APWU Meets with USPS,
Seeks Bargaining Over Early-Outs
APWU Web News Article #65-08, July 9, 2008
APWU President William Burrus met with postal officials July 8 regarding USPS plans to offer early-retirement opportunities to 40,000 employees. “I conveyed our strongly-held belief that the Postal Service is required to bargain with the union over Voluntary Early Retirement opportunities,” Burrus said.
“I also reiterated our request for all pertinent information,” he said, “including the Postal Service’s request to the Office of Personnel Management requesting authority to offer early-outs, and OPM’s response.” Under the law, federal agencies, including the Postal Service, must receive approval from OPM to offer Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) opportunities to their employees.
Postal officials indicated that OPM has approved the request, and agreed to provide the union with the requested information. “We will review the information once we receive it and engage in further discussions with management,” Burrus said.
“We do not oppose Voluntary Early Retirements,” he explained, “but we do object to any plan to offer them selectively and exclude some employees from eligibility,” he said. “We also believe that for this VER, which is not the result of contract negotiations, severance pay must accompany an offer of early retirement.”
“We intend to pursue our concerns over this matter,” Burrus noted. “As we receive additional information, we will share it with our members.”