|Uncle Sam Pays Vets for Service|
Reference: Federal Retirement News
Postal News for NPMHU 317 members. We Serve the United States Postal Service Alabama Mail Handlers. We are headquartered in Birmingham. We consist of branches in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, and Montgomery.
|Uncle Sam Pays Vets for Service|
Effective on March 4, 2017, all career Mail Handler craft employees are scheduled to receive the second of seven possible cost-of-living (COLA) adjustments as outlined in Article 9.3 of the 2016 National Agreement. This COLA increase is based on the upward change in the relevant Consumer Price Index (CPI) following release of the January 2017 Index, and provides an annual increase of $333 for all Steps in Table 1 and for Step P of Table 2. The remaining Steps in Table 2 will receive the proportional COLA increase percentages as outlined in Article 9.3 of the National Agreement.
Link to wage chart effective March 4, 2017 (pdf)
"...The legislation would require postal retirees to look to Medicare for their primary health coverage, a change the would dramatically cut the Postal Service’s costs for retiree healthcare..."Reference: www.linns.com
MEMBERSHIP RATIFIES 2016 NATIONAL AGREEMENT
The terms of the 2016 National Agreement between the NPMHU and the U.S. Postal Service were officially ratified on February 10, 2017, when the results of the membership ratification vote were certified by the American Arbitration Association. The final vote tally was 8,047 in favor of ratification and 513 in opposition to ratification. Additional information regarding important provisions of the new National Agreement will be shared in subsequent NPMHU publications. Further details about the implementation of the 2016 National Agreement will be provided to Local Union officers and representatives as they become available.
"...look out, because a cabal of corporate predators and Koch-headed ideologues are scheming to take "public" out of this pubic agency and strip "service" out of the Postal Service by spreading a diabolical Big Lie. Their bogus claim is that this essential public service is a hopeless money loser, sucking billions from taxpayers every year. Unfortunately, our lazy media establishment..."Reference: Federal Employee News
Take advantage of the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Open Season. For the first time in 12 years, as a FEGLIeligible employee you can enroll in or increase your FEGLI coverage for yourself and eligible dependent family members – without answering any medical questions or having a physical examination. All career employees are eligible to participate.
Protect your family from the loss of your income. When considering the amount of coverage you need, think about the funds your survivors might need in addition to funeral expenses. Examples are: mortgage, rent, credit card debt, school loans, uncovered medical costs, taxes and attorney’s fees.
Find out what coverage you currently have:
Review your Life Insurance code on your Earnings Statement. Log on to liteblue.usps.gov, go to Employee Apps – Quick Links and click on ePayroll. There will not be a line for Basic coverage because the Postal Service pays the full amount. You cannot have Optional coverage without Basic. If you are not sure whether you have Basic only, check your most recent PS Form 50.
Determine the right amount of coverage for you and your family:
Use the FEGLI Calculator or MetLife's Coverage Calculator to estimate the coverage needed. The FEGLI Calculator computes premium amounts based on the coverage you select. You can also see how much your coverage will cost in retirement. MetLife's Coverage Calculator helps you evaluate your needs and identify an appropriate coverage amount.
The FEGLI Open Season brochure provides additional information about Open Season and what FEGLI offers.
Ready to make changes to your FEGLI coverage?
Complete the SF 2817, Life Insurance Election. Sign for all of the coverage you want, even if it includes coverage you already have. Any coverage not signed for, will be cancelled on the effective date of your Open Season election. The effective date of your Open Season election will be October 14, 2017, provided that you are in a pay and duty status. If you are in a nonpay status, your new coverage will become effective upon your return to pay and duty status.
Mail your completed SF 2817 to:
HR Shared Service Center
ATTN: FEGLI Open Season
PO Box 971300
Greensboro NC 27497- 1300
There is a one year delayed effective date for coverage elected through the FEGLI Open Season. Elections will take effect on the first day of your first pay period that begins on or after October 1, 2017, provided you are in pay and duty status. If you do not want to wait, you can elect coverage without a delayed effective date by providing satisfactory medical information on the Request for Insurance form, SF 2822.1 You can also elect basic and optional coverage within 60 days of a qualifying life event (e.g., marriage, divorce, death of a spouse, birth/adoption of children).
Don’t forget to name a beneficiary!
During this Open Season, we encourage you to verify, add or change your beneficiary elections to ensure that your benefits will be paid according to your wishes. Updating your beneficiary designation is completely voluntary. If you do not name a beneficiary, your benefits will be paid according to the order of payment set by law. If you want to update your designation, you can complete a Designation of Beneficiary (SF 2823, available at www.opm.gov/life) and submit it to your human resources office or shared service center.
