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WV Postal Workers Union

    More Updates on Management's "Modernization" Plans

    By WVPWU,

    Management continues to move forward with the planned opening of new Regional Processing and Distribution Centers (RPDCs) and creation of Sorting and Delivery Centers (S&DCs), which are large carrier delivery units with automated package sortation capabilities. Approximately four RPDCs are at least partially up and running, and 30 or so S&DCs have been opened. While management’s plans are subject to change, it appears that an additional 10 RPDCs and more than 50 S&DCs will open in 2024. Over the coming years, most APWU locals will be impacted by these changes.

    National officers continue to share all information received from postal management and hold informative video conferences with national, local, and state officers around the country. We have held training on how to best protect clerk craft work from mail handler craft encroachment. The regional coordinators continue the important work of addressing and reducing the potential excessing of employees. National officers and staff have visited the RPDCs and S&DCs to observe the operations, speak with the employees, and address safety and other concerns. All of these will continue in the new year.

    While few would argue that some of the postal network needs to be upgraded to address today’s mail mix and to capture more work, how the plan is implemented is raising serious concerns for the APWU and the public. Some examples:

    • A number of consolidations of mail processing operations will be moving mail hundreds of miles to RPDCs. Management’s claims that the network modernization will speed up the mail runs counter to the reality that long-distance moves will only further slow down mail, hurt customers and workers, and drive business away. Announced management plans to move mail from Charleston, WV to Pittsburgh, PA (230 miles) and from Medford, OR to Portland, OR (280 miles) are cases in point.
    • Management is not abiding by the law or their own Area Mail Processing (AMP) guidelines when it comes to holding community meetings for public input regarding mail moves. Meetings are being held with short notice, in the middle of the day when it is most difficult for the public to participate, comments are time-limited, and questions that arise from the public are not answered by postal officials. Even with these obstacles, local leaders have organized for, attended, and spoken up at community meetings, (as previously shared, grievances have been initiated regarding violations of the AMP Guidelines.)
    • Management is scamming the public. All indications are that their decisions have already been made, prior to community input.

    “I have assigned Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy to assist locals in their efforts to unite with the community against any changes in mail processing that will slow down service,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “We’ve been down this road before with former PMG Donohoe’s destructive actions to the mail processing network. Those plans were a complete failure and some aspects of management’s current plans, particularly consolidation of mail processing hundreds of miles away, are smelling more and more like Donohoe’s debacle and should be stopped in their tracks.”

    The APWU will continue to oppose those parts of the “modernization plan” that disrupt, rather than improve, our mission to the people. Where proposed mail processing changes will slow down service, APWU locals have stepped up on the frontlines. In addition, APWU President Mark Dimondstein and Industrial Relations Director Charlie Cash met with the highest levels of management to raise our objections and press management to reassess some of their planned mail processing moves. The union will continue to diligently work to protect our job security and services to the public. ■

    Update on Management's Network Modernization Plans: APWU Takes a Series of Actions

    By WVPWU,

    While still in its early stages, postal management is aggressively proceeding with their “network modernization” plans. Currently, three out of an estimated 60 future Regional Processing and Distribution Centers (RPDCs) are at least partially up and running – Richmond, VA; Charlotte, NC; and Atlanta, GA – with at least nine more scheduled to open next year. There are approximately 24 Sorting and Delivery Centers (S&DCs) (large carrier/delivery units) open, with plans for dozens more in 2024, and hundreds more in the coming years. These network changes will eventually touch almost every local.

    As management constructs new buildings, centralizes processing, and installs new automated package sortation machinery, they must do it in accordance with our union contract, and in such a way that limits the negative impact on current employees. The national APWU leadership is fully committed to enforcing the union contract and, toward that aim, has initiated a number of actions:

    • The APWU filed a major national-level grievance challenging management’s action where they are not properly withholding jobs in accordance with the job security protections of Article 12. Article 12 demands that all residual vacancies in all crafts and installations within 50 miles are held as “landing spots” for any impacted career employees facing potential excessing. The APWU is seeking to expedite this grievance.
    • The APWU filed an Unfair Labor Practice with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to enforce management’s legal obligation to bargain over the changes it is making to the network. The APWU has its legal department taking a hard look at potential court action in relation to any unlawful acts of management.
    • A grievance was filed charging that changes to the postal handbook and manual PO-408, previously the “Area Mail Processing Guidelines,” and now the “Mail Processing Facility Review,” were unilaterally made by management and interfered with the union’s rights to information and input on facility consolidations.
    • The APWU filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the NLRB due to management not sufficiently responding to union information requests associated with the network changes. In response the Postal Service has begun providing some of the requested information.
    • The five APWU Regional Coordinators are holding regional-level meetings with management, in accordance with the union contract, to address potential impacts. They have successfully reduced or eliminated many impacts on the current workforce. In addition, the APWU has prevailed in a significant regional area grievance, forcing management to reverse impacts and excessing in Utica, NY.
    • The APWU has challenged management’s assigning most of the work in the new High Output Parcel Sorters (HOPS) to the Mailhandlers.
    • The Clerk craft has expanded training for local and state union representatives on Article 12 (which deals with centralization of mail, consolidations of operations, and potential excessing) and on jurisdictional issues about assigning work to the Clerk craft or the Mailhandlers.
    • The national union conducted a series of informational meetings that updated national, state, and local leaders on network changes, and will continue to do so.
    • As previously reported, the APWU negotiated an important memorandum protecting existing retail and box section operations when letter carriers are moved to larger facilities with the S&DC plans.

    “Changes in the mail mix, mail processing and the march of automation and technology are not new for the APWU,” said President Mark Dimondstein. “We have met these challenges over many decades and will continue to meet them today. The APWU leadership is fully united in our efforts to protect our jobs, serve the people, and keep the members fully informed as these network plans unfold.”

    Next union negotiated raises will be in paychecks dated December 8, 2023

    By WVPWU,

    APWU-represented career postal employees will receive a union-won general wage increase (GWI) equal to 1.3 percent of base pay, effective Nov. 18. Non-career APWU-represented employees will receive an additional 1 percent, or a 2.3 percent GWI, as they do not receive COLA.

    The raise will appear in paychecks dated Dec. 8, 2023. This latest wage increase caps off two years of strong raises secured in the 2021-2024 contract and follows record-breaking cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for career employees, which totaled $2.39 per hour, or $4,971 annually. COLAs are added to the base pay schedule, so PSEs will recoup these increases when they convert to career status.

    “These negotiated increases can only happen because of the strength of our collective endeavor,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “We are already preparing for the opening of negotiations on our next union contract in July 2024, and the activism and organizing of our members will play a crucial role in delivering an even stronger collective bargaining agreement.”

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