May 2017 Update
Grievance activity remains strong in both States, the President’s budget proposals require that we keep an eye on Congress, and it appears that management will be monitoring compliance with safety regulations more closely. In short, there is much activity on the horizon as we move into summer.
Despite a hiccup which caused the delay in the receipt of back pay for some Mail Handlers, the implementation of the 2016 continues moving forward. We are continuing to make progress with the conversion of MHAs to full-time regular and additional MHAs are coming on-board on a regular basis.
Many of our current efforts are being directed towards addressing a slew of reversions in facilities throughout the Local. A reversion is the elimination of a bid, or duty assignment, when it becomes vacant. Not too long ago management created quite a few additional duty assignments, now the pendulum is swinging the other way and duty assignments are being eliminated as they are vacated. This is not something which is unique to a given facility or to Local 323; but rather, seems to be something that is being experienced throughout the country. As such, this matter is being addressed by all levels of the Union. This may be something we’ll be working on for a while.
President Trump has introduced budget proposals which have the potential to significantly impact Mail Handlers and retirees. In particular, increasing employee retirement contributions, reducing annuities by changing to a “high 5” rather than a “high 3” computation, elimination of the social security supplement for FERS employees who retire before the age of 62, and the elimination of FERS cost of living adjustments as well as the reduction of CSRS cost of living adjustments for current and future retirees. With respect to the Postal Service, the President’s budget proposes $46 billion in cuts over the next decade, reductions in the frequency of mail delivery, and corresponding cuts to mail processing. Suffice it to say that we’ll be keeping a close eye on the potential enactment of any of these proposals.
Finally, we turn to the matter of safety. Management in the Northland District has informed the Union that they will be increasing the scrutiny of employees’ compliance with safety regulations. The stated reason for this action is a large number of accidents so far this year. You may be receiving a safety talk on this matter in the future. We’ll see how this goes.