal
division of LIUNA. Soon the APWU will have
an opportunity to invite the Mail Handler
! NO AUGUST MEETING!
There will be no August General
Membership Meeting! Officers, Craft
Directors, and many stewards will be
attending our APWU National
Convention. The September meeting
will be held as usual.
2 AUGUST 2006 HEATWAVE
POTENTIAL MAIL HANDLER Continued from page 1
DECISION to assign newly created positions to the Mail Handler craft.
In fact, USPS assignment of jobs to Mail Handlers had absolutely nothing to do
with any action on the part of either the APWU or the Mail Handlers Union. To call
The official publication of the American
Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO: Phoenix Metro these assignments to the Mail Handler craft a Union victory is about the same as a
Area Local 3741 E. Atlanta, Phoenix, Arizona rooster who crows to take credit for the sun rising every morning.
85040. Many reasons go into such decisions. However, it is likely the main reason is that
In affiliation with the APWU National Postal
Press Association. the USPS decided to assign the work to the Mail Handler craft because it is less costly
for the USPS to assign work to a lower paid craft with fewer benefits, and a 13-year
time span to reach its top step--instead of 9 years for APWU. Also, Mail Handlers
allow a higher percentage of Casuals than the APWU. The truth is the APWU as the
Largest Postal Union in the world, obtained for its members better pay and benefits
compared to what LIUNA was able to get for their Mail Handler Craft. APWU has
increased pay for our members $7,500 annually over the past 5 years. LIUNA can’t
boast those numbers for the Mail Handlers.
After our National Convention, there will be a window of opportunity period that
the APWU can attempt to accomplish a successful raid.
What a powerful and strategic opportunity this would provide for both Mail
Handler employees and the APWU and its exclusively Postal Employee craft divisions.
This publication is for the express purpose
of educating and informing members of It is the opportunity of a lifetime and a giant leap toward our ultimate goal of
Phoenix Metro APWU. one postal Union. United we Stand. A potent alliance with our Mail Handler co-
Any member in good standing is permitted to workers would improve the bargaining clout for the workforce for both crafts.
submit articles for publication. Articles are We work for the same employer, for the most part side by side, and have many
included on a space available basis. Submis-
sions must include your name, signature and
similar or shared duties.
address or pay location for verification. WORKING FOR GREATER STRENGTH Additionally, as management
The local reserves the right to edit all has cut Mail Handler
submissions. Material containing slander or positions, that work is
libel will not be accepted. Copy written material increasing falling to Clerks.
must be accompanied by permission to reprint
by the publisher. Most Clerks, MVS, and
The deadline for all articles is the third Maintenance craft employees
Thursday of every month. are friends with Mail Handlers
Opinions expressed are those of the writer as would be only natural for
and not necessarily those of Phoenix Metro
Area Local, its officers or the editor. All articles
friendships to develop among
should be submitted to: co-workers who interact on a
HEATWAVE daily basis.
PO Box 60190 So be aware that
Phoenix, AZ 85082 LIUNA and some NPMHU
or e-mail the editor at: email@example.com leaders are going to advise
On 6-20-06 President Burrus brought together the National Directors of their members against what
OFFICERS each APWU craft to discuss the possibility of embarking on a campaign
Mark Rowe ............................General President to bring Mail Handler craft employees into the APWU. (Left to right, Clerk
should be an obvious decision.
Sandra Halma ............................Vice President Director James McCarthy, Maintenance Director, Steve Raymer, MVS Mail Handler employees who
Mary Lou Pavoggi ....................Business Agent would NATURALLY realize
Director Pritchard , William Burrus). The teleconference (shown above)
David Hernandez..........................................DIR provided Burrus with feed back from Local Presidents across the country.
Johnny Abril ..................................Rep-at Large Phoenix Metro President Mark Rowe was on assignment in DC and
personally participated in this historic event and took this photograph.
continued on page 4 ▲
Joe Cuccinotto ................................Clerk Craft
Phoenix Metro Area Local APWU
Mike Isaacson ......................Maintenance Craft
Steve Auerbach ..................Motor Vehicle Craft
General Membership Meetings
Doug Grear ....................................Chairperson
AUGUST – NO MEETING
Joyce Miguel ............................................Editor September 20, 2006 – Wednesday at 8:30 am (stewards’ council after meeting)
Isaiah Braddock ......................Retirees Director
Roy Braunstein ....................Legislative Director October 21, 2006 – Saturday at 12:30 pm (stewards’ council after meeting)
Terrie Davis ......................Human Relations Dir November 15, 2006 – Wednesday at 7 pm (stewards’ council - 5 PM)
Sandra Clark ..................Human Relations Asst
Kwane Vedrene..................Health Plan Director December 2006 – No Meeting
Martin Sanchez ................Community Services
Joe Zamenick ............Communication & Media
Freeman Stuart ......................Sergeant at Arms 3741 E. Atlanta, Phoenix, AZ 85040
Danean Hammer ....................Sergeant at Arms
Terry Mattioli ..........................Sergeant at Arms • Certified Interpreters Provided • Members Only • Food Provided
Casey Outlaw ........................Sergeant at Arms
Join your fellow members — sharing in the decisions of your Local
WEB Site: WWW.Phoenixapwu.org
HEATWAVE AUGUST 2006 3
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR Sandra Halma, Executive Vice President
PTF whatsoever. Emergency assistance can and/or class EEO action. In July of 2006
save lives. Lack thereof can cost lives. we submitted our affidavit and a hearing
CONVERSIONS Tour 1 Safety Specialist Terry Mattern has was set for August of 2006. The Union
Finally, after six filed a direct appeal grievance to Step 2 on has just been notified that the Agency will
years, we are this matter. The Union is asking that a now provide the documentation we have
beginning to see replacement nurse be made available to requested. The Union will review this
PTF’s converted. In ensure that the Medical Unit is not closed information to determine what percentage
May of 2006 we in the future. of our employees have been
saw four accommodated as opposed to the number
conversions. In may have been forced into disability
June of 2006 we CONVEYOR BELTS – PIZZA OVENS retirements and whether there is a pattern?
