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APWU 133


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  1. ATTENTION MEMBERS The Charleston WV Area Local #133 will be conducting the Regular Monthly Meeting for November 20, 2021 @ 7:00 PM. According to the Charleston, West Virginia Area Local #133 Constitution, there will be a vote to merge with the Kenna, WV Post Office and its associate offices which will take place at the November 20,2021 Regular Monthly Meeting @ 7:00 PM. The meeting will be held at 711 Bigley Ave. Charleston, WV 25302 There will be a $25.00 door prize. The bonus drawing is $350.00. ALL MEMBERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND
  2. The Postal Service reported out its Fiscal Year 2021 financial and operational results at the public meeting of the Board of Governors on November 10, 2021. Despite an increase of revenue of $3.9 billion, the Postal Service posted a net loss of $4.9 billion for 2021. While the losses continue to create headlines, two things have been made abundantly clear from the latest results. First is that the public continues to rely on the universal network of the Postal Service to meet their needs to conduct business, send correspondence, vote and shop. The pandemic has underscored the vital role of postal workers in our communities and we continue to step up for the public. Second is the urgent need for Congress and the Biden Administration to address longstanding issues effecting the Postal Service’s balance sheet. Passing the bi-partisan supported Postal Service Reform Act (as currently written), combined with Administrative action correcting faulty pension accounting, would eliminate nearly all of the Postal Service’s losses. Together, these would alleviate the tremendous pressure placed on service, on postal workers and on the public and move the Postal Service closer to financial health. Postal workers continue to take great pride in the essential service we provide to the public each and every day. We’ve done our part to secure the Postal Service’s central role in the life of the country. Now, lawmakers and the Administration must act to ensure the long-term viability of our great national treasure.
  3. 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. https://d1ocufyfjsc14h.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/osha_and_the_postal_service.pdf https://d1ocufyfjsc14h.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/ets_covid-19_vaccination_and_testing.pdf
  4. On October 1, 2021, Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks signed another extension with the Postal Service of the original April 3, 2020 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Re: Bulk Mail Tech and Mailing Requirements Clerk (MRC) Position Qualification. This MOU was agreed to by the parties in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to ensure that employees pending qualification for Bulk Mail Technician or Mailing Requirements Clerk duty assignments would be provided a realistic opportunity to pass the required training. This additional extension is through December 31, 2021, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties. RESOURCES https://apwu.org/contracts/april-3-2020-mou-bmt-and-mrc-qual-mou-re-bulk-mail-tech-and-mailing-requirement-clerk?_ga=2.53560175.632252601.1634020030-2133977413.1629048474 https://apwu.org/contracts/bmt-and-mrc-position-qualification-extension-until123121-oct-1-20201?_ga=2.53560175.632252601.1634020030-2133977413.1629048474
  5. In Memory of Rosie Lee Webb Obituary for Rosie Lee Webb Rosie Bree Webb, age 94, of Smithers, WV, gained her heavenly wings on October 9, 2021. She was born in Montgomery, WV on May 2, 1927 to the late Tony and Mary Scalise Bree. She was preceded in death by her late husbands, Billy Wriston, and Marshall Webb; sisters, Tresa Workman, and Lena Bell; brothers, Salvatore “Sammy” Bria, and Dominick “Mickey” Bria. Surviving are her children; Carol Wriston Johnson and her husband Forrest “Buddy” of Bristol, VA., John Marshall Webb of Charlton Heights, and Todd William Webb of Smithers; sister, Mary Ann Johnson of Charleston; sister-in-laws; Mildred Wriston of Falls View, JoNancy