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Aug 20, 2018
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Sep 03, 2018
Breaking News

Resolution Opposing Privatization of the Postal Service Introduced in Congress

Web News Article 
70-2018

07/19/2018 - On July 16, a leading group of Congressional representatives took action to help combat a proposal to privatize the Postal Service. The proposal, put forward by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget in their report Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century, would “restructure the U.S. Postal Service” and “prepare it for future conversion from a government agency into a privately-held corporation.”  ?

APWU thanks the bipartisan group of representatives for introducing House Resolution 993 in response to this attack. The resolution calls on Congress to take all appropriate measures to ensure that the United States Postal Service remains an independent establishment of the Federal Government and not be subject to privatization. 

The resolution was introduced by Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and co-sponsored by Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Paul Cook (R-CA), Brian Mast (R-FL), Don Young (R-AK), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH).

“We will fight back against any attempt to privatize the Postal Service,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “This is yet another attempt by corporate interests to pad their pockets and rob the public of affordable and universal mail delivery.”

Members of Congress will be starting their summer recess in August.  “We urge all APWU members to meet with your representative and express the urgency of them becoming a co-sponsor of this resolution and oppose the privatization of the Postal Service,” said Legislative and Political Director Judy Beard.

You can reach your Congressional representative by dialing 1-844-402-1001.

 


Aug 14, 2018

Moratorium on Grievances Agreement Due to Convention in August

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 

43-2018

08/13/2018 - The APWU and the Postal Service have agreed to a moratorium on grievances, disciplinary actions and arbitration hearings at the national, regional, state and local levels from Aug. 13 until Aug. 27 due to the 2018 APWU Biennial Convention, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman has announced. The period spans a total of 15 days.

According to the agreement, for all grievances and appeals to arbitration, the time for filing and/or appeal will be extended for a period of 15 days beyond those specified in the National Agreement. In addition, suspensions that would otherwise be served because no grievance had been filed within 14 days or because no appeal had been filed to the next step of the grievance-arbitration procedure will be deferred for the 15-day extension period.

No arbitrations will be scheduled between Aug. 13 and Aug. 27, 2018. Click here to view the agreement.


Aug 13, 2018

Seventh and Final COLA under the 2015 Contract Agreement Announced

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
78-2018

08/10/2018 - In accordance with the 2015-2018 APWU/USPS Collective Bargaining Agreement (union contract), career employees represented by the APWU will receive a 31 cent per hour cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), effective September 1, 2018. It will appear in paychecks dated September 21, 2018 (Pay Period 19-2018), and will total $645.00 per year.

The COLAs are in addition to general wage increases.

This is the seventh and final cost-of-living adjustment under the 2015-2018 contract:

  • $0.00 The first COLA would have been effective Sept. 5, 2015
  • $0.00 The second COLA would have been effective March 5, 2016.
  • $21.00 The third COLA was effective Sept. 3, 2016.
  • $333.00 The fourth COLA was effective March 18, 2017.
  • $270.00 The fifth COLA increase effective Sept. 2, 2017.
  • $520.00 The sixth COLA effective March 3, 2018.
  • $645.00 The seventh COLA effective Sept. 1, 2018.

The COLAs received during the 2015-2018 CBA will total $1,789 per year.

Postal Support Employees (PSEs) do not receive cost-of-living increases, but had five general wage increases under the 2015-2018 contract. PSEs received a pay increase of 21 cents on May 26, 2018.

Updated pay scales are available.


Aug 13, 2018

APWU Arbitration Award Restores Rules for Employees Using Leave Without Pay to Campaign

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
77-2018

08/08/2018 - APWU members can continue to volunteer in political campaigns under the long-standing leave-without-pay rules in the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM). A national arbitrator rejected changes the Postal Service made to the Leave Without Pay (LWOP) rules for how employees request LWOP to participate in political activities organized by their unions.

In his award on August 6, 2018, the arbitrator upheld the APWU’s challenge to the Postal Service’s unilateral changes to the leave program that put the burden of managing LWOP requests on employees, rather than supervisors. The award protects employees’ right to request LWOP to volunteer through their union to participate in important political activities, like the upcoming November elections.   

Postal employees have the legal right to campaign and participate in politics, subject to limits under the federal Hatch Act. The APWU challenged policy changes the Postal Service made that potentially restricted postal employees’ legal right to campaign on their own time away from work.

