Sacramento Tour 1 Mail Handler Sonia Blanco passed away on 07/24/19 at 10:45 am. Viewing will be August 3, 2019 from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm at Evergreen Memorial Chapel, 3030 Fruitridge Rd., Sacramento CA 95820.
Happy Holidays Local 302
Much has happened since our last newsletter in June 2018. The last of the pending excessing events at the Richmond NDC was cancelled, and along with it the withholding at nearby facilities. This paved the way for MHAs to be converted into the many residual vacancies throughout the Local. Not only is this a tremendous opportunity for our long-term MHAs to be converted to career Full-Time Regulars, it opens the door for more MHAs to be hired and bring much needed help to many facilities that have experienced extended mandated overtime. New employee retention and attraction has been big problem for the USPS throughout Local 302’s jurisdiction. With the falling unemployment rate, the rising minimum wage and continued abuses by Postal management, a lot of new employees find that they can get better entry-level jobs elsewhere. This situation is further complicated by the exorbitant cost of living in the Bay Area, where management must bus in labor and farm out mail to cheaper areas during the Christmas mailing season. If you have any friends or family members who are unemployed, tell them to check out the “Careers” link at the bottom of USPS.com. In the meantime, please remember that Management is limited to working non-ODL employees 6 days a week and 10 hours a day outside of December. Overtime Desired List employees (and non-ODL in December) can be required to work 7 days, 12 hours a day. The 12 hours a day includes your lunch break, so Management can only involuntarily require you to work 11.5 hours a day with a 30 minute lunch break. Of course, you can work longer if you and management agree.
Local 302 has 2 new officers! I would like to thank Anthony Dering for agreeing to take on the San Jose Branch President position and David Santos for accepting the Fresno Branch president position. Having served as a BP for 6 years, I can assure you that it is a difficult job and I ask that you please support them in their efforts to police our contract and keep your Union strong!
Local 302 is continuing to maintain our grievance arbitration log. Since our last newsletter, Local 302 advocates Fernando Matta, Shawn Dalton and I have arbitrated many grievances, and settled countless more. Local 302 Technical Assistant, Shawn Dalton, effectively eliminated our Arbitration backlog, and we have managed to get most of our new arbitration cases heard or settled in a year or less. This is extremely difficult, as Management is prone to use several stalling tactics to avoid paying grievances. However, we are close to resolving some long standing issues.
Part of the resolution of these cases is the June 26 Memorandum of Understanding on RI399. The RI399 process is the dispute resolution process of jurisdictional issues between the mail handler and clerk crafts. This process is sarcastically referred to as the “Black Hole”, and we are pleased we will finally get resolution of cases that, in some situations, are decades old. As part of this RI399 MOU, four one-day trainings with representatives across the country from the APWU, NPMHU and USPS Management were conducted in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Management paid for 2 representatives from each craft in a facility with an RI399 inventory to attend one of these 4 training dates. 19 representatives from Local 302 attended the first training on establishing new inventories in our facilities. We are currently in the process of negotiating these inventories in every facility where mail handlers work.
In June, we conducted our annual shop steward training in Reno, Nevada. National trainers June Harris, Local 306 President and Central Region Vice President and Pervous (Andy B.) Badilishamwalimu, Local 310 President conducted training on defending discipline of our members. We were also joined by our Western Regional Vice President and Local 316 President Don Sneesby and Western Regional Contract Administration Director Don Gonzales. Gonzo gave our stewards some excellent feedback on how we can do even better with our step 3 appeals to his level.
In July we held our Local 302 picnic at the California State Fair, where we were joined by National President, Paul Hogrogian, and Western VP, Don Sneesby. National President Hogrogian and VP Sneesby were gracious enough to stay an extra day and perform site visits at Local 302’s facilities in Sacramento, NDC, Oakland and San Francisco. We are extremely grateful to President Hogrogian for the great job he is doing as NPMHU National President, and that he took time out of his busy schedule to visit our members on the workroom floor in 4 facilities! I have great respect for the job done by President Hogrogian, National Secretary-Treasurer, Tim Dwyer, and all of our National Executive Board and National CAD staff in Washington, DC. The work they do is imperative to protect our livelihood, and you can see more of what they do at www.npmhu.org.
Local 302 officers Juanita Contreras, Tony Bell, Chrystal Wilson and I traveled to Washington DC in August for our Semi-Annual Meeting of the Local Unions (SAMLU). We joined other officers from throughout the Nation where we were given comprehensive briefings on the state of our National Union and participated in a pre-bargaining workshop for our next Collective Bargaining Agreement. Our current National Agreement expires on September 20, 2019, and we will begin formal negotiations for the successor agreement in June 2019. President Hogrogian is asking all members for bargaining proposals for the Field Negotiating Committee to consider this February. I am proud to have been selected by President Hogrogian to serve on this committee. The 2019 Bargaining Proposal Form is contained in the newsletter and our National and Local websites. I urge you to submit any bargaining proposals you may have by January 18, 2019.
