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.
Moment of Silence to Be Observed at USPS Facilities Oct. 21
10/20/2006 - Two APWU members who died after being exposed to bacteria-laced mail were remembered during ceremonies Oct. 19 commemorating the fifth anniversary of the attacks. The memorial was held at a church near the Washington, DC, facility named in honor of the fallen postal workers.
Thomas Morris Jr., 55, who had worked for the Postal Service since 1973, died Oct. 21, 2001. Fifteen-year USPS veteran Joseph Curseen Jr., 47, succumbed a day later. The two Maryland residents died of respiratory ailments following their exposure a week earlier to letters bound for Capitol Hill.
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.
09/14/2006 - Based on an analysis of the Postal Service’s own data, APWU testimony before the Postal Rate Commission has demonstrated that proposed increases in the price of postage would expand a controversial USPS policy — shifting costs from large corporate mailers to small businesses and individual citizens.
Testimony submitted on Sept. 6 shows that new rates requested by the Postal Service would increase excessive discounts to major mailers who presort their mail, and, as a result, force small businesses and individual customers who do not presort their mail to pay more.
09/08/2006 - Negotiations between the USPS and the APWU over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement resumed Sept. 7 and 8, with preliminary discussions of non-economic issues. Discussion of economic issues, including upgrades, will take place later in the negotiation process.
Specific contract language on the non-economic issues was not suggested or addressed; instead, each party identified problems to be solved and suggested a general approach for doing so.
09/07/2006 - In testimony submitted to the Postal Rate Commission on behalf of the APWU on Sept. 1, Margaret L. Yao, an expert and senior associate at AmericaSpeaks, sharply criticized the USPS for failing to adequately consult with the public on its network consolidation plan.
Yao concluded that Postal Service’s Public Involvement Plan was “needlessly flawed” and that the “deficiencies of the current adversarial approach have invited scrutiny, delay, frustration, and cynicism.”