On March 7, 2019, the APWU and United States Postal Service negotiators exchanged their final economic proposals as both sides continue their preparation for interest arbitration.
The APWU put forward proposals that reward postal workers for our hard work. The Union’s proposals include:
- Solid annual pay raises,
- Two COLA increases every year,
- Adding top Steps to the lower career pay scale,
- Reduction of the non-career workforce and increasing the career workforce,
- Automatic PSE conversion to career after a set time of service,
- Increased company contributions to health insurance premiums,
- Raising the pay of PSEs.
The union had previously presented many proposals, and continues to fight for these demands: work hour guarantees for PTFs; guaranteed weekly day off for PTFs and PSEs; elimination of all subcontracting, including continuation of moratorium of subcontracting of any existing MVS/PVS work; moratorium on plant closings; addressing the hostile work environment, including sexual harassment; elimination of management performing bargaining unit work in Level 18 offices; and no mandatory overtime.
USPS economic proposals are nothing short of draconian and regressive. Their proposals include:
- No increase in pay rates – a freeze for current employees;
- One lump-sum payment in lieu of the usual annual pay raise;
- Lump-sum payments in lieu of COLAs.
- Decreasing the career workforce:
- Increasing the percentage of non-career employees to 25% in the clerk craft;
- Reintroduction of 10% PSEs into the maintenance workforce, undoing the all-career maintenance craft;
- Reintroduction of 10% PSEs into the MVS Craft.
- Pay and benefits substantially cut for all future conversion to career and future hires:
- A converted PSE would take a pay cut of almost $1.00 per hour and work into year three before getting back to the PSE rate.
- Current career employees with less than six years seniority must work 15 years to gain “no lay-off” protection.
- Elimination of no lay-off provision for all future workers.
USPS management also had made numerous regressive proposals including: Universal PSE Clerk with no restrictions on working the window, PSEs allowed to work in Level 18 offices and then replace career jobs; replace career PTFs with non-career PSEs; eliminate the 50-mile limit on excessing employees; subcontract custodial work under conditions of unforeseen long-term absences; eliminate penalty pay; eliminate all existing Local Memos; eliminate any on-the-clock steward union time to represent employees.
Chief Spokesperson for the APWU, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman, told the Postal Service negotiators, “This is blatant disrespect for postal workers. They provide a valuable service to their country. This is not even close to respecting the value of the service we give. I could go on and on but I will just say I find this insulting.”
President Mark Dimondstein said, “There are clearly two sides in this fight and the battle lines have been drawn in our efforts to obtain a contract that honors and respects postal workers. The USPS proposals reek of contempt for the workforce. APWU members will fight for what we deserve in the interest arbitration process as we continue ‘Fighting Today for a Better Tomorrow.’”