10/10/2006 - The APWU National Executive Board unanimously approved the appointment of William Sullivan as Southern Region Coordinator at a meeting Oct. 10 that was conducted via telephone. Union President William Burrus had selected Sullivan to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Frankie L. Sanders. Sullivan will assume the new position immediately in Houston TX.
10/04/2006 - Management representatives painted a bleak picture of USPS finances during contract talks held Oct. 3, and, to no one’s surprise, concluded that “cost containment is the only answer.” Labor expenses are the “key drivers of costs,” management asserted, in a presentation clearly intended to convey that labor costs must be restricted.
Union negotiators challenged the USPS analysis and raised pointed questions about productivity improvements, excessive postage discounts, and mail volume. Management’s presentation did not include any contract proposals.
09/28/2006 - In accordance with a resolution adopted by delegates to the union’s 18th Biennial Convention, the APWU National Executive Board has selected Oct. 26 for a nationwide day of picketing to protest ill-advised postal consolidations.
The coordinated informational picketing is intended to highlight the potentially damaging effects of the USPS consolidation plan, and to expose how Postal Service policy panders to major mailers. The Oct. 26 date was selected to give local unions the opportunity to seek support from elected officials and candidates prior to Election Day, Nov. 7.
09/23/2006 - Contract talks between the USPS and the APWU continued Sept. 14, 15, 21, and 22, with the union presenting non-economic issues for discussion.
Topics included protecting craft work, safety and health concerns, travel issues, and matters affecting deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
09/21/2006 - In a letter sent to every member of Congress, APWU President William Burrus asked legislators to support citizens’ efforts to be part of the debate about plans to realign the nation’s mail-processing network. “The Postal Service has failed to consider the concerns of the American people, denied them the information necessary to determine if the revised network will meet their needs, and excluded them from having real input in the decision-making process,” Burrus wrote.
Those who defend efforts to consolidate mail sorting facilities without proper public input have chosen to ignore the intent of federal law that governs the Postal Service, Burrus said in the Sept. 12 letter. Their “disdain for the needs and wishes of ordinary citizens — your constituents,” he wrote, “is evident in a recent editorial in the newsletter of the Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association, an association of large mailers.”
09/14/2006 - Based on an analysis of the Postal Service’s own data, APWU testimony before the Postal Rate Commission has demonstrated that proposed increases in the price of postage would expand a controversial USPS policy — shifting costs from large corporate mailers to small businesses and individual citizens.
Testimony submitted on Sept. 6 shows that new rates requested by the Postal Service would increase excessive discounts to major mailers who presort their mail, and, as a result, force small businesses and individual customers who do not presort their mail to pay more.
09/08/2006 - Negotiations between the USPS and the APWU over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement resumed Sept. 7 and 8, with preliminary discussions of non-economic issues. Discussion of economic issues, including upgrades, will take place later in the negotiation process.
Specific contract language on the non-economic issues was not suggested or addressed; instead, each party identified problems to be solved and suggested a general approach for doing so.
Testimony Before Rate Commission
09/07/2006 - In testimony submitted to the Postal Rate Commission on behalf of the APWU on Sept. 1, Margaret L. Yao, an expert and senior associate at AmericaSpeaks, sharply criticized the USPS for failing to adequately consult with the public on its network consolidation plan.
Yao concluded that Postal Service’s Public Involvement Plan was “needlessly flawed” and that the “deficiencies of the current adversarial approach have invited scrutiny, delay, frustration, and cynicism.”
08/23/2006 - Negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the APWU and the USPS are scheduled to begin Aug. 29, 2006, union President William Burrus has announced. Management and union officials are expected to present opening statements and establish a schedule for future meetings. The current contract expires Nov. 20.
“Negotiating a new agreement is one of the union’s most important tasks,” Burrus said. “APWU members who wish to observe the first meeting are welcome to attend.” The meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Washington, DC, at 11 a.m. The union’s Rank-and-File Bargaining Advisory Committee will observe the proceedings, as will members of the National Executive Board.
08/16/2006 - The final Cost-Of-Living Adjustment under the National Agreement will give APWU-craft employees an annual raise of $812.
The Consumer Price Index rose slightly in July, the last month of the latest six-month Cost-Of-Living Adjustment measuring period in the extended 2000-2003 Collective Bargaining Agreement.