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Sep 13, 2017

The Status of Unions in 2016

(This article first appeared in the Sept-Oct 2017 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Research & Education Director Joyce Robinson

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that union membership has declined across the United States since the early 1980s.

In 1983, more than a fifth of the nation’s workers were unionized. The union membership rate was 10.7 percent in 2016 and the number of workers belonging to unions was at 14.6 million, a decline of 240,000 from 2015.

Excerpts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ news release “Union Members Summary” are reprinted below.


  • Public-sector workers had a union membership rate (34.4 percent) more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.4 percent).
  • Workers in education, training, and library occupations and in protective service occupations had the highest unionization rates (34.6 percent and 34.5 percent, respectively).
  • Men continued to have a slightly higher union membership rate (11.2 percent) than women (10.2 percent).
  • Black workers were more likely to be union members than were White, Asian, or Hispanic workers.
  • By age, union membership rates continued to be highest among workers ages 45 to 64. In 2016, 13.3 percent of workers ages 45 to 54 and ages 55 to 64 were union members.
  • The union membership rate was 11.8 percent for full-time workers, more than twice the rate for part-time workers at 5.7 percent.
  • Among states, New York continued to have the highest union membership rate (23.6 percent), while South Carolina continued to have the lowest (1.6 percent).

Industry and Occupation of Union Members

  • Within the public sector, the union membership rate was highest for local government (40.3 percent), which includes employees in heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters.
  • In the private sector, industries with high unionization rates included utilities (21.5 percent), transportation and warehousing (18.4 percent), telecommunications (14.6 percent), construction (13.9 percent), and educational services (12.3 percent).
  • Low unionization rates occurred in finance (1.2 percent), agriculture and related industries (1.3 percent), food services and drinking places (1.6 percent), and professional and technical services (1.6 percent).


Among full-time wage and salary workers, union members had median usual weekly earnings of $1,004 in 2016, while those who were not union members had median weekly earnings of $802. In addition to coverage by a collective bargaining agreement, this earnings difference reflects a variety of influences, including variations in the distributions of union members and nonunion employees by occupation, industry, age, firm size, or geographic region.

Union Membership by State

  • In 2016, 27 states and the District of Columbia had union membership rates below that of the U.S. average, 10.7 percent, while 23 states had rates above it. Union membership rates decreased in 31 states and the District of Columbia, increased in 16 states, and was unchanged in 3 states.
  • Nine states had union membership rates below 5.0 percent in 2016, with South Carolina having the lowest rate (1.6 percent). The next lowest rates were in North Carolina (3.0 percent), Arkansas (3.9 percent), and Georgia (3.9 percent). New York was the only state with a union membership rate over 20.0 percent in 2016 at 23.6 percent.
  • The largest numbers of union members lived in California (2.6 million) and New York (1.9 million). Over half of the 14.6 million union members in the U.S. lived in just 7 states (California, 2.6 million; New York, 1.9 million; Illinois, 0.8 million; Pennsylvania, 0.7 million; and Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio, 0.6 million each), though these states accounted for only about one-third of wage and salary employment nationally.

Sep 13, 2017

Building Your Bulletin Board

(This article first appeared in the Sept-Oct 2017 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Organization Director Anna Smith

How can you stay informed and be involved? It’s not as hard as you think. Bulletin boards are a way for us to not only communicate with our current members, but also can be utilized as an avenue to reach our non-member coworkers.

Colorful and creative bulletin board in Hilo, HI, Big Island Area Local

Article 22 of our Collective Bargaining Agreement provides, “The Employer shall furnish separate bulletin boards for the exclusive use of the Union party to this Agreement, subject to the conditions stated herein, if space is available.

“If sufficient space is not available, at least one will be provided for the Union signatory to this Agreement. The Union may place their literature racks in swing rooms, if space is available.”   

As a local leader, if you do not already have someone to update the board, try recruiting someone within the installation. Any reliable member who will keep information current and be a contact for when new information needs to be posted will be helpful.

How does your board advertise that there is new information? If you simply just change a piece of paper on the board once a month, that’s not enough to catch someone’s eye. Typically, if they looked at the board last month, and nothing appears to be different at a glance, chances are they are not stopping to read it.

The dull brown background, simply put, isn’t inviting. Use background paper that is noticeable, such as seasonal decorations, a specific theme, or pictures of a current event (picnic, pizza party, local barbecue, rally signs). Create a plan to update the board regularly, set a schedule and stick to it.

