06/12/2007 - Local and state presidents are being asked to help spread the word about an important gain in the 2006-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement: the increase in the Postal Service’s contribution to health insurance premiums for those who enroll in the APWU Consumer Driven Plan.
“Healthcare coverage is one of the most important benefits a union can negotiate for its members, and the APWU Health Plans are among the best in the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (FEHBP),” President William Burrus wrote in a letter to APWU local and state presidents. “Yet, for a variety of reasons, many APWU members are enrolled in other health insurance plans.”
06/07/2007 - The APWU has negotiated an important agreement to expedite hearings on grievances involving jurisdictional disputes. In response to an APWU lawsuit against the Postal Service and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (MHU), the MHU has agreed to the re-appointment of an arbitrator to hear the cases in question, and has begun attending meetings of the National Dispute Resolution Committee. The APWU and MHU also agreed on a procedure to establish the order in which disputes will be heard.
06/06/2007 - The APWU, together with an organization representing a coalition of consumers and nonprofit mailers, has filed a suit challenging secret policy-making by a Postal Service advisory committee.
The panel, the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee, is made up of trade associations that represent large business mailers. Co-chaired by major mailer representatives and postal officials, MTAC — acting through “work groups” — commissions studies and makes recommendations to senior USPS management on postal operations, postal rates, and postal regulations.
05/22/2007 - New restrictions on the use of casuals, mandated by the 2006-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement, will result in a new format for Casual Compliance Reports. These reports are provided to the national union on an accounting-period basis so that the APWU can monitor management’s adherence to Article 7.1.B. of the National Agreement, which restricts the percentage of casuals the Postal Service may employ.
04/18/2007 - On April 28 each year, the labor movement observes Workers Memorial Day to commemorate workers who have been killed or injured on the job, and to renew the fight for safety-and-health protections. This year’s theme is Good Jobs, Safe Jobs. It’s Time.
With union backing, Congress passed important legislation to establish job safety and heath standards for every industry more than three decades ago. In recent years, however, many of the safeguards we fought hard for have been eroded by lax enforcement.
04/04/2007 - On Tuesday, April 24, 2007, working women across the country will mark Equal Pay Day — the day when women’s wages will finally catch up to what men earned in 2006.
“Women have come a long way, but are still waiting for equal pay,” said Dr. Heidi Hartmann, an economist at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). “In fact, at the current rate of progress, equal pay will take another 50 years.”
Equal Pay Day presents an important opportunity to persuade women to join the APWU, said Liz Powell, Northeast Region Coordinator and chair of the union’s Women’s National Organizing Subcommittee. “The disparity in pay is a vivid reminder of why women must fight for equality. And, simply put, unions help women bridge the gap.”
03/30/2007 - One of the most important labor law reform measures in decades was introduced in the U.S. Senate March 29 — legislation that would give American workers greater freedom to make their own choices about joining unions and bargaining for better wages, benefits, and working conditions.
Sen. Edward Kennedy and 46 co-sponsors introduced the Employee Free Choice Act (S. 1041), a bill that would stiffen penalties for harassment, intimidation, and other illegal tactics employers often use to prevent workers from having a voice at work.
03/29/2007 - In a ceremony March 29, APWU President William Burrus and Postmaster General John E. Potter signed the 2006-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Their signatures formalized the agreement, which was ratified by union members in January. The specific provisions of the agreement have been agreed to, and a permanent printed version is currently being proofread and finalized for printing. The union will post a notice when copies are available.
03/23/2007 - A Senate Committee will hear testimony March 27 from workers and labor law experts on the need to restore workers’ freedom to form unions to bargain for better wages and benefits.
“It’s no secret that a union contract is the best economic uplift program for working people in this country,” said Errol Hohrein, a worker at Front Range Energy who was fired after he and co-workers formed a union. He said the bill would restore the choice to bargain for a better life to people like him who have been denied it. Hohrein is scheduled to testify before the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
03/23/2007 - As part of an ongoing effort to outsource postal work, the USPS recently outlined management’s continuing plans to eliminate Air Mail Centers across the country. Two letters to the APWU provide additional details about plans management announced over the summer.
In a letter dated March 14, 2007, the USPS notified the APWU that management will continue to consider outsourcing operations at 14 of 43 facilities management identified in July 2006. “This decision continues a disturbing trend of replacing good-paying union jobs with low-wage non-union workers,” APWU President William Burrus said.