APWU: Contract Negotiations to Continue During Holiday Week

APWU Web News Article 156-2010, Dec. 21, 2010

Contract negotiations with the Postal Service are ongoing and will continue during the week between Christmas and New Years, APWU President Cliff Guffey said on Dec. 21.

Following a bargaining session with Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, Guffey said, “The union is working to safeguard the jobs of our members and to lessen the pain of excessing.” A moratorium on excessing outside of a craft or installation, which was announced on Dec. 15, remains in effect while bargaining continues.

“We are working to strengthen the Postal Service by restoring work that has been outsourced or assigned to managerial personnel,” the union president said. “Our members can perform those duties more efficiently and less expensively,” he noted.

The parties also are discussing wages, benefits, and issues related to workforce structure.

“We will hammer away until we reach a settlement – or it becomes clear that we cannot reach one,” Guffey said. “If we conclude that we will not be able to negotiate a contract, we are prepared for arbitration.”

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.

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