Know Your Union Benefits

September 1, 2016

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(This article first appeared in the September-October 2016 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Union members know our strength is in our solidarity, but every now and then, it’s worth thinking about the benefits of belonging to the APWU.

We provide a Welcome Book to new employees at orientation and to non-members, encouraging them to join. The book provides an overview of the structure of the APWU, contract negotiations, safety and health, FMLA information, and benefits. If you would like a copy, visit or call the Organization Department. We would be happy to send you a copy.

All members have the right to participate in the democracy of our union. You have access to a wealth of information at union meetings, through this magazine, News Bulletins, and There are opportunities to participate at all levels of the organization; outstanding representation; a team that will represent you during contract negotiations; a grievance procedure to adjudicate disputes with management; protection against unjust discipline; a legislative program that fights for the interests of postal workers on Capitol Hill; provisions for safe working conditions; assistance if you are injured on the job, and, if you are a veteran, help understanding your rights and benefits.

Career Employees

  • Wage protections
  • Regular pay increases
  • Cost-of-Living adjustments
  • Night differential pay
  • Sunday premium pay
  • Time-and-a-half for overtime
  • Penalty pay for excessive overtime
  • Out-of-schedule premium pay
  • Health insurance options
  • Basic life insurance
  • 10 paid holidays
  • Annual leave
  • Sick leave
  • Flexible Spending Accounts for health care and dependent care
  • Allowances for uniform and work clothing
  • Excellent job security
  • Jobs awarded by seniority, not favoritism
  • Access to training
  • Retirement plans
  • 50-mile limit on excessing

Postal Support Employees

  • Regular pay increases
  • Night differential pay
  • Time-and-a-half for work in excess of 40 hours
  • Higher-level pay when performing higher-level work
  • Work-hour guarantees when scheduled to report
  • Access to health benefits
  • Annual leave accrual and unused leave cash-in
  • Six paid holidays
  • Uniform allowance
  • Opportunities for career appointments
  • Representation in the grievance procedure
  • Reappointments by seniority, not favoritism

Newly Converted? Watch the Calendar!

If you were recently converted to career status, be sure to look into these benefits as there are critical time limits for enrolling:

Federal Employees Health Benefits Program - Outside of Open Season, employees may enroll within 60 days of becoming eligible.

Federal Employees Group Life Insurance – You will automatically receive Basic Life Insurance coverage. You may elect additional coverage and must enroll within 60 days of becoming eligible.

Thrift Savings Plan - Career employees are permitted to enroll or change their enrollment at any time. Career employees hired after July 31, 2010, are automatically enrolled, unless you change or discontinue your contributions. Visit for more.

Flexible Spending Accounts - Once converted, employees who wish to enroll in this program must do so within 60 days after becoming eligible.

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