APWU - postalnews blog


APWU: Tentative Agreement Reached on Nurses’ Contract

apwulogoAPWU Web News Article #057-14, April 1, 2014

The APWU has reached a Tentative Agreement with the USPS on a Collective Bargaining Agreement covering postal nurses. “The tentative contract resolves all the articles that were in dispute,” said Support Services Craft Director Steve Brooks.  “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. Read the rest of this entry »

APWU: Based on a Falsehood, Ryan Budget Would Plunder Postal Service

APWU Web News Article #058-14, April 1, 2014

apwulogoThe postal provisions in the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on April 1 are a “thinly-veiled attempt to plunder the Postal Service — to slash service, cut workers’ benefits, and render our great national treasure ripe for privatization,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.

They’re also based on a fallacy, Dimondstein points out: The USPS did not have “an operating loss of $1 billion” in fiscal year 2013, as Rep. Ryan asserts.

“In fact, the Postal Service had an operating surplus of $600 million in fiscal year 2013. The Postal Service’s losses are the result of a manufactured crisis — the legislative requirement that forces the USPS to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees 75 years in advance and within a 10-year period,” Dimondstein said. Read the rest of this entry »

APWU: Maintenance Memo Outlines Steps for PSE Conversion to Career

APWU Web News Article #055-14, March 29, 2014

apwulogoA March 28 agreement with the USPS [PDF] outlines the procedure for the conversion of Maintenance Craft Postal Support Employees to career, Maintenance Craft Director Steve Raymer has announced. The Memorandum of Understanding is a follow-up to an agreement signed by President Mark Dimondstein on March 20 that outlines the procedure for filling residual vacancies in the Clerk, Motor Vehicle and Maintenance Crafts, which will lead to the conversion of PSEs.

“The opportunity to secure a career position is of critical importance to PSEs, who are always at risk of being released due to lack of work,” Raymer said. “I am pleased to report that we have reached an agreement that will give Maintenance Craft PSEs the opportunities and upward mobility they deserve.”

APWU, USPS Reach Agreement on Filling Residual Vacancies

apwulogoAn important March 20 agreement between the APWU and USPS outlines a procedure for filling residual vacancies in the Clerk, Maintenance and Motor Vehicle Crafts, and will result in the conversion of Postal Support Employees to career status and the conversion of Part-Time Flexible Clerks to full-time, APWU President Mark Dimondstein has announced.

“Establishing a fair procedure for converting Clerk Craft PSEs to career is a major accomplishment,” he said. “In addition, the settlement protects the contractual rights of career employees, ensuring that workers who were excessed are given the right to retreat into residual assignments, where they are eligible. It also will give mobility to unassigned full-time employees and to part-time flexibles who are converted,” he said.

The precise number of conversions that will take place as a result of the agreement is not yet known because it depends on the number of residual vacancies and other factors, Dimondstein said. Read the rest of this entry »

Video: Issa eyes privatizing US Postal Service

King of hearings Rep. Darrell Issa continues his relentless attack against the United States Postal Service. Ed Schultz and Mark Dimondstein discuss.

Issa eyes privatizing US Postal Service | MSNBC.

Postal unions form alliance to preserve America’s postal service


March 11, 2014–Declaring that “the U.S. Postal Service is under unprecedented attack,” the four postal unions have formed an alliance to fight back to preserve America’s postal service for the benefit of the public.

“A congressionally manufactured financial crisis drains the USPS of vital resources,” the union presidents wrote in a proclamation (PDF). “Six-day delivery is under constant threat of elimination. The reduction of service standards and the elimination of half of the nation’s mail processing centers have slowed service and wiped out tens of thousands of good jobs. Post offices in cities and small towns are being sold or closed or having their hours cut back.

“Corporate privatizers seek to gain control over larger segments of postal operations–and to get their hands on the Postal Service’s $65 billion of annual revenue. The postmaster general’s policies of subcontracting and degrading service are fueling the privatization drive,” the proclamation declared.

“We stand with the people of our country in defense of their right to a universal postal service operated in the public interest.”

The goal of the alliance is to enlist public support in preserving the national treasure that is the U.S. Postal Service. The USPS is based in the Constitution, provides Americans with the world’s most affordable delivery network, and is operationally profitable without using a dime of taxpayer money.

The proclamation was signed by National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando, American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein, National Postal Mail Handlers Union John Hegarty and National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association President Jeanette Dwyer.

Read more: Postal unions form alliance; Declaration promises joint efforts.

