Ex-President Burrus Attacks APWU Tentative Contract

Ex-President Burrus’s open letter “To APWU Members” on the proposed APWU contract:

The union negotiators have performed their constitutional duties in finalizing a tentative agreement for your decision. This decision will shape postal employment for decades far into the future. The benefits received for efforts involved in postal employment have accumulated over 200 years, with each generation of employees making its contribution leading to those received to date. Our ability to provide housing, food, transportation, medical care, raising our children and all of the other benefits that we receive through our employment have been secured on our behalf through past efforts. Can you imagine how your life would have changed if we had decided 30 years ago to exchange your wages for other contractual entitlements?

Those union leaders including Stu Filbey, Moe Biller, John Richards, Jerry Monzillo, Doug Holbrook, myself and many others made significant contributions in the 1970’s when we struck illegally, jeopardizing our own employment, but we set the stage for collective bargaining that has led to the conditions now enjoyed with each generation looking beyond their present needs. The same is expected of this generation on behalf of those who will follow. This tentative agreement will turn back the clock and erase those years of struggle.

Notwithstanding the rationalization, if this contract is ratified, future employees will suffer reductions in pay of more than $300 per pay, more than $600 per month and over $8,000 per year. Over a 30 year career these losses will exceed more than $250,000 and will continue into retirement, when the annuity includes the salary reductions. In total, each employee hired after the date of this contract will receive over $300,000 less for performing the same work. Can you imagine why postal management would agree to non economic changes if they can succeed in lowering wages in this amount? The result will be over $1.5 billion per year transferred from the pay of APWU employees to USPS future health care cost, supervisor bonuses or any other expenditure that management chooses. After benefiting directly from the contributions of the preceding generations, you are now being called upon to determine the future of those who will follow? Ironically they may be your son or daughter. Supervisors, managers, letter carriers and mail handlers are not controlled by this decision and will continue to receive the salaries that they fought for over the years.

Contract negotiations are never easy and this negotiations presented special challenges so I commend the union negotiators for their efforts. The uncertainty of arbitration imposes the fear that it could be worse, but if one is convinced that the Postal Service and its employees are not responsible for the Congressionally imposed deficits, what justification exists to impose these costs on future employees? Either we believe the union propaganda regarding the USPS’ financial position and rate discounts or we silently agree with our detractors who say that we are overpaid. If we believe that we deserve the fruits of our past struggles why would we voluntarily agree to erase years of progress?

The APWU has deferred 5 previous contracts to arbitration and no prior decision has imposed the level of wage reduction now being considered. The most negative arbitration decision in postal history imposed the creation of 2 additional Steps with full continuation through the then existing pay scale. In the most recent arbitration decision (2000), Arbitrator Goldberg ruled that it was not the responsibility of the employees to satisfy USPS financial difficulties.

It is now time for a decision and it would be inappropriate to place blame. I am sure that president Guffey and his team applied their best judgment but it is the individual member who is left to decide. Do you cast a vote that provides your own personal satisfaction, or do you consider the affect of the $300.000 reductions that will be imposed on each future employee? Do you resign APWU designated postal employment to the Fast Food, Walmart wage category or fight to continue it as a means of achieving a middle class lifestyle? The basic concept of a union is to combine efforts to achieve common objectives. This purpose is betrayed if current APWU members determine that future postal employees should not achieve the same rewards for their efforts.

I have been honored to have the opportunity to devote over 50 years of my professional life to improving conditions for postal employees and as a full dues paying member and on behalf of future employees I would vote No. Future APWU members are deserving of the same rewards for their efforts. That is the true meaning of a union, giving justification to the terms “My Brother, My Sister.”

In Solidarity with all postal employees, past, present and future,

William Burrus
President Emeritus

source: Burrus Journal

50 thoughts on “Ex-President Burrus Attacks APWU Tentative Contract

  1. VOTE NO!!!!! 30 HOURS PER WEEK VOTE NO!!!!!!
    3.5% over 4.5 years? VOTE NO!!!!!!
    GUFFEY VOTE NO!!!!!!
    10, 11, & 12 HOUR DAYS WITH NO OVERTIME, VOTE NO!!!!!


