NALC ‘disappointed ’
Union to seek agreement in mediation
Jan. 20, 2012 — Today, the United States Postal Service declined to extend collective-bargaining negotiations with the National Association of Letter Carriers, triggering an impasse that will automatically send the matter to mediation under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. If no consensual agreement is reached in a 60-day period of mediation, the issues will be submitted for final and binding resolution before an “Interest Arbitration” panel, which under law must consider all the evidence presented by the parties.
Fredric Rolando, President of NALC, issued the following statement:
“I am disappointed by the Postal Service’s decision. We have been making steady progress in negotiations, right up through this afternoon. Our negotiations have been innovative, professional and productive and have been conducted at the highest level.
“Now that the formal litigation process has begun, we will pursue a negotiated agreement through mediation and prepare to vigorously defend our members in Interest Arbitration, if it reaches that step.
“Notwithstanding this turn of events, NALC continues to believe that a negotiated agreement is in the best interests of the parties, the businesses that rely on us and the nation we serve. We will continue to negotiate in good faith as mediation takes place under the law’s dispute-resolution process even as we prepare for binding arbitration, and we will work with Congress on vitally needed reforms. We also will work with our external expert advisers to advance a new business model that will revitalize and preserve the USPS as a vital element of the nation’s business and cultural infrastructure.”
CONTRACT TALKS STALL: Impasse Declared
(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.