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Friday, December 6, 2019

TSP Two-step authentication mandatory before the end of 2019

  TSP Two-step authentication mandatory before the end of 2019

"...All TSP participants must have validated contact information and use two-step authentication to log into My Account before the end of 2019. You can avoid interruption to your account access by..."

Reference: The Federal Newsgroup  

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Department of Labor: Federal Contract Mail Haulers: What are some Laws/Acts are you covered by?

  U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Finds Mail Hauler Failed to Pay Employees Prevailing Wages and Fringe Benefits in Alabama and Mississippi

"..."No federal contractor should gain an economic advantage by paying employees below the prevailing wages and fringe benefits their contract requires," said Wage and Hour Regional Administrator Juan Coria, in Atlanta, Georgia. "Federal service contracts spell out employers' responsibilities when they bid on these jobs. We encourage all employers to review their legal obligations and to contact the Wage and Hour Division for compliance assistance. Violations like these can be avoided." The SCA requires contractors and subcontractors performing services on prime contracts in excess of $2,500 to pay service employees in various classes no less than the wage rates and fringe benefits found prevailing in the locality, or the rates, including prospective increases, contained in a predecessor contractor's collective bargaining agreement. For more information about the FLSA, SCA, and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd..."

Reference: www.dol.gov  

2018 List of Top U.S. Postal Service Suppliers

  2018 List of Top U.S. Postal Service Suppliers

"...Mail haulers Hoovestol Inc., and its affiliated company Eagle Express Lines, again took second place with $480 million in revenue, freighting an additional $28 million from last year. We no longer consolidate entries from three separate companies held by parent Salmon Companies Inc., so the next largest ground carrier is Postal Fleet Services Inc. with $161 million in revenue. Wheeler Bros., Inc., which provides automotive parts for the Postal Service’s aging fleet, had $171 million in revenue to latch down the no. 8 spot..."

Reference: www.globenewswire.com  

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Stop the Postal Sell-off: Say NO to a Privatizer as the Postmaster General

  Stop the Postal Sell-off: Say NO to a Privatizer as the Postmaster General

In light of the Administration’s influence on the Board and the White House’s demonstrated hostility to the mission of the public Postal Service, we have serious concerns that the Board could appoint an outright privatizer as the next PMG. We’re organizing postal workers, allies and members of the public onto a petition to the Postal Board of Governors. We think this is a crucial front in our struggle to preserve quality, affordable, public Postal Service and the many thousands of community-sustaining jobs USPS supports.

In July 2018 the White House announced proposals to privatize the Postal Service. Now Postmaster General Megan Brennan has announced her departure as Postmaster General in January 2020. The Postmaster General has wide powers to shape the mission of USPS and there is a real risk that Brennan’s successor could hand over parts of the service to private, profit-making corporations and prepare it for a wholesale sell-off. The people will rightly expect a new Postmaster General who will uphold the Postal Service’s public mission and will work to preserve and enhance our national treasure.

SIGN THE PETITION TODAY


We, the undersigned, believe in a public Postal Service committed to providing quality service to everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, at reasonable and uniform rates. Our United States Postal Service is an essential part of the fabric of the country and a source of good, living wage jobs for our communities. We call on you to appoint a Postmaster General who is fully committed to universal service and the public ownership of the Postal Service.

Download a PDF version of the petition here.

Sign the petition online via APWU link to Grand Alliance

Reference: www.npmhu.org  

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Santa's Official Address

  Santa's Official Address

"...help kids write letters to Santa, making sure they include any relevant details,such as age, shoe size, home address, etc.Don’t worry, we will hide private information from the public. For some inspiration, we’ve included letters to Santa from last year. Make sure envelopes have postage and are addressed correctly, as shown..."

Reference: www.uspsoperationsanta.com
More Reading: Print a North Pole Postmark for your Christmas Crafts
 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

NPMHU Launches Mobile App

  NPMHU Launches Mobile App
mobile App in the App store
November 13, 2019- The National Office is pleased to announce the launch our official NPMHU mobile App. We’ve heard from more and more members that use smartphones to stay connected. They would like to have an NPMHU App to get their information; we are pleased to provide this communication tool. You can access the latest news, updates, events, and information of organizational importance. In addition, the App will access photos and videos that are posted on the website.

The App will also have significant value when it comes to the 2020 Convention. A component of the App will be specific to Convention updates, reports, and activities, but more on this in the coming months. The platform supports iPhone and Android devices. You can now download the App from Apple App Store or Google Play store—simply search for NPMHU and get connected. You can also use your smartphone to scan the QR Code shown on this page to acquire a direct link to the NPMHU mobile App in the App store.
Reference: www.npmhu.org

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Settlement Reached on Interpretive Dispute Concerning MHA Holiday Pay

  Settlement Reached on Interpretive Dispute Concerning MHA Holiday Pay

"...The NPMHU and the Postal Service have reached a pre-arbitration settlement on the interpretive dispute concerning payment to Mail Handler Assistants or MHAs for retroactive holidays during the first year of the 2016 National Agreement. The Case No. is Q16M-6Q-C 17583292.

The issue in this dispute was the effective date of the provisions of Articles 11 .1 and 11.3 of the National Agreement, as well as the subsection of the MOU on Mail Handler Assistant Employees governing Article 11 issues for MHAs. Together, these provisions guarantee that MHAs receive pay for up to six holidays per year, but there was a dispute concerning the beginning date for application of these provisions. As a result of this settlement, the parties have agreed that eligible MHAs will receive holiday pay for three (3) holidays during the first year of the 2016 National Agreement, which ended on May 20, 2017. Thus, current MHAs or Mail Handlers who were on the rolls as MHAs on Thanksgiving Day 2016, Christmas Day 2016, and/or New Year's Day 2017 will receive retroactive holiday pay for these holidays in accordance with Articles 11.1 and 11.3 of the 2016 National Agreement. Management had taken the position that the provisions of Article 11 only applied after ratification of the Agreement, which occurred in February 2017, and this settlement is a compromise of the parties' respective positions.

