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USPS Announcement [Mail Handler Announcement below]
New contract runs through May 2016
The binding arbitration process between USPS and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union has concluded. The resulting contract between the parties went into effect Feb. 15, 2013 and lasts through May 20, 2016.
While the decision by the arbitrator includes important provisions that will benefit the Postal Service over the life of the contract and into the future, it does not include all of the changes it sought.
The results of the Interest Arbitration Award include the following:
USPS receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
Announcement by NPMHU below
Earlier today, the three-member arbitration panel established to determine the terms of the 2011 National Agreement between the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the U.S. Postal Service released its Award. The Award is dated February 15, 2013, and is effective on that day, but was not released until today, Tuesday, February 19, 2013. The panel awarded a contract which runs for four and one-half years, from November 21, 2011 through May 20, 2016. A copy of the full Award, covering seventy-two pages, is available, below, as a PDF attachment.
The Award fully protects the jobs and careers and living standards of all 42,000 career mail handlers now employed by the Postal Service. After a two-year wage freeze, it restores, starting in November 2013 and continuing through May 2016, the historic pattern of annual general wage increases and semi-annual cost-of-living adjustments for all current mail handlers. In particular, the Award contains three general wage increases for all career employees – 1.0% in November 2013, 1.5% in November 2014, and 1.0% in November 2015 – as well as seven COLAs to be paid from March 2014 through March 2016. These wage and COLA increases follow the pattern previously established by the negotiated contract governing the American Postal Workers Union, and by the arbitrated contracts governing the National Rural Letter Carriers Association and the National Association of Letter Carriers.
The Award also continues the pattern, starting next year, of increasing employee contributions toward health insurance by 1% per year; and it includes, effective immediately, a small upward adjustment in night shift differential (of 7 cents per hour) and of clothing allowance. The Award also provides full no-layoff protection, consistent with prior practice, for any and all career mail handlers hired on or before November 20, 2011.
At the same time, the Award substantially changes the workforce that will be allowed to perform mail handler work in the future. In the larger facilities, all part-time flexible employees will be converted to full-time regular, the number of casuals will be reduced to 5.0%, and a new category of bargaining unit employee will be created. More specifically, these changes include the following:
The arbitration panel was chaired by Herbert Fishgold, a longstanding arbitrator and mediator with decades of experience. The NPMHU-appointed member of the arbitration panel was Robert Weinberg, from the law firm of Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC, which also is the home of NPMHU General Counsel Bruce Lerner. USPS counsel Robert Dufek was the Postal Service’s appointed arbitrator.
The Award follows fifteen months of work by the NPMHU, including its National Officers, the National CAD, its legal staff, and a series of expert witnesses and consultants who diligently prepared the union’s case for the interest arbitration proceeding.
A complete copy of the Fishgold Award is attached, including new wage and night differential schedules, new and updated contract language, and new and amended Memoranda of Understanding and Letters of Intent. A fuller description of the Award will be provided in publications to be circulated by the National Office, and during the Semi-Annual Meeting of the Local Unions already scheduled for the first week of April 2013.
We thank our NPMHU membership for its continuous patience and support during this lengthy and sometimes frustrating 2011 round of negotiations.