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Most of this section is taken directly from the Joint Contract Administration Manual.  While many sections are complicated, when read in total, it explains the majority of situations that may arise concerning overtime.
 

Overtime Rules from the JCAM

Signing Overtime Lists. Full-time letter carriers, including full-time flexibles, who want to work overtime may place their names on either the "Overtime Desired List" or the "Work Assignment List," but not

both. Carriers may sign a list or switch between lists only during the two weeks prior to the beginning of the calendar quarter. There is an exception for employees who were on military leave during the sign up period.  They are always permitted to sign the list upon return to work (see Step 4, H7N-1K-C 41588, April 1, 1988, M-00820, and the Joint Statement on Overtime, M-00833). Carriers newly promoted from part time flexible to full-time regular status must wait until the beginning of the next calendar quarter before they can sign a list.

1. 8.5.D If the voluntary "Overtime Desired" list does not provide sufficient qualified people, qualified full-time regular employees not on the list may be required to work overtime on a rotating basis with the first opportunity assigned to the junior employee.

Mandatory Overtime: One purpose of the Overtime Desired List is to excuse full-time carriers not wishing to work overtime from having to work overtime. However, if the Overtime Desired List does not provide sufficient qualified full-time regulars for required overtime, Article 8.5.D permits management to move off the list and require non-ODL carriers to work overtime on a rotating basis starting with the junior employee. This rotation begins with the junior employee at the beginning of each calendar quarter.

Absent a local memorandum provision to the contrary, employees who are absent, e.g. non-scheduled day, sick leave or annual leave, when their names come up on the rotation will be passed over.

Management may seek non-ODL volunteers rather than selecting non-volunteers on the basis of juniority. Normally, carriers not on the Overtime Desired List may not grieve the fact that they were not selected to work overtime.

The provisions of this section do not apply in the case of a full-time letter carriers working on their own assignment on a regularly scheduled day. That situation is governed by Article 8, Section 5.C.2.d as amended by the letter carrier paragraph, see below.

In the Letter Carrier Craft, where management determines that overtime or auxiliary assistance is needed on an employee's route on one of the employee's regularly scheduled days and the employee is not on the overtime desired list, the employer will seek to utilize auxiliary assistance, when available, rather than requiring the employee to work mandatory overtime. (Emphasis added)

8.8.B. When a full-time regular employee is called in on the employee's non-scheduled day, the employee will be guaranteed eight hours work or pay in lieu thereof.

2. 8.5.C.2.d Recourse to the "Overtime Desired" list is not necessary in the case of a letter carrier working on the employee's own route on one of the employee's regularly scheduled days.

Implementing memorandum on "letter carrier paragraph" A memorandum of understanding signed December 20, 1988 (M-00884) further explained the requirement to seek to utilize auxiliary assistance before requiring a carrier not on the OTDL or work assignment list to work overtime. Management must seek to use all of the following to provide auxiliary assistance:

Casuals

Part-time employees at the straight time or regular overtime rate

Transitional employees at the straight time or regular overtime rate

Available fulltime regular employees such as unassigned or reserve regulars at the straight time rate.

Full-time carriers from the overtime desired list at the regular overtime rate.

However, the memo states that management does not have to use OTDL carriers to provide auxiliary assistance if such an assignment would mean that the OTDL carriers would be working penalty overtime. In that limited situation - if no auxiliary assistance is available without going into penalty overtime - management can force full-time regular carriers not on the overtime desired list to work overtime on their own routes on a regularly scheduled day.

3. Memorandum of Understanding between the United States Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO

The determination of whether management must use a carrier from the ODL to provide auxiliary assistance under the letter carrier paragraph must be made on the basis of the rule of reason. For example, it is reasonable to require a letter carrier on the ODL to travel for five minutes in order to provide one hour of auxiliary assistance. Therefore, in such a case, management must use the letter carrier on the ODL to provide auxiliary assistance. However, it would not be reasonable to require a letter carrier on the ODL to travel 20 minutes to provide one hour of auxiliary assistance. Accordingly, in that case, management is not required to use the letter carrier on the ODL to provide auxiliary assistance under the letter carrier paragraph.

4. 8.5.F. Excluding December, no full-time regular employee will be required to work overtime on more than four (4) of the employee's five (5) scheduled days in a service week or work over ten (10) hours on a regularly scheduled day, over eight (8) hours on a non-scheduled day, or over six (6) days in a service week.

