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Monday, July 30, 2012

Mail Handler is Mom of 2012 USA Olympic Boxing Team Member

NPMHU Olympic Connection

"...As the 2012 summer olympic games begin in London, all Mail Handlers should be aware of their connection to this global event. The United States of America has selected twelve athletes to represent our country on the USA Olympic Boxing Team. One of those gifted athletes is Errol Spence, who will make his olympic debut on Sunday, July 29th. Errol is the 22-year old son of Errol Spence Sr. and Debra Spence. Debra is a Mail Handler working at the Dallas NDC, and a proud member of NPMHU Local 311. Errol is pictured here with his mom and dad...."


Friday, July 27, 2012

Brooklyn postal employee makes it big with postal clothing line

Former Brooklyn postman makes it big with his unofficial postal service clothing line worn by 30,000 workers

"...“My merchandise speaks for itself and if it didn’t all those people wouldn’t be wearing my stuff,” said Grace, 45, who earns more than $100,000 a year selling his USPS emblazoned wares to letter carriers, mail handlers and clerks across 27 states...."


Monday, July 23, 2012

USPS hiring temp mail handlers after offering $15,000 to reduce mail handler staffing nationwide

 USPS looks to fill 45 temp positions

"...After nearly closing the William Street processing center in Buffalo in a move geared towards consolidation, the USPS is now putting out the "help wanted" sign...."


Friday, July 20, 2012

FedEx competing with UPS for USPS transportation contract

  FedEx says it could lose lucrative postal contract

"...The amount is large, but it's still a relatively small portion of FedEx total revenues, which reached $42.7 billion in fiscal 2012, which ended May 31, analysts said. "The loss of that business would be a significant interruption, but I think there's a relatively low likelihood they would lose it," said Donald Broughton, analyst with Avondale Partners LLC...."


"Apologies for theft" order given to ex-mail handler

Ex-RI mail handler told to apologize in card theft

"...must also repay the money he stole from the cards, which he took in September and October while working at the U.S. Postal Service's processing center in Providence...."


Friday, July 13, 2012

Councilman Richard Showers shows support for Huntsville Mail Handlers

Councilman Richard Showers shows support for Huntsville Mail Handlers

The National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 317 held their quarterly union meeting today. In attendance were Huntsville City Councilman Richard Showers. Mr. Showers again reiterated his support for the employees at the Huntsville Processing and Distribution Facility. The facility is slated to close in early 2014. Mr. Showers questioned why the Postal Service would close a facility that is owned by the Postal Service in favor of the Birmingham annex facility which is costing the USPS untold amounts of money in lease payments. Additionally, he questioned the removal of the Huntsville postmark and how the postal service thought it would save money by sending mail to Birmingham to be processed, only to be returned to the Huntsville plant, often unprocessed, to be distributed locally. Postal advocate Jasper Curry was present to update the group on actions being taken to return the historic Huntsville postmark back to the rocket city and prevent the closure of the much needed facility.

Reference: National Postal mail Handlers Union Local 317

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Impact on Mail Handler contract arbitration relating to other union settlements

Arbitrators to decide terms of three postal union contracts

"...Now that the U.S. Postal Service and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union are officially arbitration-bound, it seems time for an overview of the state of USPS labor negotiations that will affect both the mail carrier’s bottom line, not to mention the incomes and working conditions of tens of thousands of postal workers...."


Rural Letter Carriers Arbitration Award Issued

Arbitration Award Issued to Resolve Bargaining Dispute Between Rural Letter Carriers and Postal Service

 (July 5, 2012) The three-member arbitration panel established to determine the terms of the 2010 National Agreement between the National Rural Letter Carriers Association and the U.S. Postal Service issued its long-awaited decision on July 3, 2012. The panel was headed by neutral Arbitrator Jack Clarke.

While many of the details of the July 3, 2012 decision are unique to the NRLCA’s evaluated route system, the panel’s award also mirrored many of the wage and benefit provisions that were established in the negotiated 2010 National Agreement between the APWU and the Postal Service. In particular, the award called for a two-year freeze on general wage increases, a one-year freeze and a one-year deferral on cost-of-living adjustments or COLAs, and a continuation in the one percent per year increases in employee contributions toward health insurance premiums. The award also included three general wage increases totaling 3.5% and the eventual reinstitution of COLA payments based on the historical index.

Arbitrator Clarke’s decision squarely rejected the Postal Service’s argument that “this interest arbitration is ‘akin to a restructuring in Bankruptcy.’” To the contrary, the Arbitrator noted, “[o]nly Congress can address the USPS’s overall mission, associated business plan and regulatory framework. This Board of Arbitration can only address one, albeit critically important area -- the wages and benefits of Rural Letter Carriers.”

On the issue of wages and benefits, the Board of Arbitration had much to say, and therefore warrants more extensive quotation. The Board started by noting that it “was impressed by the most recent collective bargaining agreement between the USPS and the American Postal Workers Union (“APWU”) that became effective November 21, 2010 and runs through May 20, 2015 (hereinafter “2010 APWU-USPS Agreement”). That agreement . . . contains a two year wage freeze, no COLA in year one, a deferral of COLA until 2013, a revised COLA base to July of 2011 and modest general wage increases starting in FY 2013 through FY 2015. In addition, the agreement included labor cost changes that should reduce unit labor costs over the course of the agreement. These changes include a two tier wage rate for new hires substantially below the current scale and an increase in non-career employees with lower wage and benefit packages. The Board of Arbitration is well aware of the labor cost savings that will likely flow to the USPS from this collective bargaining agreement and has referred to it in rendering the Award set out below.”

The arbitration award continued with the following language: “The USPS has argued in this proceeding that the Board of Arbitration should not be bound by the pattern established in the 2010 APWU-USPS Agreement and should not be concerned with internal equity. While the Board of Arbitration is not bound to adopt the wage and benefit pattern set out in that agreement, it is appropriate that it do so in this particular case. The USPS, principally through the testimony of its CFO, argued that the USPS’s financial condition has deteriorated since the 2010 APWU-USPS Agreement was entered into and now must make even more drastic reductions in Rural Delivery labor costs in order to stave off insolvency. The Chairperson of the Board of Arbitration was not persuaded by this testimony. Wholly apart from whether the USPS’s finances have deteriorated since May of 2011 (and the evidence on that point was less than persuasive), the Board of Arbitration, as noted above, is not a bankruptcy court and lacks the power of such a court to virtually completely restructure the USPS’s business. Rather, the jurisdiction of this Board of Arbitration is limited to resolution of the issues presented to it by the USPS and the NRLCA. In addition, the evidence presented during this hearing convinced at least the Chairperson that the major problem faced by the USPS is not the inadequacy of concessions in the 2010 APWU-USPS Agreement but rather the failure of Congress to address the overall mission and financing of the Service in a time of deteriorating mail volumes and reduced public demand for hardcopy postal services. The Chairperson is convinced that no restructuring of a single labor contract can address all of the USPS’s financial challenges created, in large part, by the recession and the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act with its retiree health benefits prefunding obligations.”

More details about the NRLCA-USPS award, and its potential impact on NPMHU arbitration proceedings, will be shared in future communications.



Mail Handler Buyouts: Not many takers on small buyout offer

  Postal Service: More than 7,000 postmasters, mail handlers could take buyouts (but clerks are still waiting)

"...the early-out option has been a much better sell among the nation’s 21,000 postmasters than its roughly full-time 43,000 mail handlers..."

Reference: Postal Newsgroup 

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