|APWU Convention Adopts Resolution to Remove Postmaster General DeJoy
APWU Convention Adopts Resolution to Remove Postmaster General DeJoy
September 16, 2022
APWU CONVENTION ADOPTS RESOLUTION TO REMOVE POSTMASTER GENERAL DEJOY
The 26th biennial convention of the American Postal Workers Union was held August 15-18, 2022 in National Harbor, MD. The convention, the highest governing body of our union, discussed, debated and voted on many resolutions regarding collective bargaining demands, constitutional reforms, and political priorities for the union.
The following resolution was overwhelmingly passed by the convention.
A summary of this resolution has already been publicized in the Convention recaps on the APWU website and included in the September/October edition of the American Postal Worker magazine.
It is printed below in its entirety.
POSTMASTER GENERAL LOUIS DEJOY SHOULD RESIGN OR BE REMOVED
WHEREAS, new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s first months in office were marked by changes in policy that, in the name of “efficiency” delayed mail and undermined public confidence in the Postal Service, and
WHEREAS, these changes were halted by public outcry, congressional inquiries, and court orders, yet these same destructive changes could resume any time after the 2020 election ends, and
WHEREAS, proposed changes, such as cuts in retails hours and delaying mail to cut overtime, in the name of “efficiency” sound like the preliminary steps to privatization and the weakening of unions that the Trump White House has supported, and
WHEREAS, the postal service should be preserved as a public good and part of our basic infrastructure, with a Universal Service Obligation to serve everyone, which private companies would never want to have to do and,
WHEREAS, Postmaster General DeJoy has also been compromised by massive political donations just prior to his appointment, by allegations of campaign finance violations, and by charges of conflict of interest regarding ties to postal competitors, therefore be it
Resolved, that this body urges that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy either resign or be removed from office, to be replaced by a Postmaster General who is committed to support a strong, public postal service and who will defend it from attack rather than attacking it, and be it
Resolved, that APWU publicize the decision of this delegation within 30 days of the close of this convention.
|A Welcome Return for the APWU Biennial National Convention
A Welcome Return for the APWU Biennial National Convention
September 16, 2022
APWU 26th Biennial Convention
The delegates in attendance at the 26th Biennial Convention showed up and stepped up through the challenges COVID-19 may have presented to ensure the convention was successful. Congratulations to everyone who participated.
As the Secretary-Treasurer, it is the responsibility of my department to plan and execute the convention.
The convention committee members, craft conferences and convention delegates met to discuss, debate and adopt resolutions that will provide our national officers guidance in contract negotiations. Constitutional resolutions that were also adopted by the delegates will amend the current constitution. Those resolution changes will take place and an amended APWU Constitution and Bylaws will come into effect and be available for members.
At the end of the Convention, the Secretary-Treasurer’s department held a Fiduciary Responsibility and QuickBooks training for local Secretary-Treasurers. I like to say that the fiduciary responsibilities training teaches locals what they have to do financially. The QuickBooks training shows them how to do it.
The trainings covered the requirements of the Department of Labor, our national constitution and other legal responsibilities. It also covered a range of financial topics for locals, including financial planning, account management, COPA funds, budgeting and accounting, audits, expenses and insurance. With QuickBooks, attendees learned how to use the software to manage accounts, write checks and prepare reports.
APWU Bonding Renewal Coverage 2022-2025
Effective August 1, 2022 the bond premium was deducted from the local dues check-off (DCO). Local and state affiliates should have received their original bond certificate with correspondence from the Secretary-Treasurer’s Department. It is important to remember the premium deducted from the DCO should not be reported as income received by the local. All bonds and bond changes are continuous and will be renewed automatically at the expiration of the three-year period.
A requirement of 501(c)(5) organizations is to maintain compliance with the Labor Management Reporting Disclosure Act (LMRDA). Sec. 502 (a) of the LMRDA states:
Every officer, agent, shop steward, or other representative or employee of any labor organization (other than a labor organization whose property and annual financial receipts do not exceed $5,000 in value), or of a trust in which a labor organization is interested, who handles funds or other property thereof shall be bonded to provide protection against loss by reason of acts of fraud or dishonesty on his part directly or through connivance with others.
National APWU automatically pays for coverage of $5,000 for each local. However, it is strongly advised local officers obtain bond coverage of 100 percent of all liquid assets. Examples of liquid assets are those assets that are quickly and easily negotiable, such as cash on hand, deposits in any type of financial institution, certificates of deposit, U.S. Treasury securities, corporate stocks and bonds, and accounts and loan receivables. Property of a relatively permanent nature, such as land, buildings, furniture, and fixtures, are not considered a liquid asset. All bond coverage changes must be mailed to the Secretary-Treasurer’s department.
|Delegates Unite at National Convention
Delegates Unite at National Convention
September 10, 2022
Congratulations on a spirited National Convention; our members were well represented and the delegates united for the good of the union. Another one for the history books! I would like to thank Nation’s Capital Southern Maryland Area Local, its President Dena Briscoe, and members for generously hosting.
Many issues were debated at the convention and craft conferences. I am proud of the Eastern Region delegates for a job well done. I would also like to recognize all delegates for their unwavering unionism. Please visit www.apwu.org for a convention summary.
COVID-19 remains and is certainly playing a role in our daily lives. New variants show that the virus can mutate to become more infectious, even after vaccinations and boosters.
Daily MMO cleaning, Stand-up Talks, and deep cleaning after a positive case has been identified in a facility are crucial. Remember, Form 1767 Report of Hazard, Unsafe Condition or Practice can be used, and must be completed to document deficiencies. Grievances must be filed to address these serious concerns. This may be repetitious, but we must stay focused.
Everyone has the basic right to report to work without the fear of reprisal, harassment, bullying, intimidation, and threats. I hear from members about degrading and disrespectful treatment from management in the workplace. We must engage the employer in discussion at all levels to send a strong message that it won’t be tolerated!
Our National Task Force has begun meeting in an effort to lead the way. Please reference our Educational Brochure published this year, called “Improving Your Workplace Environment”. For additional information and access to references, visit https://apwu.org/fighting-workplace-harassment or text "HARASSMENT" to 91990.
Respecting one another is a mutual right and a starting place to have humanity in the workplace.
This positive approach will hopefully foster healthy working relationships. If you experience a hostile work environment, contact your local union representative, and complete a Form 1767 (Report of Hazard, Unsafe Condition or Practice). Hostile work environments are considered unsafe conditions and a 1767 is appropriate. Managers are required to keep these forms on the workroom floor, easily accessible for all. Remember to keep a copy of the completed form for your records, to share with your local union.
Article 12 on the Horizon
Under the USPS 10-year plan, changes are coming and we have to be prepared to not only fight for new work, but defend our current work and ensure others are not performing our work all at once. When we learn of violations in the field, grievances must be filed to document them and assist in the event that the USPS issues an Article 12 Notification.
When a regional notification of Article 12.5.C.5 (excess outside craft or installation) is received by the Regional Coordinator’s office, a regional meeting must take place. Until then, management cannot enter discussions locally.
Article 12.5.B.3 of the contract states:
The Union shall be notified in advance (as much as six (6) months whenever possible), such notification to be at the Regional Level, except under A.4 above, which shall be at the Local Level.
Article 12.5.A.4 states:
4. reassign within an installation employees excess to the needs of a section of that installation;
Both of these provisions are extremely important and must be enforced by the union to hold management accountable. If an argument is made by the USPS that it was not possible, they must meet a burden demonstrating their reasoning.
As we prepare to take on new challenges together, my colleague coordinators: Central Region Coordinator Sharyn Stone, Western Region Coordinator Omar Gonzalez, Southern Region Coordinator Ken Beasley, and North East Region Coordinator Tiffany Foster are committed to fighting back against any attacks on the APWU.
|Agreement Reached on the 2021-2024 Contract Period Workyear Designations List
Agreement Reached on the 2021-2024 Contract Period Workyear Designations List
September 16, 2022
On September 16, 2022, the APWU and the Postal Service reached agreement on the workyear designations list. Each time a new contract is established, the contract calls for a “workyear” designations to be established.