  3. The 40 billion in over payment for prefunding, as specified in the Postal Reform Act, was nothing more than a pre-planned money grab for congress so they could pay their multi trillion dollar debt…like the bush era stamp increase..solely for use to pay the treasury… WE ARE CONGRESS’S BIGGEST PIGGY BANK NOW THAT THEY HAVE OVER STOLEN FROM SOCIAL SECURITY..

  4. anyone who votes yes is sending a message to new workers. that the current members do not care about them so when we retire and the new workers will have to settle contracts by eliminate some of the retirees benefits
    remember what happens today may bite you later

  5. Bill, it would not be my son or daughter … I have encouraged people for the last 10 years to find other employment if they could. I had a good career and retired with 38 years, but even I could see the Post Office was the buggy whip factory next to the new GM Plant.
    I also agree with an earlier post about you retiring then attacking the new president. I for one don’t think you did squat while Moe was president and certainly not after you became president. You had been off the workroom floor for far too many years and the contracts you negotiated showed it.

  6. Alright, all of those who are concerned about not getting any COLA’s (which are not guaranteed in the first place) and any type of contractual wage increase just go ahead and vote no on this contract. DON’T FUCKIN’ COME BACK HERE BITCHIN’ IF AN ARBITRATOR ENDS UP RULING THAT ALL CURRENT AND FUTURE EMPLOYEES TAKE A REDUCED PAY OF $2.00/HOUR AND LOSE ANY HOPE OF WAGE INCREASES OVER THE COURSE OF A 5-YEAR CONTRACT!!!!!

    Union can always re-negotiate back to the payscale we current employees have now for the future employees. Burrus may have been concerned about future employees, but Guffey is concerned about the FUTURE OF CURRENT EMPLOYEES.

    If I still haven’t shed some intelligence into the subject….go work for walmart and be a store greeter…except make sure you have a tip jar to sit at your feet.

  7. It took 30-40 years to build up this Union. Over night it failed and if this new contract is ratified, it will send us back to the 70’s. What a disappointment because even arbitration would never make us this bad. Management is laughing all the way to their BIGGER bonuses.

  8. VOTE NO!!!!!!. worst contract ever. pay/cola cut 1st year ( -2% for first 6 months.1-3% for next 6 months (( my best guess))up front. deferment of second year cola. promise you get it 3rd year (more of a gamble than you think). yeah you get a 3.5% “raise”. how come we feel poorer. then we eat our young. questionable management givebacks. will they play fair? yeah right!. usually a shit sandwich has shit in the middle . this one has two slices of shit with questionable substance in between. VOTE NO!!!!

  9. I’m starting to think that all of the complainers are either: 1) An unspecified percentage of the senior clerks who are unhappy with their current top three-year salaries. or 2) PTF’s in the rural areas of the nations working in Post Offices that serve a population of about 5,000. If you fall under the 2nd option, or come close to that….you could try one of the following options: 1) Transfer to a bigger office. 2) Transfer to another craft that would suit your needs to stay in the smaller community. 3) Get into management, you’d fit right in with their stupidity.

    The union can’t turn a brick of shit into gold for everyone. It’s just not going to happen. The management staff would have a better chance at getting all the employees to go postal (the threatening style that is).

  10. I urge all brother and sister to vote NO on this contract to protect the brothers and sisters who have yet to join our ranks. We should not be eating our young! This contract is full of give backs and my union has always moved forward not backwards. The struggle continues and we should be strong enough to say NO
    to this give back and eating our young contract. PLEASE JOIN ME AND VOTE NO.
    Whatever you do VOTE don’t sit back and let a few decide your wages and working conditions for you.

  11. Danny, you remind me of those NFL players who makes millions of dollars over a ten-year career. Not satisfied with what you have so you seek to get more money. Cliff Guffey stepped up to the plate in reaction to a former cowardly leader stepping down from the plate. This transition took place during an on-going economic disaster. I went back and looked up the contractual wage increases for the 2000-2006 contract. What I could find in that 6-year contract was contractual wage increases of 4.4%. Now for this new contract proposal for 5 years, you have 3.5% wage increases. I’d say that’s right in the ballpark figure. COLA’s are based on the cost-of-living, but not your personal cost-of-living.

    If you don’t like the new contract, perhaps you ought to be a slave….then you’d have a legitimate right to complain.

