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APWU Nurses Approve Contract

APWU Web News Article #077-14, April 23, 2014

apwulogoIn a unanimous vote of 33-0, members of the National Postal Professional Nurses-APWU approved a Tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement with the USPS on April 23. Forty-three ballots were mailed.

“The tentative contract resolves all the articles that were in dispute,” said Support Services Craft Director Steve Brooks, when the agreement was announced. “It will provide new benefits and will clarify working conditions for postal nurses represented by the National Postal Professional Nurses Local, APWU,” he said. In addition, as a result of an Occupational Health Nurse Business Plan, management will post 38 new positions, Brooks said.

NPPN members Idell Mitchell, Suzanne DeWeese, Annu Rajan, and Luevonnie Clark worked with Brooks to complete the negotiations.

The new agreement is scheduled to expire Aug. 18, 2017.

For an Overview of the Tentative Agreement [PDF], click here.

For the Tentative Agreement [PDF], click here.

For an Update on the Business Plan [PDF], click here.

Occupational Health Nurse Business Plan

The Occupation Health Nurse Business Plan, which was developed in 2009 as a result of an ruling by Arbitrator Goldberg, was completed in August 2012. The business plan was a five-step process, which consisted of closing postal health units and transitioning nurses into new positions that emphasized occupational health rather than clinical work.  The business plan identified where the new positions would be housed and identified several incumbent positions that would be eligible for excessing considerations upon expiration of the contract.

In the new agreement, the union and management identified the number of positions to be filled in each district, which totaled 38 new positions. Management also agreed to convert the incumbent positions to full time and leave them domiciled in their current facilities.

Postal Workers to Protest Privatization at More than 50 Staples Stores in 27 States on April 24

WASHINGTON – Thousands of members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and community activists will engage in National Day of Action on Thursday, April 24, to protest the Postal Service’s sweetheart deal with Staples that is moving mail service into Staples stores. Events will be held at more than 50 Staples retail locations [PDF] across 27 states.

In October, the USPS announced a no-bid deal to open postal counters in more than 80 Staples stores. The U.S. Postal Service plans to expand this “pilot” project to Staples’ 1,500 stores nationwide.

Stop Staples!

StopStaples.Com
#StopStaples

Staples employees, who work for low wages and meager benefits — and who have received minimal training — operate these unsecured postal counters.

Although Staples and the Postal Service have worked hard to keep the details of their arrangement a secret, the APWU recently obtained a heavily-redacted copy of the agreement. Despite the fact that many of the pages were blacked out, the document provides clear evidence that the Staples sweetheart deal will compromise the quality, security and reliability that consumers expect and deserve in the handling of their mail.

“The American people have a right to know that their mail is handled by highly-trained uniformed postal employees who have taken an oath to protect the sanctity of the mail and who are accountable to the people of the country — whether it’s at the Post Office or an office-supply store,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.

Research shows that consumers have high regard for postal employees and are skeptical about the Staples deal, according to InfoTrends, which recently completed a report for the USPS Inspector General. Many postal customers, the firm reported, “were uncomfortable with co-location of Post Offices not staffed by USPS employees, such as with the Postal Service’s recent partnership with Staples stores.”

‘I want a real postal employee to handle my mail,’ said one woman from an urban location. ‘It’s like when you go in to a drug store to get a flu shot. You don’t want to get it from a regular Walgreen’s employee.’

An internal USPS document [PDF] makes clear that the goal of the program is to replace the good, living-wage jobs held by USPS employees with low-wage jobs in the private sector.

“But this isn’t just about postal jobs,” Dimondstein said. “Many people are outraged that a tremendous public asset is being turned over to a struggling private company.” Staples recently announced that it would close 225 stores by 2015.

“Staples makes business decisions based on the bottom line, not service to the people of the country,” Dimondstein said.

“As a nation, we need to decide what kind of Postal Service we want. Are we going to have a vibrant, modern, public mail system that serves all of the people, or are we going to let privatizers kill this great institution?” The APWU supports expanding postal service — by improving accessibility as well as the variety of services offered, he said.

Today’s National Day of Action follows protests by postal workers and community allies in Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Berkeley and other cities since January.

Many teachers, who regularly buy school supplies at Staples, have joined the APWU in protesting this attempt to privatize postal services. On April 28, the California Federation of Teachers will vote on a resolution asking their members to buy school supplies from other retailers. This will likely be the first of many similar actions by educators to boycott Staples. It’s estimated that 30 percent of Staples revenue comes from back-to-school sales.

For background information about the Stop Staples campaign, click here [PDF] and visit StopStaples.com.

A copy of the agreement between Staples and the USPS – heavily redacted [PDF] – is available on the APWU website, at www.apwu.org.

For additional background information, see these recent stories from the Huffington Post, New Republic and the Associated Press:

www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/15/postal-service-staples_n_5155270.html?1397597725

www.newrepublic.com/article/116968/usps-outsourcing-itself-staples

www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/19/postal-service-union-wrangle-over-staples-outlets/4647199/

APWU: Questions & Answers on Filling Residual Vacancies

APWU Web News Article #076-14, April 22, 2014

The APWU and USPS have agreed to two sets of Questions & Answers regarding the March 20 agreement on Filling Residual Vacancies [PDF], one for the Clerk Craft [PDF] and another for Maintenance Craft [PDF].

Video: APWU President discusses Staples deal on The Ed Show

A new partnership between the U.S. Postal Service and corporate giant Staples could be detrimental to union workers. Ed Schultz and Mark Dimondstein discuss the impact.

That’s not ‘easy,’ at least not for unions | MSNBC.

