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C-98-N-4C-C 02138830

NALC – 11-040001

Arbitrator:  Jerome H. Ross

Date: 6/21/02


Issue:  Did management violate Article 41.1.C.4 by having regular carrier curtail mail on their routes to pivot on other routes within 8 hours?


Union Position:


     The union contends that management’s mandating of curtailment and pivoting on a daily basis violates Article 41.1.C.4, because pivoting is being improperly used to balance workloads or overtime.  It emphasizes that the routes being pivoted out have no curtailment, and management is curtailing 3rd Class (bulk) mail on routes so that the carriers can take mail on the pivoted routes.  The Union asserts the absence of any unanticipated circumstances that would require carriers to curtail and pivot on a daily basis.  The Union asserts the absence of any unanticipated circumstances that would require carriers to curtail and pivot on a daily basis.  The Union maintains that management’s actions have created artificial undertime, resulting from carriers curtailing on their own 3rd Class mail and pivoting to another route.  It rhetorically asks why routes without curtailment are pivoted if management’s aim is to balance workloads through pivoting.  The Union acknowledges management’s right to use pivoting on an ad hoc basis; however, it asserts, in the instant case the daily use of pivoting violates the carriers’ right to work their bid assignment, as provided under Article 41.1.C.4.  In sum, the Union argues, curtailment, pivoting and overtime occur on an almost daily basis, while carriers with undertime on four and five consecutive days are not asked to pivot.  Finally, the Union points to the Postmaster’s e-mail, which orders supervisors to require daily pivoting of ten to twenty minutes.


Service Position:


     The Service argues that management’s actions were taken pursuant to its retained rights to direct employees and maintain efficient operations.  It also cites the contractual principle of a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.  The Service maintains that the Postmaster’s e-mail is not relevant because the carriers did not pivot every workday during the period at issue.  It points out that the only route that was curtailed daily was Route 27, which was significantly under eight hours.  The Service further observes that Workload Status Reports, which contain the information for the days at issue, are final reports, which are created during pull down or after the carriers have left for the street; and, as a result, the curtailment data could include mail with color-coded dates and in-home dates or mail received after the dispatch of value.  It emphasizes that a pivot bundle is used to meet a carrier’s eight-hour day, in accordance with the above-cited contract and handbook provisions.  The Service further points out that Station A’s mail volume is down from the SPLY.  It also asserts that the Union has not met the burden of proving a contract violations, because the evidence does not include all of the workdays during the period at issue and all of the clock rings for the workdays addressed during the hearing.  In this regard, the Service explains, it is altogether possible that carriers took leave or worked another route not reflected on the summary sheets and thus worked eight hours.  In sum, the Service observes that different carriers pivoted on different days, and a carrier rarely pivoted on a Tuesday.




     The grievance is sustained.  Station A management shall cease and desist from using pivoting to plan around anticipated circumstances and forcing carriers to pivot when there is no indication that work on their own routes is light.


     The grievant is remanded to the parties to determine the affected carriers, who shall receive one hour of pay at the overtime rate for each day they were forced off (including volunteers) their bid assignment during the period at issue.


     I shall retain jurisdiction of the grievance for 30 days from the date of this Award to resolve any dispute concerning implementation of the remedy.

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