The payments owed will be made as soon as administratively practicable. Any cases being held on this issue at the Local or Regional level are resolved on the same basis.

November 4, 2019 - Memorandum to Local Presidents re: Pre-Arbitration 4 Settlement on 2016-2017 Holiday Pay for MHAs (pdf)

..."

Reference: www.npmhu.org  

Monday, October 28, 2019

How do postal union contract settlements compare to other skilled/non-skilled labor contracts

  How do postal union contract settlements compare to other skilled/non-skilled labor contracts

Even with GM not doing so well and having to shutter 3 plants, the UAW ratified a deal that shows the company really does appreciate their workforce. Yes, even during difficult times, GM and the UAW know how to motivate a strong group of craft employees. Even though skilled labor will reap higher pay, the unskilled craft employees garner the same benefits by ratifying the new four (4) year contract. And the union did not toss aside those at shuttered plants where the union said it negotiated assistance packages for workers at Lordstown, Warren and Baltimore transmission plants, including $75,000 payments for eligible production workers and $85,000 for skilled workers who retire. There are also buyout options for those not eligible to retire. Additionally, employees will garner an $11K signing bonus, $60K for early retirement at non-closing plants. Also, as important, no change in the existing health plan provided and no additional cost to members. All of this is addition to a $12,000 cap on profit sharing being eliminated. All profits earned by GM in North America will generate payments to members. The contract also provides two 3% raises and two 4% bonuses. And for all the naysayers that think that unions are bad for business, GM shares were up about 1% during after-market trading following reports of the ratification. The stock closed at $36.74, up 2.57%. The union contract ratification is a win-win-win for GM, UAW (union), and investors. Additionally, the customer wins with continued quality manufacturing by a well motivated, well paid workforce. Now it's your turn U.S. Postal Service. We have listened to the Postmaster General compliment the great job employees do so how about putting your money where your bread is buttered ...the workers.

Reference: NPMHU 317  

Monday, October 21, 2019

Postmaster General Megan Brennan Announces Retirement

  Postmaster General Megan Brennan Announces Retirement

"... The NPMHU congratulates Postmaster General Megan Brennan on her pending retirement and thanks her for her 33 years of service to the United States Postal Service. Brennan is the seventy-fourth Postmaster General and the first woman to hold the office; she assumed the position on February 1, 2015. While we have not always agreed on everything, the NPMHU appreciates the openness and honesty through which she conducted herself in her dealings with the NPMHU, especially in collective bargaining. We hope that whoever becomes the next Postmaster General continues Brennan’s productive relationship with the NPMHU. The NPMHU wishes Megan success in her future endeavors.

PMG Megan J Brennan's retirement announcement (pdf)

..."

Reference: www.npmhu.org  

Friday, October 4, 2019

RI399 Settlement to be Paid on October 4, 2019

  RI399 Settlement to be Paid on October 4, 2019

On June 26, 2018, the NPMHU, APWU and USPS reached a tripartite agreement Re: Update of Regional Instruction (RI) 399 Procedures.

With certain exceptions, the MOU effectively withdrew and administratively closed all cross-craft grievances that were pending in the RI- 399 process prior to September 1, 2017. The Update MOU also provided for monetary payments to mail handlers and clerks in consideration of the withdrawal of these grievances. The parties have agreed that $14,500,000 will be distributed among mail handlers designated by the NPMHU. The settlement and monetary payment distribution details were widely released and are also posted at npmhu.org.

The USPS will make payment on this settlement in the final pay period of the 2019 fiscal year; thus, the settlement will be included in the October 4, 2019 paycheck.

The National Office has established a union-run appeal procedure for any claims that may be filed (1) by Mail Handlers who do not receive a monetary payment on October 4, 2019 but who believe they should have been listed amongst the eligible, or (2) by eligible Mail Handlers who receive a payment on October 4, 2019 but believe they did not receive the proper number of shares authorized. The decisions made by this appeal procedure will be final and binding.

The appeal procedures will be discussed in detail during the upcoming SAMLU meeting in Washington, DC. Appeal forms are linked below.

September 16, 2019 Memorandum to Local Presidents (pdf)

RI399 Appeal Form (Fillable pdf)

RI399 Appeal Form (pdf)

Reference: www.npmhu.org  

A look back at the last GM/UAW 2015 Contract Summary for hourly workers

  A look back at the last GM/UAW Contract Summary for hourly workers

As the UAW continues to strike for a fair share of GM's huge profits for present and future hourly workers and postal unions strive for a decent wage and benefits, it's a good time to see what the past UAW contract garnered for its members in their last contract (2015). Some of the contract wins included an $8,000 signing bonus, 3% wage increase the first year, 4% lump sum in the second year, 3% wage increase in the third year, and a 4% lump sum in the last year. Additionally, performance bonuses, quality bonuses, $500 retiree gift cards, $60,000 bonus for up to 4,000 taking a retirement. A legal Services Plan. Enhanced relocation benefits and more to include profit sharing. And of course they have pensions and great health benefits as well. Read it here: https://uaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/64171_UAW-GM-Hourly-Highlights-Revp-11-final.pdf

Reference: uaw.org  

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Image Archive: A look back at the mail handler crew in Huntsville (35813) under Plant Manager Doug Miller

  Image Archive: A look back at the mail handler crew in Huntsville (35813)

Image of NPMHU Local 317 - Huntsville
From Left (Standing): Ed Semanek, James Stallworth, Jes Berry, Ernie Ray, Leonard Soliday, John Hill, Larry Kirby, John Magers, Ray Dunavant (Chief Steward), Jackie Conoway, Jessie Leonard (State President),
From Left (Seated): Joe Oliver, David Roop.

