APWU President Cliff Guffey announced that the union and Postal Service have extended their Collective Bargaining Agreement through Tuesday, Nov. 23, at noon. The contract was scheduled to expire Nov. 20.
“We do not have a new contract,” Guffey said, “but we believe there is still potential to negotiate an agreement. The union and management will continue to discuss the topics that remain in dispute.”
“Throughout the collective bargaining process, the APWU has sought to protect our members’ jobs,” the union president said. “Restoring work that has been outsourced or assigned to managerial personnel will bring stability to APWU members who have suffered extensive excessing and reassignments,” he said.
“Every proposal we have made to preserve jobs for our members will also benefit the Postal Service, because APWU members can perform the work more efficiently and less expensively than subcontractors,” he said.
“Our proposals are good for the Postal Service and for the American people.”
The terms of the 2006-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement remain in full force and effect until a new agreement is reached, either through negotiation or binding arbitration.
Under the terms of the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, if the union and management fail to reach agreement on a successor contract and do not agree on an alternate procedure, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) appoints a mediator. If agreement is not reached within 60 days of the expiration of the contract, both parties submit all outstanding issues to binding arbitration.
Guffey said the negotiating team is hopeful about the possibility of reaching an agreement.
If arbitration becomes necessary, the APWU will appoint an arbitrator, as will the USPS. The two party-appointed arbitrators will work with a neutral arbitrator to ensure that each side’s interests are clearly understood.
Members of the Rank and File Bargaining Committee, who arrived in Washington, DC, Nov. 14 to be on hand for any late-breaking developments at the bargaining table, will return home, but they will be summoned back to Washington in the event a tentative agreement is reached between the union and the Postal Service.
“The committee serves as an important link between union negotiators and members,” Guffey said. Although the national negotiating team has full authority to negotiate an agreement, the Rank and File Bargaining Committee has the power to veto any tentative agreement between the parties.
If the Rank and File Committee approves a tentative agreement, every APWU member will be given the opportunity to vote to ratify or reject it.
“Important issues are at stake that will affect the more than 220,000 postal employees the APWU represents,” Guffey said. “The negotiating team is committed to achieving a beneficial contract, and asks for the continued support of union members.”
The APWU will continue to provide frequent updates regarding negotiations. For the latest developments at the bargaining table, please visit www.apwu.org. Members are also encouraged to follow the union on Twitter and Facebook to receive up-to-the-minute alerts by e-mail or text message. Click here to learn how.