As the National parties finalize the effective dates of many of the recently negotiated and now ratified contractual provisions, the wage increases effective November 26, 2016 (PP 25-16) and the September 2016 (PP 19-16) cost of living allowance have been implemented and will be reflected on your earnings statement for pay period four. The pay scale reflecting that increase is available on both the National and Local web sites for downloading @ www.npmhu.org and www.npmhu308.org respectively. In addition, the March cost of living allowance has been determined to be $333 annually or approximately $.16 per hour. This increase will take effect on Saturday March 4, 2017 and be reflected in the earnings statement for pay period six. The pay scale that will be in effect on March 4th is also now available on the aforementioned web sites. As you know, retroactive pay adjustments will be necessary for all of the wages earned between pay period 19-16 for the September COLA and from pay period 26-16 for the contractual increase. The exact pay in which those adjustments will be reflected has yet to be announced. If you have any questions regarding your retroactive calculation once it is reflected on your earnings statement please see your Union representative.
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As reported by our National office, The 115th Congress has produced Postal legislation designed to provide the Service with the financial stability it so desperately needs and wrote
"...the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee introduced bi-partisan postal reform legislation. The lead sponsor was Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), but the legislation also is co-sponsored by Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Stephen Lynch (D-MA). Gerald Connolly (D-VA), and Dennis Ross (R-FL-15). This legislation (the Postal Reform Act of 2017, H.R. 756) is similar to legislation that was introduced last year in the 114th Congress. That prior legislation was passed by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, but never saw action on the full floor and died when Congress adjourned in December.
The NPMHU appreciates the hard work that Chairman Chaffetz, Ranking Member Cummings, and the other co-sponsors have done with respect to this legislation."
.As you all probably know by now a tentative agreement regarding the terms of a new contract have finally been reached. The 2011 National Agreement expired in May of 2016 and the National Union has been hard at work negotiating the terms of the successor agreement. However, the process is not quite finished. As required by our governing constitution we, the members, have the final say on either accepting the terms negotiated or rejecting those terms. Very soon Contract Ratification packages will be sent to all members of the NPMHU along with a ballot for voting. This is arguably the most important right we have as members of the bargaining unit and we encourage each and every member to let their voice be heard. The Ratification package will contain the full text of all of the changes to the 2016 National Agreement for your consideration. There is much to review with the major provisions including a forty-month term with contractual raises of 1.2%, 1.3%, and 1.3% beginning in November of 2016. And yes, if we ratify, retroactive pay increases will be due, including a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) increase that was effective last September. Speaking of the COLA, this agreement will include a total of seven potential cost of living increases as well. The third critical tier of our tentative agreement continues the all-important no lay-off clause. Raises for Mail Handler Assistants will amount to 2.2%, 2.3%, and 2.3 % over the same 40-month period as well as a $.50 increase phased in over three years. MHA pay increases do not include the COLA. . . In my view our National Negotiating Team lead by National President Paul Hogrogian has delivered an excellent agreement fully worthy of our support and ratification. Read More
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We have all probably heard the phrase “elections have consequences” at one point or another in our lives. There can be very little doubt that the 2016 Presidential Election, no matter what side of the political spectrum you may reside, will also result in “consequences” of one sort or another. It is without question that a seismic shift has occurred in the politics of the nation, and where that leads us, at this point, is anyone’s guess. What we do know is that our day to day struggles with the wayward and wicked in management will continue. And with that our right to stand up and challenge those transgressors shall not waiver. We also know that this Union, at both the Local and National levels, will continue to fight for improvements in the wages, benefits, and working conditions for all Mail Handlers. That this Union will continue the important work of securing comprehensive Postal legislation that protects the cornerstone of democracy that is the United States Postal Service. The work that you do is critically important to the Nation and we can never lose sight of that fact and more to the point, we can never let those in office lose sight of that fact.
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The power of this great Union was on full display during our most recent National Convention which convened in Chicago, August 22nd through the 28th. Local 308’s delegation (Pictured with National President Paul Hogrogian and National Secretary-Treasurer Mark Gardner) included members of your Local Union Council along with Brother Quentin Seth from Delaware. Almost three hundred delegates from all fifty states attended the week-long event, which included important discussion and debate and ultimately voting over changes to our governing documents, the National and Uniform Local Union Constitutions. Details and photographs of each day’s activities are now available on line at npmhu.org
Held every four years, this year’s theme centered on you, the member, with your and our collective power at its focus, where it belongs. The Power of You is what fuels this great Union as we rely on each other to protect and enhance the rights we have fought so very hard for over decades of struggle. There was truly an unmistakable spirit of Unity, Democracy, & Strength that permeated the Convention as the delegates charted the course of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union for the next four years. The delegates also resoundingly endorsed Hillary Clinton for President of the United States in this year’s election. Read Full President's Report
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.
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Local Union Council Meeting
November 9-10, 2016
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
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
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Union Family Picnic
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Meet Your 114th Congress