saw five. Now we are looking for another Two conveyor belts (in automation)
six conversions in August. Over two years sometimes referred to as pizza ovens, have
ago our administration made PTF been removed by management. There are POSTAL PEOPLE/SHARED SERVICES
conversions a priority issue. Officers and approximately 30 conveyor belts still in Shared Services will eventually take
stewards put a lot of resources into finding place that have not been removed. It is the over all Personnel functions. The
ways to accomplish results. These Union’s position that the removal of these migration will take place in 3 phases. We
conversions took place only after 6,881 conveyor belts pose a grave safety and will officially begin Phase I on August 28,
pages of clock rings were analyzed for health issue for our employees. Again, 2006. Our local Personnel office will be
supportive documentation in our Terry Mattern has filed a direct appeal cut back to two individuals. These
maximization grievances. IT IS grievance to Step 2 on this matter and has individuals will be there to answer phone
IMPORTANT FOR ALL PTF’S TO requested an OSHA ergonomic study, requests and disseminate packets of
REALIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF comparing the usage of pie carts versus information such as donated leave, regular
REMAINING IN A PAY STATUS AT ALL conveyor belts. The Union is asking that retirements, disability retirements,
TIMES! PTF’s, if you are offered, never go the two belts that have been removed be transfers, trades, reinstatements,
home early without submitting a leave slip. returned and that the existing belts remain. reassignments, etc. Job bidding will
Never take LWOP. We came close to continue as usual and will not be affected
until Phase III, which will take place in
several more conversions but not for the APRONS AND INSULATED COOLERS 2007. Pre-retirement seminars will
fact that a few PTF’s went home early on We believe that every person whose
LWOP which interrupted their six month continue but DVD’s are being developed
name was on our waiting list, received an
time requirement. We will continue to to eventually replace these seminars.
apron. If your name was on the waiting
monitor work hours until each and every list and you did not receive your apron,
one of our PTF’s is converted. It is please contact Sandra at 623-521-6039. SHORT TERM ANNUAL LEAVE--
inhuman and unrealistic for management to The Union is well into its budget year and QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
believe they are getting the best work has 250 additional aprons on order. This Q: What is the appropriate notification of
ethic possible from employees who are will be our final order. If you never approval or disapproval of a short-term
dragging themselves into work night after received your apron, please contact Sandra annual leave request?
night working excessive overtime. to have your name added to our last A: An employee should submit in
waiting list. duplicate a completed 3971 to his/her
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW Some of our employees are in immediate supervisor, or acting supervisor.
ABOUT FMLA uniform and would not be permitted to The supervisor should take the necessary
Many postal workers have a second wear an apron. For those employees in actions, within the required time frames
job. If you are on FMLA leave, consider MVS, Maintenance and those who work at and percentages allowed, and then give the
that you my be fired if you go to your the window, we have on order those signed duplicate back to the employee.
second job. Employees are being tracked promised insulated coolers which are due The mere verbal approval or denial does
and photographed, then terminated for this to arrive the end of August. not constitute action taken on a leave
practice. The Union has had success in request.
returning employees who have been THE RAC – UN-REASONABLE
terminated in some instances but it could ACCOMMODATION COMMITTEE Q: If management does not take action or
take a couple of years off work before give the employee the Form 3971
In October of 2005, the Union
your grievance is arbitrated. disapproving the request for leave, is the
requested the names, crafts, and status (for
leave considered approved?
the last 3 years) of all those who have
MEDICAL UNIT been required to attend a RAC meeting. A: Yes. If management has not met the
criteria for taking action within the
Recently, the Medical Unit onT-1 at Management failed to provide this
guidelines and deadlines set forth in the
the Plant was closed due to the night nurse documentation. My oh my. Wonder why?
