REGULAR ARBITRATION PANEL In the Matter of the Arbitration

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I STATEM ENT O F ISSUE, The parties consolidated two separate grievances arising. out of the same incident for purposes of this arbitration With. respect to the letter of warning grievance the parties stipulated. to a statement of the issue which read,Was the letter of warning issued to Grievant. K Beaugrand for just cause,If not what is the appropriate remedy. The Union proposed a statement of the issue on the letter. of demand grievance to state,was the letter of demand issued to Grievant K. Beaugrand in violation of the National,If so what is the appropriate remedy.
The Postal Service refused to agree to the issue as stated by the. Union but offered no proposal of its own on how the issue should be. The Arbitrator accepts the Union s view of the issue on. the letter of demand with the modification to refer to the specific. contract article at issue, The issue on the letter of demand grievance is revised by. the Arbitrator to read as follows,Was the letter of demand issued to Grievant K. Beaugrand done in violation of Article 28,Section 2 of the National Agreement. If so what is the appropriate remedy,II RELEVANT CONTRACTUAL PROVISIONS. ARTICLE 16,DISCIPLINE PROCEDURE,Section 1 Principles.
In the administration of this Article a basic,principle shall be that discipline should be. corrective in nature rather than punitive,No employee may be disciplined or discharged. except for just cause such as but not limited,to insubordination pilferage intoxication. drugs or alcohol incompetence failure to,perform work as requested violation of the. terms of this Agreement or failure to observe,safety rules and regulations Any such.
discipline or discharge shall be subject to,the grievance arbitration procedure provided. for in this Agreement which could result in,reinstatement and restitution including back. ARTICLE 28,EMPLOYER CLAIMS,Section 2 Loss or Damage of the Mails. An employee is responsible for the protection,of the mails entrusted to the employee Such. employee shall not be financially liable for,any loss rifling damage wrong delivery of.
or depredation on the mails or failure to,collect or remit C O D funds unless the. employee failed to exercise reasonable care,III STATEMENT OF FACTS. The incident which gave rise to the two grievances took. place on September 7 1989 Grievant was employed as a letter. carrier assigned to work as a T 6 requiring her to relieve the. regular carriers on five different routes each week One of the. routes she relieved was Route 2103 carried by Larry Laywell. Route 2103 is a business route serving no residential customers. On September 6 1989 Freeman Gem Company mailed a, registered parcel addressed to Green Fire Trading Company 8550. Production Avenue San Diego CA 92121 The article contained an. emerald valued at 33 000 Grievant was working Route 2103 on. September 7 1989 Grievant received the parcel at the Post Office. on September 7 1989 as part of her accountables There is no. dispute that Grievant received the parcel containing the gem. The address of the Green Fire Trading Company was, established as 8550 Production Avenue Suite A San Diego CA. 92121 The property on Production Avenue contains two suites. designated as Suite A and Suite B Suite B is occupied by Pacific. Sun Pool and Spa Suite A is occupied by the La Boulangerie Bakery. hereinafter Bakery The parties stipulated that Green Fire. Trading came into business in March 1989 Testimony of carrier. Laywell indicated that Green Fire Trading Company was owned by the. same people who operated the Bakery The evidence further revealed. that as of September 7 1989 there was no sign identifying Suite. A as the office of Green Fire Trading Company, Grievant testified that on September 7 1989 she went to.