Image of NPMHU Local 317 - Huntsville
From Left (Lower): Melvina Gardner (in Santa Hat), Lawyer Brown, Joe Oliver, Lee Singleton, James Stallworth, John Magers, Charlie Kea (hat, blue shirt), Leroy Cartledge.
Top Row Are Individuals Previously Named in First Picture

Reference: rocket-city.us  

Yet Another Impasse at the Postal Service as Two More Labor Contracts Expire

  Yet Another Impasse at the Postal Service as Two More Labor Contracts Expire

"...The fate of compensation and other issues for 250,000 employees now hangs in the balance..."

Reference: www.govexec.com  

Thursday, September 19, 2019

2019 Contract Update #8

 
2019 No. 8 – September 19, 2019 (pdf)
2019 Contract Update #8

You are reading the eighth Contract Update produced and distributed by the NPMHU during the course of 2019 negotiations. These updates, along with the Union’s magazine and monthly bulletins, will keep mail handlers throughout the country informed about the issues raised during this round of bargaining.

Bargaining has escalated in intensity, as both USPS representatives and the NPMHU team have spent the past six days in meeting rooms of the hotel discussing revisions, continuing subcommittee discusssions on especially heated topics, and holding internal team meetings to assess the state of negotiations.

At the time of this writing, the parties have agreed to initial six tentative agreements, and have decided which of the contracts existing Memoranda of Understanding will continue as written without further debate. The Postal Service has only begun to present additional revisions to our team at daily Main Table meetings. We are reviewing and revising all new submissions, while emphasizing those the Union has submitted previously to encourage their continued discussion.

The CAD representatives on our bargaining team have been reaching out regularly, sometimes repeatedly over the course of a day, to the field—to our Local Unions and Regional Offices—to obtain more evidence which demonstrates the necessity of certain proposals. The Postal Service might not take our word for it, but they certainly will be listening to yours. This collaboration is crucial, and greatly appreciated. Our side of the bargaining table extends far beyond the eight chairs present in the room.

The NPMHU also is carefully watching the recent and ongoing negotiations amongst our fellow postal unions. The Rural Letter Carriers have all but finalized their new three-year agreement, and the APWU remains engaged in interest arbitration. Meanwhile, the NALC is bargaining toward the same deadline as the NPMHU.

Still, though the parties have met almost daily for the past two weeks, the parties have only recently begun their discussions of the crucial economic proposals—including those that are high priority and must-have items for our workforce. Of course, the NPMHU will continue to focus on these issues as bargaining nears its conclusion.

Thank You

All of our membership plays a role in bargaining by continuing to stay informed. We thank you for your participation—from your earlier submission of proposals during the survey by the Field Negotiating Committee, to your responsiveness in the contract’s final days. Our September Update discussing this round of bargaining in full will be released soon, as well as any further updates stemming from these last 24 hours of negotiations. It is certainly not over until it’s all over.

Looking Forward

Following this final week of negotiations, we will be looking ahead to the SAMLU meetings scheduled for the end of September and the beginning of October. Local Union Presidents will meet here in Washington, DC to review the state of negotiations. Many discussions will be facilitated to ask and answer questions, provide feedback, and present specific priorities for the period of this contract and beyond.

Continue to watch your bulletin boards and the National website for the latest information.



Reference: www.npmhu.org  

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

With Regret and Sorrow - The National Union Announces the Passing of Retired Alabama Local 317 President Harrison Beasley

  With Regret and Sorrow - The National Union Announces the Passing of Retired Alabama Local 317 President Harrison Beasley
Harrison Beasley, Jr.
It is with regret and sorrow that the National Union announces the passing of Harrison Beasley, Jr. Brother Beasley served in various positions within his Local Union, culminating with his election and service as Local 317 President. The National Office has just received the following information regarding Brother Beasley’s funeral services:

Funeral services will take place at 1:00 PM on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at Zion Star Missionary Baptist Church, 254 3rd Avenue SW, Birmingham, AL 35211.

The Interment will be at Elmwood Cemetery. Please keep the family and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.

9-18-19 Memorandum (pdf)


Reference: www.npmhu.org

Friday, September 13, 2019

Court Rules Postal Service's Largest-Ever Stamp Price Increase Is Illegal

 
Decision sparks confusion as USPS says it is weighing its legal options.
Court Rules Postal Service's Largest-Ever Stamp Price Increase Is Illegal

"...federal court dealt a major blow to the U.S. Postal Service on Friday, ruling that the mailing agency’s five-cent price increase for stamps that went into effect earlier this year is illegal..."

Reference: www.govexec.com  

5 Tips to a Quicker Retirement

 

Achieving your financial goals in a shorter time frame.

5 Tips to a Quicker Retirement

"...If you’re under the Federal Employees Retirement System, keep working. At least until you qualify for Social Security retirement, the 1.1 percent FERS annuity calculation factor and cost of living adjustments..."

Reference: www.govexec.com  

2019 Contract Update #7

 
2019 No. 7 – September 13, 2019 (pdf)
2019 Contract Update #7

You are reading the seventh Contract Update produced and distributed by the NPMHU during the course of 2019 negotiations. These updates, along with the Union’s magazine and monthly bulletins, will keep mail handlers throughout the country informed about the issues raised during this round of bargaining.

Representatives from the Postal Service, led by Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President David Williams, met with the NPMHU bargaining team on September 10, 2019 to discuss USPS operations forecasts. The USPS also provided the Union with relevant financial materials after cancelling a live presentation on USPS Finances that originally was planned for August 30.

