NPMHU REACHES TENTATIVE AGREEMENT
Greetings Local 302 members and friends!
I would like to share with you everything that has happened in the many months since our last newsletter in 2018. Our Union and its members continue to face constant challenges and turmoil, but we shall continue to persevere!
Our National President and Contract Administration Department have recently begun negotiations for the successor contract to our collective bargaining agreement that expires on September 20th of this year. These negotiations promise to be challenging, especially considering the constant mail volume declines of the USPS. The USPS reported that it lost $2.1 Billion in the 2nd quarter of FY2109, and this promises to factor into their negotiations. The APWU, NALC and NRLCA are all currently in different stages of negotiating new contracts with the USPS.
F1 Review. The F1 scheduler is back with a different name, the F1 review. The F1 review process is being conducted throughout the country, with somewhat less severe results than the F1 program from a year ago. The new program has frequently found facilities to be understaffed instead of overstaffed as claimed by Postal management. They have therefore stalled approval and implementation of this program in many locations, including all of the facilities in Local 302. In the meantime, management has continued to revert every vacant bid in most of our facilities. This obviously prevents mail handlers from being able to bid to different jobs or tours, and virtually eliminates MHA conversions through residual vacancies. We have reviewed all of these bid reversions, and filed grievances where appropriate.
NDC excessing. Management at the Area level has notified the NPMHU that they intend to excess 22 mail handlers from the NDC facility, and separate 7 MHAs. This excessing event triggers withholding of all level 4 jobs (mail handler and custodian) within 100 miles of the Richmond NDC, and affords all career mail handlers at the NDC facility priority consideration in eReassign. This will allow the mail handlers there seeking transfers to other facilities to move to the front of the line without being denied for their attendance, discipline or safety records. Local 302 was able to successfully negotiate the cancellation of NDC excessing last year, but that will be a far bigger challenge going forward with the continuing declines in mail volume. We have not yet been notified of excessing in other facilities, but considering the USPS’ losses, further excessing in other facilities seems likely.
New machinery. Despite the aforementioned losses, the USPS continues to install new machinery in almost every branch of Local 302. San Francisco recently installed a Universal Sorting System (USS) machine, and new USS machines are currently scheduled to be installed in both Oakland and NDC in the next few months. Management is also considering adding a second USS to the one in Sacramento. A National Craft Determination was issued on this machinery last month awarding most of the work on this equipment to the mail handler craft, so this will help solidify our craft jurisdiction. Management has also recently installed an Automated Delivery Unit Sorter (ADUS) in Redding, with another machine slated to be installed in Reno, Nevada. There was also a national craft determination on this machine securing positions for the mail handler craft. Sacramento management has also notified us that they will be receiving 13 Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) soon. These machines are essentially driver-less mules or walkie-riders that can move mail throughout the facility without mail handler equipment operators. I personally witnessed one of these AGVs in action at the Portland P&DC facility last year, and it is very clear that management intends to transition to these on a larger scale. Management almost never notifies us of their plans to implement new technology as contractually required by Article 4 of our Collective Bargaining Agreement, but we will continue to fight for the preservation of our craft jurisdictions.
RI399 Inventories. As most of you are aware, the NPMHU, APWU and USPS signed a tripartite agreement last June that is resolving thousands of RI399 craft jurisdiction disputes from the Dispute Resolution Committee or “black hole”. That agreement required the parties to create a new inventory in each facility that contained clerks and mail handlers, and provided compensation to the members of each craft for withdrawal of the majority of the grievances in that process. We anticipate that payment being made by the end of September. While full details can be found on our National and Local websites, each mail handler on the roles as of 9/1/17 can expect to receive between 1 to 4 shares. Each share is worth $143.90: 0-5 years = 1 share ($143.90), 5-10 years = 2 shares ($287.10) , 10-20 years = 3 shares ($431.70) and over 20 years = 4 shares ($575.60). This will be included in your normal paycheck, and will be subject to normal taxes and withholding. As part of that agreement, Local 302 is in the process of negotiating new inventories in every facility containing mail handlers in our jurisdiction.
Grievance/Arbitration update. Local 302 continues to file grievances for violations throughout the Local. We continue to ensure that our grievances are handled quickly and efficiently, with most cases being adjudicated in a few months, and arbitrations being held (when necessary) in less than a year. Just this past month your Local 302 representatives have recently negotiated a $30,000 settlement in Reno, a $9,000 settlement in San Francisco, and several monetary settlements in Sacramento, Oakland and elsewhere. In roughly the same time frame, Local 302 has returned about a dozen employees to work that had been issued removals, and reduced even more disciplinary actions. As always, if you are aware of a violation, please let us know and fill out a witness statement so we can get it grieved.
Local 302 conducted our annual Reno shop steward training, Local 302 Council meeting and quarterly Executive Board meeting this July. The minutes from these, and all of our meetings, can be found at our Local 302 website: www.npmhulocal302.org. If you are not taking advantage of this resource, I highly recommend that you take a look at what YOUR Union is up to! To help make it even easier for you to have access to this information, Local 302 has developed a Local 302 cell phone app! This app allows you quick and convenient access to almost all of the information contained on our website. To download the app on your iphone or android device, simply open our website with your device and find the “download app” link. You will have to go into your phone settings to trust the developer, but the process only takes a minute. I want to thank our media director Jeanette Amador for creating and updating our website and app, trust me- you will love it!
Membership drive. The Executive Board agreed to temporarily increase the membership bounty for new member sign-ups from $50 to $100 until September 24th. To be bounty-eligible, a new member must have been working as a mail handler for at least 6 months (MHAs in orientation do not count). If you would like to sign someone up and receive this bounty, simply request an 1187 dues deduction form from your Union office, fill it out, put your name on it and we will pay you $100 when dues begin being deducted from the new members. Simple! Now is the time for everyone to show their solidarity, and contribute their fair share.
Congratulations Reno! Reno recently achieved 100% Union membership! In recognition of this event, National President Paul Hogrogian, National-Secretary Treasurer Mike Hora, Western Regional Vice President Don Sneesby and National Executive Board Southern VP Lawrence Sapp joined me in a visit to the facility to thank our members there for their solidarity. Reno continued the celebration in late July at their annual summer picnic with an aloha-themed Hawaiian party, complete with Hawaiian food truck and hula dancers. Branch President Matthew Story was also instrumental in getting Reno selected to host a Semi Annual Meeting of the Local Unions (SAMLU) next year in November at the Grand Sierra Resort. This will be the first SAMLU in Reno and we look forward to inviting the National Executive Board, Contract Administration Department and all of the Local Presidents nationwide to our Local for this meeting.
Elections. We have upcoming elections for all Local 302 officers in December, and an election for delegates to our 2020 Denver National Convention next year. There is an announcement in this newsletter, and we will post updates on our bulletin boards and website as more information is available. I encourage you to vote and make your voice heard!
T-shirts are in! By the time this reaches your home, you will most likely already have received your newly designed 2019 T-shirt. If you have not, please contact your Branch President, we purchased enough T-shirts for every Local 302 member. These shirts were issued instead of aprons this year by popular demand. As usual, we will be distributing pocketbook calendars in December, and we continue to provide attendees to our branch meetings with various logo gear.
There are articles from all of our Branch Presidents and Union officers in this newsletter. I encourage you to explore the pages of our newsletter and check it out. We also have information on our partners AFLAC, GPIS, FEFA and Union Plus in the newsletter. We encourage you to take full advantage of your Union membership, and the advantages and benefits available to our members through these companies. As always, if you have ideas how we can better serve YOU and our membership, do not hesitate to let me know!
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.
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