Last month the Postmaster General Pat Donahoe sent a letter to the Mail Handlers Union asking it to reopen the recently concluded contract negotiations with an eye to extracting more financial concessions from postal workers. The answer from the union was delivered this week, and it’s the same response Donahoe received from the other unions and management associations: “no thanks”.
Here’s the text of Mail Handler Union President John Hegarty’s reply to the PMG:
This is in response to your letter dated April 16, 2013, in which you request that “we reopen negotiations as soon as possible to address the potential for further cost reductions.”
The NPMHU must politely decline your request. As you know, the NPMHU and USPS just concluded a lengthy round of collective bargaining, ending in binding interest arbitration. The arbitrator (as always) took into account the financial condition of the Postal Service, and awarded a contract with substantial cost savings to the USPS. The Postal Service has just begun to implement the award, and as it does the savings will increase over time. The NPMHU therefore believes that to reopen negotiations only two months after issuance of a binding arbitration award would send the wrong message to the dedicated mail handlers working for the Postal Service, and would corrupt the collective bargaining process for future rounds of bargaining.
While we are always willing to work with the Postal Service to achieve cost savings, and to find new revenue streams, we cannot accommodate your request to reopen contract negotiations. Mail handlers already have contributed to the recent financial restructuring of the Postal Service; it is now up to Congress to authorize additional rate increases, to return the Postal Service’s pension overpayments, and to eliminate the onerous financial obligations imposed by the PAEA.