The union had previously presented many proposals and continues to fight for these demands: work hour guarantees for PTFs; guaranteed weekly day off for PTFs and PSEs; elimination of all subcontracting, including continuation of moratorium of subcontracting of any existing MVS/PVS work; moratorium on plant closings; addressing the hostile work environment, including sexual harassment; elimination of management performing bargaining unit work in level 18 offices; and no mandatory overtime.
USPS economic proposals are nothing short of draconian and regressive. Their proposals include:
No increase in pay rates – a freeze for current employees:
One lump sum payment in lieu of the usual annual pay raise;
Lump sum payments in lieu of COLAs.
Decreasing the career workforce:
Increasing the percentage of non-career employees to 25% in the clerk craft;
Reintroduction of 10% PSEs into the maintenance workforce undoing the all-career maintenance craft;
Reintroduction of 10% PSEs into the MVS Craft.
Pay and benefits substantially cut for all future conversion to career and future hires:
A converted PSE would take a pay cut of almost $1.00 per hour and work into year three before getting back to the PSE rate.
Current career employees with less than six years seniority must work 15 years to gain “no lay-off” protection.
Elimination of no lay-off provision for all future workers.
USPS management also had made numerous regressive proposals including: Universal PSE Clerk with no restrictions on working the window, PSEs allowed to work in Level 18 offices and then replace career jobs; replace career PTFs with non-career PSEs; eliminate the 50-mile limit on excessing employees; subcontract custodial work under conditions of unforeseen long-term absences; eliminate penalty pay; eliminate all existing Local Memos; eliminate any on-the-clock steward union time to represent employees.
Chief Spokesperson for the APWU, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman, told the Postal Service negotiators “This is blatant disrespect for postal workers. They provide a valuable service to their country. This is not even close to respecting the value of the service we give. I could go on and on but I will just say I find this insulting.”
President Mark Dimondstein said, “There are clearly two sides in this fight and the battle lines have been drawn in our efforts to obtain a contract that honors and respects postal workers. The USPS proposals reek of contempt for the workforce. APWU members will fight for what we deserve in the interest arbitration process as we continue ‘Fighting Today for a Better Tomorrow.’”
03/04/2019 - The APWU Arbitration Advocacy Training program will be Sunday, June 2 - Sunday, June 9. It is designed to provide an in-depth knowledge of the techniques needed to effectively prepare a case for arbitration. Students must be present for the entire training and must participate in a mock arbitration case on Saturday, June 8. Participants should plan to arrive at the hotel, Maritime Institute Hotel located at 692 Maritime Boulevard, Linthicum Heights, Maryland 21090, on Sunday, June 2 because classes start promptly at 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning. A graduation dinner will be held on Saturday evening. No classes will be held on Sunday, June 9. The curriculum includes: Introduction to Arbitration; Preparing the Case; Identifying and Framing Issues; Threshold Issues; Exhibits and Stipulations; Opening and Closing Statements; Rules of Evidence; Objections, and Direct and Cross Examinations.
To make hotel reservations, contact the hotel toll free at 1 (410) 859-5700, next dial 0. To secure the negotiated rate of $155.00 (single) or $200.00 (double occupancy), plus 13% taxes, identify yourself as attending the American Postal Workers Union’s Arbitration Advocacy Training and register by the Monday, May 6, 2019 deadline. Check-in time is 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is 11:00 am. The hotel requires a major credit card for payment of room and taxes in advance. To receive a refund, hotel reservations must be cancelled 72 hours in advance of the scheduled arrival date; please obtain a cancellation number - request a cancellation number.
In addition to daily classes, participants must be present for the entire training and will have both group and individual homework assignments. Students must work with their assigned teams during late evening hours to prepare a mock arbitration case for presentation on Saturday, June 8.Therefore, all participants should reside at the hotel.
03/01/2019 - On Friday, March 1 the APWU National Executive Board unanimously passed the following statement:
Alex Acosta is unfit to serve as Secretary of Labor.
Recently the Miami Herald produced a detailed and documented expose regarding the sexual abuse scandal of dozens of underage/teenage girls over many years by billionaire hedge fund manager Jeffery Epstein.
Epstein used his money and influence to escape justice. In a secret plea bargain, no charges were filed for sexual abuse of minors. Instead he pled guilty to a felony “prostitution” charge in state court and received a 13-month sentence. According to the Miami Herald, “…in return Epstein and his accomplices received immunity from federal sex-trafficking charges that could have sent him to prison for life.” He served his sentence in a private cell and was allowed to leave for his office every day.
Furthermore, victims were never notified of the plea agreement and were thus denied their legal rights and the opportunity to oppose it.
The current Secretary of Labor and Trump administration cabinet member, Alex Acosta, brokered this secret deal that covered for the crimes, abandoned the victims, broke the law and was a miscarriage of justice. At the time he was the U.S. Attorney for southern Florida.