National Arbitrator Mittenthal ruled in H4N-NA-C-21, April 11, 1986 (C-5860) that an employee on the OTDL does not have the option of accepting or refusing work over eight hours on a nonscheduled day, work over six days in a service week or overtime on more than four of the five scheduled days in a service week; instead an employee on the OTDL must be required to work up to twelve hours in a day and sixty hours in a week before management may require employees not on the OTDL to work overtime. (This ruling does not extend to situations involving a letter carrier working on his or her own route on a regularly scheduled day. See the discussion under 8.5.C.2.D and 8.5.G)

8.5.G Full-time employees not on the "Overtime Desired" list may be required to work overtime only if all available employees on the "Overtime Desired" list have worked up to twelve (12) hours in a day or sixty (60) hours in a service week. Employees on the "Overtime Desired" list: 

1. may be required to work up to twelve (12) hours in a day and sixty (60) hours in a service week (subject to payment of penalty overtime pay set forth in Section 4D for contravention of Section 5.F); and

2. excluding December, shall be limited to no more than twelve (12) hours of work in a day and no more than sixty (60) hours of work in a service week. However, the Employer is not required to utilize employees on the "Overtime Desired" list at the penalty overtime rate if qualified employees on the "Overtime Desired" list who are not yet entitled to penalty overtime are available for the overtime assignment.

NOTE: This is a common sense issue as to what constitutes an emergency or what is beyond management's control. The parties have agreed in this issue that the requirements have been met if any of the following factors apply. The OTDL have worked at least a minimum of 10 hours in a day or the 60 hour work rule in a service week met, or a darkness/safety issue exists as per item I above.

 

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Joint Statement on Overtime June 8 1988 M-00833 re: Mandatory Overtime

The "letter carrier paragraph" of the 1984 Overtime memorandum obligates management to seek to use auxiliary assistance, when available, rather than requiring a regular letter carrier not on the Overtime Desired List to work overtime on his/her own assignment on a regular scheduled day.

When full-time regular employees not on the Overtime Desired List are needed to work overtime on other than their own assignment, or on a non-scheduled day, Article 8, Section 5.D, requires that they be forced on a rotating basis beginning with the junior employee. In such circumstances management may, but is not required to seek volunteers from non-OTDL employees.

The work assignment list was established for full-time letter carriers who only want to work overtime on their own assignment on regularly scheduled days. Signing up for the work assignment overtime does not create any entitlement or obligation to work overtime on a non-scheduled day. For purposes of overtime on a non-scheduled day or on other than their own assignment, carriers on the work assignment list are treated exactly the same as any other full-time carriers not on the overtime desired list - They may only be required to work overtime under the provisions of Article 8, Section 5.D.

Not counted toward equitability. This section provides that recourse to the Overtime Desired list is not necessary in the case of a letter carrier working on the employees own route on one of the employees regularly scheduled days. As a consequence, overtime accrued by a carrier working on the carriers own route on a regularly scheduled day is not considered or counted in determining whether overtime has been equitably distributed among carriers on the list.  Additionally, overtime not worked because a carrier is working overtime on his/her own route on a regularly scheduled day is not considered an "opportunity missed" and is not made up to maintain equitability. This is because the carrier was not available to work the overtime. This situation is controlled by the pre-arbitration settlement of H8N-5D-C l8624,  July 1, 1982 (M-00135), which states in relevant part:

 

1) Overtime worked by a letter carrier on the employees own route on one of the employees regularly scheduled days is not counted as an overtime opportunity for the purposes of administration of the Overtime Desired List.

 

2) Overtime that is concurrent with (occurs during the same time as) overtime worked by a letter carrier on the employees own route on one of the employees regularly scheduled days is not counted as an opportunity missed for the purposes of administration of the Overtime Desired List.

 

Carrier Technicians.   Overtime worked by a Carrier Technician on the Overtime Desired List on the specific route to which properly assigned on a given day, is not counted or considered in determining whether overtime has been equitably distributed among carriers on the list.  Overtime worked by a Carrier Technician on the Overtime Desired List is counted in the consideration of the equitable distribution of overtime hours at the end of the quarter when: a) the overtime is not on a regularly scheduled day or b) the overtime is worked on any route in the delivery unit other than the specific route to which properly assigned on a given day. See Step 4, C94N-4C-C 98099737, October 2, 1998 (M-01323).

