October 2018 Update
We’ve been keeping an eye on preparations for the peak season, working toward finalizing our contract proposals, and continuing our efforts at implementing the updated RI-399 procedure. Numerous Representatives from both States will be attending a national RI-399 training seminar in early November.
“Peak season” is the term that has in recent years replaced phrases like Holiday Season and Christmas Rush. This is the time when the Postal Service will attempt to avail itself of its ability to employ unlimited casuals, many of which will decide to leave in short order. This will leave it in the hands of career and future career employees to carry the day for the American people. We always have been, and we always will be successful at this endeavor. Still, we must keep in mind that peak season is a time when tensions run high; so, protect yourself and protect your future by working safely.
The last several weeks I’ve been addressing contract proposals with the Members at Branch Meetings and in person; most recently in Fargo, ND. There are several common themes developing and we’ll continue refining our proposals for submission. Whether some of our proposals will end up as part of the 2019 National Agreement remains to b seen.
We’ll be working in all facilities to implement the updated RI-399 procedure after we return from the training. Often, it’s difficult to get two parties to agree on a resolution and the tripartite RI-399 procedure will present some challenges. If we agree, then we agree; if we disagree, then there’s a procedure in place to resolve our disputes. Management is fond of saying “we have to work together.” And, while there may be something to this in an individual work area, I don’t subscribe to this philosophy when it comes to the labor – management relationship. I have no desire to work with management or work against management. My only concern is what’s in the best interest of the Mail Handler craft. When all is said and done, serving the interests of the Mail Handler craft isn’t our highest duty, it’s our only duty.