Origin of the Joint Statement
NALC, other postal unions, the Postal Service three postal supervisors' organizations created and signed the Joint Statement on Violence and Behavior in the Workplace in February, 1992. They drafted the statement at a meeting of NALC, other postal unions, USPS and three postal supervisors' organizations held in the wake of tragic shootings of postal workers in Royal Oak, Michigan in November 1991.
In the statement the organizations committed to dignity, respect and fairness for all postal employees as a fundamental human right. They also promised to rid the Postal Service of the harassing, intimidating and abusive behavior that can lead to workplace violence. They also promised to deny rewards to those who violated that right and to remove repeat offenders from the Postal Service.
Six months later the same parties issued a second Joint Statement, committing to continue their dialogue and pursue the first statement's mandate of a safer, more harmonious and productive workplace.
EnforcementThe Snow Award
In 1996 National Arbitrator Carlton Snow declared that the Joint Statement was a binding contractual obligation that NALC may enforce through the grievance procedure. Snow empowered regional arbitrators to enforce the statement and issue remedies against postal supervisors who violate it. (Available for download here.)
Once Snow's landmark award, regional arbitrators have enforced the Joint Statement against postal supervisors where NALC has presented strong evidence of violent, abusive, harassing or threatening behavior. They have ordered supervisors to apologize, to get training, or to be transferred from any position involving the supervision of letter carriers.
More recently regional arbitrators have ordered the Postal Service to remove a Postmaster and to demote a supervisor and deny him promotions or raises for five years. Unfortunately, the Postal Service is challenging these arbitration decisions in federal court. NALC is opposing any moves to vacate valid arbitration awards or to undermine enforcement of the Joint Statement.