Talks Begin, Initial Proposals Presented

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In preparation for contract negotiations, the National Postal Professional Nurses-APWU and the Postal Service exchanged initial proposals for a new collective bargaining agreement on Monday, Sept. 10. The contract between the NPPN and the USPS expired on Aug. 17, 2007. The NPPN voted to merge with the APWU on that date.

The NPPN-APWU presented a detailed proposal that included a fair pay increase based on the prevailing pay rate for other nurses as well as specific contract language on hours and working conditions. The Postal Service’s proposal was a one-page document.

The parties began formal negotiations on Tuesday, Sept. 18. USPS negotiators explained their proposal, which would eliminate the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that requires management to maintain 51 specific health units across the country. Postal nurses would be “redeployed” throughout the Postal Service’s 80 districts.

The USPS provided no specifics on how its proposal would be implemented, and no other issues were raised during this session. Given the union’s many questions and concerns, the parties recessed and made plans to reconvene on Sept. 19.

Based on further deliberations, the union subsequently submitted written questions to the USPS about its proposal, and the parties agreed to resume negotiations on Monday Sept. 24. Negotiations are expected to conclude on Friday Sept. 28.

The NPPN-APWU Negotiation Committee consists of NPPN-APWU President Idell Mitchell (Washington), NPPN-APWU Vice President Maria Hicks (Detroit); NPPN-APWU Executive Board members Jane Freeman (Orlando), Emily Jones (Chicago), and Suzanne Deweese (Indianapolis); attorney Rich Edelman, and National Business Agent Bill Manley.

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