  12. We should vote NO for this contact. It is an insulting to come up with this kind of contract and tell the members that it is a good contract. We are intelligent enough to know when we see a good contract. 3.5% raise for the first year might be acceptable, not over the life of the contract! They are back loaded and so is COLA. Don’t worry about those who have not been hired yet. Worry about the current members. Don’t worry about lay off protection. USPS dare not lay off any members in this economic condition, or their congressmen will breathing down their neck. VOTE NO! Do it again. Cliff Guffey is a disaster. Is this the best he could do for his first contract as the president? Is there anyone who wants to run against him in the next election?

  13. To CSRS. If you vote no, that’s your choice. However, did you ever do anything when the retirement went from Civil Service Retirement System to the Federal Employee Retirement System?

  14. Burris- the same guy who preached for a year to let the post office quit prefunding (guaranteeing) our pension fund because the post office was broke? Burris- who always found a use for our dues, like supporting anti-gun measures, defending pro-abortion, and wasn’t there some issue of the defense of some Jamaican who stabbed Americans in the subway a few years ago? Too bad our dues weren’t used to strengthen our position instead of getting involved with stuff that had Zero to do with the postal service and our jobs. Mr. Burris- you have helped divide our membership like no one else. I would think, Mr. Burris, that you would support this contract since Obama told the UAW that they were overpaid and before he would bail out GM and Chrysler, they would have to take addtional pay cuts, although Ford Motor Co. employees didn’t have to take additional cuts since they wouldn’t sell out to the government. And you certainly spent plenty of our money sending out Obama t-shirts and Obama yard signs to our locals. So which is it? Do you support union pay cuts only when Obama says so?

  15. To all of you voting yes—WAKE UP!!!!!! This contract is a bunch of crap! We allpay our dues and they can come up with a lot better deal than this! It is mostly in the post office’s faveor if this contract goes through. I personally called the union last week to have some of the issues in the contract better explained to me. After I got off the phone I immediately called my co-workers to let them know what this contract really is. Here’s an example of how it would affect clerks in my office which is a level 18. Currently our PM is not allowed to work any clerk hrs unless there is an emergency, because of a local grievence on file. Well if this contract passes the PM can now work OUR hours up to 15 per wk. Oh and here’s the a good one, our cleaning person, she will be let go and the clerks will be selling stamps one minute and than the next minute we will be scrubbing shit out of toliets and mopping!!!!!!! I never read that in my job description when I was hired many yrs ago! Another example that they don’t tell you is: The new “Non-traditional postions section it states that offices showing 30 hrs or more will be made into full-time postions. WRONG!!!! If you are a PTF in a level 20 or below you will stay a PTF and will NOT be made full time. This rule only applies to level 21 & above, which is not stated in the tenative agreement. You know with the price of EVERYTHING going up why would anyone agree to deferr our COLA?? How about they start cutting from the top? But we all know that that would never happen! I urge you all to please contact your union reps for clairification on some of these issues because there’s alot more to the story than what they are telling you!!! I AGREE WITH BURRUS.

  16. “Everybody is scared because of those propaganda talks given by Donahue. SUCKERS! In our facility alone since the propaganda (we’re broke speeches) began, the US Post Office spent money on the following: new lighting in the building, new dock doors, new computers for the ETs, new walkie talkies for the Maintenance Department, etc.”

    When I read this, I had to look to see where this posting was from. To my surprise, NOT Saint Petersburg. I’m not sure if our ETs got new computers, but I know the whole plant is getting brand new chillers(air conditioning units).

  17. I’m not a Union lover, nor a management lover. I, however, will say that if we don’t take care of ourselves right now, there’s no need to worry about tomorrow’s employee. Don’t forget that contracts are negotiable. If you don’t like the new wage system for newer employees, forget about it today…..remember it when the contracts runs out and the economy is better and become a national union leader and fight for elimination of the wage system.

    If we vote No on this contract, it’s possible that an arbitrator would suggest that current employees take a pay reduction of up to $8,000 per year. How would you like to see that happen? I know I sure as hell wouldn’t want to see that happen for myself or for my current brothers and sisters. Why? If you bought a new car or a house, you either file bankruptcy or let the bank have both items back. Either way, the economy would be more worsened than it already is. If we vote No on this contract, we may as well kiss our future goodbye and brace ourselves for the New Depression.