Bria of Daytona Beach, FL., and Carol Jean Santoro of Wilmington, NC, grandchildren; Brian Johnson and his wife Tara, Tayla Barnes, Kaitlyn Borris and husband Arron, Daniel “DJ” Fragale and Ashley Milgram and her husband Joel Parsons, great-grandchildren; Hunter, Hailey, Isabella, Julien, Alexander, and Myiah, great-great-grandchildren; Okey, and Anthony Giavonni, and many loving nieces and nephews. Her children would like to express their gratitude and special thanks to all the staff at Montgomery Rehab & Nursing for the wonderful care they provided for her. Rosie was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, a wonderful mother-in-law and most importantly, a good Christian woman. She was extremely kind, generous, thoughtful, and caring to everyone. She loved her family very much and always looked forward to being with them and taking lots of pictures. Mass of Christian burial will be held on Friday, October 15, 2021 at 11AM at Saint Anthony’s Shrine Catholic Church in Boomer with Father Dominick Boak as celebrant. Friends may call on Thursday from 2-4PM, and 6-8PM at Saint Anthony’s Shrine Catholic Church in Boomer. Entombment will follow the service on Friday at Kanawha Valley Memorial Gardens in Glasgow. O’Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery is in charge of arrangements. Expressions of sympathy can be sent to the family at www.odellfuneralhome.com In lieu of flowers the family request donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, West Virginia Chapter, 1601 2nd Avenue, Charleston, WV 25387
  6. 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). https://d1ocufyfjsc14h.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/mou_-_extension_of_memoranda_of_understanding_apwu_12.31.21_signed.pdf https://d1ocufyfjsc14h.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/liberal_leave_policy_extension_9-30-2021.pdf
  7. The United States Postal Service is implementing changes starting Friday October 1 that will slow down mail delivery for tens of millions of people and affect billions of pieces of mail. That date marks the first day of the new service standards for First Class Mail and Periodicals which USPS management is implementing as part of their 10-year plan. The changes lengthen the delivery target from the previous two and three-day standard to as many as five days for many pieces of mail, depending on distance of travel. This is a step backward for the Postal Service and for millions across the country who rely on speedy mail service. The union remains convinced that the service standard changes will only drive away mail volume and much-needed postal revenue. The APWU opposes these service standard changes and will continue our fight to ensure the people receive the fast and reliable service that they’ve come to expect and that they deserve. Earlier this year, the APWU led an effort with organizations across A Grand Alliance to Save our Public Postal Service in opposing the service standard changes when they were under review by the Postal Regulatory Commission. Collectively the union and allies organized over 130,000 comments from the public which were submitted to the PRC and the Postal Service. While the PRC was critical of USPS’ proposals, postal management ultimately decided to pursue the service standard changes nonetheless. APWU has long campaigned not only in defense of the existing standards, but for a restoration of speedier service standards which were in place before July 1, 2012. At that time, overnight First Class Mail within cities and towns was still in place, along with the two and three-day standard coast-to-coast. “The people deserve the prompt, reliable and efficient mail service promised under the law,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “Postal workers are proud to serve our communities every single day. We believe management’s response to months of poor performance should be to improve service and regain the public’s trust, instead of this focus on moving the goalposts and slowing service standards. We’ll stay united with the public until the service standards and postal performance reflect the needs of the public for quality and fast service.”
