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Arbitrator Sharnoff Rules on AFCS Legacy Operator

We linked above, an arbitration decision issued by National RI-399 Arbitrator Joseph Sharnoff with regard to the Advanced Facer Canceller System. It is extremely long – 164 single-spaced pages – and thus extremely difficult to describe.

The arbitrator rejected the claims filed the NPMHU, and upheld the Postal Service’s revised jurisdictional determination for the Operator position on the AFCS Legacy Machines. In short, however, the decision rejects the jurisdictional disputes filed by both the APWU and the NPMHU, and upholds the positions taken by USPS management in all respects.

Unfortunately, of most importance to the NPMHU, Arbitrator Sharnoff has concluded that the Postal Service did not abuse its discretion or act arbitrarily when it shifted the operator position on the AFCS-200 to the clerk craft in 2012. Sharnoff summed up his rationale using the following words:

The Arbitrator finds, in light of the above considerations, that the USPS’s craft determination in 2012, for the Operator position on the AFCS 200, in favor of the Clerk Craft, reasonably was based on appropriate considerations, including the information known to the USPS officials at the time, and was consistent with the RI-399 Guidelines, previous Jurisdictional Arbitration Awards, and the Parties’ respective CBAs. The Arbitrator is not persuaded that it has been demonstrated by the NPMHU that this craft determination was arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, based on discriminatory or other improper considerations, or otherwise was contrary to the USPS’s exercise of discretion to make such determinations under the RI-399 Guidelines. Accordingly, the claim that the craft determination for the Operator position in favor of the Clerk Craft is denied.

At risk of stating the obvious, it is worth pointing out that under the principles of Regional Instruction (RI-399), not one time in the history of jurisdictional disputes, has an arbitrator issued a ruling that required the United States Postal Service to reverse their initial or revised jurisdictional determination.

Please do not hesitate to contact the National Office should you have any questions.

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