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APWU 133


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  1. APWU & USPS Reach Verbal Tentative Agreement on IT/AS May 20, 2022 The APWU and the Postal Service verbally reached a tenative agremeent for the IT/AS bargaining unit on May 20, 2022. Further details of the tentative agreement will be released on Monday, May 23, 2022. With the agreement having been reached, the COVID-19 telework arrangements currently in place will continue while the tentative agreement goes through the APWU ratification process.
  2. Bulk Mail and Mailing Requirements Clerk Qualification Position MOU Extended May 6, 2022 On May 6, 2022, Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks and the Postal Service agreed to extend the MOU, Re: Bulk Mail and Mailing Requirement Clerk Position Qualification. The extension will continue through November 4, 2022. The parties had originally agreed to the MOU on April 3, 2020 in order to provide a virtual learning and OJT program for Bulk Mail Techs and Mailing Requirement Clerks (MRCs) “at the location where the Bulk Mail Tech or MRC position is located”. The MOU further states, “The parties at the National Level will review the in-person training program offered at the National Center for Employee Development (NCED), including the material content and schedule”. Both parties will not only be able to review the training program but will also compare the training with the actual duties performed in these jobs to ensure Bulk Mail Techs and MRCs are receiving the appropriate training commensurate with their position descriptions. The MOU also states, “This agreement is without prejudice to the positions of the parties on any issue and shall not be cited in any dispute resolution proceedings, except for the purpose of enforcing its terms”. Clerk Craft Director Brooks stated, “I want to thank Assistant Directors Lynn Pallas-Barber and Sam Lisenbe for their hard work on these important issues”. The extension of the MOU is linked with this article for easier access. 2022 Bulk Mail Tech and Mailing Requirement Clerk Position Qualification
  3. Telework MOU Extended Until June 17, 2022 May 6, 2022 On May 6, 2022, APWU Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks agreed to extend the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding Telework for Clerk Craft Employees at Customer Care Centers, Customer Retention Teams, and the Mailing Shipping Solution Center (MSSC, i.e., Mailing Requirements Clerks) until June 17, 2022. However, the Postal Service would not agree to extend Consumer Affairs employees (Claims & Inquiry Clerks and Complaints & Inquiry Clerks) for inclusion in this MOU. Their duties while working from home could not be tracked accurately by the USPS. Therefore, employees in these two categories will return to their duty stations, effective May 7, 2022. During this approximate month and a half extension, the APWU and Postal Service will discuss and attempt to finalize a Telework Program Pilot Agreement for employees at Customer Care Centers, Customer Retention Teams, and Mailing Requirements Clerks. The MOU states, “Once the Telework Program Pilot Agreement is finalized, or no later than June 17, 2022, this MOU will expire, unless the parties at the national level agree to extend. If agreement on a teleworking pilot cannot be reached, the parties will work together on a transition plan to return the employees to their official duty stations as soon as reasonably possible”. “It is the Clerk Division’s intention, long term, to protect our work from contracting out while also protecting the rights and benefits of all employees,” Director Brooks explained, “while taking into consideration many employees’ desire to voluntarily work from home”. The extension of the MOU is linked with this article for easier access. Telework MOU
  4. Implementation of CBA Moves Ahead April 28, 2022 The implementation of the 2021-2024 Collective Bargaining Agreement is moving forward. With ratification of the agreement on February 28, the provisions of the agreement went into effect. The membership of the union has already seen the effect of some of those provisions. For example, work or pay guarantees the for Part-time Flexible (PTF) employees to include the four (4) hour daily work or pay guarantee and the 24-hour per pay period work or pay guarantee are in effect. The guaranteed one day off per week for PTFs is also in effect along with many other provisions of the agreement. As previously announced, the pay provisions of the agreement are being programmed and will begin to be paid in pay period 13 which starts on June 4, 2022 and show on the paychecks received on June 24, 2022. This would include the 1.3% due to career employees from November 2021, the 2.3% due to Postal Support Employees (PSEs) from November 2021, the $1310 per annum COLA due to career employees on February 26, 2022, extra pay for PTFs due to the Juneteenth holiday, and the additional 50 cents per hour for PSEs. Beginning pay period 14, starting on June 18, 2022, the slotting of the additional steps and elimination of steps for Grade 8 employees will begin as well. Of course, once that is all in place the Postal Service will be able to provide the date of the retro-active pay that will be owed the employees. It is important to note that the retroactive pay will take time to calculate and will be paid later in the year. One significant provision of the agreement goes into effect on April 23, 2022. PSEs who have reached 24 months of relative standing within their installation (Level 4 RMPOs excluded) will be converted to career employees. They will be converted to a PTF in Level 20 and below offices or to Full-time Flexible (FTF) in Level 21 and above offices. This is a significant step forward for the non-career workforce. Guaranteed Conversion! The Postal Service has provided approximately 1,200 names of PSEs who will be converted on April 23, 2022. During negotiations, it was estimated that the conversions under this provision would be closer to 2000, however, through the other conversion mechanisms of the Clerk Craft Residual MOU, conversion agreed to through national MOUs, and through the hard work of dedicated representatives in the grievance process, many of the PSEs estimated to be converted were converted prior to April 23, 2022. This proves that the contract is working well to get conversions prior to the 24-month provision that is a stop-gap to ensure PSEs are converted. The APWU believes more than the 1,200 conversions should be taking place and we have provided a list of names to the Postal Service that have been identified in the data we have that should be converted. We are seeking clarification on those names and making sure that no one who should be converted is missed. Data review and conversations with the Postal Service are continuing to take place to make sure everyone due to be converted is converted. The 2021-2024 Collective Bargaining Agreement took a big step forward for the wages, hours, and working conditions for hundreds of thousands APWU members. It is a contract that can be built upon in the future and a contract that protect rights and benefits fought for over decades of collective bargaining.
  5. Statement by APWU President Mark Dimondstein on the Amazon Workers Union Victory in Staten Island and the Ongoing union election in Alabama April 11, 2022 The Union victory today of Amazon workers in the Staten Island, NY warehouse is exciting and great news. In addition, the too-close-to-call election results at the Bessemer, Alabama Amazon warehouse is also encouraging news The 8,000 workers at the Amazon Warehouse in Staten Island NY voted “union yes” by joining a new independent union, the Amazon Labor Union (ALU). In an outstanding example of independent self-organization, workers prevailed against a massive, multi-millionaire dollar anti-union campaign of coercion, threats and intimidation. The Amazon workers, led by Christian Smalls, who was fired for leading a walk out over lack of COVID safety protocols two years ago, were not to be denied. They drew important lessons from the pandemic – workers must organize to have dignity, respect and safe working conditions. They were undoubtedly encouraged by the wave of new worker militancy around the country as well as growing public support for unions. And they were rightfully fed up with a company raking in billions in profits while refusing to share the wealth created by the workers’ labor. The APWU welcomes this news - the first union beachhead in the battle for workers’ rights against a massive, anti-union company and their greedy billionaire executives. It is a powerful first step which will undoubtedly serve as an inspiration to the one million U.S. Amazon workers who need a union to win better wages, benefits, workplace safety and a true voice at work. The organized labor movement should unite and build a multi-union crusade to help organize Amazon workers throughout the country. We should help propel the movement forward, whether Amazon workers choose to join an established union such as the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) in Alabama, or others, or if they organize new independent initiatives such as the ALU in Staten Island. We salute the determination of the Amazon workers in Staten Island and Bessemer, AL in standing up to their bosses. Unionization at Amazon holds a special significance for postal workers who work in the same mail/package/delivery industry. When one group of workers rises, we all rise. The APWU stands ready to assist the newly organized workers in Staten Island in any way we can in the coming and challenging battle to win a good first union contract and stands ready to work with all Amazon workers and all unions in building Amazon workers’ power at Amazon.
  6. Results of Tentative Agreement Incentive Announced April 8, 2022 APWU President Mark Dimondstein has announced the winners of the union’s tentative agreement ratification participation contest. The challenge, intended to encourage participation in the ratification process, offered rewards to locals that were most successful in mobilizing APWU members to vote. The contest provided that the top three locals in several categories would be rewarded, with the categories based on the size of the local. The program stipulated that any local that achieved 100 percent participation would be rewarded, and to be eligible, locals must have reached voting levels of at least 50 percent. In the category of 1-49 members, four (4) active locals had 100% percent participation, and each will be awarded $200. They are: LOCAL Percent Voting Liberal Local 100% Worthington Local 100% West Bend Local 100% Twin Cities Area Local 100% In the 500–999-member category, there was only one (1) local eligible for the $2,000 award: Trenton Metropolitan Area Local 51.1% Unfortunately, no other category qualifies for an incentive award. Results can be found at this link in the Member’s Only section, and were provided by the American Arbitration Association, which conducted the balloting under the supervision of the Rank-and-File Bargaining Advisory Committee.
  7. PRESIDENT BIDEN SIGNS POSTAL REFORM INTO LAW Prefunding Mandate Scrapped, Landmark Bill Provides Billions in Relief to USPS April 6, 2022 On Wednesday, April 6, President Joe Biden signed the Postal Service Reform Act into law at a White House ceremony. President Mark Dimondstein and Legislative and Political Director Judy Beard were invited to witness the signing ceremony and represent the APWU. “This is a historic achievement for our union,” said President Dimondstein. “Congratulations to every postal worker who has organized for over a decade to ensure this long-needed postal reform legislation became law. The Postal Service Reform Act marks a tremendous victory for our union, for all postal workers, our families, and for the people of the country who depend on robust, reliable and sustainable universal postal services.” The Postal Service Reform Act (PSRA) contains many key elements that have long been a priority for the APWU. First is the elimination of the congressional mandate that USPS prefund future retiree health benefits. This mandate required the Postal Service to set billions of dollars aside each year to prefund retiree health benefits 75 years into the future. The prefunding mandate alone is responsible for 84% of USPS’s losses since 2007. Lifting of the mandate is expected to save the USPS roughly $27 billion over the next 10 years and immediately eliminates $53 billion of past due prepayments on the USPS books. Three important service-related features are included in the new law. The PSRA increases transparency of USPS management, allowing the public, Congress and regulators better insight into USPS service issues. It also mandates that USPS continue to provide a six-day-per-week, integrated delivery network – packages and letter mail moving together – long into the future. Finally, the PSRA allows USPS to enter into agreements with State, local and tribal governments to provide a whole range of new products and services. Another major element of the bill is in the integration of future postal retirees into the Medicare system. While USPS and postal employees have contributed to Medicare for decades, roughly a quarter of retirees do not fully enroll in Medicare. Starting in 2025, all postal retirees will have Medicare as their primary payer and a postal-only FEHBP plan as a secondary payer. These changes are expected to save postal retirees money by eliminating out-of-pocket medical expenses and by mitigating future premium increases, while saving USPS $22 billion over the next ten years. The PSRA passed both chambers of Congress earlier this year after more than a decade of debate and consensus-building among the postal unions, congressional leaders, mailers and postal management. It garnered broad, bipartisan support, passing the House in February by a vote of 342-92 and passing the Senate in March with a vote of 79-19. “APWU applauds every member of Congress who has worked alongside our union to achieve this critical legislation,” said Legislative and Political Director Beard. “We especially recognize the leadership of Chairwoman Maloney and Ranking Member Comer in the House and Chairman Peters and Ranking Member Portman in the Senate for their steadfast, bipartisan resolve in crafting this bill. Postal workers fought hard for this bill and Congress heard our voices loud and clear.” “The path to winning this legislation was long and hard-fought,” said Dimondstein. “We should all take heart in this tremendous victory and remember that together, our union is a force to be reckoned with. Now, the struggle continues to defend the public Postal Service, to protect good jobs, and to win improved and expanded postal services and justice for all workers.”
