APWU Web News Article #007-14, Jan. 16, 2014
In a decision [PDF] issued Nov. 19, 2013 , Arbitrator Shyam Das sustained the APWU’s position that full-time employees on the Overtime Desired List (OTDL) must be scheduled for overtime ahead of casual employees on overtime, even if the OTDL employees would earn penalty pay.
The ruling was issued in response to a 2007 national-level dispute initiated by the Postal Service.
The APWU asserted that the plain meaning of Article 8.5.H includes priority scheduling of OTDL employees regardless of the rate of pay the OTDL employee would receive.
The Postal Service contended that Article 8.5.H does not specify that priority scheduling of OTDL employees includes employees on penalty overtime. It asserted that the terms “overtime work” and “priority scheduled” are undefined.
Arbitrator Das rejected the Postal Service’s arguments, however, pointing out that, “’penalty overtime’ is still a form of ‘overtime’ and double time is simply a new type of ‘overtime’ rate.”
The USPS also claimed that past practices did not support the use of OTDL employees earning penalty pay ahead of casuals, but Arbitrator Das stressed that the record did not support management’s argument.
Arbitrator Das sustained the APWU’s position, noting “no compelling basis” existed to conclude that the parties “had a joint preference to work casual employees on overtime, rather than utilize OTDL employees on penalty overtime.”