Contract Negotiations Update

Arrion Brown

September 18, 2023

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Earlier this year, I wrote about the contracts the Support Service Division would negotiate this year. We are currently in the heart of “negotiations season” with one ratified contract, one tentative agreement, and three ongoing contract negotiations. This article will update everyone on the status of our completed and ongoing negotiations.

The APWU members who were formerly covered under the Pat Salmon and Son, Inc. agreement have ratified a new contract with the successor company, 10 Roads Express LLC. The bargaining committee for this contract consisted of leaders from the Texoma U.S. Mail Carriers of Arkansas, and the Memphis and Shreveport locals, who all worked very hard with national leadership to develop proposals to improve the contract for the members. The committee solicited ideas from members, and went over the entire contract from beginning to end to develop proposals. Those efforts produced over 90 suggested changes, of which the company agreed to 41 proposals for change.

The key proposals that we came to an agreement with the company on are new, unscheduled layover language that pays drivers for all unscheduled layover time, minus any mandatory Department of Transportation (DOT) break hours. We agreed to end management’s ability to deny vacation time when they are below the five percent contractual threshold that limits time off, and we also agreed to language that allows drivers on six-day routes to take the sixth day off, if the time off is submitted on the first day of the workweek, and the company can cover the route. These working condition changes will positively benefit our drivers, and we are proud to have been able to negotiate them into the contract.

The APWU has negotiated a tentative agreement with 10 Roads Express for the Harrisburg 10-4 APWU local. Their tentative agreement gives them the rights to seniority, progressive discipline, and discipline procedures that they did not have before. The existence of an official agreement, once ratified, offers protections and security for drivers who were at-will employees prior to their decision to join the APWU. The Harrisburg tentative agreement includes unscheduled layover pay that allows drivers to be compensated for all unscheduled layover time, minus mandatory DOT break hours. The tentative agreement has been approved by the bargaining committee and will be sent out for ratification by the membership.

In June, the APWU began to meet with USPS officials to negotiate for the National Postal Professional Nurses (NPPN). Currently, we have submitted proposals to improve training and working conditions. An area of concern we have for the NPPN is the understaffing that has existed for several years. There are 27 vacancies in the craft that management has not been able to fill. We have ideas that would allow management to attract applicants to fill the current vacancies and to retain Occupational Health Nurses (OHNs) that are already on staff. We will submit those ideas as proposals to management.

We will continue negotiations for the NPPN contract throughout the fall to make these gains. The Aug. 11, 2023 expiration has been extended to Oct. 11, 2023.

The APWU began negotiations for the Des Moines/Kansas City APWU 10 Roads Express drivers in July. These negotiations are ongoing and we will keep the membership updated through the local bargaining committee.

In August, we resumed negotiations for the United Drivers of Peoria. We made significant progress towards an agreement when we met earlier in the year, and look forward to the first tentative agreement for our Peoria drivers.

Once negotiations season is completed, the Support Services Division will focus our time and energy on building the division and training. We look forward to the opportuunities that are in our future. ■

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