Effective on March 4, 2017, all career Mail Handler craft employees are scheduled to receive the second of seven possible cost-of-living (COLA) adjustments as outlined in Article 9.3 of the 2016 National Agreement. This COLA increase is based on the upward change in the relevant Consumer Price Index (CPI) following release of the January 2017 Index, and provides an annual increase of $333 for all Steps in Table 1 and for Step P of Table 2. The remaining Steps in Table 2 will receive the proportional COLA increase percentages as outlined in Article 9.3 of the National Agreement.
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I would like to sincerely thank the members of Local 302 for giving me the opportunity to lead our membership into the future. I vow to work vigorously to continue to earn your trust and respect as Local 302 President.
In my first few weeks, Local 302 held an in-depth, two day new shop steward training to insure our new stewards had the tools and training necessary to effectively police the contract. This training was conducted by National Trainers/NPMHU National Executive Board members John Gibson and Lawrence Sapp. They did a great job covering all facets of grievance handling and representation that a new shop steward requires to be effective on the workroom floor. In March, we conducted another training for 10 new shop stewards. This training was conducted by Dwight Parker and Kenny Magarity, who also did an excellent job of preparing our new stewards to represent the membership. We also had an EEO training with attorney Cindi Fox, who provided our Branch leaders with a solid working knowledge of the EEO and REDRESS mediation processes. This June, National shop steward trainers John Gibson and Lawrence Sapp will return, along with National President Paul Hogrogian, National Secretary-Treasurer Tim Dwyer, Western Regional Vice President Don Sneesby and Legislative and Political Director Bob Losi to participate in our annual Reno shop steward training. While we are in Reno, Western Regional Contract Administration Department Manager David Ross and Director Don Gonzales will conduct an arbitration training with key members of Local 302’s arbitration advocacy team. My intent is to continue to conduct comprehensive training sessions on a myriad of subjects to guarantee that every Local 302 shop steward has the highest level of training possible.
I, along with Local 302 advocates Shawn Dalton, Edward Alcantar, Juanita Contreras and Tony Bell, have successfully settled over 100 pending arbitration cases during the last 3 months winning over $100,000 for mail handlers and returning 11 mail handlers to work throughout the Local. We are currently working on updating our grievance/arbitration record system in an attempt to clear the large backlog of cases pending arbitration.
Local 302 is also battling the mass reversion of vacant mail handler bids. Management is utilizing a function 1 scheduler that has determined that most, if not all, of the processing facilities in the US are “over earned”, meaning that they have more mail handlers than the staffing model says they need. This is clearly wrong, and the Local 302 stewards will be fighting for every job that gets reverted. Management has also instituted a “hiring pause”, where no new mail handlers have been hired into the craft. They assure us this move is only temporary – and the continuing overtime clearly shows that the need for mail handlers is as strong as ever. Management has also changed hundreds of bid times for no apparent reason, but Local 302 will continue to fight for your rights, and jobs.
All Postal workers will face many new challenges with a new U.S. President and the constantly changing USPS political landscape. Your Union will be doing everything we can to keep you informed on the issues that affect your livelihood and way of life. It is more important now than ever before to be politically active and make sure that your voice is heard in our Congress. In May, Local 302 Council members Matthew Story, Tony Bell, Edward Alcantar, Joel Gonzales, Juanita Contreras and I will be joining members from throughout the country in Washington D.C. to lobby Congress for sensible postal reform. You can help do your part by going to NPMHU.org and signing up on the NPMHU Action Alert List in “Legislative & Political” tab.
The npmhulocal302.org website is a great resource, and will be updated more regularly. There is a host of information on the website including shop steward certifications, upcoming meetings, meeting minutes, USPS/NPMHU collective bargaining agreement and Contract Interpretation Manual, NPMHU Constitution, scholarship information, wage charts, pictures and much more. It is imperative to remember that this is OUR UNION! Please stay informed and if you have questions, concerns or information that relates to the Mail Handler craft, please let us know.
Since my inauguration on January 14th, I have visited every facility with mail handlers in Northern California and Reno, and intend to visit each of these facilities frequently. My goal is to meet and personally speak to all 2000+ of Local 302’s Union members. If you have not spoken to me yet, and have a question or concern you would like me to address – please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my cell at (916) 541-3475.
Career Mail Handlers Scheduled to Receive Second of Seven Possible Cost-of-Living (COLA) adjustments
Feb 3, 2017 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Introduced Bi-partisan Postal Reform Legislation
Earlier this week, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee introduced bi-partisan postal reform legislation. The lead sponsor was Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), but the legislation also is co-sponsored by Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Stephen Lynch (D-MA). Gerald Connolly (D-VA), and Dennis Ross (R-FL-15). This legislation (the Postal Reform Act of 2017, H.R. 756) is similar to legislation that was introduced last year in the 114th Congress. That prior legislation was passed by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, but never saw action on the full floor and died when Congress adjourned in December.
The NPMHU appreciates the hard work that Chairman Chaffetz, Ranking Member Cummings, and the other co-sponsors have done with respect to this legislation.
The NPMHU will review and analyze this bi-partisan legislation. President Hogrogian is optimistic that, if this bill is passed by the new Congress and signed into law by President Trump, the Postal Service’s financial future will be more secure.
The NPMHU will report further information as it becomes available.
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