Here are some suggestions for content:

  • APWU News Service Bulletins, which are designed to help keep our members informed of important news updates,
  • Local happenings notices,
  • Local MOUs/settlements that affect those in specific installations,
  • General membership meeting dates,
  • Local officers and stewards’ contact information,
  • Members-only benefit information/fliers,
  • PSEs brochures/benefit information,
  • APWU Health Plan information.

Consider doing shout-outs when members have great news they don’t mind sharing, a “Member of the Month” section or membership drawing winners.

Informative bulletin board in the Seminole P&DC, Central Florida Avenue Local 

Make it an avenue for non-members to join. There is nothing wrong with having 1187s available. Be sure to make note letting them know what to do with the form once it is completed.

Do NOT include USPS postings, which should and/or could be posted on bulletin boards that are main- tained by the Postal Service. Examples include wage and hour postings, scanning requirements and USPS policies.

These boards are for the exclusive use of the APWU, so we, as members, are responsible for their upkeep, or lack thereof.

If you have a great looking bulletin board in your facility, we want to see it! Please email pictures to

Sep 13, 2017

Bill to Improve Thrift Savings Plan Introduced

(This article first appeared in the Sept-Oct 2017 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard

The 2017 Congress introduced legislation to improve the Thrift Savings Program (TSP). It addresses shortcomings in the withdrawal rules which have not been changed since 1986. The current rule allows for active postal employees, upon reaching age 59 ½, to make only one withdrawal from their TSP account. Similarly, retirees can only partially withdraw from their TSP a single time. This inflexibility often leads retirees to fully withdraw their money and move it into private investment plans which have pricier maintenance fees.

To address this problem, the TSP Modernization Act of 2017 was introduced in the House and Senate and provides much needed flexibility to retiring postal workers, lifting the current restrictions and allowing them to make multiple, partial post-separation withdrawals from their TSP savings. It would also give TSP contributors the choice of quarterly or annual payments.

The bipartisan authors of the House bill (H.R. 3031), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD-7) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC-11), highlight the value of this reform for postal workers. The bill would “encourage participants to keep their TSP accounts to take advantage of low administrative fees,” Cummings said. It would “give TSP participants what they want: greater flexibility to withdraw money from their accounts to address unexpected life events.”

In a climate where bipartisan solutions are often hard to come by, the TSP Modernization Act is a notable exception. The APWU supports the TSP Modernization Act and encourages congressional action on the bill.

Legislative and Political Conference 

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA-5) once said, “Sometimes you have to not just dream about what could be – you get out and push and you pull and you preach. And you create a climate and environment to get those in high places, to get men and women of good will in power to act.”

Do you want to learn how you can enact change at the state and local level? Do you want to help elect Congressional, state and local leaders in 2018 who will fight for workers and their families?

Join us Oct. 1, at the APWU Legislative & Political Conference, being held in conjunction with the All-Craft Conference in Las Vegas. This conference will focus on building political, union, and community strength, and its attendees will learn new ways to protect workers’ rights and prepare for the 2018 midterm elections.

A variety of workshops will be offered. The final date to register for the conference is Sept. 15. To view a list of workshops and register, please visit

Legislative Priorities 


The Postal Service Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 756) — We support this bill moving through the legislative process. This bill advanced to the Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as the Ways and Means Committee.

TSP Modernization Act of 2017 (S. 873) — Initial Sponsors: Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE). H.R. 3031 — Initial Sponsors: Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD-7) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC-11)

Raise the Wage Act of 2017 (S. 1462) — Initial Sponsor, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). H.R. 15 — Initial Sponsor, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA-3) — The Raise the Wage Act of 2017 will incrementally raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024 and would index the minimum wage to rise with inflation, making sure low wage workers are not left behind, as they have been in recent decades.


House Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2018 (H. Con. Res. 71) — This resolution has disastrous implications for postal and federal employees. It targets hard earned pensions and FERS retirees’ vital annuity supplements. More egregious is the assault on the USPS by calling for the Postal Service to be placed “on budget.” This would make the USPS subject to federal government shutdowns and turn it into a piggy bank for non-postal related government expenses

For a full list visit and-political.