Operations Overview

Williams presented a doom and gloom picture of the future state of mail processing operations, emphasizing several key points along the way. The growth of package mail has not offset the continuing decline in first-class mail, and even package mail is slowing as the Postal Service’s four largest competitors are developing of their own delivery networks. USPS claims that the mail volume which is processed by the mail handler craft is “leaving the system,” and that “growth … is going into delivery injection.” Moreover, investments needed for a new vehicle fleet may be made by cutting the workforce of other crafts. Also highlighted were the automation systems that have been implemented at the Portland, OR P&DC, which were called “the model for the future.” At that facility, mail processing work hours have been reduced by 17%. USPS investments in the Universal Sorting System (USS) are expected to increase, with 23 sites now planned, and even the supersized EPPS machine may be the subject of additional orders. As these sites receive new automation, machines like the APPS and APBS are being re-deployed to other facilities.

While the growth of automation is inevitable, the Postal Service also believes that the total number of mail handler employees is expected to remain fairly stable over the next several years. Management’s emphasis, as always, is in increasing the “flexibility” of workforce hours rather than reducing the total number of hours.

A Look at Finances

Although the Postal Service has now shared its economic forecasts, the economic bargaining proposals from both parties still have not officially be introduced at the Main Table. Nonetheless, it is safe to predict that the ultimate debate during upcoming negotiations will have to address some of the trends and arguments put forth in the USPS, including that:

Mail volume mix is changing, with declines led by electronic mail.
Intense competition will incentivize the workforce and customers in ways that USPS cannot.
2018’s total expenses were $76.1B.
Wages = $32.7B
Benefits = $20.5B
Paid Time Off = $5.1B
Labor & benefit costs make up approximately 80% of USPS total costs.

The Final Stretch

The NPMHU bargaining team will be checking into its hotel residence for round-the-clock bargaining this weekend. Several TAs have been agreed upon and are in the editing process. As several important understandings have already been reached at the Main Table, the parties are ready to focus their discussions on those most disputed and prioritized issues that have emerged in this round of negotiations.

Continue to watch your bulletin boards and the National website for the latest information.

Reference: NPMHU.org  

Thursday, September 12, 2019

2019 Contract Update #6

2019 No. 6 – September 6, 2019 (pdf)
  2019 Contract Update #6

Contract Expiration Approaches

You are reading the sixth Contract Update produced and distributed by the NPMHU during the course of 2019 negotiations. These updates, along with the Union’s magazine and monthly bulletins, will keep mail handlers throughout the country informed about the issues raised during this round of bargaining.

With two weeks remaining before the current National Agreement expires at midnight on September 20, 2019, your bargaining team has been hard at work. In spite of management’s sluggish pace—the Postal Service announced their first proposals only last week—we have continued to hash out the history and evidence behind each of our proposals in Main Table and Subcommittee meetings. Those proposals that were submitted to us from the field by our membership have been especially helpful in making our needs known.

During the most recent Main Table meetings, management reviewed all of the proposals submitted so far, one by one. As our proposals were submitted in segments, this was the NPMHU’s first time to get an overall look at what management is thinking. Some topics were officially designated ‘economic’ issues in this meeting, so we will know more about their considerations and potential offers soon. As several of our highest negotiation priorities, like Night Shift Differential and Overtime, fall into this deferred economic discussion category, we are working to learn more.

Meanwhile, the USPS canceled its formal presentation on the current state of Postal Service finances, which originally was scheduled for August 30, 2019. Instead, the Union were presented with a written presentation and we are awaiting additional relevant documents that, management claims, will give the Union a better understanding of the current financial outlook.

Both the Union and USPS proposals that have been discussed at length during Main Table bargaining will be further reviewed within the various subcommittees. The proposals that are talked about most extensively are typically the ones that are more likely to be adopted in some form, as these are continuously considered and refined throughout the bargaining process. On the other hand, those proposals which have not sparked lengthy discussions, but rather feelings of fear or even ridicule, are less likely to find their way into any agreement. But that doesn’t mean these less-discussed proposals are over and done with, unless and until they are withdrawn by the party that initially proposed them. Finally, even relatively minor or cosmetic changes to the National Agreement, including the updating of dates and alterations to Article and Section headings, will take some time to process, even if they eventually will be written fairly quickly.

The Tentative Agreement Process

On the topic of tentative agreements—the first hints toward possible “TAs,” as they are known—a limited number of references to TAs have begun to appear in ongoing conversations at the bargaining table. Tentative agreements follow the presentation and discussion of proposals, but also must be initialed by both parties and are dependent upon agreement on all terms in the new National Agreement.

In previous Contract Updates, we have taken a closer look at the general workings of the bargaining process. Tentative Agreements are the semi-final phase of that process. As the name suggests, however, these tentative agreements are only final and binding when they are inserted into and become part of an overall settlement on all terms of the next National Agreement. The final collection of TAs, signed by both parties, will then be dependent on ratification by the NPMHU membership. If the eligible membership does not vote to ratify the negotiated settlement agreement, these agreed-upon TAs will become null and void.

Looking Forward: The remainder of this month leading up to contract expiration will include more frequent meetings, with the final submission of documents obtained from the NPMHU’s records and archives, the Regional Offices, and the Local Unions aimed at strengthening our case for each proposal. During the current contract’s final week, the negotiating teams will be available to meet around the clock at a hotel in downtown Washington, DC. Team members’ schedules will be cleared to focus entirely on bargaining; it is hoped that such concentration of effort will create an abundance of TAs during that time.

The next Contract Update will focus on the state of USPS finances, and what it means for this year’s round of negotiations—and beyond.

Continue to watch your bulletin boards and the National website for the latest information.

Reference: www.npmhu.org

 

Friday, August 16, 2019

2019 Contract Update #5

  2019 Contract Update #5

2019 No. 5 – August 16, 2019 (pdf)
You are reading the fifth Contract Update produced and distributed by the NPMHU during the course of 2019 negotiations. These updates, along with the Union’s magazine and monthly bulletins, will keep mail handlers throughout the country informed about the issues raised during this round of bargaining.

