APWU, USPS Negotiate Retirement Incentive

APWU News Bulletin 20-2012, Oct. 1, 2012 | PDF

The APWU has negotiated a retirement incentive agreement that awards eligible full-time career employees a $15,000 payment in two installments, President Cliff Guffey has announced. The first installment will be $10,000; the second will be $5,000.

“Our goal was to achieve an incentive for members who are ready to end their postal careers; to ensure that no groups of employees are excluded, and to lessen the hardships of excessing for those who remain,” Guffey said. “This agreement accomplishes those objectives.”

Who’s Covered

The incentive will be offered to eligible full-time employees who terminate their service through retirement, early retirement, or voluntary separation. Eligible part-time employees will receive a prorated amount.

Most full-time employees will have a separation date of Jan. 31, 2013. To allow sufficient time to provide accurate retirement estimates, part-time employees and employees occupying Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) assignments of less than 40 hours per week will have a separation date of Feb. 28, 2013. Employees in Accounting Services position of the Information Technology/Accounting Services (IT/ASC) bargaining unit also will have a separation date of Feb. 28.

The $10,000 payment will be made on May 24, 2013; the $5,000 payment will be made on May 23, 2014.

Employees who had a previously scheduled retirement date earlier than Jan. 31, 2013, may retire on their scheduled date and receive the incentive. Employees who had a previously scheduled retirement date after Jan. 31, 2013, must change their date to Jan. 31, 2013, and meet retirement eligibility on that date in order to receive the incentive.

To qualify for early retirement, employees must have at least 20 years of service and be 50 years of age or must have 25 years of service at any age. (For employees in the Civil Service Retirement System, the annuity is reduced 2 percent for each year workers are under age 55.) Eligibility will be based on a Jan. 31, 2013, effective date. Eligible employees who do not qualify for regular or early retirement but wish to receive the incentive may resign.

Not covered by the agreement are employees who were in a probationary status on the date of separation; employees who were issued a Notice of Removal or Letter of Decision as of the effective date; employees who separate via disability retirement, and employees who separate via transfer to another federal agency.

There will be no limit on the number of employees who may accept the offer, except for employees working in Accounting Services positions in the IT/ASC bargaining unit: No more than 30 employees may accept the offer in the Eagan MN ASC; no more than 10 employees may accept the offer in the San Mateo CA ASC, and no more than 20 in the St. Louis ASC.

Next Steps

Full-time employees must indicate their intent to accept the incentive offer on or before Dec. 3, 2012. Employees taking voluntary early retirement who wish to revoke their decision by must do so by Dec. 3, 2012. The deadline for part-time employees and those in NTFT assignments is Jan. 4, 2013.

Retirement counseling will be conducted via phone in group sessions not to exceed 10 retirees. Employees requesting additional help after participating in a group session will be accommodated on an individual basis.

Under the agreement, where the number of employees accepting the incentive impairs operational efficiency, the USPS may post the duty assignments of employees accepting the offer any time after Dec. 3, 2012, to be filled no sooner than vacating employees’ separation date. If temporary staffing is still needed, Postal Support Employees (PSEs) may replace career employees who accept the incentive for a period not to exceed 90 days from the effective date of the voluntary separation. There can be no involuntary reassignment from an installation while the district PSE cap is exceeded.


Guffey contradicts Burrus- says USPS hasn’t offered retirement incentive

You may remember that earlier this month former APWU President Bill Burrus accused the current APWU leadership of holding up retirement incentives for APWU members:

The APWU National Executive Board has endorsed the decision to withhold agreement on a monetary incentive for retiree eligibles in response to management’s refusal to implement newly negotiated contractual provisions.

In a statement today, the APWU says that’s not true:

Incentives Updates

At pre-convention meetings, Guffey reported that the union has engaged in informal discussions with management on incentives to encourage employees to retire or resign. To date, the USPS has made no official offers to the APWU, but discussions are continuing, he said.

Guffey said he understands that there is great interest in incentives among some members, but it is not wise to negotiate in public. “Management will offer incentives when they believe it is in their best interest,” he said. “Right now, it seems they believe they can find spots for excess employees, so they haven’t offered any money” – even in areas affected by consolidation.

If the situation changes, “we will do everything we can to get the best terms for our members,” he said.

USPS offers early out to 3,300 EAS employees affected by organizational changes

From USPS News Link:

As part of its ongoing efforts to increase operational efficiencies and reduce costs, the Postal Service is proceeding with several organizational changes, effective Aug. 25. These changes include:

  • Continuing activities related to mail processing operations at Processing and Distribution Centers and Post Offices affected by Phase Iof the network consolidation plan.
  • Consolidating the Computerized Forwarding System.
  • Re-ranking and aligning Network Distribution Centers with Area offices.

With these changes — and as part of the Postal Service’s Reduction in Force avoidance plan — USPS is making a Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) offer to more than 3,300 EAS employees with a December 31, 2012 VER retirement date.

USPS notified impacted employees this week and has given them detailed information with a timeline of events to help them make decisions.

Senior leadership roles in the districts that are important in ensuring continuity of operations and managing change are not eligible for this VER offering.

Frequently asked questions related to the Reduction-in-Force (RIF) and the VER are available on the Organizational Change website or the Workforce Connection website on LiteBlue. Employees should check both sites often for updates.

APWU Update on Retirement Incentives

From the American Postal Workers Union:

As we reported in June, the APWU has been engaged in informal conversations with management on financial incentives to encourage employees to leave the Postal Service.Although no official offers have been made, discussions are continuing, APWU President Cliff Guffey has reported.“I understand that there is great interest in this topic among some members, but it is simply not feasible or smart to conduct negotiations in public,” he said.“As additional information becomes available, we will keep members informed. This process cannot be rushed. In the meantime, please rest assured that needs of APWU members are uppermost in our mind. We will not be pressured into accepting an offer that is not in the best interests of our members.”

via Update on Incentives.

Burrus: APWU Board withholds agreement on retirement incentives

In his most recent blog posting, former APWU President Bill Burrus claims that the APWU’s National Executive Board has decided to withold agreement on retirement incentives for its members “in response to management’s refusal to implement newly negotiated contractual provisions”.

Burrus calls the decison “awkward at best”:

This decision is highly unusual in that the retirement incentive would be used as a benefit for the represented employees and to deny it as a means of punishing management is a clumsy means of contract enforcement.

The employer has a host of options to reduce costs beyond the separation of retiring employees, but the target is to reduce costs and this is only one of the tools available to employers to reduce payroll. If a particular means is not available, such as lay off or reduced hours, management often turns to consolidations or other ways of reducing expenses. So if the option of voluntary retirement is unavailable the principle objective of reducing costs will continue to be aggressively pursued. Management has the tools to reduce labor costs without accelerating attrition

Every employee leaves employment with the only question being the timing of his/her separation so the denial of a substantial incentive is a high individual price to pay for a mano to mano sense of collective activity. In the end, it is “we” who have decided that “you” will not receive a benefit. That is an odd place for a union to find itself.

via BurrusJournal.org – AN AWKWARD PLACE.