May 2019 - Article by VP Mark Beach

By the time you read this article the 27th annual Letter Carrier Food Drive will be in the books. I would like to thank all city carriers, rural carriers, APWU members and management personnel that made this endeavor possible. Several groups including CVS, UFCW local 1059, United way, Central Ohio labor council, Mid-Ohio Food Bank and other surrounding local food banks that partnered with the NALC and the USPS to make a difference for Columbus and the surrounding area’s less fortunate. This year’s need was greater than ever, and I believe once the totals are in, we will be above and beyond the last few years totals. Thank you for your effort to help our community.

The union has noticed a huge upswing in the Office of Inspector General activity in Columbus recently. The union does not condone criminal activity by our members or against our employers. However, the OIG sometimes goes after employee’s that are completely innocent of wrong doing or they twist situations to implicate carriers as being guilty of crimes or actions they did not commit. The membership needs to be aware that they have right’s to council if approached by the OIG, but the individual must exercise this right, the OIG will simply not offer them. If a carrier requests representation, regardless of the representative being a union steward or a lawyer, the carrier has the right to remain silent with no fear of reprisal until representation is provided. Now if the OIG would just pay as much attention to managements indiscretions over the past 7- or 8-years concerning clock ring falsification and failing to pay grievance settlements just name a few things OIG worthy, I would have much more respect for them. I believe the OIG has a very important role in maintaining the Postal Services integrity, but it must be done on both sides of the house. The increased OIG presence may be result of the many Congressional inquiries filed by customers over mis delivery or non-delivery issues, former employees not receiving their pay checks or current employees who are owed back pay and the long delays they have experienced.

However, all is not lost there is still a core of good managers and supervisor in Columbus that new Postmaster Jennifer Goldstein will hopefully build around to create a more productive work environment. The union suggests that the new Postmaster start with the staffing issue and believes many of the other issues may drastically improve as a result of being fully staffed, if that ever takes place.

The union contacted the Columbus Postmasters office on the matter of conversions. The union contends that as a result of 12 routes going residual on the march bids that 12 conversions, minus any accepted transfers should have taken place. Saturday 4/27/2019. A week later 13 conversions were announced for Columbus. Again, this is an entire pay period after these conversions were contractually obligated to take place. The union is filing on this matter and the outcome of this grievance is still pending at the writing of this article. Although these conversions are only two weeks these are the types of issues that continue to plague the Columbus Installation. Sometimes I go out to the associate offices just to regain my sanity.