    I don’t think it’s fair that the new employees will do the same work as we do for up to $8,000 less a year. Guess what? We already have postal employees that do the same work as we do. The casuals and transitional employees do the same work as a brand new career employee would for approximately $18,000 less a year with no chance of getting a pay raise, any type of benefits, nor leave of any type. If I wanted to take a week off back in the days of casual/TE employment, it was leave without pay. Were any of you bitching about this? My guess is not, but you were bitching about how they were taking away your overtime hours.

    If you’re an idiot, feel free to complain about the large mailers discount hurting the employees of the postal service. Personally, I don’t agree with the large mailers discount because it’s basically saying that the President of The United States shouldn’t have to pay more 14 cents to mail a letter while Joe Schmo pays 44 cents to mail a letter. Now if you’re smarter than a 5th grader, you would realize that lending institutions, cable companies, internet providers, email, social networking, etc. has dramatically decreased the mail volume over the years. Wells Fargo wants all their customers to use online account services because it would eliminate the money they need to spend on hiring an employee to mail out the statements to the customers and to enter in all the data upon the arrival of loan payments. Before the email technology, I may have written a maximum of 20 personal letters to friends and family during a period of 20 years. May not be much volume, but internationally it is. Let’s go back to Wells Fargo example. Think of how many customers they have, and how many are enrolled in the online account services to pay their auto loan or mortgage payment. Now let’s say for example that Wells Fargo has 1 million mortgage paying customers total that are still writing out a check to enclose inside a stamped envelope. Wells Fargo has to mail 1 million statements to it’s customers every month so that equals out to 12 million statements annually at a cost of $5,280,000. Now let’s say that 80 percent of Wells Fargo customers pay their mortgage online…..that’s a reduction of 9,600,000 statements being sent out from Wells Fargo every year….and a loss of $4,224,000 in stamp sales. Wells Fargo would be paying $1,056,000 to the USPS for their services. Now let’s calculate the revenue from the Wells Fargo customers along with the Wells Fargo numbers. To keep it simple, we’ll simply multiply the positive and negative revenue by 2. With no online robbery from Wells Fargo, the USPS has a yearly revenue of $10,560,000 in stamp sales. Now with 80% online robbery from Wells Fargo, the USPS has a lost revenue of $8,448,000 which brings down the yearly revenue of stamps for Wells Fargo and it’s customers to $2,112,000. Now for another example of lost revenue due to online robbery, let’s use the U.S. population (http://www.census.gov/population/www/popclockus.html) of 311 million who each will mail out 6 monthly payments each month of the year. 311 million customers x 6 monthly payments x 12 months = 22,392,000,000 individual stamps sold per year for mailing out payments. With no online robbery, the revenue from stamps being sold for mailing out payments would be $9,852,480,000 per year. Now let’s extract 80% of that revenue due to business being lost to online robbery, and we have a total revenue of $1,970,496,000 in stamp sales.

    For those of you who are planning to vote NO on this contract, please take the time to consider the perspective I have provided and be wise today and vote YES.

    If we vote YES, not only do we preserve the livelihood of the current employees but the future employees as well. Casuals and transitional employees will now have a chance to receive a better pay. Those desperately seeking to become a USPS employee during the last 2-3 years will now have a chance to get their foot in the door. We will be re-paving the road to the USPS for newer postal career employees.

    When the USPS economy is better, the national union leaders will fight to get a better salary for the newer postal career employees just as they have for the past employees. We could also tell our union leaders to persuade the USPS to set up online payments for customers that find it more accommodating for a yearly fee of $31.68 ($0.44 x 6 monthly stamps x 12 months) + $3.32 for identity theft protection policy that protects individuals up to $1,000,000. That’s one idea, the other idea is to start a new wave of of an old tradition…..write a check for your monthly bills…insert it into a stamped envelope…watch for the processing of your monthly payment with the method of monitoring your account online since that’s easier than calling a 1-800 number and putting up with a robotic answering system.

    If you still feel the need to vote NO, then I hope for your sake that you can at least say that you have never made any online payments for the luxuries that you have today. The luxuries I am speaking of are cell phones, internet, cable/satellite, electricity, heat, etc.

