08/08/2005 - APWU members ratified a one-year extension of the Collective Bargaining Agreement by a vote of 69,763 to 9,201, in balloting that ended Aug 5. The National Agreement is now set to expire on Nov. 20, 2006.
Bush Administration Demands Major Changes
07/27/2005 - The House of Representatives passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act by a vote of 410-20 on July 26 and rejected three amendments approved for consideration by the Rules Committee. The voting lasted until after 9 p.m., and followed three hours of debate.
But a Statement of Administration Policy, released just hours before debate began, signaled that unless significant changes are made, President Bush will veto the bill.
07/20/2005 - A federal appeals court has ruled that the Postal Service’s return-to-work requirements for absences of more than 21 days are in conflict with the Family and Medical Leave Act.
The unanimous ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit invalidates key USPS regulations that require employees returning from approved FMLA leave of more than three weeks to submit detailed medical documentation — including diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and medication — and/or to submit to a medical examination by a physician selected by the Postal Service before it will allow them to return to work.
Ballot Mailing Starts July 18; Vote Count Set for Aug. 5
07/18/2005 - With a mailing that began July 18, the contract-extension referendum process has begun. More than 220,000 ballots are being distributed to union members covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the APWU and the Postal Service.
ALSO: USPS Publicity Campaign to Spotlight Retail Clerks. The next phase of a year-old Postal Service publicity campaign will feature Retail Sales Associates.
Membership to Vote on Proposed Agreement
07/08/2005 - The APWU Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee voted to approve a tentative contract extension agreement between the union and USPS on July 7, clearing the way for a ratification vote by union members.
ALSO: Ballots to Be Mailed July 18-20
AND: Statement of Rank & File Committee
Rank & File Bargaining Committee to Review Proposal
06/28/2005 - APWU President William Burrus announced June 28 that the union and the USPS have reached a tentative agreement on a one-year extension of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is due to expire Nov. 20.
ALSO: Highlights of the Tentative Agreement.
Agreement Would Require Union Members' Ratification
06/20/2005 - APWU President William Burrus announced June 20 that the union and management have reached “an agreement on a framework” for a one-year extension of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, with specific details still under discussion. The current contract is set to expire Nov. 20.
“If an agreement can be finalized and if it is approved by the union membership,” Burrus said at a meeting of APWU local and state presidents, “it will include a raise, along with two cost-of-living adjustments, and upgrades of some positions in the clerk, maintenance, and motor vehicle crafts.”
05/02/2005 - In a significant win for the union, an arbitrator has ruled that the Postal Service must grant Sunday premium pay to employees who work on Sunday, even if the work is the result of an employee’s request for a temporary change of schedule for the employee’s personal convenience.
“We have fought long and hard to protect Sunday premium pay for our members who perform work on Sundays,” said APWU Industrial Relations Director Greg Bell. “This important victory clearly vindicates our consistent position on such pay issues and rejects another attempt by the Postal Service to deprive postal employees of Sunday premium pay.”
04/06/2005 - A Government Accountability Office assessment of anthrax detection methods "underscores the lack of confidence" that many workers have in testing procedures at postal facilities, APWU President William Burrus said in testimony April 5 before a House subcommittee.
"The fears postal workers harbor about the accuracy of anthrax testing following the October 2001 attack remain," Burrus testified, "and they will not be overcome until a comprehensive plan of detection and protection is put in place." The GAO report suggests that the system still needs to be improved, and "confirms that many of the concerns the APWU expressed in 2001 were well placed."
03/18/2005 - Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, introduced a postal reform bill March 17 that is similar to legislation approved by the panel last year. The measure was co-sponsored by Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-DE) and Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH).