|Frequently Asked Questions|
These are the questions that many people have thought or asked about over
the years. It serves as a tool to help us in our development as we continue to learn the national agreement. As the national agreement, it's implications, and applications are so
vast, the process is a life long pursuit. Union business is a reference business and not a memorization contest. The object is to get the right answers. And knowing where the
information is. Finally, in the interests of time, it is important to call the office or someone who could direct you to that information. In union business, please magnify the FACTS
and minimize the ego.
This page will consist of the frequently asked questions submitted by Rhonda Massari (accepted from another branch) and passed out to all the Shop Stewards as a reference
guide. And later added will be any topical issues that arise. No question is a dumb one. The dumb one is the unionist who does not ask the questions for his/her members.
Please be patient as I build this page daily. There are almost 300 entries to start
001 Temporary Supervisors (204-Bs)
001 Q. - Temporary supervisors (204Bs) continue to accrue senority in their craft during the time they serve as temporary supervisors?
A. - True --- C-03227 (National Arbitrator Miitenthal N8N-A-0383 04/23/81)
002 Q. - A 204B working in the city letter carrier craft can voluntarily waive out-of-schedule pay while on detail to a higher level assignment and if worked outside of their bid
A. - False -- C00161(National Arbitrator Gamser AB C 341 07/27/75) and JCAM page 8-6
The only provision for waiving out-of-schedule pay is when the individual assigned to the higher level detail fills out a Form 3189, which is then signed by both the employee and
the steward. Stewards should not sign the Form 3189 in the circumstances.
003 Management's 204B notification obligations
003 Q. - Management is under no obligation to inform the Union of who has been assigned to 204-B status.
A. - False -- M-00030 (Step 4 NCS 9638 02/09/77), M-00357 (Step)4 12/31/85) and Article 41.1.A.2
Managment is contractually bound to provide the local union with copies of Form 1723 which includes the employee's name, as well as the beginning and ending dates of the
higher level assignment.
004 Use of 204B/Part-time
004 Q. - Management may use a craft employee in a 204-B assignment for less than a full day.
A. - True -- M-00537(Step 4 HIN-3U-C37182 05/01/05)
Any amendment to form 1723 must be provided to the union.
005 OIC a Temp
005 Q. - An "Officer in Charge" assignment is regarded as a temporary detail per Article 41, Section 1.A.2. of the National Agreement.
A. - True -- M 00249(Step 4 H1N-5D-C 3290 07/09/82)
006 204-B Informal Step A Rep
006 Q. - A 204-B may not serve as the management representative in a Informal Step A grievance meeting per Article 15, Section 2, Informal Step (a) of the National Agreement.
A. - False -- M 00824(Step 4 H4N-5E-C 36561 02/26/88)
007 204-B/Bid Assignment
007 Q. - A 204-B may serve as a 204-B for an unlimited time and still retain their bid assignment as a letter carrier.
A. - False -- Article 41.1.A.2
A 204-B assigned as a temporary supervisor may not serve in that capacity in excess of four months, or their route is declared vacant and should be posted for bid in accordance
with Article 41. If the individual returns to the craft after that date, they are an Unassigned Regular. That individual may rebid their assignment if they are working as a letter
carrier during the job posting.
008 204-B Circumvent Art. 41
008 Q. - A 204-B may return to their route for a short period of time in order to circumvent the intent of Article 41.1.A.2.
A. - False -- M 00011(Step 4 NCW 8287 10/27/77)
009 Management Terminate 204-B assign
009 Q. - Management may not prematurely terminate a 204-B assignment.
A. - False -- M 00789(Pre-arb H1N-3U-C 34332 12/13/87)
010 204-B use in lieu of craft employee for O/T
010 Q. - A 204-B may not be utilized in lieu of a bargaining unit employee for the purpose of a bargaining unit overtime.
A. - True -- M 00506(Pre-arb H1N-5G-C 5929 03/02/83)
An employee detailed to an acting supervisory position cannot perform bargaining unit overtime immediately before, or after, their detail unless all available bargaining unit
employees are utilized.
011 A 204-B may not sign the overtime desired list
011 Q. - A 204-B may not sign the overtime desired list
A. - False -- M 00747(Step 4 H4N-3N-C 38394 04/15/87)
A letter carrier may sign the overtime desired list according to Article 8, Section 5.A., if they are not in a 204-B status during the sign-up period. They may not perform overtime
within the letter carrier craft within the begining and ending times of Form 1723.
012 204=B opt for hold down
012 Q. - A 204-B may not opt for available temporary assignments of five days or more.
A. - True -- M 00552(Step 4 H1N-4B-C 16840 10/24/83)
013 204-B can't bid on vacant assignments
013 Q. - A 204-B may not bid on vacant letter carrier craft duty assignments.
A. - True -- M 00016(Pre-Ard NC-NAT-8581) and Article 41.1.A.2
There is nothing that would prohibit the 204-B from voluntarily terminating their assignment and returning to their craft position in order to exercise a bid under Article 41.
014 204-B is represented by NAPS
014 Q. - A 204-B who is disciplined for an act while serving as a supervisor is represented by the NAPS.
A. - False -- JCAM page 1-3
Per Article 1 of the National Agreement, until the 204-B becomes a permanent supervisor, they are represented by the appropriate craft union.
