Tuesday, October 11, 2016
With the completion of the 2016 NPMHU National Convention, the National Office and representatives of the U.S. Postal Service have returned to the bargaining table to reach closure on the issues that remain open before an overall settlement can be announced on the terms of the 2016 National Agreement.
As previously reported by National President Hogrogian, at the original midnight deadline on May 20, 2016, the parties agreed to extend their negotiations. There were two primary reasons for that extension: first, the parties had made substantial progress in bargaining, with many tentative agreements already initialed and verbal commitments on approaches to address the outstanding issues; and second, both parties wanted to wait for the release of the final arbitrated award covering the contract between the Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union, which was expected to be available in June 2016.
The APWU arbitration award was eventually issued on July 8, 2016, through a panel headed by Stephen Goldberg. The decision awarded a contract covering 40 months, through September 20, 2018. On the key economic issues, the award provides career employees with three general wage increases of 1.2%, 1.3%, and 1.3%, as well as a potential for five cost-of-living adjustments during the same time period. Non-career employees who are not eligible for COLA were awarded wage increases of 2.2%, 2.3%, and 2.3%, plus another 50 cents per hour spread over the contract. The award also included layoff protection for career employees currently on the rolls.
With this award public, talks began to resolve outstanding issues between the NPMHU and the USPS. A short hiatus was taken for the National Convention, but now it appears that a tentative agreement is within reach. Of course, such an agreement will be subject to ratification by the entire membership.
Our agreement will include general wage increases and COLAs for career employees, as well as wage increases and other financial improvements for MHAs. The parties also have reached tentative understandings on important work rules, to provide additional protection to career employees and much-needed improvements for MHAs. Still to be resolved are various MHA-related items, a possible reduction in the percentage of casual employees, and even the total duration of the agreement. But the parties remain optimistic that an overall settlement can be reached soon.
As developments occur, circulation of these Contract Updates will continue, so please check your bulletins for more information.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
"...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
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
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.
- Almost everyone needs life insurance; how much is for you to decide. Through the FEGLI Program, you have several choices in selecting the amount of life insurance that’s right for you. FEGLI offers:
- • Basic Life — Provides the first level of financial protection. Unless waived, all eligible Federal employees will receive Basic term life insurance in an amount equal to your salary, rounded up to the next $1,000, plus $2,000. If eligible, the Federal Government pays one-third of the cost of your Basic insurance. You must have Basic Insurance before you can enroll in Optional Coverage.
- • Option A — Standard, in the amount of $10,000.
- • Option B — Additional, in an amount from one to five times your annual rate of basic pay after rounding your salary up to the next $1,000.
- • Option C — Family, one to five multiples of coverage for your spouse and each of your eligible dependent children under age 22. Each multiple is equal to $5,000 for the death of a spouse and $2,500 for the death of each eligible dependent child. Generally, only unmarried dependent children are eligible for coverage under Option C.
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.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
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
Saturday, August 27, 2016
"...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
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
"...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.)..."
Notes: Effect vs Affect
"...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
Thursday, August 4, 2016
"...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
Thursday, July 28, 2016
"...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
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
"...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
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
As expected, a lot happened during the final days of this year’s regular bargaining period. The Postal Service and NPMHU negotiated right up until the clock struck midnight on Friday, May 20. Despite these efforts, however, an agreement on all of the outstanding terms and conditions of employment could not be reached before the deadline.
Read 2016 Contract Update #8 (pdf)
Friday, May 20, 2016
What's going on with the APWU Contract Arbitration Hearings? Contract Arbitration Hearings Conclude for APWU
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
Thursday, May 19, 2016
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)
Contract Expiration Approaches - Bargaining Intensifies
NPMHU Issues Contract Update #7
With the contract expiration date nearing, bargaining has entered its final stage. The parties have launched a series of meetings at a hotel in downtown Washington, D.C. These meetings will occur with increasing regularity as the week progresses.
The NPMHU bargaining team is hard at work. Postal Service representatives also are working to ensure that the agency’s interests are represented in this new contract. Much of this work is done at the eleventh hour, however. Considerable progress is expected between now and midnight on Friday, May 20.
Read 2016 Contract Update #7(pdf)
Thursday, May 12, 2016
USPS Delivers Financial Presentation
NPMHU Issues Contract Update #6
This past week the Postal Service presented the NPMHU bargaining team with its official, on-the-record Financial Presentation. This did not include a proposed wage or benefit package for the 2016 National Agreement, but rather focused on the Postal Service’s current financial situation.
