Vote on Tentative Contract

April 8, 2011

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The mailing of ballots for ratification of the tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement began April 8 and will be completed April 11, the Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee has announced. Ballots are due in the return post office box in New York by 9 a.m. on May 10, and will be counted on May 11.

“We achieved our primary goals: to safeguard jobs and limit the hardships caused by excessing,” said APWU President Cliff Guffey. “We retained our protection against layoffs and we reclaimed work. In additon, we negotiated restrictions on excessing.

“Our members also will earn wage increases of 3.5 percent, as well as seven uncapped Cost-of-Living Adjustments.” The first raise will be in November 2012.

“We also changed the definition of full-time work, so that our members will have the opportunity to bid on non-traditional assignments; but no current full-time employee will be forced into an assignment of less than 40 hours,” Guffey said.

“This is a strong agreement, which was unanimously endorsed by the Rank and File Committee and the National Executive Board,” Guffey said. “Now it’s up to you. I urge every member to vote.”

If you have not received a ballot by April 18, contact the American Arbitration Association at 800-529-5218 to request a duplicate, or by e-mail to Provide your name, the last four digits of your Social Security number, your craft, and your mailing address.

A Few Key Provisions

Pay Raises v. Health Benefit Costs

The Tentative Agreement calls for pay increases of 3.5 percent, plus seven Cost-of-Living Adjustments. Raises and COLAs will increase pay by approximately $4,000 annually before the contract expires. There will be a shift in employees’ share of health benefit premiums, which  will total approximately $320 per year by 2015 for self-only coverage and approximately $700 per year for family coverage.

Your net pay increase: Approximately $3,300 per year by 2015 for employees with family coverage and approximately $3,700 for employees with self-only coverage.

For employees in APWU Health Plans, there will be no change in your share of health insurance premiums. Your net pay increase: Approximately $4,000 annually by 2015. [Tentative Agreement, pp.18, 19, 84-86]

Excessing Limited to 50 Miles

There will be a bar on excessing beyond 50 miles.  Withholdings of jobs for excessing beyond 50 miles will be lifted, resulting in more bidding opportunities. [p. 193]

New Assignments and No Mandatory Overtime

APWU members will have new opportunities to obtain duty assignments that fit their lifestyles and economic needs.  When any individual in a functional area has a non-traditional assignment, no one in that functional area — including those with traditional assignments — can be required to work mandatory overtime.

While employees will have a lot more choices for non-traditional work schedules, current full-time employees cannot be involuntarily assigned to schedules of less than 40 hours per week and more than five days per week, even if they bid to non-traditional jobs.  [pp. 188-191]

Safeguarding Our Jobs

The new contract will return work from postmasters, Postmaster Reliefs (PMRs), Post Office Assistants (POAs), dual-appointed Rural Carrier Associates (RCAs), supervisors, and contractors. It will guarantee thousands of new APWU bargaining unit jobs in each craft – many of which will be daytime positions.  Most important: This contract keeps our protection against layoffs. [pp. 178-185, 188]      

New subcontracting rules provide for fair comparisons, which will limit outsourcing and return work when APWU members can do the work more cost effectively.  This contract requires management to bring back thousands of subcontracted jobs in each craft. [pp. 197-199]

Conversions to Full Time

Part-time flexibles and part-time regulars in Level 21-and-above offices will be converted to full time, increasing their guaranteed work hours from two or four per pay period to 60 hours per pay period. [p. 189]

Enclosed with your ballot you will find a copy of the Tentative Agreement, as well as a summary of highlights.

For more information, see The American Postal Worker magazine [members only - PDF].

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