  18. I am saddened by the comments of my friend Bill Burrus. I know he has over 50 years of service and was a talented leader but the comments are unfair and unbefitting him. If someone told me a year ago that our next contract would have an uncapped COLA, excessing restricted to 40 miles, no casuals, closing CPUs, reductions in the use of 204Bs, RAISES of any kind, eliminations of PMRs, solid restrictions on contracting out, thousands of jobs coming back into the bargaining unit, no PTFs in function 1, and much more. I would have laughed at them.

    The main concession was that new hires would come in at a wage rate of $5k below the current starting salary. Does anyone really think that an arbitrator would have rejected that proposal from management? Future negotiations will determine what their top step will be…so let’s not assume the worst there.

    I have been involved with national bargaining of the USPS since 1978 and I am currently a resident national officer. I ran for VP with Bill Burrus in 2001. I can honestly say that the climate could not have been worse for bargaining.

    Consider the following:
    Unenemployment 10%, a historic recession, mail volumes plummeting, the court system stacked against us, Public sector bargaining rights under attack everywhere, the US House looking to make an example of us and the public looking to gut our benefits. Believe me this would have been a bad time to arbitrate. The negotiating team refused to let our future be determined by a third party and I applaud them for that.

    President Guffey told me that going to arbitration would be like playing Russian roulette with a bullet in every chamber…..I could not have said it better.

    Steve Albanese

  19. Burris is acting like the monkey he is. GM and others now survive due to 2 tier wages. KrazyKoon would rather keep all equal and current employees take a hit to help the new employees. Best vote YES as it can only get worse.

  20. WOW! some folks here needs to take a pill your way to serious this is in the bag signed sealed and delivered remember you on the postal reporter get it postal reporter now smile your also on candid camera.


  22. So true about the new restrooms,lighting and work on a new turn around for trucks,to the tune of about $3 million .
    What we need is new management.

  23. I have to wonder exactly where all these “Supervisor Bonus and Pay Raises” everyone is talking about are located. If you could tell me–I’d gladly take one of those jobs.
    Postal times SUCK right now–PERIOD! 2 yrs ago–EAS were in a pay freeze which meant no pay raise for pay for performance, NOT a bonus–merely receiving what would be considered by clerks as a COLA increase.
    Now, EAS jobs are being eliminated as well. Before everyone starts jumping in and slamming Mgmt. stating that they are not needed—trust me…I know that there are TONS of EAS district personnel that are unneeded in my district–I am all about cutting the waste, especially of jobs where people are not pulling their weight!
    However, not all EAS jobs that they are cutting really need to go away. So, as I have not read in entirety the new APWU contract–I have heard that they would be taking EAS positions and I did see guaranteed pay raises. The APWU clerks have more stability right now than EAS does—so seriously….chill with the Bitch*n! Oh…sorry—its a job requirement!!

  24. Mr. Burris is right. This is the worst contract I’ve seen in my Post Office Career, which originally started in 1967. Everybody is scared because of those propaganda talks given by Donahue. SUCKERS! In our facility alone since the propaganda (we’re broke speeches) began, the US Post Office spent money on the following: new lighting in the building, new dock doors, new computers for the ETs, new walkie talkies for the Maintenance Department, etc. We all should be that broke…It’s contract time and the money gets put into Capital Funds, examples mentioned above, and the Post Office cries broke. This happens every contract year in most facilities. If we can figure this out in Wilmington, Delaware, why can’t our negotiators? As the late great Malcolm T. Smith would say: ‘In Unionism’.

  25. Brothers and Sisters before you make a decision on this contract remember your history. I would like to remind you of a figure in history Neville Chamberlain he is well known for his signing of the Munich agreement in 1938 conceding the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany he will forever be remember waving his contract in the air while disembarking an airplane saying “PEACE IN OUR TIMES”.
    History is litter with men of good will but history has shown they were wrong if you look at this tentative agreement does it pass the appeasement test.
    1. Sell Out Your Allies. (Future Workers)
    2. The Cost Freedom is too high for use. (Arbitration)
    3. If I fight it could cost me. (More Job Loss)
    Brothers and sister when you sign contracts with pirates and cutthroats their signatures are meaningless you still will have to fight but you now have to fight on their terms not yours.
    History has taught us valuable lesions the question is are we to learn from history or just relive over again.
    Appeasement never works it only emboldens the other party to go to the next step.
    Before you cast your vote remember this is your watch your moment in time how will history record your VOTE.