The Postal Service’s changes arose out of a complaint in 2016 about letter carriers participating in the AFL-CIO Labor 2016 program. The Office of Special Counsel found that postal managers mishandled valid employee leave requests, and the Postal Service reacted by unilaterally changing the leave rules to protect its managers, at the expense of employees being subject to discipline and prosecution for how they filled out leave request forms. The APWU immediately challenged the USPS changes, and the National Association of Letter Carriers and National Postal Mail Handlers Union both intervened and joined us in the dispute.

APWU President Mark Dimondstein commented that “this is what workers in a union do – make management respect their legal rights.”  He went on to note that “process matters, and we earn process and have a real voice when we come together, both in bargaining and in politics.”

At the arbitration hearing, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman testified that the Postal Service made the changes without contractually required notification or discussion with the APWU, in violation of the Postal Service’s commitments in the APWU National Agreement. The arbitrator sustained the union’s position and rejected the Postal Service’s claim that OSC’s allegations of managerial misconduct under the Hatch Act was a legal decision allowing the Postal Service to ignore its bargaining commitments to the APWU. 

The arbitrator ordered the Postal Service to rescind the changes immediately and restore the previous leave rules unless it proposes changes that comply with the National Agreement.

Attachments
 Hatch Act and LWOP Award (272.91 KB)

Aug 06, 2018

Special Enrollment Period:

PSEs for the USPS Health Benefits Plan

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
75-2018

08/03/2018 - On July 30, 2018, the Postal Service notified the APWU that there will be a special enrollment period for PSEs to enroll in the USPS Health Benefits Plan.  The enrollment period will be open from August 20, 2018 through October 4, 2018.  Coverage will become effective on October 13, 2018.

This special enrollment is being conducted in accordance with the settlement agreementRE: Workforce Benefits Fund.  The settlement calls for the Postal Service to make additional contributions to USPS Health Benefits Plan for self plus one and family enrollments for PSEs.  With these changes, it is necessary for the Service to offer eligible PSEs the opportunity to enroll.

Each eligible PSE will be receiving a letter from the Postal Service giving enrollment deadlines, enrollment methods, and plan premiums.  The letter will instruct the employees to go the https://liteblue.usps.gov/uspshbp to learn about the plan.  Enrollment will be through PostalEASE via liteblue, self-service kiosks in some offices, or by calling the HRSSC at 1-877-477-3273.

This enrollment is for the USPS non-career health benefits plan and should not be confused with the APWU Consumer Driven Option (CDO) plan.  Enrollment will not be open for the APWU CDO plan during this special enrollment.

PSEs are eligible for enrollment in the APWU CDO plan after completing their first 360-day appointment.  PSEs may enroll in the APWU CDO plan within 60 days of being appointed to a second term as a PSE or during regular Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) open season held in November and December of each year after meeting eligibility requirements.

Attachments

Jul 31, 2018

Resolution Opposing Privatization of the Postal Service Introduced in Congress

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 

70-2018

07/26/2018 - On July 16, a leading group of Congressional representatives took action to help combat a proposal to privatize the Postal Service. The proposal, put forward by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget in their report Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century, would “restructure the U.S. Postal Service” and “prepare it for future conversion from a government agency into a privately-held corporation.”  â€‹

APWU thanks the bipartisan group of representatives for introducing House Resolution 993 in response to this attack. The resolution calls on Congress to take all appropriate measures to ensure that the United States Postal Service remains an independent establishment of the Federal Government and not be subject to privatization. 

The resolution was introduced by Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and co-sponsored by Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Paul Cook (R-CA), Brian Mast (R-FL), Don Young (R-AK), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH).

“We will fight back against any attempt to privatize the Postal Service,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “This is yet another attempt by corporate interests to pad their pockets and rob the public of affordable and universal mail delivery.”

Members of Congress will be starting their summer recess in August.  “We urge all APWU members to meet with your representative and express the urgency of them becoming a co-sponsor of this resolution and oppose the privatization of the Postal Service,” said Legislative and Political Director Judy Beard.

You can reach your Congressional representative by dialing 1-844-402-1001.


Jul 31, 2018

New Benefits Secured for Postal Support Employees (PSEs)

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 

73-2018

07/26/2018 - In the 2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the APWU and the US Postal Service, the parties established a “Workforce Benefits, Employment Opportunities, Training and Education Fund.”  The purpose of the fund was to provide for the Postal Service’s share of health insurancebenefits to PSEs and to provide additional resources for new PSE benefits.

The APWU filed a dispute over the Postal Service not using or mis-applying the money in the Fund.  The dispute was heard in arbitration on November 15, 2017.  Prior to receiving the Arbitrator’s ruling, APWU President Mark Dimondstein and USPS Vice-President of Labor Relations Doug Tulino settled the APWU’s dispute with an agreement securing benefits for PSEs.

The  five improved  benefits that will be part of the PSE compensation package are:

A Postal Service contribution of 65% in the first year of employment and 75% thereafter to the insurance premium for family or self-plus one for PSEs enrolled in the USPS Non-career Health Care Plan. Previously the USPS only contributed to only single coverage.

Full uniform allowance for retail clerk PSEs who meet the ELM criteria for eligibility.

Overtime pay after eight hours a day or after forty hours in a week.  Previously overtime was only paid after 40 hours of work.

Penalty double time pay for work over 10 hours a day, or 56 hours in a service week, same as negotiated overtime benefits for PTFs. Previously there was no penalty pay.

Four-hour work guarantee if called and reporting to work in 200 work year offices. Previously PSEs were guaranteed only two hours.

“This was a hard-fought case involving many hands at the national level including Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman, staff and attorneys which led to these important advances. The results underscore that it pays to be union,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “These not only improve the lives of non-career workers but secure important union principles that protect the entire workforce.”

The Postal Service is implementing these new benefits within 120 days from when the settlement was signed.  By October 11, 2018, these benefits must be in effect.


Jul 24, 2018

Major Victory For Expanded Postal Services

Web News Article 
72-2018

07/23/2018 - On Wednesday, July 18, the APWU and our allies won a big victory by defeating an attempt to prohibit the Postal Service from expanding financial services. In a vote on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, an amendment to a government appropriation bill (H.R. 6147) offered by Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) was rejected by a bipartisan vote of 212 to 201. The APWU greatly appreciates the bipartisan support from lawmakers who voted down this proposal.

In the short span of only two business days, APWU President Mark Dimondstein and the Legislative and Political Department launched a strategic campaign in coordination with our sister postal unions and other allies to defeat this stealth attack. “Make no mistake about it, this was an attack on our public Postal Service,” said President Dimondstein. “The defeat of this concerted effort to curtail financial and other innovative services is an important victory for those who believe that the Postal Service exists to serve the people of this country.”

The amendment would have prevented the Postal Service from using its existing legal authority to enhance its offering of basic financial services – including domestic electronic money transfers, bill payment services, expanded check cashing, and expanded international money transfers.

Not stopping there, it also preemptively banned future USPS innovations that have not already been approved by Congress. Earlier versions of the proposal even meddled with APWU collective bargaining, as it attempted to overturn the agreement reached in our last round of contract negotiations with the USPS to pursue expanded postal services.

The banking industry lobbied hard in favor of this amendment, joining with anti-government organizations like Americans for Tax Reform and the Heritage Foundation. These are the very groups that are determined to privatize our public Postal Service.

“This victory is an excellent example of what is possible through bipartisan outreach by the APWU to educate lawmakers of both parties about the importance of a robust public Postal Service,” said APWU Legislative and Political Director Judy Beard. “It also shows the importance of coalition building.”

The commitment of the National Association of Letter Carriers, National Postal Mail Handlers Union, and National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, as well as our allies in the Campaign for Postal Banking, the AFL-CIO, Americans for Financial Reform, and Take on Wall Street, won the day. “Only through the collective work of all our allies in the public interest, united in solidarity, could we defeat this attack,” Director Beard emphasized.

Standing up for robust postal services, Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, urged his colleagues to “oppose this effort to impose arbitrary limits on the Postal Service’s ability to innovate.”

Speaking on the House floor, Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) urged their colleagues to vote “No” on the amendment. “The Postal Service,” said Connolly, “deserves better, our consumers deserve better, Postal Service customers deserve better, and we can do better.”

When Representative John Curtis (R-UT) – who was serving as Acting Chair at the time – called for a voice vote, it was clear the majority opposed the amendment. Despite this, however, he ruled that the amendment had been adopted.

