Workplace issues

DRT-STEP B training

Congratulations to all of you for successfully completing the training.

Class photo for the newly trained Step B team members - both NALC and Management representatives pictured above - May 2024

DRT-STEP B training is a joint certification program with the USPS and is an intensive week-long training. The training covers and examines relevant topics, including contract application, decision writing, computer-based research and dispute resolution skills. Most participants selected by the NALC to attend are shop stewards or branch officers who have exhibited the ability to work with management in a professional manner and are able to successfully complete the training.

In 1998, the NALC and USPS jointly tested a new grievance procedure known as the Dispute Resolution Process (DRP) in an effort to reduce a backlog of grievances. This provided for a Step B Dispute Resolution Team (DRT) consisting of one union representative and one management representative. The DRT test was a success as we were able to work together to resolve disputed grievances by writing educational and contractual decisions. The huge success of the test reduced the backlog of grievances and the DRP was later negotiated into the 2001-2006 National Agreement.

In order to be certified as a Step B representative, participants must demonstrate they can work diligently and cooperatively with their counterparts. Students must be able to use a computer to research subjects and they are required to write clear, concise and contractually sound decisions. Lastly, all students must pass a final examination which tests their contractual knowledge. Approximately 75% of the participants who have attended and successfully completed Step B training and are DRT certified.

The NALC participants are selected by their National Business Agent (NBA) to attend the rigorous week-long training. Participants should have extensive grievance handling experience at the Informal Step and Formal Step A levels, and have the ability to apply the terms of the National Agreement and JCAM when decisioning grievances.

If you are interested in becoming a Step B representative, you will need to contact your National Business Agent’s office as all recommendations for participants will be submitted by the NBAs.