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Aug 23, 2017

                     Let You Member of Congress Know
               How You Really Feel About the 2018 Budget

Call your legislator today at 844-402-1001
WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 

79-2017

08/22/2017 - Members of Congress are home for a couple weeks during their summer recess. We are asking you to reach out to your Representative and urge them to reject the proposed federal budget!

Call your legislator at 844-402-1001 and tell them NO on the House budget.

Say NO to Moving the postal Service "On Budget"

The House bill includes a recommendation to put the Postal Service “on budget,” making it part of the overall federal budget. The Postal Service currently operates “off budget,” relying solely on the sale of postage and other postal services for funding. 

Moving the Postal Service “on budget” could potentially:

  • Put caps on Postal Service spending
  • Subject the Postal Service to Federal shutdowns

Moving the Postal Service “on budget” could severely hinder Postal operations and is an obvious attempt to move the Postal Service closer to privatization. 

Oppose Cuts to Pay and Retirement Benefits

Additionally, the White House and House Budget Committee proposals include recommendations for cuts to the hard-earned pay and benefits of postal/federal workers.  

The House 2018 Federal Budget calls for:

  • Increasing employee pension contri­butions into the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). This could result in a cut to the take home pay of thousands of dollars a year for each FERS postal employee.
  • Ending the Social Security supplement currently covering the gap in FERS benefits for those who retire before they are eligible for social security benefits.
  • Eliminating pensions for new hires.

There is also a concern that Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) on FERS retirement benefits will be eliminated and COLAs on current civil service retirees will be reduced, as previously proposed by the White House.

Tell your legislator to stand up for workers and vote NO on these proposals.

If you are interested in meeting with your Representative and telling them how you REALLY feel, across the country APWU state and local union presidents and legislative directors are arranging visits to Congressional representatives’ district offices.

Contact your local union leaders to join your local’s delegation.

Attachments

 Flyer (513.19 KB)


Aug 21, 2017

        2018 Contract Campaign and Slogan Contest!

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
76-2017

08/18/2017 - The APWU’s national headquarters is gearing up for the upcoming 2018 Contract Campaign! And you can get involved by entering our contest to help us come up with our campaign slogan (click here for flyer and and see details below).

Background

The current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), also known as a union contract, between the APWU and the USPS expires on Sept. 20, 2018 – just a little over one year from now. The contract determines wages, benefits and conditions of employment.

In June 2018, the APWU will open formal negotiations with management, and preparations are already underway. Some of the APWU’s major goals for upcoming negotiations include:

  • Ensuring job security, including protecting no lay-off provisions and limiting sub-contracting;
  • Providing fair pay raises that reward postal workers for their hard work and contributions;
  • Bridging the gaps between the divisive “three tier” wage and benefit structure;
  • Protecting and expanding career jobs;
  • Uplifting the Postal Support Employee (PSE) workforce;
  • Holding abusive managers accountable;
  • Expanding and enhancing postal services.

Negotiations are never easy. Especially in the current political environment, they will be extremely challenging. The APWU’s success will depend on how much power and leverage can be mustered with member involvement and support from the public.

By successfully doing this in 2015, the union made real progress in the last contract.

Over the next year, the APWU will be building momentum, establishing contract action teams, wearing union gear and educating postal customers. There will be many opportunities – and much need – for members to get involved.

Enter the Contract Campaign Slogan Contest!

APWU headquarters is having a contest to determine what the 2018 Contract Campaign slogan/theme will be. The contest deadline is Sept. 20.

The theme of the APWU’s last contract struggle was Good Service, Good Jobs, Good Contract!

All members are encouraged to submit their ideas by filling out the form on the back page of the Sept-Oct issue of the American Postal Worker and mailing it in. Or just click here to download the form. The contest rules are on the submission form. Another way to enter is to email ideas to nccc@apwu.org.

The winning entry will receive either an expense paid three-day trip for two to Washington, D.C. to coincide with the opening day of negotiations or will be guests to the four-day 2018 APWU National Convention in Pittsburgh, PA.


Aug 15, 2017

             Second Significant COLA Increase of 2017 Announced

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 

75-2017

08/11/2017 - In accordance with the 2015-2018 Collective Bargaining Agreement, career employees represented by the APWU will receive a 13 cents per hour cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) effective September 2. The increase is the result of an increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). The increase will appear in paychecks dated September 22, 2017 (Pay Period 19-2017), and will total $270.00 per year.

The next COLA increase will be based on the Januay 2018 CPI-W and will be effective in the second full pay period after the release of January 2018 CPI-W. The last COLA increase of the 2015-2018 CBA will be based on the July 2018 CPI-W and effective un the second full pay period after the release of the July 2018 CPI-W. The cost-of-living adjustments are in addition to general wage increases.

