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Feb 07, 2022

Latest COVID MOUs and Liberal Leave Policy Extensions until April 8, 2022

February 4, 2022 

Today, President Dimondstein signed extensions on the COVID MOUs through April 8, 2022. The liberal leave policy has also been extended (see letter below). 

The latest documents can be found below. They are also listed, together with the full archive of MOUs and other resources on the Covid-19 section of the website.

Jan 10, 2022

How to File an OWCP Claim When Diagnosed with COVID-19

January 10, 2022 

Currently, there is a spike of COVID-19 diagnosis throughout the United States. Postal Employees are not exempt from contracting COVID-19. Following national trends, there is also a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases at the Postal Service. Not knowing how COVID-19 can affect any one person whether it is a mild illness, a severe case, a case of “long” COVID-19, what the long-term effects might be, or sadly even death, it is vital that those who contract the virus understand that it is their right to apply for worker’s compensation benefits to protect themselves and their families.

If you are a postal employee, no matter if you are a career employee or non-career employee, you are entitled to file a claim with the Office of Workers Compensation Programs. The one caveat is that you must have worked at the Post Office at some point during the 21-days prior to your COVID-19 diagnosis, and are required to complete an approved form of COVID-19 testing to prove you are sick. Employees that have claims approved are entitled to have their medical costs and lost wages paid. Approved Claimants are also entitled to request that any annual sick or annual leave used be “bought back” and redeposited to their leave balances. Also, should a postal employee pass away due to COVID- 19, their survivors are entitled to benefits under the compensation programs if there is an approved claim.

As previously reported, under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 signed into law on March 11, 2021:

Section 4016 of the law provides that a federal employee who is diagnosed with COVID-19 and carried out duties that required contact with patients, members of the public, or co-workers, or included a risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus during a covered period of exposure prior to the diagnosis, is deemed to have an injury that is proximately caused by employment.

In simple terms, this means that if you are diagnosed with (have a positive test) and you file an OWCP claim, it will be more than likely approved. You are not required to prove you contracted the disease at work. In order to receive benefits, those diagnosed must submit a claim. Do not expect management to do this for you and do not expect them to inform you that you have the right to file a claim.

When you file a claim for COVID-19 you are entitled to request continuation of pay (COP). This is pay at your regular rate of pay paid to you by the postal service during your COVID-19 illness absence. You are entitled to COP if you file your claim within 30-days of your diagnosis. If you are filing more than 30-days after your diagnosis, you are not entitled to COP. Please note, that for the first three days, the law requires a “waiting period” that you must use sick, annual, or leave without pay (LWOP) before COP kicks in. However, if your absence lasts longer than 14-days, the first three days will be converted to COP. Any non-scheduled days also count towards the three day “waiting” period. COP can be paid for up to 45 calendar days after which any additional missed time will be paid as worker’s compensation payments by OWCP.

In order to file a claim, it is recommended that you do so through e-COMP. You must register at

Doing so ensures that OWCP receives your claim form, receives the necessary laboratory reports because you upload the documents. They system automatically forwards documents to your supervisors to complete and tracks whether or not the Postal Service has done their part. Using e-COMP gives you tracking and you can hold management accountable because you can see what they have and have not done. It should be noted that you can register on e-COMP at any time — whether you have an injury or not. In fact, it is a good idea to register and establish an account in case you need to use it anytime during your career for any at-work injury. It is also one thing less to worry about if you are diagnosed with COVID-19.

The instructions below are not all inclusive and do not guarantee claim approval. To file a claim and to receive COP:

  • Notify your supervisor that you are sick with COVID-19

  • Get an an approved form of COVID-19 testing to prove you are sick. 

    • The best form of testing for proof of illness is a laboratory PCR test.

    • A positive Antibody or Antigen COVID-19 test result, together with contemporaneous medical evidence and documentation from a medical professional, may also be accepted.

    • If no positive laboratory test is available, a COVID-19 diagnosis from a physician together with rationalized medical opinion supporting the diagnosis and an explanation as to why a positive test result is not available may also be accepted. 

    • AT HOME & RAPID TESTS ALONE ARE NOT SUFFICIENT TO SERVE AS PROOF OF ILLNESS - they require an accompanying statement from a doctor.

  • Submit a PS-Form 3971 and check COP as the reason

  • Register on e-COMP if you have not done so:

  • Once registered on e-COMP, login to your account

    • Click on new claim on top right of page

    • On next screen, make sure "Federal Employee" is selected

    • Make sure to select Postal Service as the agency

    • Click “File Claim”

    • Click “next”

    • Select the COVID-19 Claim and enter information requested in the online form

    • Once requested information is entered, upload a copy of the positive laboratory COVID-19 results or other relevant medical documentation

    • After uploading, make sure you select “continuation of pay”

    • It is recommended you save a copy of your claim or at least write down the ECN number for your claim

Here are some links to references for OWCP claims due to COVID-19:

Register for e-COMP
Video Tutorial on Registering for e-COMP
Video Tutorial on Filing COVID-19 Claim through e-COMP

Additional Resources:
Now It Is Easier to File FECA COVID Claims | American Postal Workers Union
Claims under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) | U.S. Department of Labor
FECA Bulletins (2020-2024) | U.S. Department of Labor (these are the instructions claims examiners must follow)

You have the right under the law to file an OWCP claim for COVID-19! Do not let management discourage you from filing a claim. Do not let them tell you that you have to prove your sickness was contracted at work as this is not a requirement of the law. It is in your best interest to file for the benefits. You protect yourself and your families by doing so. If you follow the steps and have a laboratory test confirmed case of COVID-19, you will likely be approved. However, the APWU cannot guarantee claim approval.

Dec 27, 2021

Latest COVID MOUs and Liberal Leave Policy Extensions until February 11, 2022

December 21, 2021 

Today, President Dimondstein signed extensions on the COVID MOUs through February 11, 2022. The liberal leave policy has also been extended (see letter below). 

The latest documents can be found below. They are also listed, together with the full archive of MOUs and other resources on the Covid-19 section of the website.

Nov 08, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination

Emergency Standard

November 4, 2021 

In September, President Biden issued a directive to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring all employers with 100+ employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19.  Today, OSHA released the highly anticipated ETS. This ETS does apply to the Postal Service.  

In 1998, when the Postal Employees Safety Enhancement Act was passed, the Postal Service became subject to Public Law Number 91-596; which in turn made the Postal Service and its employees subject to all Safety Standards—whether temporary or permanent—implemented and enforced by OSHA.  

At this time the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, (APWU) is reviewing the ETS to determine how to proceed as the ETS is applied by the Postal Service. After our review and determination of the next steps to take, more information will be released. 

The APWU encourages all postal employees to practice the things that have been shown to slow the spread of COVID-19. These include social distancing, wearing face coverings, frequent hand washing, and staying home from work when sick. The APWU also encourages all postal employees who are able to get vaccinated do so with one of the vaccines currently authorized for use today.   

Oct 04, 2021

Latest COVID MOUs and Liberal Leave Policy Extensions until Dec. 31

October 1, 2021 

President Dimondstein signed extensions on the COVID MOUs late last night (September 30), through December 31, 2021. The liberal leave policy has also been extended (see letter below). 

The latest documents can be found below. They are also listed, together with the full archive of MOUs and other resources on the Covid-19 section of the website.

Sep 13, 2021

Vaccination Mandates by President Biden

September 10, 2021 

On September 9, 2021, the White House released two Executive Orders on vaccinations for COVID-19.

The Executive Orders on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees and on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors do not expressly apply to Postal Service Employees.  

In addition, in President Joe Biden remarks, he stated, “…tonight, I’m announcing that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees, that together employ over 80 million workers, to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.” 

Until this emergency rule is developed, the APWU will not know if it applies to Postal Service employees. Once the emergency rule is released it will be reviewed and discussed with our attorneys and additional information on how it applies will be released. 

As the APWU has continually stated, all employees are encouraged to wear face coverings at work and are encouraged to voluntarily receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines. 

For more COVID-19 resources visit: Coronavirus Information for Members.  

