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Contract 2018
Oct 22, 2018

APWU and USPS Agree to an Additional 30 Days of Negotiations

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
99-2018

10/20/2018 - APWU President Mark Dimondstein has announced that the union and the Postal Service again agreed to extend negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement for an additional 30 days until November 20, 2018.

The union contract between the American Postal Workers Union and the United States Postal Service covers the wages, hours, and working conditions of 193,000 postal workers and expired September 20, 2018. At that time, the parties agreed to an initial 30 day extension on negotiations until October20, 2018.

The APWU and postal management have been negotiating for a new contract since June 26, 2018.  After four months of frequent negotiations, the parties believe that additional time to discuss and explore the issues is appropriate and useful before declaring an impasse.

“We are still working towards our goal of reaching a negotiated settlement that can be voted on by the members. Multiple meetings have already been scheduled with the Postal Service in the upcoming weeks,” declared President and lead negotiator Mark Dimondstein. “Our goals remain consistent and we are still demanding fair wage increases, COLA, job security, bridging the gaps of the divisive three-tier wage structure, addressing concerns of hostile work environments, seeking better career and full-time opportunities for both PSEs and PTFs, and expanded postal services.”

“The battle continues for a decent union contract you deserve,” shared chief spokesperson and Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman. “Your negotiating team thanks you, the members, for all that you have done to support the contract campaign. Keep it going and show management that we remain united in demanding a good union contract.”

All the rights, benefits and provisions of our existing union contract remain in place, and are fully enforceable during the new 30-day extension of negotiations.


Sep 11, 2018

Contract Negotiations Hotline Opened

Call 866-412-8061 for Updates

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
86-2018

09/10/2018 - The current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the American Postal Workers Union and the United States Postal Service expires at midnight September 20, 2018. The union entered the final 10-day stretch of intense negotiations – including days of round-the-clock bargaining – on Sept. 10.

National President Dimondstein will provide regular updates starting Sept. 14.

Call 866-412-8061 to get the latest news and updates as we continue Fighting Today for a Better Tomorrow!


Jul 02, 2018

Fired Up and Ready to Go! Contract Negotiations Begin Between the APWU and USPS

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
64 - 2018

06/30/2018 - The American Postal Workers Union began negotiations for a new union contract with the U.S. Postal Service with an opening session on June 26th. In a display of postal union unity, NALC Executive Vice-President Brian Renfroe and NPMHU president Paul Hogrogian sat shoulder to shoulder with the APWU leadership.  A host of notable labor and community allies, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and NAACP national leader Hilary Shelton, were present in support, underscoring the national importance of this round of bargaining. The APWU delegation of 80 national officers, the Rank and File Bargaining Committee, friends and supporters and local representatives marched to the meeting room chanting “Fired Up and Ready to Go!” while in a national day of APWU solidarity and unity thousands of members wore their stickers: “Fighting Today for a Better Tomorrow.”

 APWU welcoming remarks were given by Industrial Relations Director and chief spokesperson Vance Zimmerman, sharing that “the APWU will work long and hard every day to reach an agreement that acknowledges and appreciates the dedication, hard work and value of our members.” The welcome was followed with main table introductions by Executive Vice-President Debby Szeredy and introductions of many guests, the APWU National Executive Council, the rank and file bargaining committee and young members committee by Secretary-Treasurer Liz Powell.

Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman provides welcoming remarks

Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman delivers welcoming remarks. 

APWU President and lead negotiator Mark Dimondstein presented the union’s opening remarks pointing out that “Since the advent of true collective bargaining gained as a result of the postal strike of 1970 - postal workers’ lives are vastly improved. And representatives of our union sit across the bargaining table from management as equals – not because we have important titles, but because we have a union sustained and supported by our members.”