  26. I have met and admire former president Burrus, finding him to be a true Labor Leader who I’m glad to have had the opportunity to share a portion of my postal career with.
    I speak mostly to the Atlanta District with hopes that you realize where your votes of lack there of have helped to position this great Union in both the National and Local Elections.
    Simply because every decision/settlement does not favor your opinion or thought of being right, you replaced all of the skilled and knowledgable leaders with soap-box wannabees that wouldn’t know a Step 2 Appeal Form if it meant losing their lives. The postal service eagerly awaits your next snaffoo with the ratification of the negotiated farce of a contract agreement. Please don’t fall for the rederick this time as the USPS has always cried poor-mouth during contract negotiations.
    Now to the “SCABS, SUPERVISORS, CASUALS, and BIGOTS” who felt the urge to launch these personal attacks on what will soon be realized as one of the greatest Union Leaders of all times, I bid you “GO FIGURE”.

  27. Maybe I have gone blind , I don’t’ see management taking any cut in pay,benefits or bonuses.I think if we vote this down the arbitrator will see the same thing. Looks like management wants labor to go this alone, and take all the hits. I think not.
    Can’t believe they even want us to vote on this,it’s a waste of time. No raise till 2012,what a joke as Gasoline ,and food bills just go higher.

  28. People this is not the end of the world.
    Negotiations is an ongoing process. This
    is a good contract under the current
    economic climate. You can point fingers
    as to why this country and the PO is in
    the sorry state that it is but that doesn’t
    change the here and now. VOTE YES. I
    wouldn’t bank on binding arbitration giving
    us a better deal this time.

  29. To the Negotiation Team I would say thanks for doing your best. As a UNION do we just think of ourself when making a major decision or do we lay the ground work for those who will come behind us?

    Is it okay for my fellow union worker to do the same work I do yet receive far less in pay than me just so management can enjoy their bonus and pay increases? Have the National APWU Reps loss the will to fight for member’s rights?

    This deal benefits Postal Managements on the back of hard working employees.

    Isn’t it time for one strong union representing all Postal worker? A Union for the membership’s interest in mind. No more give backs.

    I will vote “NO” on the current agreement because it is filled with givebacks and sell out of future brothers and sisters who join the trenches of the job with us.

  30. The latest generation of postal worker is not interested in getting involved in the “Struggle.” They seem to have no idea that the union is the reason for the benefits they enjoy. Union activists are geting old and tired, and burnt out. Burruss himself foresaw this and tried to involve young people at the last convention. The union leaders of the future need to be heard from.Now would be a good time to start. I predict that the graying APWU membership will vote yes on this contract. Time for the kids to grow up and become responsible for themsevles. It may be too late.

  31. I know Buriss attack has not class, but this new contract is BAD news for all of us PLEASE vote NO.

  32. While Mr. Burris is no longer President he is still a full dues paying member. As such he is entitled, as we all are, to our opinion and vote. His points are valid and the future workers in the APWU will suffer wage loss and I am sure that management is extremely happy with this. The deferment of the COLA is another patently repulsive aspect of this tentative agreement. The cost of gasoline is skyrocketing as well as food and all other costs just to survive. So, let them starve, seems to be the motto. In the Northeast Area our salaries are not on par with the Cost Of Living. Your Brothers and Sisters are going to starve and it seems that no one cares. The cost of living in most parts of the USA is acceptable in ratio to the salaries, and most of my Brothers and Sisters will live comfortably. The deferment of COLA’s, and pay increases wiil only hurt our members all around the country especially in the Northeast. As such I will vote “NO” on this contract as I am fearful for our future.

  33. Sour Grapes! Would you rather have zero new hires at the current rate? Now I know why I remained in my chair in Detroit!

  34. Burrus is simply upset that the new president got a negotiated contract. I didn’t vote for Burrus the last 3 times he ran for office and this only goes to show me I made the right decision. All Bill ever cared about was how much time off from work he could score for the membership. And since the old sorehead doesn’t like what Guffey got us, I can assure you I will be voting yes to accept!

  35. As I would like to have seen Brother Burrus stay through negotiations, he spoke his mind to show that after 50 years of service to the postal workers union he still cares. How big his house is, is irrelevant. He is still a brother of this union and his opinion is certainly not worthless. I agree with the brother that we should not give in to their inabilities to run this business as a business. I will be voting no, and will urge my fellow brothers and sisters to do the same.

