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May 1998
Vol. 1 No. 8 Page 7

Article 7

ED Note: The following excerpt comes from the
"new" Joint Contract Administration Manual

Section 3. Employee Complements

A. The Employer shall staff all postal installations which have 200 or more man years of employment in the regular work force as of the date of this Agreement with 88% full-time employees in the letter carrier craft.
Maximization of full-time regulars. Article 7, Section 3 contains the National Agreement's main "maximization" language, setting forth management's obligations to create full-time regular letter carrier positions. Sections 3.A-3.D. state forth four separate and independent maximization requirements.

200 or more man years. Whether an installation is classified as a 200 man-year (work year) office is determined as of the National Agreement's effective date. The classification does not change during the life of the Agreement. The hours of bargaining-unit employees in six crafts-carriers, special delivery, clerk, motor vehicle, maintenance and mail handler-are counted in making this determination; see the memorandum of understanding and related discussion under Article 7.3.B-C above. The On Rolls Complement Report provided to NALC on an accounting period basis is used to monitor compliance with the 88 percent full-time requirement for 200 man-year offices.

Counting employees. Although the work hours of six postal crafts are counted to determine classification as a 200 man-year installation, the 88 percent full-time requirement applies to letter carriers working at such facilities. All bargaining-unit carriers including transitional carriers are counted in this calculation; casual carriers are not counted. Full-time regulars, including reserve and unassigned regulars, and full-time flexible carriers (see explanation below) are counted as "full-time employees." Part-time flexibles, part-time regulars and transitionals are counted as not full-time.

Counting full-time flexibles. Although existing full-time flexible carriers may be counted as full-time in measuring compliance with the 88 percent requirement, Arbitrator Mittenthal found that, if an office fell below the required full-time percentage at the same time that a part-time flexible met the criteria for conversion to full-time flexible under the MOU, "the Postal Service must first convert pursuant to the [88]% staffing requirement and thereafter convert pursuant to the Memoranda." Thus, the conversions to full-time flexible under the MOU would be in addition to the conversions to full-time regular necessary to bring the office to 88%. (National Arbitrator Mittenthal, H I N-C-NA-120, September 5, 1898 (C-09340). See also the discussion of full-time flexible carriers following Article 7.3.1) below.)

Withholding for excessing. National Arbitrator Mittenthal ruled in H7N-3D-C-22267, October 26, 1990 (C-10343), that management may fall below the Article 7.3.A percentage full-time staffing requirement when withholding full-time positions under Article 12.5.B.2. Under that provision, management may withhold positions for other employees who may be reassigned involuntarily (excessed).

Remedy for violation. The appropriate remedy for violations of Article 7.3.A was specified in a national memorandum of understanding dated April 14, 1989 (M-00920). The parties agreed that the remedy will be the following:

Any installation with 200 or more man years of employment in the regular workforce which fails to maintain the staffing ratio in any accounting period, shall immediately convert and compensate the affected part-time employee(s) retroactively to the date which they should have been converted as follows:

A. Paid the straight time rate for any hours less than 40 hours (five 8 hour days) worked in a particular week.

B. Paid the 8 hour guarantee for any day of work beyond five (5) days.

C. If appropriate, based on the aforementioned, paid the applicable overtime rate.

D. Further, the schedule to which the employee is assigned when converted will be applied retroactively to the date the employee should have been converted and the employee will be paid out-of-schedule pay.

    A. Where application of Items A-D above, shows an employee is entitled to two or more rates of pay for the same work or time, management shall pay the highest of the rates.

B. The Employer shall maximize the number of full-time employees and minimize the number of part-time employees who have no fixed work schedules in all postal installations; however, nothing in this paragraph B shall detract from the USPS' ability to use the awarded full-time/part-time ratio as provided for in paragraph 3.A. above.

C. A part-time flexible employee working eight (8) hours within ten (10), on the same five (5) days each week and the same assignment over a six month period will demonstrate the need for converting the assignment to a full-time position.

Demonstration of regular schedule and assignment. When a carrier works a virtually "regular schedule" and the same assignment for six months as set forth in Article 7.3.C, then management must create a full-time assignment. The six months must be continuous. M-01069, Step 4, April 14, 1992. Time spent on approved annual leave does not constitute an interruption of the six month period, except where the annual leave is used solely for purposes of rounding out the workweek when the employee otherwise would not have worked. M-00913, Step 4, April 13, 1989.

National Arbitrator Mittenthal held in HIN-213-C-4314, July 8, 1985 (C-05070), that time spent by a PTF on an assignment opted for under the provisions of Article 41 (see Article 41.2.B) counts toward meeting these maximization criteria. There is currently a dispute at the national level concerning the continued applicability of arbitrator Mittenthal's award.

Article 7.3.C applies to all installations regardless of size. See M-01032, Step 4, December 6, 1991.

D. Where a count and inspection of an auxiliary city delivery assignment indicates that conversion to a full-time position is in order, conversion will be made.

Auxiliary route growth to ful1-time. To accommodate growing routes, Article 7.3.13 provides for the conversion of an auxiliary route to full-time when a route inspection shows the route has grown to 40 hours.

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