The Secretary of Labor overseas the agency responsible for labor laws, including human and sex trafficking and international child labor laws.
In defense of young women and all working people, the APWU Executive Board demands that Alex Acosta be removed as Secretary of Labor, either by resignation or termination by the U.S. President.
03/02/2019 - As previously reported, in 2018 the APWU, the National Postal Mail Handlers’ Union (NPMHU), and the USPS reached a tripartite agreement updating the RI-399 work jurisdiction process. As part of the agreement on the update to the RI-399 process, all pending RI-399 grievances filed prior to September 1, 2017, were administratively closed with some limited exceptions.
The Postal Service agreed that they would pay $14.5 million to each union in consideration of the withdrawal of national level disputes. The settlement agreement calls for the unions to each make their own determination on how this money would be distributed.
After consultation, much discussion, and agreement with the Clerk Craft Director, the APWU has decided that the money will be distributed in equal amounts to clerk craft employees who fall into the following two categories:
All career clerk craft employees who were on the rolls as of September 1, 2017, in postal installations that employ both clerk craft employees and mail handlers; and
All PSE clerk craft employees who were on the rolls on September 1, 2017, in postal installations that employ both clerk craft employees and mail handlers and who are still on the rolls as of March 1, 2019.
The exact amount of money is yet to be determined as the APWU is still determining exactly who are entitled to payment. We currently estimate this number to be around 85,000 career and non-career clerks (including any eligible career employees who retired after September 1, 2017). The number of eligible clerks is nearly double the number of mail handlers who will receive payment. President Mark Dimondstein and Clerk Craft Director Clint Burelson released a memorandum to national, state, and local officers.
Updates will be provided as the process progresses.
02/20/2019 - On Feb. 19, almost a year after walking out of school and beginning a national movement of teacher and education workers strikes across the country, West Virginia workers struck again. This time teachers and school personnel walked out explicitly in protest against a potential bill that would begin a process to privatize the state’s education system. Schools in 54 of the state’s 55 counties were closed for the day, and the House of Delegates voted 53-45 to kill the bill only hours after the walk out.
The bill was working its way through the state legislature, with both houses passing amendments. The major point of contention was a Senate-passed amendment creating seven charter schools across the state and providing funding for parents of special needs children to utilize private education. The bill went back to the House of Delegates as the teachers began their strike, and the Republican-led chamber voted to kill the bill.
Union leaders fought the bill since its introduction. They argued the state’s lawmakers only listened to private interests, without consulting teachers and pushed a bill through the legislature that emboldens privatization, at the expense of the public education system.
“The bill that the West Virginia legislature killed yesterday would have undoubtably harmed the public education system in the state,” said President Mark Dimondstein. “We are proud to stand by the teachers and school personnel who hit the streets against this bill and pressured lawmakers through their action to do the right thing. It shows that when we stand strong and united, we win”
02/19/2019 - On Feb. 13, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced S. 478, the “Expand Social Security Act,” legislation that would expand benefits and add almost 50 years of solvency to the program. Social Security, in its current form, is paying out more money to recipients than it takes in, and will no longer be able to pay out full benefits by 2034. A companion bill, H.R. 1170 was introduced in the House on the same day by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4).
This looming problem is due to the cap on payroll taxes at $132,900, meaning each person only pays the 12.4 percent Social Security tax up to that amount, no matter how much income they earn. The vast majority of workers’ pay the full 12.4 percent on most of their income – Jeff Bezos, by comparison, pays about .00028 percent of his income.
Sen. Sanders’s bill, first introduced in the Senate in 2017, would remove this cap, and require those making over $250,000 per year to pay full Social Security taxes. The bill also includes a new 6.2 percent tax on single people with investment income above $200,000 and couples above $250,000.
In addition to keeping Social Security fully solvent, the bill would increase benefits for all Social Security recipients, provide higher cost-of-living and prescription drug cost adjustments, and provide an additional $1,300 per year to low income seniors. The bill would also allow children of those with disabilities to receive benefits until they turn 22, provided they are in school full time – a four-year difference from current law.
Sen. Sanders’s bill is cosponsored by multiple 2020 Democratic candidates, including Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and Cory Booker.
“The APWU wholeheartedly supports the strengthening and expansion of Social Security benefits,” said President Mark Dimondstein. “It would be good for all working folks including for postal workers who are now mostly covered by the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) of which Social Security is a core component.”
“APWU members should reach out to their Representative and Senators and urge them to sign on to these vital pieces of legislation,” said Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard.
Dial 844.402.1001 to be connected to your elected officials.
02/11/2019 - Consistent with the requirements of the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015, the Postal Service allows veteran employees who meet the eligibility requirements to take Wounded Warrior Leave. This is a specific type of leave, which provides veteran employees with no loss in pay, for undergoing medical treatment for a service-related disability rated at 30% or more.
Wounded Warrior Leave is an authorized absence from the Postal Service to undergo medical treatment for a service-connected disability rated at 30 % or more. It is a separate leave category, distinct from Sick Leave.
Treatment is an in-person visit to a health care provider, as specified in Section 513.364 of the Employees Labor Relations Manual (ELM), and includes the course of action prescribed by a health care provider. Treatment includes but is not limited to examination for and evaluations of the health condition that caused the disability rating.
Health Care Provider is the employee’s attending physician or other attending practitioner as recognized by ELM 515.2
Twelve- Month Eligibility Period is defined as the continuous 12-month period that begins on the first day of employment during which an eligible veteran can use Wounded Warrior Leave. For employees on the rolls and non-career employees on a required break in service (five days a appropriate) on November 4, 2016, the 12-month period begins November 5, 2016.
UPDATED ELIGIBILITY – WOUNDED WARRIOR LEAVE PROVIDED ON AN ON-GOING BASIS
• Eligible new hires will receive 104 hours of WWL upon hire (as required by law) to be used for the remainder of the current calendar year.
• Each January, all disabled veterans with a 30% or more combined disability rating will receive 104 hours of WWL to use during the calendar year.
• At the end of each calendar year, any remaining WWL will be forfeited but, assuming the employee still has a combined disability rating of 30% or more, he/she will receive a new 104 hours at the start of the new leave year.
• Any unused WWL is not rolled over to the next year, nor will it be paid out if the employee leaves.
• WWL can run concurrent with FMLA, when appropriate.
For the 2019 leave year the effective date is January 5, 2019.
Eligibility can be verified on the employee’s PS form 50 which is found in their e-OPF. In box #11 on their PS form 50 it should indicate – “6-10pt-Comp over 30%”. If box #11 does not denote “6-10pt-Comp over 30%”, the employee will need to submit the necessary documentation to certify they meet the 30% eligibility. In the letter dated November 2016 it states – employees who have not yet submitted the necessary paper work must provide documentation from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs certifying that they have a qualifying service-connected disability. Specifically, a copy of DD 214, for each period of service, along with rating letter from the VA. Address:
HR Shared Service Center
Via mail: Attention RTR
HR Shared Service Center
PO Box 970100
Greensboro, NC 27497-0100
REQUESTS FOR WOUNDED WARRIOR LEAVE
All requests for Wounded Warrior Leave must be first submitted on a PS Form 3971. This request should be submitted in advance when foreseeable to the appropriate supervisor. There is an exception to the advance approval requirement for unexpected treatment. The supervisor is responsible for the approving requests for Wounded Warrior Leave by signing the PS Form 3971, and returning a copy to the veteran.
The veteran is required to submit a PS Form 5980, Treatment Verification for Wounded Warrior Leave, certified by a health care provider that the veteran used the leave to receive treatment for a covere4d disability. The PS Form 5980 must be provided no later than 15 calendar days after the employee returns to work. (See attached copy of a PS Form 5980)
In a letter dated October 24, 2016 the Postal Service stated that a veteran employee’s legitimate use of Wounded Warrior Leave will not be used for purposes of adverse personnel actions. (See attached letter)
Any further questions or concerns contact Assistant Director, Clerk Division Lynn Pallas-Barber (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Assistant Maintenance Director Idowu Balogun (email@example.com)
On Feb. 5, Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth “Liz” Powell was honored by the World Peace Prize Awarding Council (WPPAC) as a “Roving Ambassador for Peace,” and awarded the World Peace Prize for Labor Leadership, alongside Ester Lopez, International Secretary-Treasurer, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.
The award honors individuals who dedicate their lives and careers to peace, justice and labor leadership.
02/01/2019 - APWU Regional Safety and Health Representatives, Regional Coordinators, and National Officers responsible for the flow of workplace safety programs recently met over two days at headquarters, where they discussed APWU’s Stand Up for Safe Jobs campaign and prepared to go into the field to present training on the campaign, and safety in general.
Each APWU region has at least one member in the field, a Safety and Health Representative, who is appointed to help states and locals with safety issues that affect workers.
“These area safety representatives are dedicated to safety in the workplace,” said Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman. “They are trained - and OSHA certified - in a variety of safety topics, and are experienced with dealing with the Postal Service in safety related matters. Locals should not hesitate to contact them with any safety related questions they have.”
In Fiscal Year 2018, across all crafts, there were 42,749 postal employees who reported and had claims for injury or occupational disease accepted. The Postal Service once again is the most dangerous place to work in the U.S. Government. (Bureau of Labor Statistics Data)
“Every employee has the right to go to work in a safe environment and return home to their families at the end of the day uninjured,” said President Mark Dimondstein. “Although management is ultimately responsible for a safe work environment and ensuring the employees are not hurt, the employees can and should organize and together demand their right to a safe work environment.”
Any state organization who would like to have a Regional Coordinator and Regional Safety Representative come in and provide training to a state meeting or convention can request this through their Regional Coordinator. They are eager to help all members Stand Up for Safe Jobs.