UPDATE: APWU, USPS Reschedule Meeting To Discuss Possible “Early Outs”

APWU, USPS to Meet Over Possible ‘Early Outs’ – Meeting Rescheduled From Monday July 7th to Tuesday, July 8th

APWU News  July 7, 2008

APWU President William Burrus will meet with USPS officials on Tuesday, July 8, to address the union’s demand for bargaining over possible management plans to offer Voluntary Early Retirement to APWU-represented employees. The union learned unofficially on July 3 that the Postal Service had requested authority from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to offer early retirement to 40,000 postal employees.

No specifics of any early-retirement plan are available. “As information is provided, we will share it with our members,” Burrus said.

The meeting, which was rescheduled from July 7, is being held at the request of the APWU. As Burrus reported in an Update for union members last week, the union interprets the National Agreement as requiring bargaining over early-retirement offers. A written demand for notification has been sent to postal management.

The union believes that all APWU-represented employees should be eligible, and that there should be monetary incentives for interested employees, Burrus wrote in the Update.

“The Postal Service is experiencing serious revenue shortfall as a result of the slumping economy.” Mail volume is down significantly, and revenue is not keeping pace with expenditures, he noted.

“What was touted as ‘a new business plan’ in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA) serves only to place a cap on rate increases in response to the mail-volume loss,” Burrus wrote.

“Excessive workshare discounts and the increased focus on contracting postal activities generate budgetary losses that cannot be recovered through internal efficiencies. It is within this environment that the postal monopoly and six-day delivery are being re-evaluated, which guarantees that we will be seeing proposals for revolutionary change.”

Once full discussions with the Postal Service have taken place, additional information will be provided to union members, Burrus said.