What's the latest on the mail handler contract update? The big question for most mail handler's is what is going to happen with the new contract? The answer to that question is unknown. The last contract update was in May on the national site. Will we finally garner a decent wage increase or will the arbitrator simply follow the arbitrator in the APWU arbitration and receive a tiny 1% increase for career employees while incomes of typical Americans rose in 2015 by 5.2 percent? Sadly, as parcel growth increases exponentially, the postal service continues to cry poor-mouth, especially at contract negotiations time. Will mail handlers garner wages to catch them up to somewhere close to that of other crafts or will health insurance costs continue to drive down any wage increases while mail handlers struggle to survive while middle class incomes see the first significant boost to middle-class pay since the end of the Great Recession and the fastest increase ever recorded by the federal government? Only time will tell if we continue to slide economically while the rest of the nation reaps the benefits of an improving economy. Stay tuned for more and hope you will be rewarded for your hard work and loyalty.Reference: npmhu317.blogspot.com
"...One case alleges that a former Mail Handler Union executive stole more than 150 mobile phones at a distribution center in the Moreno Valley and traded them through a website..."Reference: www.newson6.com
"...An aggregate nonpay status of 6 months in any calendar year is creditable service. Coverage continues at no cost to the employee while in a nonpay status. When employees are in a nonpay status for only a portion of a pay period, their retirement deductions are adjusted in proportion to their basic pay (5 U.S.C. 8332 and 8411).
High-3 average salary computations are based on periods of creditable service. Thus, periods of nonpay status of 6 months or less in a calendar year that fall within an employee’s average salary period are included in the calculation of the average salary using the rate of basic pay in effect during the period of nonpay status. For example, if a full-time employee whose annual rate of basic pay is $85,000 per year is placed in nonpay status for 3 months, that 3-month period would be credited in the average salary calculation using the $85,000 basic pay rate. (If the rate of basic pay changed to $86,500 per year after 2 months of the nonpay period, the first 2 months of the nonpay period would be credited in the average salary calculation using the $85,000 basic pay rate and the last month of the nonpay period would be credited in the average salary calculation using the $86,500 basic pay rate.)..."
"...If you believe your NLRA rights have been violated, you may file a charge against an employer or a labor organization. You can find charge forms here. Please contact an information officer at your nearest Regional Office for assistance. The NLRB receives about 20,000 to 30,000 charges per year from employees, unions and employers covering a range of unfair labor practices described in Section 8 of the Act..."Reference: www.nlrb.gov
"...Stewards need to know what a valid past practice is and what the past practices in their workplace are—to defend them from erosion by management. A past practice is any longstanding, frequent practice that is accepted and known by both union and management..."Reference: www.labornotes.org
"...The agency demoted Hayden to a PS-4 Mail Handler because she entered incorrect data involving a grievance filed by an employee accused of mail theft. That accused employee happened to be Hayden’s sister. (p. 3) In the demotion letter the agency advised her that she could appeal to the MSPB..."Reference: www.fedsmith.com
"...The new pay scales under the 2015-2018 contract are now posted at apwu.org. According to information provided by the Postal Service, management will implement the new pay rates on Aug. 6 (Pay Period 17) and they will be reflected in paychecks dated Aug. 26..."Reference: www.apwu.org
"...One of the defendants was a U.S. Postal Service employee who used the federal agency’s expansive distribution system as a drug delivery service. The fairly elaborate narcotic peddling scheme was foiled due to an overcommitment to retain lost goods...."Reference: dailycaller.com
"...For Collins, who works for the U.S. Postal Service when he’s not running the label, founding Clockwork 247 has been “a constant headache.” “I tell everybody this is organized chaos,” he says. “”Every day, we’re constantly moving forward, but we may not know where we’re going.” Clockwork 247 might be one of the Birmingham hip-hop community’s newest members, but Collins says ..."Reference: weldbham.com
Decision Expected in 30 to 60 DaysContract Arbitration Hearings Conclude
During 18 days of hearings that focused primarily on the economic provisions on the new contract, the union and management presented their positions, called witnesses, submitted evidence, and offered rebuttals.
For more information on the negotiations and the fight for a good contract, click here.
"...the kind of raises that could help the 19-country eurozone lift inflation from dangerously low levels. The company said Friday that almost 120,000 workers would get 2.8 percent more on Sept. 1 and then another 2.0 percent on Aug. 1, 2017..."Reference: www.timesfreepress.com
Employees represented by the NPMHU will be allowed to bid under the new contract, whether or not the parties reach a tentative settlement, extend bargaining, or enter into impasse procedures. Successful bids on or after May 21, 2016 will be counted towards the bid maximums established in the 2016 National Agreement.
Read the Union's memorandum and related USPS document addressing bidding procedures during the ongoing negotiations and/or in the event of an impasse. (pdf)
"...continued to write songs while he was employed by the United States Postal Service. He reluctantly left the comfort of a government job for an uncertain career in Nashville in 1981..."Reference: News-Postal
"...If you’re going away for a while, take advantage of the Postal Service Hold Mail service. The USPS will keep your mail safely at your local Post Office™ until you return. Schedule the service up to 30 days in advance, or by 2AM CST (Mon-Sat) on the start date. Each address can have one Hold Mail scheduled at a time. All mail will be held, rather than an individual's mail. Fill the form out online..."Reference: holdmail.usps.com
"...Dominic V. Daniels Processing & Distribution Center in Kearny, where a 54-year-old employee was struck and killed in the parking lot on Tuesday, March 22, 2016..."Reference: www.nj.com
Are you curious if your wages are keeping up with the average hourly wages in America? Well, the Postal Service does not seem to be keeping up with the wage growth that the average worker is experiencing and contract negotiations with postal unions do not bode well for repairing the stagnant wages of postal workers.
Average hourly earnings increased by 0.5% to $25.39, the Labor Department said Friday. From a year earlier, hourly wages are up 2.5%, a slight slowdown from the prior month’s 2.7% annual advance, but again one of the best performances since the recession ended.
As you can see, the Postal Service wage is not keeping up by far, for example, a starting Level 4 Career Mail Handler is only $17.07/hour. Even sadder, a Mail Handler that is topped out at the level 4 rate earns only $27.03/hour ...not so much for a laborious job with odd hours and off days. All of this while the Postal Service continues to profit, yet argues against unions for even average pay raises. All of this while doing more with less. Can you expect the 2.5% average U.S. worker annual advance being garnered by others? If contract negotiations with other unions are any indication, you can rest assured you will not see it from the USPS. That is not to say the USPS will not do the right thing and provide a 2.5% increase, but it does not look likely. An arbitration agreement may provide some relief should negotiations fail to provide adequate wage increases and it comes to that.
However, in spite of being well below average in wages, the average Mail Handler continues to provide excellent service to the employer and this great country. Sometimes the only reward we get as a postal worker is the pride we feel in providing the best service available in the mailing industry for the best price and with the best attitude toward our loyal customers. All of this from a group of workers that have largely already served our country as military service men and women. We all know that serving our country is in our blood and we continue to do so with pride and quality.
The National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 317 - Huntsville, will host a union meeting at the China Buffet on Highway 20 in Madison. The meeting is scheduled for noon on Saturday, March 19, 2016. The State President, James Morris, will be in attendance as well as the Huntsville Local Branch President, Alex.Reference: npmhu317.blogspot.com
For the most current information available, please read the first of many Contract Updates produced and distributed by the NPMHU during the course of 2016 negotiations. These updates, along with the Union’s magazine and monthly bulletins, will keep mail handlers throughout the country informed and involved in the issues raised during this round of bargaining.
"... This site is considered a brownfield. Brownfields are former industrial or commercial sites where future use is affected by environmental contamination. Brownfield sites are converted into usable space under the supervision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)..."Reference: www.clickondetroit.com
"...“The Postal Service terminated this employee for working unsafely, despite statements from co-workers and witnesses contradicting that story,” said Nick Walters, regional administrator or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Chicago. “No worker should be subject to such treatment. The department will do everything to prevent this type of unlawful retaliation.” The department’s lawsuit alleges..."Reference: www.norwalkreflector.com
"...The return of normal growth in the American economy and operational surpluses for the Postal Service should mean a return to more normalized collective bargaining. ...to integrate the postal health care system into Medicare; to expand the mailing and other services that the Postal Service offers to the American public; and to stop the unwise closings and consolidations of mail processing facilities ..."Reference: www.npmhu.org
"...Madison Police arrested a Huntsville woman Thursday in connection with recent mail thefts and destruction of mail from residential mailboxes, according to a press release..."Reference: www.enewscourier.com
ALL PURPOSE WORK APRONS
...by Robin Jones
Add the pockets you want by request at no extra charge.
$15 (additional $4 s&h if mailed)