  8. What...did you not vote on the CBA? Omar M. Gonzalez March 24, 2022 By now the fate of the contract is decided. You either exercised the power of your membership or let it go to waste. If you voted, thanks, because for over 180 years postal workers had very little, if any, say in their employment. The Post Office Department was all powerful. Now the PO’s power is subject not just to the law (such as it is), but also to the contract. Our years of struggle to get and pursue collective bargaining is rich with lessons learned. Modest start & struggles President Kennedy’s 1962 Executive Order gave us limited negotiation rights over promotions, transfers, RIFs and some working conditions. A government- imposed union election in 1962 determined postal unions recognition. It took another eight years and a nationwide wildcat strike to produce real negotiations. The 1971 contract was negotiated (by 7 unions no less) before the law establishing USPS was signed. Nixon’s promised pay increase was blocked by his wage freeze. But the AFL-CIO’s helped force that first pay increase and APWU was born! Real Bargaining, more struggles Postmaster General DeJoy is not the first corporate boss we’ve negotiated with. In 1975 PMG Benjamin Franklin (kid you not) Bailar and the Unions, negotiating together, settled for a 12% pay increase with the strike fresh on everyone’s mind. The 1978 negotiations were bitter! Management called us overpaid and underworked. Facing debt and volume de- creases, wage cuts were demanded. Negotiations stalled. no contract-no Work was the call of the day. The PMG’s threats to fire all strikers didn’t stop Bulk Centers in New Jersey & California from walking out. A deal was struck for a 2% pay increase and capped COLA. The Rank & File Committee rejected the pact which was sent out for a vote anyway. The National Convention and 94,400 members voted to reject the CBA. The PMG refused to reopen negotiations ending with an arbitrated 9% pay increase but weakened lay-off protections. The struggles continued In 1981, the PMG, trying to force a government election to recognize only one union, refused to negotiate. A media blitz threatened another postal strike. A deal was reached only to have the bosses re-write what had been agreed to. Eventually we went from a $1,850 pay boost to a $300 annual increase, and some “cash” payments. Even so the CBA was ratified. In 1984, the Board of Governors openly meddled in negotiations calling us overpaid. Talks stalled with bosses unilaterally imposing a 23% lower entry wage resulting in court and congressional action. The battle over postal economics resulted in an arbitrated 2.7% pay increase and lower starting pay with longer step increase periods. Three PMGs came and went but in 1987 PMG Tish promised to negotiate an agreement resulting in a 2% pay increase, followed by $300 and $200 increases. We’ve negotiated through wars, oil embargos, wage controls, the PATCO strike and other seemingly insurmountable hysteria. We have had contract extensions, more arbitrations, and rejected CBAs. Space doesn’t permit more history. My point is to express how much goes into getting a contract that makes your career and living standards worthwhile. Now through a worldwide pestilence altering our lives, economy, education and prices, a negotiated contract was produced and your precious right to vote on your destiny was preserved. More Power in Your hands Exercising your Union vote wields real power. As bromidic as it sounds, YOU ARE THE UNION! Two upcoming critical events, the national convention and the national Union elections, will let you flex your union power again. Your vote determines Convention delegates who set union policy. Your vote elects officers that administer that policy and representation. Again, destiny is in your hands. Coordinators Stone, Beasley, Foster, Jones and I urge you – DON’T WASTE YOUR POWER!
  9. President's Column: Team APWU - Bringing home the Gold! Mark Dimondstein March 23, 2022 Wow! Just months into 2022 and great news on two fronts: First: Our Collective Bargaining Agreement covering the wages, benefits, and working conditions of 200,000 postal workers has been overwhelmingly ratified with a 94% “Yes” vote by those who cast ballots. The success of this round of bargaining reflects the power of unity and solidarity, beginning with you the member, the very foundation of our union. Second: The Postal Service Reform Act passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The vote in the House was a strong bi-partisan vote of 342-92! It passed the Senate with 79 votes, enough bi-partisan support to overcome the undemocratic 60 vote filibuster rules. You, along with many friends and allies, made thousands of calls to your Senators urging support and bringing this vital legislation over the finish line! Congratulations to one and all on these outstanding accomplishments! Of course, many more challenges and opportunities lie ahead. These include: Implementation of the new union contract: Dates must be determined for when the new pay scales will be reflected in your paychecks, the dates of the retroactive pay raise from November 20, 2021, and the March COLA; and other timing issues related to PSE conversions and PTF transfer opportunities. Health & safety: The COVID pandemic is ongoing and still lethal. We have negotiated with management the continuation of the COVID safety memoranda and liberal leave policy until April 8th. It is also a major goal to force management to address the harassment and hos- tile work environment inflicted on far too many postal workers. The struggle for the safest possible workplace will aggressively continue. Expanded services: Our future largely depends on ex- panded Postal Services. The COVID test kits packaged and sent through the mail are a good example. It is likely that the paycheck cashing “pilot” will soon be expanded. The APWU will be working to make this pilot a success. Postal reform will open up new opportunities to provide local and state government services. Organizing the Unorganized: About 20% of the work- force represented by the APWU are non-members – far too many. With the solid new contract, it a great time to organize. In the Spring, the APWU will launch a nation- wide organizing campaign. The key to success will be members signing up non-members. Furthermore, the APWU is expanding our organizing efforts in the private sector mail industry, whether Amazon, fulfillment cen- ters, transportation or pre-sort houses. National convention: The 2022 National Convention is scheduled for mid-August. The convention, as the highest authority of the union, acts on many resolutions and sets the overall direction for the union. Every member cannot be one of the 2,000 expected delegates, but everyone can have a voice by promoting local and state resolutions to be considered by the convention. National officer elections: In September the national officer election will be conducted. Unlike most unions, we elect with a “one-person, one vote” mail ballot. This union democracy is part of what makes us union strong! Legislation & Mid-term elections: More legislative issues on the horizon include improving service standards and securing funding for an electric postal fleet and charging stations. The November elections provide opportunity for political involvement in relation to electing pro-union, pro-postal candidates but also for organizing on issues that affect workers such as living wages, health care for all, a clean environment and voting rights. Voting rights/Vote-By-Mail: The “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen has become the basis for a rash of voter suppression laws largely aimed at limiting mail ballots, which are a proven, secure way for tens of millions of people to vote. No matter our individual political views, we should be unified in defending and expanding voting rights. Let’s take the same spirit of unity and solidarity that led to the achievement of our new contract and Postal Reform into the battles of 2022 and beyond!