Aug 23, 2021

OSHA Releases New COVID-19 Guidance to Protect Workers

August 20, 2021 

As the Delta Variant of the COVID-19 virus is raging through the country the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, encourages you to follow recommendations that slow the spread of COVID-19. These include:

  • Wearing a Face Covering when indoors no matter the level of spread in your community
  • Practicing Social Distancing
  • Washing your hands on a regular basis
  • And you are encouraged to get one of the approved vaccines

On Friday, August 13, 2021, OSHA release new guidance for employers to help protect workers from contracting and spreading COVID-19. The updated guidance includes the following:

  • Recommends that all workers—including fully vaccinated workers—in areas of substantial or high community transmission wear masks in order to protect unvaccinated workers; 
    • Substantial or High Community Spread is occurring in 95% of US counties as of August18, 2021. You can see the current community spread here: CDC COVID Data Tracker
  • Recommends that fully vaccinated workers who have close contacts with people withcoronavirus wear masks for up to 14 days unless they have a negative coronavirus test at least 3-5 days after such contact;
  • Clarifies recommendations to protect workers and other at-risk workers in manufacturing, meatand poultry processing, seafood processing and agricultural processing; and
  • Encourages workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible (USPS employees are allowedto take time off under Emergency Federal Employee Leave to get a vaccine and recover from any adverse side effects).

These new recommendations are also in line with the recommendations from the CDC. “To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.

Below is an image of the current community spread as of August 18, 2021, that can be found at: CDC COVID Data Tracker

Aug 04, 2021

Latest COVID MOUs and Liberal Leave Policy Extensions

August 3, 2021 

President Dimondstein signed extensions on the COVID MOUs today (August 3), through September 30, 2021. The liberal leave policy has also been extended (see letter below). 

The latest documents can be found below. They are also listed, together with the full archive of MOUs and other resources on the Covid-19 section of the website.

Aug 03, 2021

APWU COVID-19 Update to the Field

July 30, 2021 

As part of the APWU’s continuing effort to promote the safety and well-being of APWU members and other postal employees, on July 26, President Dimondstein and Director of Industrial Relations Vance Zimmerman wrote to the field regarding the ongoing pandemic.

Their letter noted APWU’s opposition to management’s unilateral change to the USPS face covering policy, the union’s concern about the rising Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, and steps the union is encouraging all members to take to keep themselves and their coworkers safe and healthy. 

Jul 29, 2021

APWU Statement on Mandatory Vaccination for Federal Employees

July 28, 2021 

Various media outlets have reported that the White House is considering mandatory COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment for federal employees.

Maintaining the health and safety of our members is of paramount importance. While the APWU leadership continues to encourage postal workers to voluntarily get vaccinated, it is not the role of the federal government to mandate vaccinations for the employees we represent.

Issues related to vaccinations and testing for COVID-19 in the workplace must be negotiated with the APWU. At this time the APWU opposes the mandating of COVID-19 vaccinations in relation to U.S. postal workers.  

Jul 22, 2021

Funeral Assistance for

COVID-19 Related Deaths

Joyce B. Robinson

July 21, 2021 

(This article first appeared in the July/August 2021 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

Editor’s Note: The text in this article is taken from the Federal Emergency Management Agency Website. For additional information on funeral assistance, visit FEMA’s Q&A page at

To help ease the financial stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation. In accordance with FEMA Policy, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020 for a death attributed to COVID-19 in the United States, including the U.S. territories. Assistance is not available for U.S. citizens who died outside the United States.

Funeral Expenses Covered

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance will assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation. Applicants may receive assistance for the funeral expenses of multiple deceased individuals. Assistance is limited to a maximum amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application. Expenses include:

  • Transportation for two individuals to identify the deceased individual;
  • Transfer of remains;
  • Casket or urn;
  • Burial plot or cremation niche;
  • Marker or headstone;
  • Clergy or officiant services;
  • Arrangement of the funeral ceremony;
  • Use of funeral home equipment or staff;
  • Cremation or interment costs;
  • Costs associated with producing and certifying death certificates, and
  • Additional expenses mandated by local or state government laws or ordinances.

Information Required

Applicants must provide the following information when contacting FEMA to register for assistance:

  • Social Security number for the applicant and the deceased individual;
  • Date of birth for the applicant and the deceased individual;
  • Current mailing address and telephone number for the applicant;
  • Location/address where the deceased individual passed away;
  • Burial or funeral insurance policies, and
  • Routing and account number of the applicant’s checking or savings account (for direct deposit, if requested).

Documentation Needed

Also, FEMA will need the documentation listed below to register for assistance:

  • A copy of the death certificate and proof of funeral expenses incurred. The death certificate must indicate the death was caused by, “may have been caused by” or “was likely a result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms.
  • Documentation for expenses (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) must include the applicant’s name as the person responsible for the expense, the deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and that funeral expenses were incurred after January 20, 2020.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources used for funeral costs. COVID-19 Funeral Assistance may not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance or financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government programs or agencies, or other sources. Assistance will be reduced by the amount of other assistance the applicant received for the same expenses.
  • Life insurance proceeds are not considered a duplication of funeral assistance benefits.

How to Apply?

No online applications will be accepted. For assistance contact the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at 1 (844) 684-6333 or TTY at 1 (800) 462-7585. FEMA representatives assist in completing applications, Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. If you receive a telephone call or email, and doubt that it is from a legitimate FEMA representative, report it to the FEMA Helpline. Do not disclose information such as the name, birth date or Social Security numbers to unknown sources.

May 24, 2021

Now It Is Easier

to File FECA COVID Claims

May 21, 2021 

The recently signed American Rescue Plan of 2021 makes it easier to file Federal Employee Compensation Act (FECA) claims for COVID-19. The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) wants federal and postal employees to know that anyone who is a “covered employee” can file a COVID-19 claim. 

A covered employee is someone whose job requires contact with the public or co-workers. If you qualify and are diagnosed with COVID-19, you qualify for FECA coverage. Even if you had COVID in the past, OWCP is encouraging postal workers to file a claim now in case you need covered care in the future. 

See the flyer below for information on who qualifies and how employees can register in Employees' Compensation Operations and Management Portal (ECOMP) and file a claim. 

The APWU will be working with OWCP on more way to educate postal workers about filing FECA claims for COVID.  In the meantime, please circulate the attached flyer as broadly as possible. 

If you have any questions, contact OWCP directly through the ECOMP portal. 

May 18, 2021

Fully Vaccinated Can Shed Masks in Most Outdoor, Indoor Settings: CDC

Consumer news

THURSDAY, May 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Fully vaccinated Americans can now skip face masks and social distancing in most indoor or outdoor settings, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday. 

It's a long-awaited shift in guidance for Americans weary of more than a year under COVID-19 restrictions. 

"If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 briefing. "We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy."

Importantly, the new guidance doesn't apply to public transportation or health-care settings, and some workplaces may still require masks. 

More than 117 million Americans are now fully vaccinated, about 35 percent of the population, CDC data shows. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their last dose of vaccine.

The news was welcomed by infectious disease experts.

"Ample evidence indicates that vaccinated people contribute little to the spread the virus," said Luis Schang, a professor of molecular virology at Cornell University's School of Veterinary Medicine, in Ithaca, N.Y. "With the continuous increases in the number of vaccinated people – reaching now about half of the eligible population, in addition to those who have been naturally infected – the proportion of people who may be asymptomatically infected and shedding virus continues to decrease."

The balance is continuously shifting more and more, such that the marginal risk of not practicing universal mask usage and social distancing by vaccinated people, in particular in outdoor settings, becomes much smaller than the benefits of returning to a more open society," she said.

Still, "we should remain vigilant," Schang said, "and ready to promptly change our behavior again if yet another effort was ever required."

The nation's top infectious diseases expert agreed a turning point has been reached.

"We've got to liberalize the restrictions so people can feel like they're getting back to some normalcy," Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview, The New York Times reported. "Pulling back restrictions on indoor masks is an important step in the right direction."

"You can't inhibit people from doing the things they want to do, which is one of the reasons they wanted to get vaccinated in the first place, because other people are not getting vaccinated," he added.

In releasing the latest guidelines, CDC officials pointed to a growing body of evidence that shows the shots work, even against more contagious variants of the virus. They also factored in the country's rapidly declining caseload, and the rarity of breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated.

"This is a day that I think will be marked as a true turning point in the pandemic in the United States in that we have three vaccines that are highly effective, we have enough vaccines for everyone in our country who's 12 years and older to get vaccinated who wants it, and we're being told that it is safe to roll back a number of the measures that we've come to rely on for controlling this pandemic," Richard Besser, former acting director of the CDC and president and chief executive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, told the Washington Post. 

"The idea that people who are fully vaccinated can take off their masks, can go outside, can go inside, be around people and not have to worry about COVID anymore, that's absolutely huge," he said.

Public health experts were also optimistic that the updated guidance might even prompt some vaccine-hesitant Americans to get vaccinated.

