(This was originally in the SJ Area Local Newsletter of April 2019. Written by: Rob Armentani)
In accordance with the local’s Constitution and By-Laws, resolutions to amend the constitution may be presented by a member at any meeting, after which they will be turned over to the Constitution Committee for their recommendations. The April meeting to be held on Tuesday April 16th at 7 PM is the last meeting to submit any Constitutional Amendments. The resolutions with the committee’s recommendations are then printed in the June newsletter, and voted upon at the June general membership meeting, which is on June 9th at 10 AM. The committee members as appointed by South Jersey Area Local President, Rob Armentani, are Julio Cebollero, Chairperson, John Whartnaby and Jerome Green.
As you are all aware, our 2015 contract expired on September 20, 2018. Our National Union had been engaged in negotiations to reach a new agreement since July of last year. After several months President Dimondstein presented a tentative agreement to the Rank and File Committee for acceptance to send the agreement out for ratification. However, the Rank and File Committee had some concerns and they and did not vote in favor of sending the tentative agreement out for ratification. There were additional attempts to agree to some changes to the tentative agreement, but the negotiating team was unable to get management to agree to any changes. Since we are now at an impasse, an interest arbitration will be the next step. On March 7th the parties exchanged their final economic proposals as we prepare for arbitration. Management’s proposals are very regressive and will have a negative impact on all of us if they are successful. It is times like these that non-members irritate me more than ever. We are in a fight to save not only our jobs but our livelihood and way of living. There will be numerous expenses involved in this process that will be paid for by your Union dues while the non-member just comes along for the free ride. I don’t consider them freeloaders, I consider them thieves! They are stealing services from the Union that are paid for by our members.
For more information on the exchanged proposals check out our National and/or Local websites.
RI-399 National and Local Updates
The APWU and the USPS reach a National Settlement in regards to the RI-339 process. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the RI-399, it is the jurisdictional identification of work between the Clerk and Mail Handler crafts. It basically identifies what work should be done by clerks and what work should be done by mail handlers. This process has led to numerous grievances being filed by both parties over the years. In 2018 an agreement was made to update the RI-399 process and all RI-399 grievances filed before September of 2017 would be administratively closed. As a result of this a new RI-399 Inventory was completed in the three offices under our local that have both Clerks and Mail Handlers in the facility.
An agreement was also made at the National Level between the APWU and the USPS to pay both the APWU and the Mail handlers Unions $14.5 million each. It has been determined by our National Officers equal payments will be made to clerk craft employees that fall into one of the following categories; All career clerk craft employees that were on the rolls as of Sept. 1 2017 and all PSE clerk craft employees who were on the rolls as of Sept. 1 2017 and who are still on the rolls as of March 1, 2019. This applies only to clerk craft employees in facilities that employ both clerks and mail handlers.
For more information on the RI-399 check out our National and/or Local websites
Unfortunately, this continues to be a constant theme in the South Jersey District. Currently the Mt. Laurel office has risen to the top of the trash heap. Constant calls from employees regarding the hostile work environment that exist in the Mt. Laurel office lead us to doing a Climate Survey in the office. The initial thought was that the results would focus in on one supervisor. However, the results show that several of the supervisors are abusive and fail to treat the employees in Mt. Laurel with dignity and respect. In my experience, when several supervisors are acting this way in an office, the problem comes from above. This has become more obvious as the PM has now begun targeting injured employees. An employee that has been working a rehabilitation job assignment since 2008 is now the target of his bullying and intimidation. Labor has been given a copy of the climate survey and the Union has requested that we do a joint in-depth investigation into this pit of misery. As of this date they have not decided whether or not to agree to my request. A Labor/management meeting was scheduled but canceled at the last minute by the PM.
We must stick together when dealing with this type of management.
“An Injury to One, Is an Injury All”