  10. Implementation Dates for Pay Increases in New Contract Confirmed March 17, 2022 On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, the Postal Service confirmed to the APWU important dates for implementation of the pay provisions of the 2021-2024 National Agreement. There were significant changes to the pay and leave provisions for this national agreement. Below you will see “effective” and “scheduled implementation” dates for the various pay provisions of the agreement. The effective date is the date the pay changes will be paid from. The “scheduled implementation” date is the date the Postal Service has informed the APWU that the payrate will actual begin being paid. We have also included the pay check date the pay changes are scheduled to show up in pay checks/direct deposits. 1.3% General Increases for all employees o Effective: November 20, 2021 o Scheduled Implementation: June 4, 2022 (Pay Period 13-2022) o Pay Check Date June 24, 2022 1.0% Additional for Postal Support Employees (PSEs) o Effective: November 20, 2021 o Scheduled Implementation: June 4, 2022 (Pay Period 13-2022) o Pay Check Date June 24, 2022 $1310 Cost of Living Allowance (Career Employees) o Effective: February 26, 2022 o Scheduled Implementation: June 4, 2022 (Pay Period 13-2022) o Pay Check Date June 24, 2022 PSEs’ Additional 50 cents per hour o Effective: April 9, 2022 o Scheduled Implementation: June 4, 2022 (Pay Period 13-2022) o Pay Check Date June 24, 2022 New pay rates for Grade 11 Employees o Effective: September 21, 2021 o Scheduled Implementation: June 4, 2022 (Pay Period 13-2022) o Pay Check Date June 24, 2022 Changes to the Grade 8 steps and slotting into new steps o Effective: June 18, 2022 o Scheduled Implementation: June 18, 2022 (Pay Period 14-2022) o Pay Check Date July 8, 2022 Additional Pay for PTFs due to the Juneteenth Holiday o Effective: January 1, 2022 o Scheduled Implementation: June 4, 2022 (Pay Period 13-2022) o Pay Check Date June 24, 2022 Employees will receive retroactive payments for the difference in pay for the period between the “effective” date and the “scheduled implementation” date. The date of the retroactive payments has not been finalized and cannot be finalized until the programming is complete. Once programming is completed, we will meet with the Postal Service and get a definitive date for the retroactive payments. Once the definitive date is known, it will then be released Significant programming of the payroll systems is needed to implement these pay changes. Upon ratification of the agreement, our Union Family members who work in the Information Technology/Accounting Services units began working on the changes. We want to recognize and thank the IT/AS employees for their hard work on these important provisions and doing all they can to get the programming changes completed so that all those affected receive the pay rates required by the National Agreement. As a reminder, other provisions that do not have specific effective dates listed (e.g., the “repromotion rule”) went into effect on February 28, 2022, per Article 43 of the 2021-2024 National Agreement.
  11. List of Residual Vacancies Made Available for PTF Clerks’ One-Time Reassignment Opportunity March 16, 2022 In accordance with the MOU, Re: PTF One-Time Voluntary Reassignment Opportunity, the Postal Service provided a list of available residual duty assignments for PTF clerks to choose from, within their own district. Attached is the list of 594 residual duty assignments which are available to the eligible PTF clerks to select from in the regular March 2022 eReassign posting. These assignments are from installations with 100 or more Clerk Craft employees. The attached residual duty assignment(s) are listed by District. These residual duty assignments are currently posted in eReassign and this list should be used as a cross reference to assist PTFs within the listed Districts to make their selections. PTFs need to understand that Districts may have increased greatly in geographical size due to the USPS reorganization. The APWU Clerk Craft has filed a national dispute on the reorganization. If PTFs do not want to relocate, they need to make their selections carefully. Any relocation costs are the responsibility of the PTF. MapQuest is a good tool to assist them if they are not familiar with their entire District and the amount of driving miles as it relates to relocation. The MOU contains certain requirements: PTFs must work in installations with less than 100 career Clerk Craft employees, must have been on the rolls on September 21, 2021, and they must have completed their probationary period. In addition, the MOU states: “A PTF Clerk Craft employee seeking to voluntarily reassign pursuant to this Agreement must have an acceptable work, attendance, and safety record and meet the minimum qualifications for all Clerk Craft residual vacancies to which they request voluntary reassignment. A PTF Clerk Craft employee must qualify in his/her current installation prior to being reassigned pursuant to this Agreement. A PTF Clerk Craft employee who fails to qualify will remain in his/her current installation as a PTF Clerk Craft employee.” The MOU concludes by stating, “District Human Resources will complete the placement no later than the first day of the third pay period following selection of the employee”. PTFs who wish to take advantage of this opportunity must do so no later than March 21, 2022 by submitting their preference(s) from among the residual vacancies within their district through eReassign. Any PTF without computer access has the right to use the computer at their post office to submit their reassignment requests. Any changes or corrections to the PTF selection should be done by the close of the posting – March 21, 2022 – 11:00 p.m. CST.