Sep 13, 2017

2018 Contract Negotiations - Preparations Underway

(This article first appeared in the Sept-Oct 2017 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman

Although it seems like we just finalized our current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), time is rapidly approaching for the next round of negotiations to begin. Your National Officers and the Industrial Relations Department have already begun planning and preparing for 2018 contract negotiations.

Article 43 of our contract requires the parties begin negotiating a new CBA no earlier than 120 days and no less than 90 days from the expiration of the current agreement. Based on the Sept. 20, 2018 CBA expiration, negotiations will open June 2018.

What we attempt to negotiate is determined by you, the members. As this issue arrives in mailboxes, local/ state unions or Members-at-Large (a member who does not belong to a local) are submitting the last resolutions to be voted on by individual crafts at the All-Craft Conference (submission deadline is Saturday, Sept. 2). These resolutions become the basis of our goals and priorities for negotiations.

Your National Negotiating Committee will review the resolutions that have passed and use them for guidance based on our bargaining objectives and goals, to uplift those we represent and the labor movement as a whole. So, if a resolution is submitted and approved at either the All-Craft Conference or the Biennial National Convention, that does not guarantee it will be included.

Not only will you have a committee of your elected National Officers representing you in these negotiations, you will also have the Rank-and-File Bargaining Advisory Committee representing you. These members will be appointed by the National Executive Board before bargaining begins in 2018. They will advise the Negotiating Committee on bargaining demands and will also be responsible for approving whether or not any negotiated tentative agreement is submitted to the membership for a ratification vote.

Standing Resolutions

Over the years and during APWU conventions, many resolutions have been passed (known as “standing resolutions”) and we will be going back through them to guide us in our negotiations and to help determine our priorities. We invite you to look at these standing resolutions. Remember that previously adopted resolutions do not need to be resubmitted. They can be found at

We want to know about your experiences in your everyday work life, and how you feel they should be prioritized in our contract talks. We want to hear from individuals on the workroom floor. Email your ideas and suggestions to the Industrial Relations Department at You can also mail them to: 2018 Contract Negotiation Items, C/O Industrial Relations Department, 1300 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20005.

Strength in Numbers

These will be challenging negotiations for us. However, with preparation, as well as your support and participation in our contract campaign, we can show management how we are a united workforce.

Unity during the contract campaign can translate into a show of strength and force that leads to success in negotiations. With numbers comes strength. We challenge you to reach out to non-members you know and encourage them to join the union.

The people who live in the United States of America have access to the most efficient postal system in the world because of the hard work you – the members – do to move the mail and serve our customers. You deserve a contract that reflects your contributions and protects the People’s Post Office.

We, the National Officers, are optimistic about the upcoming negotiations. I look forward to receiving your input and utilizing your participation to obtain a fair and reasonable contract that uplifts all workers protected by the APWU contract, setting standards for the entire labor movement.

Sep 13, 2017

Community Engagement

(This article first appeared in the Sept-Oct 2017 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy

As the APWU gears up for negotiations and continues to address service cuts and proposed staffing reductions, excessing and reassignments, you and I need to be engaged not only with our coworkers, but with our families, friends, allies and communities.  

Charlotte Area Local Research & Education Director Shenita Bost,
Charlotte Area Local member Roxanne Graham,
APWU Vice President Szeredy
and Charlotte Area Local Legislative Director Cindy Foster
at a protest against job and service cuts in Charlotte, NC.

Positive change comes through solidarity – with our friends and allies standing up and fighting for a vibrant Postal Service. Arguing our disputes in the grievance-arbitration procedure, courts, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), etc., is important, but does not compare with joining hands and moving into the public square. Real progress is made when communities act.

Protecting the well-being of all is the kind of engagement that is meaningful and just. We cannot achieve that goal if we are in a community filled with minimum wage and little-to-no benefit jobs. Postal compensation is compared with private sector compensation. The fewer good jobs in the community, the harder salaries and working conditions are to maintain, let alone improve upon. We have a lot of work to do if we want to have strong communities with affordable housing, good schools and children who have hope in a great future.

Hostile Management

As the work environment at the post office changes for the worse, the balance of power shifts even further away from the worker. One employee is doing the work of two or three, and we are losing full-time jobs.

We just won the Stop Staples battle, halting the privatization of retail, not in the grievance procedure or the NLRB (although we used these forums), but in the streets with community allies. The Staples campaign was just one battle in our fight to protect service and jobs. We cannot relax and rest on our laurels.