Submission of Short Annual Leave and no
being on vacation. On another occasion, After several attempts, The Local filed a
3971 is given back to the employee
the Medical Unit door was locked while National Labor Board charge for failure to
approving or disapproving the leave, then
the nurse sat on the other side of the door provide this information. By October of
the leave is considered approved.
catching up on her paperwork! It is the 2006, the respondent was still refusing to
position of this Union that the Medical provide the Union this relevant continued on page 7
Unit should not be closed for any reason information necessary to file a grievance
4 AUGUST 2006 HEATWAVE
POTENTIAL MAIL HANDLER Continued from page 2
the bargaining strength that could be Discuss this issue and work together. Let’s hold a position on the Arizona AFL-CIO
achieved to the benefit of all Postal make History! Executive Council so I get to hear about
workers may instead get caught up in these disputes, and make no doubt about it,
some non-unifying rhetoric. Reply: TDavis Unions fight each other for members when
I wonder if management would they are not bound by the AFL-CIO
prefer a successful APWU raid of the Mail Rio Salado 7-16-06 at 10:37pm constitution. LIUNA is more likely to go
Is it possible for you to list the pros
Handler craft? I doubt it! Or do you think after the steelworkers or something of that
and cons to this venture?
they might prefer both Union spend nature than APWU members. They should
dwindling recourses fighting each other figure that it would be too costly and not
and remain not at all united? Divide and Response: Rowe 7-20-06, 5:50pm likely that APWU members would join
conquer comes to mind. Besides the obvious strength in them. However if/when we go after the
Let’s counter any negative message numbers rational, "united we stand - Mail Handlers LIUNA will fight us like
intended to divide our co-workers in the divided we fall". The Mail Handlers would hell. The APWU National Executive Board
Mail Handler craft from the common belong to a Postal Union rather than a is having a special meeting during the
sense benefits a united, larger, stronger construction Union. They receive a convention to discuss strategy with local
Union with Mail Handlers, Clerk, national LIUNA tabloid and you have to Presidents. I will advise you all after that
Maintenance and MVS craft employees. get to around page 15 before they mention meeting. What do you think? Is it a
United we Stand! anything about the Postal Service or Mail worthwhile goal to spend time and money
Make friends with Mail Handlers Handler issues. Management would on or do you think the Mail Handlers will
near you. You have a lot in common. absolutely hate it! Mail Processing reject us overwhelmingly?
facilities all staffed with employees
represented by one Union, imagine the Reply: Gerhart 7-24-06 4:41 pm
GAS SAVING TIPS
potential strength we could show if we
needed to mobilize on issues affecting us.
The combination of the talents that the
Mail Handler Union has with the talents of
In the limited conversations I have
with Mail Handlers one thing is agreed
upon. They want to join us against
Management. The big question is will the
APWU would enhance overall higher-ups in the Mail Handler Union be
Remove excess weight ~ Did you effectiveness for employees in all crafts. willing to downgrade their positions?
know that keeping unnecessary items in The Mail Handler has a very talented and Probably not, and therein lies the problem.
your vehicle, especially heavy ones can experienced Union leadership and Too many leaders at the helm unwilling to
save you up to six cents a gallon. Heavy steward’s force. I don't want to debate the give up their posts. Wouldn't the Mail
items, especially an additional 100 issue with Mail Handler’s at this time, Handler brass become Craft Directors
pounds can reduce you MPG by up to 2%. there will be National APWU information instead of Presidents? and so on. I believe
later, and there will be plenty of that a lot of the guys on the floor may be
Observe the speed limit ~ Gas information provided at the National all for it. Did I hear it only takes a 40%
mileage usually decreases rapidly at Convention. I just want to lay some vote by the mail handler membership to
speeds above 60 mph. Each 5 mph positive ground work at a grassroots level. merge?
you drive over 60 mph is like paying Be and make friends with Mail Handler
an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas. employees to facilitate future objectives.
Reply: Rowe 7-25-06 1:30 pm
It takes 30% of mail handlers, cross-
Use the Recommended Grade of Reply: 7-20-06 From Erick at the country to sign authorization cards. If we
Motor Oil ~ Using the manufacture's NVDDC receive 30% of their signatures on the
recommended grade of motor oil is If this is the case of being able to authorization cards we will have an
key. For example, using 10W-30 gain members for the APWU because they election where all Mail Handler members
motor oil in an engine designed to use are no longer affiliated with the AFLCIO. country wide will vote yes or no to joining
5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by What keeps the LIUNA affiliated Unions the APWU.
1-2%. Using 5W-30 in an engine from going after the AFLCIO Unions and
designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas gaining members. This is truly a sad day The APWU will continue to blaze
mileage by 1-1.5%. Be sure that the when Unions are cutting each others new trails toward providing your stewards
container says "energy conserving" and throats. I guess the reality of survival of with the tools to do a better job serving
contains friction-reducing additives for the fittest is finally here for Unions. you. As your President, I will continue to
best results. do my best to keep you informed of the
important issues that affect your livelihood.
