Mail Handlers: USPS Submits Harsh Proposals at Bargaining Table

Bargaining between the NPMHU and the U.S. Postal Service is reaching its critical stages, as the November 20th deadline draws closer.

During the next two weeks, the parties will determine if a negotiated settlement is possible. If a tentative agreement is concluded through bargaining, that agreement would be presented to the NPMHU membership for ratification through a referendum vote. If no agreement is reached, then the parties will resolve their dispute through either mediation or interest arbitration proceedings.

As is common in these situations, prior to the November 20 deadline the parties are required to present, on the record, their proposals on both non-economic work rules and on the key economic components of the National Agreement. A party’s submission of proposals means that either the NPMHU or USPS management is prepared to put these proposals forward in interest arbitration proceedings if the parties eventually reach an impasse in their negotiations.

The deadline for work rule proposals has just passed, and before it did, the Postal Service submitted a lengthy list of proposals. These proposals could accurately be described as draconian, or even outrageous. But the bargainers on both sides understand that these are markers or place-holders, representing the most extreme work rules that might serve as a starting point and lead to a series of subsequent compromises.

Nonetheless, to this point the Postal Service has presented several work rule proposals that, whether considered individually or collectively, would effectively re-write large portions of the current National Agreement to the detriment of all mail handlers. These proposals include the following, among others:

  •  total elimination of protection from layoff and reduction in force
  • an increase in the non-career workforce to 40% of the mail handler complement, with no contractual restrictions on their hiring or use
  • an elimination of overtime after 8 hours per day, such that overtime would be paid only after 40 hours of actual work each service week
  • the elimination of extra pay for the Christmas holiday
  • a declaration that all current Local Memoranda of Understanding previously negotiated under Article 30 are null and void, and the requirement that the parties start local negotiations anew with only a handful of permissible subjects.

It goes without saying that these USPS proposals are totally unacceptable. They will not be accepted by the NPMHU bargaining team, and the Postal Service obviously knows that they will not be accepted by the NPMHU bargaining team. The NPMHU therefore sees no particular reason to overreact to these proposals. At the same time, the NPMHU does not believe that these proposals say anything meaningful – one way or the other – about the chances or likelihood that the parties will be able to reach a negotiated settlement prior to, or even after, the current bargaining deadline of November 20.

As more developments in bargaining occur, they will be reported, so all mail handlers should stay tuned by watching and reading their bulletin boards.


31 thoughts on “Mail Handlers: USPS Submits Harsh Proposals at Bargaining Table

  1. The USPS is just trying to scare the membership into voting “Yes” on any “Tentative Agreement” that the USPS & MH put out to the membership. Same game played on APWU. The scare tactics have begun!

  2. I haven’t heard any comments about the rural carriers. We are still trying to negotiate a contract after ours expired over a year ago. We will be in arbitration in December but I don’t look for good news. They are trying to get rid of our no lay off and start contracting our routes out to the lowest bidder. I don’t think Donahoe will be happy until it is only him and a secretary ( to do all the work) working for the post office.

  3. What if the other unions get a better contract?

    Maybe not by much but better then what the APWU did if going to Arbitration?

    Big win for them dont you think? While the APWU members look on?

    That maybe is what the APWU doesnt want?

    When was the last time a APWU member got a COLA?

    When was the last time a NPMHU member got a COLA?

  4. The hole of the people are getting screwed but they press on.

    It was like those new APWU contract booklets were blessed printed and already to go asap. I DONT TRUST APWU OR MANAGEMENT.

    It’s a done deal for the APWU so go to the back of the room have a seat your done.

    It is the principal that matters…That you took a stand and fought even if you lose you fought. Thats what the APWU didnt do, imo.

  5. In the bi-partisan agreement in the senate it saids if the contract goes to Arbitration
    the financial state of the post office must be consider. So the postmaster general took the gloves off. he has winning hand and he knows it. We got NTFT
    in our contract, 50% on the jobs can converted to fewer than 40 hours in a work week.
    and be consider full time. so 50% of us lost our bid jobs,and the only ones being posted are
    NTFT bids. He wants to screw you as much as he can, maybe he should
    be hire as new coach at Penn State. he will fit with in. wish you luck in your contract
    you will need it.

  6. The APWU. What a joke. Nice contract your officials and members voted on. Clerks are receiving letters daily that their hours are being slashed to thirty hours. Nice job APWU. Keep up the good work.

  7. The bloodiest war yet to come is said to be in : AFRICA! Now these Iranians are that much closer to having a nuclear weapon for what? ISRAEL? Our situation here in the U.S. SUCKS!!!!! WE HAVE TROOPS COMING HOME TO : NO JOBS!!!! PROBABLY NO UNEMPLOYMENT AND NO HELP! BUT WE ARE THE BEST WHEN IT COMES TO DESTROYING OTHER COUNTRIES AND THEN SCREWING OUR OWN PEOPLE SO WE CAN REBUILD THE DAMAGE WE CREATED. WTF?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. This is all Bullshit!!!!! They cry poverty and lie looking you straight in the eye!Well they can look in my brown eye! These thieving lying basturds are all in this together!It’s a Goldmine and they want it all for themselves. I say lookout payback is a bitch!

