After seven months of negotiations, the Springfield (MA) Area Local reached a tentative agreement with Alan Ritchey, Inc. on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that will cover all 90 members employed at the Mail Transport Equipment Service Center (MTESC). The agreement contains significant improvements in seniority and in the day-to-day operations at the plant.
“Our main objective in this round of negotiation was to gain improvements in the seniority language for day-to-day operations of the Springfield MTESC,” said Bill Manley, director of the APWU Support Services Division.
If the contract is ratified in early February, postal workers at the facility will be awarded jobs and granted vacation requests based on seniority. Layoffs, if they become necessary, will also be based on tenure. Previously, management could lay off employees without taking seniority into consideration; hiring was based on arbitrary criteria; and vacation requests were at the sole discretion of management.
The changes in the tentative agreement were based on extensive input from APWU members, Dan Kuralt, president of the Springfield Area Local, said in a statement.
If approved, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement also will include an across-the-board increase in hourly pay rate for employees as follows: A 25-cent per hour raise will be implemented immediately following ratification of the contract, as well as on Jan. 2, 2011, and on Aug. 28, 2011.
Members of the Springfield Area Local employed at the Alan Ritchey MTESC will be provided a copy of the tentative agreement and a ballot for ratification the second week of February. If the agreement is approved, each bargaining unit employee will receive a $250 ratification bonus.
Employees had been working under the prior contract, which expired in November 2009. The new two-year agreement will run from Oct. 31, 2009, through Oct. 28, 2011.