October 2019 Update
Negotiations over the terms of the 2019 National Agreement remain open, the Postmaster General has announced her upcoming retirement, and perhaps most importantly, the payment resulting from the National RI-399 settlement was recently seen on checks.
With neither party having declared impasse, negotiations over the 2019 National Agreement will be continuing. Whether this will result in a Tentative Agreement, and a subsequent ratification vote by the Membership, remains to be seen. Looking at the current round of collective bargaining relative to all of the Postal Unions, we have seen the ratification of the National Association of Rural Carriers contract last August, we see the American Postal Workers Union nearing the final stages of interest arbitration, and the National Association of Letter Carriers has reported that they are on to mediation and arbitration. To be sure, each Union must forge their own path on the way to their next contract. We are currently at a fork in the road. One path leads to a tentative agreement and a ratification vote, the other path leads to arbitration. It seems prudent to be keeping our options open; but, time and circumstances will eventually push us down one path or the other.
Postmaster General (PMG) Megan Brennan has announced that she will be retiring from the Postal Service effective January 31, 2020. This raises several questions. The first of which is whether the next PMG will come from within the Postal Service or from outside the Postal Service. The PMG is appointed by the USPS Board of Governors and it has been reported that they will carry out a nationwide search for the next PMG. This seems to suggest that they are looking for someone who is not a career USPS employee. We’ll be keeping an eye on this situation as it develops.
The long-awaited payment resulting from the National RI-399 settlement was included in the October 4th paychecks. The National Union has established a Union-run appeal procedure for claims by Mail Handlers who believe they should have been included or by Mail Handlers who believe they did not receive the proper number of shares. Any Mail Handler filing an appeal is reminded to attach any available supporting documentation in support of their claim. It is strongly recommended that each appeal includes all PS Form 50’s beginning with the time of appointment in the Mail Handler craft. The Branch Representatives and the Local office are ready to assist any Mail Handler who desires to make a claim.