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January 1998
Vol. 1 No. 4 Page 11

Doors Open, Unassigned Regulars & T-6's

(Ed Note: Keep in mind these question and answers are taken from publications over 10 years ago. While most if not all of them are still applicable today, there might have been some minor changes to these decisions.)

Q: What is the current Postal Service policy concerning when vehicle doors may be left open?

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. Next Column

Faced with two or more vacancies on a
T-6 or utility string to fill, a wise manager would consider the preference of the utility carrier; however, Article 41 does not compel wisdom, and does not provide an enforceable right for T-6 or utility carriers to choose between work assignments in such situations.

Q: If, pursuant to Article 41, Section l.A.7, a junior unassigned regular carrier is assigned to a permanent duty assignment for which there were no bids, does that carrier retain unassigned regular status?

A. No. The carrier holds the assignment to which he or she was assigned just as though she or he had successfully bid for it, and is no longer an unassigned regular.

Q: If administrative leave is paid in a delivery unit-because employees were prevented from reporting as a result of severe weather, are PTFS employees on "holddowns" entitled to eight hours of pay?

A. No. While it would be fair for the PTFS employees to receive eight hours of administrative leave under such circumstances, Section 519.215 of the Employee & Labor Relations Manual provides that PTFS employees are paid two or four hours of administrative leave-depending on office size-when prevented from reporting to work as a result of an "Act of God. " Arbitrator Levin has ruled that Section 519 applies even where it is conceded that the employee was scheduled for eight hours of work. (Case No. N 1 N-1 E-C 7998)

Source: Contract Talk: October 1984, the Postal Record, page 27

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