Keep your car properly tuned ~
Reply: Rowe 7-24-06 As always I can be contacted via
We are not looking to cut throats. We e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and due
By insuring that your car is properly
believe or should believe that all employees to several missing messages that have been
tuned, you can improve your gas
would be better off if the Mail Handlers brought to my attention I now have a line
mileage by an average of 4%. Making
became APWU members. And yes the non- with an answering machine directly to me
sure faulty oxygen sensors are in good
affiliated Unions usually start raiding after so I can be sure to get back to you if you
working order can improve your
they drop out of the AFL-CIO. I have seen leave a message. President Rowe office
mileage by as much as 40%.
no success in the several instances that this phone # 602 437 0331.
has been attempted in Arizona. I currently
HEATWAVE AUGUST 2006 5
A PIECE OF HISTORY – INTERVIEW WITH BARBRA HANSEN, RETIREE Mary Lou Pavoggi, Business Agent
Barbra Hansen With her husband she started working Barbara described postal pay in those
started working at at the Long Island Division in Hicksville, days, “Before the Walkout we made $1.27 _
the Post Office in New York a Sectional Center Facility. an hour, and a postal employee with a
West Chazy, New Barbara stated, “In March of 1970, I was spouse and 2 children qualified for welfare.
York as a substitute working tour 1 and around midnight our A lot of employees had 2 jobs. There was
part-time flexible in Union Officers came in and said, “that’s it” – no overtime pay. After the Walkout we
1968. She used to we all walked off the job. Brooklyn, New made $3.39 an hour.”
go down into town in York was the first to walk out, then Long After the strike, Barbra worked for the
Plattsburg, and as the Island, New Jersey, San Francisco and first woman supervisor in Long Island and
PNN Central Chicago. We all walked out and froze our one of the first black supervisors, Gene
Railroad came toosh off. After the 2nd or 3rd day, they Dowling.
through town, she’d use a big harpoon type called in the National Guard to work the When she was pregnant with her son
hook to get the canvas mail bag off the mail. We saw Mo Biller and other officers in 1971, she was fired and the Union got her
train, then she’d ride her bike back to the amongst the ranks. Once we didn’t see the job back for an illegal firing. In 1981,
Postmasters house, and they’d sort the mail officers because the FBI was after them. The management withheld her step increase after
on his porch. In the summer, Barbara walkout lasted for 8 days. The government having her last child because of too much
would get Mr. Mustard (a Palomino horse) came down on the radio and television and LWOP from her maternity leave – the
ready she’d ride him up Lyons Mountain to threatened that they were going to pull their Union got back all the loss of pay and her
put mail in the mailboxes along the road. FCC licenses if they continued to report the step increase.
Mr. Mustard knew where he was going; strike. Then only the newspapers kept “We delivered mail in the morning
Barbara didn’t have to direct him. everyone abreast of what was going on.” and the afternoon.”
UNION ACTIVISM BRINGS REWARDS Steve Auerbach, MVS Craft Director
mvs craft report
A lot of people have protect the process as if nothing is done Since we’re still in Summer I again
asked why would then we would start seeing the beginning want to remind everyone to drink a lot of
anyone want to be a of a past practice. There are also a lot of fluids as this summer seems to be
Steward or a Union issues pursued that benefit the members. heading into the record books as one heck
representative, and Unfortunately most members only see a of a hot one.
there is no simple little of what is happening and don’t
nor single answer. realize that a steward or Union Official In Union Solidarity,
Over the years, I puts in a lot of time if they want to do a Steveony@att.net
have been asked and good job. Again the incentive is the good
have asked others feeling knowing that you have done a
why would anyone
want to do it. For me, it’s a multiple of
One of the problems I have found PICNIC
reasons. I believe in what Unions are all from talking to others in the field of
about. It’s the joining of employees getting representation is that there are times when We will be participating in a
to make a better environment for everyone- some people that have been represented
-being part of something that is attempting don’t achieve what they have strived to get. shared event picnic on
to make a better work place. Helping others An example could be that the grievance is
for most people is rewarding, and yes there denied all the way through the process or September 4th (Labor Day),
is a great deal of satisfaction of knowing the fact what they have perceived to be a at Kiwanis park in Tempe,
that you are part of a positive action. I grievance is in fact not one. Some of those
would prefer to be part of the process rather then get angry at the Union or the AZ, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.
than sitting on the sidelines watching. I can Representative. Hopefully everyone
only guess that it’s a strong part of my realizes that it’s all part of life. As a parent See the flyer elsewhere in this
character. of four grown children, I have always issue and watch for more info
Some that may say the Union spends explained to my kids that it’s not always
a lot of time helping those that may fair, as it’s not designed to be fair. It was or ask your
actually be guilty of what they have been always explained that we live in a country
charged with. That may be true, that we do that has rules and laws that have to be
represent people that are guilty. We do it followed regardless if they like them or
for a few reasons such as we have to as not. I’ve also always explained if you don’t
there is the responsibility of Duty of Fair like the rules and laws then do something
Representation. Also, we will do it to to change them. That’s the American Way.