  8. Health Benefit Officers, Welcome to our 2021 APWU Health Plan Virtual Open Season Health Fairs! We wanted to give your employees an opportunity to meet with APWU Health Plan staff virtually and learn about our benefits. Postal, Federal, and Retirees who are eligible for the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program can access and attend our virtual health fairs safely online. During Open Season, every Tuesday and Thursday, from 12-2pm EST a Health Plan staff employee will be online to answer questions and discuss plan features. Please forward this email to your employees so that they can participate. Click on the register now to confirm your attendance. Once registered you will get an email confirmation with a GoToWebinar link and dial-in information. The day before the virtual health fair date you selected, you will receive an email reminder with the dial-in information and instructions. Register Now! for any of our Virtual Health Fairs. Tuesday, November 9 - 12pm-2pm EST Tuesday, November 16 - 12pm-2pm EST Tuesday, November 23 - 12pm-2pm EST Tuesday, November 30 - 12pm-2pm EST Tuesday, December 7 - 12pm-2pm EST Thursday, November 11 - 12pm-2pm EST Thursday, November 18 - 12pm-2pm EST Thursday, December 2 - 12pm-2pm EST Thursday, December 9 - 12pm-2pm EST
  9. On December 8, 2017, Arbitrator Shyam Das found that the Postal Service was in violation of the parties’ Article 1.6.B Global Settlement Remedy Agreement (GSRA) in Level 18 offices when it created the Postmaster End of Day (PMEOD) button in the Retail System Software (RSS). The PMEOD button allowed postmasters to enter and exit RSS without completely closing out of the window. The button allowed postmasters to give false accounts of the amount of bargaining unit work they performed, which is limited to 15 hours each week in Level 18 offices. In his December 8, 2017 award, Arbitrator Das remanded the remedy to the parties; however, after three years, the Postal Service had failed to provide the Union with an acceptable analysis of the amount of back pay entitlement and the parties returned to the arbitrator for a decision on a proper remedy. After the initial hearing dates in August 2020 were postponed, the remedy hearings were held on December 3-4, 2020. Das issued his decision dated September 16, 2021, awarding $20.5 million to be distributed: “(1) to affected bargaining unit employees as determined by the union; or if that option is declined by the union, (2) to clerks who worked in offices where the PMEOD function was enabled based on the relative number of days they worked during the period that function was enabled” (Page 2 of his award). “I congratulate Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks, the Clerk Craft Officers involved and APWU attorneys and staff for the job well done,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “This is another step forward in the ongoing and important fight in defending the work of our members.” APWU Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks stated: “This is just one more step in the battle to return work rightfully belonging to the Clerk Craft. While the Postal Service continues to put up obstacles, your union will not be deterred. We will continue to fight. This award should bring about a little vindication for the clerks in Level 18 post offices.” Brooks continued, “The Clerk Division at the national level filed the dispute after the Postal Service unilaterally changed the RSS logon start time on the PS Form 1412, in an effort to reduce their financial liability. Rest assured, the battle is not over. Stay tuned. We will not stop until all the work that is rightfully ours is given to us. On behalf of the Clerk Division, which includes Assistant Directors Lynn Pallas-Barber and Sam Lisenbe, we would be remiss if we did not thank Memphis Region Clerk Division NBA Pamel Smith, who secured 1412 data during the Thanksgiving holiday for me to present as rebuttal evidence at the arbitration hearing and Michael Barrett of the Buffalo Area Local, who compiled the numerous excel spreadsheets in support of the data.” Clerk Craft officers will meet and discuss the two options offered by Arbitrator Das in his award regarding the remedy to determine the best possible manner in which to compensate those clerks affected by this violation.
  10. The Charleston WV Area Local #133 will be conducting the Regular Monthly Meeting October 16, 2021 @ 8:00 AM. We will be having an election for Assistant Clerk Craft Director, Safety Director, and Editor to permanently fill the positions. We will also be voting on the merger with the Evans WV PO and its RMPOs. Both will be held at the October 16, 2021, monthly meeting at 8:00AM.
  11. Negotiations Update: APWU and USPS “Stop the Clock” to Continue Bargaining for a New Contract September 21, 2021 The collective bargaining agreement (union contract) between the American Postal Workers Union and the United States Postal Service covers the wages, hours and working conditions of 200,000 postal workers. Our current contract was due to expire at midnight, September 20, 2021. Over the last two weeks, the APWU and postal management have engaged in frequent negotiating sessions at both the “main table,” the “craft tables,” and in other committees. There has been modest progress on a number of issues affecting all our crafts, including on job security. There has also been a narrowing of the differences on important items including the economic package. However, the union and management have been unable to secure a negotiated agreement by midnight September 20. The APWU National Negotiating Committee (NNC) had two choices: Either start the process of mediation heading to interest arbitration, or with mutual agreement with postal management, “stop the clock” (meaning the contract does not expire at midnight) and continue negotiations for a period of time. It is the unanimous decision of the National Negotiating Committee to “stop the clock” and continue bargaining. It is also the position of the NNC that we will reevaluate progress on a regular basis and invoke mediation if further negotiations are not productive. “The entire APWU negotiating team is working together and working hard to secure the new contract that our members have earned and deserve,” said APWU Chief Spokesperson Vance Zimmerman. “Continued negotiations for a short period of time are in the best interests of the members.” “The APWU is leaving no stone unturned. Based on progress thus far we have the possibility of reaching a negotiated union contract,” declared President and Lead Negotiator Mark Dimondstein. “It is vital we all stay union strong and union proud in our collective quest for workplace justice.” The APWU will continue to keep the members updated, including regular messages on the negotiation “hotline” at 866-412-8061.