015 When supervisors perform craft work/remedy
015 Q. - When supervisors perform craft work in violation of Article 1, there is no remedy if the amount of time is de minimus.
A. - True -- JCAM page 1-5
If, however, the amount of time is not de minimus, the employee identified by the parties will be compensated the appropriate rate for an amount of time equal to the amount of
time the supervisor spent performing bargaining unit work.
016 Supervisors may case mail
016 Q. - Supervisors may case mail into letter carrier cases.
A. - False -- M-00832 (Step 4 H7N-2M-C 443 05/17/88) and JCAM page 1-6
If the phrase "distribution tasks" or "may personally perform non-supervisory tasks" is found in the supervisor's, position description, this does not mean casing of mail in letter
017 Supervisors may change labels on carrier cases
017 Q. - Supervisors may change labels on carrier cases.
A. - False -- M-00204 (USPS Letter 01/28/77), M-0022203(NC-S-4482 01/19/77), M-00691(NCS 4482 02/08/77), and C-03329(National Arbitrator Aaron H1N-3Q-C 1288 03/16/83)
018 Supervisors doing bargaining unit work
018 Q. - There is no provision to pay employees for time lost as a result of supervisors doing bargaining unit work.
A. - False -- M-00206 (Memorandum 11/24/78) and JCAM page 1-5
As long as such time in not "de minimus", the employee who should have been assigned the work are paid for the time.
019 Supervisors prohibited from delivering Express Mail
019 Q. - Supervisors are prohibited from delivering Express Mail.
A. - False -- M-00870 (pre-arb H4N-3U-C 25828 11/01/88)
Supervisors may deliver Express Mail, but only in accordance with Article 1.6.
020 Discharged individuals bidding rights
020 Q. - Individuals who have been discharged and are awaiting the disposition of their case may not bid for craft assignments.
A. - False -- C-00432 (National Arbitrator Mittenthal H1C-3W-C 10155 09/27/83)
021 Full time reserve or unassigned regular (opting)
021 Q. - A full-time reserve or unassigned regular letter carrier who has opted for an assignment per Article 41.2.B.3 must work the duty assignment for the duration and may not
bid on other full-time duty assignments.
A. - False --- M-00669 (Step 4 H1N-5G-C 22641 02/24/87), JCAM page 41-12
Such a full-time employee has the right to bid full-time duty assignments even though on the opt. If their seniority allows them to secure such a FULL-TIME BID ASSIGNMWENT,
then the individual is placed into such assignment according to Article 41, Section 1.C.3.
The resultant vacant opt is then filled pursuant to the provisions of Article 41, Section 2.B.3-5, provided there are 5 or more days remaining in the hold down.
022 Regular carrier who is temporarily disabled (opting)
022 Q. - A Regular letter carrier who is temporarily disabled is not allowed to bid for, and be awarded, a full-time letter carrier bid assignment.
A. - False --- M-00752(Memorandum 03/16/87)
After an individual is awarded a full-time bid assignment as a result of the exercise of their seniority, and they are unable to immediately assume the duties therein, the Postal
Service may require medical certification which would indicate whether or not that individual will be physically able to carry the route within the first six month period.
If after six months the individual is still physically unable, medical certification may also be required for another six-month period which would indicate whether or not the
individual would be physically able to do the duties of the position.
After a year if the individual is still physically unable to carry their assignment then the bid is vacated and re-posted per Article 41. That individual may not bid for the job.
023 Carriers designated successful bidder 7 times
023 Q. - Carriers may be designated a successful bidder not more than seven times during the duration of this National Agreement (2001-2006).
A. - False -- Article 12.3
Carriers may have additional bids for higher level positions, elimination or reposting of the employee's duty assignment, or when assigned to a station closer to home.
024 Street break location choice
024 Q. - A letter carrier may designate the "line of travel" as the approximate break location for their street breaks.
A. - True -- M-00138 (Letter 5/10/79)
025 A Street Break Taken in the Office
025 Q. - A Street Break may not be taken in the office.
A. - False -- M-00424(Step 4 N8-W-0312 06/11/80) and M-00527 (Step 4 H1N-3U-C 32763 09/10/84)
A. "Seatbelts must be worn at all times when the vehicle is in motion. The vehicle door may be open when delivery personnel are traveling in intervals of 500 feet (1/10 mile) or less between delivery stops. However, vehicle doors must be closed while traveling to and from the route, moving between park and relay points, and whenever entering or crossing intersecting roadways. (June, 1984 statement of the Assistant Postmaster General for Delivery Services)
Q: What is the difference between an "unassigned regular" and a "reserve regular"?
A. An unassigned regular is a carrier whose bid assignment has been abolished, who is excess to the needs of a delivery unit and who is not holding a valid bid assignment. Reserve regular is a bid position with scheduled hours of duty and work days. All full-time letter carriers who are not holding regular bid assignments (routes, T-6 or utility strings, etc.), and who are not unassigned regulars, are (or should be) reserve letter carriers. (Article 41, Section l.A.I)
Q: If, on any given day, more than one route on a T-6 or utility string is not covered by the regular carrier, may the T-6 or utility carrier choose which of the open routes to work?
A. The five routes on a T-6 or utility carrier's string are normally carried in the posted sequence. However, a T-6 or utility carrier may be assigned by management within the string but out of the posted sequence whether or not an "unanticipated circumstance" (per Article 41, Section l.C.4) has occurred.