August 2016 Update
With the Postmaster General’s visit to North Dakota, the National Convention, and the never ending pursuit of contract enforcement, there continues to be plenty of activity for your Representatives. Add to that the resumption of negotiations over the terms of the 2016 National Agreement, and the Mail Handlers Union continues pressing forward.
North Dakota State Executive Board Member Brock Engstrom recently was in Bismarck to participate in meetings with Postmaster General Megan Brennan and Senator Heidi Heitkamp. These meeting were the result of problems which continue to plague mail delivery in North Dakota. Local 323 represents Mail Handlers working in the North Dakota facilities of Bismarck, Grand Forks, and Fargo. These Mail Handlers play an important role in the mail processing function which forms the foundation on which delivery operations depend.
By participating in these meetings Brock was able to bring the concerns of Mail Handlers to the forefront of the discussion. However, things aren’t going to turn around in an instant and I anticipate it will be necessary to continue monitoring the situation.
The 2016 NPMHU National Convention provided the Local 323 Delegation the opportunity for input into the inner workings of the National Union as well as the Local Unions. In addition, the Delegates participated in the process to select our National Officers for the next four years. The Local 323 Delegation was comprised of Vice President Kathy Schultz, ND State Executive Board Member Brock Engstrom, St. Paul Branch President Jerry LaBarre, Minneapolis Branch Member Elizabeth Dunning, and me.
It’s always a pleasure to work with our fellow Mail Handlers to ensure a strong future for our Union; and, I would like to express my gratitude to the Local 323 Delegation for their time and attention to this important business.
Like everyone else, I’m waiting for a resolution to the 2016 National Agreement. The National Union and the Postal Service have returned to the table and are attempting to finalize an agreement. This agreement, if reached, would then be subject to a ratification vote by the Membership. I remain hopeful that these events will occur in the near future. The 2016 National Agreement will be a reality and we are prepared to implement its terms.