10/04/2005 - The Postal Service has filed a petition seeking to overturn a recent court ruling that invalidated USPS return-to-work requirements for employees with absences of more than 21 days. The APWU had hailed the July 19 ruling as a major victory in the fight to preserve workers’ rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
09/29/2005 - The APWU and USPS have reached an agreement on procedures for assigning employees impacted by Hurricane Katrina, union President William Burrus has announced. A Memorandum of Understanding, signed by Burrus and the USPS Vice President for Labor Relations on Sept. 27, provides for an interim period; a voluntary transfer period; and an involuntary reassignment period.
“This agreement is the first of its kind,” Burrus said. “We have no prior experience trying to relocate thousands of employees. It was quite a challenge.”
09/08/2005 - APWU members are joining together to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, which included thousands of postal workers and their families.
The APWU is urging union members to make contributions to the Postal Employees’ Relief Fund (PERF), a charitable organization established by postal unions, management associations, and the USPS. It benefits active and retired postal workers who have suffered significant property loss or damage from natural disasters.
09/02/2005 - By a vote of 60-25, APWU-represented motor vehicle operators at a private-sector mail-haul operation in Kansas City have rejected a union decertification effort.
08/25/2005 - Safety and health in the wake of a natural disaster is a major concern. The storm and subsequent flooding in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana has and will continue to place postal workers in dangerous environments for many month to come. These dangers will be present not only at work but in other public places and at home. The following information is provided to heighten your level of awareness and provide some basic guidelines for protective measures you should take.
Contract Extension Establishes 60-Day Window for Bargaining
08/17/2005 - As a result of the ratification of the contract extension, local unions and management will have an opportunity to negotiate changes to local agreements during the 60-day period from Oct. 3 through Dec. 1, 2005, APWU President William Burrus has announced.
Under the terms of the contract extension, existing local memorandums of understanding will remain in effect during any discussions, and can be changed only upon mutual agreement. Agreements may take effect upon the close of negotiations or at any date agreed to by the local parties.
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.