From the Mailhandlers Union:
With National bargaining over the terms of the 2011 National Agreement about to begin, the Postal Service has publicly announced that management is seeking wholesale changes in its collective bargaining agreements. In short, they are asking Congress to override collective bargaining.
President John Hegarty and Secretary-Treasurer Mark Gardner have sent a memo out to the field outlining the NPMHU’s opposition to these ill-conceived schemes.
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August 12, 2011
TO: All Local Unions
All National/Regional CAD
FROM: John F. Hegarty, National President
Mark A. Gardner, National Secretary-Treasurer
RE: USPS to Congress: Break Our Collective Bargaining Agreements
With National bargaining over the terms of the 2011 National Agreement about to begin, the Postal Service has publicly announced that management is seeking wholesale changes in its collective bargaining agreements. USPS management also has decided to try to bypass the NPMHU and other postal unions, by asking Congress to enact legislation that would impose most of its outrageous proposals. Instead of coming to the bargaining table in good faith, management is looking for two bites of the apple. The mentality seems to be: let’s see what we can get through bargaining, and then if we don’t like it, we’ll go to Congress. This might lead one to ask: Has Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker been named the new PMG?
Just yesterday, the Postal Service announced that it was seeking to abrogate the no-layoff clause, eliminate the application of the CSRS and FERS retirement systems to postal employees, and end the Postal Service’s coverage under the Federal Health Benefits Program. And to make matters worse, the Postal Service did not propose these changes at the bargaining table, but instead went straight to Congress to seek these changes by legislation. USPS management has circulated two ‘white papers’ on Capitol Hill and in the press that attempt to justify their actions. Those ‘white papers’ will be posted on our web site, and will also be circulated to the Union Leadership at our upcoming National-level meeting (which ironically is being held in Wisconsin).
Apparently, the Postal Service understands that such draconian proposals would have little chance of being supported by the NPMHU during the next round of bargaining, so instead the agency decided to ignore its obligation to bargain directly and in good faith with the NPMHU.
Such tactics do not suggest that postal management will be adopting an enlightened and cooperative atmosphere during this year’s collective bargaining, but only time will tell. In the meantime, the NPMHU and all of its Local Unions and members are urged to oppose these changes with their elected representatives on Capitol Hill. This end-around by USPS management only reinforces the need for all rank and file mail handlers to put pen to paper, and write to their elected representatives to oppose this foolhardy scheme.
The National Office continues to gather additional information, and these matters will be discussed in greater detail with all of the Local Union Presidents.
Please feel free to disseminate this information as you deem appropriate.