6 AUGUST 2006 HEATWAVE
MEMBER SERVICES “CORNER” Terrie M. Davis, Human Relations Director
We would like to assistance of any kind. E. Whaples, a clerk in P/L 351 from the
acknowledge our We also have a member that has GMF, retired on June 30th, 2006 with over
members that are welcomed home their 17yrs of service, Sanford O. Culver, a
going through a first child. We tractor trailer operator from P/L 052, retired
tough time in their would like to say on June 30th , 2006 with over 13 yrs of
lives, due to the congratulations service, Michael E. Jones, a self serve tech
loss of a loved one. to member Matt from P/L 034, retired on June 30th, 2006,
These members Dominguez for the birth of Charlotte A. Meyer, a sales assoc from
are: Felipe his first child (a baby girl). We want to P/L 014, retired on June 23rd, 2006 and
(Skeeter) Mandurraga from P/L 207 from say “Welcome” to our littlest union Ernest S. Pena, a clerk from the North
Rio Salado, lost his mother, Michael and member. East station, P/L 016, also retired on June
Benjamin Abril, also from P/L 207 from Our local would like to take a 30th , 2006 with over 34 yrs
Rio Salado, lost their sister. Joyce Miguel, moment to recognize our members that are of service. To you all we
T-3 GMF lost her brother. Bill Parker and retiring from the Postal Service, as a would like to say
Claire Patterson lost their son. We would member of the APWU. These members are: "congratulations" and
like to send our prayers and condolences to Norma E. Burgett, a custodian in P/L 032, much happiness form
you and your family. Please contact us at from the Cactus Station,retired on June many years
the APWU office if you need any 30th, 2006 with over 23 yrs. of service, Sue to come.
TOTAL DENTAL/UNIVEST NOTIFICATION
The executive board has authorized the local to compensate any member who can substantiate their loss to this dental plan. The local has agreed to pay
up to $70.00 to any member who submits a claim, and provides documentation. All claims must be submitted to Sec/Treasurer Bob McDonald
no later than September 1, 2006. Bob can be reached @ (602)437-8173 office or E-Mail to STBobMac@aol.com
DEALING WITH ABUSIVE TEMPORARY SUPERVISORS Bob Tomkus
Recently at the GMF on Tour 3 the hostile work environment running around with radios.” He replied, “They are trained, why
just got a lot more hostile. There are temporary supervisors do you say they are untrained?” I said, “If they had been
(204b) who apparently believe it to be appropriate to be running trained, they would know how to talk to people. Coming to my
around the plant and screaming at the clerks. I could fill this machine and screaming at me things that I already know doesn’t
newsletter recounting many of these incidents, but will just accomplish anything. It would be more appropriate for her to
mention one that happened to me. ask “Is there a machine problem here? Are you getting a lot of
I was working on the C row operating a Delivery Barcode jams? Do you need an E.T.?” I finished by saying, “Those are
Sorting Machine (DB) that was using the 852/853 sort plan. We the appropriate things that she should have asked.”
had some slick, barely machine- able mail to run. If you fed the This type of thing is happening far too often. This
machine with a handful of the mail at a time, the machine would screaming and threats to take employees into the office for a
sort it (this is what most supervisors will tell you to do rather discussion are just attempts to bully and abuse the clerks. Here
than reject it as not machineable mail). I was running this mail is my advice to you: Don’t let them intimidate you. You are
when I got a jam near the front of the machine. My co-worker working and doing your job. If they approach you and scream
was sweeping the mail toward the other end of the machine, so I at you to work faster, all you have to say is “I’m doing the best
went to clear the jam. I was coming back to the feeder when a that I can.” At that point ask for a Union steward. Start to file
204b showed up at my machine. The 204b commenced to grievances over this abusive conduct. If your co-worker was
scream at me by saying “You need to keep this machine present during the incident, get a piece of paper, and
running!” I replied “I know.” This 204b continued the rant by immediately write down everything that was said. Ask your co-
saying, “We’ve got a lot of mail, you need to keep this ledge worker to sign a statement that he witnessed the incident.
loaded and running!” I again replied, “I know.” My response Our union is only as strong as we make it. If your co-
only served to make her even angrier. When she finally stopped worker asks you to sign a witness statement, don’t hesitate to do
to breathe and I could get a few words in, I told her that I had a so. Someday you might need that person to sign a witness
jam and that was why the machine was off and that I had just statement for you. We need to support each other. The bottom
cleared the jam when she arrived at my machine. I then line and the thing to remember is, if you are doing your job,
commenced to load my ledge and start the machine. She turned they can’t discipline you. If management misrepresents the
and spoke with an expeditor. While she was still standing at my situation and attempts to discipline you, we all need to support
machine, it jammed again. I told her, “I’ve got another jam.” each other and clearly state the truth in these witness statements.
