At least 9,000 jobs in the United States Postal Service will be added or transformed into union positions following an arbitration ruling in early September.
Arbitrator Stephen B. Goldberg said in his decision that the postal service violated an agreement with the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) when it assigned some jobs to part-time employees instead of union clerks in 2012.
The financially struggling agency cut hours at its post offices two years ago. The agency used non-union, part-time employees at post offices that had their hours cut from eight hours to as low as two hours.
Six-hour post offices will hire at least 3,000 full-time employees, APWU said, and at those and four-hour facilities, union clerks must be used. The postal service may continue to use non-union, part-timers at offices that are only open two hours. A memorandum of understanding from Sept. 23 outlines how to implement Goldberg’s decision and gives the USPS 90 days to fill the positions.
“Although significant progress was made in our informal negotiations with the Postal Service, in the end we returned to Arbitrator Goldberg to rule on several outstanding issues,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein said in a statement. “The arbitration award he issued and the accompanying implementation memo mean thousands of jobs within 90 days – not years from now.”
The POStPlan, or Post Office Structure Plan, was a USPS initiative implemented in 2012 to reduce hours at 13,000 facilities throughout the United States by September 2014, as part of an effort to keep post offices open. At one time, the USPS considered closing them entirely.
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