  12. Beginning September 7, the National Negotiations Committee (NNC) will lock down with postal management for a week of intense contract negotiations as the September 20 expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement approaches. Both the APWU officers and postal management will be in the same hotel, meeting daily at main table negotiations, craft tables, and other subcommittees where they will hash out the various proposals. All meetings will be conducted respecting all COVIDrelated safety protocols including mask-wearing and social distancing. The NNC has been meeting regularly with postal management, and has submitted over 90 proposals. These proposals include items to protect job security and work opportunities, work rules and working conditions, increase career opportunities and improve conditions of work. The APWU will submit additional proposals in the coming weeks including ones for “economic provisions” – wage increases, COLA, step increases, etc. Throughout this process, the NNC is keeping the APWU National Executive Board and the Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee updated about the process and developments of negotiations. On August 24, the NNC hosted a second series of APWU Contract Town Hall events to update the members and answer questions. The Town Hall events and previous updates are available here. APWU Leadership will continue to keep the membership updated on the progress of negotiations.
  13. Please click on the link for the USPS Updated Mask Policy Mandatory Face Covering Policy Revised.pdf
  14. September 2 is ‘National Gear Day!' With our contract expiring Sept. 20, negotiations are in full swing! Let's kick off Labor Day weekend by showing your support for APWU – Our Union, Our Contract, Our Future. Wear your union gear on the work room floor on Thursday, September 2. APWU officers will lock down with management the next week. Let's send a powerful message! Make sure to take photos! Send us a selfie or group picture with your masked coworkers while wearing the sticker or other union gear and email high resolution photos at their “original” file size to ncc@apwu.org. Submissions will be entered into a raffle for more union gear!
  15. In July, the final month of the six-month adjustment period for the sixth COLA under the 2018 Agreement, the CPI-W Unadjusted Index (1967=100) rose from last month to 797.661; an increase over the January 2021 index point upon which employees received the last COLA. As a result of the rise in index level, the following COLA adjustment will be applied to each step of the basic annual salary for all employees covered under the 2018-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement effective August 28, 2021 (pay period 19-2021, pay date September 17, 2021). The sixth COLA under the 2018 National Agreement will be $1,935.00: Monthly Tracking Amount Per Annum $1,935.00 Per Pay Period $74.40 Cents Per Hour $0.93 Under the 2018 National Agreement, employees accrued the following adjustments totaling $3,349.00: # Amount Effective Date Pay Period Pay Date 1 $0.00 March 2, 2019 06-2019 March 22, 2019 2 $624.00 August 31, 2019 19-2019 September 20, 2019 3 $166.00 February 29, 2020 06-2020 March 20, 2020 4 $208.00 August 29, 2020 19-2020 September 18, 2020 5 $416.00 February 27, 2021 06-2021 March 19, 2021 6 $1,935.00 August 28, 2021 19-2021 September 17, 2021
  16. With our current union contract expiring on September 20, 2021, the APWU and postal management have now been engaged in negotiations for more than five weeks. The APWU National Negotiating Committee consists of President Mark Dimondstein, Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy, Secretary/Treasurer Liz Powell, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman, Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks, Maintenance Craft Director Idowu Balogun, Motor Vehicle Services Director Michael Foster, and Support Services Craft Director Stephen Brooks. The Negotiations Committee is meeting weekly, at minimum, to plan, refine proposals and develop strategy. In addition, the Craft Directors met individually with Lead Negotiator President Dimondstein and Chief Spokesperson Director Zimmerman to coordinate efforts. Many other officers and staff are also working diligently with research and planning. Throughout the process, the Negotiations Committee has kept the National Executive Board and Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee apprised on the process and developments of negotiations. Proposals Exchanged Generally, at this stage of early negotiations we are focused on proposals addressing work rules, working conditions, and workforce structure. Later in the negotiations process, the economic provisions (wage increases, COLA, step increases, etc.) will be proposed and discussed. To date, the APWU has submitted 86 proposals and management has submitted six proposals for discussion and negotiation. The union proposals include 44 craft proposals covering