Someone’s Life is In Your Hands: VOTE on November 6
Susan Robison, Assistant Editor Oakland Postal Worker
During every election season we’re besieged by pleas to vote, either for or against some candidate or ballot measure or just because it’s a civic obligation.: Eat your spinach. Change your oil. Floss. Vote. Midterm elections are commonly seen as snooze fests, although, since the president’s party nearly always loses seats in Congress in the mid-terms, somebody must be going to the polls.
California’s biggest races, for governor and for one Senate seat, currently favor the lieutenant governor and the incumbent Senator respectively. There are also eleven propositions on the ballot, at least one of which asks voters to decide on matters of life and death.
Proposition 8 claims that the clinics that administer kidney dialysis are making too much money and need to have their income regulated. Most dialysis treatments are paid for by MediCal or Medicare, since Medicare covers people with end-stage renal disease regardless of age. How likely are these clinics to accept reimbursements even lower than what Medicare provides? Technicians and nurses who work in dialysis clinics are hard to find, since they need extra training aside from nursing school. Clinics are the best places for people to get the dialysis treatments they need to survive. If these clinics cut back or close because they cannot operate profitably, patients will have to go to the ER, a much more expensive way to get dialysis. And if the few dialysis stations at hospitals are in use, patients will have to find another hospital at once, or miss a treatment, with a greatly increased risk of death. Proponents of Proposition 8 say the emphasis should be on making more transplants available. This is an absurd argument. We have a severe shortage of kidneys as it is. People who don’t manage to find compatible private donors often die waiting. Others are not physically able to get transplants. The decisions people make about this measure could end up killing patients.
Propositions are often deceptively worded. A measure banning marriage equality in the state some years ago confused people so much that some voted for the opposite outcome to what they intended. Proposition 10, which would overturn the Costa Hawkins bill of 1995, would allow individual cities to institute some form of rent control and would no longer exempt single family houses or new construction. It’s less likely that large developers would build units knowing that rent limitations would make it harder to sell the buildings down the line. And the owners of single-family houses could very well decide the added restrictions are not worth the trouble and sell their houses or convert them to short-term rentals. In cities like Santa Monica, which has had fairly strict rent control for years, there was a noticeable reduction in housing stock, making it very difficult to find someplace to rent for those who were not already renting when the local ordinance was passed.
And who can say for sure whether a given bond issue is a good idea? Not most voters, who have no experience in finance.
The American electoral process asks us to decide matters that will affect everybody for years to come. Despite all obstacles, voter registration is up substantially in states like Georgia, as are early-voting figures. Know who really wants to vote?-Ex-cons and jail inmates. Felons who have completed parole, and people in county jails awaiting trial, can vote in California. Alameda County alone has registered 425 jail inmates to vote this election season.
As postal workers and retirees, we are free to vote in every election. So vote by mail, vote early, or get yourselves to the polls on November 6.
For a PDF version of this post, click here.
October 29, 2018 Clerk Craft Award Notice
The October 29, 2018 Clerk Craft Award Notice has been posted on the Bid Results page of this website.
ALERT: Safety Talk Suspicious Packages at Multiple High Profile Addresses
Suspicious Items – Exercise Caution
As you may have heard there have been suspicious packages (pictured above) with multiple stamps discovered at multiple high-profile addresses this week.
While these incidents are not common, employees should always exercise caution when coming across a suspicious item. It is important for us to review our procedures concerning suspicious mail, unknown powders, liquids or substances, and emergency situations involving smoke, fumes or vapors.
It is very important that you know how to recognize suspicious mail. Characteristics to pay special attention to include shape, look, address and packaging.
- Shape – Is it lopsided or uneven? Is it rigid or bulky?
- Look – Are there oily stains, discolorations, or crystals on the wrapper? Does it have a
- Address – Is there a return address? Are there restrictive markings? Are there
misspelled words? Is it addressed to a title rather than to an individual? Is it an incorrect
title? Is it poorly typed or written?
- Packaging – Is it sealed with tape? Is there excessive tape? Is there excessive
These are precautionary measures to ensure the safety of all Postal Service employees and customers.
- If you open a mailbox and see a suspicious item inside, follow these steps:
- Do not touch or move the item.
- Don’t put anything else in the mailbox.
- Leave the mailbox door open.
- Evacuate the immediate area.
- Isolate the area around the mailbox.
If you think the suspicious item is an immediate danger to life or safety (i.e. if you see smoke or hear sounds such as, hissing, etc.):
- Move to a safe area and call 911.
- Follow instructions from first responders.
- Call your supervisor to report the incident.
- Call Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455. When prompted, state “emergency” to speak with a Postal Inspector.
If you believe the suspicious item is not an immediate danger to life or safety:
- Move to a safe area and call your supervisor to report the incident.
- Call Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455. When prompted, state “emergency” to speak with a Postal Inspector.
Remember: Safety Depends on Me!
For a PDF version of this notice, click here.
Contract Negotiation Update 10/21/18
National APWU President Mark Dimondstein has announced that contract negotiations have been extended for an additional 30 days.