Workyear designations are set by looking at the total number of paid hours (work and leave) for career employees represented by the APWU, NPMHU (Mail Handlers), and NALC (City Carriers). The total number of paid hours are then divided by 2080 hours and the resulting number determines the workyear designation. There are three designations recognized: 200 workyear, 125 workyear, and 100 workyear.
The workyear designation determines how multiple contract provisions are implemented. Once the designation is determined, the workyear designation cannot change for the life of the contract. For the 2021-2024 Contract period, 24 additional offices were moved up to the 200 workyear, 4 moved up to 125 workyear, and 7 moved to the 100 workyear category.
The complete list of workyear designations can be found on the Frequently Requested Resources page. There is both a PDF and Excel version of the file available for download. The list can also be viewed in the Contract Database.
|“Amazing” Convention Sets our Priorities
“Amazing” Convention Sets our Priorities
September 10, 2022
The 2022 Biennial National Convention has just concluded and it was amazing! Due to COVID-19, the APWU had been unable to hold a national convention since 2018. It was great to be together with more than 2,000 APWU union family members in National Harbor, MD, where we met to debate the issues facing our union, and to hear the will of the delegates. It was an honor to be there as your Industrial Relations Director.
The delegates didn’t always agree on every issue. There was healthy debate amongst the delegates, but at the end of each convention day, we all left as friends and dedicated members united in our cause to defend our collective bargaining agreements and to move the APWU forward.
One of the important tasks at the national convention is the report of the Labor-Management Committee. I want to thank the committee for their hard work. Prior to convention, local and state organizations vote on and submit “resolutions” to be debated and voted on at the national convention. These resolutions are what the membership of the APWU would like the contract negotiators to attempt to achieve in national negotiations. The Labor-Management Committee goes through each resolution, examines the effect each resolution may have on the contract and the membership, and then makes a recommendation to the delegates of the national convention on whether a resolution should be supported by the delegates (concurred) or not (non-concurred). From these resolutions, the leadership of the APWU determines what will be negotiation priorities to submit in upcoming contract negotiations.
I was asked a question at the conclusion of the national convention that I would like to address here: “How soon will the things we voted on be implemented?” This is a really good question. I know when I first started at the Postal Service over 25 years ago that I didn’t quite know how everything worked in the union-management relationships.
The answer is that the labor-management resolutions will only become effective if we are able to successfully negotiate them with the Postal Service. Some resolutions have been APWU demands for many years; Some were new. It is now the job of the APWU negotiating team to review the resolutions that were passed from, not only this convention, but also from previous conventions; prioritize them, and develop proposals to present to the Postal Service and attempt negotiate them. The Industrial Relations Department has already begun to compile the recently passed resolutions into our book of adopted labor-management resolutions, making sure it includes the most current contract desires of the delegates to the national convention. Preparation for future national negotiations is an ongoing process. This is one of the very first steps we take to prepare for the next negotiations.
The APWU belongs to you, the members of the APWU. Even if you were not a delegate to the 26th Biennial National Convention, you can participate in directing what you want your leaders to negotiate in the future. Each resolution had to be submitted to the convention through a local or state organization. There will be another convention in 2024 where another round of Labor-Management Resolutions will be voted on. At your local membership meetings, you have the right to submit resolutions that your local can vote on, and if passed, are then submitted to the national convention, where they are debated and possibly adopted. Any member can do this! I encourage all of you to participate! If you want to write a resolution for future consideration, please reach out to your local officers and ask them to help you to write it up. It is your right as a member to be a part of the most democratic union in the country!
|Reporting Back On Four Years And Looking To The Future
Reporting Back On Four Years And Looking To The Future
September 10, 2022
Where We’ve Been
Since 2009, the USPS has wanted to cut our workforce and reduce the retail footprint using Contract Postal Units (CPUs), approved shippers, and reducing or closing retail operations, which, if successful, would have reduced mail processing and retail/customer service clerks to under 50,000 clerks in each case. However, the clerk complement was 154, 061 in 2011; as of 2022, there are 155,895 employees in the craft -- an increase of 1,834 clerks.
We fought off plant consolidations, attempts to contract-out retail operations, the subcontracting of mail processing, and attempts to reduce or close retail operations. We must face the reality that we are not writing letters, mailing bills, or buying postage like we used to and must shift to customer service, packages, and alternative products and services. We must take back non-managerial and non-supervisory work from EAS employees to create more work opportunities and higher paying jobs.