the Clerk, Maintenance, Motor Vehicle Services, and Support Services crafts and 42 general article proposals. These include numerous proposals to protect job security and work opportunities, increase career opportunities and improve conditions of work. The APWU will submit additional proposals over the coming month, including our wage and financial package. Main Table Meetings Since negotiations opened on June 22, 2021, there have been eight “Main Table” meetings between the APWU and postal management, where proposals are exchanged and assigned to various negotiators or to the craft tables for further discussion and development. Each APWU craft is conducting at least weekly meetings with their counterparts at the Postal Service. In addition, Director Zimmerman meets regularly with the Postal Service Chief Spokesperson on the general article proposals that are not currently assigned other negotiators or to the craft tables. Lead negotiator, President Mark Dimondstein, also meets regularly with the Deputy Postmaster General discussing the overall picture of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Lock Down Starts Sept. 7 The parties are currently planning to “lock down” in the same location for a week of negotiations beginning September 7, 2021. Each day will consist of intense main table negotiations, craft tables, and any other sub-committees where the parties agree to work on the various proposals. If an agreement is not reached by the September 20, 2021 expiration of the CBA, the parties will begin to move towards interest arbitration. An APWU team consisting of national officers, attorneys, and staff members is preparing for interest arbitration at the same time negotiations are ongoing. Furthermore, negotiations can continue beyond the expiration of the contract even while preparing for interest arbitration. It is always best for the parties to reach a voluntary agreement rather than have an arbitration panel impose new wages, hours, and working conditions. “The core committee and other craft officers are diligently working to negotiate a contract that recognizes the hard work and dedication the employees represented by the APWU show each day, shared Director Zimmerman. “We are working together to get you the good contract you deserve.” “On behalf of the members, I thank the negotiating team and everyone involved with the negotiations process for all their hard work and cooperation as we march together in the battle for a good new contract,” said President Mark Dimondstein. “Our strength at the negotiating table derives from the activity and unity of the members, so keep sending the message from the workroom floor to postal headquarters – ‘Union Strong, All Day Long!’” Contract Negotiations
  17. 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.
  18. As we get ready for another round of PSE conversions, the Health Plan is here to help. We want to educate the new career employees on the APWU Health Plan benefits. As you know, we have two great plans that offer strong benefits for the APWU members and their families. Please note, the new career employees will only have 60 calendar days to select their health plan. The new career employees that were on the USPS plan as a PSE will be automatically disenrolled. The PSE’s currently on the Consumer Driven Option can remain on this plan to keep those benefits. No further action will be needed. In order to pay the negotiated APWU Career rate for the Consumer Driven Option the employee must be enrolled in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plans for one full year as a career employee. The time spent on the Consumer Driven Option as a PSE doesn’t count toward the one year in FEHB. The APWU Health Plan will conduct Virtual Health Fairs, exclusively for this conversion. The Member Education department will brief employees on the benefit highlights for both the High Option and Consumer Driven Option plans. Most importantly, there will be a Q&A period to ask the Health Plan staff questions concerning benefits. Below is the schedule for the New Career Employee Virtual Health Fairs. Please circulate this information to the PSE’s that are being converted. Click the link to register and attend. Once registered, you will get an email confirmation with a GoToWebinar link and dial-in information. On the day before the virtual health fair date you selected, we will email you a reminder and include the dial-in information with instructions. If you have questions, please contact our Director's office at (410) 242-1503 or by email at director@apwuhp.com. Download the New Career Employee Virtual Health Fairs flyer here. Our New Career Employee Virtual Health Fairs Dates July 19 - 1pm-3pm EST Register Now August 4 - 3pm-5pm EST Register Now August 13 - 12pm-2pm EST Register Now August 23 - 3pm-5pm EST Register Now September 9 - 2:30pm-4:30pm EST Register Now September 17 - 10am-12pm EST Register Now You can also visit www.apwuhp.com/events to register for a health fair.
  19. On June 22, 2021, APWU entered into negotiations with USPS management on a new collective bargaining agreement. The current agreement expires September 20, 2021. Below are President Dimondstein's opening remarks, which set out APWU members' priorities for our new contract. The American Postal Workers Union welcomes this opportunity to represent approximately 200,000 postal workers in these important negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between our union and the United States Postal Service. For generations Postal workers were denied our right to negotiate over wages, benefits and conditions of employment. Instead, workers were compelled to engage in “collective begging” and our livelihoods were subject to the whims of politicians and political parties. That changed 51 years ago, when postal workers won true collective bargaining rights as a result of the Great Postal Strike of 1970. Since that heroic strike postal workers’ lives have vastly improved. And representatives of our union sit across the bargaining table from management as equals – not because we have important titles – but because we have a union sustained and supported by our members. These negotiations take place in the shadow of the last seventeen months of the COVID Pandemic. And there should be full recognition on management’s part that postal workers have courageously stepped up to the challenge as front-line essential workers. Under severe stress we carried out our invaluable mission to the people with great pride and dedication – at a time when the people needed us the most. Once again, and underscored by the pandemic, postal workers have earned a good union and improved contract. We have clear goals for these negotiations. As postal workers pour our lifeblood into the institution and its mission, we should be justly compensated for our hard work and enjoy an ever-improving standard of living. We should be provided a safe workplace, free from hostile work environments and sexual harassment, and after concluding our careers, enjoy a secure and dignified retirement. Our members deserve good annual pay increases, stronger safety rights, an end to the unfair and divisive two-tier career pay scales, limits on subcontracting, more full-time career work, better work hour guarantees and rights for PTFs, a quicker and clear path to career status for PSEs, and shorter workweeks with no loss of pay. We strive to protect hard won gains and job security provisions secured over generations and for dignity and respect on the job. We will be putting forth proposals to address these and many other concerns. We also approach these negotiations as an opportunity to promote our vision for a vibrant public postal service and expanded postal services for the people of the country. Our members and our union are passionate about the crucial mission of the public Postal Service, as outlined in the 1970 Postal Reorganization Act: “To provide postal services to bind the Nation together,” to “provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas,” and to “render postal services to all communities.” Today, this mission is in jeopardy, threatened by a congressionally-manufactured financial crisis, by those on Wall Street who would like to get their hands on the Postal Service’s $70 billion plus in annual revenue, and by ideologues who oppose the very concept of the public good. And while we have welcomed opportunities of cooperation with Postmaster General DeJoy as we strive for positive legislative postal reform, to expand postal services and address short staffing, it must be said that there are far too many management practices, many inherited, which have led to severely degraded services, delayed mail, driving away of customers and revenue, subcontracting, and partial privatization. There can be no denying that the recent service performance, and the proposed service goals developed by management and the Board of Governors, are woefully inadequate for the needs of the country. We will put forth proposals for improving and expanding services from restoring delivery standards, expanding the network and hours of service, proper staffing and providing an array of financial and other services. We are keenly aware that the Postal Service is facing serious challenges. Changes to the mail mix - letters are down while packages are up - create both hardships and hope. The bi-partisan 2006 Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA) continues to plague the Postal Service. With its absurd pre-funding mandate, its artificial postage rate cap, and the inability, thus far, to recoup overpayments to retirement funds, combined with the loss of the 2013 exigency rate increase at the hands of the PRC, the PAEA has seriously undermined our institution supported and beloved by the people of the country. And so, the solutions to these problems should fall to Congress, the Postal Regulatory Commission, and USPS management, not come at the expense of the workers. APWU represented postal workers voluntarily agreed to over $4 billion of deep wage and benefit concessions in the 2010-2015 contract resulting in continuing significant cost reductions for