And so the process begins. The process I’m speaking about, of course, is the processes of securing the 2019 National Agreement.
This began with the recent call from the National Union for the submission of bargaining proposals. Bargaining begins significantly prior to the expiration of the National Agreement and is preceded by our preparations for bargaining. This allows Members from across the country to provide their input into the changes they would like to see in the future. The 2016 National Agreement expires on September 20, 2019.
Proposals can generally be separated into two categories. Economic proposals and work rules. Economic proposals consist of things such as general wage increases, cost of living adjustments, as well as work clothes and uniform allowances, while work rules consist of the contractual provisions that identify the rights of Mail Handlers on the work floor. This includes the composition of the workforce, hours of work, the selection of employees for overtime and holidays, the principles of seniority and bidding, leave provisions, the grievance procedure, and higher level assignments. In short, anything that is not an economic issue falls into the category of work rules.
Anyone who has been through this process before knows that our focus at the Local level will be on proposals to change work rule. The reason for this focus is that everyone knows that Mail Handlers desire a wage package which contains general wage increases and the continuation of COLA’s.
Proposals must be submitted to the National Union by January 18, 2019, in order to be considered. You may submit your proposals directly to the National Union or through the Local Union. I’ve included a link to the proposal form below and any Member seeking assistance in formulating their proposal may contact me directly at the Local 323 office. In addition, we’ll be discussing contract proposals at the upcoming Branch Meetings throughout the Local.