Where We Stand
Article 37.3.A.1 states, “Every effort will be made to create desirable duty assignments from all available work hours for career employees to bid.” This language has resulted in the creation of new duty assignments, the maximization of PTF clerks, overturning reversions and abolishments, the creation of more desirable duty assignments, and defeating the excessing of clerks.
Article 37.3.A.1 has changed the way the USPS performs Function-4 audits based on earned hours. The USPS is relying on clerk observations. It is very important for clerks to properly perform all of the duties in their position description. The USPS is switching from the timeclock method to utilizing sensor technology and scanners, for more accurate operational moves.
It is important that we apply the Enhanced and Expanded Services MOU, Job Audits MOU, Clerical Work MOU, New Positions and New Work MOU, and the Clerk Craft Jobs MOU to expand our work opportunities. The new 2021 CBA resulted in the Article 8 Task Force MOU, which provides the necessary language to challenge understaffing. The Filling Residual Vacancies MOU provided for all the improvements requested by the delegates at the 2018 convention. PSEs now have automatic conversion rights in all offices except level-4 RMPOs in POStPlan. In exchange they were given 26 hours of additional annual leave. PTF clerks received a one-time opportunity for full-time conversion.
Currently, there are no national-level RI-399 disputes. The parties are waiting on an arbitration decision for the final dispute involving the Automated Delivery Unit Sorter (ADUS). And with the assistance of NBA Bernie Timmerman, we have developed a training manual to assist locals with RI-399 jurisdictional matters.
In Function 7, we negotiated a pilot Telework Agreement at the Customer Care Centers, Customer Retention Team sites, and for the Mailing Requirement Clerks (MRCs). We are pursuing pay upgrades for MRCs and other work opportunities for BMEU clerks, resulting from the reduction of work from Seamless Acceptance.
In Function 4, we are pursuing additional products and services, including passport duties, where we have been negotiating for a higher-level duty assignment. The USPS proposed a new retail clerk position to perform these duties, however it was for level-6 pay. We will challenge the pay-level under sections 233 and 234 of the ELM.
We have also enforced crossing-craft grievances related to injured employees from other crafts, have won Lead Clerk and TACS grievances, including the return of TACS work to the clerk bargaining unit, and were successful with the Jobs MOU, where the USPS failed to post 400 duty assignments, for the PMR/PSE violations in the small offices, Postmasters in level-18 offices, and the improper use of the End of Day button. We will continue to work with Industrial Relations to provide a good, safe, and healthy work environment, free of hostility and harassment, and with dignity and respect.
|"Union Strong, All Day Long!"
"Union Strong, All Day Long!"
(This article first appeared in the September/October 2022 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
I was proud to give the keynote “State of the Union” speech, excerpted below, at the just completed APWU national convention:
“I am honored to come before you to share our work over the last four years.
Together, we are marching forward and building an activist, winning union.
“In June 2018 former President Trump advocated for the complete privatization of the Post Office, selling it to corporations for private profit.
We built an impressive national fightback campaign. We educated, we took it to the streets, we took it to Capitol Hill, we took it to the airwaves. A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service proved instrumental in the fightback. We have defeated these plans for now.
“This year, APWU members ratified a new outstanding main collective bargaining agreement, with an overwhelming 94% “yes” vote. The new contract secured annual wage increases, full COLAs, new work guarantees for PTFs, new career conversion opportunities for PSEs, enhanced our job security no-lay provisions and generally uplifted postal workers of all crafts.
With high inflation, our COLA takes center stage. The second career COLA under our new contract amounts to a whopping $1.18/hour. This is in addition to the first COLA of sixty-three cents/hour in January. Be proud that the APWU is the only postal union that has maintained full COLA.
“We achieved historic postal legislation with the passage of the Postal Service Reform Act. This law eliminates the devastating pre-funding retiree health benefit mandate of 2006, provides future health care savings to individuals and the Postal Service with Medicare integration, while ensuring that all our health care coverage for active employees and retirees remain part of the Federal Employee Health Benefit system.