8550 Production Avenue during the course of her route According. to Grievant the Bakery was closed so she went next door to the. Pacific Sun Pool and Spa herein after PEPS Grievant testified. she displayed the parcel addressed to Green Fire Trading Company to. a secretary at PSPS For purposes of this award the secretary will. be referred to as Jamie Grievant next stated she asked Jamie if. the parcel belonged here to which Jamie replied in the. affirmative Grievant testified she left the parcel with Jamie. On the Form 3849 Grievant wrote she had left the parcel with. Pool Jt Ex 2 p 36 Grievant explained that Jamie was. known to her as a person who received mail for PSPS. On September 13 1989 Freeman Gem Company reported by. telephone to Carol Stauffer Supervisor of Mails and Delivery that. there was a problem with the registered package containing the gem. Stauffer checked the accountable sheet and found the parcel had. been delivered by Grievant on September 7 1989 Subsequently it. was learned the parcel had been signed for by Jamie a person not. in the employ of Green Fire Trading Company, Stauffer assigned 204 B Michael Maley to investigate the. In a report dated September 20,circumstances of the lost parcel. 1989 Maley wrote the following,In regards to the missing registered. parcel from route 2103 In speaking,with Karen Beaugrand it was confirmed that she. did have possession of the package of 9 7 89,and did deliver it to the Business next door.
to the actual business it was meant to go to,she does want to see the package and a copy. of the address because she feels it might have,been an insufficient address which resulted in. the misdelivery,Jt Ex 2 p 58,Maley did not testify at the hearing. Freeman Gem Company filed a claim dated October 5 1989. for loss of the gem asserting a value of 33 000 Jt Ex 2 p. 37 The declared value was 25 000 The case of the missing gem. was assigned to Postal Inspector D F d Artenay on or about. October 25 1989 Postal Inspector d Artenay attempted to contact. Jamie but learned Jamie was no longer employed by PSPS Postal. Inspector d Artenay attempted to locate Jamie but as unable to make. personal contact with her Six months later in May or June 1990. Jamie did telephone Postal Inspector d Artenay and agreed to meet. with him to discuss the missing parcel A meeting was scheduled. but Jamie was a no show Jamie has not been heard from since the. telephone call to d Artenay, The Postal Service paid Freeman Gem Company 25 000 for. the loss of the registered parcel containing the gem. On September 26 1989 Postal Service prepared a letter. of warning for Improper Handling of Accountable Mail The letter. read in relevant part as follows,To Karen Beaugrand.
In accordance with Article 16 of the National,Agreement it is necessary to give you this. letter of warning relative to the,irregularities described below. On 9 7 89 you signed for registered article,387 08 2416 This article was addressed to. Green ire at 8550 A Production San Diego,92130 You misdelivered this registered. article to 8550 B Production The article has,not been recovered as of this date 9 22 89.
You have been instructed on the proper,procedure to deliver accountable mail By. misdelivering this accountable mail you,improperly handled it Delivering employees. are responsible for ensuring the accurate,delivery of mail including accountable mail. Jt Ex 2 p 24 emphasis added, The letter was signed by Supervisor Stauffer The letter. was issued on October 2 1989 but held in abeyance pending the. postal inspector investigation, Postal Inspector d Artenay concluded his investigation.
and issued an investigative memorandum dated January 11 1991. Jt Ex 3 pp 33 41 In the report d Artenay indicated he. first interviewed Grievant on November 16 1989 Grievant told the. inspector the suite number was not on the parcel Grievant. indicated she asked the secretary at PSPS if the article belonged. to them and the secretary replied yes The secretary signed for. the parcel and Grievant delivered the package, On November 16 1989 d Artenay interviewed the regular. carrier Laywell who reported most of the mail comes addressed to. the suite locations at 8550 Production Avenue Laywell told. d Artenay that he estimated he receives three or four pieces of. mail per week addressed to Green Fire Trading Company. Postal Inspector d Artenay learned from PSPS that Jamie. had left the business one month after the delivery of the. registered article in question He also indicated in his report. that a co worker of Jamie s recalled Jamie mentioning that a parcel. had been misdelivered, Postal Inspector d Artenay confirmed the information. contained in his report by testimony at the arbitration hearing. Carrier Laywell also testified at the arbitration hearing and. reaffirmed his statements made to the postal inspector. On February 6 1991 Postal Service issued a letter of. demand to Grievant for 25 000 The letter signed by Supervisor. Stauffer stated in relevant part as follows,In accordance with Article XXVIII of the. National Agreement it is necessary to give you,this Letter of Demand relative to the. irregularities described below,On 9 7 89 you signed for register article.
