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.”
Negotiations for a new national agreement between the Postal Service and its largest bargaining unit — the American Postal Workers Union — began Aug. 29 at a hotel near Capitol Hill in Washington. Both sides said they hoped to have a signed agreement by Nov. 20, the expiration date of the 2000-2006 APWU-USPS contract.
08/23/2006 - Negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the APWU and the USPS are scheduled to begin Aug. 29, 2006, union President William Burrus has announced. Management and union officials are expected to present opening statements and establish a schedule for future meetings. The current contract expires Nov. 20.
“Negotiating a new agreement is one of the union’s most important tasks,” Burrus said. “APWU members who wish to observe the first meeting are welcome to attend.” The meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Washington, DC, at 11 a.m. The union’s Rank-and-File Bargaining Advisory Committee will observe the proceedings, as will members of the National Executive Board.
08/18/2006 - Nearly 3,000 blue T-shirt-clad APWU union members sent a strong and unified message to the Postal Service Thursday, as they surrounded what used to be the Philadelphia Processing & Distribution Center at a rally protesting failing service and mismanaged network realignment programs.
08/17/2006 - After fervent debate on the 18th Biennial Convention’s third day, APWU delegates adopted a resolution to study “efforts and procedures and processes” that would help bring the National Postal Mail Handlers Union into the APWU as a new department.