APWU-represented postal employees will receive an increase in their annual salaries effective Nov. 17 — the first in three years. The raise will be reflected in paychecks issued Dec. 7 and will apply to employees covered by the APWU-USPS 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Career employees will receive a raise of 1 percent. Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) will follow in March, and will include increases in the Consumer Price Index for January 2012 and January 2013. The across-the-board raise and cost-of-living adjustments were negotiated during bargaining in 2010 and 2011.
Postal Support Employees (PSEs), who are not eligible for the COLAs, will receive an across-the-board increase of 2 percent.
“Considering the circumstances, the wage increases are significant,” said APWU President Cliff Guffey. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006 — the same law that forces the USPS to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees — also prohibits the Postal Service from raising postage rates above the rate of inflation, he pointed out.
“This despicable law compels the USPS to fork over $5.5 billion a year to the federal government without increasing the price of stamps above the rate of inflation,” Guffey said. The legislation has driven the USPS to the edge of bankruptcy. (No other government agency or private company is required to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees.)
“As we noted when the law passed, the restriction on increases in postage rates acts as a cap on wages, so our modest raises are an important achievement,” he said.
Under the terms of the APWU Constitution, an across-the-board contractual salary increase results in a small dues adjustment. Dues for career employees will be increased by 57 cents per pay period, with 38 cents going to locals and state organizations and 19 cents going to the national union. Dues for PSEs will be increased by 35 cents per pay period, with 23 cents going to locals and states and 12 cents going to the national union.