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APWU Web News Article 78-2006

Negotiations Hotline

Talks Continue, But Union Instructs Lawyers to Prepare for Arbitration

11/29/2006 - Although a voluntary agreement is still possible, APWU President William Burrus has instructed the union’s attorneys to make initial preparations for arbitration. In a telephone message to union members on Nov. 29, the union president said, “We must move forward to achieve a new contract.”

APWU Web News Article 77-2006

OPM Opens Up Enrollment for Advanced Dental/Vision Benefits

11/29/2006 - Working with a private company, the Office of Personnel Managment has set up online enrollment procedures for enhanced vision- and dental-care benefits. The Web site, www.Benefeds.com, was launched on Nov. 13. 

The Benefeds site is the exclusive place for postal employees to sign up for these voluntary benefits. The “dental/vision” enrollment season, Nov. 13-Dec. 11, coincides with the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program’s Open Season.

APWU Web News Article 76-2006

Negotiations Hotline

Contract Talks to Resume After Thanksgiving Weekend

11/21/2006 - APWU has proposed bold steps to address important issues for postal employees, union President William Burrus told APWU members in a telephone message. “Because we are attempting to break new ground, the final pieces of an agreement pose difficult challenges,” he said. “Despite intense discussions today, agreement on all of the issues is still beyond our grasp.” Contract talks will resume after the Thanksgiving weekend. 

APWU Web News Article 75-2006

Negotiations Hotline

As Deadline Passes, Parties Agree to Continue Talks

11/21/2006 - APWU President William Burrus has told union members that progress toward an agreement had been made, but that “important issues remain that have not been finalized.” The parties will continue discussions on Nov. 21. “The terms of the new contract are too important to rush agreement because of an artificial deadline,” he said.

APWU Web News Article 74-2006

APWU Wins Major Maintenance Arbitration Case

11/20/2006 - The APWU won a major victory last week when Arbitrator Shyam Das sustained a grievance protesting USPS custodial staffing policies. “This landmark award will help the APWU protect the custodial workforce,” said Maintenance Division Director Steve Raymer.

The award, dated Nov. 16, requires postal management to rescind the Maintenance Staffing Handbook (MS-47) issued in 2001, which outlined new staffing procedures, and reinstate the 1983 version. It also requires the Postal Service to “reinstitute or prepare staffing packages as soon as practicable.” Arbitrator Das remanded discussion of a remedy for the intervening period to the parties, but retained jurisdiction if the parties are unable to agree on that portion of the remedy.

APWU Web News Article 73-2006

Negotiations Hotline

Burrus: Contract Agreement 'Possible'

11/19/2006 - In a telephone message on the eve of the expiration of the contract, APWU President William Burrus told union members that although final agreement is beyond reach at this time, "I am convinced that agreement is possible." Negotiations are continuing, he said, with health benefits and wages dominating the discussions. 

APWU Web News Article 72-2006

Negotiations Hotline

Contract Deadline Looms

11/17/2006 - Although he characterized the pace of talks as “agonizingly slow,” APWU President William Burrus noted in a Nov. 17 telephone message that negotiations over a national agreement have almost always gone to the final hours. “I continue my commitment to a contract that is worthy of the contribution of APWU members,” he said, “and stand by the APWU commitment to ‘reach agreement if we can, but arbitrate if we must.’”

APWU Web News Article 71-2006

Negotiations Hotline Message

Talks Continue at Discouraging Pace

11/15/2006 - In a telephone message Nov. 15, APWU President William Burrus told union members that wages and health benefit premiums continue to dominate contract talks. “Overall,” he said, negotiations are “continuing at a pace that is not conducive to reaching an acceptable agreement on or before midnight, Nov. 20.” Burrus reported that some progress is being made on non-economic issues, however.

APWU Web News Article 69-2006

An Opportunity to Do Better

11/13/2006 - The overwhelming wave of victories by Democrats on Nov. 7 presents an opportunity for the U.S. Congress to do a better job of representing the interests of American workers and their families, said APWU Legislative Director Myke Reid.

“All too often for the last several years,” Reid said, “the Republican-controlled House and Senate opted to enhance corporate profits at the expense of the very people who performed the work that generated these profits.”

“From increasing the minimum wage to reversing policies that significantly reduced overtime pay for so-called supervisors, Democrats — the new majority party — have a mandate in the 110 th Congress to do better for American workers.”

APWU Web News Article 68-2006

Negotiations Hotline Message

Burrus: Little Progress Made on Union’s Priorities

11/13/2006 - APWU President William Burrus updated union members about the status of contract negotiations in a recorded telephone message Nov. 13, telling them little progress has been made on the union’s priorities. The union is fully prepared for any eventuality he said, either by negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement or proceeding to arbitration. The current agreement expires Nov. 20, 2006.

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