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Remote Encoding Center Employees

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UtesFanPerson was signed in when posted
10:30 AM ET (US)
I know that this is pretty late to respond. I don't get on here very often. But Tired Tim, have you thought about transferring to one of the plants? They have day shifts open quite often. Most of them work weekends, but at least they are tour 2. Plus you mentioned the depressing isolation of not speaking to anyone. You definitely wouldn't have that issue at a plant. There are other options. I do agree that the REC can be depressing. I spent a lot of years there. Now I work at the GMF and I could never go back to keying 40 hours a week!
Last REC StandingPerson was signed in when posted
05:05 PM ET (US)
/m43569 Where are you getting the info about the “extremely abnormal” REC suicide rate? A few posts back you made a vague reference to rumors of “a number” of suicides. Now you know exactly how many have happened, and the exact number of employees the REC has had in 24 years?

You’re projecting your own problems with the REC onto people that you don’t even know. Lots of people work tour 1 or 3 because they *want* to. Those shifts can work around school, family responsibilities, second jobs. There’s opportunity to make more money on later shifts too.

If you’re desperately unhappy with the USPS, to the point where your health is suffering, why are you still at the REC? Private sector jobs are plentiful, there’s no reason to stay at a job that’s not right for you. You’re banging your head against a brick wall, thinking you should be the one person to circumvent the seniority system.
X-stewPerson was signed in when posted
02:46 PM ET (US)
If you're not a dues-paying member, be grateful they said more than 'hello' to you.

If you were, you might know that PO's been a 24/7/365 outfit for over 100 years. Working off shifts as a cause of death would certainly have shown up by now. And it's not USPS seniority---it's union seniority. If it were up to mgt, every day you'd be dealt out like a deck of cards where mgt wanted. It was no fun when they could do that back in the '60s.

Worked the LSMs in the '70s, keying 60 letters a minute. Didn't kill me either.

If all it took was a sick note from a Dr, no one would work nights or weekends. Form 3189, change of schedule, must be approved by a steward. I never did; never heard a good enough reason to void seniority even for just 30 days. Personally, I'd prefer PO ran like their jobs nurses and cops with rotating 6-week shifts rather than solely by seniority.

PSE make much less that permanent workers and mgt often gives them days or weekends off just to retain some of them. And/or to piss off the regulars. The PSE survivors will make regular just as we did decades ago. So stay healthy, or go back to school, but don't expect PO to ever change to suit you.
Edited 07-13-2018 02:49 PM
TiredTimPerson was signed in when posted
01:26 PM ET (US)
The union stewards I've spoken to have been unhelpful - best they can do is a (very) temporary change of schedule, with medical documentation. Of course they'll gladly listen to anyone vent, they'll also gladly accept your dues at $60 a month to tell you that a doctor's note saying that your shift is slowly kiling you is effectively worthless.

The union has certainly improved things for PSEs, though ultimately all those recently added PSE benefits amount to little more than a carrot on a stick to keep them going until they burn out and quit. Management loves PSEs because they can cheaply work them as many or as few hours whenever they want, and the union loves PSEs because they'll keep paying their $60 monthly dues with promises of eventual career conversion, though the vast majority will quit long before coming even close.

Also, the amount of suicides at the REC isn't just depressing, it's extremely abnormal, even for Utah's high suicide rate. I never implied that their shifts had anything to do with those tragedies, however, an already mentally ill or depressed person stands to only drastically worsen their condition by working odd or unnatural hours (plenty of scientific evidence about the negative effects shift work has on brain chemistry and the body in general, not to mention the strain it places on personal lives when done long-term). If the effects of unusual shifts don't worsen problems, then the depressing atmosphere of the REC will do it for sure - the isolation and the fact that you're generally only spoken to in order to be told that you screwed up on some rule you were never informed of in the first place is enough to send even the most mentally healthy person into a bout of depression.

As for full-time careers "complaining" about PSEs having it better in terms of scheduling, does anyone have the actual numbers of what the REC spends on hiring PSEs each year, compared to what it costs to retain a career? From what I've heard, about 80%+ of PSEs hired quit in less than a year. Each one of those employees costs thousands of dollars for USPS to hire and train, but out of genuine curiosity, can it really be that much cheaper than paying out dreaded benefits to long-term career employees? There's an incredibly costly revolving door of PSEs occupying shifts which are inexplicably unavailable to careers with their sacred USPS seniority, and then just filled with more newly hired PSEs to be burnt out and disposed of, and it looks like USPS seems to be headed for more of a "chew 'em up and spit 'em out" temporary workforce, while basically telling to careers to bid out or quit when confronted with long-term employees who might actually want to stay if given the opportunity to change shifts for health reasons when necessary.
Last REC StandingPerson was signed in when posted
11:42 AM ET (US)
REC career positions are all FTR or FTF, 40 hours per week, five 8 hour days.
T1EPerson was signed in when posted
05:09 AM ET (US)
Do careers have access to overnight 6 hour shifts or any 30hr stable scheduled shifts in general? Or is everything five 8s for 40hrs a week?
Last REC StandingPerson was signed in when posted
02:25 PM ET (US)
I did read about those changes this week, looks like they’ve been in effect about a month? All very good for PSE’s. Still, no full time career should complain about PSE’s supposedly having it better as far as scheduling goes.
YoPerson was signed in when posted
10:20 AM ET (US)
I think PSE's are actually guaranteed 4 hours a day now and get time and a half after 8 hours and double after 10 hours according to the Union Board.
Last REC StandingPerson was signed in when posted
02:44 PM ET (US)
/m43563 Lots going on here Tim, but I’ll try to give you some answers.