  36. I surprised you would make comments like that sort of looks burrus term in office that brought us to this point. You can imagine how hard on the job injuries will be to get approved. But that not a contract issue is it. The running of the post office during burrus term was the political whim, now is the time for members to to realize it is not the debt but who will recieve monetary settlements. the union gives them a vote on there willingness to accept these monetary settlement let each cast there vote and live with the consequences

  37. I think some of these comments are personal in nature and one should respect the fact that William Burrus is still a full dues paying member and has served us for over 50 years. If you don’t like the contract vote no or vote yes but let’s not get personal. I personally am torn and have not yet made up my mind and I certainly intend to take Bills’ comments to heart.

  38. I agree with you on the salary reductions, Mr Burrus. To those not in the loop, it was Mr Burrus’ original intent to remain the chair throughout contract negotiations. However, once the election was over, president declined to allow the former president to do so; hence the negotiation team we have at present. I think the contract overall is outstanding, but for the salary reduction for new hires. Are we a union or not?

  39. I will be voting YES on this contract. Mr. Burrus is no longer relevant to this Union. He retired before negotiations began. That should say something about how difficult these negotiations were going to be. The Postal Service overpayment is still a fact. Mr. Guffey cannot negotiate “hoping” that Congress will address this issue, he can only negotiate using the facts as they stand now. Darryll Issa would be only to happy to dump (Wisconsin) collective bargaining rights for all of us. As for Mr Burrus, it certainly is easy to take potshots from the side, but he bailed. His opinion is worthless.

  40. The OIG determined that between the USPS & the OPM, there is a huge discrepancy in how the money is spent. ALL reports have the USPS overpaying its obligations by some $50-75 BILLION, and some reports indicate that the figure is over $140 BILLION. By law, they are required, along with Congress, to balance these discrepancies. Now matter how you slice it, there is plenty of money to operate the Postal Service.

    The P.O. has about a $15 billion borrowed debt limit, which we will reach by the end of our fiscal year. This figure should immediately be included in current “postal reform” legislation to wipe that debt clean. Also, due to the PAEA of 2006, we are charged over $5 billion annually to prepay furure retirement costs, part of a total expense of around $40 billion. This too should be addressed in current postal legislation.

    Imagine the difference in negotiations, if the Postal Service didn’t have this false debt load to justify the draconian reductions of which Mr. Burris speaks. That he presided over the union during the passage of the PAEA of 2006 is duly noted. But even with Guffey’s hands tied, he was far too willing to negotiate such a deal w/o correcting the large unresolved overpayment issues the Postal Service by law must resolve.

    He should NEVER agree to waive, defer, or otherwise detract from our COLA. You have to know, that by the next contract, waiving COLA altogether will be high on the USPS agenda; a position arbitrators will likely conclude, given Guffey’s capitulation on the issue. The negotiated raises don’t even keep up with the rising employee costs in health care and union dues. And as Mr. Burris aptly noted, we are selling our future brothers & sisters down the river for a scant few pieces of silver.

    I want to see our union fully invigorated in the fight to make the Congress, the USPS, and the OPM meet their legal obligations in correcting the overpayments made that are setting the stage for such a terrible contract offer. Despite Mr. Guffey’s enthusiastic plea, I think we can do better; much better. Please join me in voting no on the current contract. The members must send a strong message by overwhelmingly voting no and moving this negotiation to arbitration. And if Mr. Guffey isn’t willing to lead the fight on the level of Moe Biller, he should step down. Negotiating on bended knee is no way to run a postal union.

  41. If the contract was so important to you Mr. Burrus, where were you?? Bugging out to let the less experienced do the job. Thanks. Every generation of contracts have sold out the future. I was a “casual” for 1 1/2 years. I also had to leave and come back. It took 4 months, so I lost that time too. This is 1 1/2 years I lost wages, sick leave (I can cash in on retirement), and the retirement calculations. Before this contract, I could have converted it to the time I now have, so what has changed now??? It’s the continuation of selling out to the future. WIMP!!!!!

  42. Retire when your needed most, then critisize your replacement. NICE!!!!!!!!
    It would be a classier move to just mind your own business, and act like your retired. Do you miss the lime light or something?

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