Postal workers alliance sends letter to Issa opposing latest reform proposal

The four unions representing rank and file postal workers have sent the following letter to Darrel Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and Elijah Cummings, the Ranking Member:

alliance

Dear Mr. Issa and Mr. Cummings:

We write to share our views on the hearing held on April 8, 2014 on the President’s proposals in the FY 2015 budget regarding the U.S. Postal Service. We write on behalf of nearly 500,000 postal employees who live and work in every Congressional District in America and who belong to our unions. We respectfully request that this letter be included in the record of the hearing. Read the rest of this entry »

APWU: USPS Needs Real Reform – Not More Austerity

APWU Web News Article #064-14, April 9, 2014

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)

The Postal Service needs real reform — not the austerity proposed by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and the White House, APWU President Mark Dimondstein said after an April 8 hearing by a House committee. The hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which Rep. Issa chairs, focused on White House budget items concerning the Postal Service. Unfortunately, Issa found a lot to like in the administration’s proposals.

President Dimondstein’s remarks are below:

“Yesterday’s hearing by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, focused on a White House budget that would harm service, drive away business, and eliminate jobs. It calls for the immediate end of Saturday delivery and would allow the Postal Service to begin to shift from door delivery to centralized delivery. Many of the concepts in the administration’s budget can be found in H.R. 2748, a bill sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa.

“The proposed budget also fails to eliminate the pre-funding requirement of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which is the fundamental cause of the Postal Service’s manufactured financial crisis. Instead, it would simply restructure the payments. The pre-funding requirement is consistently cited as justification for shuttering mail processing plants, lowering service standards and slowing the mail.

“These budget proposals were first developed in 2011 and have been repeated in proposals since then. They weren’t worthy proposals then and they certainly aren’t now.

“With the Postal Service posting operating profits in mail and package delivery, there is absolutely no justification to continue a strategy of austerity. Instead of damaging the infrastructure and network that is essential for providing service, the Postal Service must expand service. The recent report by USPS Office of Inspector General that endorses offering financial services is the exactly the kind of innovation that is needed.”

 

APWU: Locations Announced for April 24 Protests to “Stop Staples”

StaplesShrews14From the American Postal Workers Union:

APWU local leaders are hard at work organizing protests for the APWU’s National Day of Action on April 24 at Staples Stores around the country. Union members and supporters will oppose a sweetheart deal between the office-supply retail chain and the Postal Service.

Click here for a list of locations [PDF] where protests are currently planned.  If you are planning a protest and it is not yet listed, please contact Anna Woodbury at awoodbury@apwu.org or 202-842-4250.

Stop Staples!

StopStaples.Com
#StopStaples

Authorized Officers: Order Staples protest material
at StopStaplesStore.com

 

 

APWU: Staples Deal Still a Secret — But Hearing Reveals Disturbing Truths

APWU Web News Article #061-14, April 7, 2014

The Postal Service and Staples are working overtime to keep the details of their sweetheart deal a secret, but a hearing before the National Labor Relations Board — and documents the USPS was forced to provide to the APWU — have revealed some disturbing truths.

“Staples and postal management are perpetrating a fraud on the American people,” said Clint Burelson, APWU Clerk Craft director. “They are promoting the deal as though taking your mail to Staples is the same as taking it to the Post Office.

“It’s not,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

US Postal Police at APWU StopStaples Demonstration

APWU’s Rich Shelley sends USPS’s Postal Police home!

Elmwood Park (Chicago Area) Staples Pilot Program protest.

More info: www.stopstaples.com

Chicago Postal Workers To Protest Outsourcing of USPS Services to Staples

Hundreds of Chicago Postal Workers,
Joined by Labor and Community Activists,
Protest Outsourcing of U.S. Post Office Services to Staples

Message to Staples: Staff Postal Counters with Postal Employees

Members of the American Postal Workers Union from the Chicago area, joined by hundreds of labor and community activists, will protest on Saturday, April 5, in Elmwood Park, against a deal between the U.S. Postal Service and Staples to move mail services into Staples stores.

Who:     APWU President Mark Dimondstein, hundreds of APWU members, labor and community activists from the Chicago-area and across the nation

What:    Protest against USPS’ outsourcing of services

When:   Saturday, April 5, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where:  Elmwood Park Staples Store – 1850 N Harlem Ave, Elmwood Park, IL 60707

In October, the USPS announced a no-bid, sweetheart deal to open postal counters in more than 80 Staples stores. The Staples postal counters are less secure than public post offices and they are staffed with low-wage Staples employees.

The U.S. Postal Service and Staples plan to expand this “pilot” project to 1,500 Staples locations nationwide, while the USPS eliminates public post offices.

The Elmwood Park protest is the latest in a series of protests by postal workers and supporters against Staples’ program.

“This is a bad deal for consumers, for workers and for the country,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “It makes no sense to transfer critical public services to a private, for-profit company that has closed 159 stores in the past year and recently announced it will close 225 more stores by the end of next year.”

“Instead of using public resources to bail out a struggling company, the USPS should use its unmatched nationwide network of people and facilities to take advantage of new opportunities such as package delivery for e-commerce sales and offering new services — like low-cost basic banking — that meet the needs of American consumers.”

“As a nation, we need to decide what kind of Postal Service we want,” he said. “Are we going to have a vibrant, modern, public mail system, or are we going to let privatizers kill this great institution?”

“If we’re going to have mini-Post Offices in Staples stores, they should be operated by uniformed postal employees, who have taken an oath and are accountable to the American people.”

Postal workers and supporters are planning for a National Day of Action with scores of protests planned for April 24 at Staples stores across the country. For more information, consumers can text “postal” to 91990, or visit StopStaples.com

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The American Postal Workers Union represents 200,000 employees of the United States Postal Service, and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.