Burrus Editorial: Something is wrong with this picture

April 15, 2011

Something is wrong with this picture. The union agrees to reduce wages in the amount of 24% and we declare victory. Over a career, each employee will receive more than $200,000 less in wages and retirement and we call that a win.

And what will postal management do with this windfall ($3.4 billion)? Will they pay on the Congressionally imposed health fund? Will they pay back the money borrowed so they will have room to borrow more? Will they invest in safety so they will not have to harass injured employees? No, you guessed it. They will increase the rate discounts, the very same rates that the Rate Commission found exceed the cost avoided at the previous salary.

If that is a win, I hope you retire before we suffer a slight loss.

In solidarity,

Bill Burrus

via Editorials » William Burrus Souvenir Journal.

  • HMMMmmm…

    Buracratic reteric and political gains. This is becoming a horse and donkey act and I truely beleive that both sides are making the employees out as the ass.

  • HMMMmmm…

    Another point of interest should also be that if the employees are getting a 24% pay cut, what about the salary of management? Are they going to get the same 24% pay cut as well?

  • Supervisor

    In what fantasy world is Mr. Burrus living in? The economic climate and labor climate we are now working in has changed drastically. So two observations:

    1. Mr Burrus CHOSE NOT TO BE a part of this labor contract….therefore what right does he have now that it has up for a vote. Not very classy.

    2. I think all Labor organizations face this dilema (including the managament associtations). Do you CUT current employee benefits and continue to see them excessed up to 500 miles? OR create a two tier labor system where current employees protected and NEW labor force that has the CHOICE wether or not to work for the USPS with less benefits a pay.

    I just hope if given the choice my organization (NAPS) choices the same path and goes with a two tier labor force.

  • Buck Wheat

    You are correct supervisor. Burrus can sit back and be a Monday morning quarterback now and heap all the criticism he wants to on the negotiated settlement. In case he missed it what happened in Wisconsin and Ohio is just a precursor of things to come for Postal employee unions if the Republicans capture the White House in 2012. We will all be screwed.

  • Jumanji

    You gotta love Burrus…..he knows that if the contract went to binding arbitration it would have been the same or probably worse then what the APWU and USPS negotiated. Typical Burrus response would have been….well we did our best in presenting our case in arbitration but it wasn’t our fault we got a lousy contract. Blame the pro management arbitration panel. Do you really think you’d get a better deal in binding arbitration??? Wake up and see whats going on in the world around you.

  • The Truth

    The Postal Management have not suffered any monitary loss. The bonus continue rewarded for driving the company into the ground, much like Wall St.
    They have not suffered any staff being reduced.
    The city carriers got a 1.8% pay raise November 2010 and most likely will get a COLA this September.
    The clerks have lost over 100,000 plus jobs and have not received a raise since November 2009.
    The free lunchs continue to be paid in Washington to Postal Management.
    The fines being paid for Safety violations is staggering yet nothing is done to correct this, except pay!
    The funding of the health for future retired postal workers
    is only done in the Postal Servise not other Federal Goverment nor private company needs to do this, Why??????
    The over payment into Civil Service and Fers yet no correction for this, Why?????

  • SoulMan

    Cowards. Burrus is 100% correct. Unions exist to ADVANCE the worker’s wages & benefits; not to negotiate the order in which previous gains are handed back! When economic times are great, is management (or ownership in the private sector) EVER generous? Of course not! Seems to me its a one-way street, and it doesn’t favor working stiffs. And as long as they have “house serfs” defending the plantation owner’s right to screw them, it’s a slow ride down, folks.

  • Nutzy

    Like him or hate him Mr. Burrus is A very smart man.As far as retiring before contract can you hardly blame him as I stated he is very intellegent.But he still cares about the union he fought for tooth and nail over his years serving the APWU.This so called negotiated contract only proves the new officers are sleeping with the enemy.APWU workers deserve more as they have given back so much already.But the USPS is determinded to bleed them dry.I am not A member of APWU so I have no dog in this fight.But I did read the contract and it is the sadist document ever did I say ever produced by collective barganing.VOTE NO it can not get worse.

  • Heavy_D

    This is the worse contract ever. Man… it is awful.

  • jean

    perhaps my memory is faulty, but didn’t bill burrus endorse cliff guffey for the position of apwu president? which begs the question, was he wrong then, or is he wrong now? certainly this is not the best contract ever negotiated. however, in this political and economic environment, i believe it is far better than anything we could hope to achieve through binding arbitration!

  • Kathy S

    In today’s political climate, we can lament the contracts Postal Workers are agreeing to, but remember that we will also be portrayed in a better light as Unions who are willing to work together instead of fighting it out at arbitration. Congress will be hard pressed to find fault with Postal Unions when we take the high road, as opposed to the “Union Thugs” trying to bring down the Post Office. Remember how ugly the UAW was portrayed when the automakers asked for bailouts, even though their contracts were negotiated with management. They made concessions to help the companies stay afloat, and the same comparison will most likely be applied to us.

  • Vader

    APWU gave Management a 30 hour/week “Full Time” employee position. An arbitrator would never have done that. Binding arbitration may have given some wage concessions in this climate, we’ll never know. Most people I know would have accepted a freeze. But to give Management a 25% hours cut to the next generation of Postal employees, and at lesser wages? Sorry, gotta agree with Burrus on this one. No way anyone with Union roots approves this contract.

  • frank

    yes bill just like the last contract you were involved in.
    ONE DAY later we arguing about PTF’s working
    tour 2. Like he didn’t know what the outcome would
    be. What about the BS law suit on Tour compression?
    Does anyone know what even happenned to that?
    Give it a rest Bill. it you felt this way you should
    have not retired. So guess what Bill. If this contractis

  • Postal Clerk

    Perhaps Mr. Burrus is working for someone else these days.

  • JJ


  • Joseph Doelker

    I have been a casual now since Oct of 2009. Prior to which I have taken and passed 2 Maintenance Exams and never seen the registry. Thanks to the negotiated contract and your 2 tier system I will finally be able to be considered a true Postal Worker and not an Out of Service puke. I do agree that your Union could have gotten much more for you but, it could also have gotten you a lot less. All I can say is thank you to all the APWU members who vote Yes, and finally allow me to be counted and be able to strive for my goal of becoming a Mech or Tech instead of a Casual.

  • John

    Sure Bill, Just like the contract you helped negotiate while you were VP Shortly after I was hired. All new employees became second class at a new lower entry rate. It was OK then but now it’s a tragedy. It took me years to catch up from that one. Bill retired for a good reason.

  • Sell Out

    But you caught up eventually, didn’t you John?? This new 2 tier pay system will prevent any new clerk from catching up!! And will eventually convert all our jobs into a NTFT! Those who are juniors right now will be unassigned regulars if they chose not to bid the 30 hrs, 34 hrs, 36 hrs, 38 hrs NTFT bid jobs. Can all of you see the big picture yet??

  • Julie

    Dear Sell Out,

    I see my future. It has what is called a JOB in it. I receieve benefits and a guarentee of 40 hours a week for the life of the contract. I CANNOT be forced into a less than 40 hour job. I do not have to beg for work at McDonalds and I do not have to work in a non-union shop that allows the bosses to send me home whenever they want, force me in for overtime when they want, pay me less than promised because there is no contract.
    Mr. Burrus, Shame on you. You chose to retire….SHUT UP!

  • benny

    It used to be Mr Burrus…now its just Babbling Bill…right or wrong its none of your business… I always gave you respect even though your whole career was spent riding Moe’s coat strings, go water your plants and stay retired.