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.
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.
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.
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.’”
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.
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.”
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.
11/13/2006 - The APWU has established a Negotiations Hotline, which will help union members stay abreast of late-breaking developments regarding bargaining. The toll-free number is 800-992-APWU (or 800-992-2798).
Union President William Burrus recorded a message Nov. 13. Updates will be made as events warrant. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires Nov. 20.
11/09/2006 - Standing beneath a sign reading, “The People Won,” APWU President William Burrus saluted union members who worked to help elect “forward-thinking” candidates on Election Day 2006.
“This is a great day for democracy, a great day for the labor movement, and a great day for us,” Burrus said during an impromptu celebration at APWU headquarters on Wednesday. He noted that several members of the staff had worked the phones or otherwise campaigned for candidates who had expressed support for working families and he reported that APWU members in the field had worked just as hard.
When the Postal Service announced a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 2 to celebrate the grand opening of an $82 million mail-processing center in Scarborough, ME, it expected that distinguished guests, such as Maine’s U.S. senators, would be pleased to be guests of honor. What USPS officials didn’t expect was an APWU protest — and that became much bigger news that the event itself.