  12. The Postal Service Reform Act Passes the Senate & Will Become Law March 8, 2022 In a historic moment, the Senate passed the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022 on March 8 with a vote of 79-19. The House passed the bill last month with a vote of 342-92. The legislation will now go to President Biden’s desk, where he will sign it into law. The enactment of Postal Reform marks a turning point in the fight to protect and strengthen the people’s public Postal Service. “It is not an exaggeration to say that this bill is one of the most critical pieces of postal legislation in modern history — the struggle to win Postal Reform has been 15 years in the making,” said Legislative and Political Director Judy Beard. “The passage of this legislation, on a strong bipartisan basis, is a monumental victory for postal workers, the wider postal community, and the communities we are proud to serve,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “This legislation strengthens the public Postal Service, a national treasure that has connected us for over 250 years.” The Postal Reform bill will place the United States Postal Service on the path toward financial stability by repealing the onerous and financially debilitating pre-funding mandate, ensuring six-day delivery, adding much-needed transparency to postal operations, and maximizing participation in Medicare — a program which the Postal Service and its employees have contributed over $34 billion toward — by enacting prospective Medicare integration. Postal Reform is fair to active and retired postal workers and is a crucial development in the fight to preserve and strengthen the peoples’ Postal Service. “Thanks to the efforts carried out by postal workers, our sister unions, allied organizations, and the American public, comprehensive postal reform is now a reality,” said Legislative and Political Director Judy Beard. “The APWU applauds every member of Congress who played a role in crafting and passing this monumental legislation.” Please read our Postal Reform Q&A for more information about the legislation. postal service reform act psra Legislative & Political
  13. The New Union Contract is Ratified! 94% of Voters Say YES! February 28, 2022 The main Collective Bargaining Agreement (union contract) between the APWU and the USPS has been overwhelmingly ratified by the members. The contract was signed by APWU President Mark Dimondstein and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on February 28, 2022. Ninety-Four percent (94%) of the members who voted, voted “Yes!” in favor of ratification. The vote tally was 36,632 votes for ratification and 2,290 against. “I am ecstatic that the membership recognized the solid gains that this Agreement provides to the 165,000 APWU members from all crafts,” President and lead negotiator Mark Dimondstein stated. “Every member should be very proud of this huge accomplishment. Our power at the bargaining table begins with each of you, the foundation of our union.” Director of Industrial Relations and chief spokesperson, Vance Zimmerman said, “I am proud of this Agreement and am happy that the membership recognized the hard work of the National Negotiating Committee, the other officers who helped with the negotiations, and the diligent work of our support staff to make this contract a reality.” He continued, “Now the work of implementation begins in earnest.” In addition to the lead negotiator and chief spokesperson, the NCC consisted of Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks, Motor Vehicle Director Mike Foster, Maintenance Director Idowu Balogun, Support Services Director Steve Brooks, Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy and Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth “Liz” Powell. The tentative contract agreement was reached on December 9, 2021 with unanimous approval of the National Negotiating Committee. It was then unanimously approved by the Rank & File Bargaining Advisory Committee to be sent to the members for a ratification vote. The vote ratification process was coordinated by APWU Secretary-Treasurer Powell and administered by the American Arbitration Association (AAA.) A sub-committee of the Rank & File Bargaining Advisory Committee consisting of Peggy Whitney, Sandra Munoz, Scott Hoffman, Nicole Burnett and Stacy Brown was on site monitoring the entire vote count, which took place from February 23 – February 28. Now that we have a new contract, one of the first items to be dealt with are the pay raises due to employees. These include the first general wage increase of 1.3% for career employees (2.3% for PSEs), effective November 21, 2021; the $1,310 per year COLA increase due to career employees, effective February 26, 2022; and the additional 50 cents per hour increase for PSEs effective on April 9, 2022. APWU-represented bargaining unit employees in the IT/AS sector will soon begin programming the payroll system that is required to make these pay changes. Once programming is completed, retroactive payments will be made to the affected employees, with the dates of these payments to be announced. Please check apwu.org for updated information on retroactive payments Additionally, the parties are in the process of finalizing a print version of the Collective Bargaining Agreement as well as updating the Joint Contract Interpretation Manual. “I congratulate the members on this agreement which will provide wage increases, COLAs, job security, improved PTF rights and even more career opportunities for the non-career workforce,” Director Zimmerman said. President Dimondstein concluded by saying, “We should never forget that our Collective Bargaining rights were won through the courage of our forefathers and foremothers in the historic 1970 wildcat strike. The lives of literally millions of postal workers and our families have been changed for the better over the last fifty years.”
  14. Arbitrator Sharnoff Award on APWU-NPMHU Jurisdictional Disputes over AFCS and AFCS 200 February 25, 2022 On January 31, 2021, Arbitrator Sharnoff issued a lengthy award on the APWU-NPMHU jurisdictional disputes over the AFCS and AFCS 200. The APWU successfully prevailed in protecting Clerk Work when Arbitrator Sharnoff affirmed that Clerks should be assigned to work the Operator position on the AFCS 200. As part of the historic 2018 APWU-USPS-NPMHU RI-399 update agreement, the unions and the Postal Service agreed to arbitrate the unions’ cross-disputes on the AFCS and the AFCS 200. The APWU defended the Postal Service’s assignment of the AFCS 200 Operator position to clerks, an assignment the APWU felt was properly assigned to the APWU. The Arbitrator agreed with the APWU keeping the Operator position on the AFCS 200 assigned to Clerks. Arbitrator Sharnoff confirmed that there is a high bar for overturning the Postal Service’s jurisdictional determinations – based on the information available to the Postal Service at the time it makes its decision, the Postal Service’s decision cannot be arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, based on improper considerations, or otherwise constitute “an abuse of the USPS’s discretion to make such determinations under the RI-399 Guidelines.” The NPMHU failed to get over this bar with its claims that the Operator position on the significantly redesigned AFCS 200 should be assigned to Mail Handlers. Given the changes to the Operator position and the distribution functions of the AFCS 200, Arbitrator Sharnoff confirmed that the Postal Service’s jurisdictional grant to Clerks was proper. Arbitrator Sharnoff’s Award means that Clerks must be assigned to the Operator position on the AFCS 200. Any pending RI-399 disputes at the local level should be settled in accordance with this Award. Contact Lynn Pallas-Barber with any questions that may arise in implementing Arbitrator Sharnoff’s Award at the local level. This was the second of four jurisdictional arbitrations presented to Arbitrator Sharnoff under the updated RI-399 process for protecting Clerk Craft work. In the first two cases, the APWU has successfully in defended Clerks continuing to work on the SPSS and the AFCS 200. Many thanks to the efforts of the APWU’s RI-399 national representatives Lynn Pallas-Barber, Assistant Clerk Craft Director, and National RI-399 Representative Ron Suslak, (President Queens Area Local); their guidance along with the expertise and involvement of APWU locals and employees, supported the APWU in once again keeping mail distribution work with Clerks. Clerk Division Director Lamont Brooks said, “This is another victory in fight to ensure that Clerk Craft employees are performing all the work that rightfully belongs to them. The battle is not over as we still await two other awards, but rest assured the Clerk Division officers will continue doing all we can to keep our work and add new or additional work to the Clerk Craft—the struggle continues.” clerkJurisdictional Disputes (RI 399)
  15. Tentative Contract Agreement Ratification Ballot Count Extended to 2/28 Elizabeth Powell February 20, 2022 In response to reports received of mail delivery delays in multiple cities and the fact Monday is a holiday, the American Arbitration Association (AAA) will begin the ballot count under the supervision of the Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Sub-Committee, on Wednesday, February 23rd, 9:00am ET and conclude on Monday, February 28th , 5:00pm ET. All ballot(s) received during this time period will be counted. Hopefully this gives everyone the opportunity to receive, complete and return their ballot(s).
