June 2019 Update
While there is never a shortage of duties for your Officers and Representatives to perform, there are times when our range of activity seems ever expansive. From increasing grievance activity to pursing conversions, from meetings to conferences, from Member events to the picnic, the task list and the calendar can fill up quickly. Thankfully, many people throughout Local 323 continue to put forth the effort necessary to keep things moving forward. Particular credit goes to the Branch Representatives in both States. Their constant pursuit of MHA conversions continues to produce results. Keep up the good work!
National Negotiations have commenced, with the initial phase of bargaining to continuing to the expiration of the contract on September 20th. I’m sure everyone will be keeping an eye on that. The National Union has started publishing Contract Updates and I’ve begun including them on our web site. Feel free to print copies and circulate them to your fellow Members. Keep in mind that the goal of National Negotiations is to produce a tentative agreement for the Membership to vote on; so, keep yourself informed.
Another area to watch is the potential for action on the legislative front this year. The 2019 NPMHU Legislative Conference was held in Washington, DC during the first week of June and the Local 323 team was on Capital Hill. Specifically, Recording Secretary Dean Abatte, ND State Executive Board Member Brock Engstrom, and I, visited several Congressional offices to garner support for our legislative agenda. Those who are interested in the specific may download and review the NPMHU legislative agenda for the 116th Congress.
The Postmaster General has been directed to develop 10-year plan to place the Postal Service on a sustainable path; and, our visit to Capitol Hill was well timed considering some preliminary proposals in this plan. Proposals concerning changes to retirement contributions, leave benefits, Medicare integration, and changing delivery frequency to 5-days, have recently been revealed. These things cannot be accomplished without Congressional action. Consequently, the Postmaster General’s 10-year plan is as much a legislative agenda as a business plan. Certainly, we want to see the Postal Service on a sustainable path moving forward; however, we will oppose any effort to accomplish this by placing the burden on the back of our Membership.
We’ll be keeping an ever-watchful eye on developments as we continue down the road to the future.