APWU, Postal Service
Tentative Agreement on Contract Extension
Rank & File Bargaining Committee to Review Proposal
APWU News Bulletin #08-05, June 28, 2005 | PDF
APWU President William Burrus announced June 28 that the union and the USPS have reached a tentative agreement on a one-year extension of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is due to expire Nov. 20.
The extension agreement provides for a 1.6 percent across-the-board wage increase, to take effect March 18, 2006, and two cost-of-living adjustments, one in March 2006, and one in September 2006. It also calls for upgrades of 14 duty assignments in the clerk, maintenance, and motor vehicle crafts.
The agreement extends no-layoff protection and leaves the employee share of contributions to health benefit costs unchanged.
“I believe this is an outstanding agreement that will serve the members of the American Postal Workers Union and the American public,” Burrus said.
“Throughout this process, my criteria has been consistent: Will the extension provide more to APWU members than we can expect to achieve in full-scale negotiations or arbitration? This tentative agreement passes that test.
“With this one-year extension we will accomplish what we are unlikely to win through negotiation or arbitration of a three-year or four-year agreement.
“And, while negotiations and arbitration drag on, as they inevitably do, raises are postponed and cost-of-living increases are delayed — and often times lost entirely,” he said.
The extension proposal will be presented to the Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee when it meets in Washington on July 6. After studying details of the tentative extension agreement, the committee will decide whether to send it to the full APWU membership for a ratification vote.
The proposed agreement would extend the Collective Bargaining Agreement to Nov. 20, 2006. If an extension is not ratified, full-scale negotiations will begin Aug. 29.
In addition to the main accord, the union and management also reached tentative agreement on a contract extension for employees covered by the IT/ASC Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Operating Services Agreement. (These agreements cover employees who work at the four Accounting Service Centers and Operating Services employees at USPS Headquarters and in Merrifield, VA.)
The contract extension preserves the terms of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (Nov. 21, 2000-Nov. 20, 2005), with the following modifications:
Salary Increases, COLAs
CLERK CRAFT: Air Records Processor, PS-5; TACS Time and Attendance Clerk, PS-5; Bulk Mail Clerk, PS-5; Ramp Clerk AMF, PS-6;
MAINTENANCE CRAFT: Maintenance Mechanic, PS-5; Welder, PS-6; Carpenter, PS-6; Letter Box Mechanic, PS-6; Maintenance Electrician, PS-6; Painter, PS-6; Plumber, PS-6;
MOTOR VEHICLE SERVICES CRAFT: Automotive Painter, PS-6; Vehicle Operations Assistant, Bulk Mails, PS-6; Body and Fender Repairman, PS-7.
Retail Sales Assistants
No agreement was reached regarding the establishment of Retail Sales Assistant positions at grocery stores, malls, and other venues that are easily accessible to the public. The concept of allowing retired postal workers to fill such positions while collecting their retirement annuities was rejected by OPM. Discussions with the Postal Service continue.
IT/ASC & OS Agreements
Under the tentative proposal, employees covered by the IT/ASC and OS Agreements will receive the same wage increases and cost-of-living adjustments as the employees covered by the main agreement. An additional voluntary payroll allotment will be granted to these employees as well.
The IT/ASC tentative agreement provides for a one-level upgrade of the Computer Systems Analyst/Programmer, Level 18, position. It also extends until Jan. 20, 2007, the IT Casuals Memorandum of Understanding, which governs the number of skilled casuals and provides training opportunities for APWU members.
The tentative extension agreement for Operating Services employees extends their protection against layoffs and increases uniform and work clothes allowances.
What Happens Next?
When the Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee reconvenes in Washington, DC, July 6, the first order of business will be to evaluate the tentative contract extension agreement. Committee members will have the opportunity to meet with national officers, ask questions, and discuss any concerns they may have.
Next, the committee will vote on the tentative agreement. If the committee approves the agreement, it will be mailed to APWU members for a ratification vote. In accordance with the APWU Constitution, the Rank and File Committee is responsible for supervising the vote.
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