(This was originally in the SJ Area Local Newsletter of April 2019. Written by: Tony Rodriguez)
A BIG question coming from everybody is: “Have you heard anything about the contract?” Before I respond with my “personal speculations”, I’ll respond by first questioning: Have you been paying attention to what our contract is up against?
National just recently published the economic exchange proposals. For you, the reading members, yes… management is being totally disrespectful in their proposal. Let’s take a quick look back in the past. The last contract went into arbitration. Management didn’t fair so well from the decision. They began an all-out attack on our jobs. APWU fought long and hard and was able to minimize that effect in a lot of areas across America. Contract negotiations opened up last year. Things ended up going into arbitration again. In February, Trump suggested that USPS cut retirement and health benefits. On March 12th, it was reported that Trump’s postal reform proposal wants to get rid of the Unions. Six days later, on the 18th, Trump proposes a pay and benefits cut.
Now looking at all of that, let’s you see just what we are up against when it comes to a new contract. To further make a constant fight, management is also in the process of evaluating the massive amount of call-outs.
Operational-wise, management has to account for all the hours of work it takes to receive, process and deliver mail and packages; this is business. There are work hours calculated by the number of employees in each facility. There are emergencies, sicknesses and other things that can cause an employee to call-out; life happens. When does calling out begin to jeopardize our jobs? – RIGHT NOW. They are looking into how many call-out hours are accounted for. This is what they will evaluate to start cutting jobs.
From an employee’s perspective – yes – you are:
- tired of abusive supervisors and
- you just want to come to work, do your job and go home, without being stressed from work.
That is all understandable. Immediately, calling out is the resolve. With all this present evaluation going on, you are also opening up the door for another attack on our jobs. It is already known management wants to get more done with less people. DO NOT HELP THEM.
When will the contract be decided upon? We don’t know so we can’t say or give an answer to that.
Will there be any backpay? Backpay for what? There hasn’t been any decision on anything.
Will we get a raise? There hasn’t been a decision on anything.
Will PSEs get converted? There hasn’t been a decision on anything.
Bottom Line: The contract is in arbitration phase. There haven’t been any decisions on anything. Stop fishing for something that isn’t there. As soon as there is news, APWU National will be the first to break the news. Be patient. Show up to work. Stay informed. Let’s keep our jobs!