The NPMHU and the Postal Service have now been engaged in collective bargaining for over a month. As the September 20, 2019 expiration date grows closer, the parties are meeting more frequently to discuss the importance Union proposals. Subcommittees continue to meet as scheduled, in addition to weekly main table meetings. At this time, the Union’s economic proposals (covering Articles 9, 21, and 26) have not yet been presented – we are working through our non-economic demands first.

The Postal Service continues to delay submitting its own proposals, and as of this writing still has not presented any official counter proposals. Perhaps patience is a virtue.

Final COLA Set At $624

All career Mail Handler craft employees are scheduled to receive another cost-of-living adjustment, based on an annual increase of $624 for all Table 1 Steps and Table 2’s Step P. Other steps on Table 2 will receive their proportional share. The new pay scales are posted online at npmhu.org and will posted in the next monthly bulletin.

Other Union Updates

The Rural Letter Carriers just ratified a new three-year agreement covering the period from May 2018 to May 2021. The APWU is still bargaining from last year’s May 20, 2018 contract expiration, and the NALC just started its round of bargaining in June 2019, following the same timing as the NPMHU.

USPS Finances: Here’s What We Know

While everyone continues to await the release of the Post Office’s 10-Year-Plan, as well as the official USPS financial presentation to be provided directly to our bargaining team, the following related developments are worth noting:

  • “Very happy,” said Robert Duncan, USPS Board of Governors chairman, in regards the board’s new quorum, which was confirmed by Congress on August 1, 2019. This is the BOG’s first quorum since 2014.
  • The expected 10-Year-Plan will not be released until it has been reviewed by all new members of the BOG.
  • USPS continues to tout its recent reductions in work hours as one of the primary methods of cost-cutting.
  • An outline of the 10-Year-Plan, in draft form, has been shared with key leaders in Congress, and included cuts in other workforce expenses, such as reductions in pay, leave, and benefits.
It remains to be seen whether the final 10-Year-Plan will provide more sustainable possibilities for the Postal Service’s economic future, and what impact the final plan may have on National negotiations.

Updates will continue to be published whenever possible in the coming days and weeks. Continue to watch your bulletin boards and the National website for the latest information.

Reference: www.npmhu.org  

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Seventh COLA set at $624

  Seventh COLA set at $624

Effective August 31, 2019, all career Mail Handler craft employees are scheduled to receive another cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment as outlined in Article 9.3 of the 2016 National Agreement. This is the final possible COLA increase under the terms of the current agreement. This COLA increase is based on the upward change in the relevant Consumer Price Index (CPI) following release of the July 2019 Index, and provides an annual increase of $624 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. Updated wages charts will be posted on the national website at npmhu.org soon and will be distributed in the August Update.

Wage Chart Effective August 31, 2019 (pdf)

Wage Chart w/ lv 6 (pdf)



Reference: www.npmhu.org  

Thursday, August 1, 2019

2019 Contract Update #4

 
2019 No. 4 – August 1, 2019 (pdf)
2019 Contract Update #4

You are reading the fourth Contract Update produced and distributed by the NPMHU during the course of 2019 negotiations. These updates, along with the Union’s website, magazine and monthly bulletins, will keep mail handlers informed about the issues raised during this round of bargaining.

The NPMHU and the U.S. Postal Service have now been engaged in collective bargaining for almost a full month. Here is a summary of what has transpired during this time, and an update on how negotiations are proceeding.

At this writing, the NPMHU has introduced the vast majority of its noneconomic bargaining proposals. This past week, for example, the Union presented more than thirty pages of proposals falling within the scope of Article 12 governing seniority, posting, and reassignments and Article 15 governing the grievance-arbitration procedure for handling disputes between the parties. Earlier, the Union had submitted all of its noneconomic proposals for Articles 1 through 14, and soon the Union will hand over its suggestions for Articles 16 through 39. Even after these submissions are complete, that does not mean that the NPMHU will not be creating more proposals and counterproposals before bargaining is complete, both as adjustments to prior proposals and reactions to USPS-generated amendments for the National Agreement.

As is common, the Postal Service is delaying introduction of its own proposals, which normally are smaller in number but larger in impact. These likely will not be shard until August, although USPS counterproposals to the Union’s proposals may come earlier. (The term “counterproposal” is used to describe any proposal brought forward by the Postal Service that is in direct response to an earlier NPMHU proposal. Likewise, a new proposal from the Union in response to a management proposal also is referred to as a counterproposal.)

The parties also have created a host of subcommittees. Each party’s appointees to each subcommittee has been set, and the schedule for meetings of each subcommittee also is being drafted. To this point, the parties have agreed on subcommittees to deal with Article 2, Article 7 (employee classifications), Article 8 (overtime), Article 12, Article 15, Mail Handler Assistant issues, Article 32 (subcontracting), and MOUs and LOIs.

The key to success for many of these subcommitees will be for the Union, through its Local Unions or through the Regional or National Contract Administration Department, to develop facts and arguments from our firsthand knowledge of whatever flaws exist in current contract language, in implementation of the current contract language, or in the real-life situations and impact that the National Agreement has on the mail handler workforce. The National Office thanks the Locals and the various CAD representatives for their expected and now-routine cooperation in putting together these facts and arguments.

Looking Forward: Financial Presentations

With the nearing submission of a complete package of non-economic proposals into the official record of bargaining, the parties will thereafter turn their attention to the major financial issues. The Postal Service is planning to provide the NPMHU with its official, on-the-record financial presentation toward the end of August. If past rounds of bargaining are any indication, the data to be presented will center on the Postal Service’s dire predictions about its financial viability, with a particular emphasis on the continuing decline in mail volume and the continuing need to control or reduce labor costs. Potential legislative or regulatory action to eliminate the economic burden of the pre-funding mandate for the Retiree Health Benefits Fund, to authorize larger-than-inflation rate increases, or to remove other restrictions on the USPS business model will likely go unmentioned by the Postal Service, even though both parties fully recognize that such changes are needed if the Postal Service is going to be able to deal with its long-term financial challenges. It also is likely that the USPS will be discussing its oft-mentioned but seldom-seen Ten-Year Plan, which the Postal Service has been forced to put together by certain Members of Congress. That Plan is scheduled for public release in the near future, and may cause a disruption to the usual flow of national negotiations.

