Do You Have Undertime?
1. My supervisor keeps saying that I have “undertime”. What does he mean by undertime?
Answer: There is no such word as “undertime” in the dictionary. It is a postal created word. However, having stated that, I assume he means that you would be able to finish your entire assignment for the day in less than eight hours and would be able to work on another assignment to complete your eight hours.
2. I am not on the Overtime Desired List and my supervisor states that I have “undertime” and instructs me to carry part of another route in eight hours. What should I do?
Answer: If you believe you cannot do your assignment and part of another route in eight hours, inform your supervisor immediately that you can’t and ask him “What do you want me to do, carry the swing and work overtime or bring the mail back if I can’t complete it in eight hours?”
3. What if my supervisor does not give me an answer when I ask him what I am supposed to do, bring the mail back or work overtime?
Answer: You should do as last instructed and carry your route and the additional swing. If you are not on the Overtime Desired List and work overtime as a result of carrying the swing, you should notify your shop steward so that a grievance can be filed. A Step 4 dated October 2, 1972 states: “Although there was no expressed authorization to complete the delivery of the mail on an overtime basis, the permission would be inherent in the authorization to continue delivery after notification that the grievant was unable to complete the route”.
4. What if I inform the supervisor that I can’t carry the additional swing in eight hours and he says he is going to follow me on the route?
Answer: Supervisors have every right to follow you on the route any time they want to. If the supervisor follows you and you are able to carry your assignment and the additional swing in eight hours, then it was contractually appropriate for the supervisor to require you to carry the swing. However, if you work overtime and are not on the Overtime Desired List, then you need to contact your shop steward so that a grievance can be filed.
5. I am leaving the office at the posted leaving time but my supervisor still says I have “undertime” and instructs me to carry a swing. What should I do?
Answer: If you are leaving the office at the posted leaving time, normally you would not have any time to carry part of another route in eight hours, unless there are circumstances such as extremely low volume of mail, no parcels or low DPS volume. Inform your supervisor as to the reason why you cannot do the extra work in eight hours and if you are still required to carry the swing, complete a Form 3996 for overtime or assistance and then notify your shop steward.
6. I am leaving for the street 30 minutes earlier than my posted leaving time. My supervisor wants me to carry part of another route on “undertime”.
Answer: Simply because you leave 30 minutes early, does not necessarily mean that you have time to carry a swing in order to complete your eight hours of work. Other variables, such as, weather (hot or cold), circulars, samples, heavy DPS mail, more the usual number of parcels, certified letters, or priority mail can be legitimate reasons that would require additional time on your route. Once again, inform your supervisor as to the reason why you believe you cannot do the extra work in eight hours and if you are still required to carry the swing, complete a Form 3996 and notify the shop steward as soon as possible.
7. My supervisor instructed me to leave an hour off my route for a PTF to carry and then said I have undertime and instructed me to carry off another route. Was this contractual proper?
Answer: No, it violates Article 41 of the National Agreement which states that you are to “work your assignment as posted” for bid. The supervisor is artificially creating the so called “undertime”. The shop steward should be contacted so that a grievance can be filed.
8. My supervisor says that I have to notify him if I have “undertime”. Does it say that anywhere in the contract or manuals?
Answer: No. Section 131.4 of the Handbook M-41 only requires you to “verbally inform management when you are of the opinion that you will be unable to case all mail distributed to the route, perform other required duties, and leave on schedule or when you will be unable to complete delivery of all mail” in eight hours.