APWU OF MAINE

 
 


RETAIL RIGHTS AND WRONGS

Window Clerks have many different duties and functions.  Clerks are taught

these duties and functions with the intent to provide service to our customers. 

The complete performance of these duties and functions protects our work as

clerks.

The American Postal Workers Union recognizes there are continuing issues

involving clerks who work window/retail operations.  This bulletin is intended to

address some of these issues as a permanent posting.



POSTAL INSPECTORS AND OFFICE OF THE

INSPECTOR GENERAL AGENTS

Postal Inspectors and OIG agents are law enforcement officers.  They are not your friends. 

They are not here to help you.  They are conducting an investigation. Even though they may be in

your office to investigate another Postal Worker, always request that a Union steward be present. 

Remember, you must request representation—they are not obligated to automatically provide

it for you.  Reprinted below is a “Statement of Rights” card you may obtain from the APWU.

Rights Before Postal Inspectors and OIG

Agents

If questioned by a U.S. Postal Inspector or

OIG Agent, even if you believe you are not guilty

of any wrong doing, it is suggested that you:

Remain calm;


Correctly identify yourself;


Do not physically resist an arrest or a

search of your person or property;


Read aloud to the PI or Agent the

statement on the reverse side of this car;


Remain silent until you have consulted

with your APWU representative or

attorney, as appropriate


This is not complete legal advice.  Always

consult with a lawyer.


Statement

I Request the presence of my APWU

representative. If I am a suspect in a criminal

matter, please so advise me.  If so, I wish to

contact my attorney.

His/Her name is _______________________

Telephone number _____________________

If I am under arrest, I request you to so advise

me and to inform me of the reason or reasons.

I do not consent to a search of my person or

property.  If you have a search warrant, I request

to see it at this time.

I do not waive any of my rights, including my

right to remain silent.  I will not sign a waiver-of-

rights form, nor admit or deny any allegation, nor

make any written or oral statement unless my

attorney is personally present and so advises me.


DON’T BE A HERO

If a robbery occurs:

Don’t take any risks.      

No amount of money is worth YOUR LIFE. Remain calm and try not to provoke the robber.

Contact the police when safe to do so.


ARTICLE 28

Employer Claims

SECTION 1.  Shortages in Fixed Credits

  Employees who are assigned fixed credits or vending credits shall be strictly

accountable for the amount of the credit.  If any shortage occurs, the employee shall be

financially liable unless the employee exercises reasonable care in the performance of his

duties.  In this regard, the Employer agrees to:

A. Continue to provide adequate security for all employees responsible for Postal Funds.

B. Prohibit an employer from using the fixed credit or other financial accountability of any

other employee without permission.

C. Grant the opportunity to an employee to be present whenever that employee’s fixed

credit is being audited and if the employee is not available to have a witness of the

employer’s choice present.

D. Absolve an employee of any liability for loss from cashing checks of the employer

following established proclaims.

E. Audit each employee’s fixed credit no less frequently than once every four months.




RETAIL EQUIPMENT PROBLEMS

Document all equipment failures by notifying your supervisor in writing and keep a copy.

Include the date, time and type of equipment, i.e., POS terminal, IRT, calculator, etc. 

Make sure to detail the specific malfunction.

For POS problems, call the HELP DESK so a ticket can be generated to document that a

problem exists and a fix can be initiated.

HELP DESK Phone Number

1-800-877-7435

1-800-USPS-HELP


AUDITS

Examination of Stamp Credits

Normally, conducted by supervisory personnel or the Postal Inspection Service.

You have the right to be present whenever your credit is being audited or if you are not

available you may have a witness of your choice present.

Individual Clerk Credit Accountability Segmented Inventory Accountability (SIA)

Fixed Credits must be audited no less

frequently than once every four months.

Clerk Cash retained must be audited at

least every month.

Tolerances

Amount of Stamp Stock           Tolerance Cash Retained Amount              Tolerance

Up to $30,000.00                    $ 50.00

$30,000.01 to $60,000.00       $100.00

Above $60,000.00                   $150.00

$100.00                                       $5.00

Use form 3294 to document count.

If count is out of tolerance, either over or under, request a second count.

Adjust your 1412 only if you are out of tolerance.

