“We are taking the preliminary steps necessary to proceed to arbitration,” he said. The first step is to select a three-member arbitration panel, which will be comprised of a union-appointed advocate, a management-appointed advocate and a neutral arbitrator agreed upon by both parties.
The neutral arbitrator is the person who will ultimately decide the terms of the contract, so this is a vitally important part of the process.
The APWU and the USPS have exchanged five names each from which we expect to select a neutral arbitrator. As soon as the neutral arbitrator is chosen, both parties will begin scheduling hearing dates, which the APWU anticipates will begin by late January or early February.