This is the fifth cost-of-living increase under the 2015-2018 contract:

  • $0.00      The first COLA would have been effective September 5, 2015
  • $0.00      The second COLA would have been effective March 5, 2016.
  • $21.00    The third COLA was effective September 3, 2016.
  • $333.00  The fourth COLA was effective March 18, 2017.
  • $270.00  The fifth COLA increase effective September 2, 2017.
Postal Support Employees do not receive cost-of-living increases, but they have five general wage increases under the 2015-2018 contract. On May 13, 2017 PSEs received a $0.20 per hour pay increase. On May 26, 2018, they will receive a $0.21 pay increase.

Jul 31, 2017

Locals Inform Public About Proposed Job and Service Cuts

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #
74-2017

07/27/2017 

Greater Seattle Area Local Executive Vice President David Yao Cutting Cake, Not Jobs in celebration of Postal Heritage Day. 

This Postal Heritage Day, two APWU locals celebrated the Postal Service’s 242nd birthday by holding informational pickets informing the public about the proposed job cuts by USPS management through reversions, abolishments and excessing – further disrupting services to the public.

The Greater Seattle Area Local protested in front of the University Station Post Office in downtown Seattle, Washington. Sixty concerned citizens signed postcards to Postmaster General Megan Brennan saying, “we need more, not fewer qualified postal employees to keep service levels high and avoid long lines at the post office.”

Greater Seattle Area Local Executive Vice President David Yao explained how in addition to longer lines and delayed mail, the “phone won’t get answered and the level of service the public has gotten used to could decline if these job cuts go through.”

In North Carolina, members of the Charlotte Area Local rallied in front of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center.

Local President Anthony Wilson led chants of “Geared Up, Fight Back,” and called for restoration of service standards that were degraded on January 5, 2015. “We need first-class mail to come back to being overnight mail. We need to get the service that we give to every citizen in this country back to service we can be proud of,” he said, noting that this rally was “the first of many. You will see us again and we will continue to fight.” 

“We do not want to see the Postal Service privatized, but every time we turn around we see more and more cuts,” APWU Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy said at the rally. “Right now, across the country, they are trying to get rid of jobs. They are reverting and abolishing jobs. When they do this, it’s pretty hard for us to give good service to the public.”

Greater Seattle Area President Myrna C. Umali
speaking to postal patrons and rallying them to action.

(L-R) Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy, Charlotte Area Local President Anthony Wilson
and North Carolina State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer MaryBe McMillan.


Jul 24, 2017

Update on the Fight Back Against USPS
Reductions in Service and Jobs

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
70-2017

07/20/2017 - Following strong resistance from the APWU - and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) - USPS management agreed to a five-month delay in implementing forced reassignments and excessing of employees out of their installations.

However, this may one be a temporary reprieve as the USPS is planning to move ahead with their outrageous and misguided plans to gut the workforce and service, targeting over 12,000 jobs with their three-pronged assault:

  • First, in most facilities postal management is automatically reverting (i.e. doing away with) vacant positions in violation of the contract. Job reversions reduce the workforce and slow or stop conversion opportunities for Postal Support Employees (PSEs) to career jobs.
  • Second, management is targeting thousands of bid jobs currently occupied by career employees for abolishment.
  • Third, job abolishments can lead to the excessing of career employees out of their facilities and possibly out of their crafts. Furthermore, PSE hours will be significantly reduced if management's ill-conceived actions are fully implemented.

"Management's proposed plans will severely disrupt the lives of career and non-career employees alike. We are in a big fight," said President Dimondstein. "If we stick together and stay united, then I am confident that - just like with the Stop Staples and contract struggles - we will be victorious in stopping these new attacks on the workforce and on customer service."

USPS Actions are an Attack on Service

These actions by postal management are counter to the Postal Service's core mandate to "provide prompt, reliable and efficient services to patrons in all areas."

"The Postal Service's decisions will reduce employees at offices which are already short-staffed and where customers are experiencing poor service," said Clerk Division Director Clint Burelson. "Delays in the mail will increase and there will be longer lines at post offices."

APWU and Mail Handlers Working Together

In response to these attacks on the postal workforce and service, APWU President Mark Dimondstein and NPMHU President Paul Hogrogian sent a joint letter to Postmaster General Megan Brennan voicing the unions' deep concerns. In the letter, the two presidents questioned "why the Postal Service would choose to declare war on its unions and its employees."

"The cutting of an already skeletal workforce will not only cause massive disruption to the workforce but will cause further degradation of postal services for the American people throughout the country," the letter stated.

Together, the postal unions drew a line in the sand and stood united against Postmaster Brennan's continuous "cost-saving" shortcuts. The presidents concluded by restating their commitment to work together, "Rest assured that, absent correction, the APWU and the NPMHU will together resist [the] misguided actions and violations of [the Postal Service's] agreements with, and commitments to, our members."

