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USPS declines to further extend its collective-bargaining negotiations with the NALC.

On Jan. 20, the U.S. Postal Service announced that it was declining to further extend its collective-bargaining negotiations with the NALC.

“I am disappointed by the Postal Service’s decision,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “We had been making steady progress in negotiations, right up to the latest deadline. Our negotiations have been innovative, professional and productive and have been conducted at the highest level.

“Now that the formal litigation process has begun, we will pursue a negotiated agreement through mediation and prepare to vigorously defend our members in interest arbitration, if it reaches that step,” he said.

The decision triggers an impasse that will automatically send contract talks to mediation under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. If no consensual agreement between NALC and USPS is reached within a 60-day period of mediation, the issues will be submitted for final and binding resolution before an interest arbitration panel, which under law must consider all the evidence presented by both parties.

“Notwithstanding this turn of events, NALC continues to believe that a negotiated agreement is in the best interests of the parties, the businesses that rely on us, and the nation we serve,” Rolando said. “We will continue to negotiate in good faith as mediation takes place under the law’s dispute-resolution process, even as we prepare for binding arbitration. We will continue to work with Congress on vitally needed reforms and work with our external expert advisers to advance a new business model that will revitalize and preserve the USPS as a vital element of the nation’s business and cultural infrastructure.”