The opinion of the court was delivered by: AMY ST. EVE, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Pro se Plaintiff John T. Lindsey, Jr. brings this action
against Defendants the John Grace Branch No. 825 of the National
Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO (the "Union"), the
Union's President, Jay Ricke, (collectively, the "Union
Defendants"), Lindsey's former employer, the United States Postal
Service ("USPS"), and Postmaster Rick Stryker. Construing his pro
se Complaint liberally, see Perruquet v. Briley, 390 F.3d 505,
512 (7th Cir. 2004), Lindsey alleges that the Union breached
its duty of fair representation and that the USPS breached the
Collective Bargaining Agreement. Before the Court is the Union
Defendants' and the USPS' Motions for Summary Judgment pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c). For the following
reasons, the Court grants Defendants' motions.
I. Northern District of Illinois Local Rules
Because Lindsey is a pro se litigant, the Union Defendants and
the USPS both served him with a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant
Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment" as required by Northern District of Illinois, Local Rule 56.2. These notices
explained the consequences of failing to properly respond to a
motion for summary judgment and statement of material facts under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 and Local Rule 56.1.
When determining summary judgment motions, the Court derives
the background facts from the litigants' Local Rule 56.1
statements. The Local Rules provide parties with specific details
as to how litigants in the Northern District of Illinois should
approach summary judgment motions and responses. Local Rule
56.1(a)(3), for example, requires the moving party to provide "a
statement of material facts as to which the moving party contends
there is no genuine issue." Local Rule 56.1(b)(3) requires the
non-moving party, in this case Lindsey, to admit or deny every
factual statement proffered by the moving party and to concisely
designate any material facts that establish a genuine dispute for
trial. In addition, the parties' Rule 56.1 statements must
contain references to affidavits, parts of the record, and other
supporting materials. Malec v. Sanford, 191 F.R.D. 581, 583-85
(N.D. Ill. 2000); see also Bradley v. Work, 154 F.3d 704, 708
(7th Cir. 1998) (courts need to know basis of evidentiary
information to determine whether evidence properly admissible).
In response to Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment,
Lindsey filed a "Motion of Material Facts to Deny Defendants'
Counsel Request for Summary Judgment," which the Court construes
as a response to Defendants' motions. (R. 49-1, 50-1.) Lindsey
also filed two additional responses to the USPS' and Union
Defendants' motions. (R. 55-1, 56-1.) As Defendants correctly
assert, Lindsey's filings do not comply with the Local Rules.
Although the Court construes pro se pleadings liberally,
Lindsey's pro se status does not absolve him from complying with
the Local Rules concerning his statement of facts. Greer v.
Board of Ed. of City of Chicago, 267 F.3d 723, 727 (7th Cir. 2001); see also
McNeil v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113, 113 S.Ct. 1980,
124 L.Ed.2d 21 (1993) (pro se litigants must follow clear procedural
rules). Accordingly, the Court deems as admitted Defendants'
Local Rule 56.1 statements of fact that are supported by the
record because Lindsey has failed to properly contest them. See
Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003).
On March 3, 2001, Lindsey started his career appointment as a
part-time flexible ("PTF') city letter carrier at the Bellwood,
Illinois, Post Office. (R. 47-1, USPS' Rule 56.1 Stmt. Facts ¶ 1;
R. 47-1, Union Defs' Rule 56.1 Stmt. Facts ¶ 2.) The Union serves
as the exclusive bargaining representative for all city letter
carriers employed by the USPS, including Lindsey. (USPS Stmt. ¶
2; Union Defs' Stmt. ¶ 1.) The Union and the USPS prepared a
Joint Contract Administration Manual ("JCAM") that contains a
narrative explanation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement's
("CBA") provisions. (USPS Stmt. ¶ 3.) The JCAM sets forth the
rights, benefits, and responsibilities under the CBA. (Id., Ex.
25.) The JCAM explains that the USPS management has the exclusive
right, subject to the terms of the CBA, to direct city letter
carriers in the performance of their duties. (Id. ¶ 4.)
B. USPS Employee Work Hours
Pursuant to Article 7 of the CBA, the Postal Service's regular
work force is comprised of full-time employees who are assigned
to regular weekly schedules of 5 days consisting of 8 hours each
day. (Union Defs' Stmt. ¶ 4.) On the other hand, PTF employees,
like Lindsey, are career hourly rate employees who are available
to work flexible hours assigned by the USPS during the course of a work week. (USPS Stmt. ¶¶ 5, 6.) PTF
letter carriers have flexible work hours rather than a fixed
schedule and have no hourly guarantees. (Id. ¶¶ 7, 8.) In
addition, the CBA does not prohibit the USPS from assigning
overtime work to PTF carriers. (Union Defs' Stmt. ¶¶ 6, 7.) In
fact, throughout his tenure as a PTF carrier, the USPS routinely
scheduled Lindsey to more than 40 hours in a work week. (Id. ¶
C. Warning Letter January 12, 2004
On January 9, 2004, the Acting Supervisor of Customer Services
at the Bellwood Post Office, Karl Williams, notified Lindsey that
he was scheduled to work on January 10, 2004. (USPS Stmt. ¶ 17.)
Lindsey responded that he was scheduled to be off on January
10th, and consequently, he did not report for work that day.
(Id. ¶¶ 18, 19.) On January 12, 2004, the USPS issued Lindsey a
warning letter for not reporting to work on January 10, 2004.
(Id. ¶ 21; Union Defs' Stmt. ¶ 13.) On January 23, 2004, the
Union filed a grievance on Lindsey's behalf protesting the
January 12, 2004 warning letter. (USPS Stmt. ¶ 22.) On February
9, 2004, the Union and the USPS reached a settlement agreement
concerning the warning letter, placing Lindsey on notice that "as
a PTF, he is required to work all days, all ...