Mail Handlers Union Contract Update

From the National Postal Mail Handlers Union:

2016 No. 8 – May 25, 2016

You are reading the latest Contract Update produced and distributed by the NPMHU during the course of 2016 negotiations.

NPMHU_logoThese updates, along with the Union’s magazine and monthly bulletins, will keep mail handlers throughout the country informed and involved in the issues raised during this round of bargaining. As expected, a lot happened during the final days of this year’s regular bargaining period. The Postal Service and NPMHU negotiated right up until the clock struck midnight on Friday, May 20.

Despite these efforts, however, an agreement on all of the outstanding terms and conditions of employment could not be reached before the deadline.

At the same time, there were many issues that the parties were able to resolve during the 90-day timeframe for initial negotiations. Both sides made considerable progress in this regard. President Hogrogian and USPS representative Patrick Devine initialed over twenty tentative agreements concerning workplace rules.

That said, these tentative agreements are null and void if the parties fail to reach an overall agreement on a new National Agreement. Thus, the Union and Postal Service agreed to extend their negotiations indefinitely. This gives both sides more time to talk through economics and work rules not yet settled.

On May 24, President Hogrogian shared this information and more with the Local Presidents attending the pre-scheduled contract meeting in Washington, DC. He expressed optimism about the likelihood that the National parties would eventually be able to reach a negotiated settlement, followed by a ratification vote by the entire NPMHU membership.

Local Union Presidents and others in attendance at the contract meeting on May 24 had the opportunity to ask questions about the last 90 days of National bargaining. Their questions were both pointed and on point, demonstrating a high level of knowledge and interest in the bargaining process.

It is critically important that the entire Union maintains this engagement as the bargaining process continues through the upcoming weeks and months. As developments occur, circulation of these Contract Updates will continue, so please check your
bulletins for more information.

Source: 2016 Contract Update #8 (.pdf file)

  • Going Postal

    If NALC president Hogrogian is optimistic about reaching a tentative agreement with these bloodsuckers in labor relations then he is ready to go Guffey on his members and sell them down the river as we know that no negotiated agreements with this management will result in a fair contract for the NPMHU,or the NALC,why the APWU has been forced spend more than a year in arbitration. Just stop doing this dance again and move on to arbitration as we know it would be foolish to even think about a tentative agreement before the Goldberg APWU arbitration award is final.

  • postalnews

    Whichever contract is finalized first will likely be the template for the rest, whether negotiated or arbitrated. If I’m the NALC or the mail handlers, I’d definitely try to come up with an agreement rather than wait to see what the APWU arbitrator awards. What’s the downside? You don’t like the deal, you just go to arbitration and get what the APWU gets anyway.

    (By the way- Hogrogian is the president of the mail handlers, not the NALC)

  • Dr.Zeus

    You can be sure management is making the same draconian giveback demands on wage freezes,two-tier pay scales,more,casuals they have been making of the APWU and did not come off of that forced the APWU to go to interest arbitration.If Rolando and Hogrogian are working for the best interests of their members they will not sign a tentative agreement which can’t be reversed.Looking at the last negotiated agreements by the APWU in 2011 and the NRLCA in 2016,management got the givebacks they wanted and more which wouldn’t have happened had those unions leaders were working for the best interests of the members and gone to interest arbitration.

  • postalnews

    Both sides are making unrealistic demands- it’s called bargaining. The APWU agreement was a disaster- that’s why Guffey got the boot. That doesn’t mean bargaining doesn’t work. The choice the NALC and Mail Handler leadership faced was either to accept what the arbitrator gives the APWU, or to continue pushing for agreements that will specifically benefit their members.

    As I said before, there’s no downside for the unions- if they decide the extended negotiations are going nowhere, all they have to do is say “we’re done”, and go to arbitration. That’s a decision that, to use your phrasing, “can’t be reversed”. The decision to continue negotiating CAN be reversed at any time.

  • Dr.Zeus

    If they reach a tentative agreement,which they say they want to do it can’t be reversed.After the arbitrator’s decision on the APWU’s interest arbitration award USPS management should make the same offer to the NALC and NPMHU, but probably won’t and force them into arbitration.The union’s aren’t making unrealistic demands,it is USPS management. 2% to 3% raises with no offset from an increase in the employee contribution to healthcare premiums is certainly not unreasonable since that is the norm for city,county and state employees around the country and unlike those agencies,the Postal Service takes no tax dollars.I see no way the two unions will get a fair negotiated agreement with this management,which is still made up of Donahoe’s people, although he is gone.

  • postalnews

    No agreement can be reversed. If the NALC and NPMHU say they want to go to arbitration, that can’t be reversed.

    When I say both sides are making unrealistic demands in contract negotiations, I’m not making a value judgement about the demands- I’m just stating the obvious: neither side has any expectation that the other side will agree to their demands. That makes both of their proposals by definition unrealistic.

    As I said before, that’s what we call bargaining.

    The NALC and NPMHU have nothing to lose in continuing negotiations- they can reverse that decision any time they want to. The alternative is quit now and settle for a version of the APWU award. That decision would be irreversible.