  16. FIRST COLA INCREASE TO BE $1,310.00 IF YOU VOTE YES ON CONTRACT RATIFICATION! February 10, 2022 On February 10, 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for the month of January 2022. January was the final month of the six-month measuring period used for determining the cost of living allowance (COLA) for those covered by the National Agreement. Every full-time career employee in every step and grade will receive an annual increase of $1,310 or 63 cents per hour. In percentage terms, the median percentage increase across all steps and levels for career employees will be 2.3%. The hourly rate for career part-time flexible employees will be adjusted up accordingly. The new rates based on this COLA will be effective on February 26, 2022, the start of Pay Period 6-2022. The $1,310 will be the third highest COLA increase received in APWU’s history. However, this COLA will only go into effect if the 2021-2024 National Agreement is ratified. This would be first of six COLAs career employees will receive under a ratified 2021-2024 National Agreement. COLAs are in addition to the general increases that employees will receive in November of 2021, 2022, and 2023. Due to the timing of the ratification process, the exact date the increase will begin to show in pay checks has not been determined. If the contract is ratified, the COLA will be paid retroactively to February 26, 2022. In addition, the results of the ratification vote will affect the November 21, 2021, general increase as this increase would be paid retroactive to November 21, 2021. “Today’s inflation numbers show how important maintaining full COLA for every career employee was in the 2021-2024 negotiations.” President Mark Dimondstein said. “A ‘yes’ vote for ratification will ensure our members receive this COLA and the other wage increases negotiated as part of the new agreement” he continued. Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman added, “Not only does a ‘yes’ vote preserve your COLA and wage increases, but it also allows the other negotiated portions of the CBA to go into effect including the new work hour guarantees for PTFs, advanced leave provisions, and guaranteed PSE conversions. I encourage all eligible members to vote on ratification and to vote ‘yes’ today!” All union members eligible to vote have been sent a ballot and non-members have also been sent a ballot. Non-members can have their vote counted if they return the enclosed PS-Form 1187 with their ballot. The American Arbitration Association (AAA) is handling the balloting and counting process and have reported that completed ballots are flowing in from the membership. Ballots must be received by 9:00 am on February 23, 2022 by the AAA. If you have not received your ballot packet or need a replacement, please contact the AAA by calling 1-800-529- 5218 or 1-800-273-0726 between the hours of 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM ET, Monday through Friday. FTR Annual Basic Rates - Effective August 2021
  17. Breaking News: Postal Service Reform Act Passes the House of Representatives - on to the Senate! February 8, 2022 On February 8, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2021 (H.R. 3076) passed with overwhelming support in the House of Representatives by a vote of 342-92. “After 15 years of fighting for much-needed and long-overdue reforms, we are one step away from securing a critical victory for postal workers, the Postal Service and the public who rely on us,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “The strong bi-partisan support for this legislation is a testament to the unrivaled service postal workers provide to people and communities across this country, no matter who we are or where we live." The Postal Reform bill will place the United States Postal Service on the path toward financial stability by repealing the onerous and financially debilitating pre-funding mandate, ensuring six-day delivery, adding much-needed transparency to postal operations, and maximizing participation in Medicare — a program which the Postal Service and its employees have contributed over $34 billion toward — by enacting prospective Medicare integration. Postal Reform is fair to active and retired postal workers and is a crucial development in the fight to preserve and strengthen our Postal Service. Click here for APWU’s Q&A on Postal Reform to learn more. “The American Postal Workers Union extends our appreciation to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, and Ranking Member James Comer—all of whom made forward movement on this bill a reality,” said APWU Legislative and Political Director Judy Beard. APWU’s Legislative and Political Department is proud of the work carried out by APWU members, the other postal unions, community organizations, and our allies for the efforts leading up to House passage of this bill. “Thanks to our collective efforts, we are closer than ever to securing the most pivotal piece of postal legislation in generations,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. The bill now moves to the Senate where the “Postal Reform Act (PRSA)” has already received bi-partisan support. It’s taken years of effort to get this far. Now we need to raise our collective voices to make sure the Senate moves quickly to pass the PSRA and send it to President Biden’s desk. The APWU is urging all postal workers and our allies to call our senators and urge them to vote ‘yes’ on Postal Reform to strengthen the public Postal Service. CALL YOUR SENATOR’S OFFICE AT 844-402-1001 AND URGE THEM TO PASS THE POSTAL SERVICE REFORM ACT.