She replied “Robert, you keep smarting off and I’ll take you So have courage, be strong, and support your co-worker, just as
into the office for a discussion!” I replied “Go Ahead.” She you would want them to support you.
soon thereafter replaced me with another clerk on the machine. Bob Tomkus is an automation clerk on Tour 3 at the GMF
I later complained to her MDO about her inappropriate and a Chief Warrant Officer in the Arizona Army National
behavior. I finished the discussion by stating to him, “You Guard and a former teacher.
know, it’s not my fault that you have untrained supervisors
HEATWAVE AUGUST 2006 7
MANAGEMENT MUST ADHERE TO FMLA GUIDELINES Doug Grear, FMLA Specialist
This is the fifth in a series of informational articles about your • A notice if you are required to submit to fitness-for-
rights and obligations under the Family Medical Leave Act. duty medical certification before being allowed to
Next months article will cover the most frequently asked return to work.
question about FMLA. • A notice about your restoration rights for the same or
an equivalent position.
This article is about MANAGEMENT’S OBLIGATIONS:
4. If you fulfill management’s written request for
Management must post a notice in every postal facility documentation by submitting complete medical
that informs employees about their rights under FMLA. The certification of the covered condition that is signed by
form must remain posted at all times. the health care provider, management may not request
additional medical information. If management has
Upon being made aware that your absence is due to an further questions, a health care provider representing
FMLA condition (yours or a family member’s), management the USPS may contact your provider only with your
must: permission, and only to clarify or complete the
documentation you previously submitted.
1. Notify you whether you are eligible before you begin
using FMLA leave. For example, you must have a 5. If management questions the adequacy of your medical
total of one year of employment with the Postal service certification even though you have submitted a
to be eligible for protection under the FMLA, and you complete certification, it is limited to referring you to a
must have worked 1250 hours in the 12-month period USPS-designated physician for a second opinion. (No
preceding your absence. additional information may be required form you and
your supervisor or manager may not contact your
2. Provide you with a written notice of your rights and physician.
obligations that describes in details all the rules for
using FMLA leave (currently, Publication 71). You should follow all instructions from your supervisor
and provide all the information requested. If management fails
3. Provide you in writing: to fulfill its obligations or violates your rights under FMLA, you
• A list of management’s obligations and its specific should contact your union representative or nearest Department
expectations for you, including any request it makes of Labor, Wage and Hour Division.
to you for medical documentation and any Family and medical leave should not be abused.
consequences to you for failure to meet these Absences that do not qualify under the law should be covered
obligations. If a supervisor simply notes “medical by the normal USPS leave policy.
documentation requests” on the Form 3971 you fill If you have any questions regarding this months article or
and returns it to you, that satisfies management’s need any question answered about previous articles please feel
responsibility to notify you that you are required to free to contact me anytime.
provide medical documentation to prove you qualify
for FMLA leave. GMF – 602-225-3499
• A notice that the leave you claim will be counted Cell – 623-694-9237
against your 12-week FMLA entitlement. E-mail – email@example.com
(Management may inform you about this orally, but it
must confirm this to you in writing no later than the
following payday.) Managemen may fulfill this
obligation by simply noting that you are using FMLA PHOENIX METRO WEBSITE
leave on Form3971 and returning a copy to you.
• A notice that the use of paid leave for the absence Be sure to visit our Local’s website at
will be in accordance with current leave policies and www.phoenixapwu.org. Our website, created
the collective bargaining agreement. and maintained by Webmaster Joe Zamenick,
• A notice of any requirement that you will need to Chief Steward at West Valley, provides a wealth
make premium payments to maintain health and other of information, tools, pictures, forms and is just
benefits, and the procedures for making such darned good. Visit it today!
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR Continued from page 3
Q: If an employee submits for non-choice leave less than 10 days before the date the leave is to commence, should the leave request be
A: No. Management should establish no blanket policy to automatically deny choice leave requests that are not submitted at least 10
days in advance. If operationally feasible, the supervisor should approve the leave request.
8 AUGUST 2006 HEATWAVE
I M P O R TA N T D AT E S OVERTIME, ABOLISHMENTS AND LEAVE —
THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES
AUGUST Joe Cuccinotto, Clerk Craft Director
NO MEMBERSHIP MEETING
Birthday - Alex Haley (writer)
clerk craft report
15 Heatwave articles due for September Attention all clerks represented by the Phoenix LMOU. September 1, 2006 is
the day to begin submitting annual leave requests for short term leave for the first
Anniversary - Woodstock three weeks in December, the month of January, and the first two weeks in February.
25 Payday The leave percentage for this period is five (5) percent in a section. Those requests
26 Women’s Equality Day for leave submitted between September 1st and September 15th will be acted upon
by seniority and awarded by September 30th. Any submissions after September 15th
will be acted upon on a first come first serve basis.
SEPTEMBER NATIONAL CONVENTION
Our 18th Biennial APWU National Convention will be held in Philadelphia this
2 COLA takes effect (provided the July year. The dates for the convention are Monday August 14th through Friday August
CPI is released by Aug. 18) 18th. There are craft specific conferences held on the weekend prior to those dates as
well as numerous workshops being held the Saturday afterwards. Many of your
4 Labor Day Local Officers, stewards as well as delegates will be unavailable to you during those
Multi-Union Picnic - Come And Join Us time periods. We will have stewards available to assist you with your grievances
while we are away on business. This convention is of paramount importance as our
8 Payday National Officers will be entering into negotiations for a new collective bargaining
15 Heatwave Articles Due agreement with the USPS. We hope to get many resolutions passed so our National
Officers will be better able to represent our wants and desires.
