This purpose of this article is to make our members aware of their rights when employees are excess to the need of a section. It is important to keep in mind that management makes the decision to abolish duty assignments and excess employees. The role of the union is to ensure the provisions of the contract for excessing from a section are adhered to. By the union making sure the provisions are followed, the union is also protecting the employee’s rights of both junior and senior employees.

What we are experiencing from local management is that they are making decisions that are inconveniencing our members (excess, repost and abolish duty assignments) and then they want to alter the rules for their operational convenience. When a decision is made to eliminate duty assignments management cannot back door their bad decisions by utilizing carriers or supervisors to perform clerk work. They need to pay overtime and penalty overtime to the employees in the section to accomplish the daily duties. Now days we have duty assignments with built in overtime and penalty pay. Management has reduced duty assignments to the point where employee’s are working excessive overtime and where one employee is working enough hours and earning enough pay (including overtime) to justify his/her full-time position and a half of another full-time position.

As local president I have told management the union will not rubber stamp any of their decisions and we do not agree with the function four finding to reduce clerk hours and eliminate duty assignments. As local president I will make management live up to their decisions, good or bad and I will not bail management out of any situation they got themselves into.

The following are excerpts from the 2007 JCIM, the bold letters indicate new language.

When it is proposed to reassign employees within an installation employees excess to the need of a section, union notification shall be at the local level (as much as six months in advance when possible) pursuant to Article 12.5.B.4. (JCIM, Article 12, page 11).

On this issue the union office has filed class action grievances for both the Plant and Customer Service for failing to provide the local six months advance notice. One of the remedies sought by the union is the employees be compensated out-of-schedule pay.


Before involuntary reassigning full-time employees from a section, the following must be completed:
  • Identify the full-time duty assignments to be abolished; and
  • Identify the junior full-time employees to be reassigned; and
  • Identify the number of duty assignments occupied by the junior full-time employees that will remain following their reassignment. These duty assignments are to be posted for sectional bidding.
  • In the clerk craft, identify the number of duty assignments remaining within the section occupied by clerks junior to the senior clerk whose duty assignment was abolished or reposted and post for bid to currently qualified clerks within the section.
  • Return any limited or light duty employees from other crafts who are temporarily assigned to the affected section to their respective crafts.
  • Before excessing from a section, all full-time employees not holding a duty assignment must be assigned outside the section.

When making involuntary reassignments from a section, start with the junior full-time employee in the same craft or occupational group and in the same salary level regardless of whether the junior employee’s duty assignment was abolished.

Junior full-time employees excessed from a section retain their seniority and are reassigned as unassigned full-time employees in the same craft or occupational group and in the same salary level. Duty assignments vacated by the reassigned junior employees are posted for bid to employees remaining in the section. If no bids are received, the unassigned employees remaining in the section is assigned to the vacancies.

Junior full-time employees who are reassigned outside the section as unassigned/encumbered full-time employees must be assigned to a full-time schedule with either fixed or rotating non-scheduled days off, as determined by the Local Memorandum of Understanding.

Unassigned/unencumbered full-time employees may bid on vacancies for which they are otherwise eligible to bid. Unassigned/unencumbered full-time employees who are unsuccessful in bidding may be assigned to residual vacancies.

Unassigned/unencumbered full-time employees temporarily assigned to a work area cannot use their seniority to the detriment of employees holding regular bid assignments in the work area.

Initial vacancies occurring within a section, in the same salary level from which excessed employees have active retreat rights, are posted for bid within the section for employees of the same salary level as the excessed employees. The resulting residual vacancies, if any, are then offered to employees in the same salary level who have retreat rights to the section.

If vacancies remain after offering retreat rights to eligible employees, the vacancies are then posted for bid installation wide.

Submitted by,
Alex Aleman
SAAAL President

Be informed, stay informed. In knowledge there is power, in unity there is strength.

Home   Back Home