Trenton Metro Area Local
American Postal Workers Union
Bill Lewis, President
Work Limitations and the
Remedy for Exceeding the Ceiling
As management continues to right size our work force we
will see an increase in overtime hours to cover the shortage in the workforce.
Along with this increase of overtime come increasing attempts by
management to deny the Bargaining Unit of its rights.
Article 8 overtime provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement has
been arbitrated and been put to rest, I thought…
I see some of the same issues that we fought hard and long for
The question of working over 60 hours within a service week
continues to surface even after being settled 16 years ago.
The issue of 12/60 work hour limitations and the appropriate remedy when
management allows you to work beyond the daily/weekly work limitation has been a
problem since the 1988 settlement.
A brief history of this 12-hour daily 60-hour weekly
limitation would be in order. The
issue was arbitrated before Arbitrator Richard Mittenthal back in 1986 and 1987.
Several questions were presented to him for interpretation.
Whether a violation of article
8, section 5G2, i.e., working an employee more than 12 hours in a day or 60
hours in a service week, justifies a remedy apart from beyond the penalty
overtime pay provided by article 8, section 4C and D? If so what would be the
Mittenthal ruled in part that Article 8, Section 5G2
does establish an absolute bar against employees working more than 60 hours in a
service week. The pay question was
remanded back to the parties for further consideration.
Whether an employee sent home
in the middle of his tour on a regularly scheduled day, because of the bar
against employees working more than 60 hours in a service week, is entitled to
He additionally ruled
that an employee having been sent home on his regularly scheduled day before the
end of his tour on account of the 60- hour ceiling and having experienced no
temporary change of schedule, must be paid for the hours he lost that day.
Whether management may ignore
the pecking order in a holiday period scheduling, as established by article 11
section 6B or a local Memorandum of understanding in order to avoid payment of
penalty overtime pay under article 8?
Management may not
ignore the “pecking order” in a holiday period scheduling under Article 11,
Section 6 in order to avoid penalty overtime pay under Article 8.
Management may not treat regular volunteers for holiday period work as
having volunteered for up to 12 hours on whatever day(s) they are asked to work.
He also remanded the
remedy back to the parties in this grievance.
As a result of Arbitrator Mittenthal’s decisions to remand the remedies
back to the parties the following memorandum came into existence.
The United States Postal
Service, NALC and the APWU agreed to compensate the aggrieved employees an
additional 50 percent premium of the base hourly straight time rate for those
limited instances when employees are permitted to work beyond the 12/60
Memorandum of Understanding
The United States Postal Service
The American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO
The National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO
The United States Postal
Service, the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, and the National
Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO, hereby agree to resolve the following
issues, which remain in dispute and arise from the application of the overtime
and holiday provisions of Articles 8 and 11 of the 1984 and 1987 National
Agreements. The parties agree
further to remand those grievances which were timely filed and which involve the
issues set forth herein for resolution in accordance with the terms of this
Memorandum of Understanding.
12 Hours In A Work Day and 60 Hours In a Service Week
The parties agree that
with the exception of December, full-time employees are prohibited from working
more than 12 hours in a single workday or 60 hours within a service week.
In those limited instances where this provision is or has been violated
and a timely grievance filed, full-time employees will be compensated at an
additional premium of 50 percent of the base hourly straight time rate for those
hours worked beyond the 12 or 60-hour limitation.
The employment of this remedy shall not be construed as an agreement by
the parties that the Employer may exceed the 12 and 60-hour limitation with
As a means of
facilitating the foregoing, the parties agree that excluding December, once a
full-time employee reaches 20 hours of overtime within a service week, the
employee is no longer available for any additional overtime work.
Furthermore, the employee’s tour of duty shall be terminated once he or
she reaches the 60th hour of work, in accordance with Arbitrator
Mittenthal’s National Level Arbitration Award on this issue, dated September
11, 1987, in case numbers H4N-NA-C 21 (3rd issue) and H4C-NA-C 27.
The parties agree that
the Employer may not refuse to comply with the holiday scheduling “pecking
order” provisions of Article 11, Section 6 or the provisions of a Local
Memorandum of Understanding in order to avoid payment of penalty overtime.
The parties further
agree to remedy past and future violations of the above understanding as
Full-time employees and part-time regular employees who file a timely
grievance because they were improperly assigned to work their holiday or
designated holiday will be compensated at an additional premium of 50 percent of
the base hourly straight time rate.
For each full-time employee or part-time regular employee improperly
assigned to work a holiday or designated holiday, the Employer will compensate
the employee who should have worked but was not permitted to do so, pursuant to
the provisions of Article 11, Section 6, or pursuant to a Local Memorandum of
Understanding at the rate of pay the employee would have earned had he or she
worked on that holiday.
The above settles the
holiday remedy question, which was remanded to the parties by Arbitrator
Mittenthal in his January 19, 1987 decision in H4N-NA-C 21 and H4N-NA-C 24.
As with every agreement
the parties enter into with the Postal Service, it never seems to put the issue
to rest. Additional disputes are always guaranteed to surface.
information is from the New York Metro USPS/APWU Joint Contract
Application Manual. This
manual may not be applicable for your area but the references and resources sure
are. This information is only
provided to assist you in protecting your rights.
If management violates the 12-hour or 60-hour
restriction, what is the remedy for said violation?
instances where this provision is or has been violated and a timely grievance is
filed, the full-time employee(s) will be compensated at an additional premium of
50 percent of the base hourly straight time rate for those hours worked beyond
the 12 or 60 hour limitation.
After a full time
employee reaches 20 hours of overtime within a service week is he/she still
available for overtime?
No. Once the employee reaches 20 hours of overtime within a service
week, the employee is no longer available for any additional overtime work.
What is management’s
obligation when an employee reaches the 60th hour of work?
The employee’s tour of duty shall be terminated once he/she reaches
the 60th hour of work.
Does paid leave
count toward the 12 and 60 work limits?
Is an employee who
is sent home in the middle of the tour on a regularly schedule day, because of
the bar against employees working more than 60 hours in a service week, entitled
to be paid for the remainder of his scheduled day?
Yes, an employee having been sent home on his regularly scheduled day
before the end of his tour due to the 60-hour ceiling and having experience no
temporary change of schedule, must be compensated for the hours he lost that
Work Pay” count towards the 56 and 60 hour work limits?
Response: No. “Holiday Work Pay” is a premium paid to eligible employees for hours worked on a holiday. However, since employees are given credit for paid leave on a holiday, the holiday leave time would count toward the 56 and 60 hour limits.
As clear as the language and the arbitrations cited may
seem, we still continue to see violations of the 12/60 limits.
If you work beyond the 12/60 limitations you MUST file a grievance
for the additional 50 percent premium. You
are still entitled to the premium even if you take paid leave during the time
frame. If you need additional
information or copies of the arbitration awards or the memorandum of
understanding please contact me. This information is only provided to assist you,
contact your local union representative to see if your rights have been
Yours in education,