The APWU negotiated a series of COVID MOUs and the liberal leave policy that enabled our members to take care of themselves and their families and make the workplace as safe as possible.”
“We led a campaign that mobilized millions to achieve $10 billion in Congressional COVID relief for the USPS. We secured postal worker coverage under the Emergency Federal Employee Leave. We successfully advocated for better appointments to the Postal Board of Governors.
Through the determined efforts of local and state officers and stewards, we have aggressively carried out the hard and needed work of enforcing the contract. We encourage new and young workers to step up as future activists and leaders; We strengthened the work of the Retirees Department and improved cooperation among the four postal unions; We campaigned for expanded services including postal banking... We published the first ever “Guide to Veteran Rights and Benefits.” We improved communications with the members. We engaged in solidarity with other unions and workers.”
“We rallied the country to ensure the USPS treated mail ballots with the priority they deserve and ensured 65 million voters had secure access to the ballot box during a pandemic. Congratulations to all for delivering democracy!”
“We just completed our building union power organizing campaign with 5000-plus new members! Over 200 workers at HRSSC organized with the APWU in 2019.”
“While we have taken pro-active steps including in negotiations, to address the entrenched hostile work environment…we must ensure that all workers are treated with respect and dignity.”
“…and no matter who sits in the White House, Wall Street is still Wall Street and the threat of privatization will continue. We must remain ever vigilant in the defense of our union, good postal jobs and our national treasure.
“… let us continue to gain courage and take heart from our forefathers and mothers of the great postal strike, our victorious “Stop Staples” fight, our historic mobilizations of 2020, the dynamite new union contract and historic legislation, and the new militant uprisings of workers in many industries.”
“Union Strong, All Day Long” as the struggle for justice continues!
|A Successful Convention, and Motivation to Grow our Local and State Power
A Successful Convention, and Motivation to Grow our Local and State Power
September 10, 2022
APWU National Conventions are always uplifting for everyone, and the 26th Biennial Convention was all that and more. This is our union democracy in action. I was honored to chair during some of the discussions on our resolutions during three of the four days. Overall, I believe our delegates were in the driver’s seat, voting on the needs for a better future for our workers and for our communities. It was clear that delegates were sick of the degraded service standards that continue to get worse, the raising of postal rates, and concerned about the future consolidation and closure plans of DeJoy and its effect on our jobs and our communities.
Special events occurred after the convention sessions, such as Wednesday’s “Protecting Ourselves and Our Workplace, Organizing Young Workers on Union Power and Climate Justice” workshop. Two young workers, Teresa Marie Oller and Travis Epes from the Portland Area Local, OR, led the workshop.
APWU has updated our Climate Justice Network, and we’ve collaborated with the Labor Network for Sustainability (LNS) to conduct organizing surveys for the Young Workers Listening Project. We will meet again via Zoom in the next six weeks to discuss results of the survey and future actions we can take.
Climate justice includes getting rid of fossil fuel pollution from one of the largest postal fleets, providing jobs and training to our workers, while protecting our country. The postal service can participate in climate justice by providing solar on postal plant roofs, postal solar jobs, protecting workers’ lives and our community from natural disasters, and toxic, hostile environmental exposures at work. If you’re interested in signing on to the network, contact me at email@example.com or by office phone 202-842-4250, and we will add you to the network.
Thanks, Teresa and Travis, for your willingness to bring worker power back onto the workroom floor, and to provide assistance in reaching out to our Young Workers to actively participate.
During the preconvention workshops I, along with our second senior NBA Shirley Taylor from the Western Region, facilitated a Leadership Development Workshop. We had union activists that were very eager to share and participate in ways to develop old and new leadership skills that could be shared at the local level. The leaders that attended also wanted our members to stand up, support, and be activists and bystanders against the hostile work environment. So many of our APWU family have had to deal with hostile work environments for oh-so-long!
Our Local and State leaders need your support and love. Union work is God’s work. It is spiritually and morally all about protecting our postal family, protecting democracy, and providing safe living wage jobs into the future. I want to personally thank NBA Shirley Taylor for an awesome job at the Leadership Development Workshop.
Page Last Updated: Sep 19, 2022 (06:11:28)