Management recently initiated plans to abolish jobs held by current workers, as well as reverting jobs that members could bid out or retire from. The pressure and workload continues to increase, with no end in sight. Understaffing is a chronic issue. Plants are over-crowded, leading to health and safety issues and delayed mail.

Postal Support Employees (PSEs) have an almost 37 percent turnover rate. Many say they are overworked and experience a hostile work environment. The USPS continues to defend abusive managers, simply moving them from facility to facility, while new workers quit.

If you are fed up with how management is treating you and your co-workers, do not give up. Join with your coworkers. Raise the issues with your family, friends, political and community leaders. It takes you to improve the work environment and provide excellent service to our communities. Contact your local now. Find out how you can be a part of the APWU’s resistance against these attacks. You can make a difference.

Sep 13, 2017

The Heritage Foundation: A Think-Tank on
a Mission to Destroy the Public Postal Service

Courtesy of Mike Konopacki

(This article first appeared in the Sept-Oct 2017 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

On paper, the Heritage Foundation looks like an ordinary “think tank,” a group of experts who research public policy ideas and write reports and articles. 

The organization describes itself as a research and educational non-profit, promoting conservative public policy on Capitol Hill. It calls its editorials, “the voice of the American taxpayer.” However, digging beneath the surface, one can easily see the Heritage Foundation is anything but some run-of-the-mill Washington, D.C. policy analysis foundation. It is, in fact, completely dedicated to increasing the wealth and power of its ultra-rich funders, at the expense of working people.

The Heritage Foundation is packed with corporate cash and uses that money to heavily influence politicians as they consider legislation discussed and passed in Congress. Starting in the 1980s with the Reagan administration, and continuing today with the Trump administration, it provides blueprints for budgets that do nothing but gut workers’ rights, wages, benefits and pensions.

Big bankers, real estate developers, hedge-fund owners and CEOs from businesses like Morgan Stanley, Amway and Forbes serve on its Board of Trustees. They receive funding from organizations affiliated with David and Charles Koch, billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. The think tank's funders support the organization’s platform of “free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”

The Heritage Foundation, with its donors and partners, not only attacks workers but also supports policies against the environment, communities of color and women. Besides regularly promoting Right-to-Work legislation, it promotes a laundry list of regressiveideas, including:

• Sick leave policies should be eliminated;

• Economic inequality doesn’t exist;

• Programs that benefit working families, such as Medicaid, are “wasteful;”

• Social Security and the minimum wage should be eradicated, calling the latter “a toll” on the work- force.

The Heritage Foundation has a long history of pushing policies that encourage its version of “traditional American values,” which include calling for the privatization of public services.

Courtesy of Andy Singer 

Against the Public Postal Service

For some, the Heritage Foundation’s ideas provide a roadmap for a future that is very different from working people’s goal of a government that protects and supports average American families.

The Foundation’s publications influenced members of Congress to draft an even more harmful 2018 federal budget than expected – hurting workers and their families and providing tax-cuts for the already incredibly wealthy.

As reported in the July-August 2017 issue of the American Postal Worker, the blueprint for the White House budget (a starting point for Congress) was the Heritage Foundation’s Blueprint for Balance: A Federal Budget for 2017. That booklet also called for:

• “Lifting Congressionally imposed restrictions on the closure of USPS processing centers and post offices.”

• “Lifting restrictions on delivery times and schedules, and permitting delivery on a five-day per- week basis or even less.”

• “Eliminating service-level mandates.”

• “Eliminating restrictions on competition in the postal business, including the prohibition on private delivery of letter mail.” 

The think tank’s blueprint also supports the current pre-funding mandate imposed on the Postal Service, saying the agency should “ensure 100 percent prepayment over a defined and limited period of time.”

All these goals fall in line with the Heritage Foundation’s “ultimate goal… to make the Postal Service a privately run organization… free of restrictions and mandates placed on it by Congress.”

Spouting Lies

In recent years, the Heritage Foundation published articles such as, Can the Postal Service Have a Future? and You’ve Got (No) Mail: Is the End Near for the Postal Service? These publications were slanted hit- jobs filled with blatant lies and misconceptions about the Postal Service’s operations, claiming that the USPS is obsolete and that its finances are so far in the red, it can never recover.

