INTERROGATION BYTHE OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERALORPOSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE INSTRUCTORS: Patricia ‘Pat’ Williams, Assistant Director Clerk Division Shirley Jean Taylor, National Business Agent, Clerk Division Patricia ‘Pat’ Davis-Weeks, National Business Agent, Clerk Division Terry Martinez, National Business Agent, Maintenance Division
SYNOPSIS OF ARBITRATION AWARDS BASED ON INSPECTORS INVESTIGATIVE MEMORANDUMS
Removal for making threatening remarks to co-workers Removal for Improper Conduct Based on Seeking Sick Leave on the same days while incarcerated Discharge for hiding money under papers in cash drawer Removal for misrepresentation of facts to obtain OWCP benefits Removal for failing to disclose employment information on a CA-17 form Removal for misappropriation of funds Removal for Embezzlement Discharge for misrepresenting injury Discharge for not accounting for postal funds
Purpose of Postal Inspection Service The mission of the Postal Inspection Service is clear- “To enforce applicable laws and regulations as they relate to the U.S. Mail, Postal Service accountable items, Postal Funds and conduct of Postal employees”.
Employee and Labor RelationsManual Part 666.6 The Contract requires Postal Employees to cooperate in all Postal Investigations, including those administered by Postal Inspectors and/or OIG. This provision falls under Article 19 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
TYPES OF OIG INVESTIGATIONS • Employee witness to incident of misconduct • Investigation leading to discipline or possible criminal charges • Investigation leading to possible criminal charges
SHOP STEWARD’S RESPONSIBILITY Advise and actively assist the employee Attempt to clarify the facts Assist the employee in articulating an explanation Take notes of questions and answers Ask questions or seek clarification to prepare a record in the event of unforeseen discipline of the employee If believe employee may be subject of criminal investigation, advise employee to remain silent and not sign any statements/forms until seeking counsel.
DO NOT SIGN “WARNING AND WAIVER OF RIGHTS” PS FORM 1067
Rights Before Postal InspectorsCard Use the employees statement card to remember what you should say when questioned by Postal Inspectors / OIG
Transition of Work From the Postal Inspection Service (PIS) to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
The United States Postal Service (OIG) was created by Congress in September 1996 by amending the Inspector General Act of 1978 and the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970. The Inspector General Act provides that the OIG may conduct audits and investigations in the Postal Service as it considers appropriate.
Investigations of bargaining unit employees fall within the OIG’s statutory responsibility to conduct audits and investigations pertaining to the Postal Service and are within the OIG’s discretion to conduct.
9/9/04 PMG Potter notifies Officers of the USPS that the PIS and OIG will focus efforts on areas that Congress intended and the transfer of duties will take 1 to 2 years
2/7/05The Chief Postal Inspector and the Inspector General advise Officers and Executives of the USPS of each organization’s new responsibilities.
Special Agents in Charge of the OIG will investigate: Allegations of employee embezzlement Record falsification by employees Workers’ compensation fraud by employees Contract fraud On-duty employee narcotics violations
Miscellaneous employee misconduct - Application falsification - Theft of property or services - Non-postal crimes, etc. Special Agents in Charge of the OIG will investigate:
The PIS will investigate: Mail theft
Who was contacted by OIG? Did the contact relate to the person’s actions as an employee or as a union officer? Was the person at work or away from work at time of contact? Were there postal employee and/or manager contacts, but not union official contacts?
Was anyone else involved in the OIG contact with the employee and/or union officer? Postal Manager? Postal Police? Other federal investigators? ( DOL) ( FBI)
What was the subject of contact? What was being investigated?
What gave rise to the investigation? Did the OIG begin the inquiry on its own? Did someone file a complaint with OIG? Was the complainant a union member? Was the complainant a union officer?
Did the complaint involve, or was the investigation about, an internal union matter? An election? Expenditure of union funds? Conduct of union meeting? Constitution or bylaws change?
If the answer to #5 is yes-(Did the complaint involve, or was the investigation about an internal union matter?) How did OIG become aware of the issue?
Is the subject of the inquiry the union’s handling of a grievance? Decision to file a grievance? Decision to arbitrate? Position taken in grievance procedure or arbitration?
If answer to #7 is yes,(Is the subject of the inquiry the union’s handling of a grievance?) How did OIG become aware of the issue?
If the answer to # 9 is yes,(Is the subject of the inquiry the settlement of a grievance?) How did OIG become aware of the issue?
If the answer to #9 is yes, Is the inquiry about distribution of a lump sum settlement? Is the inquiry about management’s decision to settle?
Is there an ongoing or related criminal or administrative investigation?
Where did the contact take place? Postal Facility? Union Office? Person’s home? Phone?
What was time of day, work status, at time of contact? Work hours at Postal Facility? Non-work hours at Postal Facility? Non-work hours (away from Postal facility)
If person objected to OIG inquiry what was OIG reaction? Stop? Direct person to answer? Try to persuade person to answer?
3/22/05 Vice Pres. Labor Relations Vegliante to APWU President Burrus explains that certain types of work place misconduct will be transitioned from the PIS to the OIG to investigate.
This transition will not restrict, eliminate, or otherwise adversely affect any rights, privileges, or benefits of either employees or the Union.
OIG ISSUING TICKETS • OIG is issuing “tickets” in some parts of the country to our employees. • We are aware of two instances from the Central Region.
FIRST INCIDENT • OIG issued a $125 ticket to the union steward for allegedly lying at the hearing. • The Federal Magistrate Judge, the U.S. • Attorney dismissed the charges.
Please also note that because the case is dismissed ‘without’ prejudice’, in theory the OIG could still, at a later point, make a case for prosecution. However, the U.S. Attorney believes based on his review of the case, that is very unlikely.
SECOND INCIDENT • Also at Palatine, the OIG gave an employee a $50 ticket for selling bootleg DVDs and CDs. NOTE: The local wanted to grieve the ticket under Article 28.
APWU’S POSITION Become aware The union should intervene to represent our employees Be aware of the legalities of certain situations.
NATIONAL APWU’S POSITION • Greg Bell and our legal department is • investigating the legalities. • It is a new concept. • Employees must be made aware that what • they did in the past can no longer • continue.
Following are answers to some of the questions APWU posed to the USPS regarding the transition of work from the Postal Inspection Service (PIS) to the office of the Inspector General (OIG)
A8. Will OIG comply with the requirements of Article 17.3 as it relates to an employee request for a steward or Union representative during the course of an interrogation? If an employee requests a steward or Union representative to be present during the course of an interrogation by the Inspection Service, such request will be granted. All polygraph tests will continue to be on a voluntary basis.
A9. Will OIG comply with the MOU entitled, “Role of Inspection Service in Labor Relations Matters?” Postal Inspection Service policy does not condone disrespect by Inspectors in dealing with any individual. It has an obligation to comply fully with the letter and spirit of the National Agreement between the parties and will not interfere in the dispute resolution process as it relates to Articles 15 and 16.
The parties further acknowledge the necessity of an independent review of the facts by management prior to the issuance of disciplinary action, emergency procedures, indefinite suspensions, enforced leave or administrative actions.
A10. Generally speaking, the OIG will comply with those decisions, settlements, and memoranda of understanding that were reached through the grievance/arbitration process, National Labor Relations Board, or judicial process that apply to the Inspection Service.
A11. OIG investigators (Special Agents) will comply with Weingarten rights in the same manner as Postal Inspectors. A12. Special Agents will not issue or concur in disciplinary action outlined in Article 16 of the National Agreement. A13. Special Agents will not recommend and/or mandate the issuance of discipline to bargaining unit employees.