From the National Headquarters to the Workroom Floor
APWU Prepares for 2018 Contract Negotiations
(This article first appeared in the January-February 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
The APWU is gearing up for upcoming negotiations to secure a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the United States Postal Service. The current contract expires on Sept. 20, 2018.
The national officers who will serve on the National Negotiations Committee (NNC) – and will negotiate our next union contract – are specified by the APWU’s Constitution and Bylaws. President Mark Dimondstein, Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman, Clerk Division Director Clint Burelson, Maintenance Division Director Steven Raymer, Motor Vehicle Service Division Director Michael Foster and Support Services Division Director Steve Brooks comprise the constitutionally-mandated committee.
In addition, President Dimondstein appointed Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth “Liz” Powell as a member of the core committee. Other national officers will be involved as needed and able.
“Negotiations are never easy,” remarked President Dimondstein. “In the current political environment, they will be extremely challenging. The APWU’s success will depend on the power and leverage gained from member involvement and support from the public.”
Following the guidance of hundreds of resolutions proposed and passed by the membership, the NNC intends to make sure that the APWU puts forth the best arguments and evidence possible when bargaining for a good contract. As part of the negotiation process, it is also necessary to include subject matter experts, such as economists, lawyers and consultants.
“We take this responsibility seriously and understand the impact the CBA has on our members' lives," added Director Zimmerman. "We intend to have the highest quality data and facts to support our goals, and in order to do that, we need an army of individuals behind us.”
We Need You!
As we continue preparing for negotiations, we want to hear from local/state officers and members on the workroom floor. Suggestions for bargaining table issues can be emailed to 2018ContractNegotiations@apwu.org or mailed to 2018 Contract Negotiation Items, C/O Industrial Relations Department, 1300 L Street NW, Washington D.C. 20005. Members are also encouraged to submit ideas and resolutions to their local union, so they can be voted on and introduced at state and national meetings/conventions.
Over the next year, the APWU will be building momentum for our 2018 Contract Campaign. The campaign is one method APWU members can fight for change and mobilize other union members and our communities.
As part of the campaign, the APWU is establishing Contract Action Teams (CATs). These teams locally coordinate “union gear days” (when members wear APWU gear to the worksite), pass out leaflets/flyers, organize and participate in informational pickets, and reach out to postal customers via social and traditional media (TV/newspapers). For information about the 2018 Contract Campaign or how to join a CAT, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be many opportunities – and much need – for members to get involved as we are Fighting Today for a Better Tomorrow!