NPMHU/USPS Contract Negotiations Extended
May 21, 2016 -- The NPMHU and USPS bargaining teams have been engaged in contract negotiations since late February 2016 in an effort to reach agreement on the terms of their 2016 National Agreement. Contract talks between the parties continued well into the night on Friday, May 20, 2016 as the 2011 National Agreement was set to expire at midnight. While significant progress has been achieved, the parties have nevertheless been unable to finalize a full and complete successor contract. The parties have therefore agreed to extend bargaining over several key issues, with the hope of eventually reaching a full agreement. If and when a tentative successor agreement is reached, its terms will be distributed to the NPMHU membership for review and ratification.
More details will be shared and discussed at a meeting of all Local Presidents scheduled for Tuesday, May 24.
The parties at the National level have agreed, as is customary, that following the expiration of our current National Agreement, employees represented by the NPMHU shall be permitted to bid and those bids will count toward the bid maximums of our successor agreement. (click the banner for the written confirmation)
For those of you who regularly attend your Branch meetings you have heard the phrase “this is pick and shovel work” and that there is no magic bullet that will end violations of the contract by the malignancies inside management. Defending a negotiated contract requires all shop stewards, and yes even members as well, to roll up their collective sleeves and exercise their legal right to challenge any and all contractual transgressions. The surest way to lose our right to challenge management is to stop asserting those rights.
There are times that repeat violations require repeat challenges and the filing of scores of grievances on the same issue. For example, rules governing temporary movement from your bid duty assignment. The Contract is not at all confusing or ambiguous regarding movement but management insists on ignoring this important right day in and day out in some facilities. It certainly can be frustrating, but all we ask is that you notify any Union representative certified to protect your rights and let them go after it. Some of our basic rights are sometimes ignored as a matter of convenience. Our job is a simple one, enforce the law and make wanton violations of our Agreement by management as inconvenient as possible.
Read More of the March-April President's Report
Over decades of hard fought collective bargaining, the NPMHU, along with the other Postal Unions, have achieved gains in job security, wages, and working conditions that sometimes go underappreciated or even unnoticed. The current contract contains more than 200 pages of protections and rights we all enjoy. Beyond the National Agreement there are countless additional agreements in the form of Memoranda of Understanding and arbitration decisions that expand and strengthen the rights we have. More than a few of these gains occurring before many current employees were hired, or for that matter, even born. For a significant majority of mail handlers we have always enjoyed the no lay-off protection (Article 6) and have no concept or ever experienced that which other Unions deal with on a regular basis. This right was not given to us out of the kindness of the employer’s heart but earned through tough bargaining. (Read More)
The first of two Semi-Annual Meetings of the Local Unions (SAMLU) was held recently, concluding on February 20th. Over the three day meeting a multitude of reports and information were disseminated to all Local Unions represented which totaled 36 in all. Following opening procedures and roll call, National President Hogrogian recognized recently retired Local 304 President, James Bell, who served Mail Handlers locally and nationally for nearly fifty years. Brother Bell’s commitment to this Union should serve as an inspiration to all. Brother Hogrogian continued the meeting by delivering his report on the state of the Union. As you know, preparations for collective bargaining have been ongoing for months, but the hour is at hand for us to begin negotiations, scheduled to open the week of February 22nd. There are certainly many challenges ahead for our bargaining team as we expect the Postal Service to make every effort to take, take, take. Read More
On February 25, 2016, National President Paul V. Hogrogian gave the Union's opening statement, formalizing the start of national negotiations with the United States Postal Service. The Union's statement is featured below in its entirety:
On behalf of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and almost 44,000 Mail Handlers that our Union represents, we are pleased to be here in the Benjamin Franklin Room to open 2016 negotiations with the Postal Service. Although we expect a difficult round of bargaining, 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. Read More
The power of collective bargaining is undeniable. Negotiating with the employer over wages, benefits, and working conditions is a diminishing right that fewer and fewer Americans enjoy. As we quickly approach negotiations with the United States Postal Service over the terms of our next contract, where there is obviously very much at stake as management attempts to strip current and future Mail Handlers of any hope of a living wage with benefits. We are, however, indeed fortunate Brothers and Sisters that we even have this opportunity and I am confident that our National partners will take full advantage of it. There are other important components to our rights as a vibrant and powerful collective bargaining entity. One such critical component is the right to be treated with respect and dignity in the workplace. Read More
Click on the header for the new pay scale effective 11-14-15.
As per our National and Uniform Local Union Constitutions normally, because of the pay raise, dues would increase by $1.00 per pay period, however the dues for members of Local 308 will remain frozen for the third year in a row. Should your dues increase please contact Local Union Headquarters immediately.
As I have traveled the Local in recent weeks and meet face to face with our Brothers & Sisters, there seems to be a common theme described to me by the members I speak with. It is staffing, or more precisely the lack thereof. From Wilmington to Lehigh Valley, from Trenton to Lancaster, members describe, with very little deviation, the increasing pressures placed on them as management pushes more and more the default philosophy of “doing more with less”. To a large degree this policy has been driven by Headquarters management in Washington DC and trickled down through the Eastern Area, the three Districts within this Local’s jurisdiction, and then into the plants and tours. By now you’ve all heard of their Function 1 Scheduler, which proposes to “right-size” the workforce in mail processing facilities. We’ve spoken about this folly in the past so I won’t spend too much time on it here. In a nutshell, this “tool” is designed by a bunch of bean counters sitting in a windowless office somewhere in the basement of L’Enfant Plaza. Their fantastic goal is to staff each and every operation with the “optimum number of employees for maximum efficiency”. These bean counters, for the most part have never managed real mail processing and have no real concept of how the mail is actually moved. Read More
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As we fight to improve and defend the rights of mail handlers everyday on all levels, we are once again reminded of what it would be like without the right to collectively bargain over wages, benefits, and working conditions and then defend those bargains. The unprecedented reversal of the jurisdictional determination on the Small Parcel Sorting System (SPSS) by the Postal Service is another example of the enormity of the rights we enjoy and the power those rights can wield. Without those rights, which include the right to challenge the employer when it violates the contract, which we all know is an inevitability, our darkest fears would be realized on a daily basis. Read More