APWU, USPS to Continue Talks on Nov. 29
Negotiators for the union and the U.S. Postal Service have extended their Collective Bargaining Agreement for a second time, until Dec. 1, and will continue bargaining on Monday, Nov. 29, APWU President Cliff Guffey announced today. “Although we have not yet reached agreement, we remain hopeful that we can arrive at a settlement,” he said.
APWU negotiators, from left, Mike Morris, Director of Industrial Relations; President Cliff Guffey, and Executive Vice President Greg Bell announced that talks will continue Monday, Nov. 29.
“Throughout this process the APWU has worked diligently to negotiate a contract that will safeguard our members’ jobs and strengthen the Postal Service,” Guffey said. “Restoring work that has been outsourced or turned over to managerial personnel would bring stability to APWU members who have endured severe hardships due to excessing,” he said.
“We are determined to lessen the pain and uncertainty caused by these long-distance reassignments.”
“The union’s strategy has been to offer proposals that will also benefit the Postal Service,” the union president said. “Returning work to our members makes sense because our members can perform the work more efficiently and less expensively than subcontractors and supervisors.”
Current Contract Remains in Effect
The contract was originally scheduled to expire Nov. 20, but the union and management agreed to a three-day extension to allow time for additional talks. As the new deadline of noon on Nov. 23 approached, the parties agreed to a second extension.
“The APWU has worked diligently to negotiate a contract that will safeguard our members’ jobs and strengthen the USPS.”
The terms of the 2006-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement will remain in full force and effect until a new agreement is reached through negotiation, mediation, 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 a settlement is not reached within 60 days of the expiration of the contract, both parties submit all outstanding issues to binding arbitration.
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.
Rank and File Committee
Members of the union’s Rank and File Bargaining Committee, who had been summoned to Washington DC to be on hand for any late-breaking developments at the bargaining table, have gone home. If a tentative agreement is reached through negotiation or mediation, they will be called back to Washington.
Although the union’s national negotiating team has full authority to reach a tentative agreement with management, the Rank and File Bargaining Committee has the power to veto any such agreement. If the committee approves a tentative agreement, under the terms of the union constitution it must be ratified by the majority of union members voting in a mail-ballot referendum.
“The future of 220,000 postal workers and their families is a stake,” Guffey said. “We are committed to achieving a beneficial contract, and ask for the continued support of union members.”
The APWU will continue to provide frequent updates regarding the status of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. For the latest developments, 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.