Minnesota: APWU Local Treasurer sentenced for theft of union funds

On January 23, 2014, in the Dakota County (Minnesota) District Court, David Westgard, former Treasurer of American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 65 (located in Mendota Heights, Minn.), was sentenced to 20 days of imprisonment followed by two years of supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,241. Westgard had previously paid restitution in the amount of $22,719. On November 12, 2013, Westgard pled guilty to one count of Theft – Indifferent to Owner Rights. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office.

USPS Withdraws Challenge, PSE Hours Count Toward Desirable Duty Assignments; Converted Unencumbered Regulars to be Assigned to Residual Vacancies

APWU Web News Article #047-14, March 10, 2014

apwulogoThe Postal Service has withdrawn a challenge to provisions in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that require management to post newly created duty assignments using all available work hours — including hours worked by Postal Support Employees, Clerk Craft officers report. Read the rest of this entry »

NLRB: USPS Must Give APWU Staples Info

StaplesShrews14In a complaint issued Feb. 25, Region 5 of the National Labor Relations Board found merit in APWU charges that the Postal Service has improperly refused to provide the union with information about its agreement with Staples. [NLRB decision-PDF]   The pilot program has placed postal counters in 82 Staples stores — staffed with Staples employees rather than postal workers. A hearing before an Administrative Law Judge has been set for March 31.

Region 5 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has also recommended that the board seek an injunction in federal court to compel the USPS to provide the requested information to the APWU.

The decision to recommend an injunction is extremely rare, according to the union’s attorneys. Violations carry heavy penalties for management officials who fail to comply, up to and including incarceration.

APWU President Mark Dimondstein applauded the ruling. “This is an important victory for the APWU and for postal customers. The Staples deal is a brazen attempt to privatize postal retail services and it has been shrouded in secrecy,” he said.

“Postal officials seem to forget that the Postal Service belongs to the people,” Dimondstein said. “We intend to keep reminding them.”

The union president said getting the complaint issued was a group effort. “Special thanks go to Clerk Craft Director Clint Burelson and Assistant Director Lamont Brooks for all their work toward that goal.”

The information in dispute includes:

  • Measures to protect the sanctity of the mail;
  • Training of Staples employees;
  • Criteria for determining any Postal Service compensation to Staples;
  • Discounts, if any, to be offered by Staples, and
  • Cost analyses of the Staples project.

The APWU is demanding that postal employees staff the postal counters at Staples stores. If Staples refuses, the union plans to ask Staples customers to take their business elsewhere. Postal management, on the other hand, plans to expand the program to Staples’ 1,600 stores across the country.

The union submitted an extensive set of questions about the pilot program to postal management in November, shortly after the deal was announced. In January, management brushed off the request, claiming that the Staples project was a pilot that was not covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The APWU has filed a national-level dispute over the Postal Service’s contract violations.


Arbitrator Rules on NTFT Excessing

Arbitrator Dennis R. Nolan has ruled that APWU members holding Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) assignments may not be excessed into full-time positions in the Letter Carrier Craft if they don’t meet the definition of full-time employees specified in the Postal Service’s contract with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC).

In a decision [PDF] issued Feb. 16, Nolan ruled that an employee holding a 30-hour per week duty assignment in the Clerk Craft is not considered a full-time employee within the meaning of the NALC Collective Bargaining Agreement and therefore may not be excessed into a full-time Letter Carrier position withheld for excess full-time employees. Arbitrator Nolan concluded that the contract of the “gaining” union in excessing situations controls the determination of how the position may be filled.

Arbitrator Nolan also concluded that all employees occupying NTFT duty assignments are full-time employees under the APWU National Agreement. This means that any employee in a NTFT duty assignment who is identified as impacted for excessing by virtue of his or her seniority standing may only be excessed into a full-time career position.

The APWU intervened in the NALC arbitration case to protect the interests of APWU members and the integrity of APWU Collective Bargaining Agreement. Arbitrator Nolan did that by affirming that, “The APWU is indisputably correct that its agreements, and arbitral authority under them, treat NTFT clerks as full-time employees entitled to all the protections of that classification.” Furthermore, he wrote, “An employer cannot reasonably promise contradictory things to different unions… If the Postal Service does negotiate conflicting agreements, either intentionally or (more likely) by accident and oversight, it is stuck with the result.”

The National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) also intervened in the case, noting that the NPMHU National Agreement has the same definition of “full-time” as the NALC National Agreement.

APWU President Mark Dimondstein and Director of Industrial Relations Tony McKinnon are in discussions with our sister unions and the Postal Service on the implementation and effect of this award on involuntary reassignments.