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June 1998
Vol. 1 No. 9 Page 6

Undertime

by Gary Mills

Question: What ugly creature generally comes out every summer? Did you say undertime? That's correct. Did you know that management has the right and the responsibility to capture this undertime? What is undertime and how can you recognize this ugly creature?

Basically it is when you complete the duties of your assignment in less than eight hours. The opposite, if you will, of overtime. Undertime for a professional Letter Carier is for the most part determined by the mail volume. The are a couple of different ways to determine how much undertime you have on the day that it occurs. The number of minutes ahead of your scheduled leaving time can be viewed as undertime. An example of that would be: If your leaving time is 9:15 and you leave at 8:45 the assumption made by management is that you have 30 minutes of undertime.

The more realistic way to determine your undertime is when you get back to the office earlier than your scheduled return time. An example of that would be, if you are scheduled to return at 3:15 and you actually return at 2:45 then you obviously have 30 minutes of undertime.

Your performance should not be altered when you encounter this ugly creature known as undertime. In fact, if you case and carry your route every day of the year as if management was walking with you, you will have fewer occasions to meet this creature. If you are consistent, as stated in the previous sentence, then you will be giving management a fair day's work for a fair day's pay and whatever undertime there is on the assignment management will gladly capture by pivoting additional work on you to capture the creature known as undertime. Have a good summer.


Gary Mills is the Steward in Rolla, MO for NALC Branch 343, an Associate Office merged with St. Louis, MO. Gary has been with the post office for 25 years, serving as NALC Steward for the past 7 of those years.

E-mail: Gmills4305@aol.com

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