With the recent White House proposal to privatize the Postal Service, Dimondstein didn’t mince words. “As we enter these negotiations, powerful forces on Wall Street and the likes of UPS continue to push for the breaking up of the postal service and selling pieces off to the highest bidders,” he said, adding that “management should not be afraid of bold and creative thinking and approach these negotiations as an opportunity to discuss various ways to protect and expand the public postal service.”

APWU President Mark Dimondstein

APWU President Mark Dimondstein addresses negotiations.

Dimondstein discussed the union’s general goals for bargaining: fair compensation, safe workplaces free of harassment, job security and opportunity to enjoy secure and dignified retirements. “Our members want an end to the divisive unfair three-tier wage and benefit structure,” he said. “We want an end to the situation where new hires do not, or barely make, a living wage, and where full-time career work has been undermined.

“We also approach these negotiations as an opportunity to promote a vision for a vibrant postal service for generations to come,” Dimondstein continued.

“We know the Postal Service is facing serious challenges,” he said. “Changes to the mail mix - letters are down while packages are up - create both hardships and hope. The bi-partisan 2006 PAEA, with its absurd pre-funding mandate of future retiree healthcare costs and the creation of the artificial postage rate cap, combined with the inability to recoup overpayments to retirement funds and the loss of the exigency price hike at the hands of the Postal Regulatory Commission have undermined our national treasure.”

“But the fix is in the hands of those who created the crisis - Congress and the PRC –  and must not be on the backs of the workers who already sacrificed far too much in the 2010-2015 contract.

“Key to the success of the postal service, past, present and future, has been the workers – from those who sell postage and accept packages, to those who sort medicine and catalogues, to those who transport the mail and repair the vehicles, to those who maintain the equipment and facilities, to those who deliver the mail. These negotiations are an opportunity for management to honor and reward this commitment and hard work.”

President Dimondstein concluded his remarks vowing that the APWU will approach negotiations “with a passion for the public we serve and the workers we represent. We will keep an open mind, forthrightly share our proposals, and be honest in our dealings. We will work hard to achieve a voluntary negotiated collective bargaining agreement.”

Both AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka and NAACP leader Hilary Shelton made brief comments as part of the opening ceremony, underscoring the fact that the APWU is not alone in this battle. Shelton underscored that the largest civil rights organization in the country and a proud participant  in “A Grand Alliance to Save Our Postal Service” stands solidly with the workers in their quest for workplace justice.  Trumka promised that the APWU would have the full support of the 13 million members of the AFL-CIO.

NAACP Washington Director Hilary Shelton

NAACP Washington Bureau Director Hilary O. Shelton

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

The next bargaining session will take place the week of July 8th through July 12th. The APWU leadership will continue to update the members on the progress of the ongoing battle for a good union contract.

All photos credit Noel St. John, photojournalist


Jun 27, 2018

APWU Fired Up, Live and Livestreamed

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
63-2018

06/26/2018 -

APWU Secretary-Treasurer Liz Powell speaking to the crowd

Members of the American Postal Workers Union got fired up for the opening of collective bargaining with a raucous rally on the evening before negotiations began, promising intense member engagement across the country.It wasn’t just a packed room of APWU leaders and supporters who participated. In fact, the rally was streamed liveonline to thousands on both the APWU website and on YouTube, and many members viewed it at “watch parties” organized for the event.

APWU President and lead negotiator Mark Dimondstein said a threat by the White House to privatize the U.S. Postal Service as part of a wholesale reorganization and downsizing of the federal government has served to raise the stakes not only for postal workers, but for everyone. “Now we’re also bargaining for the American people, to preserve regular mail and package services at an affordable cost to 157 million addresses every day,” he said.

APWU Secretary-Treasurer Liz Powell introduced a series of fiery speakers – from Tefere Gebre, Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO, to Elise Bryant, President of the Coalition of Labor Union Women, who led the delegation in songs and chants. Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.) vowed to fight postal service privatization, as did Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a letter read to the gathering.

Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.) vows to fight privatization

The room cheered when Vance Zimmerman, APWU’s Industrial Relations Director and chief spokesman for the bargaining team, gave opening remarks before sharing a video featuring APWU members who spoke of their pride in their work, their union, and their common belief that obtaining a good contract now is important for all members and their families. The video was a compilation of video clips, shot on cell phones, and submitted by members from coast-to-coast and from all crafts.

With the rally livestreamed, postal workers and allies across the country could also watch as Texas prairie populist Jim Hightower delivered his pokes at privatizers with a serious appeal to organize the people to fight postal privatization. United Mine Workers Secretary-Treasurer Levi Allen thundered the words of Mother Jones, “I’m not a humanitarian. I’m a hell-raiser,” drawing whoops and hollers from the crowd.

Jim Hightower joins the chorus against postal privatization

The solidarity was heartening. Officers of the National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union said they would joinAPWU at the bargaining opener, and pledges of support were delivered in person by leaders of other unions and coalitions, including the NAACP, Jobs with Justice and the A. Philip Randolph Institute. Larry Cohen, former president of the Communications Workers of America, promised to mobilize his new group, Our Revolution, building on the issues of the Bernie Sanders political campaign.

The AFL-CIO’s Gebre praised APWU for “leading the charge” against an administration and Congress that devalues working people. “They don’t understand that workers united cannot be stopped by any government, any corporation, because we are fighting for justice, for what’s right. So fight on! Right on!”

McKenzie Baris, a senior organizer for Jobs with Justice and the granddaughter of a postal worker, promised to bring the nationwide network of activists to bear in the fight for a good contract. “We are part of a Grand Alliance that is fighting not only for the future of the postal service, but also for the future of this country.”

Hilary Shelton of the NAACP said his organization is fired up and ready to help, including representing the Grand Alliance at the bargaining table. Robin Williams, a vice president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) also pledged her union’s support “as one of the 86 partners standing with you in this fight.”

The crowd gets fired up and ready to go!

Longtime friends of APWU, Arlene Holt-Baker, the former Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO, and Bill Lucy, former Secretary-Treasurer of AFSCME and founder of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), joined in to add their support. And current CBTU President Terry Melvin, also Secretary-Treasurer of the New York State AFL-CIO and an ordained minister, gave an inspirational speech that had everyone on their feet, ready to fight for a good contract.


Jun 05, 2018

Tell the PMG!

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
53-2018

06/04/2018 - Have you ever wanted to tell the Postmaster General a thing or two? Now you can. 

The APWU Contract Campaign is asking members to submit short videos to the union telling the story of the work you and other union members perform daily serving the public and why you need a new – and fair – contract! Tell your story on video and your APWU bargaining team will carry your message on to the bargaining table.

Every member who submits a video clip will receive a 2018 Contract Campaign t-shirt! 

>> Click here for the video submission form <<

Tips for Making a Good Video:

  • Speak clearly and loudly!
  • Film the video in landscape (not portrait) mode on your smartphone.
  • Lighting! Make sure the light is good and that your face is clearly visible. No hats or anything that will cast a shadow
  • Make sure you are in a space without a lot of background noise. If you must be in a space with noise, please speak very loudly so that you can be heard.
  • Remember: When you shoot your video, wear your union gear!

You have until Monday, June 11 to enter your video.


May 10, 2018

The APWU’s national headquarters is gearing up for the upcoming 2018 Contract Campaign! 

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. They will be especially challenging in the current political environment. The APWU’s success will depend on how much power and leverage can be mustered with member involvement and public support.

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. 


