July 2019 Update
Contractual grievances are keeping your Representatives busy, while grievance numbers continue to swell due to an onslaught of attendance related discipline. National Negotiations are underway, and we await the official release of the Postmaster General’s 10-year business plan. We continue full speed ahead towards the future.
The result of the negotiations over the contract will have a direct impact on our lives in the workplace. Whether that result comes from a negotiated agreement or an arbitrator’s award, the 2019 National Agreement will establish the future wages and rules we work under. I’ve always believed a negotiated agreement is preferable to placing our future in the hands of an arbitrator. In part, because it allows both parties to control the outcome, and in part, because it allows each Member a voice in their future through a ratification vote. Still, I understand that there are deal breakers which require that we invoke the unpredictable process of arbitration.
Those of you who are following the Contract Updates shouldn’t expect them to contain any earthshattering revelations at this point. That’s just the nature of the process. Successful negotiations occur at the bargaining table. Not on the bulletin boards and not on a web site. I am confident that we are being represented by an experienced and dedicated group of people who are well prepared. In a couple of months, we’ll know the result.
The details of the Postmaster General’s draft 10-year business plan have been emerging in the media for a while and I covered much of these items in my June column. A final version of this plan will be presented sometime in the future to the House Oversight Committee. The changes proposed by this draft would require Congressional approval before being implemented. So, after Congress returns from their summer recess, we’ll be watching for further developments.