"Young people say, 'Why should I get vaccinated? I'm not going to die of this.' What they want to hear is, 'You can take your mask off,'" Carlos del Rio, a professor of medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, told the Post. 

Pfizer vaccine given OK for use in adolescents

In a decision that clears the way for schools to reopen safely next fall, U.S. health officials on Wednesday gave their final stamp of approval for Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine to be offered to children aged 12 to 15.

The decision, which makes millions more young Americans eligible for immunization, came as COVID-19 cases and deaths in this country have already plummeted to their lowest levels in months.

COVID-19 deaths are now averaging around 600 per day, the lowest tally since early July, with the number of lives lost dropping to single digits in well over half of states, the Associated Press reported. Meanwhile, confirmed infections have fallen to about 38,000 per day, their lowest level since mid-September. Reported cases have declined 85% from a daily peak of more than a quarter-million in early January.

Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, told the AP  that vaccinations have played a pivotal role in the lower case numbers.

"The primary objective is to deny this virus the ability to kill at the rate that it could, and that has been achieved," he said. "We have in effect tamed the virus."

Federal health officials plan to keep those case numbers down with increased vaccination efforts.

Taking a significant step in that direction, an advisory committee to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted on Wednesday to recommend the vaccine for use in adolescents. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky adopted the recommendation on Wednesday evening.

"For vaccination to do its job, we must do our critical part. That means vaccinating as many people as possible who are eligible," Walensky said in a statement. "This official CDC action opens vaccination to approximately 17 million adolescents in the United States and strengthens our nation's efforts to protect even more people from the effects of COVID-19. Getting adolescents vaccinated means their faster return to social activities and can provide parents and caregivers peace of mind knowing their family is protected."

In a show of support for the CDC's decision, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on Wednesday issued a new policy statement that recommends the coronavirus vaccine for all eligible children ages 12 and older.

"This is truly an exciting development that allows us to protect a large population of children and help them regain their lives after a really rough year," said AAP President Dr. Lee Savio Beers. "As a pediatrician and a parent, I have looked forward to getting my own children and patients vaccinated, and I am thrilled that those ages 12 and older can now be protected. The data continue to show that this vaccine is safe and effective. I urge all parents to call their pediatrician to learn more about how to get their children and teens vaccinated."

The American Medical Association (AMA) also applauded the move.

"We know that adolescents 12 years of age and up are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and can contribute to transmission of COVID-19 to others," AMA President Dr. Susan Bailey said in a statement. "Having safe and effective vaccine available to this age group will help them return to normal activities and help protect more people from the spread of COVID-19."

Vaccinations of adolescents have already begun in a few states, like Delaware, Georgia and Maine, The New York Times reported. Others plan to offer the vaccine as early as Thursday. Nearly all states have enough vaccine doses to quickly redirect them to adolescents. 

Though children are less likely to suffer severe COVID, the coronavirus has infected more than 1.5 million children and sent more than 13,000 to hospitals, more than are hospitalized for flu in an average year, according to CDC data, the Times said.

Uber rides, other incentives

Uber and Lyft will start giving free rides to vaccination sites starting May 24, President Joe Biden announced Tuesday as his administration tries to address lingering vaccine hesitancy among Americans.

The ride-sharing initiative will last until July 4, a date that Biden has set for getting shots into the arms of at least 70 percent of American adults, the Times reported.

In a meeting with a group of six governors from states including Ohio, Utah and Maine, Biden detailed other vaccination efforts, including creating vaccination sites at community colleges and sending FEMA officials around the country to encourage people to receive a shot, the newspaper said.

"We're going to be able to take a serious step toward return to normalcy by Independence Day," Biden said. "And there's a lot of work to do though to get there. But I believe we can get there."

Although CDC data shows that nearly 154 million people had received at least one vaccine dose in the United States as of Thursday, the pace of vaccinations has slowed recently.

Experts said they had expected the slowdown, but vaccine reluctance -- in part stemming from an 11-day pause in the rollout of Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine after rare clots were reported in a small number of vaccine recipients -- remains a problem, the Times reported. Only a small percentage of Americans who have not yet been vaccinated say they will definitely do so, according to recent polls.

Some governors, including Jim Justice of West Virginia, have started to experiment with incentives that could sway hesitant Americans: Last month, Justice said the state would give $100 savings bonds to young people who get vaccinated, though officials are still trying to work out the details of the program. In New York, officials are offering free rail and subway tickets with vaccinations, the Times reported.

The governors who met virtually with the president on Tuesday had ideas of their own. Gov. Janet Mills of Maine told Biden that the state would offer vouchers to L.L. Bean, free fishing and hunting licenses, and tickets to local sporting events as incentives, the Times reported.

"We're calling this 'your shot to get outdoors,'" Mills said. "Oh, it's corny, I know, but we know that people in Maine found refuge in relief and Mother Nature throughout the pandemic."

Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio said that the National Guard had set up small vaccination stations at nursing homes around the state. Gov. Spencer Cox of Utah said that pop-up clinics were appearing at churches and that health officials were working with clergy members to communicate information about the vaccines to their members.

States and counties have already been getting creative with incentives. New Jersey offered a "shot and a beer" for residents who get their first vaccine dose in May and visit participating breweries in the state. And in Erie County, N.Y., Buffalo-area breweries double as vaccination clinics, offering a free beer to those who get a shot, WBFO reported. Suffolk County on Long Island is trying something similar, the Times reported.

As of Thursday, the U.S. coronavirus case count passed 32.8 million, while the death toll topped 583,600, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, over 160.5 million cases had been reported by Thursday, with more than 3.3 million people dead from COVID-19.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on the new coronavirus.

SOURCES: Associated Press; The New York Times; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, May 12, 2021; American Academy of Pediatrics, news release, May 12, 2021; American Medical Association, news release, May 12, 2021

May 10, 2021

Biden Sets New Goal of Vaccinating 70% of Americans

by July 4

Consumer news

WEDNESDAY, May 5, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- As coronavirus vaccination rates start to slow in the United States, President Joe Biden on Tuesday set a new goal to deliver at least one shot to 70% of adult Americans by July 4 while he tries to convince the hesitant to get inoculated.

Some states are leaving more than half of their available doses unordered, so Biden also announced that his administration will now shift doses from states with less need to states with greater demand for shots, the Associated Press reported. He also called for states to make vaccines available on a walk-in basis, and he will tell pharmacies to do the same.

"You do need to get vaccinated," Biden said from the White House Tuesday. "Even if your chance of getting seriously ill is low, why take the risk? It could save your life or the lives of somebody you love."

Dr. Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research in California, told The New York Times he was "overjoyed" by the announcement. He had pushed for loosening vaccine allocation limits last month, when Michigan was struggling with a virus surge and could not get desperately needed extra vaccine doses.

The federal government's new flexibility will allow for states to respond rapidly when they see "the temperatures rising on the heat map of the country," Topol told the Times.

So far, more than 56% of American adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and more than 106 million are fully vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The United States is now administering first doses at a rate of about 965,000 per day — half the rate of three weeks ago, but almost twice as fast as needed to meet Biden's new target, the AP reported.

"I'd like to get it to 100%, but I think realistically we can get to that place between now and July Fourth," Biden said of his new goal.

His administration will target three areas as it tries to hasten the pace of vaccinations:

  • Adults who need more convincing to take the vaccine.
  • Those who have struggled or are in no hurry to obtain a shot.
  • Adolescents aged 12-15, once federal authorities approve vaccination for that age group.

Biden's push comes just as his administration has shifted from setting a target for "herd immunity" to delivering as many shots into arms as possible. To that end, the government's focus will be on expanding smaller, mobile vaccination clinics to deliver doses in harder-to-reach communities. It is also spending hundreds of millions on education campaigns and creating greater access to shots through community organizations that can help bring people to clinics, the AP reported.

Ahead of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's expected authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for kids aged 12 to 15, the White House is also developing plans to speed vaccinations for that age group. Biden urged states to administer at least one dose to their adolescents by July 4 and to deliver doses to pediatricians' offices and other trusted locations, with the aim of getting many young people fully vaccinated by the start of the next school year, the AP reported.

Though White House officials privately acknowledge the steep challenge, Biden sounded an optimistic note on Tuesday.

"The light at the end of the tunnel is actually growing brighter and brighter," Biden said.

FDA set to approve Pfizer vaccine for 12 and older

The FDA plans to expand emergency use of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine by next week so that children as young as 12 can be immunized.

