March 2015 Update
While we continue our efforts at contract enforcement, prepare for the 2015 Legislative Conference, and battle the myriad issues related to the consolidation initiatives, it is necessary to pause a moment and turn our attention towards the future.
Why? It’s because the 2011 National Agreement will be expiring on May 20, 2016.
I know it seems like that’s quite a ways away; but, time will pass quickly with all the events occurring. Moreover, it’s important to recognize that contract negotiation begin several months prior to the expiration date.
Contract proposals generally fit into two categories, economic issues, and work rules. Economic issues include things like hourly pay rates, night shift differential, Sunday premium, insurance contributions, and clothing allowances. Fortunately, you don’t need to concern yourself too much with economic issues as every National and Local Union Official is aware that the Members of the Mail Handler bargaining unit want an increase in compensation.
That leaves us with work rules; and that’s where we need focus our efforts. Simply put, work rules are everything that isn’t an economic issue. Things such as: overtime desired lists, leave, holiday pecking order, seniority rights, grievance procedure etc. Significantly, this will be the first time we go to the bargaining table seeking improvements to the terms and conditions of employment for MHAs. This in and of itself will require extensive consideration.
So start thinking. We’ll be getting to the nuts and bolts of this issue later in the year.