the Postal Service. As we look to the future there are competing visions for the Postal Service. One professes that, in the day of the internet, the Postal Service is a relic of the past. I imagine there were similar doomsday naysayers when advances in technology created the telegraph and telephone and changed the communication habits of millions. Those who want to destroy us, often funded by the likes of UPS, use these changes to advocate for the breaking up and privatizing of the Postal Service, as did the previous White House administration. Postal workers’ vision is for a robust and vibrant postal service for generations to come. Those in postal management who believe in the public Postal Service, and I know many of you do, should not be afraid of creative thinking and bold action as we discuss various ways to enhance and expand postal services rather than play into the hands of those who would like to destroy us on the altar of private profit. Entering these negotiations, I am reminded of a former PMG who shamefully advocated that young workers don’t deserve traditional defined-benefit retirement plans, job security and stable employment and called on Congress to use the Postal Service as “an incubator” for destroying decent jobs. These harmful views found their way into the December 2018 Postal Task Force recommendations. We vehemently oppose this “race to the bottom” for we believe that the Postal Service should indeed be an incubator, but as it has been for decades, an incubator of good, living-wage union jobs for workers from all walks of life, with equal pay for equal work for women and minorities and solid job opportunities for veterans. One more observation on the broader importance of these negotiations. While postal and millions of other frontline workers struggled with the stress and danger of the pandemic, when millions suddenly lost jobs and healthcare, when poverty increased at the greatest rate in the last 50 years, the wealthiest 15 U.S. individuals increased their wealth by 40%. Collective bargaining and the Postal Service’s Congressional mandate to be a model employer can contribute to resolving this shocking and growing income inequality in our country where workers continue to are fall behind while the 1% gallops ahead. The key to the Postal Service’s bright future is the hard work and dedication of hundreds of thousands of postal workers – from those who sell postage and accept packages, to those who sort medicine and catalogues, to those who transport the mail and repair the vehicles, to those who maintain the equipment and facilities, to those who deliver the mail. These negotiations are an opportunity for management to reward our dedication and hard work. The APWU will approach these negotiations with a passion for the workers we represent and the public we serve. We will forthrightly share our proposals and be honest in our dealings. We will work hard to achieve a negotiated collective bargaining agreement. We enter these negotiations as part of a movement of friends and allies to protect and enhance a vital and wonderful national treasure that has the overwhelming trust of the people and remains a cornerstone in every community. As we meet here on opening day, thousands of APWU members around the country are taking up the call “Our Union, Our Contract, Our Future” as we struggle to advance the well-being of current and future postal workers, our families and communities. The APWU is ready to get to work!
  20. On June 21st, the American Postal Workers Union and postal management signed a major new agreement to address longstanding understaffing issues in mail processing functions at the Postal Service. Under the terms of the new agreement the “Function” 1 mail processing staffing will be increased with 3,741 new career positions. The agreement also establishes the additional conversion of at least 3,641 PSEs to career. In total the agreement will result in the 7,400 PSE conversions. These conversions will take place no later than August 14, 2021 and will be applied to 245 installations throughout the country as determined by management. As part of this agreement, and in an effort to improve service provided to the public during the holidays, the APWU has agreed to extend by two pay periods (four weeks) the 2021 “Holiday Peak Season” in Function 1. “This agreement is another milestone in our priorities of securing career positions for postal workers and providing top-class service to the public,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “We’ve been relentless in urging management to address staffing issues. This agreement is another big step in the right direction and will undoubtedly better the lives of thousands of PSEs and help us better serve the people of the country.” This new agreement is the third in a series that increased total clerk craft career staffing by approximately 10,000 jobs and created the conversion of 14,000 PSEs to career. The Union remains committed to addressing similar ongoing staffing issues in Function 4 (retail) and will continue to press management to address the problems of understaffing.
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