  18. 2021-2024 Tentative Agreement Available to Download from Website February 7, 2022 All ballots/ratification packets have been mailed to eligible voters. Non-members of the union have also been mailed a ratification packet and a ballot that includes a PS-Form 1187 to join the union. Any non-member who returns a ballot and a completed PS-Form 1187 will have their ballot counted. The 2021-2024 Tentative Agreement that was included in the ratification packet can now be viewed and downloaded here: 2021-2024 Tentative Agreement--Ratification Packet Version | American Postal Workers Union (apwu.org). Upon ratification, a final print version will be jointly agreed to, reviewed, and proofread with the Postal Service. Once this process is completed official copies will be printed and an electronic version will be made available for download on the website. DOWNLOAD THE TA 2021-2024 Tentative Agreement-Ratification Packet Version
  19. Safety Ambassador Settlement February 3, 2022 On January 28, 2022, the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO reached a settlement agreement with the Postal Service on the Safety Ambassador Program. The case was scheduled to be heard in national arbitration on February 3rd and 4th. However, with the settlement, the hearings were cancelled. On October 26, 2017, the APWU was informed that the old Safety Captain Program would be standardized into a nationally controlled program called the Safety Ambassador Program. The APWU demanded to meet with the Postal Service over the new program and objected to it. The new program was created unilaterally by the Postal Service in violation of Article 19 and the Union’s Article 1 rights to be the exclusive representative of the bargaining units represented by the APWU. Specifically, objections were raised regarding how the ambassadors were to be appointed, that “verbal” safety reports be made instead of the PS Form 1767 process, how the program would usurp the contractual Joint Labor Management Safety and Health Committees, and how the ambassadors would be responsible for observing co-workers and reporting their actions to management. In March of 2018, a national dispute was initiated on the program after our meetings with the Postal Service failed to produce any meaningful results. An article on this dispute was posted at the time the dispute was initiated. As full and complete settlement of the dispute, the Postal Service agreed to permanently suspend and withdraw the Safety Ambassador Program. This includes any guidelines, manuals, or training that the Postal Service attempted to introduce with the program. Thanks to the hard work of the National Officers (Lynn Pallas-Barber, Terry Martinez, and Jason Trier) assigned to Article 14, Industrial Relations Department staff, and our attorneys, the APWU was able to successfully fend off the Safety Ambassador Program. A copy of the settlement can be found here: Safety Ambassador Settlement.
  20. Canvass Process for PTFs and PSEs Made Easier in eReassign January 28, 2022 Step 7 and Section B.2 of the MOU, Re: Residual Vacancies – Clerk Craft, for residual vacancies and PTF vacancies will now be available on eReassign, effective February 1, 2022. Once implemented, PTFs and PSEs will have access to the canvassing process in eReassign. The APWU and Postal Service jointly shared the news of this improvement on January 27, 2022 by sending out separate notifications to their respective representatives. The canvasses will open on the 1st and 15th of each month and will remain open for 10 days. Employees are to use their EIN and password to login to eReassign.usps.com and search the My 50-Mile Canvass section. If offices are posted within a 50-mile radius of an employee’s current office, they will be allowed to apply for that specific canvass. At that point, the PTF and/or PSE will be able to apply and then be required to follow the remaining steps in eReassign to complete the process. It should be noted that this canvass process is based on the current 2018-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and the provisions of the aforementioned MOU, which is on Pages 374-378. If the tentative CBA is approved by the membership, the negotiated changes to this MOU will then be implemented.
  21. USPS/APWU Reach Final Remedy Settlement on Major Clerk Craft Jobs MOU National Dispute January 14, 2022 Clerk Division Director Lamont Brooks signed a settlement agreement to resolve the outstanding issue of the remedy in Case # Q10C-4Q-C 15174956. This issue remained pending based on the decision of Arbitrator Goldberg’s April 21, 2017 arbitration award. The parties were unable to resolve the remedy issue and the matter was rescheduled for January 19-20 2022 before Arbitrator Goldberg. As a result of the award, the Postal Service posted Level-7 Human Resources (HR) Clerk Craft and Training Technician duty assignments on September 17, 2017. The monetary portion of the award, the ripple effect, and the dispute over the Training Technician jobs posted for application remained unresolved. This settlement agreement resolves those outstanding settlement issues. “I congratulate Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks and everyone involved in the success of this case,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “It is another important union victory in protecting Clerk Craft work and Clerk Craft jobs.” “This settlement agreement enforces the rightful gain of the 2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement Clerk Craft Jobs MOU which required the Postal Service to create an additional eight hundred (800) administrative and technical jobs to the APWU bargaining unit”, stated Lamont Brooks. Brooks further stated, “It also provides for a minimum of an additional fifty-four (54) newly created duty assignments, involving various government service, which is essential to expanding the craft work opportunities, as it relates to new products and services.” The settlement agreement memorializes the “ripple effect” issued by Goldberg dating back to August 1, 2013, grants out-of-schedule pay to the successful bidder or employees awarded the bids, make whole in pay levels differences, and a make whole remedy for PSE conversions to career. Some of the highlights of this settlement agreement are as follows: 1. The monetary remedy for the Clerk Craft Jobs MOU will be administered at the national level. Within 14-days the USPS will provide the APWU with the list of employees who were awarded the HR Clerk and Training Technician duty assignments. This list will also include the successful bidders on subsequent vacancies up to an including PSE conversion. 2. No later than 60 days the parties will identify the make-whole for those employees identified above. 3. Any reversion grievances that were filed related to subsequent vacancies will be processed in accordance with Article 15. The parties at the national level will identify the appropriate payee and monetary remedy based on cases adjudicated in the Union’s favor. 4. In accordance with Article 19 within 90 days, the USPS will create new Clerk Craft job descriptions and qualification standards related to handling various government services. 5. The USPS will establish and post a minimum of 54 new duty assignments as agreed to in #4 above by 9/31/22. “I would like to thank Assistant Clerk Division Director Lynn Pallas-Barber who was the officer assigned to the initial dispute, Assistant Clerk Division Director Sam Lisenbe, and Michael Barrett of the Buffalo Area Local for their valuable assistance,” stated Clerk Division Director, Lamont Brooks. APWU-USPS MOU Re: Clerk Craft Jobs MOU Remedy-Case No. Q10C-4Q-C 15174956