17-30 OTDL 4th Qtr. Sign Up
20 Membership Meeting 8:30 am, Wed, ABOLISHMENTS
(stewards council after meeting) More job abolishments taking place at the West Valley DDC due to the loss of
one of the SPBS several months ago. There are now three APPS machines up and
22 Native American Day running with only one SPBS remaining. How long will the final SPBS remain
First Day of Autumn operational? It is safe to assume that it will be operational at least through the
Christmas mailing season. There are still casual employees working in the manual
Autumnal Equinox distribution areas and rest assured, your stewards have been filing grievances and we
22 Payday are asking for manual bid positions at the WVLDC. We have also been filing
23 Rosh Hashanah (begins at sundown) grievances on the Mail Handlers working in the spyder side by side with our clerks.
We take the position that it is our work and always has been our work.
CONGRATS AND THANKS TO T-3 NEW STEWARDS
The overtime issues on Tour 3 in automation continue. Our members are
mandated on a sixth day as well as being made to work beyond eight (8) hours in a
OCTOBER workday. The ODL is not being maximized up to twelve (12) hours on any given
1 Yom Kippur day that there are mandates. Again, we have numerous grievances in the system and
your stewards continue to document the overtime and send the figures to me so that I
6 Payday can add them to active grievances already in the system. The manual overtime
9 Columbus Day grievances are also being filed and updated regularly. I would like to acknowledge
the stewards on Tour 3 at the GMF. Most of them are relatively new and they had to
15 Heatwave Articles Due step up in somewhat difficult circumstances. I say thank you and keep up the good
21 Membership Meeting 12:30 pm, Sat., work. Our membership appreciates all that you do for them.
(stewards council after meeting)
20 Payday HELP YOUR FELLOW CRAFT WORKER —
31 Halloween DONATE LEAVE
Mary Smith T-3 at the GMF, is off work due to an injury and surgery. Mary has
exhausted her leave and is approved for donated annual leave. You may use PS
Form 3970-D to request to donate a designated amount of your annual leave to
Mary or to others who have been approved to accept donated leave. You may
contact your Union Steward, your supervisor or personnel for more information.
HEATWAVE AUGUST 2006 9
FMLA COORDINATOR SPEAKS TO STEWARD COUNCIL Joyce Miguel, Former Steward
At the July Steward Council meeting, USPS FMLA Coordinator and surgery. His employer (not USPS) completed all his
spoke on FMLA issues. The purported objective would be to paperwork for him. Everything was approved without a hitch.
clear up various problems workers have trying to get FMLA And astonishing as it must sound, he did not even have a
approval and to help Stewards be more knowledgeable in factfinding or get disciplined for getting injured.
helping members with FMLA. While the idea is noble, and I am • The FMLA coordinator also repeatedly spoke against
sure the intent was good, and probably some questions got cookie cutter FMLA—referring to the forms and standard
honest answers, overall I couldn’t help questioning some of the answers our Local has developed in order to get our members’
coordinator’s explanations and responses to stewards’ questions. FMLA approved. For someone so intent on getting employee
• The coordinator repeatedly stated how his objective FMLA approved, it seemed odd for him to speak against a
was to help the employee get approved FMLA. I find it method that is clearly working, especially since FMLA notices
difficult to believe it could be so hard since he is the one who certainly use a cookie cutter form.
approves it. To paraphrase the Bard, someone doth protest too much,
• Most of us do not even know anyone else working for methinks.
an employer other than USPS who even has to apply for
FMLA—nevermind jump through hoops and have repeated,
costly visits to the doctor.
• Any of us who have dealt with doctors regarding our
own or members’ FMLA know just mentioning USPS to NOT GETTING YOUR
healthcare providers elicits disparaging remark about USPS.
Most healthcare providers find USPS treatment of FMLA to be
unfair, disrespectful, punitive and foolish. We have had some glitches with our mailing list in the last
• My significant other recently had an off the job injury several months. We work with a mailer and occasionally
there are mixups on address changes. If you are not getting
your Heatwave, be sure the Local has your correct address
CONGRATULATIONS and name. The Post Office does not share address and
name changes with the Union.
DENTAL AND VISION CARE ARE COMING!
Brad Braddock, Retiree Director
OPM announced that it has awarded contracts to 10 companies
to provide Dental and Vision to Federal Employees and retirees.
OPM which oversees benefits for Federal Employees and
retirees selected Met Life, GEHA, United Concordia, ETHA,
GHI, Comp. Benefits & Triple-S for Dental and Vision
Coverage; and BCBS Vision and Specteara for Vision coverage.
Supplemental insurance will be voluntary and will not include
any subsidy from the Government. The Federal work force will
be leveraged in negotiations with contractors, but has not yet
Phoenix Metro Scholarship Winners for 2006 are pictured with Maurice Sadowsky for
negotiated benefits, rates or contract terms. Information will be
whom the Scholarship is named. From left Alyssa Conti, Maurice, Charika Leshay Curry, available starting November 10, 2006 at the beginning of Open
and Karen Ho. Our fourth scholarship winner Vincent Fevola, was not able to be at the Season for Federal Health Insurance.
meeting. Back row: Mark Rowe, Mary Lou Pavoggi, Bob McDonald and Johnny Abril.
HELP WANTED!!! Bob McDonald, Secretary/Treasurer
In the past several months, our monthly edition of the HeatWave has been through several changes. The newsletter is a vital tool in
communicating with our members, however like most “good things” it does not come without a significant cost. To produce and
distribute the HeatWave, it costs approximately $30,000 per year. Our intent earlier this year was to allow a private company
“Newsguide” to produce the newsletter at “zero” cost to the local by allowing advertisements to pay the way. Unfortunately, this
arrangement did not work out. However, we did discover that many of our members did like the advertising.
We are contemplating running our own advertisements, to do so, we need members with marketing and or graphic design
experience to assist in this endeavor. The local is willing to pay LWOP for these duties. If you have experience and want to assist please
contact Bob McDonald @ STBobMac@aol.com or call (602) 437-8173.
10 AUGUST 2006 HEATWAVE
YOUR CHANCE TO WIN BIG
Two ways to win—buy enough tickets to get drawn for one of the great prizes, OR sell
enough tickets to win as a top seller. Either way, send the form along with your check for
the number of tickets you wish to purchase in to the office to get tickets to enter or to sell.
Call Bob McDonald at 602-437-8173 with questions. It’s your future.
APWU COPA drawing at the October General membership Meeting
Tickets $2.00 each or 6 for $10.00
Name: ________________________________________ 1st $500.00 Cash
Address: ________________________________________ 2nd $400.00 Home Depot
City, State Zip ______________________________________ 3rd $200.00 Cash
Tel #_____-_____-_____ Work Location___________________ 4th $100.00 Cash
Separate contest for the top two people who sell the most tickets. 1st place seller $100.00 gift card
Home Depot. 2nd place seller $50.00 gift card Home Depot. Make checks out to COPA, P.O Box 26447
Phoenix AZ. 85068-6447
Sellers Name ____________________________________________
YOUR LOCAL E-BOARD
President Mark Rowe addresses the membership at the
July meeting. From left Steve Auerbach, Joe Cuccinotto, Sandra Halma,
Mark Rowe, Mary Lou Pavoggi, Bob McDonald, Johnny Abril.
HEATWAVE AUGUST 2006 11
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL
IF YOUR CAR GOT
COME AND JOIN US …
At a recent safety meeting at the
IT’S PICNIC TIME!! GMF, the supervisor read a safety talk
that asked how you would feel if you
saved up for a whole year, bought a
new car, stopped at the store on the
WHERE: KIWANIS PARK IN TEMPE, AZ.
way home and your brand new car
WHEN: SEPTEMBER 4TH (LABOR DAY) was stolen. The talk went on to say
*TIME: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM that is how you should feel if you
make an error at work such as put
mail in the wrong place or use an
This year is going to be something special. Our local has joined incorrect label. These comments
with the AFL-CIO and other supporting unions to participate in elicited a great deal of laughter from
a combined picnic on Labor Day. Our theme is “Working to the crew. One can understand any
Raise the Minimum Wage in Arizona”. I don’t know how company wishing to motivate its
employees. But, please, insulting our
many of us realize that the minimum wage has been set at intelligence is not the way to do it.
$5.15 an hour and has not been changed in the last ten years.
For those of use that don’t work at that set wage, it’s difficult
for us to fathom how it is to maintain a household and other
unforeseen emergencies with that type of income. So we (as a OKAY ALL YOU
union) will be supporting this issue at the picnic.
GREAT COOKS !
Also the picnic this year is FREE!! Yes free, so bring your
Our COPA committee is still working
spouse and family members so they can enjoy themselves on putting together a cookbook made
together with us and our other union brothers and sisters. I up of all the recipes submitted by our
believe that the menu will be hamburgers and hotdogs with a union members. We know many of
you have delicious and terrific
few extras sides. I will be sure to fill you in on those later. But I recipes. This is your opportunity to
do know that it will be an all you can eat affair. help out a great cause and to show off
your culinary skill. Mail in recipes for
your favorite concoctions to P.O. Box
There will be lots of fun and games for the young and old alike. 26447, Phoenix, AZ 85068-6447 or
There will be music and various other performers to entertain fax to 602-437-2070.
the adults, along with a few community speakers that will be
running for public offices there to speak to our members on
issues of concern.
We would like for all of our members to come out, relax and
enjoy themselves. We are really looking forward to seeing you
* If there are any changes made from the above information, we will
notify the membership as soon as possible.
12 AUGUST 2006 HEATWAVE
STEWARDS AND MEMBERS AT JULY GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING