Burrus tells APWU members new contract would “turn back the clock”

An open letter from former APWU President Bill Burrus:

To APWU Members

The union negotiators have performed their constitutional duties in finalizing a tentative agreement for your decision. This decision will shape postal employment for decades far into the future. The benefits received for efforts involved in postal employment have accumulated over 200 years, with each generation of employees making its contribution leading to those received to date. Our ability to provide housing, food, transportation, medical care, raising our children and all of the other benefits that we receive through our employment have been secured on our behalf through past efforts. Can you imagine how your life would have changed if we had decided 30 years ago to exchange your wages for other contractual entitlements?

Those union leaders including Stu Filbey, Moe Biller, John Richards, Jerry Monzillo, Doug Holbrook, myself and many others made significant contributions in the 1970’s when we struck illegally, jeopardizing our own employment, but we set the stage for collective bargaining that has led to the conditions now enjoyed with each generation looking beyond their present needs. The same is expected of this generation on behalf of those who will follow. This tentative agreement will turn back the clock and erase those years of struggle.

Notwithstanding the rationalization, if this contract is ratified, future employees will suffer reductions in pay of more than $300 per pay, more than $600 per month and over $8,000 per year. Over a 30 year career these losses will exceed more than $250,000 and will continue into retirement, when the annuity includes the salary reductions. In total, each employee hired after the date of this contract will receive over $300,000 less for performing the same work. Can you imagine why postal management would agree to non economic changes if they can succeed in lowering wages in this amount? The result will be over $1.5 billion per year transferred from the pay of APWU employees to USPS future health care cost, supervisor bonuses or any other expenditure that management chooses. After benefiting directly from the contributions of the preceding generations, you are now being called upon to determine the future of those who will follow? Ironically they may be your son or daughter. Supervisors, managers, letter carriers and mail handlers are not controlled by this decision and will continue to receive the salaries that they fought for over the years.

Contract negotiations are never easy and this negotiations presented special challenges so I commend the union negotiators for their efforts. The uncertainty of arbitration imposes the fear that it could be worse, but if one is convinced that the Postal Service and its employees are not responsible for the Congressionally imposed deficits, what justification exists to impose these costs on future employees? Either we believe the union propaganda regarding the USPS’ financial position and rate discounts or we silently agree with our detractors who say that we are overpaid. If we believe that we deserve the fruits of our past struggles why would we voluntarily agree to erase years of progress?

The APWU has deferred 5 previous contracts to arbitration and no prior decision has imposed the level of wage reduction now being considered. The most negative arbitration decision in postal history imposed the creation of 2 additional Steps with full continuation through the then existing pay scale. In the most recent arbitration decision (2000), Arbitrator Goldberg ruled that it was not the responsibility of the employees to satisfy USPS financial difficulties.

It is now time for a decision and it would be inappropriate to place blame. I am sure that president Guffey and his team applied their best judgment but it is the individual member who is left to decide. Do you cast a vote that provides your own personal satisfaction, or do you consider the affect of the $300.000 reductions that will be imposed on each future employee? Do you resign APWU designated postal employment to the Fast Food, Walmart wage category or fight to continue it as a means of achieving a middle class lifestyle? The basic concept of a union is to combine efforts to achieve common objectives. This purpose is betrayed if current APWU members determine that future postal employees should not achieve the same rewards for their efforts.

I have been honored to have the opportunity to devote over 50 years of my professional life to improving conditions for postal employees and as a full dues paying member and on behalf of future employees I would vote No. Future APWU members are deserving of the same rewards for their efforts. That is the true meaning of a union, giving justification to the terms “My Brother, My Sister.”

In Solidarity with all postal employees, past, present and future,

William Burrus
President Emeritus

Commentary » William Burrus Souvenir Journal – Super Slogan.

  • Mailman

    Who cares about future employees as long as I have and get to keep my current job. How much are you drawing Burrus??

  • reo100

    Amen brother Burrus!

  • danny

    vote wisely

  • UnionM

    Wake up Mr. Burrus, it’s the year 2011.

  • Terry

    He must have some very long arms! Wish I could pat myself on the back as much as he does! Just another smoke screen! We won’t have to worry about the future, if we don’t make it thru this year!

  • Here we go again

    Here we go again. Fix it but not at my expense. Come on since the economy is so good go somewhere else and work. Get rea,

  • mailguy

    Mr. Burris, I have held many jobs before employment with the usps. In every one of these I needed to prove myself before being rewarded with raises, etc. Never could figure out why a clerk just hired made almost the same as I did with 17 years? Sorry Mr. Burris. Time to do what needs to be done, and should have been, for a long time. I work in an office with 12 clerks and all but 3 agree with me. Wake up Mr. Burris.

  • UnionGuy

    I knew Burrus was an idiot but even when he is gone he excels in his stupidity!! We better believe that we have to evolve some to make it to the future or people like this will drag us down in the tar pits! Vote YES!

  • ZACK

    I’d rather take my chances with Arbitration, and so should Guffy. At least Guffy could blame the Arbitrator if we get a crumy contract, rather than entering into one himself.

  • Gary

    I vote that we accept this contract. We have to look out for ourselves. If the Post Office fails because of financial woes we will all be out looking for work. Brothers and Sisters , there is no work to be had. Thsi contrct will be good until 2015. Think real hard about this. Do you really think arbitration will do us any better. I think not.

  • cliff claven

    Mr. Burriss When labor makes up almost 80 % of your budget were would you as a company owner expect to go to save your company in hard times? When times are good unions use that as we want our share. When times are bad oh no we arnt part of that.We make a great living with great benefits. We schould be happy we are being grandfathered in and allowed to keep what we have. APPRECIATE what we have. Oh what is your salery?

  • Randy

    What is there to gain if you don’t have a job? At what point do you stop and realize that significant changes need to be made? Just like the two step, sometimes you need to take one step backwards just so you can move forward.

    I understand the sacrifice. I have had two jobs eliminated but, thanks to the Postal Service, I am still employed!

    What sacrifice have you made, Mr. Burrus?

  • union_member

    Be careful of believing the comments and responses made here. On the internet everybody is anonymous. A dog could pose as a human, or a Republican union-buster could pose as a union-supporter. I’m just saying …

  • Mail69

    Mr. Burrus, you don’t mention the fact that your pension is based on your salary as APWU president. And as such is on par with most postal management. Didn’t seem to bother you when you were getting that salary plus perks . In the climate we are in having any job is a blessing , and if a two tier system is put in place so be it . If I was you I would’nt get so sanctimonious and pompous ! We are the ones still out here working and we want to keep it that way.

  • JLR

    I totally agree with Zack March 18, 2011 7:27 and with union member March 18, 2011 8:16. You don’t know who the union traders that are writing negative ideas about Mr. Burrus are. I believe Mr. Burrus was a great president and a man of word. When he says vote no, it’s because he knows the truth about the new contract or something we don’t. I have full trust in him. Why go back in time?

  • Burrus=Idiot

    Two things stood out when reading this:
    1) “if this contract is ratified, future employees will suffer reductions in pay of more than $300 per pay, more than $600 per month and over $8,000 per year.” This statement is idiotic, if they are “future” employees, that means they haven’t been hired yet, meaning they won’t get a “reduction” in pay, they will just be on a lower pay scale than is currently in place. They can’t experience a reduction in something they’ve never had.
    2) When I was first hired as a clerk I made more money as a distribution clerk (with no overtime) then I made being a salaried restaurant general manager for several years. Burrus has no idea what other industries pay their employees. He loses all credibility with me.

  • Gregg

    Mr. Burrus was smart.He knew to get out ,while the gettin was good.Question is,if a VER is offered on March 25th,will we be as smart as Mr. Burrus??Hopefully the answer is YES!!

  • BILL

    YOU KNOW WHAT, I HAVE ALMOST 30 YEARS IN AND UPON FIRST GLANCE I THOUGHT WE HAD A GOOD DEAL. BUT I WAS BEING SELFISH AND DIDN’T GIVE A BLANK ABOUT NEW EMPLOYEES COMING IN, THIS HAS OPENED MY EYES. I’M VOTING NO! TIME TO THINK ABOUT OUR FUTURE BROTHERS AND SISTERS!

  • Bill

    This is a fair contract. Bill Burrus is locked in a timewarp of union activism that takes no account of the employment conditions of 88% of American workers. If the 12% of union workers think they can dictate their wages at the expense of the business and its customers, they are wrong! Future Postal employees will evaluate their decision to join the Postal Service based upon the market of employment possibilities open to them.

  • mary

    Look out PTF’s. If this contract ratifies we will once again get the shaft. Regulars with only a few years will now be able to step in and take your 30 hours !!!!

  • union girl

    it’s very disappointing to read Burrus’ statement. We are always told to stick together as union members–a big family. All Burrus is doing is putting his successor down. During times like these, he should be offering support for Guffey not publicly criticizing him. He should be ashamed!

  • reogurl

    Mr Burrus is a true Unionist. If this contract is ratified, none of the members will ever claim this status.
    I personally will retire soon and could easily & selfishly walk away with not giving a hoot about those brothers & sisters I’ve left behind, but that is not an option. I will fight to my grave forever because I am a UNIONIST! Furthermore, to believe that the climate calls for us to give back 100 years of progress, is a ruse. The economic climate is a concoction created by Corporate greed. If the USPS was/is in such dire financial situation why did it shroud Potter with over 1million$ when he retired? 124Billion$ has been taken from the Postal Service that in reality, would otherwise show us to be in the BLACK. No other Corporation in the entire US of A, would have survived. Our sweat & blood allowed these billions to be made and by golly, we are entitled to a decent wage for a decent days work along with any other employee even if they our new. In Solidarity FOREVER!

  • Dog Lover

    What part of living in the real world don’t you understand Mr. Burris? I’m so glad that you were not involved with the negotiating of this contract. Turning back the clock, maybe, but not as quickly as it could be. My husband and I will be voting “YES”

  • Proud Product of the USA

    Burrus I thank you. It is because you and others before me fought for the future employees that I have the wages, benefits, job security I am blessed with. As those stood and fought for my future I fight for the next Postal employee I may never meet but I call my brother and sister. It is disturbing to witness so much selfishness and the lack of caring for their fellow man. Another attack on the middle class. Are we going to allow it? I’m voting no.

  • Unforgiven

    When I vote yes for this contract I will be thinking of future employees, to help ensure that we have future employees. Voting no is a step towards ensuring we no future, no future employees or even worse working conditions than we had during the postal strike of 1970. I am grateful that Burrus retired and would be more grateful to never hear from him again. Retirement has obviously not made him any smarter… or should I say less dumb….

  • Edd

    Private industry is loosing jobs and taking pay cuts and this guy says the contract does not go far enough. Give me a break, he evidently does not see the real world outside of the government. Congress is already looking to make changes in the USPS, this just gives them more leverage.

  • Samantha

    People, regardless of what you think of Burris, I beg you to please READ the proposed contract. If you are currently a Full Time Regular, it will allow management to involuntarily take your job away and respost it as a Non Traditional Full Time employee as long as you get 40 hours. They can split your days off, make you work 6 hours today and 10 tomorrow. There is no guarantee that any NTFT position will have 2 days off per week in the future. The percentage of NCA’s (former casuals and TE’s) is higher. Career employees hours WILL be cut with these NCA’s taking your hours. Think. Think. Think. When I went to work and say that my Postmaster was happier about the proposed contract than me, I knew there was a problem. The amount of difference in pay is stagering. Who do we think we are to say I deserve more than the hirees of tomorrow? It’s arrogant.

  • John

    Looks like alot of you suckers have bought the into the conservative bs. Any of you union members who voted republican did us all a major disservice. They are the ones fostering this current anti-union climate. When have Repubs ever been pro-union? If you are so worried about your jobs stop voting GOP. Otherwise you deserve what you get. Do us all a favor and quit so you can go out and be the private sector entrepeneurs that the GOP so loves.
    So many hypocrites in the PO. They want to be conservatives and union members. Its oil and water.
    Burrus is right.

