APWU Wraps Up Opening Round In Contract Arbitration

The Postal Service’s demands, including a new, lower-tier career workforce, elimination of cost-of-living allowances, and weakening the no-layoff clause are insulting and outrageous.

04/14/2016On April 5 and 6 the APWU completed the opening round of its case before the arbitration panel that will decide the terms of a new contract, with testimony supporting the union’s economic package and proposals to eliminate multiple tiers within the workforce.

The Postal Service began presenting its case the next day. Following the conclusion of management’s case, each side will present rebuttal testimony.  Before resting its case, the APWU reviewed the testimony and evidence presented.

Central Florida Area Local at Orlando P&DC

Day 1: ‘We Deserve to Be Justly Compensated’
President Mark Dimondstein gave an impassioned presentation, telling the arbitrators, “Postal workers earn the right to be justly compensated for our service and hard work… The economic lot of workers should be constantly improving, and those improvements should be passed on from generation to generation. We earn the right to be provided a safe workplace, free of harassment and discrimination, and, after concluding our careers, to enjoy a secure and dignified retirement.”

Days 2 and 3: Workers Testify
Nineteen career Clerk, Maintenance and Motor Vehicle Service Craft employees testified about their jobs. Several themes emerged:
•    Postal employees enjoy a tremendous degree of trust from the public.
•    They work independently, in many cases with minimal supervision.
•    Experience is crucial. It enables postal workers to make important decisions that impact service and protect postal revenue.
•    Postal work is hard work.
•    Employees take great pride in doing their jobs well and are dedicated to serving the people of the country.

Craft Directors Clint Burelson (Clerk), Steve Raymer (Maintenance) and Michael O. Foster (MVS) introduced the workers and gave context to their testimony.

Day 4: The Facts Don’t Lie
Union economist Kathryn Kobe reviewed a series of graphs and charts illustrating the current state of the workforce and supporting APWU proposals for wage increases, retaining cost-of-living allowances (COLAs), and other monetary matters. Other witnesses offered supporting testimony.

Day 5: Compared to What?
Union experts demonstrated that APWU members’ wages are comparable to the wages of employees in large, unionized private-sector workforces. Jennifer Kelly, of the United Auto Workers union, dissected the detrimental effects multiple pay and benefit structures have had on employee morale in the auto industry and discussed significant strides the UAW made in eliminating them in their recent contract.

Day 6: Hardships and Indignities
Nine Postal Support Employees (PSEs) from all crafts offered emotional testimony about the devastating effect low wages have on every aspect of their lives.

Day 7: Survey Says!
Dr. Anna Haley-Lock and Melody Waring, of the University of Wisconsin, reviewed the results of a survey of PSEs and career employees in the first two steps of the pay scale. The survey revealed a systematic pattern of economic hardship and reliance on public benefits to make end meets, they reported. These conditions are reminiscent of the situation in the late 1960s – conditions that precipitated the Great Postal Strike of 1970, the union pointed out.

Day 8: Uniforms, Civil Rights and Bad Faith
Maintenance Craft Assistant Director Idowu Balogun testified about the need to increase uniform and work-clothes allowances.

Retirees Department Director Judy Beard elaborated on the important role postal employment has played in advancing civil rights and in realizing “equal pay for equal work.” Career employment at the USPS has given women and minorities an opportunity to have dignified and meaningful careers that enable them to support their families, she testified.

Clerk Craft Director Burelson, Assistant Director Lamont Brooks, and Maintenance Craft Director Raymer testified that after ratification of the 2010 contract, the USPS failed to honor its commitment to return a specific number of career jobs to each craft. (MVS Craft Director Michael O. Foster previously testified on the same issue.)

USPS Proposals: Insulting and Outrageous
The arbitration panel should reject USPS attempts to use the 2010 contract as a base to demand additional concessions, the APWU asserted. That concessionary contract should be considered a temporary solution to temporary problems caused by the Postal Service’s congressionally-manufactured financial crisis and the 2008 economic meltdown.

“Not surprisingly, as management proceeds with their case, they are pleading poverty and trying to devalue the work APWU members perform. This is an attempt to justify their call for more concessions from the workers. The Postal Service’s demands, including a new, lower-tier career workforce, elimination of cost-of-living allowances, and weakening the no-layoff clause are insulting and outrageous.

“The arbitration panel should reject the Postal Service’s demands and grant the APWU’s proposals,” Dimondstein said.

source: APWU

15 thoughts on “APWU Wraps Up Opening Round In Contract Arbitration

  1. If management wants a lower tier of wages I think management should have one . After all their high pay hasn’t helped us. Maybe if management were paid a lower wage equaling their effectiveness , maybe we could get some results.

  2. Arbitrators realy need to look ( or should have been directed by M.D.) at the growth of what passes for “management” vs. the union crafts. Not to mention the fact that most of our management now have NO idea what the Post Office even is. It’s golf buddy, kiss-ass, or nepotism. Also former Postmaster Donohoe’s greed. Just going up the chain he was already worth millions. He began as a mail handler. Doesn’t anyone look at the money trail anymore? Corruption at it’s finest.

  3. never mind Verizon workers on Strike because they think 92K base in NY sucks…..Google Forbes-American Airlines Transport Workers Union gets its Flight Operations Dispatchers a 40% raise…………..A-PEE-U has never gotten more than a 1.5% yearly raise, most only 1%, a few years with just a lump sum that did not go into base, in my 30 years in this dump………..American & Verizon workers get dental, po workers walk around with missing a rotten teath……this union, if you want to call it that…..is a disgrace……….workers are dumb as dirt for not hitting the street and voting yes to this crap! you have been down so long, everything looks like up. ps….obammy is going to save you clowns-roflmfao!

  4. Let’s face facts. Guffey gave away the APWU in the last contract. According to “his” APWU, 75% of the voting membership approved the last contract. As a result of that disaster the PO lowered the standards for the test so that idiots can pass it and now the APWU expects the PO to pay the idiots the same scale as the older employees. Idea: bring back the LSM training (prior to the “kep” training) and require new employees to pass (98.6)! If they pass that, then pay ’em!

  5. You all sound like jealous, whining little babies…..Every business, every company and every job, Management makes more than craft, why should the USPS be any different because you work there and your jealous. Wake up people. You want more money move up the ladder and you will. Wake UP

  6. postal management is and will always be bat crap crazy, they voted themselves a raise just recently.

    • I’m a fellow NALC carrier and you nailed it spot on. Great job in putting it all in a nutshell. It is such a shame to work for an employer that is constantly and.consistently looking to screw their employees over at every turn.

  7. I’m a city carrier and in the NALC, but it is always a good idea to monitor the negotiations in our sister unions to see what the management is trying to pull this time around except for that pathetic NRLCA, who are one of the most corrupted suck up unions in the country. I have always been a union man, and served a very long time as an officer, but I wouldn’t be in the rural union for shit. Damned if I’ll pay to have my job sabotaged and retirement in jeopardy.
    Creating an even lower tier work bracket is symptomatic of how clueless and indifferent management is to the welfare of its employees and the quality of service they still have the damn nerve to expect. We are seeing the consequences of CCA’s in the city carrier craft and that includes high turnover, extremely sloppy carrying with tons of misdeliveries, ignored vacation orders, not forwarding mail or returning undeliverable mail, preferring as many do to just stuff that mail into boxes with vacant tags in them, leaving it for the “regular”, all to the management’s satisfaction and even orders.
    It’s not all the CCA’s faults – they are told to run and usually have to carry one route and a lot of another on the street. They are tired, not getting any real training at all, and are not getting the pay they deserve for the work that’s demanded of them. Of course management doesn’t give a shit because they don’t care at all about the customer, the employees, the contracts. It’s all numbers and fuzzy math to pad their “performances” and help themselves to bonuses they’re not entitled to.
    A manager at higher levels all too often will look at the arguments of the fatigue, difficulty in paying bills and other hardships with pure indifference. They believe they are a superior brand of human, craft is scum, and have no interest at all in us as humans, much less workers under a system that’s FUBAR.

  8. APWU submit a copy of the Bonus money these do nothings gave themselves over the years of the last contract?
    Ask the question, “if you are losing money how was it possible to pay out these generous bonus awards?”
    “Is it true former Postmasters retired with multi-million dollar golden parachutes for civil service workers while at the same time dragging down their companies?”
    NALC will be up next at arbitration.

  9. Under ALL circumstances,a Donald Trump presidency is BETTER than a Ted Cruz presidency. Ted Cruz,would have a MUCH better chance of actually achieving the WORST of his national(CONTRACT ON AMERICA) Agendas. Especially,under a likely continued Republican party controlled U.S. Congress. However,Hillary Clinton is the best presidential choice. At least,if u a depending on Thrift Savings C Fund,2 add 2 ur retirement income. Whatever,we will be able 2 sleep better,if the choices 4 president r ultimately between Trump and Clinton. NEVER TED CRUZ!!!

    • Cruz is bought and controlled by the Coke Brothers,Trump is not and is no ally of theirs,that’s the difference and they are getting Trumped!

    • STEVE, It is always your Fault Lol… Your the BIG GUY and Unfortunately the FALL GUY at the Same Time.. Hope Your Enjoying Retirement .. Jerry C
      AZ. Thanks for Everything!

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