Mail Handlers Contract Update: Impasse Declared, Dispute Resolution Procedures Forthcoming

As previously announced, National negotiations between the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the U.S. Postal Service over the terms of the 2011 National Agreement stalled late last week, on January 20, 2012.  At that point, representatives of the Postal Service made clear that they would not agree to extend the expiration date for the current National Agreement for a fourth time, and thus the parties had no choice but to declare impasse in the negotiations.

Although progress was made during bargaining on certain issues, including Articles 12 on seniority and reassignments and Article 15 governing the grievance-arbitration procedure, the parties remain at loggerheads on issues concerning wages under Article 9, health insurance under Article 21, employee complement under Article 7, and subcontracting under Article 32.  The Postal Service also has been working in Congress to undermine the bargaining process, seeking legislative changes in the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program, as well as changes in the binding arbitration provisions that ultimately control collective bargaining.

At this writing, 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.  In the meantime, the terms of the 2006 National Agreement will remain in effect until the completion of those procedures.

The statute that governs postal negotiations sets out a flexible process for ultimately determining the terms and conditions that will become part of the 2011 National Agreement.  Under that statute, if the “parties fail to reach agreement,” they are authorized “to adopt a procedure providing for a binding resolution” of the dispute.     This is the step in the process that is currently applicable.

If the parties are ultimately unable to reach agreement on a dispute resolution process, then the statute sets out a default procedure.  First, the Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service appoints a mediator of nationwide reputation and professional stature, who is also a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators.  The parties are required to cooperate with the mediator in an effort to reach an agreement, and are required to meet and negotiate in good faith at such times and places that the mediator, in consultation with the parties, directs.

Thereafter, if no agreement is reached with the assistance of the mediator, an arbitration board is established “consisting of 3 members, 1 of whom shall be selected by the Postal Service, 1 by the bargaining representative of the employees, and the third by the 2 thus selected.”  If the members chosen by the parties fail to agree on the third person, the selection of the third person shall be made from a list of names provided by FMCS.  This list would consist of at least nine names of arbitrators of nationwide reputation, who also are members of the National Academy of Arbitrators, and whom the Director has determined are available and willing to serve.

The arbitration board must give the parties a full and fair hearing, including an opportunity to present evidence in support of their claims. Decisions of the arbitration panel are conclusive and binding upon the parties.

As dispute resolution procedures are developed by the National parties, they will be announced.  Please be sure to check the NPMHU website and your bulletin boards for the latest information.

source: National Postal Mail Handlers Union

17 thoughts on “Mail Handlers Contract Update: Impasse Declared, Dispute Resolution Procedures Forthcoming

  1. Hire temporary mailhandlers. That will get their Jimmy Hoffa attention.
    Employees do not appreciate a good thing when they have got.
    Top heavy 6 figure income puppets must be reduced.

  2. In the end, all that will be left will be mailhandlers and carriers. APWU officials will cash in their chips and go. Guffey will have the “honor” of being the last APWU president. Terry will still have lifts in his shoes.

  3. NALC and APWU

    What is this?, The Postal Unions telling Congress not to help the US Post Office,
    it is the Unions dictating to Congress, yet Congress listens not to those they serve.
    The Bill S- 1789 in the United States Senate, was to help to salvage what is left of the US Post Office, and offer Early Retirements to workers, so as to avoid a Reduction in Force and layoffs, the NALC, APWU, and the Mail handlers Unions have basically doomed any legislation to keep the Post Office solvent, the bottom line is Union dues for the Bigwigs in these Unions.
    The Craft Workers not management should be offered the Voluntary Early Retirements, and soon, and not the Reduction In Force nor the layoffs, better an Incentive than R.I.F. Or Layoffs.

    APWU & NALC  
    Call Your Senators:    
    (Capitol Switchboard)    
    [Click here for direct #s]    
    Tell them you Support    
    S. 1789 as it is currently written  
    Cut what is there and paste this or something else to your Senators.
    Today, 8:45:07 AM
    Like – Reply – Delete

    You can also Email Your Senator Directly as shown below, the Unions cannot overcome the will of the people , do not give to COPA, give to a legitimate Charity instead, COPA is not tax deductible, Charities usually are.

    GOOGLE……….U.S. SENATE………Choose your “SENATOR HOME” State. Look for the area in which to write and send your comment.  
    I wrote ” I work for the U.S.P.S. and I do not oppose S1789 in it’s current form”. This bill offers three types of incentives not to be combined.  
    1. 25,000 cash.  
    2. 2 years added on to your FERS retiremrnet.  
    3. 1 year added on to your CSRS retirement.  
    * NOTE: Remember you can only choose one of the three.

  4. Wonder what would happen if management gets their way and pay us postal workers chinese wages.. Hmmm wonder if someone off the streets could fire up a dbcs machine and run like dog catching those full bins…

  5. Yeah they didn’t throw the legacy workers under the bus. However they are throwing the ptf’s under the bus. In the last three years we’ve had 1 ptf converted however we have over 35 residual bids and tour 3 mail handlers working 40 hrs or more overtime a pay period and having some make over $100,000 dollars a year.

  6. Kudos to the Union negotiating team for not caving. Hang tough, the members on the workroom floor support you.

  7. I think since the PMG did not sign off on the APWU contract yet, its because congress is going to change the rules soon. Look for some radical changes and wage consessions. The PMG and congress are working together to really lay the leather to us.

  8. I hope both unions get a better contract then the APWU.

    Some of us oldtimers right off the bat were saying vote no.

    This will put the iceing on the cake…best wishes.

  9. you can’t possibly negotiate “in good faith” and come to an
    agreement when you are dealing with a liar called patrick
    donahoe. donahoe has proven his dishonesty, don’t make the
    same mistake the apwu did and believe donahoe at his word.
    we all see how that worked out! go to arbitration, seems like the
    perfect time for arbitration and really the only option you have
    besides “trusting” a proven liar.

  10. You guys will do better than the APWU because binding arbitration always favors labor and no new class of worker like the PSE’s can be created in binding arbitration. At least your union leaders didn’t throw the legacy workers under the bus.

  11. The terms of the 2006 contract will remain in effect? Not for postal management. They’ll continue to break your agreement whenever it suits them. I see it every day when I see a clerk ride by on a Jittnee. When are the unions going to finally say enough is enough? Do we have to walk? Maybe then the President will take notice, this is an election year. Let’s see if he’s for the working man!

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