 

On October 19, 1988 the national parties signed the following Memorandum of Understanding (M-00859).  The parties agree that with the exception of December, full-time employees are prohibited from working more than 12 hours in a single work day or 60 hours within a service week. In those limited instances where this provision is or has been violated and a timely grievance filed, full-time employees will be compensated at an additional premium of 50 percent of the base hourly straight time rate for those hours worked beyond the 12 or 60 hour limitation. The employment of this remedy shall not be construed as an agreement by the parties that the Employer may exceed the 12 and 60 hour limitation As a means of facilitating the foregoing, the parties agree that excluding December, once a full-time employee reaches 20 hours of overtime within a service week, the employee is no longer available for any additional overtime work. Furthermore, the employees tour of duty shall be terminated once he or she reaches the 60th hour of

work, in accordance with Arbitrator Mittenthals National Level Arbitration Award on this issue, dated September 11, 1987, in case numbers H4N-NA-C 21 (3rd issue) and H4N-NA-C 27 (C-07323).

 

 

 

The Work Assignment List. The work assignment list is distinct from the regular overtime desired list discussed in Article 8.5.C.2. It was established by a Letter of Intent dated May 28, 1985.  The work assignment list was established for full-time letter carriers who only want to work overtime on their own assignment on regularly scheduled days. Signing up for the work assignment overtime does not create any entitlement or obligation to work overtime on a non-scheduled day. For purposes of overtime on a non-scheduled day or on other than their own assignment, carriers on the work assignment list are treated exactly the same as any other full- time carriers not on the overtime desired listThey may only be required to work overtime under the provisions of Article 8, Section 5.D.

 

Full-time letter carriers who sign the work assignment list are considered to be available for up to 12 hours per day on regularly scheduled days. However, the Work Assignment Agreement recognizes that it is normally in the parties best interests not to require employees to work beyond 10 hours per day, and managers should not require work assignment volunteers to work beyond 10 hours unless there is no equally prompt and efficient way to have the work performed.

 

Management may use an employee from the regular ODL to work regular overtime to avoid paying penalty pay to a carrier who has signed for work assignment overtime. This exception does not apply during the December exclusion period when penalty overtime is not paid. Management may always assign another carrier to perform the work at the straight time rate rather than giving overtime to a carrier on the work assignment list.  Reserve letter carriers and unassigned regulars are considered available for overtime on the specific route they are assigned on a given day.

 

Carrier Technicians are considered available for overtime on any of the routes on their string. Subject to the penalty overtime exceptions discussed above, this provision should be applied as follows:

 

A Carrier Technician who has signed for work assignment overtime has both a right and an obligation to work any overtime that occurs on any of the five component routes on a regularly scheduled day.

 

When overtime is required on the regularly scheduled day of the route of a carrier who is on the ODL and whose Carrier Technician is on the work assignment list, the Carrier Technician is entitled to work the overtime.

 

When overtime is required on the regularly scheduled day of the route of a carrier who is on the work assignment list and whose Carrier Technician is also on the work assignment list, the regular carrier on the route is entitled to work the overtime.

 

Pay guarantee for full-time employee on non-scheduled day. A fulltime regular or full-time flexible employee called in on a non-scheduled day is guaranteed 8 hours of work (or pay in lieu thereof). This guarantee also applies on a holiday or designated holiday.

 

Penalty overtime entitlement of full-time employees. A full-time employee receives penalty overtime pay (at 2 times the base straighttime ratesee Article 8.4.C) for work beyond the limits stated in Article 8.5.F, which are, excluding December:

 

Overtime worked on more than four (4) of the employees five (5) scheduled days in a service week;

Work over ten (10) hours on a regularly scheduled day;

Work over eight (8) hours on a non-scheduled day; or

Work over six (6) days in a service week.

This provision applies only to full-time regular and full-time flexible employees.

 

Penalty overtime for other employees. Article 8.E requires the payment of penalty overtime (at 2 times the base straight-time ratesee Article 8.4.C) for all work beyond 10 hours in a service day or 56 hours in a service week. This section applies to part-time flexibles and transitional employees; part-time regulars are also in the same category as PTFs for penalty overtime purposes.

 

Overtime and Holiday Scheduling. Much of what is often considered "overtime" worked by full-time employees on their holiday or designated holiday is not overtime. Rather it is "Holiday Worked Pay" or "Holiday Scheduling Premium." The only work that is contractually overtime for full-time employees working on a holiday or designated holidays is work beyond eight hours in a day (See ELM 432.531).

 

Furthermore, work up to eight hours on a non-scheduled day assigned under the provisions of Article 11, Section 6 is not considered in determining equitability. This is because the employees assigned the overtime in such situations are not "selected from the Overtime Desired' list" under the provisions of Article 8.5.C.2.a. Rather, they are selected under the provisions of Article 11, Section 6 and any applicable Local Memo provisions.