APWU Members Deserve a Good Contract That Rewards Your Sacrifices

July 9, 2021

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(This article first appeared in the July/August 2021 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

On September 20, 2021, the current collective bargaining agreement expires. The APWU contract is one of the largest collective bargaining agreements for workers in America today. In fact, it is the largest collective bargaining agreement that is being negotiated in the United States this year. Over the last 50 years the APWU contract has helped millions of hard-working Americans and their families of all races, colors, and genders become and stay part of the working class. Over the decades APWU members have proudly served the American people and kept the People’s Post Office functioning through their tireless service. This is especially true today.

These negotiations come at a time after you proved how vital you are to the American people. You were declared essential employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. You tirelessly served the public moving the mail. But it was not just you; it was your families as well, who knew each day you went to work there was the possibility you would return home after exposed and/or contracting COVID-19. In fact, thousands of you did contract COVID- 19 and sadly, we lost nearly 200 postal employees to this disease.

However, even knowing the risk, you showed up to work and moved the mail, ensuring vital goods, medicine, paychecks, Social Security payments, gifts, cards, letters, and even stimulus payments made their way to the American people. All of you brought a sense of normalcy to the country during a time of great upheaval and darkness. Through an historic, national emergency that has been going on for over a year, clerks accepted or sorted the mail, maintenance employees kept machines operating and buildings clean, MVS employees hauled mail and kept vehicles running, and the employees who worked in customer care centers took phone calls. In the face of an unprecedented national election, you accepted the call and worked long hours, days on end without time off, all while showing commitment to the oath you took as postal employees. With your work in the 2020 election, the country saw one of the highest turnouts in its history. More eligible voters cast their votes than ever before due to the hard work of APWU members. We truly saved democracy.

Entering into these negotiations, your Core Negotiating Committee – consisting of President Mark Dimondstein, Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy, Secretary- Treasurer Elizabeth Powell, MVS Craft Director Michael Foster, Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks, Maintenance Craft Director Idowu Balogun, Support Services Director Steve Brooks and myself – believe it is time for you to be rewarded for all your hard work, dedication, and sacrifices. That is why in my Opening Day remarks, I looked Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in the eye and told him he needed to negotiate a good contract for the American Heroes who are part of the APWU.

Your negotiating team has been working hard researching and developing our negotiating plans and proposals for submission. We have met with the Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee on more than one occasion. The Core Committee has met multiple times and has ongoing weekly meetings to discuss negotiations as they progress. The first proposals were exchanged with the Postal Service on June 24, 2021. We also agreed to a series of “main table” meetings with the USPS and scheduled them at least weekly through September. Your Craft Officers have also begun to meet with their USPS counterparts on a regular basis.

Beginning September 6, 2021, the APWU and USPS teams will be “locking down” in a hotel for around-the clock negotiations up to the expiration of the contract. Our goal is to reach an agreement prior to the expiration date. We will continue to update you as the negotiations go on. You can rest assured all your officers, our legal team, and APWU staff members involved in negotiations are dedicated to getting you a good contract. Solidarity!

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