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Contract Update

Don’t Let the Postal Service Take Your Pulse!

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
39-2019

05/21/2019 - It is that time of the year when the Postal Service wants to take your pulse!  Like previous years, the 2018 Postal Pulse survey showed the USPS what we already knew: Your work environment is not good; your supervisors treat you poorly and morale is low. The mean score changed by less than one-tenth of a point—suggesting nothing has changed at the Post Office. One statistic that trended in the right direction in the APWU’s opinion, was employee participation in the survey.  It went down from 46% in 2017 to 42% in 2018.  The APWU’s goal is a zero-participation rate.

The APWU implores you once again:  Do not participate in the 2019 Postal Pulse Survey.  You are probably being flooded with emails, postcards to your home, stand-up talks, posters on time clocks, and other tactics to try to get you to take the survey. 

So, what has the Postal Service done in the last year? Have things improved since the survey was first put out and found that the USPS ranked low in every category? The reality is, the steps the Postal Service took to make the workplace “more engaging” are meaningless. You still have difficult supervisors and you are having more demanded of you, putting your health and safety at risk. Staff is being reduced, people are being excessed and morale is being decimated.

And now, in 2019, the survey is being pushed immediately before the APWU will begin interest arbitration with the Postal Service to establish a contract.  There is more than a good chance that the results of this survey will be utilized, as has been done previously, in interest arbitration against you. 

 

House Committee Looks for Solutions for the Postal Service’s Finances

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
33-2019

05/02/2019 - In an Apr. 30 hearing, The House Committee on Oversight & Reform (COR) examined the financial conditions of the United States Postal Service. The committee invited Postmaster General Megan Brennan, Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) Director of the Office of Accountability and Compliance Margaret Cigno, President and CEO of Quad/Graphics Joel Quadracci, National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando, and Cato Institute Director of Tax Policy Studies Chris Edwards to testify.

Ahead of the hearing, APWU President Mark Dimondstein submitted a statement for the record, calling for four common sense solutions. These include: repealing the prefunding mandate in full; allowing investment options for the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund to boost investment returns; expanding on new products and services; and restoring the 2013 exigency rate surcharge permanently.  

“Congress should not let another legislative session pass while the Postal Service is held back from regaining financial sustainability and fulfilling the best promises of Universal Service,” President Dimondstein commented.

 

Change to Election Rules

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
34-2019

05/02/2019 - A change has been made to page number 43 of the 2019 Rules and Regulations printed in the  March/April magazine by deleting the paragraph referencing five (5) regional Election magazines.   To receive an updated copy, please contact apwuelectioncommittee@apwu.org.

 

Contract Update

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
35-2019

05/03/2019 - The APWU is continuing to move forward towards interest arbitration. Preparation of hearing presentations, evidence, and witnesses is occurring every day.

The craft directors and their assistant directors are working together with the lead negotiator, President Mark Dimondstein, and the negotiation’s chief spokesperson, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman, on the issues that their craft will be facing in the interest arbitration hearings. For example, the crafts are all currently working on presentations that show how important each of their respective craft’s work is, the complexity of the jobs postal workers do, and how critical each job is to the mission of the postal service.

Your executive officers are all preparing for arbitration, as well working on specific assignments for use in the interest arbitration process. Meetings are held on a regular basis to strategize and report preparation progress by the crafts. as well as joint meetings with the core National Negotiation Committee and the resident craft officers.

While preparation and arbitrator selection are ongoing, the parties have entered mediation in an attempt to reach a voluntary agreement. A neutral mediator was appointed by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and has already began to meet with the principals from the parties. Mediation meetings are also scheduled between the APWU and USPS for each craft. Your craft officers will be meeting with the Postal Service in these sessions.

If a voluntary agreement can be reached through mediation, it will be presented to the Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee for their vote to send to the membership for ratification.

“Even though we are in mediation in hopes of getting an agreement, we are diligently preparing for interest arbitration. Your elected officers, our attorneys, subject matter experts, and staff are working tirelessly to prepare to present a case that will get you the contract you deserve,” said Industrial Relations Director Zimmerman.

 

Legislation Calls to Repeal Prefunding Mandate

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
32-2019

05/02/2019 - On Monday, Apr. 29, members of Congress introduced H.R. 2382, the USPS Fairness Act. This legislation would repeal, in full, the onerous prefunding of retiree health care benefits mandate Congress put in place in 2006. The mandate requires the Postal Service to prefund its retiree health care benefits 75 years in advance, paying for retirement health care for individuals who haven’t been born yet, let alone enter the workforce. The mandate is accountable for 92 percent of the Postal Service’s net losses since 2007 and is a constant threat to the financial sustainability of the Postal Service.

Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), Tom Reed (R-NY-23), Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM-03), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01) sponsored the bill.  