After Pfizer's trial in adolescents showed its vaccine worked as well in teens as it does in adults, the FDA started preparing to add an amendment covering that age group to the vaccine's emergency use authorization, theTimes reported. Federal officials familiar with the agency's plans who were not authorized to speak publicly relayed the information, the Times said.

Medical experts welcomed the news, calling it a major step forward in the U.S. vaccination campaign.

Vaccinating children is key to raising the level of immunity in the population, experts told the Times, and it could put school administrators, teachers and parents at ease if millions of students become eligible for vaccinations before schools open in September.

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health and the father of two teenage daughters, said the approval would be a big moment for families like his.

"It just ends all concerns about being able to have a pretty normal fall for high schoolers," he told the Times. "It's great for them, it's great for schools, for families who have kids in this age range."

Still, with demand for vaccines falling among adult Americans -- and much of the world clamoring for the surplus of American-made vaccines -- some experts said the United States should donate excess shots to India and other countries that have had severe outbreaks.

"From an ethical perspective, we should not be prioritizing people like them [adolescents] over people in countries like India," Dr. Rupali Limaye, a Johns Hopkins University researcher who studies vaccine use, told the Times.

But Jha said that the United States now has enough vaccine supply to both give shots to young Americans and to help the rest of the world. More than 105 million adults in the United States have been fully vaccinated, but 44 percent of American adults still have not yet received even one shot.

While most adolescents seem to be spared from severe COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Biden administration's top COVID-19 adviser, has stressed the importance of expanding vaccination efforts to include them and even younger children.

Herd immunity may be an elusive goal

While more than half of American adults have gotten at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, many scientists and public health experts now believe that herd immunity cannot be reached in the foreseeable future.

Instead, the virus will most likely become a manageable threat that will circulate in the United States for years to come, causing hospitalizations and deaths but in much smaller numbers, the Times reported.

How much smaller depends to a great degree on how many get vaccinated and how the coronavirus evolves. The virus is changing quickly, new variants are spreading easily and vaccination is moving too slowly for herd immunity to be established as quickly as some experts had hoped.

"The virus is unlikely to go away," Rustom Antia, an evolutionary biologist at Emory University in Atlanta, told the Times. "But we want to do all we can to check that it's likely to become a mild infection."

The drive for herd immunity convinced many Americans it was worthwhile to be vaccinated, so vaccine skeptics may use the latest thinking from public health experts to avoid being vaccinated, the Times noted. But vaccinations remain the key to turning the virus into a threat that can be tamed, experts said.

Fauci acknowledged the shift in thinking.

"People were getting confused and thinking you're never going to get the infections down until you reach this mystical level of herd immunity, whatever that number is," he told the Times. "That's why we stopped using herd immunity in the classic sense. I'm saying: Forget that for a second. You vaccinate enough people, the infections are going to go down."

Early on, herd immunity was estimated to be about 60% to 70% of the population. Most experts, including Fauci, thought the United States could reach that threshold once vaccines were available.

But as vaccine distribution hit its stride this spring, the threshold target rose, mostly because of the emergence of more contagious variants of the virus. The predominant variant now circulating in the United States, called B.1.1.7 and first spotted in the U.K., is about 60 percent more transmissible.

Experts now estimate the herd immunity threshold to be at least 80 percent. If even more contagious variants develop, or if scientists find that immunized people can still transmit the virus, the threshold estimate will rise again, the Times reported.

"What we want to do at the very least is get to a point where we have just really sporadic little flare-ups," Carl Bergstrom, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, told the Times. "That would be a very sensible target in this country, where we have an excellent vaccine and the ability to deliver it."

As of Wednesday, the U.S. coronavirus case count passed 32.5 million, while the death toll topped 578,500, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, over 154.4 million cases had been reported by Wednesday, with more than 3.2 million people dead from COVID-19.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on the new coronavirus.

SOURCES: Associated Press; The New York Times

Apr 21, 2021

Good Morning All,

Please share with all of your Stewards,


Here is the link for your team to start booking appointments for first and second doses.


We appreciate you sending out the enclosed registration link to your team!

Each patient will have the opportunity to schedule their first and second Pfizer Vaccine appointments on the following dates:

First Dose

  • Thursday, April  22nd - 10:00AM-1:00PM, 180 Openings
  • Monday, April 26th - 10:00AM-1:00PM, 180 Openings
  • Tuesday, April 27th - 10:00AM-2:00PM, 370 Openings

Second Dose

  • Thursday, May 13th - 10:00AM-1:00PM, 180 Openings
  • Monday, May 17th - 10:00AM-1:00PM, 180 Openings
  • Tuesday, May 18th - 10:00AM-2:00PM, 370 Openings

We will follow up with additional dates, based on the waitlist after the initial launch.

The team will arrive on site at approximately 9:00AM each morning, to prepare for the 10:00AM launch.

Apr 19, 2021

COVID-19 and OWCP Claims Workshop

January 29, 2021   

At the direction of President Mark Dimondstein and in conjunction with the Industrial Relations Department, the APWU will be holding an information session for state and local presidents, their approved designees, and national officers on COVID-19 and OWCP. 

 Postal Employees who contract COVID-19 at work can file claims for workers’ compensation under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). At this workshop, participants will receive basic information about the recent bulletins issued by Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP), as well as an overview of the steps a Postal Employee must take to submit a claim. 
OWCP is outside of the Union’s collective bargaining responsibilities with the Postal Service, and claim processing and approval is governed by FECA rules, regulations, and policies for OWCP claims.  This information session is informational only and will not provide legal advice on general or specific OWCP claim issues. It also is not a directive to any APWU member to submit a claim or to any state, local, national organization or representative to represent or assist any bargaining unit members in the claims process. The APWU neither implies nor guarantees that following the information provided will result in a claim being approved. 
Attendees are required to register in advance and have their registration approved by APWU Headquarters.

To register, please click this registration Link: COVID-19 and OWCP Information Session

Jan 25, 2021

APWU Advocates for Prioritization of Postal Workers in National COVID-19 Vaccination Plan

January 22, 2021 

On January 20, following the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States, the APWU got to work pushing for the new administration to prioritize postal workers in its national COVID-19 vaccination policy. In a letter to the administration, President Dimondstein advocated for postal workers to be recognized as frontline workers in the national vaccine rollout.

With virtually no national plan in place, the COVID-19 vaccine rollout has proceeded very slowly and unevenly across the country with  states/territories having to implement their own plans. Many essential workers are still waiting for their vaccines even as they report to work every day, including postal workers, who have continued to interact with the public and connect the people of the country during the pandemic.

In many states, including New York, postal workers have not been included in initial vaccine rollouts, even though the CDC recommended postal workers be considered in the “1-B” status along with other essential workers. 

In his letter, President Dimondstein asked the administration to develop a national plan in-line with the CDC’s recommendations.

“We are optimistic that your new administration will work to bring order to the COVID chaos including bringing a national plan to the vaccine roll-out. We strongly urge that as part of this plan the CDC recommendations in relation to postal workers is consistently and fully implemented throughout the country,” President Dimondstein wrote. “The well-being of postal workers and postal customers depend on it.”

In addition to the letter to the Biden administration, President Dimondstein also wrote to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and other governors urging him to move postal workers higher up in the vaccine rollout order in line with the CDC’s recommendations.

The APWU is committed to working with the new administration on a comprehensive, national vaccination plan. 

Jan 25, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

January 21, 2021 

(This article first appeared in the January/February 2021 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on all members of the APWU. Our families, our work, and essentially all aspects of our lives have been impacted. COVID-19 is a serious, life-threatening disease. One out of every 1,000 people in the United States died from COVID-19 during 2020. COVID-19 has infected more than 20 million people in the United States. This disease continues to pose a grave threat. Vaccinating is the most effective way to build protection against this disease. As frontline, essential workers, vaccines will be available to APWU members, on a voluntary basis, in the near future. When enough people receive the vaccine in the population, we will see the spread of the disease slow significantly. This will provide us all with the ability to resume activities with others in our communities when the spread has reduced.

CDC cartoon of doctor with a bandaid on her arm and a checklist. Coronavirus disease 2019 - COVID-19 vaccines will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic.

As this issue goes to press, there are currently two vaccines approved for use in the United States, the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, and both are over 90% effective. That means they will prevent over 90% of people from developing symptomatic COVID-19. If you receive the vaccine and are in the small percentage of people who still contract coronavirus, either one of the vaccines will minimize the severity of your symptoms.

