February 2016 Update
The opening of national contract negotiations represents the beginning of the formal process from which we will obtain the 2016 National Agreement. Whether this process will result in a tentative agreement requiring ratification by the Membership or send us down the path towards arbitration remains to be seen. Meanwhile we continue pursuing the implementation and enforcement of the current contract.
Of course, at the forefront of contract implementation is the permanent industry surrounding our efforts towards the conversion of MHAs to career. The number of MHAs being employed in the metro area facilities has been lower in recent months and this has limited our ability to pursue conversions resulting from percentage violations. Nevertheless, attrition continues as career Mail Handlers continue to move on from Postal retirement. The resulting vacancies are currently our focus to pursue additional conversions. Percentage enforcement and filling vacancies will remain our primary tools when seeking MHA conversions. Quite frankly, I’d like to have at least one more tool in the toolbox; but, that has to happen at the bargaining table.
In both States your Stewards and Officers continue pursuing contractual violations and I'm always grateful for their efforts.