APWU fully supports this legislation. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), which created the congressionally manufactured prefunding burden, has not only drained the Postal Service’s funds, but also limits its ability to make vital innovations and expand services.

“This legislation is a necessary step to solving the disastrous prefunding mandate that is dragging down the Postal Service,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.

H.R. 2382 would return the Postal Service to the procedures in place prior to the PAEA, utilizing a pay-as-you-go method for retiree benefits, the standard practice across federal agencies and private businesses. “Ending the prefunding mandate is essential to postal jobs and benefits,” said Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard. “We are asking our members to contact their Representatives to cosponsor this important bill.”

Call 844-402-1001 to contact your member of Congress and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 2382, the USPS Fairness Act. Be sure to also promote H.R. 2382 on social media using #repealprefunding #HR2382 #peoplebeforeprofit and/or #unfairburden.

Reach out to your family, friends, and neighbors and ask them to call their representatives as well. This legislation affects every American household.

 

Contract Negotiations Update: Management and Union Exchange Final Economic Proposals

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
19-2019

03/08/2019 - On March 7, 2019, the APWU and United States Postal Service negotiators exchanged their final economic proposals as both sides continue their preparation for interest arbitration.

The APWU put forward proposals that reward postal workers for our hard work. The Union’s proposals include:

  • Solid annual pay raises,
  • Two COLA increases every year,
  • Adding top Steps to the lower career pay scale,
  • Reduction of the non-career workforce and increasing the career workforce,
  • Automatic PSE conversion to career after a set time of service,
  • Increased company contributions to health insurance premiums,
  • Raising the pay of PSEs.

The union had previously presented many proposals and continues to fight for these demands: work hour guarantees for PTFs; guaranteed weekly day off for PTFs and PSEs; elimination of all subcontracting, including continuation of moratorium of subcontracting of any existing MVS/PVS work; moratorium on plant closings; addressing the hostile work environment, including sexual harassment; elimination of management performing bargaining unit work in level 18 offices; and no mandatory overtime.

 

RI-399 Monetary Settlement Distribution

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
17-2019

03/02/2019 - As previously reported, in 2018 the APWU, the National Postal Mail Handlers’ Union (NPMHU), and the USPS reached a tripartite agreement updating the RI-399 work jurisdiction process. As part of the agreement on the update to the RI-399 process, all pending RI-399 grievances filed prior to September 1, 2017, were administratively closed with some limited exceptions.

The Postal Service agreed that they would pay $14.5 million to each union in consideration of the withdrawal of national level disputes. The settlement agreement calls for the unions to each make their own determination on how this money would be distributed.

After consultation, much discussion, and agreement with the Clerk Craft Director, the APWU has decided that the money will be distributed in equal amounts to clerk craft employees who fall into the following two categories:

  1. All career clerk craft employees who were on the rolls as of September 1, 2017, in postal installations that employ both clerk craft employees and mail handlers; and
  2. All PSE clerk craft employees who were on the rolls on September 1, 2017, in postal installations that employ both clerk craft employees and mail handlers and who are still on the rolls as of March 1, 2019.

The exact amount of money is yet to be determined as the APWU is still determining exactly who are entitled to payment. We currently estimate this number to be around 85,000 career and non-career clerks (including any eligible career employees who retired after September 1, 2017). The number of eligible clerks is nearly double the number of mail handlers who will receive payment. President Mark Dimondstein and Clerk Craft Director Clint Burelson released a memorandum to national, state, and local officers.

Updates will be provided as the process progresses.

 

APWU National Executive Board Calls for the Secretary of Labor to Resign

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
18-2019

03/01/2019 - On Friday, March 1 the APWU National Executive Board unanimously passed the following statement:

Alex Acosta is unfit to serve as Secretary of Labor.

Recently the Miami Herald produced a detailed and documented expose regarding the sexual abuse scandal of dozens of underage/teenage girls over many years by billionaire hedge fund manager Jeffery Epstein.

Epstein used his money and influence to escape justice. In a secret plea bargain, no charges were filed for sexual abuse of minors. Instead he pled guilty to a felony “prostitution” charge in state court and received a 13-month sentence. According to the Miami Herald, “…in return Epstein and his accomplices received immunity from federal sex-trafficking charges that could have sent him to prison for life.” He served his sentence in a private cell and was allowed to leave for his office every day.

Furthermore, victims were never notified of the plea agreement and were thus denied their legal rights and the opportunity to oppose it. 

The current Secretary of Labor and Trump administration cabinet member, Alex Acosta, brokered this secret deal that covered for the crimes, abandoned the victims, broke the law and was a miscarriage of justice. At the time he was the U.S. Attorney for southern Florida.

The Secretary of Labor overseas the agency responsible for labor laws, including human and sex trafficking and international child labor laws.

In defense of young women and all working people, the APWU Executive Board demands that Alex Acosta be removed as Secretary of Labor, either by resignation or termination by the U.S. President.

 

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