Future issues of these Contract Updates will report on the information that is exchanged during the various subcommittee meetings, as well as during the Main Table discussions of finances and other policy issues facing the parties.

As always, continue to watch your bulletin boards and the National website for the latest information.



Reference: www.npmhu.org  

Friday, July 26, 2019

USPS Issues Craft Determination on the Enhanced Package Processing Sorter (EPPS)

  USPS Issues Craft Determination on the Enhanced Package Processing Sorter (EPPS)



In a letter dated July 12, 2019, the Postal Service issued their Craft Determination on the Enhanced Package Processing Sorter (EPPS). The EPPS is currently installed in 1 postal facility, and given its enormous size, is likely only to be added to at most a handful of locations.

The Postal Service has determined that, with the exception of the so-called supplemental induction stations, the induction and sweeping duties performed on the EPPS are most similar to those on the Automated Package Processing System or APPS. For the supplemental induction stations only, the Postal Service likens the EPPS to the Automated Parcel Bundle Sorter or APBS and the Small Parcel Sorting System or SPSS.

Read President Hogrogian's Memorandum to Local Presidents and the USPS National Craft Determination (pdf)

Reference: www.npmhu.org  

USPS Issues Craft Determination on the Universal Sorting System (USS)

  USPS Issues Craft Determination on the Universal Sorting System (USS)



In a letter dated July 12, 2019, the Postal Service issued its national craft determination for the USS or Universal Sorting System. The USS is currently in 8 postal facilities, with the Postal Service planning to add 15 more locations in the next year.

The Postal Service has determined that "the primary craft operation of the USS is the Mail Handler Craft." The actual number of employees required to perform the duties associated with the USS at any time will be determined based on local configuration and operational needs.

Read President Hogrogian's Memorandum to Local Presidents and the USPS National Craft Determination (pdf)

Reference: www.npmhu.org  

Friday, July 19, 2019

2019 Contract Update #3

 
2019 No. 3 - July 19, 2019 PDF
2019 Contract Update #3

You are reading the third Contract Update produced and distributed by the NPMHU during the course of 2019 negotiations. These updates, along with the Union’s magazine and monthly bulletins, will keep mail handlers throughout the country informed about the issues raised during this round of bargaining.

Bargaining is underway—at the time of this writing, the NPMHU has presented about half of its proposals, covering more than 40 pages of new or revised contract language, during Main Table meetings with the Postal Service. The Postal Service has stated they do not expect to introduce proposals of their own until later.

During July and August, the Union will continue meeting with postal management representatives several days per week. Some of these meetings are on-the-record, called “main Table” meetings, while others take place off the record in the form of smaller, informal subcommittees where focused discussions can be held at length. Subcommittees which have formed thus far focus on expanding coverage under Article 2, making adjustments to Article 8 on overtime, dealing with various issues concerning Mail Handler Assistants, and subcontracting as authorized under Article 32. Articles 12 and 15 also have warranted early-formed subcommittees, especially as Article 12 outlines the complexities of seniority, bidding, and reassignments, and Article 15 forms the foundation of our grievance and arbitration rights. Our intention in forming these subcommittees is to allow for open and frank discussions while upholding those aspects of the National Agreement that the NPMHU believes are most critical. There will certainly be other subcommittees formed as we progress through the remainder of both parties’ proposed changes.

Throughout this round’s on-the-record meetings, President Hogrogian has outlined the non-economic demands of the unit clearly and repeatedly. The NPMHU proposals this year relate to most of the Articles and Memoranda contained throughout the National Agreement. Piece-by-piece, the Union aims to improve protection for all our current members and the fruits of their labor. In the last round of bargaining in 2016, the Union presented over 100 proposals. This round, the National Office is honing its efforts on a smaller number of total proposals so that we can perfect those which are most urgent. Many things have changed in three years, and we are both reflecting and looking ahead in our decision making to protect and enhance the benefits that the Mail Handler workforce needs.

Ultimately, the NPMHU cannot know with precise certainty what will happen before the next round of contract renewal that is years away. The amendments we seek would increase the Union’s flexibility to weather any change.

Bargaining: What Happens in a Week?

The bargaining schedule is made up of formal, on-the-record meetings and less formal, off-the-record meetings. Main Table sessions are where all proposals are officially introduced by each party—under the ground rules for negotiations, no proposal can be considered until it has been presented to both sides in this formal setting. Meanwhile, subcommittees have been created—by mutual agreement—to address specific concerns more extensively.

In every round of bargaining, the smallest subcommittee group is focused on editing any cosmetic issues in the contract, such as amending typographical errors and ensuring that dates are updated to reflect the new contract cycle. The goal is to ensure that our National Agreement is as clear as possible for years to come. We will update you on subcommittee developments as bargaining progresses.

Altogether, even when meetings are scheduled two-to-four days a week, the negotiations schedule becomes a full-time endeavor. In addition to Main Tables and subcommittees, members of the NPMHU’s Contract Administration Department and legal team are collaborating and meeting continuously to draft and revise proposals, to research facts and arguments, and to ensure an efficient and productive bargaining process.

Reference: National Postal Mail Handlers Union  

Thursday, July 11, 2019

2019 Contract Update #2

 
2019 No. 2 – July 11, 2019 (pdf)
2019 Mail Handler Contract Update #2 (PDF) 2019 Contract Update #2
You are reading the second Contract Update produced and distributed by the NPMHU during the course of 2019 negotiations. These updates, along with the Union’s magazine and monthly bulletins, will keep mail handlers throughout the country informed about the issues raised during this round of bargaining.

In its first Contract Update, the NPMHU provided a brief overview of the bargaining process, with a focus on the opening session of June 27, 2019. To keep mail handlers informed about the negotiation process, here are more details about the controlling procedures.

The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 (PRA) continues to govern the way the U.S. Postal Service engages with the postal unions. Under the provisions of this law, bargaining generally progresses as follows:

Collective bargaining is initiated when one party to the contract serves the other a written notice of an attempt to modify the current agreement. Article 39 of our National Agreement requires this notice to be served “not less than 90 nor more than 120 days” before contract expiration. Note that our current contract is scheduled to expire on September 20, 2019, and the NPMHU thus notified the USPS about our desire to modify the contract in early June. The goal of both parties will be to agree in a timely manner, through good-faith negotiations, to changes to the existing contract proposed by one or both sides.

Should a tentative agreement be reached between the parties, it will then be subject to ratification in a vote (through mail ballot) by the membership of the NPMHU. If a tentative agreement is reached in September, the mail ballots would likely be distributed in October 2019. In the words of President Hogrogian during the opening of bargaining: “If management makes reasonable proposals and counterproposals at the bargaining table, we certainly will recommend ratification to our membership. We also hope for and expect the same attitude from postal management – that reasonable proposals from the Union will be met with acceptance.”

However, if the parties are unable to reach a tentative agreement to amend their contract, the PRA provides the parties with several pathways for moving forward. The most common course of action taken by the parties is to adopt dispute resolution procedures on their own. In the ground rules for 2019 bargaining, both parties agreed to have their respective lawyers discuss the adoption of dispute resolution procedures. If the parties cannot agree on these, then they must defer to the provisions in the PRA.

    The PRA procedure contains several steps, summarized here:

1. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) will establish a 3-person fact-finding panel. The NPMHU and USPS will each select a member from a list of 15 names provided by the FMCS. The third person will be jointly selected, or, if an agreement cannot be reached, by the Director of the FMCS. The fact-finding panel has 45 days in which to investigate the disputes of bargaining and issue a report of its findings.

2. Should an agreement not be reached after fact-finding, the PRA requires that an arbitration board be established within 90 days of the contract’s expiration. This board also typically consists of 3 members – one appointed by the Union, one by the Postal Service, and a neutral member. The neutral member is appointed either by agreement of the two other members, or by the Director of the FMCS in the case of disagreement.

3. The arbitration board holds a hearing in which both parties present evidence. It must make a decision 45 days after its appointment, unless mutualy extended. So, a final arbitration award would not be issued until at least 135 days after the contract expires—no earlier than February 2020. Arbitration decisions are “binding” and “conclusive,” meaning that both parties must accept them. This is why the NPMHU’s National President convenes a meeting of the Local Unions before even agreeing to enter the arbitration process.

Continue to watch your bulletin boards and the National website for the latest information.


Reference: National Postal Mail Handlers Union

Friday, June 28, 2019

  NPMHU and USPS Present Opening Statements as National Negotiations Begin in Washington D.C.

"...he National Postal Mail Handlers Union bargaining team met with representatives of the U.S. Postal Service on June 27, 2019 to mark the official start of the collective bargaining process for a successor agreement to replace the 2019 National Agreement which is scheduled to expire on September 20, 2019. The NPMHU is committed to making every reasonable effort to reach an agreement that is good for our members, good for the Postal Service, and good for the American mailing public..."

Reference: www.npmhu.o  

2019 Contract Update #1

 

2019 No. 1 – June 27, 2019 (pdf)

2019 Contract Update #1

"...You are reading the first Contract Update produced and distributed by the NPMHU during the course of 2019 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. Bargaining has officially begun! By the time this is posted, representatives from..."

Reference: www.npmhu.org  

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Postal Service 10-year “business plan” leaked: Preliminary proposals slash postal workers’ sick, vacation leave, retirement benefits

  Postal Service 10-year “business plan” leaked: Preliminary proposals slash postal workers’ sick, vacation leave, retirement benefits

"...The PMG and the Postal Board of Governors want to impose $18 billion of cuts to workers’ rights and benefits by slashing postal workers’ sick and vacation leave, as well as raising current workers retirement contributions, eliminating federal retirement benefits for future workers, and subcontracting more postal jobs to the private sector. Their plan includes significant service cuts to the American public..."

Reference: apwu.org  

Monday, June 10, 2019

Supreme Court sides with Birmingham, Alabama company in patent dispute

  Supreme Court sides with Birmingham, Alabama company in patent dispute

"...The dispute before the justices had to do with U.S. Patent No. 6,826,548. That’s the patent Birmingham-based Return Mail has for a system that uses barcodes, scanning equipment and computer databases to process returned mail almost entirely automatically..."

Reference: mynorthwest.com  

Springfield, Massachusetts NDC: Veterans, Federal Employees, Heroes

  Veterans, Federal Employees, Heroes

"...All three men were employed at the Springfield, Massachusetts NDC: Matt and Marty as mail handlers and Ray in the maintenance department. On February 15th 2014, during the height of the snow season in Northern New England and with extreme weather expected for that day, the three set out..."

Reference: postalnews.com  

Friday, May 31, 2019

Postal workers on high alert after multiple menacing incidents in Canton, Ohio

  Postal workers on high alert after multiple menacing incidents in Canton, Ohio

"...According to Canton police, while investigating a scary situation Friday they learned that several other carriers had similar incidents in recent days. They were reportedly being followed and threatened by an unknown male suspect..."

