The adjustment is the result of a rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) – one of the federal government’s measures of inflation. It will appear in paychecks dated September 16, 2022 (Pay Period 19-2022). This new COLA represents an annual increase in pay of $2,455 for all full-time career employees.
The COLAs are in addition to general wage and step increases. This is the second COLA under the 2021 union contract. The first, effective February 2022, amounted to $0.63 per hour or $1,310 annually. The first two COLAs received as a result of our new union contract equal $1.81/hour for career employees ( $3,765.00 a year for Full-Time Regulars.)
Postal Support Employees (PSEs) do not receive cost-of-living increases, but upon conversion to career will receive the COLA adjustments as part of their base wages.
Soaring inflation is hurting working people with rising prices on basic necessities including gasoline, food, transportation, and housing. Inflation is largely being driven by an economy concentrated in the hands of a few powerful and greedy corporate monopolies that have the power to raise prices, with little fear of competition.
This rising inflation underscores just how important the continuation of our negotiated COLA is in the outstanding new union contract. By mobilizing together, we secured this important safety-net against rising prices: union power in action.
The COLA is our best protection against inflation. Postal Workers are some of the few U.S. workers who receive COLA increases. Even in the postal world, we are the only postal union that has maintained full COLA in our union contract.
And even If the prices of goods decrease, with fuel for example, workers still keep our COLA increases. Those gains are locked in and become part of our base salary going forward.
“At times of high inflation, our union-won COLA is invaluable to ourselves and to our families,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “It’s always a struggle to keep these COLA provisions. In every national contract bargaining round, management wants to put a stop to it or downgrade it to a ‘partial COLA-formula.’ Every postal worker should be proud that we fought hard and prevailed to keep full COLA in our latest contract, approved with a 94 percent ‘yes’ vote. It pays to be union!”
Go to apwu.org/pay-information to view pay scales.