Outcome Critical to Postal Service, Employees, Future
WASHINGTON — The Postal Service and two of its major unions have agreed to extend separate labor contract negotiations until Jan. 20, 2012. Contracts with the National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO (NALC) and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, AFL-CIO (NPMHU) expired at midnight Sun., Nov. 20, 2011. The extension will allow the parties to continue to work on the important economic, health care, workplace and other contractual issues being discussed.
The NALC represents more than 195,000 employees who work as letter carriers delivering mail primarily in urban areas. The NPMHU represents more than 46,000 employees who work in mail processing plants and Post Offices. Respectively, wages and benefits for NALC- and NPMHU-represented employees exceeded $15.7 billion and $3.5 billion last year. Should negotiations fail, a process begins which could result in a third party determining contract term s and work rules for more than 240,000 employees.
Unlike the private sector, when negotiations come to an impasse, postal employees are not permitted to strike as Congress has designated the Postal Service as an essential service to the nation. An arbitrator determines the final outcome and is not legally required to consider the Postal Service’s financial obligations when rendering a decision.
For additional background information on labor negotiations visit this link.
From the National Association of Letter Carriers
Contract talks extended into the new year: The National Association of Letter Carriers and the U.S. Postal Service have agreed to extend the current round of contract negotiations until Jan. 20, 2012. The extension will allow the parties to continue to work on the important economic, health care, workplace and other contractual issues being discussed. “We are encouraged that progress is still being made and we want to take all the time necessary to reach an agreement that serves the interests of America’s city letter carriers,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “We are committed to achieving a win-win contract at this crucial time in the history of the Postal Service.”