APWU Tells BOG: Follow the Contract; Save America’s Postal Service

APWU News Bulletin 19-2012, August 31, 2012 | PDF

Delegates to the APWU National Convention condemned USPS management for their failure to adhere to the terms of the 2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement and for their dismal response to the agency’s congressionally-manufactured financial crisis. Dismantling the USPS will only deepen the crisis, they said.

Delegates endorsed a resolution calling on all locals, state organizations, retiree chapters and APWU Auxiliary chapters to write to the chairman of the USPS Board of Governors and demand that he:

  • Instruct the Postmaster General to adhere to the 2010 APWU Collective Bargaining Agreement and
  • Work with the postal unions – which represent hundreds of thousands of dedicated postal employees – to Save America’s Postal Service.

The union is preparing sample letters, which will be mailed to officers at all levels of the organization, as well as to union members, retirees and non-members.

“The Board of Governors sets postal policy,” said APWU President Cliff Guffey. “We want postal workers to let the board know that we intend to fight to preserve the Postal Service – and we want the board and the Postal Service’s top executives to join the battle.

“They must abandon the policy of dismantling the postal network and slashing service,” he said. “That strategy is doomed to fail. It will drive away customers, weaken communities, and kill jobs,” he said.

“Management’s failure to implement the terms of the contract is unconscionable,” Guffey continued. “We should be working together to save the institution we love and that America needs,” he said. “I urge all members to make their voices heard.”

Incentives Updates
At pre-convention meetings, Guffey reported that the union has engaged in informal discussions with management on incentives to encourage employees to retire or resign. To date, the USPS has made no official offers to the APWU, but discussions are continuing, he said.

Guffey said he understands that there is great interest in incentives among some members, but it is not wise to negotiate in public. “Management will offer incentives when they believe it is in their best interest,” he said. “Right now, it seems they believe they can find spots for excess employees, so they haven’t offered any money” – even in areas affected by consolidation.

If the situation changes, “we will do everything we can to get the best terms for our members,” he said.

Republican Party: Privatize the USPS

Despite all the media coverage of the GOP Convention during the last week in August, the party’s platform received little notice.

But postal workers ought to sit up and take notice: The Republican Party wants to privatize your job.

The GOP platform falsely asserts that the USPS pension system is “seriously underfunded” and uses that as justification for proposing a “great role for private enterprise.”

Of course, the USPS pension system isn’t underfunded – in fact, politicians of both parties admit that the Postal Service has overpaid billions of dollars into federal pension accounts.

The USPS plank also suggests the Postal Service is a relic of the Pony Express era – not an essential component of the nation’s economy and infrastructure.

The GOP platform also proposes a host of other anti-worker positions, including replacing the current Medicare program with a voucher system, which would dramatically curtail benefits, and passing a national “right-to-work” law, which would severely weaken unions. The platform also calls (again!) for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.