Rigorous oversight over the research, development, and clinical trials ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. The safety of these vaccines will continue to be monitored as they are administered throughout the country. Depending on the specific vaccine that you receive, a second shot 3-4 weeks after your first shot is needed to provide the most protection.

If you have questions or concerns about specific health issues that may affect your ability to receive a vaccine, talk to your doctor or a health care professional.

The APWU and the USPS are in agreement that the vaccine will not be a condition of employment and is therefore voluntary. We recognize that such decisions are personal choices and we encourage members to make them in consultation with their family medical professional.

Oct 19, 2020

National APWU Encourages Continued COVID-19 Safety Diligence

October 16, 2020 

Over recent weeks, the United States has experienced a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases across the country. According to the Washington Post, since Saturday, October 10, more than 20 states have recorded record highs in their seven-day average of reported case counts. Nationally, the country’s seven-day average of new cases rose above 50,000, for the first time since August.

“Postal Employees are testing positive every day and being quarantined on a regular basis,” said Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman. “Your safety and health are paramount. Please continue to practice good hygiene, social distancing and wearing face coverings.”

APWU members should continue following all local and state ordinances mandating face coverings. The APWU encourages members to continue wearing face coverings even in areas without mandates, as face coverings are proven to reduce and slow the spread of coronavirus.

If you are experiencing issues getting supplies such as hand sanitizer, wipes, etc., please follow the protocol of reaching out to your local or state representatives.

Flu season is also starting up. If you choose to, now is the time to get your flu shot. The APWU Health Plan and all other FEHB plans fully cover the flu shot at no additional cost. 

Oct 15, 2020
COVID-19 STAND UP TALK 51 – Delivery & Retail: Customer Signature Service 
Mandatory Stand-Up Talk
Oct. 14, 2020
Customer Signature Service
COVID-19 Response and Prevention
As cases of COVID-19 continue to be confirmed across the country, we are keeping the safety and well-being of our employees as our highest priority.
We are continuing to follow recommended guidance and strategies from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health departments and are implementing additional measures to help maintain social distancing.
One significant measure being implemented is a temporary modification of mail handling procedures for mail requiring customer signatures. We recognize the close proximity and additional handling that occurs when employees must ask for a customer signature. To reduce health risks, we are temporarily modifying how the MDD on-glass signature feature and the customer signing of Form 3811 (Domestic Return Receipt), Form 3849 (We ReDeliver for You), and any hard-copy receipt items are completed.
Until further notice, the following temporary process is to be used by all letter carriers, rural carriers, city carrier assistants and rural carrier assistants:
• Avoid ringing the doorbell when possible. Knock on the customer’s door. Avoid areas that may be frequently touched when knocking.
• If the customer responds to the door knock/doorbell ringing, then perform the following steps in the customer’s presence while wearing a face covering and maintaining 6 feet of distance:

o Request the customer’s first initial and last name.

o Using the MDD, scan the mail piece barcode, select Delivered and answer the prompted questions. Enter the customer’s first initial and last name when prompted.

o When prompted for the customer to sign the MDD’s screen, employees should print their own initials (not a signature), route number and notate C19 in lieu of the customer’s signature.

Customer Signature Service – 10.14.2020
o For Return Receipts and other hard copy items, enter the customer’s first initial and last name in the Signature box of the form.
o For Forms 3811 and 3849, employees should print their own initials (not a signature), route number and notate C19 in the “Received by” or “Printed Name” section, depending on the form. With Form 3849, scan the completed form following the normal process to finalize the delivery.
o For increased safety, politely ask the customer to step back a safe distance or close the screen door/door so you may leave the item in the mail receptacle or appropriate location by the customer door.
•  If there is no response, follow the normal Notice Left process.
• If there are delivery points on your route where social distancing recommendations are difficult to follow, please advise your supervisor so alternative delivery methods can be explored.
It’s also important to remember that the best defense against sickness is good personal hygiene. Practice good respiratory etiquette. Wash your hands regularly and cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing, using your elbow or a tissue. Then discard the tissue if you use one.
When unable to wash hands with soap and water, it is recommended that hand sanitizer be used to help reduce the spread of germs.
Thank you for your attention.

Jul 23, 2020
FMCSA Extends Policy Changes for Drivers Due to COVID-19 Pandemic Expired Medical Certifications & Driver’s License Policies Laxed until Sept. 30 July 22, 2020  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended two COVID-19 notices relating to medical certifications and driver’s licenses. Click here to view the notification.
Jul 14, 2020

Extension of COVID-19 MOUs

July 13, 2020 

Over the recent weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has raged across the country.  Overall cases across the US have increased.  The percentage of positives tests are increasing, and it was recently announced the overall COVID-19 caused death rate has increased.

In many areas, COVID-19 cases are spiking to all-time highs—higher than even the worst of the early days of the pandemic.  Unfortunately, Postal Employees have not been exempted from the infections and death caused by the Coronavirus.  With each passing day, a new high number is posted for employees who test positive for COVID-19.

The APWU believes that the safety and health of our employees is paramount, and we must use the tools we have in place to keep our sisters, brothers, and customers safe. Masks must be worn in jurisdictions where they are required, and we recommend masks be worn by all employees no matter their location.  Social Distancing must be practiced, and good hygiene practices must be followed.  All APWU members, officers, and stewards must insist management enforce these current policies and procedures.

In order to continue to protecting the safety and health of our members, President Mark Dimondstein and USPS VP of Labor Relations Doug Tulino agreed that all temporary MOUs related to the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended to September 25, 2020. This includes the "Liberal Leave Policy".

All the MOUs have the same expiration date.  All MOUs can be found at: - Click on “Resources & Documents” to be taken to a list of drop-down menus you can click on to find the various MOUs and documents.

Jul 09, 2020

USPS COVID-19 Case Trends_files.dotm

Jul 07, 2020

Covid-19 and the DMAL

by Rita Burns, Office Manager

The COVID 19 virus has changed the world in every aspect.  We have had to make changes to ensure our safety and health; wearing masks, using hand sanitizer, using gloves, social distancing.  These are all new to us in 2020.

The Denver Metro APWU has implemented some procedures to ensure the safety of our officers and staff, as well as our members.  Below you will find the COVID-19 procedures:

1. If you need to see an officer, you must call 303-365-

    0094 and make an appointment

2. When you arrive at the DMAL headquarters you must:

    a.  Wear a mask

         (if you don't have one we will provide one to you)

    b.  Use Hand Sanitizer when you enter the office

         (provided by the DMAL)

    c.  Wear gloves

         (if you don't have gloves we will provide them)

3. You must go directly to the officer you came to see    

    and no lingering in the lobby/office before or after

    your appointment.

I want to thank all of you who are practicing social distancing and being considerate of others.  We can only overcome this when we all do our part.

Jun 03, 2020

Jun 03, 2020
We Are Essential   Michael O.
Jun 01, 2020

COVID-19 and EAP Services

Debby Szeredy

May 29, 2020 

(This article first appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

During this crisis, stress and fear are becoming all too normal because none of us are sure whether we were exposed, if we are a carrier, or if we possibly will have a mild or serious case that places us at death’s door. We are concerned about spreading this virus to our families, friends and other human beings. The fact that getting tested is seriously difficult and vaccines are not available has placed all of us in a vulnerable place.

As essential workers, we continue to report to work and move the mail every day. If you do not have protective equipment, leave benefits, quarantine rights, contact tracing, or facility deep cleaning where there is a test positive case, contact your local union president immediately. Be a union activist.

Employee Assistance Program

For those that need immediate support to relieve stress, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has support specifically dealing with COVID-19, exposure and coping with death. EAP has 24/7 services:

  • Counseling over the phone
  • Online video counseling
  • Web-based resources
  • ‘In the moment' support
  • Coaching
  • Consultation

Find out more by going to or calling 1-800-327-4968, TTY 877-482-7341. I cannot stress enough that no one should feel negative in any way for reaching out to their services. This crisis is stressful for every human around the globe, doubly so for all essential workers. Anger, frustration, isolation and family violence, are increasing and everyone deserves support. Don't fight it alone.

Right to Vote by Mail

This pandemic has also made one thing abundantly clear: this country needs nationwide voting by mail and no excuse absentee voting enacted now. Our democracy is at stake as we head into what some are saying the most important federal election in the last 100 years.

We help to deliver the right to vote in America. COVID-19 has adversely affected our right to vote safely. The White House has not only attacked the USPS by failing to provide stimulus money, but has also attacked the right to Vote by Mail. The administration’s goal to privatize us demonstrates the importance of postal workers. We must stand up and fight back by helping to get the right to vote by mail during this pandemic.

