APWU,USPS Announce Freeze on Excessing While Contract Talks Continue

The APWU and the Postal Service have agreed to a freeze on excessing while contract negotiations continue, union President Cliff Guffey has announced. “Throughout the bargaining process, the APWU has sought to negotiate a contract that would protect jobs and lessen the pain of excessing for our members. We are pursuing those goals,” he said.

In the meantime, the moratorium on excessing is a demonstration of good faith that will make the holidays a lot brighter for many of our members,” Guffey said. “The freeze will remain in effect as long as bargaining continues, and will apply to excessing outside of a craft or installation.”

Such excessing was imminent in hundreds of locations, and would have affected thousands of employees. The excessing will be halted at all sites while bargaining goes on, the union president said.

“Union negotiators will persevere in our efforts to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that meets our long-term goals,” Guffey added. “We have been working diligently to reach an agreement that will benefit postal workers and the Postal Service. We will continue our efforts until we reach a settlement – or it becomes clear that an agreement cannot be reached. If we conclude that a contract is not within our grasp, we are prepared to proceed to arbitration.

“One of our top priorities is to restore work that has been contracted out or assigned to supervisory personnel. This would bring stability to APWU members who have suffered severe hardships due to long-distance reassignments caused by excessing,” he said.

“The proposals we have submitted to achieve this objective also would benefit the Postal Service,” Guffey said. “Our proposals would save the USPS money, because our members can perform these duties more efficiently and less expensively.”

In addition to job security and alleviating the pain of excessing, the parties are discussing wages, benefits and issues related to workforce structure.

Mediation, Arbitration

The contract was originally scheduled to expire Nov. 20, but the union and management extended the deadline. The 2006-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement will remain in effect until a new agreement is reached through negotiation, mediation, or 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.

“The APWU will continue our efforts to negotiate a contract that benefits postal workers and the Postal Service,” Guffey said. “I ask union members for their continued support as this process unfolds.”

The APWU will continue to provide frequent updates regarding the status of collective bargaining. 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.

7 thoughts on “APWU,USPS Announce Freeze on Excessing While Contract Talks Continue

  1. wow, restore craft work to APWU members? they perform the work faster and more effeciently? It is because of Union slugs that the PO is in the position they are in. It is because they want more money and less work that we are failing. I have seen clerks in offices become beligerant when they are asked to work more; they don’t want to work. These employees want to work 10 hours and go home, they don’t want 40. I hope Obama gave them a taste of a future without petty unions that do nothing but help business fail.

  2. wow, so i have to wait longer to find out where they are shipping me to this time. the suspense is killing me……

  3. Of course it is to the Post Office’s advantage not to excess during the Christmas rush. This is when they need trained qualified people to move the mail. Wait until Christmas is over and watch them go back to their Draconian ways.

  4. Reasonable, so far. But if the Postal Service goes ahead with their proposed “2-tier” pay scale for the new workforce it will be a disaster for the future of the Postal Service. It only takes a cursory look at ow badly the Flat Sorters are performing to see another poorly thought out plan in the making.
    If the Postal Service had listened to the recommendations of the Office of Inspector General or the General Accounting Office and dumped the whole Flat Sorting program they would not have the financial issues they currently have.

    Postal management needs to be held accountable for their actions and decisions. Every poor decision cannot be assuaged by blaming the employees.
    Financial decisions and managerial responsibility should be at the top of the list for the new Postmaster General.

  5. Guffy is trying to do the right thing. Restoring work would be a huge success for all APWU represented crafts. We must look prospectively. Short term gains for pay and benefits do nothing to strengthen the future of our existence. Sure we will probably have to make some concessions, but isn’t that what “negotiating” is all about. Entrenching ourselves gives no room for progress!

  6. While returning ‘craft work” being done by supervision, why not give back the supervision work that is being done by craft? Mail conditioning reports and teleconferences are for EAS Managers, not clerks. Train your damn people and you won’t have a problem putting the right people in the right place at the right time.

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