In September, our National Trainers came out to Oakland to conduct a new shop steward training. Eastern Regional Vice President and Local 308 President John Gibson and Southern Regional Vice-President and Local 318 Florida State Executive Board member Lawrence Sapp conducted a thorough two-day training for new (or returning) stewards. We are exceptionally grateful to our Union brothers and sisters of LIUNA Local 304 in Oakland to afford us space to conduct this training. We are always looking for more conscientious Union members to step up and become shop stewards. If you have ever thought of becoming a shop steward, NOW IS THE TIME!
On October 8, I joined members of the NRLCA, APWU and NLRC for a “U.S. Mail IS NOT FOR SALE” rally in downtown Sacramento. Similar rallies were held throughout the Nation to oppose privatization of the USPS. While Congress has been largely inactive with the recent elections, we must continue to fight for legislation that will allow the USPS to stay viable and financially stable, while still providing fair wages and benefits for all of our Union brothers and sisters. NPMHU will be sending representatives to Washington, DC next June to lobby our senators and house representatives to support legislation that will protect our jobs and benefits.
Recently there were many explosive devices mailed through the USPS to political targets. Luckily, none of these devices detonated and no one was harmed. Two such devices were discovered by our fellow postal workers at the Primary Mail Annex in Burlingame, CA. The facility was shut down and evacuated at two different times, and the devices were safely removed by the authorities. Going forward, it is important that we attend the safety talks issued by Management so we can help identify and avoid future threats. If you are not receiving these stand ups, or feel that Management is not taking your safety seriously on any issue - let a steward know. We have safety committees and meetings in every facility of our Local, and we strive to increase the safety and security of our members.
We have hosted numerous retirements recently, and many of you have told us of your plans to retire soon. I want to remind everyone that we would like to help celebrate this momentous occasion with you. In addition to providing a jacket and a watch, we would like to host a work celebration for our members and their peers on the job. Just let me or your Branch President know so we can coordinate. I also encourage our members to consult with a retirement consultant for more information.
Scholarship season is coming. The Union Plus scholarship application is due by January 31, 2019, and can be found at www.unionplus.org. The 2019 NPMHU Arthur Vallone scholarship and the Local 302 Alvin S. Gant scholarship should both be announced in January. We will make that information available on our bulletin boards and website.
We have had several meetings since our last newsletter. Our bylaws require that we have a meeting in every branch each quarter. I encourage you to attend these meetings, you will be provided with a free meal, Local 302 logo gear and most importantly: information on what is going on in your branch and Union! This is also your opportunity to speak with your Branch President, stewards and Local President to provide us feedback on what we can do to stay strong and improve our Union. In addition to the quarterly branch meetings, we conduct general membership meetings twice a year where you can meet with your Local 302 Executive Board. The schedule for all of these meetings is on your bulletin board and the Local 302 website www.npmhulocal302.org. This website is an incredible wealth of information that contains branch and officer information, meeting calendar, meeting minutes, Treasurer report financial information, branch information like Local MOUs, shop steward certifications, and much, much more. Special thanks to recently retired San Francisco QWL Coordinator Jeanette Amador who maintains the website, publishes this newsletter and holds everything in our office together.
NPMHU Releases Details on RI-399 Payments
As previously announced, the Update MOU on RI-399 that was signed by the NPMHU, the APWU, and the Postal Service in June 2018 included a monetary payment to individual Mail Handlers. Here are the details, except for the payment date, which is still to be determined.
In order to be eligible for payment, a Mail Handler had to be in the NPMHU Bargaining Unit (Career or MHA) and on the rolls of the Postal Service during the Pay Period which ended on September 1, 2017 AND the Mail Handler has to be in the NPMHU Bargaining Unit (Career or MHA) and on the rolls of the Postal Service during the Pay Period which ended on March 15, 2019. Any action taken by the Mail Handler after March 15, 2019 (e.g., retirement, transfer, resignation) is not considered.
A) If eligible, and in the Bargaining Unit for less than 5 years (as of September 1, 2017), the Mail Handler will receive 1 Share.
B) If eligible, and in the Bargaining Unit for 5 years or more but less than 10 years (as of September 1, 2017), the Mail Handler will receive 2 Shares.
C) If eligible, and in the Bargaining Unit for 10 years or more but less than 20 years (as of September 1, 2017), the Mail Handler will receive 3 Shares.
D) If eligible, and in the Bargaining Unit for 20 years or more (as of September 1, 2017), the Mail Handler will receive 4 Shares.
There are more than 38,000 eligible Mail Handlers, and the Share amounts are as follows:
1 Share = $143.90
2 Shares = $287.80
3 Shares = $431.70
4 Shares = $575.60
Once the actual date for distribution of these monies is set, the National Office will announce that date to all Locals and to all Mail Handlers. In addition, the National Office will establish a union-run appeal procedure for claims to be filed by ineligible Mail Handlers who believe they should have been listed amongst the eligible and by eligible Mail Handlers who believe they did not receive the proper number of Shares authorized. The decisions made by this appeal procedure will be final and binding, and will cause distributions of additional monies.
USPS Expands Wounded Warrior Leave
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June 26, 2018
NPMHU, APWU and USPS Reach Agreement to Update RI-399 Dispute Resolution Procedures
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