APWU News July 9, 2014 – Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, can’t seem to give up his quest to eliminate Saturday mail delivery.
On July 8, upset that the House Appropriations Committee restored protection for six-day delivery to a funding bill, the California Republican tried to employ a parliamentary maneuver to derail the measure.
In a message to House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX), Issa claimed jurisdiction over all issues related to the Postal Service, and asserted that the six-day delivery provision should be subject to a House Rule that prohibits “legislation” in general appropriations bills.
“Rep. Issa’s complaint would be comical if it wasn’t such a serious attack on the people’s Postal Service,” said Legislative and Political Director John Marcotte. “In addition to protecting six-day delivery, the appropriations bill reverses the District of Columbia’s laws on marijuana possession, dictates how its locally-generated tax monies can be used, and takes away health care choices for women in the district.
“No matter how you feel about these issues, the irony is that they all fall under the purview of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. But Rep. Issa didn’t let out a whimper of protest against these examples of ‘legislating’ via the Appropriations Bill. The hypocrisy is stunning but not unusual for Mr. Issa,” Marcotte said.
“Mr. Issa is not satisfied with using his authority as chairman to damage the USPS by blocking quality postal reform,” he added. “He is now trying to use parliamentary tricks to overturn a bipartisan vote saving six-day delivery. The public pays little attention to the House Rules Committee, but Issa’s moves are critically important because he is leading the charge in the House to dismantle the Postal Service.”
BOSTON – AFT Massachusetts, which represents teachers, school workers, public librarians and college faculty across Massachusetts, announced today that it was joining a growing boycott of the office supply and bulk goods retailer Staples. The announcement by Massachusetts teachers and school workers is significant because the Bay State is one of four test markets for a pilot program that moves postal services from local Post Offices to Staples stores. Additionally, Staples corporate headquarters is located in Framingham, Massachusetts. Continue reading Massachustts teachers join Staples boycott
AFSCME has endorsed the American Postal Workers Union’s boycott of Staples, which was given a no-bid contract by the U.S. Postal Service that would allow Staples to staff in-store Postal Service counters with its own low-paid employees.
In a July 2 letter to Staples Inc. CEO Ronald L. Sargeant, AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders and Sec.-Treas. Laura Reyes said “we are asking our members, friends, family members and colleagues to take their business elsewhere.”
While noting that AFSCME has done substantial business with Staples, nationally and locally, President Saunders and Secretary-Treasurer Reyes wrote that Americans “have a right to Post Offices staffed by highly-trained, uniformed postal employees – employees who have taken an oath to safeguard the privacy and security of their mail. We also object, in principle, to short-sighted business arrangements that replace good, living-wage jobs with high-turnover, low-wage jobs, as the USPS-Staples deal does.”
The Postal Service announced last October that it would open postal counters with limited services at 82 Staples locations nationwide.
The pilot program could potentially expand to all of the Massachusetts-based chain’s 1,500 locations nationwide starting this September.
AFSCME’s letter to Staples’ CEO notes that, since the deal was announced, the USPS has reduced service hours in more than two dozen San Francisco-area Post Offices. All of them are located near a Staples store with a postal counter. “It is apparent that more cuts in postal services are planned, along with the eventual closing of U.S. Post Offices,” the letter states.
“Only the U.S. Postal Service can accomplish the mission it has carried out with distinction for more than two centuries: Providing universal mail service to all Americans, in every corner of the country,” wrote President Saunders and Secretary-Treasurer Reyes.
Read more here and sign a petition to “tell Staples: The U.S. mail is not for sale!”
July 2, 2014 – Arbitrator Shyam Das has denied a national-level grievance that protested the subcontracting of Postal Vehicle Service (PVS) operations in Columbus, OH. In an award dated May 16, Das concluded that management’s decision to convert the entire Columbus PVS operation to a Highway Contract Route “did not rise to the level of having a significant impact on bargaining unit work.” Therefore, he wrote, “the requirements of Article 32.1.B of the Collective Bargaining Agreement were not triggered.” Continue reading Arbitrator Denies Union’s Grievance Protesting PVS Conversion to Highway Contract Route
July 1, 2014 – The APWU won an important arbitration award on June 24, when Arbitrator Stephen B. Goldberg ruled that the Postal Service must determine – prior to excessing employees across craft lines – that the employees meet the minimum qualifications for the new position.
The APWU filed a national-level dispute on July 24, 2012, because the Postal Service had been reassigning excess employees in APWU crafts into positions, often Letter Carrier positions, for which they did not meet the minimum qualifications. Under Article 12 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, excess workers in APWU crafts may only be reassigned into positions for which they meet minimum qualifications. Minimum qualifications are set by official Qualification Standards for the position in question. The National Association of Letter Carriers intervened in the case on the side of the APWU. Continue reading Arbitrator Rules: Excessed Employees Must Meet Minimum Qualifications Before Reassignment