May 10, 2018

Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee Convenes

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
45-2018

05/02/2018 -

Members of the Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee. L-R: Yared Wonde, Dallas Area Local; Tiffany Foster, New York Metro Area Postal Union; Daleo Freeman, Cleveland Area Local; Robert Johnson, Greater Connecticut Area Local; Fred Wolfmeyer, St. Louis Gateway District Area Local; Scott Hoffman, Boston Metro Area Local; Doris Orr-Richardson, Florida Postal Workers Union; Arrion Brown, Nation’s Capital Southern Maryland Area Local; Roscoe Woods, 480-481 Area Local; Ashley Cargill, Oklahoma Postal Workers Union; Sandra Munoz, Broward County Area Local (FL); Arthur “A.J.” Jones, Eastern Montgomery County PA Area Local. Not pictured are Aulby Gillett, San Angelo Local (TX), and Timothy Maynard, San Fernando Valley Area Local (CA)

Members of the APWU’s Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee held their first meeting in Washington, DC, on April 24. The committee advises the union’s National Negotiations Committee on bargaining demands and must approve any tentative agreement reached before it can be sent to APWU members for a ratification vote. 

During deliberations the committee heard presentations from APWU President Mark Dimondstein, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman, and Craft Directors Clint Burelson, Steven Raymer, Michael Foster, and Steve Brooks about preparations for the 2018 contract negotiations. Throughout the meeting, the committee engaged in discussions about the path moving forward. 

The 14-member committee selected Scott Hoffman, president of the Boston Metro Area Local, to serve as chair.  Arthur “A.J.” Jones, president of the Eastern Montgomery County PA Area Local, will act as co-chair, and Doris Orr-Richardson, president of the Florida Postal Workers Union, will serve as secretary.

“The National officers each gave their take on their aspect [of contract negotiations],” Hoffman said. “There was some good back-and-forth, it wasn’t a one-sided presentation. We had questions for the negotiators on process, procedure and some of the specific concepts.”

The committee’s next meeting will coincide with their return to Washington, DC for the Opening Day of negotiations on June 26. 


Apr 17, 2018

Update on Contract Negotiation Preparations on April 23

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 

36-2018

04/12/2018 - Contract Negotiation Opening Day – June 26 – is around the corner.

Please join the APWU National Negotiations Committee (NNC) for a live Tele-Town Hall for updates on negotiation preparations that are under way. Members will also hear updates on the contract campaign and how they can get involved.

The Tele-Town Hall will be held at two times on April 23 - at 11AM and 9PM EDT (8AM and 6PM PDT). You can register for the call here.

When members sign up for the call, they will have the option to submit suggestions – for both the contract negotiations and the contract campaign.

If we’re going to win better working conditions and a better standard of living for APWU members and families, we need everyone ready for this fight.

Click here to sign up for the call.


Mar 28, 2018

Contract Action Team Liaisons Appointed

They are Fired Up and Ready to Go Assist Local CATs!
WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 

31-2018

03/22/2018 - 

Front (L-R): Janalee Banks, Wanda Harris, Ahlona Miranda, Angela Ellington 
Back (L-R): James Donohoe, Arrion Brown, Jennifer Lemke, Larry Guarnero

To assist local and state organizations with developing strong grassroots organizing and activism in support of the APWU’s upcoming contract negotiation fight, President Mark Dimondstein appointed the following Contract Action Team (CAT) Liaisons:

  • Janalee Banks - Provo (UT) Local;
  • Arrion Brown - Nation’s Capital Southern Maryland Areal Local;
  • James Donohoe - Boston Metro Area Local; 
  • Angela Ellington - Dallas Area Local;
  • Larry Guarnero - Portland OR Area Local;
  • Wanda Harris - Miami Area Local;
  • Jennifer Lemke - Toledo (OH) Area Local;
  • Ahlona Miranda - Greater Kansas City Metro Area Local.

The appointees arrived at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center on Feb. 27, excited for the “train-the-trainee” boot camp covering the elements involved in a contract campaign. During the two and a half day training, the liaisons learned how to “Build Worker Power through CATs.”

Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Powell opened the first official day of the training with inspiration, speaking on the important role that the CAT Liaisons will play in the success of a contract campaign.