Everyone starts at the bottom, everyone near the top of the seniority list has gone through what you are going through now. If you object so strongly to the seniority system, and your shift is making you as miserable as you sound, maybe look for a private sector job that is a better fit for you.

The union doesn’t revert jobs, management does. The union recently filed a grievance about this happening, when there has been so much OT at the REC this year. That’s the reason why there have been any openings at all to bid on.

Why do you think the bidding process is rigged? If bids are going to people with high seniority, the system is working as it should. If you think something improper is happening, talk to a steward. Not sure what good a list of unsuccessful bidders would do, and that sounds like confidential info to me anyway.

“Reasonable working hours,” as you put it, is a relative term. There are many careers with high seniority who choose to stay on tours 1 or 3, myself included. There are people on tour 2 who have 10+ fewer years seniority than I do, so don’t assume everyone needs to make it to the top of the list to get the shift they want.

Yes there are PSE’s on tour 2, but they’re only guaranteed 2 hours per day. Not sure what’s happening on tour 2 currently, but when I worked it years ago, TE’s/PSE’s were sent home early nearly every day. If it’s not happening now, it will again on the future. Times of heavy volume & OT never last forever.

The PSE’s are on all tours at the REC to give management some flexibility. Management doesn’t want to run out of mail and have a bunch of careers sitting idle for hours. Even though we are the only REC left, we need to keep our costs down if we want to stay open.

It would do you much good to sit down with a steward and ask them all your bidding & scheduling questions. They can explain the details of the contract to you, and they’ll gladly listen to you vent.

You’re right that asking supervisors & group leaders questions often does no good. Many of them are relatively new to the USPS. And from what I’ve seen, their egos are tied up in their jobs and they hate to admit when they don’t know something.

Yes the REC has had a depressing number of suicides. 3 of these people were friends of mine, and I can tell you for certain their struggles had nothing to do with the shifts they were working. As for the others that I’m aware of, I wouldn’t presume to know what they were going though. These tragedies are complicated, and Utah has a high suicide rate. You’re going way too far in implying that management & the union are indifferent in these circumstances.
TiredTimPerson was signed in when posted
09:29 AM ET (US)
So, how exactly is one expected to successfully bid to a different shift at the REC when the same group of high seniority employees seemingly just shuffle the very few available bids amongst themselves? And then when the shifts they leave are vacated, the Union instantly reverts all of those positions, even though those shifts will still exist and be filled by PSEs instead of regular careers who are far more likely to stay at the REC long-term. Also, why isn't the list of bids placed ever published? How do we know who bid, and if the whole process isn't totally rigged if we never get to see who was bidding? It's ridiculous enough that when we break even on seniority, social security number (age) becomes the determining factor - not test scores, quality, attendance, etc.

There are only so many years career employees at the REC can spend doing an untenable schedule that prevents them from seeing family, maintaining relationships, etc. With such an unbelievably high attrition rate for PSEs, the logical thing to do would be to prioritize career schedules over them, though the REC does nothing logical, and a PSE hired yesterday is going to have a better chance of getting "normal" hours than a career who has proven themselves for years at this job and would probably stay for many more years provided even a remotely reasonable chance at being able to change shifts when needed, given that the place is in operation 24/7/365. How many thousands or millions of dollars per year get wasted on hiring and training PSEs who will quit right away? Can it possibly be more expensive than providing regular careers with even a SLIGHT chance at reasonable working hours?

Clearly the priority here is to get rid of the careers (particularly regulars) altogether by forcing unhealthy, unchangeable schedules with no other option than to bid out or quit, unless you're fine with the damage inevitably caused to health, personal and family life by working unusual shifts long-term. For a job that we all know would replace us before even posting our obituary when we die. If rumor is to be believed, a number of those obituaries posted in the lobby over the years have been employees who committed suicide, so the message from management and the Union is pretty transparent in that regard. Or am I missing something? Asking questions at the REC always just seems to lead back to the same inane answers about "The Contract" or just the standard practice of being given 42 different contradictory answers from 6 different supervisors and group leaders.
Edited 07-03-2018 09:30 AM
postalvetPerson was signed in when posted
11:23 AM ET (US)
/m43561 apwu.org

or directly here;
REC DCOPerson was signed in when posted
09:39 PM ET (US)
I'm a PSE. Does anyone know what the current pay increase is when converted to career?
Lenox6768Person was signed in when posted
08:32 AM ET (US)
/m43559 I actually met with my supervisor and got it taken care of! Thanks for your response.
Edited 05-16-2018 08:33 AM
postalvetPerson was signed in when posted
11:10 PM ET (US)
what does your local memo state???
Lenox6768Person was signed in when posted
06:41 PM ET (US)
Hey guys, just a quick follow up.

I requested a week off in July, and was told that i won’t be told if it is approved or not until the schedule is posted, which I understand. I was planning on buying plane tickets soon, but now and very hesitant and doubtful. Is there any way to get a response in a faster manner? And is requesting a week off in the middle of the summer even likely to be approved? I’m just confused lol. Sorry for the rambling.

Have a great day! :)
Lenox6768Person was signed in when posted
07:38 PM ET (US)
/43556 Sounds about right. Thanks!
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