(January 20, 2012) National negotiations between the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the U.S. Postal Service over the terms of their 2011 National Agreement have stalled, and the parties have been unable to agree to another extension of the deadline for their bargaining. (Two prior extensions previously had changed the original November 20, 2011 expiration of the National Agreement to December 16, 2011 and January 20, 2012, respectively.)
The parties at the National level are still discussing how they will proceed from this point forward, pursuant to their joint authority to establish dispute resolution procedures; the terms of the 2011 National Agreement will remain in effect until the completion of those procedures. Under the statute that governs postal negotiations, if both sides agree, the parties may first engage in mediation and, if unsuccessful, go to binding interest arbitration. As noted, the parties currently are discussing how they will proceed.
The National Office of the NPMHU appreciates the patience and support of the membership. More information will be shared with the Local Unions next week.