Recognizing the strong bipartisan opposition to the amendment and that the Acting Chair had ruled incorrectly, Representative Kaptur demanded a recorded vote. When the votes were counted, she was vindicated as the House of Representatives rejected the amendment by a roll call of only 201 in favor and 212 opposed.

The Postal Service is in a unique position to provide basic, affordable, non-profit financial services via its existing infrastructure, as well as a host of attentional expanded services. These services provided by the USPS could help struggling families throughout the country achieve financial stability and strengthen the USPS mission to serve the public.

“Be heartened sisters and brothers, because this vote is testament to the support for our cause,” said President Dimondstein. “However, we have a ways to go. We must go forward and build on this victory to protect and enhance vibrant public postal services now – and for many generations to come.”


Jul 23, 2018

Two New Pre-Convention Workshops Added

Web News Article 
69-2018

07/05/2018 - The Research & Education Department sponsor's the APWU’s 16th Educational Conference, a National Convention event that provides union members with a wealth of information to take home to their local and state organizations. Recently, they have added two additional workshops to the 2018 pre-convention training!

1. New APWU SEARCH Interface Training Arbitration Advocates should attend this training. The new webbased database is designed to be used by arbitration advocates to simplify searches for arbitration awards and decisions. The company that maintains APWU SEARCH database has developed this new design to enable the system to function more efficiently. The training will include how the new interface works, how to conduct searches using the multiple-tab feature, and methods to narrow searches.  (10 am-1 pm)??

2. “The APWU Health Plan" as an Organizing Tool - Teaches techniques and strategies for signing up non-members utilizing the APWU Health Plan and other benefit programs that are reserved for members. Explores ways to get members, who have quit, to rejoin the union. (10 am-1 pm)

Thirty workshops will be offered on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, the day prior to the craft meetings, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Hall B.

Register Today! Click here for a detailed list of workshops or here for the members only registration link. 

If you have problems registering online, please contact Joyce B. Robinson at jrobinson@apwu.org or by telephone at (202) 842-4225.


Jun 28, 2018

APWU Reaches Agreement
on an Updated RI-399 Process

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
62-2018

06/26/2018 - After decades of jurisdictional disputes, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) reached agreement with the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) and the Postal Service on an updated RI-399 procedure for jurisdictional work assignments to Clerks and Mail Handlers.

In a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding, the APWU improved the R1-399 dispute resolution procedures, resolved the docket of disputes, and required accurate and updated inventories to protect existing and future Clerk work.

“I want to thank Ron Suslak, Queens Area Local President and the APWU’s representative on the NDRC, whose outstanding leadership and work on RI-399 over many years led to this agreement.   I also want to thank Assistant Director (B) Clerk Division Lynn Pallas-Barber, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman, and the APWU’s attorneys who spent months working with Brother Suslak to reach this important deal to protect Clerk work and fix a broken process,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.  “We can now move forward with a faster and better procedure to settle disputes over Postal Service jurisdictional work assignments to the Mail Handlers.”

“The Update MOU is a historic step in the right direction on a momentous day.  This is a long overdue fix of the broken process that will unite the parties in a more positive direction dealing with jurisdictional issues,” said Assistant Clerk Director Pallas-Barber.

A summary of the changes is here and the Update MOU are available here.  The parties will conduct joint training across the country, and the roll-out of the new procedures begins right away.

“While we are very pleased to have an improved process to address jurisdictional and crossing craft disputes, I look forward to the day when all of these jurisdictional disputes can be put behind us and all postal workers are united in one powerful union,” concluded President Dimondstein.


Jun 07, 2018

Say 'No' to the Latest USPS Survey

(This article first appeared in the May-June 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)

By Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman 

Are you engaged?” Those are the words the Postal Service is using to get you to take their newest survey. The 2016 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.

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 USPS created “Ambassadors” to go and train managers, so they could then train supervisors to “engage” the employees – and that “engagement” would make the workplace better.

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.

Management now is trying to get you to become “more engaged” – meaning they want you to return their surveys. They have pitted you against each other by giving awards and cute designations to units that return all their surveys. Don’t do it!

The Postal Pulse and Employee Engagement initiatives are not your friend. Participation in these programs will not fix the issues. Postal management has not listened to your direct pleas to your supervisors, either in your grievances or in meetings at the local, area and national level. Only collectively, demanding compliance of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and speaking in one voice, will we force management to change their ways. Stand united – and do not be fooled by these "wolves in sheep’s clothing" initiatives created to divide us.