Fighting Back with Grievances and in the Streets

The National Clerk Division Leadership organized a coordinated response to the serious contract violations, including provisions that management must create career bid jobs out of all available work hours. National officers conducted concerted training for local/state officers and stewards across the country (with plans to continue trainings, as necessary, moving forward). A Clerk Division National Business Agent (NBA) from each region is assigned to assist the local and state affiliates in filing grievances. The APWU headquarters leadership is preparing to file national grievances, as appropriate, and the five APWU Regional Coordinators will initiate appropriate area-wide grievances, as well.

Now that the proposed excessing is delayed for five months, the APWU and postal management agreed to area wide meetings to fully discuss staffing and scheduling. "We welcome the opportunity to sit down and discuss these important issues," said President Dimondstein. "However, APWU representatives will vigorously oppose any unnecessary changes and seek constructive alternatives to management's slash and burn approach."

Locals are taking their own initiative and getting out in the streets, educating and rallying their communities. On June 10, the Baltimore Francis "Stu" Filbey Area Local held an informational picket with over 70 members and supporters. Other locals are preparing similar actions to defend good services to postal customers.

Stay Informed & Involved!

"All APWU members should stay informed and involved," urged President Dimondstein. "As we await new impact statements, any excessing is months away from becoming a reality. Furthermore, based on a previously negotiated settlement with the union, management cannot excess APWU represented career employees more than 50 miles. So, there is limited opportunity for postal bosses to currently force employees out of their facilities."

If an APWU member receives an improper notification of an involuntary reassignment, contact your local/state union representative for assistance.

Find out more information on the specific impact to your workplace and how to help fight back, at apwu.org, on Facebook and at local union meetings. To receive texts or emails directly from the APWU National Headquarters regarding this, and other important issues, click here to sign up or text "APWU" to 91990 for mobile updates.


Jul 24, 2017

House Budget Goes Beyond White House Blueprint

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
71-2017

07/21/2017 

On July 19, the House Budget Committee advanced its Fiscal Year 2018 budget resolution. As anticipated, the 2018 House Budget is in the same mold as the White House budget – it punishes workers and the working-class, while giving big payouts to the rich. The resolution instructs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (which has jurisdiction over the Postal Service and postal/federal employee annuity benefits) to cut $32 billion in the programs and agencies they oversee during ten years.

Like the White House proposal, the House budget recommends big pay cuts to postal workers through increased Federal Employee Retirement System pension contributions and eliminating the special retirement supplement (which helps federal retirees who retire before they are eligible for Social Security benefits). These two proposals alone will take thousands of dollars out of the pockets of postal workers and retirees.

Even more egregious, the House plan calls for replacing guaranteed pension benefits for new hires with riskier 401(k) “retirement” benefits. Postal workers’ retirement savings will be entirely at the whim of the stock market and Wall Street financiers.

The APWU also remains concerned that in the Oversight Committee’s effort to cut $32 billion they may reduce Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) for retirees, as suggested in the White House 2018 Budget Proposals.

These and many other cuts to critical government services would be used to bankroll huge tax cuts for the wealthiest few.

“It’s a stick up,” said President Mark Dimondstein. “They plan to come into our homes and rob us of $3,000-$4,000 a year. Then they want to come back next year, and every year thereafter, and do it again.”

One Atrocious Step Further

In addition to the cuts above, the 2018 House Budget also calls to move the Postal Service from “off budget” to “on budget,” even though it operates without taxpayer money. This would be a disaster, because being “on budget” would put caps on its expenditures, let Congress dictate how the Postal Service could spend their money and would make it subject to federal government shutdowns. If this is able to stand, the Postal Service will be a prime target for cuts and could result in the further degradation of service. Further, being “on budget” could make the Postal Service a cash cow, with cuts to the USPS budget to pay for non-postal related government expenses.

Instead of providing improved services and investing in infrastructure, Congress could take the Postal Service’s operating budget and use it for any purpose, including funding massive tax breaks for corporations and the CEOs who run them.

“All Hands on Deck”

On Tuesday, July 18, APWU members were on the front line protecting our livelihoods from budget attacks. As part of our joint Day of Action with the Federal-Postal Coalition, APWU sisters and brothers made over 5,000 calls in 24 hours to congressional offices.

Together, we urged members of Congress to reject any federal budget proposal including devastating cuts to our pay and benefits. We told our representatives to oppose any budget balanced on the backs of workers.

“A big thank you to everyone who participated in our Day of Action and for your continued efforts,” said Legislative and Political Director Judy Beard. “However our work did not end on the Day of Action -- this budget must be defeated! The phone lines remain open to connect you to your Member of Congress. Our solidarity and collective action is paramount if we are to defeat these budget attacks.”

“Call both 1-844-813-4060 [DC office] and 1-844-402-1001 [district office],” Director Beard continued, “and tell your representative that postal and federal workers will not be a piggy bank to finance massive tax cuts for the rich!”




Page Last Updated: Aug 23, 2017 (07:14:00)
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