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94% of Voters Say YES!
The main Collective Bargaining Agreement (union contract) between the APWU and the USPS has been overwhelmingly ratified by the members. The contract was signed by APWU President Mark Dimondstein and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on February 28, 2022.
Ninety-Four percent (94%) of the members who voted, voted “Yes!” in favor of ratification. The vote tally was 36,632 votes for ratification and 2,290 against.
“I am ecstatic that the membership recognized the solid gains that this Agreement provides to the 165,000 APWU members from all crafts,” President and lead negotiator Mark Dimondstein stated. “Every member should be very proud of this huge accomplishment. Our power at the bargaining table begins with each of you, the foundation of our union.”
Director of Industrial Relations and chief spokesperson, Vance Zimmerman said, “I am proud of this Agreement and am happy that the membership recognized the hard work of the National Negotiating Committee, the other officers who helped with the negotiations, and the diligent work of our support staff to make this contract a reality.” He continued, “Now the work of implementation begins in earnest.”
In addition to the lead negotiator and chief spokesperson, the NCC consisted of Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks, Motor Vehicle Director Mike Foster, Maintenance Director Idowu Balogun, Support Services Director Steve Brooks, Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy and Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth “Liz” Powell.
The tentative contract agreement was reached on December 9, 2021 with unanimous approval of the National Negotiating Committee. It was then unanimously approved by the Rank & File Bargaining Advisory Committee to be sent to the members for a ratification vote. The vote ratification process was coordinated by APWU Secretary-Treasurer Powell and administered by the American Arbitration Association (AAA.) A sub-committee of the Rank & File Bargaining Advisory Committee consisting of Peggy Whitney, Sandra Munoz, Scott Hoffman, Nicole Burnett and Stacy Brown was on site monitoring the entire vote count, which took place from February 23 – February 28.
Now that we have a new contract, one of the first items to be dealt with are the pay raises due to employees. These include the first general wage increase of 1.3% for career employees (2.3% for PSEs), effective November 21, 2021; the $1,310 per year COLA increase due to career employees, effective February 26, 2022; and the additional 50 cents per hour increase for PSEs effective on April 9, 2022.
APWU-represented bargaining unit employees in the IT/AS sector will soon begin programming the payroll system that is required to make these pay changes. Once programming is completed, retroactive payments will be made to the affected employees, with the dates of these payments to be announced. Please check apwu.org for updated information on retroactive payments
Additionally, the parties are in the process of finalizing a print version of the Collective Bargaining Agreement as well as updating the Joint Contract Interpretation Manual.
“I congratulate the members on this agreement which will provide wage increases, COLAs, job security, improved PTF rights and even more career opportunities for the non-career workforce,” Director Zimmerman said.
President Dimondstein concluded by saying, “We should never forget that our Collective Bargaining rights were won through the courage of our forefathers and foremothers in the historic 1970 wildcat strike. The lives of literally millions of postal workers and our families have been changed for the better over the last fifty years.”