Reference: fox8.com  

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Mail Handler Assistants to Receive Wage Increase effective on May 25, 2019

  Mail Handler Assistants to Receive Wage Increase effective on May 25, 2019

Effective May 25, 2019- In accordance with Article 9.7 of the 2016 National Agreement between the NPMHU and the Postal Service, all Mail Handler Assistants will receive an hourly wage increase of $0.21 per hour effective on Saturday, May 25, 2019. This is the sixth MHA wage increase occurring during the 2016 National Agreement.

The 21 cent per hour increase raises the Level 4 MHA hourly rate to $16.21 and the Level 5 MHA hourly rate to $17.07, which is an increase of approximately 1.3% and 1.2% respectively. These additional increases were included in the 2016 National Agreement to help close the current gap between MHAs and career employees and to reduce attrition amongst MHAs.

Reference: www.npmhu.org  

Thursday, May 9, 2019

NPMHU 317 - Huntsville Branch Union Meeting

  NPMHU 317 - Huntsville Branch Union Meeting
NPMHU 317 - Huntsville Branch is hosting a union meeting at Ted's Bar-B-Q at 12 PM on Saturday, May 11, 2019. Ted's Bar-B-Q is located at 8780 Madison Blvd. (256.772.6500) in Madison, Alabama.

Reference: NPMHU 317- Huntsville

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

27th Annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, May 11

  27th Annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, May 11
NALC Food Drive 2019
NALC Food Drive 2019
The APWU National officers are asking members to actively support the 27th Annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, May 11.

Each year on the second Saturday in May, Postal workers come together to collect and donate millions of pounds of food for local food banks. Donations are collected in over 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Postal customers across the country are asked to put non-perishable food donations in a sturdy bag and place the bag near their mailbox prior to their regular mail delivery on Saturday, May 11. Letter carriers will collect the donations as they deliver mail. Many USPS worksites also set out containers to collect contributions.

All donations are tax-deductible, as they are going to local non-profit charity food agencies. Contact your local post office to know where your donation is going or to help volunteer.


Reference: www.apwu.org

Monday, May 6, 2019

NPMHU Releases Details on RI-399 Payments

  NPMHU Releases Details on RI-399 Payments
As previously announced, the Update MOU on RI-399 that was signed by the NPMHU, the APWU, and the Postal Service in June 2018 included a monetary payment to individual Mail Handlers. Here are the details, except for the payment date, which is still to be determined.

In order to be eligible for payment, a Mail Handler had to be in the NPMHU Bargaining Unit (Career or MHA) and on the rolls of the Postal Service during the Pay Period which ended on September 1, 2017 AND the Mail Handler has to be in the NPMHU Bargaining Unit (Career or MHA) and on the rolls of the Postal Service during the Pay Period which ended on March 15, 2019. Any action taken by the Mail Handler after March 15, 2019 (e.g., retirement, transfer, resignation) is not considered.

A) If eligible, and in the Bargaining Unit for less than 5 years (as of September 1, 2017), the Mail Handler will receive 1 Share.

B) If eligible, and in the Bargaining Unit for 5 years or more but less than 10 years (as of September 1, 2017), the Mail Handler will receive 2 Shares.

C) If eligible, and in the Bargaining Unit for 10 years or more but less than 20 years (as of September 1, 2017), the Mail Handler will receive 3 Shares.

D) If eligible, and in the Bargaining Unit for 20 years or more (as of September 1, 2017), the Mail Handler will receive 4 Shares.

There are more than 38,000 eligible Mail Handlers, and the Share amounts are as follows:

1 Share = $143.90

2 Shares = $287.80

3 Shares = $431.70

4 Shares = $575.60

Once the actual date for distribution of these monies is set, the National Office will announce that date to all Locals and to all Mail Handlers. In addition, the National Office will establish a union-run appeal procedure for claims to be filed by ineligible Mail Handlers who believe they should have been listed amongst the eligible and by eligible Mail Handlers who believe they did not receive the proper number of Shares authorized. The decisions made by this appeal procedure will be final and binding, and will cause distributions of additional monies.

Follow this link to review a copy of the May 6, 2019 Memorandum sent to all Local Unions (pdf)


Reference: www.npmhu.org

Monday, April 29, 2019

Deadly fentanyl bought online from China being shipped through the mail

  Deadly fentanyl bought online from China being shipped through the mail

"...Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and is now available on the internet and can be delivered through the mail..."

Reference: www.cbsnews.com  

Thursday, March 28, 2019

If you are a postal employee nearing retirement you should use eRetire to properly prepare

  If you are a postal employee nearing retirement you should use eRetire to properly prepare

"...Are you contemplating a retirement from the United States Postal Service (USPS)? Retirement is one of the most important decisions most of us will face in life. There are so many questions we must ask ourselves prior to making this move ...or deciding we are not ready to do so yet. The USPS makes the decision easier for us by..."

Reference: Federal Retirement News  

Wisconsin postal worker stole 6,600 greeting cards sentenced to home confinement and probation

  Wisconsin postal worker stole 6,600 greeting cards sentenced to home confinement and probation

"...District Judge Lynn Adelman sentenced Ebony L. Smith to four years probation with home confinement. Smith, of Milwaukee, admitted to stealing the cards between April 2017 and January 2018..."

Reference: www.jsonline.com  

Thursday, March 21, 2019

US Postal Service Reveals Stamps for Moon Landing 50th Anniversary

  US Postal Service Reveals Stamps for Moon Landing 50th Anniversary

"...stamp in the pair uses an image of the moon captured by amateur astronomer Gregory Revera of Huntsville, Alabama. Tranquility Base, the landing site of the Apollo 11 lunar module "Eagle" in the Sea of Tranquility, is denoted on the stamp by a bold yellow dot. Both stamps include the inscription "1969 First Moon Landing." An image of the lunar module will be included on the selvage, or..."

Reference: www.space.com  

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