At the stations we are continually having problems with carriers submitting improper documentation for sick leave absences. Medical documentation that states the carrier “received treatment” or “under my care” is NOT acceptable if you want to be paid for the sick leave absence. The Employee and Labor Relations (ELM) Manual, Section 513.364 states the following regarding sick leave documentation:
When employees are required to submit medical documentation, such documentation should be furnished by the employee’s attending physician or other attending practitioner who is performing within the scope of his or her practice. The documentation should provide an explanation of the nature of the employee’s illness or injury sufficient to indicate to management that the employee was (or will be) unable to perform his or her normal duties for the period of absence. Normally, medical statements such as “under my care” or “received treatment” are not acceptable evidence of incapacitation to perform duties.
We strongly recommend that carriers use the attached form for their physician to sign whenever medical documentation is requested by management. Even if management doesn’t request it and you chose to bring medical documentation (why you would do that I don’t know), please use the attached form. The local APWU uses this form as well and they have had no problems.
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THIS IS A MANAGEMENT TERM DON'T FALL INTO THE TRAP, TRUE UNDERTIME IS DETERMINED AT THE END OF THE DAY, NOT AT THE BEGINNING. THE NUMBERS MGT ARE GIVING YOU DO NOT INCLUDE MEETINGS,PARCELS AND ACCOUNTABLES OVER BASE,WEATHER DELAYS FOR SAFETY,PACKAGE PICKUPS,CUSTOMER CONTACTS,CONSTRUCTION AND TRAFFIC DELAYS AND ANYTHING THAT DELAYS YOU OUT ON THE STREET. COMPLETE A 96 IF YOU HAVE OVERTIME AND CALL IN IF YOUR GOING OVER ON THE STREET,GET CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS AND WRITE WHAT YOU WERE TOLD AND WHO TOLD YOU THIS
ON YOUR 96 ALSO
Definition of UNDERTIME
Very recently, several carriers have received discipline based on information management has obtained through the GPS enabled scanners you are carrying daily as part of your job. That is a big no-no. The attached MOU and article from the November 2009 Activist should provide sufficient information to defend against any discipline generated by GPS.
NBA Kathy Baldwin also made the following statement concerning this issue: “They (management) can use it to track carriers but only IF they notify them of their intent to do so. Use the M-39 ban on covert street supervision.”
The M-39 states the following:
134 Street Management
134.11 Street management is a natural extension of office management. All carriers
are to be notified to expect daily supervision on the street just as they receive
daily supervision in the office. For a delivery manager to fully understand and
control the organization, the manager must be aware of any conditions that
affect delivery anywhere within the service territory.
134.12 Accompanying carriers on the street is considered an essential responsibility
of management and one of the manager’s most important duties. Managers
should act promptly to correct improper conditions. A positive attitude must
be maintained by the manager at all times.
Conservation of energy is most important, and street supervision must also
be directed to achieve this objective. Supervisors must not permit
unauthorized deviations from the route, engine idling for excessive periods,
wasteful driving habits, and unauthorized or excessive vehicle stops and
moves on park and loop routes.
134.21 The manager must maintain an objective attitude in conducting street
supervision and discharge this duty in an open and above board manner.
134.22 The manager is not to spy or use other covert techniques. Any employee
infractions are to be handled in accordance with the section in the current
National Agreement that deal with these problems.
When you are called in for an investigative interview, you MUST cooperate and answer the questions. You are not helping yourself by sitting there and refusing to say anything. This the time to defend yourself along with your steward. Read and heed.
(From Article 16 of the JCAM, Was a thorough investigation completed? Before administering the
discipline, management must make an investigation to determine
whether the employee committed the offense. Management must ensure
that its investigation is thorough and objective. This is the employee’s
day in court privilege. Employees have the right to know with reasonable
detail what the charges are and to be given a reasonable opportunity
to defend themselves before the discipline is initiated.
665.3 Cooperation in Investigations
Employees must cooperate in any postal investigation, including Office of
Inspector General investigations.
Federal labor law, in what is known as the Weingarten rule, gives each
employee the right to representation during any investigatory interview
which he or she reasonably believes may lead to discipline (NLRB v. J.