387 08 2416 which was addressed to the Green,Fire Trading Company 8550 Production Road. San Diego California 92121 You misdelivered,this article to 8550 Production Road Suite B. and even indicated on the PS 3849 Delivery,Receipt an addressee of Pool The Green. Fire Trading Company did not receive the,registered article which contained a 5 5 carat. emeral cut emerald and was reimbursed 25 000,for their loss.
Subsequent to this misdeliver the U S,Postal Inspection Service conducted an. investigation of the misdeliver in an attempt,to trace the whereabouts of the registered. article It was determined that you only,asked the secretary Jamie at the. Pool office in Suite A if the package was,hers whereupon she replied yes and you gave. the article to her The Inspection Service,tried to locate Ms but was.
unsuccessful,Section 335 11 of the M 41 City Carrier. Handbook specifically indicates that,registered articles are to be delivered to. addressee or anyone authorized to receive mail,for the addressee your action of delivering. this registered article to someone other than,the addressee or someone authorized to receive. the mail caused the loss of the article It,has been concluded that you did not exercise.
reasonable care in the handling of this piece,of registered mail and are liable for it s. loss As such this action will serve as a,letter of demand in the amount of 25 000. Contact with the accounting office will be,necessary to establish a payment schedule to. reimburse the U S Postal Service for the,loss of the article and their reimbursement to. the customer,it Ex 3 p 23, The Union filed two grievances on behalf of Beaugrand.
The first challenged the letter of warning as without just cause. it Ex 2 pp 9 12 Postal Service denied the grievance on the. ground Grievant had in fact misdelivered mail contrary to the M 41. and Article 28 Section 2 of the National Agreement it Ex 2. The second grievance protested the letter of demand. because management and the postal inspectors did not investigate. the matter in a timely manner Further Union alleged Grievant. acted with reasonable care as the disputed parcel did not bear the. correct address it Ex 3 pp 12 22 Postal Service denied. the grievance on the grounds Grievant did not comply with M 41 when. she delivered the parcel to a person other than the addressee and. failed to secure identification from the person to whom the package. was delivered it Ex 3 pp 3 10 11, The Union elevated both grievances to arbitration The. two grievances were combined for hearing before this Arbitrator. A hearing was held at which time both parties were offered the full. opportunity to present evidence and argue the case The issues are. now properly before the Arbitrator for decision,IV POSITION OF PARTIES. A U S Postal Service, Postal Service takes the position that registered mail is. the most secure item that can be mailed As such carriers are. expected to use the utmost care to accomplish the correct delivery. Pursuant to Section 335 1 of the M 41 registered articles must be. delivered to the addressee or someone authorized to receive mail. for the addressee If a person is not known to the carrier. regulations require identification to be obtained prior to delivery. of the registered article In the instant case the registered. article was addressed to Green Fire Trading Company not PSPS The. undisputed evidence is Grievant delivered the parcel to an employee. at PSPS and to a person not known to Grievant without asking for. identification Since PSPS was not authorized to receive mail for. Green Fire Trading Company just cause existed to issue a letter of. warning for improper handling of accountable mail,Moreover Article 28 Section 2 establishes the. obligation of each employee to protect the mails entrusted to the. employee When an employee fails to exercise reasonable care in. the delivery of mail such employee is chargeable with financial. liability for any loss According to Postal Service Grievant knew. where the parcel was to be delivered but failed to leave the. package as addressed Postal Service rejects Grievant s claim that. asking the secretary a person Grievant did not know at PSPS if. REGULAR ARBITRATION PANEL In the Matter of the Arbitration between UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE and NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LETTER CARRIERS AFL CIO BEFORE Gary L Axon ARBITRATOR K BEAUGRAND SAN DIEGO CALIFORNIA W7N 5L D 30655 W7N 5L C 30654 APPEARANCES For the U S Postal Service Tom Avey Labor Relations Representative United States Postal Service 2535 Midway Drive San Diego CA 92199

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