Time’s Up APWU

(This article first appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Central Region Coordinator Sharyn M. Stone

This is a tough article to write because by the time you read it, we could either have a contract or be headed for binding interest arbitration. Our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expires on September 20, 2018. Hopefully we have achieved a fair and just contract and maintained the hard-fought protections we have achieved. Our negotiations’ team, headed up by President Dimondstein, serves us well.

Even if all is complete with the CBA, we have miles to go before we sleep. The constant threat of Article 12 excessing, reorganizing, mismanagement, harassment, coupled with the President’s threat to privatize the Postal Service into oblivion is still in play.

Have you called your member of Congress? Nothing should be more inspiring and more motivating than a threat to our livelihood and the continued existence of the Postal Service committed to serving every community even though sometimes you can’t help but wonder whose side is the USPS is on. They run the Postal Service as if they want it to fail. Why? Whatever private business ended up owning the Postal Service would never hire ex-postal managers to run it. We have faced difficult challenges in our past and we will face all future challenges unified and “fighting today for a better tomorrow”.

No matter what happens, we will always stand up for safe jobs, protest to put an end to workplace harassment, and fight to keep the post office a viable community service for all.

Young Members Committee

At our 2016 convention, a committee was created – made up of APWU members 35 years of age and younger. Convention delegates recognized our need for members, and especially younger members, to step up and become involved with the union for our longevity.

What better way to move forward than with a group of enthusiastic engaging young members. President Dimondstein appointed, with recommendations from the five Regional Coordinators, two members from each region to participate on the Young Members Committee (YMC). These appointees are also involved with their locals and have their support. Since that time the committee has functioned with the Coordinators serving as their advisors. The YMC is an excellent group of young people.

We have communicated with YMC members on an ongoing basis. We provide advice, and knowledge about the APWU Constitution and our contract with the USPS as support for the committee’s efforts. We assist them whenever possible in learning about the union and how it works – politics and all (just kidding). As an organization, we need everyone’s involvement.

The YMC provided a well-attended workshop at the Craft Conference last year in Las Vegas. I am positive my fellow coordinators: Omar Gonzales Western Region, John Dirzius Northeast Region, Mike Gallagher Eastern Region, and Kennith Beasley, Southern Region join me in congratulating the YMC for what they do and in encouraging them into the future. It is important if we are to survive and grow as a highly functioning viable organization into the future, we need all members to get involved, not just for the issues like the new CBA or CAT teams but for the future of our organization. Younger members involved at every level should inspire all members to become involved.

Everyone may not want to be a steward or officer or not even serve on a committee, but what about being a knowledgeable re-enforcement on the work room floor? Every member can participate in some

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Majority of House Members Oppose Postal Privatization APWU

October 5, 2018

10/04/2018 – Before members of the House of Representatives left for the October recess, a majority of them signed on as cosponsors of H. Res. 993, which expresses the need to keep the United States Postal Service an independent establishment of the federal government and should not be subject to privatization. This resulted from the hard work of APWU members who reached out to their elected officials, encouraging them to support this important resolution. Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA), who originally introduced the language, commented, “It is more than clear that the delivery of essential government services should not be subject to privatization and is best performed by our experienced federal workforce.”

“The bipartisan support of the non-binding resolution demonstrates what we already knew to be true and is an important step forward in our ongoing campaign to defeat privatization,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.  “The need to maintain the public post office with universal service to everyone in the country, regardless of income or zip-code, transcends party lines.”

For more information on H. Res. 993, please click here. In support of the Postal Service not being subject to privatization, the Senate has also introduced companion language with S. Res. 633, which currently has 41 cosponsors, and APWU is working hard to garner further support. Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard urges members to continue garnering support for both resolutions while members of Congress are back in their districts and states. To see a full listing of cosponsors of H. Res. 993, please click here. For a full listing of cosponsors for S. Res. 633, please click here. APWU encourages its members to check if their elected officials are in support of these resolutions. Please make appointments to meet with them to thank them for their efforts or urge them to cosponsor and promote the Postal Service as a valuable service to all American households.

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APWU Reaches Agreement With USPS, Mail Handlers on an Updated RI-399 Process

Posted on September 28, 2018 by postal

09/27/2018 – After decades of jurisdictional disputes, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) reached agreement with the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) and the Postal Service on an updated RI-399 procedure for jurisdictional work assignments to Clerks and Mail Handlers.

In a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding, the APWU improved the R1-399 dispute resolution procedures, resolved the docket of disputes, and required accurate and updated inventories to protect existing and future Clerk work.

“I want to thank Ron Suslak, Queens Area Local President and the APWU’s representative on the NDRC, whose outstanding leadership and work on RI-399 over many years led to this agreement.   I also want to thank Assistant Director (B) Clerk Division Lynn Pallas-Barber, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman, and the APWU’s attorneys who spent months working with Brother Suslak to reach this important deal to protect Clerk work and fix a broken process,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.  “We can now move forward with a faster and better procedure to settle disputes over Postal Service jurisdictional work assignments to the Mail Handlers.”

“The Update MOU is a historic step in the right direction on a momentous day.  This is a long overdue fix of the broken process that will unite the parties in a more positive direction dealing with jurisdictional issues,” said Assistant Clerk Director Pallas-Barber.

A summary of the changes is here and the Update MOU are available here.  Click here for a listing of the APWU National Dispute Resolution Committee. The parties will conduct joint training across the country, and the roll-out of the new procedures begins right away.

“While we are very pleased to have an improved process to address jurisdictional and crossing craft disputes, I look forward to the day when all of these jurisdictional disputes can be put behind us and all postal workers are united in one powerful union,” concluded President Dimondstein.

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