HRSSC Members Ratify a First Union Contract

Steve Brooks

November 12, 2021

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(This article first appeared in the November/December issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

The newest bargaining unit of the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, is made up of the employees working at the Human Resource Shared Service Center (HRSSC) in Greensboro, NC, who have officially ratified the terms of their very first Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The process leading to the terms of the agreement with the Postal Service was a long and exhausting one. I give so much credit to the members of the North Carolina Triad Shared Services Local Number 8016 for their patience in this process. We could not have gotten this done without the members of their negotiation team: Susie Sheppard, Ed Swaim, Katrina Hamilton, Mary Allen, and Mary Kelly.

Before joining the union, the HRSSC employees were EAS non-supervisory employees who had had enough of not being treated fairly in so many aspects of their employment, including subjective pay provisions, safety concerns, contractual rights and absolutely no say in their working conditions. These are the reasons that the employees approached the APWU. Once their NLRB vote took place and the employees overwhelmingly voted to become a union, they moved forward with creating a Constitution and Bylaws, which established their officer positions, and election of officers for the local. They had been signing up members during the whole time the negotiation process was taking place. After hearing about the tentative agreement, they signed up more than 20 new members (a 26 percent increase to their local membership).

After agreeing to the non-economic terms, the parties still had the task of negotiating the economics of this agreement. Many thanks to President Mark Dimondstein, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman and the Industrial Relations Department staff for their hands on involvement in this process. Having them involved expedited and enhanced negotiations.

Contract Gains

The terms of this agreement will afford the employees contractual rights they have not had, and a substantial change in pay structure. This group of non-bargaining non-supervisory employees were subject to a pay-for-performance salary process that was subjective and unfair.

The terms of the new agreement allow for yearly contractual increases, step progression salary increases every 44 weeks, a one-time slotting into a new pay schedule with advancement to a higher step based on seniority, and two cost of living adjustments per year based on the Consumer Price Index.

The terms in this agreement address all of the concerns that the employees had when they made the decision to unionize. It gives them the protections and the compensation that they have not had because they had no union representation. The members voted unanimously to accept the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the terms are in effect from October 23, 2021 through October 22, 2024. Congratulations to the members of the NC Triad Shared Services Local and welcome to the APWU.

In Union Solidarity!!

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