You have a right to a recount whether you are OVER or SHORT.


UNIFORMS

Retail personnel at Post Offices whose official assignment at a retail counter is for a minimum of

4 hours daily for 5 days a week on a continuing basis, or for not less than 30 hours a week are

required to wear the prescribed uniform while performing their duties.

Employees who do no qualify for a uniform allowance under the criteria described above must

wear the appropriate uniform for the position if it is provided to them outside of the uniform

allowance program.

If any clerk is being forced by management to purchase clothing to be worn at the window with

personal funds—please notify your steward and file a grievance to be reimbursed for your time and

purchase!  Make sure you save your receipt to document your purchase.



TRAINING

All window clerks must receive adequate training before taking their test.  This applies to the

classroom and on-the-job.  If you are not trained properly, you should contact your steward

immediately.  Don’t wait until after the training to file a grievance.

OJI’s must be certified as retail coaches.  They must remain with the trainee throughout the entire

process.  Clerks left alone during training are not adequately trained.  

At the end of a student’s on-the-job training, student may be asked to sign that they have been

properly trained.  If the student is not satisfied with the training, DO NOT SIGN the form.  Ask to see a

steward.


DO NOT TAKE SHORTCUTS

Shortcuts result in losses of money and JOBS!

Carry out each task on the window as you were taught in window training.

Make certain you witness the verification of monies you turn in and obtain a signed receipt.

Scan ten if you can!  It is faster than hitting all those function keys and it protects your job by

giving clerks proper transaction time credit.

Utilize the appropriate terminal key when leaving retail/window operations to perform other

functions (2nd notices, distribution, etc.). Be sure to punch into the proper operation number

and go into stand-by mode on the POS-ONE to get proper time credit.

Never accept stock while on window—take time to count!

If you have Individual Accountability, use PS Form 17 when accepting or giving stamp stock.

When retrieving a certified or registered item, you should go into stand-by mode prior to

leaving the window and lock your drawer.

The Union can best protect you from discipline and paying for shortages if you help protect

yourself by following proper procedure.


SECURITY

The contract, in conjunction with postal manuals, requires the Postal Service to provide clerks

with adequate security.  Report any security problem in writing to management.  You may use

APWU’s Report of Security Problem or Poor Financial Practice Form to report the problem.  If you

choose not to use APWU’s form put it in writing somehow. Retain a copy as proof.

Common security problems to look for include: a yearly lock and key check not being  done (this

needs to be done to insure no ones’ keys can open another’s drawer or safe compartment); drawers

not securing or locking on the counter line; retail equipment failures; duplicate key inventory envelope

PS Form 3977 problems including the required 6-month check not being conducted; others having

access to the envelope by it not being secured in a proper safe compartment, or tampering with the

envelope; and password or code for retail equipment should only be known to the clerks themselves.

If you have questions on what constitutes a security or financial problem contact your APWU

representative.


MYSTERY SHOPPER

The postal service has a Mystery Shopper program throughout the country. This program is

designed to improve customer service.  The Mystery Shopper program should not be utilized as a tool

for discipline.  If you are issued any form of discipline under the Mystery Shopper program, contact an

APWU steward immediately.


PUT YOUR CHECKBOOK AWAY

ALL demands for money must be put in writing.  That demand for money should be in the form

of a Letter of Demand.  No demand for money should be given orally.  The Letter of Demand must

contain the employee’s appeal rights in the grievance process.

Grievances must be filed within 14 days of receiving the Letter of Demand.  Contact your union

representative immediately if you are issued a Letter of Demand.  Also, if the demand is grieved, the

grievant does not have to pay the demand until the issue has reached a final resolution.

Even if the Letter of Demand reaches resolution in the grievance/arbitration process you may

elect to continue under the Debt Collection Act.  You would not pay the demand until the Debt

Collection Act decision has been reached.  If you have any questions on demands for money, contact

your Union representative.



Retail Rights and Wrongs Updates

Do you think we could add other Information? Send written suggestions to:  APWU Clerk Division,

1300 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005. Jim McCarthy, Director.

 

Window Issues

RESOURCES


Relief and Pool Memo

SSA Position Descriptions

Salary Overpayments &
    Waiver of Claims

Improper Collection of LOD’s

F-1 Handbook