  • Really

    Burrus who??? Its amazing all the comments, opinions and how distant many bloggers are from reality…..vote NO, go to arbitration and then be forced with less than half of what has been offered, do your research before you repl. History will show what arbitrators, during this economic crisis have been awarding…….always remember, if you dont like it, you can simply quit and walk away, find a job that will “take care of you” better. No one is making anyone stay at the USPS.

  • Proud Product of the USA

    The Postal Service will twist this tenative agreement to suit their purpose. and we will all be working 5 hrs. a day, 6 days a week. They always have and always will. If we added up all the money that has been paid out just because of their lack of integrity to honor the contract the Postal Service would not be in such dire straights. To Guffey and the entire negotiating team thank you for your hard work in tough times. But I refuse to go in reverse. The middle class and especially our veterans returning home deserve a decent job, with decent pay and decent benefits. Alot of individuals have made sacrifices so we can enjoy the contents of our current Collective Bargaining Agreement and I will not so easily give it back without a fight. This is Main Street, not Wall Street. When are the individuals at the top of the food chain going to make sacrifices and be held accountable for their bad business decisions.

  • Ray Tralie

    Burris admits to sending contracts to arbitration while he was president. He never set the world on fire. We should have paid our dues to the arbitrator. Real unions almost never went to arbitration but then real unions have the right to strike!

  • Be thankful you have a job

    He just doesn’t seem to get it…….the Post Office is going under! Its for a lot of different reasons that have all come to a head. Be thankful you have a job and that you are getting any raise. Many people are without jobs and many have taken pay cuts. If we all pull together as a whole we can save the Post Office but quit with this sense of entitlement. That is exactly what is going to take us down. Burrus’s comment about fast food and Walmart wage comparison is ridiculous and is trying to incite you all.There will be no more casuals or TE’s but will be one inbetween. Any of those Walmart workers and fastfood workers would kill to make the wage they will start at. I am disgusted with his commentary and some of the reponses. What is it you do not understand???

  • betty

    Mr. Burrus,
    How long were you President for our APWU? I wonder if it was long enough to enjoy a few extra benefits.
    Thank you for the time you served, but it is our fight now and if you haven’t noticed, the mail is gone, the national economy is shot, and globally, who knows what is going to happen next.
    This is not a “fight to the death” mentality anymore… we are all in this together.
    Sincerely.

  • Joe Gordon

    Let’s say all the current employees take a $5/hr cut and give that to the new hires to bring them up. The pie remains the same and the youth of the APWU are taken care of. Now, do you think that contract could pass ratification? Remember, in August at the Convention the Burrus plan was to pull us out of FEHBP. The Convention said NO!!!!!

  • Postal Jimmy

    I think anyone could post here as Bill Burrus. I do not believe that this is really the former APWU President, nor that he would ever make an open attack on his fellow brothers and sisters who negotiated a contract based on the current climate and conditions is this dismal economy. Should the economy recover, there is always 2015 negotiations. With work returned, to the crafts there is also hope for the preservation of the employees both now and in the future. This is a good contract, these are hard times, would we rather see the failure of the USPS and the loss or privatization of all our jobs. Then what wage would we make, at what Walmart, and who has a job with any decent benefits when it is all said and done.

  • linwood

    Mr. Burrus, we loved You and thanks for your concerns, these Clerks don’t understand, when Management and the cross-over of letter carrier’s will started to completing there jobs, this contract SKS.

  • Michael Levine

    Bill,
    Thank you for your over 50 years of service. Do people realize you haven’ taken ONE day off-in over 40 years.
    These people who criticize you would not have their homes, nor their cars, nor be able to send their children to college, etc. It would take too long for me to list the sweat and blood, he has given this Union. I am ashamed of the lack of respect for a man who is directly responsible for the lifestyle they live. Bill’s point is the future employees could be making up to $300,000 less than current employment in wages and retirement payments. I guess all of the critics have theirs and care little about those to come. Bill is trying to KEEP UNIONISM alive. Vote no and let’s go to interest arbitration and demand back the over 100 BILLION we have over funded our pensions and health care payments. That;s right , our government has $100,000 billion of our money. Perhaps, if we had back what was ours, the PO would look pretty cost effective.

  • Michael Levine

    VOTE NO!!

  • Dan

    Although I respect Mr. Burris’s opinion and his years of service to our union, I was also there when he announced his retirement just a short time before the toughest contract negotiations in postal history….when the economy improves, the union can fight for wage increases for new hires, and the prospect of having casuals replaced with dues paying members, restricting excessing, keeping our no layoff clause, and getting work back that has been wrongly taken from our crafts is a huge deal…I’m waiting to see everything in writing, but I say, Mr. Burris, with all due respect, you left…this is our fight now.

  • The G Man

    well,well,well here we go again, Iam not going to start making any staments before I have all the details about the new contrac, yes, this are hard times and I believe we all should make some concessions, and when I say WE I mean everybody across the board, whatever percentage of pay they take from new employees let it be that they impose the same cut on every new managerial position, that sounds fair to me. What do tou think? I would love for the postal service to open their books and show us the total amount of money given to management,from 204b’s allthe way up to postmaster general in the form of bonuses, will we still be in the RED? I dont think so.

  • brian

    Postal Jimmy- if you click the link at the bottom of the story, you’ll find the original, posted on a website promoting Burrus’s “Souvenir Journal”. If this was some elaborate hoax I suspect we’d have heard from Mr. Burrus about it by now.

  • we work at the PO

    VOTE NO!!!!!!
    We will be a Walmart chain if this contract is ratified!

    Burrus is right!

    No more 5 days at 8 hours with 2 days off
    No more career positions

    The members who agree with this tentative agreement is just like killing MLK you are murders of the future, of the union and a FT career work force

    Don’t forget Arb Goldberg stated employees shouldn’t be held accountible for MGMT misMGMT of the PO

    We deserve a raise in each year
    We deserve COLA in each year
    We deserve benefits that are affordable
    We deserve FT career positions at 40h/wk with 2 days off
    We deserve fair working conditions
    We must fight and not sale out

    MGMT will ensure the employees will pay if this agreement is voted in so kiss your current economic status goodbye

    PO has money a lot of it why are details still being given at 5 and 8 percent above base pay, per diem, lodging and travel continuing and increasing now more than ever

    Placing higher levels in lower positions with lock in protected salary even when the new procedures remove the HL pay after 2 yrs are never implemented

    Placing MGMT in position they don’t have any knowledge of the area

    Thats right the FOOLS who vote this in agrees with MGMT

  • Hamilton

    I was just wondering, don’t you think President Guffey and his team took into the consideration that if we don’t make some concessions the USPS will be privatized anyway. If the USPS doesn’t get there act together, the contract voted yes or no, will not matter. I appreciate the contract that they worked very hard to get. Maybe you could have done better yourself, but are sitting back critizing the people that did there best for you. It is certainly your right to vote no. As we tell our members in our local, be part of the soulution rather than the problem. Thank you Mr. Burrus for doing the job you did while in office.

  • Stanley Robinson

    You postal employees should wake and and take notice. Burrus is Right on the money.

  • John

    I want to thank Mr Burrus for writing this article. It needed to be said. Members don’t care about future craft members … fine. But lets be honest .Your union sold you out. Why would management agree to pay higher wages plus benefits to casuals if the economy is so bad. They had to find it somewhere. Thats right. You,re footing the bill. Two years without a raise. colas not retroactive, and paltry raise at best! Just so our “union” can collect another 20% in dues from the casuals … I mean assistants.Are you getting a 20% raise? Then they’ll have the gall to give us a dues increase. Oh I know the’ll say strength in numbers. Really? In my office its the mail handlers who have all the strength even though we out number them two to one. And their contracts don’t look too different from ours, except for this one. you can expect them to bypass us in pay by the time this contract is up… That s, right. They made one big mistake years ago taking a lump sum instead of the raise and have paid for it all these years. We’ll be doing the same thing. And if thats not enough changing full time status to thirty hours? Are you kidding me management will have a field day with this! Every job that gets reposted will be for thirtyhours. Oh I know they can’t force us into one, the’ll just make ours so undesireable you’l l want to bid one while the assistants get forty and you can’t complain because it’s “full-time”. We’ve just showed management we’ve got no spine, Now it’s up to you .Send a statement to the union with a vote of no, or be content with contracts like this for years to come.

  • John B

    Some clarification is needed to some of the comments made here. A lot of these comments refer to the dire economic times and poor economic shape of USPS. The sole, main, number one issue with the postal service is our requirement to pre-funding retiree health benefits. This obligation is approximately $5.5 billion per year which we must pay to the government. If the postal service did not have this required payment, they would have been in the black 3 out of the last 4 years. Keep in mind that at least 3 of the past years have been during the second worst economic period in American history. As for privatization, there is a constitutional mandate to provide a postal service, so unless constitutional language is changed, privatization is very unlikely. I am a letter carrier, and as such will not advocate a position on this contract. I just hate to have dis-information cloud an extremely important decision.

  • Donnie Dotzler

    Noticeably absent from all discussions is the answer to the 64 dollar question. What does the case to be presented to arbitration look like? If our choice is A-the negotiated language or B-Arbitration, we need details of both in order to make an informed decision. The focus, thus far, has been on “A”. We need to know what “B” looks like.

  • Bobby F.

    Mr. Burris I am on your side on this Contract. It truly sticks wwith the major give back to Managment of creating a TWO TIER wage Schedual. As for the the personal attacks on all I have to say to those folks, who I also feel are not Union Members anyway. Crawl Back under the the rock you slithered out from under and look at what the Industry pays it’s workers for the same Job. The Postal Service always cries poor mouth at Contact Time. And also the revenues or Down From a high point in 2006. They are still way in the BLACK not in the RED.

  • Rouli

    Mr. Burrus, where were you when Reagan destroyed PATCO? This is where it all started: In the ME DECADE. PATCO rulings need to be reversed and Reagan needs to be put in his place (not where he is now) before we can move forward. The deregulation of the 80’s need to be undone now.

  • greenwave

    I have been active in the APWU for more than 25 years and tried to read everything that has come my way to understand. Reading most of these comments saddens me, you people haven’t a clue what Bill has done for us all. Most of you are talking like the postal service gave you the rights, privleges, and benefits you have today. It was the APWU union leadership with Bill Burris there from the beginning. The postal service is not a business but part of the United States Constitution. You people should read before you speak. This contract is not good.

  • Laura

    This period in time is scary for employed as well as unemployed workers. It is easy to state your opinions for or against the contract, it is more difficult when you actually vote for or against ratification. I am grateful for all that the Union has accomplished over the decades—I would not enjoy all of these current benefits much less a job, without the scarifices of those who came before me. Is my responsibility greater to maintain the current level of pay and benefits OR to help ensure that there are jobs in the future? Are these my choices? If they are, I will vote for the future, mine and future employees.

  • Louspnhill

    Thank You former pres. burrus for speaking the truth , each and every contract we have had to deal with mismanagments misgivings , so much dead weight with those that are not hands on and are sucking us dry , then we get to hear how were going under due to the prefunding of retirement health benefits at 5 billion a year , good ole Georgie bush did his best to get the Usps privatized so he could get his pockets filled once again while we get to see no raise for 4 years , once again thanks for cutting through the BS and speaking the truth , VOTE HELL NO !

  • louis

    this is not a contract this is a joke. we ben working with out a contract now. know cost of living for last two time we should vote {no} on this contract because 1per cent that we get in 2012 go to our union dues. we do not get a rises people our health benefits also going up that why i”m voting {no}on this contract.

  • Doug

    I say vote NO!!!!! We are giving too much. No colas for neearly two years. I believe management will stick it to us. We will see in time if this is the right move. Yes, times are tough. Let management set the example by taking pay cuts, etc. The one who make the least have to give up the most while the higher ups in postal management and corporate America give up nothing. There is too much greed. They should be trying to sustain and uplift God’s people. How much money does the rich need. I see a lot of these comments will change over time if they came from true members. Lets pray we make it through.

  • City Carrier

    Where, oh where, does it indicate just how much more in health care premiums APWU members will be paying? Somebody does not want you to know for a reason.

  • City Carrier

    As a City Carrier, I have been trying to keep an eye on these negotiations for good reason – it could easily be the framework for negotiations with the NALC at the end of November.
    Here is my take: Little or no wage / cola increase in the next couple of years. In essence, no real increase in the 3 year high amount. Why would anyone stick around the extra few years if there is no real increase to retirement benfits? Also, the last early out cash incentive offered came out of the blue with no warning only months after Potter said there was no money to offer one. IF contact is approved by members, look for an early out cash incentive soon after approval so Management can start to hire the 20% temporary work force as quick as possible.
    No sizeable increase in the 3 year high + early out cash incentive = open the flood gates for retirement eligible clerks.

  • r mcdonald

    Please note Burrus’ recommendation to reject the proposed contract:

    “…if one is convinced that the Postal Service and its employees are not responsible for the Congressionally imposed deficits…”

    • Congress has awarded approximately 1200 billion dollars for next year’s “national security”

    • Congress gave massive bailouts to Wall Street moguls who had helped create financial meltdown, and who are now enjoying handsome profits

    • Congress has refused to refund the billions paid by the USPS for prefunding retirement, and has not yet chosen to terminate this unique requirement.

    There is money for bankers and bombs, but not for health care, libraries, the postal service, and so many other basic human services. I believe this is what Burrus rightly refers to as Congressionally imposed deficits that the Postal Service and its employees are not responsible for.

  • ann

    wow!

  • Paul

    I say, let it go to arbitration. This is a divide and conquer technique used frequently by the postal service. If they can get fighting between the employee’s, they can break the union and that is their ultimate goal. Support the union with solidarity, not the attitude of ” I don’t care, as long as I get mine”. There are a lot of union leaders who are close to retiring that are adopting this train of thought themselves. Management is not going to take any cuts, they are not going to lower their standard of living, but they want the front line workers, who make the postal service a success in delivery of the mail, to take the brunt of all of the cuts. The only way management can get a bigger cut of the pie for themselves is to break the union and cut the wages in half for the workers. The union is the anti-theft device for the working class! Don’t give in to managements bullying!

  • april

    i was leaning toward voting yes till i read this article…when i hired in 15 years ago, my dad had 29 years seniority…i am thankful that he never had to make a choice like this, he would not have voted yes. arbitration is a risk. there’s no telling what would happen. still, i don’t wish to lower the standard of being a postal worker. something to consider is, if this is ratified there could be a precedent to lower the “grandfathered in” higher tier wages to the lower tier in the next contract negotiations. you never know. remember, solidarity is what got us here, it will keep us here!

  • fl-mpe

    If you think that voting yes will keep you in your cushy bid job and everything will be all rosey …. you knuckleheads better get your heads outta your butts. The boogie man ain’t. Going away until all of us senior people are forced to retire. They don’t care. They think that we are too expensive to keep. Vote NO

  • Jeff

    Some of the comments made are just plain ignorant. It is best to be thought as a fool, lest you open your mouth and remove all doubt. Do I agree this is the best we can get at this time, Yes! The people coming in after us are going to be made aware of the pay and benefits. If they don’t want the pay then they don’t have to take the job. This new contract is going to take back the work that Postmaster, PMR’s and EAS employees have been doing for years. These are our jobs and we need them back. The contract is a good contract,not a great one but still a good one.

  • Tasha Bryant

    While I believe Brother Burris is the one of the greatest leaders of our APWU, I must respectfully disagree! Brother Burris is a pioneer and has handled business for decades. Brothers and sisters it is 2011 and our world is different. We have worked in a tear system for decades(since 1984). We need our jobs, Brother Burris is set, retired and rich. Ratify this contract!!!! We are gaining-TRUST!