The presentation was slightly dated, primarily relying on data from Fiscal Year 2015 (ending on September 30, 2015) and the first quarter of FY2016 to reach its conclusions. It also focused on the termination of the exigent rate increase that led to a reduction in postage rates last month. However, it appears that the projections made in the presentation were fairly accurate. Outlined were the Postal Service’s views on the root causes of its financial instability, the steps it has taken thus far to deal with this financial situation, and the additional actions that it believes are still necessary to cope with the formidable financial challenges that lie ahead.
Read 2016 Contract Update #6 (pdf)
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Bargaining is entering its final phase as the month of May 2016 approaches. With the contract slated to expire at midnight on May 20, 2016, both the NPMHU and the Postal Service have begun to draft tentative agreements.
Tentative agreements, or TAs, as they are known in the world of collective bargaining, are crucial to the practice of contract negotiation. They serve as markers of everything that is agreed upon during the period of negotiations. At the moment, both parties have signed off on only a handful of tentative agreements, but there certainly will be more to come. Read 2016 Contract Update #5 (pdf)
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
At the main table session on Tuesday, April 5, the parties reconvened after a brief hiatus to receive and discuss several counterproposals from the Postal Service. Each proposal was presented by a different member of the Postal Service’s bargaining team. At the end of each presentation, the Union had an opportunity to seek clarification and ask questions.
Read 2016 Contract Update #4 (pdf)
Monday, April 11, 2016
"...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
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
The NPMHU and the Postal Service have now been engaged in collective bargaining for approximately one month. During the month of March, the Union has been meeting with management representatives an average of three days per week. Some of the meetings were on the record (also known as “main table”) and some have been off the record, in the form of more informal but focused subcommittees. The meetings are expected to occur even more frequently as bargaining moves forward.
Read 2016 Contract Update #3 (pdf)
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Bargaining is underway! Representatives from the Postal Service have now met at least three times with representatives from the NPMHU Negotiations Team for productive rounds of on-the-record meetings.
Read Contract Update #2 here (PDF)
Thursday, March 24, 2016
"...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
Friday, March 18, 2016
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
Thursday, March 10, 2016
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.
- Here is a link to the update:
- 2016 No. 1 – March 10, 2016 (PDF)
"... 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
Friday, March 4, 2016
"...“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
Thursday, March 3, 2016
March 01, 2016 - The National Postal Mail Handlers Union and United States Postal Service bargaining teams met for the first of many main-table negotiations. President Hogrogian presented the Union's first packet of non-economic proposals to the Service.
Friday, February 26, 2016
"...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
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
February 9, 2016- In a memorandum to all Local Presidents, President Hogrogian and CAD Manager T.J. Branch report that the NPMHU and the Postal Service have signed another MOU about the filling of residual vacancies, this one supplementing the earlier August 2015 MOU on this subject.
Through this February 8, 2016 agreement, the parties have executed an Addendum to the MOU Re Filling Residual Vacancies in which they mutually agree to change item 6 of the original MOU – governing the filling of vacancies based on the MOU Re Transfers, with the following language (new language underlined below):
“Based on the MOU Re: Transfers, all qualified bargaining-unit applicants without priority consideration, on a first-in, first-out basis. These reassignment (transfer) requests will be made with the normal considerations contained in the MOU Re Transfers. All residual vacancies will be posted in eReassign. The number of career reassignments allowed under this paragraph is limited to one in every four full-time opportunities filled in offices of 100 or more work-years and one in every six full-time opportunities filled in offices of less than 100 work-years.
As the new, underlined language makes clear, upon reaching item 6 in the MOU Re Filling Residual Vacancies, all residual vacancies will be posted in eReasign, and career employees from other installations may be transferred based on that system, with upside limits of 1 in every 4 full-time positions in offices with at least 100 work-years and 1 in every 6 positions in smaller facilities.
Copies of this new Addendum, as well as the original MOU, are available at this link.
Friday, January 15, 2016
"...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
"...LEIGHTON Post Office — Working with the U.S. postal inspector’s office, state agencies and local law enforcement helped the Colbert County Drug Task Force arrest what they describe as a “major” drug dealer..."Reference: www.timesdaily.com
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
"...According to AL.com, demographers project Huntsville – with a population that has been trending up for years and some recent huge wins on the economic development trail – will eclipse Mobile in two years, Montgomery in four years and Birmingham by 2022..."Reference: www.bizjournals.com
"...'Alabama is a hot spot for us right now, as we near the end of 2015 and gear up for aggressive expansion in the coming months,' said Greg Courchane, Valpak's director of franchise sales..."Reference: www.al.com
Friday, December 4, 2015
The Huntsville Branch Union Meeting is Saturday, December 5, 2015 at the Madison China Buffet on Highway 20 at 11:00 AM. The State President and Local Branch President will be in attendance.
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