We must help to push the right to vote by mail in states and in our federal election in November 2020. Vote by mail provides easy, safe, hack-proof voting. We need to help get people registered and to apply for an absentee ballot.

Postal workers are essential workers who help protect our country from bio-terrorist activities, bio-medical pandemics, and process and deliver election materials and absentee ballots for everyone, including our veterans overseas.

Can we count on you to be an APWU Activist? Our country needs us and we need them. Together we can save the Postal Service, and provide real democracy. Contact your local/state president to get involved now.

Jun 01, 2020

Pandemic Crisis Brings Double Trouble

Mark Dimondstein

May 29, 2020 

(This article first appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

This terrible COVID pandemic again reminds us that it is the working people who make the world go round. Essential front-line workers – postal workers, health care workers, transit workers, truck drivers, firefighters, grocery workers and many others – have stepped up under dangerous and challenging conditions to heal, feed, connect and serve the people.

Witnessing the deep commitment and fortitude of postal workers carrying out the vital mission of binding the country together makes me even prouder to be your national president.

Co-workers, family members and friends have been sickened or have perished from this pandemic made worse by a government failure of readiness, including the lack of widespread and rapid testing.

As a union family, we deeply mourn these losses.

Our union leadership’s main priority has been the health and safety of our members. The APWU has left no stone unturned under Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman’s outstanding leadership. We secured a number of pro-active policies and agreements with management. This includes a strong liberal leave policy enabling workers to best protect their health and safety. (Click here for details on the union’s response.)

Dangerous Economic Troubles

While we work to secure the safety of our members, postal and all workers are now forced to confront a massive economic crisis as well: The pandemic’s economic impact is now threatening the very existence of the public Postal Service, our jobs, health benefits, retirement and the right of the people to universal postal services.

With no taxpayer funding, the Postal Service runs solely on postage revenue. But the pandemic is causing a huge reduction in mail volume and a projected 50 percent drop in revenue. Without Congressional relief, the Postal Service could run out of money by summer and cease operations. Shamefully, this needed relief has not been forthcoming.

Our friend and former CWA President Larry Cohen says “watch the feet” – look at what people do, not what they say.

Without Congressional relief, the Postal Service could run out of money by summer and cease operations. There have now been two massive “stimulus packages” totaling almost $3 trillion, including over $1 trillion for private business. With bi-partisan support from the Republican-controlled Postal Board of Governors, the House requested $25 billion for Postal COVID relief and the Senate $13 billion. Yet the Trump White House refused to sign a stimulus package with postal relief in it!

Our Congressional supporters failed to “flip the script” and declare that there would be no stimulus package unless the Postal Service was included. Watch the feet!

With everything postal workers are facing in this crisis, President Trump had the nerve to call the Postal Service “a joke” and demanded package prices be increased five times the present rates as a condition for any COVID relief. The President did not demand Boeing raise the price of airplanes or hotels raise room rates as a condition for bailouts! Excessive package rates would price the USPS out of the package market, literally causing its demise. After getting heat, President Trump then tweeted how much he “loves” postal workers. Watch the feet!

Backed by plenty of Wall Street and corporate money, this administration has a clear agenda – sell off the public Postal Service to private corporations. They are following the plan laid out in their June 2018 White House Office of Management and Budget report.

It is outrageous that this administration seeks to destroy the people’s Postal Service and 600,000 good union jobs, using this pandemic crisis to accomplish their sinister aims.

The Postal Service always is the highest rated agency by the people. Given the heroic and essential role of the postal workers in this pandemic, it stands higher than ever at 91 percent! People power is on our side.

You may have heard the saying, “If we’re not outraged, we’re not paying attention!” Let’s call Congress, sign petitions and spread the word far and wide. We can only win if we are mobilized and together move our feet! Our future depends on it!

Apr 28, 2020


Apr 25, 2020

USPS COVID-19 Close Contact Investigations Summay 04.17.20 LDC.pdf

Apr 11, 2020

FFCRA APWU Questions and Answers 4-9-2020.pdf

Apr 11, 2020

Temporary Exception Period (1).pdf

Apr 11, 2020

COVID-19 Update

By Bobby Rollins, President

I would like to share some information with you that has been discussed in my daily telecoms with the Colorado/Wyoming Managers regarding the Coronavirus.  These telecoms occur daily at 11:00 AM, and all Presidents have been invited to attend and address COVID-19 issues in their areas of representation.

I was pleased to hear today that there have been no new cases reported amongst Colorado Postal Workers in the past two days.  I pray I wake up tomorrow and get the same report.  I sincerely thank each and every one of you who are doing the utmost to protect yourselves and others around you.  I also thank those of you who have voiced your concerns about lack of face masks/gloves/disinfectant/socially inadequate work areas.  These concerns were heard and addressed with the managers and abated as quickly as possible.

In my efforts to provide every employee with a safe work environment, I agreed to allow Plant Manager Mary Alt to contract out an additional 50 custodians to ensure that all of our facilities are cleaned and disinfected at a greater frequency.  These additional custodians will be divided up amongst all three tours at the GMF and some will be deployed to some of our Associate Offices and Stations.  There were issues with the Capitol Hill and Mile High Stations not getting cleaned, so additional Custodians have been deployed to those facilities.

I received a complaint about the Express Mail Room being congested and difficult to exercise the six-foot rule, and Mary Alt and Brandon Cruz are working with the supervisors and clerks to come up with the best solution.

We had an issue with our TTO Drivers not being comfortable going up to the block house to get their timecards and other essential items needed to start their day because of the congestion it created in that office.  Donta Green and Mary Alt worked together and will have a resolution in place soon, which Donta discusses in his article.

I recently received reports that supervisors on the workroom floor didn’t have access to the new codes for the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act”.  I was told today by Human Relations Manager Sandra Creek that the codes are now available, and supervisors would now have access and have been instructed to notify her if they have any problems or questions.  I encourage everyone to read through the FFCRA which we have put up on the DMAL website under the COVID-19 tab. This is valuable information needed to ensure that your time off is coded properly based on the category you fall in and it also explains documentation requirements.  I urge everyone to read and educate themselves on this so you can help ensure your leave is input properly.  If you have any questions, please reach out to your Union Representative.

The Denver Metro APWU Website now has a COVID-19 link on our homepage which has all the MOU’s posted for everyone to review.

I want to thank District Manager Jason Mc Mahill, Human Relations Manager Sandra Creek, Plant Manager Mary Alt, and Denver Postmaster Lora Mc Lucas for addressing and taking the COVID-19 issues reported by our members seriously and abating the issues as quickly as possible.

APWU Postal Employees

Show Strength and Courage

During the COVID-19 Crisis!

By Laviena Vargas, Director of Clerk Craft

As millions of people around the world are facing mounting uncertainty due to the Coronavirus, there is one steady reminder that our country is fighting to continue to go on each and every day.  That constant reminder is that the United States Postal Service continues to deliver mail every day!

As Postal employees, we are deemed an essential workforce.   Everyday thousands of Postal employees show up to work to ensure that the American public gets the very important mail delivered to their homes.  Everyday thousands of packages and parcels of food, safety supplies and medications are sorted by APWU Clerks.  Everyday hundreds of thousands of letters are being sorted, processed and worked by the dedicated clerks of the US Postal Service.  Everyday window clerks continue to serve the people of our community.

On March 26, 2020, Colorado received a Public Health Order Statewide for a stay-at-home order.  As this became effective for every resident, the mail and the delivery of all mail became that much more important and vital to the people of Colorado. 

APWU Postal employees have been thrust into being soldiers as we continue to work through this pandemic!  Postal employees are literally putting their safety and health on the line the minute they clock in for work.

I would like to remind every employee to please follow all the safety guidelines issued during this pandemic to ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones. Please wash your hands and keep the 6ft distance when at work, whether you are in a huge processing facility or in a small station. The actions you take for your safety not only protect you as an employee but helps to protect your loved ones you go home to after every shift!

I cannot say thank you enough to every individual who continues to report to work and continues to get the mail out everyday but I will say it anyway; Thank you to each APWU USPS Employee for your hard work and dedication during this devastating time!  Please take care of one another, stay safe and know you are appreciated!

MVS Report

By Donta Green, Director of Motor Vehicle Craft

I hope everybody is staying safe and healthy.  The GMF and VMF are set up with supplies for protecting yourselves from getting COVID-19.  If you ask management for any gloves, hand sanitizer, & masks and they do not have it, fill out a 1767 and get it to your tour Steward so they can file the grievance.   For MVS I addressed the time clock issues by the crow’s nest.  They are going to be moving the dispatcher, scanner, keys, and radios down under the crow’s nest as soon as that office is clean and ready.  This will not be a permanent move, so let’s remember that we still have to keep social distance and management will be the one you will have to contact to get the safety PPE, not dispatch.  Thank you all for your hard work and for following safety precautions.

So Much Going On Right Now

By Charles Quintana, Assistant Director of Clerk Craft

Hope everyone stays safe and keep your families and friends safe.  The Coronavirus has really disrupted and changed a lot for many of us.  Events like graduations, weddings, and other life events have been canceled or postponed. It is so sad to see.

We have had so many questions on the details of the 80 hours paid leave since the Coronavirus.  The paid leave outlined in the Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act is not automatic to regulars or PSEs.  You would have to have one of the underlying conditions numerated 1 – 6 in the FFCRA.

If you qualify in numbers 1 – 6 for the 80 hours of paid leave we recommend documenting your absence if you are in a position to do so.  Documents from health care providers, government entities, and school closures are examples.

Changes of Schedule and Leave usage are to be given liberally up till May 17, 2020. So if you use your own leave there should be no need for documentation.  Please call us with any questions and we will get to you as soon as we possibly can.  Most importantly, please take care of yourself and others.

On March 23, 2020 a stimulus bill called, Take Responsibility for Workers Act was introduced and passed by congress.  Unfortunately, it did not include any financial support for the USPS.  The provisions for the USPS were:

-$25 billion to USPS for revenue forgone during Coronavirus.

-Repeal of the prefunding of health benefits.

-Forgiveness of $11 billion in debt.

-Repeal of the $3 billion annual limit on the USPS $15 billion borrowing limit.

However the USPS was left with only a $10 billion line of credit.  Other stimulus bills are to come, so maybe USPS will get another chance.

On a happy note, we have a new contract!  Congratulations to all the PSEs who will be converted soon, we know you have been receiving letters on your conversions.  If you have to take a test, we recommend passing that test.  Once you pass and get into a job, you can always bid out if you don’t like it.

The retroactive pay due to us in the contractual increase is being worked out at the National level, and they will notify us which pay period those will be on.  If you have any questions or concerns about anything feel free to call me.

Attention Clerks! Major Changes for

Realignment on All Tours at the GMF

By Laviena Vargas, Director of Clerk Craft

Management has notified the DMAL that they are proceeding with the planned realignment at the GMF for all three tours.  Management plans to mail out notification letters to all impacted clerks April 9, 2020.  If you do not receive a letter notifying you of any changes, then you are not being impacted.  Please read the letter you receive very closely as it may require a response such as an option letter.  The letters are being sent out before management can do the standup talks for the changes with the employees.  The reason for the push on the mailing of the letters is to allow the clerks time if they are affected to be able to bid on the April DPM.  Standup talks for each section will be given to all clerks coming up with a date and time to be determined.

The changes include Begin Tour hours and scheduled days off.  Tour 1 bids BT will be 2200, Tour 2 bids BT will be 0600, and Tour 3 bids BT will be 1400.  Some sections will have no changes while other sections may see abolishments with in-section bidding, abolishment for the whole section, option letters for a time change over 1 hour, and letters for a time change of 1 hour or less.  The realignment bids will be posted on the May DPM.  I encourage all clerks to review the letter they receive and to make any necessary bidding changes to fit their life and schedules as needed.  While certain tours will see a decrease in the amount of jobs, other tours may see an increase in jobs in certain sections.  According to the number amount of proposed jobs, we anticipate that there will be some unassigned regulars after the completion of the realignment bidding process.

Please also make note when submitting bids that the bids will be defined by pay location in the comments section of the bid. Please note the following:

610 =  T2 Automation

710, 510  =  T3 & T1 Auto - Colfax

711, 712, 511, 512 =  T3 & T1 Auto - West Wing

713, 513 =  T3 & T1 Auto - North bank

715=  T3 Auto - AFCS

While change is not easy and these changes come at an already stressful time, please know that the Union worked very hard to ensure that all changes were contractually correct. Although the Union does not agree with our entire plant going through another realignment after the 2017 realignment fiasco, the Union would like our members to know that we will be enforcing the CBA on all issues concerning this event.

APWU members are strong hardworking employees and we will get through this just as we do every other obstacle thrown at us! Please Stay Safe!


opeiu #30


Apr 11, 2020

A Message From Your President

By Bobby Rollins, President

I would like to start by thanking each and every postal worker for showing up to work and continuing to provide our customers with the medications, and vast other essential items they need in this most difficult and challenging time.  You are true warriors in the battle with this terrible virus and have been an important lifeline for our general public.

With the Corona Virus impacting Postal Workers across the country and directly hitting home at our own GMF and other facilities recently, it is of utmost importance that each and every employee is clear on certain rights pertaining to Covid-19 in the workplace.

I want to first and foremost want to make it clear that each and every employee has the right to take time off at ANY point they want.  If you just began your tour and you got a bad vibe and want to go home, fill out a PS Form 3971 put COVID-19 on it, give it to your supervisor and end your tour and go home.  You do not have to have symptoms and you do not have to have been in direct contact with someone who tested positive.  You have the right to go home just to protect yourself from possibly being subjected to the devastating effects of the virus.  If you’re at home and don’t want to go to work call the automated system and request FMLA. No documentation is to be required, no discipline is to be issued, and you can request Annual, Sick, or LWOP.  If you request paid leave and anyone from management tells you that they are going to LWOP you and not pay you the leave you requested, then please notify your steward so they can contact me immediately.  I have established a direct contact with upper management to fast track and get these issues addressed immediately, and sadly we have experienced some problems with supervisors in the field who have required some changes in attitude. These types of actions are unacceptable. To quote our District Manager Jason Mc Mahill and the statement he delivered to the GMF employees, “Each and every employee’s health and well-being is more important than the mail”.  Please keep in mind that the one time you can disobey a direct order is when it pertains to your safety and well-being.

Although I am certainly not in a position to make a decision for any one of you, I ask each and every one of you to give serious thought to what is in the best interest for you and your family in the next 2-4 weeks.  If you look at the staggering numbers coming from other Post Offices across the country, we are just fooling ourselves if we don’t think that it could be our reality in the near future.  With that being said, I highly recommend that everyone pay close attention to the different risk levels and if you are in the high risk category I strongly urge you to give the next 2-4 weeks of your life some serious thought and if your life is really worth risking coming to work.

If you have been in direct contact with someone who has tested positive or you have symptoms or generally don’t feel like yourself then please respect your co-workers safety and well-being and immediately stay home until you feel better for at least three days in a row.  If your condition seemingly gets worse opposed to better contact the proper health care officials required immediately and seek medical help.

If you are quarantined by the CDC, Health Department, or sent home by management as a result of Covid-19 you will be paid Administrative Pay.  PSE’s have 80 hours of “other paid leave” to use for self or mandated quarantine or to stay home and watch/care for your kids while they are unable to attend school. This is a benefit that was negotiated at the National Level with Headquarters because PSE’s don’t earn S/L.

I requested that management put red tape and sneeze/cough protectors in the lobbies of all of our Post Offices and was deeply concerned that several weeks passed and it still wasn’t done.  I give kudos to Wheat Ridge and Edgewater as both facilities took matters into their own hands and created their own barriers to enforce the social distance rule and provided the protection that each and every window clerk deserves.  These are simple measures that need to be acted on quickly because every minute of every day without could certainly result in a higher rate of illness and possibly death amongst our window clerk workforce.  I was told that the barriers should be installed in all stations and branches by the end of next week and at the latest the beginning of next week.  I urged management to please hang clear shower curtains or place tables in front of the counters between the clerks and customers to “force” the social distance rule until the plexi-glass barriers arrive but didn’t receive confirmation that it would happen.  This is concerning and I hope they do the right thing and what is in the best interest of each and every one of you.  A lot of the facilities I visited that didn’t have barriers had stores that were open within a block of the facility that had shower curtains and rods available and it’s a cheap, effective, quick fix.  I urge them to make this happen.

I can’t emphasize enough about obeying the social distancing rule in the workplace.  If you work in a congested operation, then concessions need to be made to alleviate the congestion.  It would be great if management and the employees in the operation could come together and find the best possible solution to the problem immediately.  If a resolution isn’t reached to abate the problem, then contact your union representative so I can be notified and address the issue immediately with upper management.

