APWU, USPS Sign New Contract
APWU Web News Article 062-2011, May 23, 2011
APWU President Cliff Guffey and Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe have signed the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Their signatures formalize the new contract, which was ratified by APWU members on May 11.
“I am pleased that we were able to negotiate a contract that will strengthen the Postal Service for the future and protect the job security of union members,” Guffey said.
A permanent printed version of the contract will be finalized soon. The union will post a notice on www.apwu.org when it is available. Two charts showing the effective dates of various provisions of the contract are posted. One chart is organized by topic [PDF]; the other is organized by date [PDF].
“Now it is time for the members of Congress to do their part and correct the funding inequities that are driving the Postal Service toward insolvency,” Guffey said. “I encourage every APWU member to contact their senators and representative and ask them to take action now.”
The APWU supports H.R. 1351, a bill introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), which instructs the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to recalculate USPS payments to its pension accounts using updated methodology. Independent actuarial studies have concluded that as a result of improper funding formulas, the USPS has overpaid the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) by $50 billion to $75 billion. Overpayments to the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) are estimated at $6.9 billion.
Under the terms of H.R. 1351, if overpayments are found during OPM’s recalculation, the surplus would be transferred to the Postal Service. OPM would also be required to refund the USPS any money it overpaid to its FERS account. The Postal Service could then use this money to meet its pre-funding requirements.
A similar bill, S. 1010, introduced by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), would permit the USPS to use overpayments to its pension accounts to meet obligations to pre-fund the healthcare liabilities of future retirees, but it also contains several negative provisions. The proposed legislation would give the Postal Service authority to close post offices solely for financial reasons, and would require arbitrators to consider the financial health of the USPS when contract negotiations end in arbitration. The APWU will continue to work with senators and their staff to address the issues in this measure that are of concern to our members.