Weingarten, U.S. Supreme Court, 1975).
The Weingarten rule does not apply to other types of meetings, such as:
• Discussions. Article 16.2 provides that “for minor offenses by an
employee ... discussions ... shall be held in private between the
employee and the supervisor. Such discussions are not discipline and
are not grievable.” So an employee does not have Weingarten representation
rights during an official discussion (National Arbitrator
Aaron, H1T-1E-C 6521, July 6, 1983, C-03769).
• Employees do not have the right to union representation during fitness-
for-duty physical examinations.
The Weingarten rule applies only when the meeting is an investigatory
interview—when management is searching for facts and trying to determine
the employee’s guilt or decide whether or not to impose discipline.
The rule does not apply when management calls in a carrier for the purpose
of issuing disciplinary action—for example, handing the carrier a
letter of warning.
An employee has Weingarten representation rights only where he or she
reasonably believes that discipline could result from the investigatory
interview. Whether or not an employee’s belief is “reasonable” depends
on the circumstances of each case. Some cases are obvious, such as
when a supervisor asks an employee whether he discarded deliverable
The steward cannot exercise Weingarten rights on the employee’s behalf.
And unlike “Miranda rights,” which involve criminal investigations, the
employer is not required to inform the employee of the Weingarten right
Employees also have the right under Weingarten to a pre-interview consultation
with a steward. Federal Courts have extended this right to premeeting
consultations to cover Inspection Service interrogations (U.S.
Postal Service v. NLRB, D.C. Cir. 1992, M-01092).
In a Weingarten interview the employee has the right to a steward’s
assistance—not just a silent presence. The employer would violate the
employee’s Weingarten rights if it refused to allow the representative to
speak or tried to restrict the steward to the role of a passive observer.
Although the ELM Section 665.3 requires all postal employees to cooperate
with postal investigations, the carrier still has the right under
Weingarten to have a steward present before answering questions in this
situation. The carrier may respond that he or she will answer questions
once a steward is provided.
The U.S. Postal Service is paying more than its fair share into the Federal Employees Retirement System mainly because of inflated salary assumptions, according to a new analysis released Tuesday by the USPS inspector general.
Like other agencies, the Postal Service and its employees contribute a total of 12.7 percent of payroll into FERS. But from 2001 through 2010, OPM assumed average governmentwide salary growth of 4.11 percent per year, while the actual increases received by the Postal Service’s unionized workforce ranged from 2.77 percent to 3.41 percent annually. In addition, more than 70 percent of those employees have already reached the tops of their pay scales, increasing the likelihood that current assumptions “overstate future salary growth,” the report says.
As of September 2011, the Postal Service had an estimated $11.4 billion surplus with FERS.
“The Postal Service cannot afford to make pension contributions that are not necessary for future benefits,” the report says.
In a statement, Postal Service spokesman Dave Partenheimer endorsed the findings, saying that excessive FERS charges are contributing to the agency’s financial crisis. Besides re-estimating future pension obligations, he said, OPM should also adjust the contribution rate. That new rate should be whatever is needed to fund the Postal Service’s obligations, but not overfund them, he said.
DOG BITE PREVENTION
Is your office doing all it can do to prevent dog bites? Below are 10 questions that you should be asking and responding to with a YES:
- Have dog bite prevention safety talks been provided to all carriers in the last 90 days?
- Following safety talks, do supervisors conduct street observations of city carriers to verify carriers have Halt spray and a satchel in their possession?
- Has the dog bite prevention JSA been provided to all employees in the last 90 days?
- Have all new employees or reassigned employees been trained on dog bite prevention measures and use of warning cards?
- Does unit maintain inventory of all problem dogs and hazards by route, and conduct checks to ensure carriers are utilizing cards for each location?
- Does the unit update dog warning cards at least quarterly?
- If the residents move, does the carrier forward Dog Warning Card to new address?
- Has the unit developed and used materials to promote customer awareness of dog bite hazards such as lobby posters, newspaper articles and or mailings to customers regarding dog bite prevention?
- Is there evidence local management has used animal interference letters according to national/local policy?
- Has local Animal Control Office telephone # been posted and has the ACS been contacted to present dog bite prevention safety talk?
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