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    Updated March 25, 2005    
    
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  No. 05-04  March 1, 2005       
 
 
  NALC President Young Denounces Postal Reform Move

USPS Board of Governors
Attacks Pay and Benefits

Urges Senate to Tip Scale Toward Management
In Collective Bargaining and Interest Arbitrations

   

 

The Postal Service’s Board of Governors, largely silent over the past two years while NALC and a large coalition of mailers, employee groups and other postal stakeholders built a broad consensus on postal reform legislation, called on Senate leaders to smash that consensus by radically disrupting the existing system of collective bargaining and interest arbitration.

In a letter dated February 24 to Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), the Governors proposed that employee benefits, now provided by various federal government-wide programs, be subject to collective bargaining and that interest arbitrators be required to consider a selective list of criteria (such as the “present financial health and ability to pay”) when issuing their decisions.

“Dredging up proposals that were rejected by the President’s Commission on the Postal Service and revisiting ideas that even the Postal Service’s largest customers opposed last year is foolish,” NALC President William H. Young said, “especially when we are so close to achieving postal reform.” Young warned that efforts to undermine letter carriers’ collective bargaining rights “risked destroying the hard-won consensus on the nature of needed reform.”

“NALC cannot and will not support these proposals,” Young said. “I sincerely hope that this action by the Governors resulted from the high level of turnover on the Board in recent months and does not reflect a change in direction by the Board and the Postmaster General,” he noted.

“I find it especially outrageous,” Young continued, “that in the same letter in which it asks the Senate to give the USPS tools to attack craft employees’ pay and benefits, the Board also hypocritically asks the Senate to remove the federal cap on executive compensation in the Postal Service. NALC will oppose a money grab by postal management when craft employee pay and benefits are under attack.”

NALC remains convinced that comprehensive postal reform is essential for the long-term viability of the Postal Service and the long-term job security of letter carriers and other postal employees. But the union has consistently held over the past 10 years that it will oppose any postal reform legislation that weakens letter carriers’ collective bargaining rights or threatens to undermine the pay and benefits of postal employees.

NALC urges letter carriers to remain vigilant as the debate over postal reform advances. The danger posed by the Board of Governors labor proposals will be obvious to carriers who read them (see the April issue of the Postal Record). Young expressed confidence that once the legislative language of the Senate bill becomes known that “we can count on the NALC’s 120,000 registered e-Activists to be ready to act when called upon to do so.”

   
 

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  Fifth COLA - $229
   
   
 
 
 

Young at AFL-CIO Council Meetings

   
   
 

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  Dues Increase Error Being Adjusted
   

 

A dues adjustment will be implemented for some NALC branches in pay periods 6 and 7 to accommodate an error in the implementation of the 2005 dues increase, Secretary-Treasurer Jane E. Broendel has announced.

Because the USPS issued new finance numbers for pay period 25 of 2004 (the pay period used to implement the 2005 dues increase of 58 cents per period), the increase was not deducted from some members’ pay checks for pay periods 1-3 of 2005. As a result, the increase for these members was not included in the branch reimbursement checks for the same pay periods.

The error was corrected for pay period 4, but to recoup the increase for the preceding three pay periods, a dues adjustment will be implemented in pay periods 6 and 7. The dues for affected members will then be decreased to the correct amounts beginning with pay period 8.

   
 

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  Leadership Academy Applications
En route for Prospective Trainees
   

 

President William H. Young announced that applications for the upcoming NALC Leadership Academy will be mailed next week to all branch presidents and National Business Agents for distribution to prospective trainees.

The applications must be completed and forwarded to the branch president or NBA who will agree to mentor the participant during the training period. The application must be completed in its’ entirety and received at NALC Headquarters by May 1, 2005 to be considered for selection.

President Young will complete the selection process no later than June 1. The first week of training will occur the week of July 24-29 at the National Labor College in Washington, DC. Two subsequent weeks of training will be held later in the year on October 2-7 and December 11-16.

Participants will be required to complete the three-week curriculum and related projects in the intervening periods between training weeks. The application form will be available from NBAs , branch presidents and on the NALC website.

   
 

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  Hellman Urges Focus on Postal Safety
In Workers’ Memorial Day Observance
   

 

NALC Director of Safety and Health Brian Hellman urges all NALC branches to use this year’s annual observance of Workers Memorial Day on April 28 as an opportunity to focus attention on safety and health concerns in postal facilities and make sure management lives up to its safety and health obligations.

Hellman said NALC branches should conduct their own programs centered around postal safety and also join in local observances on April 28 sponsored by the AFL-CIO and various union affiliates to commemorate Workers Memorial Day, held annually on the anniversary of enactment of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).

Special AFL-CIO kits to aid NALC branches in participating in Workers Memorial Day are available by contacting Hellman at NALC Headquarters - (202) 393-4695.

“Decades of struggle by workers and their unions have resulted in significant improvements in working conditions,” Hellman said. “But the fight to protect workers must continue, defending the gains we have won and pushing forward to address problems that remain.”

Hellman asks branch officials to keep him informed about their plans for Workers Memorial Day.

   
 
 
  Food Drive Update
 

March 10 Deadline For Ordering Postcards

   

 

The deadline for ordering Campbell Soup-U.S. Postal Service postcards to promote the NALC Food Drive is March 10. Branch coordinators should return their completed forms back to NALC headquarters as soon as possible to ensure timely delivery of the bulk shipments to branches.

To date, over 1,300 branches have registered to participate in the May 14 drive, and coordinators of those branches have been mailed special packets containing order forms, a 10-minute DVD on the drive, artwork, a coordinator’s manual and other materials.

Branch presidents and coordinators should monitor the food drive page of the NALC website to make sure their branch is registered.

   
 
 
   
 
  © 2001-2005 National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO