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IL Local Says ‘No’
To New CPU
(03/08/14) Approximately 70 APWU members and supporters lined the streets in Belleville, IL on March 7 to ask passersby not to patronize a newly opened postal retail operation at Ben Franklin's Crafts & Floral store. The store began offering postal services as a Contract Postal Unit (CPU) in February. [read more]


Contract Postal Units (CPUs)
Returning Work to the APWU

(August 2011) The union is attempting to identify Contract Postal Units (CPUs) that perform work that should be returned to our members. CPUs provide limited service to the public at USPS prices but are not operated by postal employees.

In accordance with the AS-707F Handbook [PDF], a CPU is a supplier-owned site operated by the supplier under contract to the Postal Service. The USPS filed a national dispute (USPS #Q06C-4Q-C 09001499) on Oct. 14, 2008, asserting that the supplier can lease or rent a CPU site.

The Postal Service re-issued Publication 156 (Guide to Contract Postal Units for Postal Service Employees) on Oct. 13, 2009, in an effort to replace the AS-707F Handbook.

The APWU filed a national dispute (APWU #HQTG200921 [PDF]) on Dec. 8, 2009, contending that the proposed Publication 156 and the replacement of Handbook AS707F with Publication 156 is in conflict with and violates previous national-level settlements and the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

In accordance with the AS-707F Handbook, there are three types of CPUs:

  • a. Contract Station (CS) - A unit located within the corporate limits of the city, town, or village served by an administrative post office.

  • b. Contract Branch (CB) - A unit located outside the corporate limits of the city, town, or village served by an administrative post office.

  • c. Community Post Office (CPO) - A unit, usually located in a small rural community that provides service because a Postal Service facility has been discontinued or otherwise deemed impractical. CPOs generally use the same name as the community.

In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Contract Postal Units [PDF] that was negotiated as part of the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement, the USPS will close or convert to in-house operations 20 full-service CPUs that have Post Office Boxes. The 20 CPUs are identified in the MOU.

In addition, the parties agreed to meet to consider options for addressing the retail services offered at any full-service CPUs located in close proximity to a postal retail facility.

We need your help to identify CPUs that perform work that should be returned to our members. We are asking locals to identify CPUs that meet the criteria listed below. Please report the CPUs that meet the criteria to the Clerk Craft Division at 1300 L Street NW, Washington DC 20005.

Click here to see an Excel spread sheet list of CPUs.
Click here to see a PDF list of CPUs.

Please visit the CPUs in your area and provide photos of the outside and inside of the CPUs, showing the entrance, the window area, and post office boxes. CPOs generally do not qualify, because they are typically located in small rural communities and are not in close proximity to a postal facility. For those reasons, we have not included CPOs on the list.

Where CPUs fail to meet the criteria below, locals should file grievances seeking closure of the CPU. They also should request compensation for the work opportunities our members were denied. Click here for guidelines on how to investigate whether a CPU meets the criteria and on how to file a grievance, if necessary.

Services provided at a CPU include the sale of stamps; stamped envelopes; stamped postal cards; Express Mail service; first class mail service; parcel post; Priority Mail service; insured and certified mail, and other retail services.

The CPU supplier must meet the following criteria set forth by the USPS:

  • Supplier’s space can lot be owned or leased by the USPS;

  • A surety bond may be required;

  • No surcharges can be added to postal products or services;

  • Cannot be staffed by postal employees;

  • Cannot sell competitive or similar products or services;

  • Cannot have Post Office Boxes;

  • Cannot sell postal money orders;

  • Cannot provide commercial mail receiving (private mailbox) services;

  • Cannot provide third-party delivery service;

  • Cannot be located in, or directly connected to, a room where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises; and

  • Contracts are competitive and cannot be awarded to USPS employees or members of their immediate family.

When CPUs are closed and the work is returned to the APWU, the work will be assigned to the installation whose jurisdiction the CPU resided in. This is in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding on Retail Operations within Installations.

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