  22. The Gift That Keeps on Giving... Mark Dimondstein January 14, 2022 (This article first appeared in the January/February 2022 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) One of the greatest gifts ever given to postal workers was not one delivered by Santa. It is our right to collective bargaining over our wages, benefits and conditions of employment. It was won and passed on to us by the courageous actions of our foremothers and forefathers in the Great Postal Strike of 1970! It is these hard-won rights that laid the foundation for the GOOD NEWS of our new tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement, our Union Contract. The new “Tentative Agreement” (TA) is very positive and achieves many of the union’s goals: annual wage increases, continuation of full Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA), more opportunities for conversion to career status, addressing the needs of PTFs and protecting job security. It represents advances for every group of APWU-represented workers and every single member. I am extremely pleased the TA has the unanimous approval of the National Negotiations Committee and the support of the National Executive Board. The TA received the unanimous approval of the Rank-and-File Bargaining Advisory Committee for a membership ratification vote. Since many of the pages of this magazine will delve into details of the TA, I will simply share some observations. First, unlike management of non-union workplaces who are free to dictate almost every aspect of employment, postal management must meet us at the bargaining table and negotiate over wages, benefits and working conditions. Provided the union leadership organizes, mobilizes and unifies the membership and community allies and refuses to engage in concessionary bargaining, the results of collective bargaining are a "gift" that indeed keeps on giving. Second, the success of negotiations comes down to building and exercising power and leverage. Our power begins with you, the member, and is amplified through the union activism of thousands of postal workers. The contract campaign many of you participated in included a strong “kick off” rally, union gear days, buttons/stickers, and “talking” union. All these activities helped send the message to management, from the workroom floor to postal headquarters, that postal workers are united in the struggle for a good contract. The APWU and its leadership has established itself as a strong force to be reckoned with. That was reflected in the outcome of these negotiations. Third, management and the union generally have opposing goals. The union strives to advance the general well-being of postal workers and the cause of all labor. Since we are not negotiating with ourselves, hammering out an agreement is always difficult. This holds true even when postal management comes to the negotiating table in good faith, as they did in this round of bargaining. We should judge the results of any TA in its entirety. Fourth, planning is vital to success. Led by our chief spokesperson, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman, immense preparation and coordination went into negotiations. Economic analysis on wage trends, assessing the history of collective bargaining, research of other union contracts, study of Convention resolutions, development of proposals, and much internal discussion and debate within the negotiating committee took place over the last year and more. Throughout this process the Craft Directors, members of the negotiating committee, officers and union staff worked extremely hard and effectively in the necessary planning and preparation, as well as in the negotiations themselves. Kudos to a job well done! Lastly, I am extremely honored to have been your lead negotiator and proud to have worked alongside the entire negotiating committee. In addition to myself and Vance Zimmerman, the committee included Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy, Secretary-Treasurer Liz Powell, Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks, Motor Vehicle Service Craft Director Michael Foster, Maintenance Craft Director Idowu Balogun and Support Services Director Stephen Brooks. Throughout the battle, you, the member, proudly stayed “Union Strong All Day Long!” The ratification vote is now up to you. Our negotiating team encourages you to let your voice be heard and urges you to “Vote Yes!”
  23. Biden Administration Taps USPS and Postal Workers for Distribution of COVID Test Kits January 13, 2022 The Biden Administration has announced a program to mail at-home COVID test kits to every household that requests them. These kits could be mailed to as many as 160 million addresses. APWU members will be critical to the success of the program. “The APWU is excited and fully supports this plan,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “It is in the interests of the health and wellbeing of the general population as this dangerous pandemic continues. It underscores the invaluable role of the public Postal Service in the lives of the people. It shines a light on the importance of maintaining universal service to every address and person. It opens up the opportunity for similar expanded ‘fulfillment’ work in the future.” APWU President Mark Dimondstein, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman and Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks jointly worked with the Postal Service to secure a Memorandum of Understanding that defines the project as “new work” and ensures that the “fulfillment” work associated with packaging and labeling the packages for this temporary project is determined as clerk work. At the same time, the MOU gives the USPS the flexibility to keep holiday temporary workers on the rolls so as to increase the workforce capacity to make this project a success. The fulfillment work will be performed at 43 existing postal facilities throughout the country. “APWU-represented clerk craft bargaining unit employees boldly accept the ‘new work’ opportunity to fulfill the distribution of the COVID test kits authorized by the Biden Administration’s call to action,” said Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks. “This is just another example of clerks, as part of the Postal Service institution, rising to the challenge of connecting the public during these difficult times while still carrying out our mission of processing the mail.” “This is an amazing opportunity to once again show the American people that we are here to serve them and how important the Postal Service is to this country. This proves we are ready and able to offer expanded services” stated Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman. The APWU is ready to do our part. It will be up to the Biden Administration to ensure that the necessary number of test kits are quickly manufactured and that the ordering process for these kits is easily accessible for the people. APWU-USPS MOU: Re. COVID-19 Test Kit Fulfillment Pilot
  24. 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 https://www.ecomp.dol.gov 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: https://www.ecomp.dol.gov 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.
  25. 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. https://d1ocufyfjsc14h.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/mou_-_extension_of_memoranda_of_understanding_apwu_12.21.21.pdf https://d1ocufyfjsc14h.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/liberal_changes_of_schedules_and_leave_12.21.21.pdf https://d1ocufyfjsc14h.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/liberal_changes_of_schedules_and_leave_3-23-2020_1.pdf
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