Tentative Agreements Reached!

Arrion Brown

March 19, 2024

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The Support Services Division is proud to announce that we have reached tentative agreements on two separate contracts. After months of hard-fought negotiations, we have reached tentative agreements with 10 Roads Express for the Des Moines/Kansas City private sector mail haul driver’s contract, and with the Postal Service on the National Postal Professional Nurses (NPPN) contract. The tentative agreements will have been distributed for membership ratification by the time this edition of The American Postal Worker magazine arrives.

We want to thank the negotiating committees of both groups for their dedication and commitment in the fight for a good contract. The Support Services Division leadership conducted numerous meetings with the negotiating committees to solicit proposals that would accurately reflect the concerns that needed to be addressed in negotiations. The meetings allowed us to enter negotiations with the confidence that we were addressing the core issues of the bargaining units. While we may not achieve all of our negotiating demands, it is critical that we make proposals based on areas where our members want changes and improvements.

Improvements for the Des Moines/Kansas City 10 Roads Express agreement include: driver compensation for scheduled and unscheduled layovers, an increase in light-duty pay from $10 per hour to $20 per hour, a decrease in the amount of time that seasonal/ temporary employees can work – from 90 days to eight weeks, an increase in the outside domicile per diem from $10 per meal ($30 per day) to $15 per meal ($45 per day), and the inclusion of weather-related events that affect the majority of the workforce and natural disasters as exceptions to the attendance policy.

While we had successes in the improvements to the Des Moines/Kansas City 10 Roads Express contract, the company rejected our important demands of locking in pay rates above the wage determination and removing the on-board monitoring devices that drivers consider intrusive invasions of privacy. The union leadership and committee fought vigorously at the table for these demands, but our best efforts could not persuade the company to agree to those items.

In the future, it is imperative to build the external presence of driver strength and unity needed to achieve the demands that the company will not come to an agreement on. Unfortunately, we did not have the level of worker strength necessary to move the company during this round of negotiations. We are committed to creating a stronger more unified effort to achieve what our union members deserve in future negotiations.

The NPPN negotiations with postal management were extremely difficult. Despite those difficulties, we were able to secure non-economic improvements, increasing the Continuing Education Units available for reimbursement from $500 to $1,500, and including Juneteenth as an observed federal holiday. The economic agreements were to continue to attach the NPPN yearly raises to the Department of Labor’s Economic Cost Index for the duration of the agreement, with an additional one percent increase, to be distributed evenly over the first and last year of the agreement.

Management and the APWU worked to resolve a retention issue that has caused nurses to leave the Occupational Health Nurse positions at a high rate since the last collective bargaining agreement. A step retention incentive MOU pilot was developed, which will allow management to offer OHN’s with at least three years of experience up to two additional steps to retain their employment if they are offered jobs outside of the Postal Service.

The experience in both negotiations created new leaders and reinvigorated our existing leadership. We will continue to work to make positive gains for APWU members in all our negotiations with the understanding that the strength of the union is the workers. ■

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