APWU: With Slow Progress, Contract Talks Continue

“Although progress in contract negotiations is slow, bargaining is ongoing,” APWU President Cliff Guffey reported on Jan. 28. Representatives of the Postal Service and the union are meeting almost daily, he added.

“I know that many of our members are eager to hear details about our exchanges,” Guffey said. “Unfortunately, while talks are ongoing, it is not feasible to elaborate on specifics. Unless and until we reach agreement on all of the outstanding issues, the concepts the parties have been considering are just that — concepts. They will only have meaning if we reach agreement on a complete contract.

“The APWU negotiating team is determined to work for a contract that benefits union members and that will enhance the long-term viability of the Postal Service,” he said. “I ask members for their continued support as the process goes on,” he noted.

The union has outlined its goals many times, he said. “We are seeking to preserve jobs and reduce the pain of excessing for our members,” he said. In December, the APWU and the Postal Service agreed to a moratorium on excessing, which applies to excessing outside of a craft or installation. The moratorium will remain in effect as long as bargaining continues.

One of the union’s top priorities is to regain duties that have been contracted out or given to supervisory personnel.

“The proposals we have submitted to achieve these objectives also would benefit the Postal Service,” Guffey said. “They would reduce USPS costs, because our members can perform the work more efficiently and at a lower cost.”

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

The Process

The contract was originally scheduled to expire Nov. 20, but the union and management agreed to extend bargaining. 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, when 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.

The extension of bargaining qualifies as an “alternate procedure,” so the FMCS has not appointed a mediator and the 60-day period for submitting issues to arbitration has not begun, Guffey explained.

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.

11 thoughts on “APWU: With Slow Progress, Contract Talks Continue

  1. Been in all 3 crafts and know that how hard someone works comes from within the individual and how well they are kept motivated by proper management. One thing that seems to ring true in all the crafts is that a good hard worker will eventually get the desire to do his/her best ripped out of them by co-workers and worthless management. The worker that wants to get the job done will finally give in to seeing the totally incompetent rewarded into do nothing positions created to get them out of the way with more money and less work. Why would any dumbass want to keep doing the most work to only get more and be blamed if it doesn’t get done. The saying of “slow down and stay around”, is alive and well in the USPS in every craft and for those of you that deny it you are lying to yourself. The USPS is in the position it is in because of these practices. How can you take a worthless employee and promote them into a position of running the operation and expect a good outcome? After a very short time the incompetent promote the incompetent and it spreads like a cancer. It has gotten to the point that only a totally invasive procedure will have any hope of saving the organization. RIFs may help but even then, if you read the RIF process and the order that has to be followed, alot of the incompetent will be returned to craft and the newer people that are/still motivated will be excessed. That will help? Think again!

  2. They should just erase the clerk craft and make em all mailhandlers… they don’t deserve shit… they are all scumbags who make more money for less work… the mailhandlers are the true craft and do the most work for the lowest payscale in the post office… clerks are nothing but degenerates and I hope they get nothing but shit in their contract… good bye to the dying breed of the postal service

  3. Not only reduce the custodian pay but make it a non-permanenet position..i.e. if you don’t get promoted in 2 years you are on the street homeless.

  4. bullshit? so you would rather have someone give us a contract instead of attempting to negotiate one of our own. Wake up bonehead!! Custodians should be given a salary decrease anyway.

  5. Sounds typical. Mandatory arbitration after 60 days from the contract expiring unless we extend that time. Why even call it mandatory and submit a time frame if it has no meaning. Sounds like the usual dragging of feet until all the work arounds and give backs are in place or congress steps in to shove it up our rears as expected.

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