  9. I am not a postal employee, just got to this site and next finding out all the disgruntled postal workers here. Looks like nobody here is happy, management, employees, union, etc. Just remember that it is going to get worse because its same and even worse in private sector. Those of you who have jobs, thank God for it and pray that we do not have another war otherwise we will have to cut more to pay for another war.

  10. screw the APWU, if Burass had not sold out the APWU members contract before last, the PO would not even dare to push this hard.

    maybe the APWU should join the NPMHU for a change, our union has grown in membership while their’s as shown according to DOL figures a loss in members.

  11. What’s wrong with managements proposals? The Clerk Non-Union would have accepted them with open arms and proclaimed a Win-Win situation.

  12. Supervisors need super(vision) training 101, some cant even make out a holiday work schedule right.

    They are so into themselfs of who what when and why not, doing whatever they want to whom ever they want for so long they dont know how to read or follow a union contract, how about they start off taken baby steps? Starting with the basics. Filling out a 3971.

    This doing want we want when we want our shit dont stink for so many years gotta go, looks like they are trying this crap on Congress just throwing shit everywhere seeing if it sticks.

    So much could be $aved if they would just do the right thing, but Noooooooo if you dont like it file,

    Well people let me make my case and take it to the bank?

    Some custodians have filed a MS47 staffing AGAIN! and its just a matter of time before they will be back in Best Buys getting another 50 inch. AGAIN!

    Cause Why? Management has the right to miss manage? If it were me myself and i had to pay out $$$$$ AGAIN! cause you didnt do your job right AGAIN! YOU GONE!

    You mailhandlers stand your ground when you got nothing you got nothing to lose. (dont) bend over like the APWU did.


  13. to clerk,

    you’re a freaking nut! APWU is the one who threw everyone under the bus… read your contacrt! They are the one who fell for that PSE’s BS.
    NPMHU and NALC will take this all the way to arbitration.
    My suggestion to you is take your membership out of that union and let them screw you for free instead of paying for it…

  14. 40% of Casuals… what a joke! How much $$ does it take to hire and train theses people? In my building casuals call off, get fri/sat nights off and get COS. Mean while career employees get harrassed for attendance, bid jobs with weekends or close to it get changed for middle of week and denied for Cos due operational needs. Look at happen to our fellow clerks, many were forced into other crafts, jobs abolished, with more on the way yet the PO is posting jobs for PSE. Oh and apperently they have a choice of 4 10hr workdays and 3 days off. On a personal level as a single mother I would love this kind of schedule.

  15. I’d have to think about joining up w/ other unions. When i first got into the post office 11 years ago i naively thought there was only one union. It seemed to be, you know, THE POINT. It was my first union job and i didn’t know any different. The word “union” didn’t turn out as honest a term as i thought (“Um…there are HOW many unions? But…that doesn’t make any sense.”). So many people with different agendas. I still get amused at how management insists they don’t have a union…they have an “association”. *snicker*

  16. we need a new postmaster general.Donahoe looks like he belongs to the
    Italian mob or worst.for complete lack of human decency and principles.
    many postal workers have been very good hard working employees to
    treat them like trash with his indecent labor proposals.this guy is the worst
    enemy the US Postal Service ever had.

  17. Is everyone running the Post Office STUPID or what!! Now almost 2 yrs ago I was excess from my buliding in Detroit to move me to Saginaw, where their talking about closing!!! Dumb *sses before you ruined my life you didn’t know they wanted to close this building too…sure you didn’t *sshole!! But let us all keep good faith they just trying to break us down so some will quit!!

  18. The PoSt Office will remain broke..look at the decisions they make! How is it you can’t make the ppl that have the age and years retire without giving $$$, but there so quick to talk about layoffs…that’s $$$ you will still pay through about let ppl retire that have 5yrs or less without penalties!! Let ppl move where there are vacancies without becoming PTF’s…how bout quit leasing ALL these buildings for hundreds of thousands of dollars…how bout Cut management bonuses, where the ones working..we don’t even get a bonus!!

  19. The post office is playing hardball with Cy Young pitching for them.
    Does the mailhandlers union have any Hank Aarons or Babe Ruth’s on their team?
    If not, they had better go to arbitration.
    And hope for the best.

  20. mailhandlers and carriers are crazy if they DO NOT tell donahoe to stick it and take their case to arbitration. donahoe has proven himself to be a liar if you look at what he did after the negotiated clerk contract was signed. donahoe is a slimeball who cannot be trusted. donahoe word means nothing. mailhandlers and carriers RUN to arbitration, you’ll make out much better in long run and
    donahoe won’t be able to stab you in the back like he did the clerks.

  21. Without saying a word i’d take their proposals 🙂

    And with a Memoranda of Understanding wipe my ass with it and hand it back to them.

  22. When are we going to wake up to the fact that the post office is being run by the biggest bunch of idiots in the free world. How can the pmg expect people to work hard for this company after he shows the employees how little he cares for them? A few weeks ago he’s telling us how proud he is of the work we’re doing and then turns around and shows us how he really feels by offering these pitiful contract offers? He’s either the biggest dope alive or thinks we are. The president should get rid of this loser and get some one who has some business sense. Some one who knows how to run a huge organization like ours, and who knows how to negotiate a contract with his employees without insulting their hard work and intelligence.

  23. When are the Mailhandlers going to join forces with the APWU? Or do they prefer to wither away to nothing?

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