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Friday, July 31, 2009

Union Action Alert

Postal News Alert!

Although this article is from the APWU site, all union members should take immediate action to protect their collective bargaining rights (please forward to all the postal employees you know and urge them to contact their senators to urge a "NO" vote. Thanks):

If the bill passes as written, it will destroy collective bargaining for postal workers.” Burrus said.

From the APWU Article: "... Because a vote on the bill is expected early next week, before the Senate adjourns for its August recess, local and state activists must move quickly, Burrus said. The national union will hold a teleconference for local and state leaders on Monday, Aug. 3, at 2 p.m. EDT, to discuss the issue.

“I call on every APWU local to generate messages to their senators based on a 1 to 5 ratio of their members,” Burrus said. “If the bill passes as written, it will destroy collective bargaining for postal workers.

The amendment would require arbitrators ruling on postal contracts to take into account the “financial health of the Postal Service.”

“Given the severity of Postal Service’s financial crisis, if this bill passes, we can anticipate that in the next round of negotiations, many of the things our members take for granted — such as cost-of-living increases, raises, and protection against layoffs — will be at risk.” Under current law, arbitrators must consider the “comparability” of postal wages to employees in the private sector who perform similar work.
Click here to email your senators: protect your benefits and pay!
“In fact, arbitrators routinely consider the Postal Service’s financial status as part of the context of negotiations,” Burrus said. “However, to attach this specific requirement to the law leaves workers at a severe disadvantage. ..."  

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

USPS Hits GAO "High Risk" List (Opinion)


USPS Hits GAO "High Risk" List

Editor. (views and opinions are not necessarily that of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union)

The Government Accountability Office has placed the U.S. Postal Service on their financial instability 'High Risk' List. 'The Postal Service urgently needs to work with Congress and other key stakeholders to develop and implement a restructuring plan to help put it on a more sustainable financial path. By adding the U.S. Postal Service's financial condition to the High-Risk List, we hope to bring attention to the agency's financial viability and its ability to provide sustainable, affordable, high-quality mail service,' said Gene L. Dodaro, Acting Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO.

The GAO report targets, unfortunately, employee damaging fixes while not addressing major issues contributing to the financial decline. Not addressed were overly generous work-share discounts[1] to mailers and Negotiated Service Agreements which are special rate and service arrangements between the USPS and a mailer[2]. Additionally, many USPS facilities, plants, and processing facilities have been staffed continuously with "detailed" (temporary) staffing and managers, causing inflated costs due to continued per diem type expenses, to include lodging, mileage, etc.

As a union steward, I continuously see the same union contract violations repeated over and over again, without holding managers responsible for correcting the issues. The grievances are often paid, but the issues never corrected. The repeated violations center around Improper By-Pass Overtime, Crossing Crafts, and Casuals in Lieu Of, costing the USPS untold amounts of money. This is an area where the postal service Labor Representatives could invoke some trend analysis to determine which managers and facilities repeatedly propagate these costly violations. This would permit the USPS to either educate the poorly performing managers or shed themselves of the poorly performing leaders. This is not taking place. Managers are not held accountable for their fiscal deficiencies, which should be a first and vital path to cost reduction. Instead, GAO focuses on issues that suggest the reduction of employee benefits, contributing to the rapid decline of the American working-class in this country. GAO suggest Reduction of compensation and benefit costs through retirements, early retirements (without suggesting changes to the antiquated OPM limits on monetary incentives to facilitate the willingness to retire early), increasing health and life insurance benefit costs to the employee, and consolidations that negatively impact employees by excessing them to distant facilities. Although GAO's intent may have been to provide an objective analysis, it gives the appearance of too much protection of the Direct Mailing Industry by overlooking this as a target area for radical improvement and profitability through reduction of costly discounts, as well as overlooking the effectiveness Cost-benefit analysis relative to the aforementioned issues ...but hey, I am just a Mail Handler, what do I know? I know that the "Voice of the Employee" and a non-adversarial union and management team effort is vital to the efficiency and effectiveness of operations and the return to financial stability.

In synopsis, hold leaders to a standard of accountability that will result in the reduction of costly repetitive contract violations (this does not mean altering the contracts to remove employee protections), apply the concepts of trend analysis and Cost-benefit analysis, and eliminate cost-escalating discounts for direct mailers (discounts are fine if they are profitable and not just put in place to generate profitless volume). As far as Mail Handlers, we will all continue to work hard to provide expedient and quality delivery of the mail to our customers!

If you have suggestions for cost reduction, please click the comment link below and share your thoughts:

Visit NPMHU 317 at:

Source: PDF Document: GAO Puts USPS on "High Risk" List
1. Alberta, Paul M. "Gleiman Blasts USPS Over Workshare Discounts." Direct. Apr 22, 1999 12:00 PM,
2. Burrus, William. "Postal Regulatory Commission: USPS Could Lose Millions in Proposed Deal." American Postal Workers Union. 2009.

Click the Image Below to Enlarge to 100%


Friday, July 24, 2009

Rumors of USPS Being Unable to Make Payroll Are Just That

Rumor Control: USPS Payroll
"...Rumors abound on the internet about the USPS being unable to make payroll in October of this year...."


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Huntsville P&DF Mail Handler Job Bidding Temporarily Cancelled

Huntsville P&DF Mail Handler Job Bidding Temporarily Cancelled
"...Bid Posting 18676 has temporarily been cancelled. The bids should be re-posted soon. The posting was cancelled in order to facilitate the altering of a Begin Tour time on the Tour I Bid. Additionally, the union successfully grieved and had sustained the recent job reversion that was posted. This job will be posted on the August bid cycle (posted by the first Tuesday of the August. ..."


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Huntsville P&DF Job Bidding (0000018676)

Huntsville P&DF Mail Handler Job Bidding
Bidding is open for three positions. Below is a screen capture of the open bids:

Reference: liteblue


Monday, July 6, 2009

Does Federal Law Limit Post Office Consolidation?

Does Federal Law Limit Post Office Consolidation?
"...The laws of economics say the U.S. Postal Service needs to reduce the number of post offices. But the laws of the United States may say otherwise...."
Reference: From the blog titled Dead Tree Edition []



The 'image' found below is a snipping from an article found on the APWU site. The article references an Excel spreadsheet containing an updated list of 3,243 stations and branches in Level-24-and-above installations that are being reviewed. The snipping is from the spreadsheet.:




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