04/02/2008 - The APWU National Executive Board has adopted a resolution criticizing Sen. John McCain for crossing a picket line of striking members of the Writers Guild to appear on the Tonight Show at the end of January. “This callous act by Sen. McCain showed an utter disregard for the efforts of ordinary workers to exact just and fair results in collective bargaining,” the resolution said.
03/25/2008 - Although a review by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of proposed USPS postage increases found that the rate hikes are within the price cap permitted by 2006 postal reform legislation, there was another less publicized — but highly significant — conclusion:
The proposed rates include a worksharing discount that exceeds the limits allowed under the law and amounts to an astounding 557.8 percent of postal savings.
03/17/2008 - An audit by the USPS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has concluded that during Fiscal Years 2005 and 2006, the Postal Service’s Pacific Area incurred approximately $17.8 million in unnecessary costs by the use of “expensive FedEx transportation to move mail that could have been moved on low-priced surface transportation or on less costly passenger airlines.
“The Postal Service also paid FedEx to sort mail when they could have avoided those costs by sorting the mail or properly preparing it for transport before giving it to FedEx,” the audit [NL-AR-08-002, Feb. 2008] found. The report estimated that the Pacific Area USPS could save approximately $45 million over the next 10 years by eliminating the unnecessary expenditures.
03/14/2008 - As of mid-March, 55 members of the House of Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of an anti-subcontracting measure supported by the APWU. The Mail Network Protection Act (H.R. 4236), which was introduced in November by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), would require the Postal Service to bargain with postal unions before it engages in significant contracting-out.
APWU President Burrus has identified gaining additional co-sponsors for the bill as a top priority for APWU activists. “It is imperative that union members contact their representatives and let them know that this bill is important to the future of the Postal Service and to postal workers.”
03/06/2008 - APWU President William Burrus has issued a call to action, asking the union’s officers and activists to fight proposed new regulations that would weaken the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
“The FMLA is the one of the most important pro-worker, pro-family laws in recent memory,” Burrus said. “It has worked well for both employers and employees. We must derail any attempt to dilute its effectiveness.”
02/28/2008 - APWU President William Burrus has asked USPS Inspector General David Williams to conduct an audit of the postal practice of permitting subcontractors to park trucks and store equipment on USPS property free-of-charge. The practice raises USPS operating costs and defers potential revenue, Burrus charged in a Feb. 22 letter to the Inspector General (IG).
“There is no uniform policy to determine when this added benefit will be afforded,” Burrus wrote, noting that the value of using USPS property is not considered when contracts are negotiated. He requested that the IG conduct an immediate review of the “economies and efficiencies” associated with management’s ad hoc arrangements.
Video to be Shown in Facilities Beginning Next Week
02/06/2008 - The Postal Service will broadcast a video in every postal facility beginning the week of Feb. 11, featuring a discussion with the presidents of the four craft unions. The conversation, moderated by Anthony J. Vegliante, USPS executive vice president and chief human resources officer, included APWU President William Burrus, National Association of Letter Carriers President Bill Young, National Rural Letter Carriers Association President Donnie Pitts, and National Postal Mail Handlers Union President John Haggerty. Discussion focused on the future of the Postal Service, the role of employees, and the importance of providing high-quality service.
The video will be shown first in plants, and later in other postal facilities.
Custodial Employees to Share in Long-Awaited Remedy
01/30/2008 - The APWU and the Postal Service finalized a $48 million payout Jan. 29 to “remedy” the USPS violation of staffing procedures for custodial employees. The settlement will be in the form of lump-sum payments of $2,700 to more than 17,000 employees occupying custodial positions. Payment will be made by April 18, 2008.
01/22/2008 - The American Postal Workers Union and the National Association of Letter Carriers have filed suit against the Postal Service and the Office of Inspector General for systematic and widespread intrusions into the medical records of postal employees.
The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Jan. 17, asserts that, beginning in 2006, the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) began surreptitiously seeking and obtaining the medical records of postal workers directly from doctors and hospitals that had provided medical services to postal employees.
01/09/2008 - APWU President William Burrus has asked the union’s state and local presidents to encourage APWU members to write to their U.S. representatives and ask them to co-sponsor and support the Mail Network Protection Act (H.R. 4236). The bill, introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) on Nov. 15, 2007, would require the Postal Service to bargain with postal unions before it engages in significant subcontracting.
Seven U.S. Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors. They are: Yvette Clark (D-NY), Al Green (D-TX), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Patrick Murphy (D-PA), Laura Richardson (D-CA), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), and John Tierney (D-MA).