Contract Negotiations Begin Between USPS And APWU

Negotiations for a new national agreement between the American Postal Workers Union and the U.S. Postal Service began Sept. 1 in Washington, DC. The current contract expires Nov. 20, 2010.

Every contract negotiation brings special challenges, and this will be no different,” APWU President William Burrus said at the opening session. “Mail volume is depressed and revenue is down, but we have faced similar circumstances before.

“The history of the Postal Service is replete with forecasts of doom and gloom, but such dire predictions have not prevented us from exploring every opportunity to achieve agreement,” he said.

The union president said that warnings of the imminent demise of the Postal Service, and demands for “wholesale changes to the foundation we have built over our 40-year history” ignore the fact that each contractual provision has a history of give-and-take.” That is the essence of contract negotiation, he said.

The Postal Service is experiencing difficult times, Burrus noted, but APWU members also face challenges. “Each time I have an exchange with a young mother who balances the competing obligations of her work at the Postal Service and home, I am reminded of the unique needs of postal employees, who are responsible for maintaining the best and cheapest postal system in the world,” Burrus said.

“The Postal Service and APWU are responsible, through their designated negotiators, for determining the conditions of employment,” he noted.

The road will be difficult and the outcome uncertain, but there are components of an agreement awaiting our discovery. I pledge the best efforts of the American Postal Workers Union to find a way,” he said.

Postmaster General John E. Potter said the parties have a joint interest in the viability of the Postal Service for the future, and promised to “work across the table to find an agreement that benefits both the USPS as an institution and postal employees.”

However, he cautioned that the Postal Service would put proposals on the table that would be “unpleasant.”

The next round of talks is set for Sept. 8. For updates, visit the union’s Web site, at

5 thoughts on “Contract Negotiations Begin Between USPS And APWU

  1. hire more disabled such as deaf or wheel-chaired employees and unemployable elderly employees etc.. it will write tax off.. does it make sense?

  2. I believe that Burris – is a management suck ass

    who will give this union up, and this will be our

    worst contract ever. This union should have hired

    Donald Fehr to representive us.

  3. I must agree. I am in support of William Burrus. He is a strong and intelligent man. I know he believes in APWU but this will be the last time he goes to bat for us with this contract before he retires himself. Many changes have occurred since he has became union president, many that I am content with. I do however believe he has given us all he’s got! Good luck Mr. Burrus, you know the USPS core more than anyone, even though you are retiring as our APWU president I KNOW you are not going to end negotiations and a lifelong title to defeat. May god bless you now and always.

  4. Mr. Burrus I believe that you will put forth every effort to accomplish the best contract possible for all. Thank you for your hard effort and time in advance. I am looking to one day becoming a Steward and also, working with the APWU. I am proud to already be a member of the APWU Union. Fight hard, and fight long if necessary!!

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