Pay Period 21-2018 Payroll Fiasco Update 2
I have been informed that almost 90,000 employees from all crafts under the auspices of the APWU were affected by the USPS pay period 21-2018 pay check fiasco. The affected employees may request salary advances. Some policy restrictions on overtime pay advances are being waived for pay period 21 only, to accommodate affected employees. Alternatively, adjustments are being made so that missing overtime will be included on the November 2nd pay, and other minor adjustments will be on the November 16th pay. Each District will be responsible for processing the adjustments. [To see the announcements found in the PDF document, click here.]
Missing Overtime Pay
I have received the following information from USPS Management regarding many Oakland APWU employees missing overtime pay in their payroll checks for pay period 21:
The root cause is a programming change that was implemented last pay period for APWU non-career employees (PSE’s) to start being paid postal overtime versus FLSA overtime. (Postal overtime is triggered in excess of 8 hours per day; FLSA overtime is triggered in excess of 40 hours per week). The programming change fixed the non-career employees as designed but had an unintended consequence with the adverse impact on the career employees with overtime hours in their record. The Payroll Calculation Verification group noticed a drop in the number of payroll records processed, however, this was improperly attributed to hurricane-impacted facilities being asked to hold their timekeeping until day.
In order to preserve the integrity of the hundreds of thousands of employees whose payroll has already successfully processed, the best solution jointly determined by Accounting and IT is to have the 90,000 employees paid via salary advance at their local office. This solution has been in use for about 6 months now, though never used on a scale this size.
The Eagan Accounting Service Center is preparing detailed instructions and communications for the field and will ramp up on staffing the help desk in anticipation of the increase in call volume. Jack Meyer is informing the Area Controllers and Area Accounting Managers as well.
We are exploring all options to get these employees paid timely and have hourly calls tonight to determine the best solution and execute on it right away. We never want to be in a position where we are not paying our employees, but we especially do not want to be in this position during a contract negotiation. We do not yet have an assessment on how many employees are impacted.
Will send you an update as soon as I have one.
For a PDF version of this announcement, click here.
Issue #4, October 2018, San Francisco Clerk NBAs Newsletter. Sentinal
WHY IN THE HELL DO WE VOTE AGAINST OURSELVES?
FROM THE DESK OF: SHIRLEY TAYLOR
We are Union!
We do not lay down!
We stand up and organize!
Our government was founded on check and balances and in today’s society, it seems as if Labor has to be who supplies the will to perform this task.
We must build a multifarious coalition to save the social conscience of democracy.
What we seem to forget is that we all have passed this way before. For instance, all people considered “white” today, were not that long ago included in that category. A review of our history, finds the following nauseous information: “Irish need not apply”, “Italians need not apply”, “Polish need not apply”, “Jews need not apply”.
What I have never understood, is anyone who has ever been discriminated against because of their race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age or marital status would not jump in and fight to keep others from suffering the indignities they suffered. Why are we so happy and eager to have someone to look down on? Why do we determine our worth based upon someone else’s flawed opinion of us? I suppose that everyone wants to be loved, but if receiving said “love” requires that we forego our humanity, is it really worth anything.
We have to join the fight, because if we don’t, we are going down for the count. We have to call these people out when they cage our children, when they separate juveniles from their families, when they move children with no intent to reunite them with their families, and when they do these despicable actions against the least of us.
How do we navigate the daily drama? How do we swim through the emotional bullshit? We cannot be blind and unconcerned to what happens around us…. We are not an island unto ourselves. What we do in our daily lives has an effect on others.
WE HAVE TO VOTE!
[For the entire newsletter, click here]
PSEs NEW BENEFIT UPDATE
Sisters and Brothers,
The Postal Service recently notified us that the provisions of the Workforce Benefits Fund Settlement Agreement (Q10C-4Q-C15215794) pertaining to PSE overtime pay provisions were released and implemented in TACS on Wednesday, October 3, 2018. These provisions will be retroactive to Saturday, September 29, 2018 (PP 21 week 1 2018). PSE’s will now be eligible for FLSA Overtime (over 40 hours) Postal Overtime (after 8 hours), Penalty Overtime (after 10 hours in a day or 56 in a week) and PSE’s in 200 Work-Year Offices will be entitled to Guarantee Time of 4 hours.
Industrial Relations Director
American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO
1300 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005-4128
For a digital copy of this announcement, click here.
October 4, 2018 Clerk Craft Vacancy Notice
The October 4, 2018 Clerk Craft Vacancy Notice has been posted on the Bid Postings page of this website.
Prize For Final Website Contest is $400.00
FINAL “WORD IN THE WEBSITE CONTEST”
October 2018 will be the final month of our website’s, “Word in the Website Contest”, due to low participation. The prize money has accumulated to $400.Contest rules are found on the website’s home page. Finalists who figure out the right word will be entered into a random drawing to determine the prize winner. We encourage APWU members to participate in this contest. Chances of winning the $400 prize money will be determined by the number of correct entries. One entry per APWU member. Good Luck!!!
For the announcement flyer, click here.