11/29/2006 - Although a voluntary agreement is still possible, APWU President William Burrus has instructed the union’s attorneys to make initial preparations for arbitration. In a telephone message to union members on Nov. 29, the union president said, “We must move forward to achieve a new contract.”
11/21/2006 - APWU has proposed bold steps to address important issues for postal employees, union President William Burrus told APWU members in a telephone message. “Because we are attempting to break new ground, the final pieces of an agreement pose difficult challenges,” he said. “Despite intense discussions today, agreement on all of the issues is still beyond our grasp.” Contract talks will resume after the Thanksgiving weekend.
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.
11/19/2006 - 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 - 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.
10/18/2006 - Contract negotiations continued Oct. 18, with the USPS asking questions about the APWU’s non-economic proposals. Discussion focused on employee reassignments, jurisdictional disputes, and the rights of employees in small offices.
Bargaining is scheduled to resume on Oct. 23, with additional questions from the USPS about union proposals.
Discussion of economic issues will take place in future sessions.
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.