February 2012 Update
Last week the Postal Service announced their intention to move forward with the consolidations proposed by the on-going Area Mail Processing (AMP) studies. The facilities evaluated through the AMP process are comprised of Rochester, Mankato, St. Cloud, and Duluth, in the State of Minnesota as well as Minot and Grand Forks in the State of North Dakota. With the exception of Grand Forks, management indicated that the AMP studies in all installations concluded that the business case supported consolidation.
In each affected installation management gave stand-up talks announcing their decision. While management revealed the results of the AMP studies, no specific information seems to be available. There is neither a timetable for implementation nor employee notification. So, once again we’re left with an uncertainty of what the future may bring or when it may unfold. Indeed, uncertainty seems to be at the root of much of the frustration felt by many of the people with whom I’ve spoken during last week.
Further frustration is felt due to the uncertainty resulting from the impasse over the terms of the next National Agreement. People in installations not affected by the AMP studies want to know when there will be a contract and what that contract will contain. Of course, people in the installations affected by the AMP studies are facing a double dose of uncertainty: where will I be working a year from now and what will the contract be? It’s almost as if uncertainty has become a term and condition of Postal employment like working short staffed, being drafted for your holiday, or being required to work excessive overtime.
With regard to the National Agreement, I must give credit to the negotiating team for holding the line in the face of draconian management demands. While it is true that there will be no general wage increases or COLA’s in the near future, our terms and conditions of employment remain intact during what is likely the most tumultuous time in Postal Service history.
For now all I can do is ask that you hold fast and hang tough. Many people are working hard to bring some order to the chaos.