On one donor solicitation, it asks, Is the Postal Service Doomed?, then proceeds to spout lies written by James Gattuso, someone who is not just a Heritage staffer, but also former vice president of the conservative Citizens for a Sound Economy.

Postal workers can see through this nonsense, but unfortunately, the deception can sway unsuspecting members of the public. Some elected officials also use these false reports as fuel for their mission to reverse working peoples’ legislative gains, such as safety regulations and overtime laws.

Anti-Worker Roots  

The Heritage Foundation's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Heritage Foundation was created in 1973 by people who thought Republican President Nixon’s agenda was too liberal. One of the founders was union-busting Joseph Coors, of the Coors Brewing Company empire. He launched the Foundation with $200,000 of company money. 

The Heritage Foundation gained traction when it publishedMandate for Leadership: Policy Management in a Conservative Administration in 1980. Nearly two-thirds of its 2,000 recommendations were adopted by President Reagan, including tax breaks for the wealthy, increased military spending and union-busting tactics.

Its donors are among the top one percent of America’s wealthy families and corporations – and are hell-bent on keeping it that way. They include many who would love to see a privatized Postal Service, including the United Parcel Service (UPS), which donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Foundation.

Under the Trump administration, many of the new legislative staff in the White House’s West Wing, as well as the many arms of the Executive Branch, have ties to or are even former employees of the Heritage Foundation.

Learn More and Speak Out 

So if you hear someone mention the Heritage Foundation, be sure to set the record straight. Speak out and let them know the Foundation’s corporate donors do not care about working people, they only care about themselves.

The Heritage Foundation’s Board of Trustees wants to kill our public Postal Service – and all other services that belong to the American people.

Sep 11, 2017

              'In Our Hands is Placed a Power...'

(This article first appeared in the Sept-Oct 2017 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By President Mark Dimondstein 

There are many daunting challenges on the horizon that demand our attention and action as postal workers.

Management, with their slash and burn approach, has targeted 16,000 jobs for reversion, abolishment or excessing, which not only disrupts the lives of postal workers, but undermines service to the customers.

This fight is raging, but a successful fightback will have to include strong alliances with the public and taking it “to the streets.” 

The 2018 National Collective Bargaining Agreement (union contract) negotiations with postal management will begin in nine months. Preparations are underway. Negotiations are never easy, and these may prove to be the most difficult to date. Building power and leverage through a rank-and-file “contract campaign” is vital.

The need for positive postal reform legislation is urgent. Even in this unpredictable and hostile political environment, success is possible. Our members represent the entire political spectrum. This is a source of strength, because it will take members from every viewpoint working together to get any legislation across the finish line.

The looming White House inspired and proposed House Budget Committee 2018 Federal Budget bill is an assault on and insult to every worker. It is a proposed budget, dubbed the “tanks and tax cut” budget, with massive tax breaks for the rich and billions added to an already bloated Pentagon budget, all while robbing from working families – including thousands of dollars a year from postal workers with proposed changes to retirement contributions and reduced benefits.

It might appear that the odds are overwhelming and that the Wall Street banksters and their bought and paid for politicians hold all the cards. Their message to us is that we are powerless, we cannot fight city hall and to struggle is futile.

Not so! History teaches us otherwise. Powerful labor struggles brought unions into being at a time when corporations were “all powerful.” Women’s suffrage once seemed an impossibility. The civil rights movement of the 1960s won human rights many thought unachievable. Postal strikers stormed the heavens in 1970, changing postal jobs into decent living-wage ones and replacing collective begging with collective bargaining. What all these struggles had in common was a powerful movement capable of wresting power from the robber barons.

Our recent Stop Staples campaign victory and the successful effort on the part of the union movement and many allies to stop the rotten Trans-Pacific Partnership, underscore when we are organized we can win!

We have the power because we do the work, create the wealth and provide the needed services, and there are far more of “us” than “them.” We hold the winning cards – our union, solidarity, unity, activism and community allies. The famous and well sung labor anthem Solidarity Forever puts it so well:

“In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold, greater than the might of armies magnified a thousand-fold, we can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old, for the union makes us strong!”

Sep 05, 2017
             Unions Improve the Lives of All Working People Truth Exposed in New Report by the Economic Policy Institute WEB NEWS ARTICLE #:  82-2017 08/31/2017 - Postal workers know first-hand that union jobs are good jobs.
Aug 29, 2017

Solidarity and Support to Victims of Hurricane Harvey



08/29/2017 - Our thoughts and hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by Hurricane Harvey, especially our fellow APWU members. Texans are reeling after getting slammed by the Category 4 hurricane, resulting in intense flooding over the weekend. The storm has left at least 14 dead and hundreds, if not thousands homeless, as more than 30,000 seek refuge in its wake. Louisianans are also now bracing themselves for Harvey’s heavy rain on the 12thanniversary of Katrina.

“We want all of our brothers and sisters affected by Hurricane Harvey to know they are not alone,” President Dimondstein said. “We stand together with them and all the families during this crisis.”

In solidarity, all APWU members are encouraged to continue to donate to the Postal Employees’ Relief Fund (PERF). PERF provides relief grants to assist qualifying active and retired postal employees impacted by natural disasters, to help re-establish residence and replenish necessities in the aftermath of a devastating loss. Secure donations can be made by credit card, Pay Pal or through payroll deduction by designating #10268 during the Combined Federal Campaign, which is set to kick-off on Sept.1. PERF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All contributions are tax-deductible.

Members can also make donations to the Texas Workers Relief Fund (Texas AFL-CIO).

Resources for Postal Workers

The Postal Service is advising employees in affected areas to call the USPS national emergency hotline at 888-363-7462 to report their condition and check for changes in their scheduled work reporting status. The Employee Assistance Program (800) 327-4968 is also available around the clock to provide free, confidential counseling and referral services to help employees and their families to obtain resources and cope with their current challenges.

If you are a Union Plus member, you may also be eligible for assistance through the Union Plus Disaster Relief Grant program .

Members in need that have additional questions are encouraged to contact the Human Relations Department by calling (202) 842-4270 or emailing

Aug 28, 2017

    2017 Peak Season Exception Period MOU Reached


08/25/2017 - The APWU and the USPS recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), RE: Peak Season Exception Periods – 2017 Date Changes, modifying the Peak Season (Holiday Season) Exception period for 2017 to “ensure adequate coverage” and “accommodate customer service.”

Peak Season Dates

The start of the Peak Season Exception Period will be from Nov. 11, 2017 (Pay Period 24), and will go through Jan. 5, 2018 (Pay Period 1).

Holiday Clerk Assistants

All Holiday Clerk Assistants (HCAs) will be paid at the PSE rate of $16.98, reflecting the 2.3% PSE pay raise that will go into effect Nov. 25. Function 4 HCAs will be hired for three consecutive pay periods within the exception period: either Nov. 11 – Dec. 22 or Nov. 25 – Jan. 5, 2018. The MOU does not change the length of the exception period.

The MOU carries forward the Peak Season Exception Periods memo signed by President Mark Dimondstein and the USPS Vice President of Labor Relations in Sept. 2015.  Retirees have the opportunity to be rehired as temporary HCAs.

The MOU also extends the deadline for the HCA applications to Sept. 25. Retirees Department Director Nancy Olumekor is sending letters to APWU retiree members to notify them of the opportunity and provide additional information about the application procedure.

As with previous memorandums and questions & answers regarding HCAs, the parties agreed that, “the Postal Service will provide the APWU at the national level with the names of annuitants who applied to work as a HCA, their former craft and their retirement date. The Postal Service will also indicate whether they were accepted or rejected for employment and the reason for the decision.”

No Temporary Supervisors

Although not in the MOU, the Postal Service agreed that they will not hire “temporary supervisors” to supervise Clerk Craft employees during the Peak Season. Lead Clerks are available to provide oversight, direction and support to employees. There were numerous problems last year with the hiring of “temporary supervisors” off the street who displaced Clerk Craft employees.

“Thanks go to Assistant Clerk Division Director Lamont Brooks for his efforts in negotiating the agreement,” said Clerk Division Director Clint Burelson. “Fixing the ‘temporary supervisor’ issue will improve this years’ holiday season, and securing more information regarding the retiree/annuitants will assist in the efforts to hire more retiree/annuitants as a percentage of the total HCAs hired.”

For further information, please refer to the following relevant documents:


 PDF (563.35 KB)

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


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.


 Flyer (513.19 KB)

Aug 21, 2017

        2018 Contract Campaign and Slogan Contest!


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).


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

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.

Page Last Updated: Sep 13, 2017 (07:52:44)
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