Postal management promised not to use the survey against us – but they already are by pitting work units against each other, giving those who have at least 75% participation a sticker as a reward or throwing a little party for the units who “participate.” In the past, management surveys have been used against us in contract negotiations and interest arbitration. With 2018 being a negotiation year, it is possible the survey results will be used against us at the bargaining table.

They ask people to join focus groups and participate in management-initiated events to make the work place more “engaging.” These are not sanctioned nor approved by the union. They were not negotiated and use of them violates the union’s right as the sole representative of the bargaining unit employees under Article 1. Don’t do it!

We have a negotiated grievance process and a negotiated labor-management cooperation process in place to address these issues. Management needs to start following our contract, dealing with the grievances already filed and making sure the hostile frontline supervisors are dealt with. Your union knows the “pulse”of those we represent. If a local supervisor or manager cannot see the problems without a survey, then they are part of the problem.


Get Fired Up and Ready to Go!

Don’t forget that contract negotiations open June 26! We have been continually preparing for them since early 2017. Make no mistake, these negotiations will be challenging, but we are prepared to go in and fight. You deserve a good contract and we will be doing all we can to deliver you one.

However, these are challenging times. Public perception may not be on our side because of unfair, and sometimes inaccurate, media coverage. Hopefully, you are participating in our contract campaign. When called upon, we need you to wear a sticker, a T-shirt or maybe attend a rally. Whatever you can do to show management we are united in our fight for a good contract is welcome.

Our contract campaign can generate leverage and help change public perception. So, are you Fired Up and Ready to Go? Because we are Fighting Today for a Better Tomorrow.

Solidarity!


Jun 07, 2018

What Role Do You Play as a Union Member?

(This article first appeared in the May-June 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Organization Director Anna Smith 

Speak to your local leaders or Contract Action Team to join in our
Fighting Today for a Better Tomorrow organizing campaign!

Every union member has a part to play in strengthening the APWU, not just officers and stewards. There is so much more to being a member than just paying dues. Consider for a moment what role you can play as a union member. You can assist with union activities and participate in them at every level of the APWU. There is a role for each of us – if you’re not sure where to start, some things to consider might be:

  • Become an informed union member by attending your local union meetings, reading your union publications and/or visiting local, state and national websites. An informed union member is one of the best assets the APWU has when it comes to defending ourselves against management’s ignorance of our union contract.
  • Assist in organizing efforts by welcoming new members in orientations or reaching out to those long-term non-members who you may be working next to on a daily basis.
  • Participate in local rallies. This isn’t just inclusive to APWU rallies. Our brothers and sisters in other unions need our support as much as we need theirs. The labor movement takes all of us supporting one another.
  • Join or form a local/state legislative committee if you are interested in politics. Make calls to your local, state and federal legislators when called upon to support legislation that benefits postal workers and encourage others to follow suit.
  • Take action by being involved in your communities and talking with your neighbors, friends and family. Ask if you can count on their support in protecting your job and the labor movement.
  • Help with transportation to local meetings, events and rallies.

Fighting Today for a Better Tomorrow

In the spirit of May 1, International Workers’ Day, make the commitment to do the small task of asking one of your non-member co-workers to stand with you and join us in Fighting Today for a Better Tomorrow.

All of us attended orientation when we started and many of us joined the APWU at that time, but orientations alone are not what is going to save our jobs and secure our futures. We all must be actively organizing. As we enter into our next round of contract negotiations, this is a great time to ask a non-member co-worker who has made the conscious decision to not join or has quit at some point, to stand with you now.

Even those who are content with the status quo need to understand that solidarity and involvement is necessary to preserve what we have. Benefits such as our wages, vacation and sick leave, seniority rights, overtime provisions, work hours, paid holidays and health insurance benefits are all on the table. The cold, hard truth is, without us being union and standing together, the Postal Service would not provide us with these benefits.

Through the growth of our union, our strength will become more imposing against management. Union power needs to be felt at every level of the USPS. Do not think for a moment that management does not look at whether the union membership is engaged and working together. They will take advantage of any dissension among us.

Take the time now to speak with your co-workers – members and non-members – about what is at stake. Make the commitment to be actively involved in protecting our jobs.




Page Last Updated: Aug 14, 2018 (07:42:53)
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