In lieu of the numerous positive cases coming out of the GMF, the size of the facility, and the number of employees in and out of the facility per day; Plant Manager Mary Alt is putting measures in place to have the GMF sanitized with spray misters.  I have requested to have this done on a regular schedule as frequently as possible but have not secured a commitment from management yet on cleanings beyond the initial one.

The virus has definitely had an impact on our Steward force as some have chosen to self-quarantine for various reasons all of which I support.  It is imperative that each and every one of you know that the APWU has secured extensions for grievance activity at all levels. If you feel your contractual rights have been violated and your steward is not available then please document what your issue is and provide all the specific details you can and contact your steward when they return to work so your issue can be grieved. There shouldn’t be any Investigative Interviews happening right now for attendance. If you are summoned for an Investigative Interview for attendance contact your union representative right away so I can be notified and fast track this issue with upper management immediately. 

Each and every employee should be getting a stand-up talk every day.  If you are not getting stand-ups then contact your union representative so I can be notified and fast track this issue right away.

I am very much aware that management reads our newsletters as much as our members do and for all whom do I please ask that you respect the rules as outlined and do your best to have your employees’ best interest at heart and I won’t have to submit your name into the fast track.  If you chose to ignore the rules and make life miserable for your employees during this most volatile time you can expect that there will be virtually nothing you can do beyond that point to regain the dignity and respect that will be lost by your employees and this union.

In closing I’d like to say that on a more positive note the APWU did secure a new contract and I will be putting out a special news express with the highlights of the new contract. In the meantime, stay safe and thank you all for your important service to our grateful customers. They have showed their appreciation in many different ways that not all of you are aware of.  The number of cards and letters the post office has received, and the number of signs being held up by customers in the window of their homes thanking their carriers as they approach to place their mail in the mail box are increasing by the day.  They are truly thankful as am I.

Zero Tolerance Policies and

the Postal Service Standards of Conduct

by Charles Quintana, Assistant Director of Clerk Craft

The Postal Service is committed to the principle that all employees have a basic right to a safe and humane working environment.  In order to ensure this right, it is the unequivocal policy of the Postal Service that there must be no tolerance of violence or threats of violence by anyone at any level of the Postal Service.  Similarly, there must be no tolerance of harassment, intimidation, threats, or bullying by anyone at any level.  Violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action, including removal from the Postal Service. (ELM 665.24 Postal Service Standards of Conduct)

Every employee has the right to work in a safe environment free of harassment or other inappropriate conduct.  According to USPS policies on the subject, inappropriate behavior undermines moral and violates the USPS policies and standards of conduct.  Policies on inappropriate behavior and standards of conduct can be found in the ELM as well as on Zero Tolerance policy directives that have been put out from USPS headquarters.  Poster 150 outlines Workplace Harassment from what you can do to how your supervisor should handle any allegations.

Workplace harassment is a sensitive subject and can be hard to deal with because of the various circumstances and factors of the issues involved.  But there are certain steps management must take when confronted with any accusations of inappropriate behavior.

Management must react promptly, and they must protect the confidentiality of the subject.  Managers should investigate all complaints using Publication 552.

The most important thing management is tasked with is investigating, understanding, and preventing any and all harassment complaints. The investigation should be thorough, complete and unbiased.

It works both ways!  If we expect a safe environment free of harassment, then we should not engage in any actions that entice this behavior.  Report any concerns to your supervisor.

If you have any questions, feel free to call me.

COVID-19 Stand Up Safety Meetings

by Tinamarie Vivens-Stafford, Director Human Relations

On March 25, 2020, Management held Stand Up Safety Meetings on all tours at the GMF.  As you may already know, we have had the first Positive Coronavirus case at the GMF.  Due to the HIPPA Law the only information that management could give us is that the person is a Mail Handler.  This made some employees upset and concerned about their safety.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the GMF is in no imminent danger and that they do not need to quarantine or contact anyone in the immediate work area.  The major points from the meetings were:

-Management is giving us a choice on whether we want to continue working or not under these unprecedented conditions.

-Regulars can self-quarantine without any questions asked and use SL, AL, or LWOP.

-PSE’s were granted other paid leave up to 80 hours for the same purpose.  You will forfeit your leave if not used by May 17, 2020.

-If you call in on the 1-877 or online under liteblue “eLRA” use “Community Disaster” for the COVID-19.

-Management will code COVID-19 call-in’s as FMLA.  If you receive a FMLA packet and you’re not able to get it filled out, it will not be held against you.

-If you turn in a 3971 in the “remark” section put COVID-19.

-This all falls under the “Liberal Leave and Change of Schedule” which was negotiated by the APWU National Officers.

-If you receive a positive test or in direct contact with a person that tested positive DO NOT come in to work.  Contact your supervisor so that the appropriate actions can be taken by management.

-If you are sick please stay at home.

-Remain 6 feet from each other, wash your hands, gloves and masks are available upon request.

-1767’s should be filled out if your area is not being cleaned or your out of the above supplies.  Please give a copy to your steward.

-Take a shower and wash your cloths once you arrive at home.

-The GMF is in the process of being wiped down with the alcohol solution approved by the CDC and will be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis.

-Management found a company that makes hand sanitizer, we will all receive our own bottle and can refill it.  The larger bottle will be kept in a controlled environment and is not for home use.


opeiu #30


Apr 11, 2020

April 8, 2020

U.S. Department of Labor Reminds Employers That They Cannot Retaliate
Against Workers Reporting Unsafe Conditions During Coronavirus Pandemic

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding employers that it is illegal to retaliate against workers because they report unsafe and unhealthful working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. Acts of retaliation can include terminations, demotions, denials of overtime or promotion, or reductions in pay or hours.

“Employees have the right to safe and healthy workplaces,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt. “Any worker who believes that their employer is retaliating against them for reporting unsafe working conditions should contact OSHA immediately.”

Workers have the right to file a whistleblower complaint online with OSHA (or 1-800-321-OSHA) if they believe their employer has retaliated against them for exercising their rights under the whistleblower protection laws enforced by the agency.

OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program webpage provides valuable resources on worker rights, including fact sheets on whistleblower protections for employees in various industries and frequently asked questions.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of more than 20 whistleblower statutes protecting employees from retaliation for reporting violations of various workplace safety and health, airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, motor vehicle safety, healthcare reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, securities and tax laws. For more information on whistleblower protections, visit OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Programs webpage.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

# # #

Media Contact:

Emily Weeks, 202-693-4681,
Release Number:  20-596-NAT

Apr 10, 2020

Maintenance Update.pdf

Apr 10, 2020

Apr 03, 2020

COVID-19 MAIL PROCESSING Guidelines for PVS Drivers (2).pdf

Apr 03, 2020

COVID-19 Stand Up Talks 29 ALL EMPLOYEES COVID-19 Supplies Purchasing Updates.pdf

Apr 03, 2020

COVID-19 SUT 28 ALL EMPLOYEES Interacting with VMF Personnel.pdf

Apr 03, 2020

FFCRA Web Article.pdf

Apr 03, 2020

Decision Tree.pdf

Apr 03, 2020

Liberal Changes of schedule and Leave.pdf

Apr 03, 2020

Interacting with HCR Drivers MOU.pdf

Apr 03, 2020

Essential Service Provider Letter.pdf

Apr 03, 2020

COVID FAQ April 1 2020 - Q A.pdf

Apr 03, 2020

Maintenance Update - Special Edition.pdf

Apr 19, 2021

COVID-19 and OWCP Claims Workshop

January 29, 2021   

At the direction of President Mark Dimondstein and in conjunction with the Industrial Relations Department, the APWU will be holding an information session for state and local presidents, their approved designees, and national officers on COVID-19 and OWCP. 

 Postal Employees who contract COVID-19 at work can file claims for workers’ compensation under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). At this workshop, participants will receive basic information about the recent bulletins issued by Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP), as well as an overview of the steps a Postal Employee must take to submit a claim. 
OWCP is outside of the Union’s collective bargaining responsibilities with the Postal Service, and claim processing and approval is governed by FECA rules, regulations, and policies for OWCP claims.  This information session is informational only and will not provide legal advice on general or specific OWCP claim issues. It also is not a directive to any APWU member to submit a claim or to any state, local, national organization or representative to represent or assist any bargaining unit members in the claims process. The APWU neither implies nor guarantees that following the information provided will result in a claim being approved. 
Attendees are required to register in advance and have their registration approved by APWU Headquarters.

To register, please click this registration Link: COVID-19 and OWCP Information Session

Page Last Updated: Feb 07, 2022 (07:49:38)
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