Highlighting lessons learned from the 2015 Contract Campaign, and how to build on those accomplishments, President Mark Dimondstein expressed the new expectations for the APWU’s 2018 contract campaign. “The success of 2015 Contract Campaign and the Stop Staples campaign are proof,” he noted. “When we take a stand and fight, we can win!”

After explaining the negotiation process and possible outcomes, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman warned of the challenges involved, and provided strategies to win.

The liaisons all left the training Fired Up and Ready to Go! Over the next couple weeks they will be contacting locals and states in their area to see how they can help the local/state organizations while they are Fighting Today for a Better Tomorrow!


Mar 28, 2018

Importance of Contract Action Teams

(This article first appeared in the March-April 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Clerk Craft Directors 

Contract negotiations will begin in June, and the membership has democratically decided on resolutions to improve the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

In general, most postal workers are sick and tired of the understaf?ng, daily contractual violations, and poor service that the Postal Service is providing to the public. Most union members would like to see better service to our communities, as well as improvements to working conditions, wages and bene?ts. Contract negotiations will be an opportunity to make progress on these important issues.

Hostile Opposition in Negotiations

However, we will face strong opposition in our efforts to improve the Postal Service. Many of the large mailers – who are among the largest corporations in the world – and their friends in Congress will again be pressuring the Postal Service to seek concessions from postal employees. These large mailers continually push the Postal Service to cut staf?ng and reduce service to the public in order to reduce how much they pay for postage.

In addition, many of the large mailers are media companies like Time Warner, who have signi?cant in?uence on the public’s understanding of what is occurring at the Postal Service. Corporate-owned news and information will re?ect the interests of corporate ownership and their advertisers. The labor movement today lacks the type of media outlets that can explain our story to millions of people like corporate media can.

In this hostile environment, simply asking for an improvement in our contract will not be enough. Collective bargaining without the willingness to engage in collective action is merely collective begging, and will not change the balance of power.

Collective Action is the Historical Recipe for Success

All signi?cant gains in the past – either in the labor movement, civil rights movement or any other movement – has come about from collective action. Gains were made through strikes, boycotts, working to rule, public campaigns and other efforts where large groups of people worked together to bring pressure to bear on important decision makers. It takes a movement to make progress.

The wildcat, Great Postal Strike of 1970 was the key collective action that the people who came before us did to win many of the bene?ts that we enjoy at the post of?ce today. More recently, the many volunteers who participated in the Stop Staples boycott stopped the Postal Service from utilizing large chain stores to contract out Clerk Craft work. When people came together and sacri?ced for the greater good, we made progress.

Contract Actions Teams Are the Key to Success

APWU Contract Action Teams (CATs), where individuals come together to carry out collective action, will play a critical role to bring pressure on the USPS to win contractual language that management would not otherwise provide.

Actions usually begin small and gradually escalate as the CAT teams get stronger. For example, it might start with education within the team so that everyone is on the same page, then education to employees on the ?oor, to “Wear Your Union Gear” days, to safety enforcement day, to informational pickets, etc. Working together as a large group in collective actions is surprisingly fun and empowering.

In order to get the Postal Service to agree to any improvements in the CBA, the APWU will need a corresponding amount of leverage. A little bit of power will translate to a little bit of improvements – a lot of power, a lot of improvements. It is up to us.

The more employees that participate in Contract Action Teams, the more the APWU can gain improvements in the CBA. Join the ?ght for a better tomorrow. Sign up today to participate on a Contract Action Team in your workplace. If your local or state union does not have a CAT Team set up yet, speak to your local/state president about forming one.


Mar 28, 2018

2018 Contract Campaign and Slogan Contest!

WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 
77-2017

08/18/2017 - The APWU’s national headquarters is gearing up for the upcoming 2018 Contract Campaign! 

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.




Page Last Updated: Oct 22, 2018 (14:35:48)
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